My thoughts on Obi-wan Kenobi

Hey folks,

It’s been a while. A long while in fact. My last post to actually hit the site, visible to all, was way back at the end of 2019, just before the pandemic hit. I, thankfully and obviously, survived and if you’re reading this, you did too. I’m thankful for that, and I hope you’re doing well! My life, like most, has gone through changes and I’ve adapted as best I could but things are pretty much stable for me, and I’ve been busy, as always, and haven’t had much time to put towards things like this.

Nonetheless, my girlfriend and I just binge watched Obi-wan Kenobi and I thought I’d share a few thoughts on it.

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First of all, I think it was worth the wait! I really enjoyed it overall though it went in a completely different direction than I thought it would… I was expecting that it, the first season at least, might be based on the novel that came out on the character a few years ago, that also took place in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. While that wasn’t the case, I wasn’t disappointed in what we did get, not significantly at any rate. It makes sense that Vader would continue to pursue Kenobi, and with the existence of the Sith Inquisitors in the various animated series and comics (along with the Emperor’s Hands in the Expanded Universe), it’s fitting that we finally get to see them in action.

But the show isn’t without some controversy and anger. There’s been a lot of anger at the fact that Leia has been “recast,” and I’ve heard a number of people talking about how bad the Third Sister/Reva’s acting is. To address the former, to be painfully blunt and insensitive, Carrie Fisher is dead and even if she wasn’t, we never saw Leia at age 10 before so they would’ve had to cast a different actress to portray her anyway. Get over it. Even if they recast her at an older age, if you want Star Wars content that is going to involve the character, Leia, you’re going to have to get used to the idea of a different actress portraying her or have her resurrected through computer imagery. Pick your poison.

As for the Third Sister… My problem with her had nothing to do with Moses Ingram’s acting. It wasn’t always perfect or what I wanted it to be, nor did I particularly like the character, but she was fine. My problem was the overly excessive CGI parkour sequence(s) in the show. The animation on those was just plain terrible, in my opinion, and were completely unnecessary since they accomplished absolutely nothing. If they had gotten her to where she wanted to go or needed to be within a reasonable timespan or in time to act on what led her there, I’d be fine with it but they didn’t and were pointless. So, cut them.

Perhaps the biggest nits to be picked about the series are more or less matters of perspective and character memory. For example, if Luke and Leia had been in jeopardy as depicted in the series before A New Hope, there almost certainly would’ve been some mention of it before now. This sort of adventure is in keeping with the life of a Jedi, especially a master, so I could see Obi-wan not remembering it, but for a child, especially one raised as a moisture farmer on Tatooine, being chased down by a crazy lady with a red laser sword would be a life changing event! He’d probably be in therapy for years after that, and he’d certainly wonder “why me?” Leia would likely have a plausible reason: princesses are high profile targets, so you could expect one or two kidnapping or murder attempts before she joined the imperial Senate, but she figured it out on her own. Well… Partially, anyway. This is one of the problems inherent with making content that takes place before earlier content, especially when that involves something that is old and very well known and loved like the original Star Wars film; you open a can of worms that makes things incongruous… Anomalies that stand out and can’t easily be explained.

Some anomalies can be explained, however. As my girlfriend and I discussed the series after completing it, she felt that it broke continuity with A New Hope because Vader says something to the effect of “when I left you I was but the learner, now I am the master.” She felt that this meant that the last time they saw one another was at the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith. In my opinion, it doesn’t imply anything other than “you were once my master, now I’m better than you.” To me, that means that there could be any number of encounters between the two in the future motion pictures, comics, or books between this point in Obi-wan and A New Hope, though I would think that their last encounter between the two would lead Vader to suspect Kenobi has died.

Going back to Third Sister/Reva, I do have another issue involving her… Not so much her acting, but the apparent and obvious filler that was her interrogation of Leia. Aside from it’s purpose of filler during the episode, it really makes no sense. A 10 year old kid wouldn’t have any significant information about any plan to move Jedi from planet to planet to safety. At best, they might know what it is and what it’s for, maybe a few people involved (maybe even a leader), but certainly not detailed plans and destination. So the interrogation really makes little sense.

Another thing is that there are definitely some issues with ship scales… The series demonstrated smaller ships landing/docking on some larger ships, but the problem is that those smaller ships are of significant size relative to the larger ship and would take up a considerable amount of space inside, eliminating room for cargo, propulsion, life support, weapons, shield generators if so equipped and so on. This particularly bothered me in episode 4, towards the end, when the speeder lands aboard the escape ship. It’s one thing in video games: scale is often an issue in games, and there’s no need for operational equipment in a game. Granted, the same could be said for a ship in a movie or TV show, but there’s usually a stronger effort to get scale correct, but there appeared to be little of that in this series.

The tactics, on both sides, during the Imperial breach of the base was sketchy at best. The defenders had sealed the doors, and had time to setup barriers, other obstructions, and cover in the tunnel. Instead, they used what tiny amount of cover was already in the tunnel. When the doors finally opened, both sides made basically the same mistake, though I feel the Jedi friendly side made the bigger mistake overall. Thermal detonators… Generally a weapon used by the soldiers on the “good” side more so than the Imperials, thermal detonators should’ve been tossed in the direction of the Stormtroopers flooding into the tunnel, creating a mass casualty situation for them. The good guys, hiding behind proper cover, wouldn’t have been nearly as impacted as the Imperial forces. Similarly, the Imperials had the heavy gun/blaster already pointed at the door… Why didn’t they use it? A few shots from it as the Stormtroopers cautiously and intelligently advanced — providing covering fire for the heavy gun to reload — would’ve given the invaders the advantage they needed, even if the opposition had good cover.

One last thing off the top of my head… Stormtrooper armor is seriously garbage. I mean, this isn’t news, but Kenobi has shown exactly how shit it is. The armored troops get beaten up by unarmored individuals, drown, can’t see in the dark, and, as traditionally seen, can’t take the slightest hit from a blaster. What is the point of this armor exactly? It’s little more than a uniform designed to anonymize the rank and file soldiers. The Empire’s armed forces need to union up and demand better equipment!

All that said, I really did enjoy the series and I’m looking forward to the next season, if it happens.

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