Obi-Wan Kenobi: Looking back on the series one year later

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

No one hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans. It’s something everyone in the fandom seems to agree on. A year ago, Obi Wan Kenobi began streaming on Disney+ with a two episode premiere. The series, logically speaking, gave everything that was to be expected. Maybe it missed the mark in a few departments, maybe it gave a bit too little of what fans wanted to see, but when it delivered, it really delivered. However, the reception was mixed, even if the ratings were stellar.

Perhaps, the six episodes were far too few, and a series that came after almost two decades since the release of Revenge of the Sith deserved a lengthier run. The main draw was undoubtedly the return of Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor. After years of hatred and criticism aimed at the prequels eventually gave way to a softer stance, thanks in part to The Clone Wars, and disappointment with the direction of the franchise in the years following the prequels, fans finally began to hope for a return of “The Chosen One” and his Master.

While Ewan McGregor had some powerful moments in the series, there definitely could’ve been more flashbacks shown between Ewan and Hayden, as the chemistry between these two and their characters has become something fans have come to love about the prequels. Their evolution from mismatched master and apprentice, to brothers and friends, was fleshed out even better in animation, and added to everything shown in the films. Many fans hoped that Kenobi would explore more of that bond. But whatever was shown ended up being quite memorable. Their duels, which showcased yet again that they’re undoubtedly the best duelists in all of Star Wars media, lived up to all the hype and the two still managed to deliver heartfelt performances and one of the most moving moments in Star Wars to date, when Obi Wan apologized to Anakin, and momentarily left the Dark Lord of the Sith at a loss for words.

The look at live action inquisitors was done well, and a series focusing on them and their power games with Vader would be pretty intriguing if it’s ever done. It was great to see Leia’s childhood on Alderaan, her ill-fated home world. “The Path”, a way to help protect force sensitive beings escape under the eyes of the Empire is another concept that needs to be explored further, and a season 2 could cover that. One of the most moving moments in the series was when Obi Wan found out that Quinlan Vos had been through “The Path” himself, and had survived Order 66 and was helping others as well. Kenobi and Vos never seemed to get along too well, but it was evident that hearing about his survival and the work he was doing to help others, had given Obi Wan the glimmer of hope and inspiration that he lost.

The series had one of the most satisfying and emotional endings in any Star Wars media, an ending that seemed to fit perfectly between the Episode III and Episode IV timelines, and still left a lot to the imagination. Sure, the scope could have been larger. The visual effects could have been better, the flashbacks could’ve shown more of Anakin, and included a couple of live action Clone Wars flashbacks of Obi Wan and Anakin as well, but the series ended on an incredibly hopeful note, and left room for more.

Kenobi deserves a second and even a third re-watch. The duels were exceptional and Obi Wan’s growth from a man who had lost any reason to live and had cut himself off from the force, to a wise Jedi Master, who was ready to open himself up to the force so he could one day pass on what he knew to Anakin’s son, was shown with the utmost poignancy.

Obi Wan Kenobi is streaming now on Disney+.