Disney+ entered the Star Wars franchise into a new era of storytelling, and it wasn’t accidental. Since 2019, Star Wars TV has exploded into a fascinating collection of stories we never would have gotten otherwise. The Mandalorian. The Bad Batch. And now, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
But this has also begun a new trend on our smaller Star Wars screens: shorter stories. With only six episodes on its schedule, Obi-Wan Kenobi will be the shortest Star Wars Disney+ release yet. And the majority of fans have few complaints about the story so far, despite there being less of it.
Maybe this is how more Star Wars shows should be. Short. Powerful. Then over.
Let’s be realistic here: shows with multiple seasons will, at least for the time being, remain an important part of Star Wars storytelling. The Mandalorian is good. Even the two seasons of Resistance we got were good. There is nothing wrong with Star Wars shows that run three, four, even five seasons if they need to.
But not all shows need to. Even though that’s what half the fanbase has been begging for since Kenobi was announced as a limited series. We were never promised a Season 2 and still aren’t getting one, and for some reason, the fact that a story can be told in six short beautiful bursts isn’t fathomable to some. Why does there need to be more when the full story can fit into one small package?
The greatest benefit to a limited series like Kenobi is that it can launch multiple limited-series spinoffs about the new characters featured in the show. Lucasfilm has the power to use legacy characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi to draw people to other shows like a series about The Path, about Reva, about Roken (the story of someone who lost a Force-sensitive loved one to the Inquisitorius instead of another story about a Force-sensitive individual hiding from them).
And maybe we need more of those types of stories. Shows that focus not just on one character, but on everyone they impact and influence, for five or six episodes and that’s it. Then we move on to the next thing. It would be much easier (ideally) to treat Star Wars as the buffet it is — to consume the shows you want and leave the rest, with less pressure to have a little bit of everything available (though many still will, and that’s OK).
Limited series won’t be all we’ll get in Star Wars in the future. But they could become a valuable part of the rotation as different kinds of shows emerge. Star Wars isn’t slowing down; therefore, it will have to adapt. Doing so might take things from good to the best they’ve ever been. Variety keeps us fed, but it also keeps us satisfied. That’s more important in the long-term than you might think.
Obi-Wan Kenobi stars Ewan McGregor with appearances by Hayden Christensen and Kumail Nanjiani and is directed by Deborah Chow, who previously directed an episode of The Mandalorian. The series is streaming now exclusively on Disney+.
Follow Dork Side of the Force for all your Star Wars news, reviews, and more!