The newest installment in the Star Wars story is the Disney+ original series Obi-Wan Kenobi which is about the titular character in the events following Revenge of the Sith and before New Hope (between end of prequel and beginning of original trilogy). The series has released three episodes so far and will release an episode weekly each Wednesday.
Being that it’s a Disney+ series, I expect we will ultimately learn Kenobi is somehow associated with the LGBT community and if they don’t I guess they are bigots and their employees should probably protest. Kenobi has yet to appear even in drag to read to children so idk what’s going on over at the studio.
Putting aside Disney+ “don’t say gay” oppression of the LGBT community in producing this series, the Conservative Critic will ask: Is it entertaining? Does it have intellectual/artistic value? Is it liberal propaganda?
The Conservative Critic Meter Check: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Overall rating: Might go somewhere
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Obi-Wan) has started a little slowly but so did other Star Wars series installments like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett both of which turned out to be major hits (to be fair The Book of Boba Fett had to be basically scrapped and salvaged mid-season but still). The formula of Obi-Wan is very similar to The Mandalorian with a central character with various “tough guy” hang ups escorting a vulnerable and cute character through the scary and daunting galaxy far far away, hopping from cool planet to cool planet. In this case, the two central characters are very familiar to Star Wars fans, one being Obi-Wan himself and the other a favorite hero. The formula is a little lazy but it makes sense because on a long journey across many different landscapes a writer can make basically anything happen.
The major hype for Obi-Wan has been the return of Darth Vader who does make appearances early in the first few episodes. However, some of the plot’s deepest flaws lie in Vader’s appearances which comes as a big disappointment for viewers and particularly fans.
Despite its slow progress, formulaic plot and logical fallacies, the show does feature original cast members and some promising new faces. The set up is enough to be optimistic that the show might develop into something fun and fulfilling in the Star Wars storyline. It’s worth giving a chance.
Is it entertaining?
Rating: Fun but a little slow
What’s fun about Obi-Wan is the characters both new and old and the inclination to answer questions Star Wars fans may have never thought to ask (and perhaps some they did think to ask). The expansion of the Star Wars universe to encompass more good guys and bad guys and everything in between only enriches the story overall. And of course it’s always fun to see how characters fair in the gaps of their life viewers have yet to see. Hopping from planet to planet on an adventure leaves a lot of room for action sequences and colorful new populations with whom the central figures can interact. There is plenty to give the series momentum into an entertaining space.
What’s not working so far in Obi-Wan is the pace. In the first three episodes, very little has happened and a lot of the same thing has happened in each episode. The characters seem to spend a lot of time whispering between rehashing brief action sequences with similar baddies in similar locations. When there is finally a big exciting duel or battle scene, they seem to dissipate quickly.
Right now the show is building its universe and its background so hopefully as it progresses a little further it picks up the pace and changes up some of its episodic structure. In the meantime it’s not a sleeper but it’s more of a drama than a Star Wars adventure.
Does it have artistic/intellectual value?
Rating: Yes in many ways, but some issues
Obi-Wan is high quality. The costumes and set design are recognizable and well made and as beautiful or more so than in The Mandalorian and all the newer higher tech Star Wars installments. In pure Disney form, many of the costumes are replicas of what they merchandise across their many retail partnerships and in theme parks at their Star Wars themed areas. Incorporation of merchandising into the elaborate worlds of Disney franchises is one of the things the company has always done best. It allows for fans (especially children) to immerse themselves into the world in a way which satisfies their fan craving as well as their imaginations. This holistic approach to storytelling is best in class and can only be achieved by the most sector integrated organizations. In short- it’s expensive and top tier. Everything about the Star Wars story world including Obi-Wan is expensive and top tier.
The cast is also strong in the series. Ewan McGregor may not have originated Obi-Wan, but he definitely made the character something special, delivering iconic lines in the prequel which fans use constantly and fondly. He is continuing the journey to attempt to connect the young Obi-Wan of the prequels who was a spirited and ideologically principled warrior to the original trilogy Obi-Wan (played by Alec Guinness) who was a vaguely cynical and reclusive wiseman. While the journey may not be playing much to fan service considering Obi-Wan is providing a timeframe in his life where he is a bit lost and inbetween, the performance is worthy and believable in the progression of Obi-Wan’s story.
McGregor is joined by Joel Edgerton (The King) reprising his role as “Uncle” Owen Lars, the stepbrother of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader who raises Luke Skywalker on his moisture farm. Edgerton doesn’t get a ton of screen time but he really makes the character something more than it should be. He steals the screen and gives quite a bit of gravitas to a character who originally had nearly no significance to the forward trajectory of the story.
New to the Star Wars story is Moses Ingram (Queen’s Gambit) as the Third Sister/Inquisitor Reva. Ingram is phenomenal, selling immediately that she is a formidable Dark Jedi and ambitious Darth Vader sycophant. The Star Wars universe thrives on angsty young people with hot heads running around kicking ant hills. In the prequels it was Anakin both as a hero and villain. In the original trilogy it was Luke himself. In the new Skywalker trilogy it was Kylo Ren. In Obi-Wan, it’s Ingram’s Reva and she does it perfectly. Before her performance I was unaware that a bitter mid-level career woman has a very similar vibe to a petulant teenage boy when both wield deadly magical powers. Unfortunately Ingram is the subject of the liberal propaganda (see below) due to some social media nonsense, not the show itself.
The issues with the story come mainly from the logical fallacies. Star Wars has a lot of fantastical and supernatural elements even though technically it’s a sci-fi and not a fantasy (I will forever argue it is the latter). Obi-Wan breaks a lot of the established rules of the force and on many occasions breaks even regular logic where characters escape far too easily or make decisions that do not match the motives of their characters. Instead of answering questions about the Skywalker storyline, Obi-Wan seems to be creating more and more questions and not in a good way.
Is it liberal propaganda?
Rating: Thanks to Twitter, yes
Ugh it’s so unfortunate. The show itself has all the same propaganda of the original series which is very anti-establishment and pro-rebel and actually ultimately pro-Republic which would be a conservative point of view. Obi-Wan doesn’t get much into the politics beyond existing inside the political world of a tyrannical Empire which has been well established across many franchises.
But enter Twitter. The liberals on Twitter had Moses Ingram trending, claiming that people had bullied her for being in the series because of her gender and race. I’m not saying it didn’t happen at all, I’m sure some idiots somewhere said mean things, but I am saying that I think the liberal reaction to it was about 10 times bigger than any initial rudeness some random internet trolls may have done. The show’s star, Ewan McGregor put out this whole video defending Moses against no one but in doing so basically accused people of racism which is a favorite of the left. If there is no racism – just invent some! Then they all pretended like conservatives in general (instead of maybe one conservative) compared the situation to the situation with Gina Carano in The Mandalorian getting fired for a tweet that was declared (wrongly) to be racist and called those imaginary people racist again and took the opportunity to again accuse (falsely) Carano of racism.
So basically the left created two fake scenarios to then react to so they could make sure and accuse some people of racism. So the show is now steeped a bit in liberal propaganda even though the content itself is neutral or even a little right leaning. Though as stated above I do not put it past them to make sure a main character is somehow LGBT. It is Pride month after all. Can’t miss out on credit.
Obi-Wan Kenobi has started a bit slow and leans on some old formulas to create the storyline. Putting aside some logical fallacies, it is a well made series with strong characters who have a ton of potential to turn it into something great even with some fussy liberal nonsense online.