The first two episodes of Obi-Wan didn’t really do it for me, but I will still give it a chance. Episode 3 is streaming now, so…
If you haven’t seen the episode yet, I would watch it first before reading on.
It turns out the predetermined route of the freighter ship is still a mystery to Reva, who only found out about such things as manifests long after the ship left with Obi-Wan and Leia on it. It was heading to a mining colony which is run by the Empire.
Obi-Wan and Leia have to make it to a designated point to meet up with someone who can help them out. In the meantime, Reva is taking control under direct orders from Vader, and sends out all of the probe droids they have. All three of them. There must be cutbacks in the Empire too and they can only afford three probe droids.
Obi-Wan and Leia turn up at the designated location, only nobody is there. So they stop a local ‘bus’ service for a lift. Obi-Wan tells Leia, no talking, don’t trust anyone, and lays out their cover story. So immediately Leia takes complete control of the situation while Obi-Wan stands there like a potato.
They really are sending Obi-Wan the way of Luke from The Last Jedi. A bit sad, a bit pathetic, and just playing a second fiddle to the strong and powerful girl. On the ‘bus’, it stops and picks up some stormtroopers who are on the hunt for a Jedi.
Now, I’m pretty sure that most wanted posters have a picture on them of the subject being hunted. It seems odd that the entire Empire is looking for a Jedi going by the name of Obi-Wan Kenobi and yet it seems they never included a photo of him on the wanted notice.
I mean, there have got to be records of Obi-Wan in the archives or something. They must have had a picture of him somewhere, right? The stormtroopers have a conversation with Obi-Wan, oblivious to his identity. It just seems the Empire just gave the command:
“Go to this planet and look for someone vaguely Jedi looking”.
There is a touching moment between Obi-Wan and Leia as he says she reminds him of her mother. Although Kenobi has given a fake name to Leia, he calls her by her real name in front of the troopers. He is now going full Luke.
They get to a checkpoint. The bus driver thinks they are the Jedi they are looking for, so a fight breaks out which is the high point of the episode. A probe droid turns up, scans Obi Wan’s face and then they recognize him! If only there was a way to send pictures of his face somehow? One of the troopers threatens Leia… buuuuuuut, she’s fine. Obviously, since we all know who is going to live and who is going to die as it is a prequel.
Another bus turns up, this time with more troopers and an imperial officer. The officer, Tala, isn’t a bad guy. She’s there to help, probably because she’s a woman. We also see our first-ever female stormtrooper.
They hide out in a local village and Tala hides them in a series of tunnels to the space port. There’s another touching moment where Leia doesn’t like the fact that here droids are second-class citizens. #oppression
Then Vader turns up to hunt for Obi Wan himself. He turns up, kills some of the locals, and goes on the hunt for his old master.
This is where it let me down. There is a very slow game of cat and mouse that is just about posturing. It was nice to see a lightsaber fight, but it was a little lackluster. Near the end Vader obviously has Obi-Wan exactly where he wants him and could kill him at any second. But no. Vader wants him to suffer, so he spills some kind of flammable liquid on the ground, lights it, and drags Obi-Wan though it.
Now, even though Obi-Wan is screaming in pain, the hair doesn’t burn a single hair on his head or scar him in any way. You would have thought that being dragged through a fire would have left something behind, after all, look at Anakin. Yet since Alec Guinness didn’t have any scars, Obi-Wan is fine.
Vader could have cut his legs off while force choking him but does not. Honestly, bringing Vader in this early wasn’t good. We know that both of them survive, so there’s no willing suspension of disbelief and no real threat or peril. We know what is going to happen.
Tala saves Obi-Wan, but Leia gets picked up by Reva. The end.
I’ve seen some people say this was a great episode, but the devil is in the detail. Obi-Wan vs. Vader isn’t a thing, since we all know the outcome. The Empire has only three probe droids and cannot seem to send a photo to anyone. Fire burns but leaves no scars.
I’m giving this episode 3 out of 5. Maybe it is always a little cool to see Vader, but overall, there’s no threat and that undermines the story, so it all just feels like padding. I know I’m a cynical old bastard, but this series really isn’t doing much for me. It’s just more content.
As someone said in discussion for the review of the first two episodes, it is basically Ewan McGregor that is carrying this show. He is amazing, but it’s a shame there’s just not much else to talk about other than him.
Am I wrong? What did you make of it?