‘Obi-Wan Kenboi’ Review: Latest ‘Star Wars’ Series Tries Too Hard, Lacks Force

SPOILER ALERT: This review contains details of the first two episodes of Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

The Force is not strong with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Debuting a few hours earlier than anticipated on Disney+, the first two episodes of the Ewan McGregor starring miniseries are almost all undiluted nostalgia with no wisdom to impart and not much of a story to tell. Lacking the charm of The Mandalorian and embracing the hackneyed efforts of The Book of Boba Fett, the adrift Obi-Wan Kenobi plays way too coy and cute to be taken seriously as anything more than s slick-ish subscriber grab.

Taking place in the netherworld period between the rise of the Empire in Revenge of the Sith and the destruction of the Death Star in New Hope, Obi-Wan is essentially a redemption tale. Yet, as George Lucas learned the lucrative way, a little bit of Joseph Campbell can be good for the myth but bad for the execution.

Full of kidnapped princesses, Outer Rim workplace monotony, crisis of confidence, well-timed throwbacks and plot holes, the opening of the six-episode series is s soiled mosaic of its influences. Which, no matter how much Lawrence of Arabia you mix in with the original Blade Runner, some Matrix and an unseen Home Alone sequel, wilts faster than an orchid under the grueling twin suns of Tatooine. A demise made all the more scorched by the fact that significant swaths of Obi-Wan have a mid-1990s syndication cheapness to them, with slightly better lighting.

All of which is just so disappointing, and yet unsurprising at this point for the small screen version of the Star Wars franchise. By the time Smits’ Senator Bail Organa tries to implore McGregor’s dejected Obi-Wan to take up the Jedi cause again in service of his adopted daughter Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair), lines like “You couldn’t save Anakin, but you can save her” seems almost germane, and that’s just said

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