Given its placement within the Star Wars timeline, sitting snugly between the top of the prequel trilogy and the start of A New Hope, there are particular issues that Obi-Wan Kenobi merely can’t do. At its core, the Disney Plus collection is a slowly simmering battle between its titular lead and his former protege, Darth Vader. However, irrespective of how epic the lightsaber battles may be, we all know neither of them can actually die. The identical goes for cute little Princess Leia each time she makes a daring escape with Obi-Wan’s assist.

And that’s a part of what makes the six-episode collection, which simply wrapped up its finale, so spectacular. Even with a lot already recognized and most of the characters so completely analyzed and explored, it manages to maintain the stakes and the stress excessive. Clearly, Obi-Wan makes it by means of the present alive — however watching him try this makes for a few of the finest Star Wars in a very long time. Even when the stakes aren’t life and loss of life (for everybody), the emotional confrontations between these mates turned enemies could be simply as satisfying as a well-choreographed lightsaber duel.

This evaluate incorporates spoilers for all six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi. For our evaluate of the preliminary two episodes, go right here.

Because the title implies, Obi-Wan Kenobi is centered across the Jedi Knight performed by Ewan McGregor. On the outset, he’s dwelling as a hermit on Tatooine, hiding himself and his Drive powers from the Empire, which remains to be intent on eradicating each remaining Jedi from the galaxy. He’s additionally ensuring to maintain one eye on Luke Skywalker from afar — in a means that’s solely barely creepy. However, like a retired felony, he’s pulled in for one final job after Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is kidnapped. Her dad and mom, desirous to be discreet, enlist Obi-Wan to deliver her again to security.

From there, the present expands to be about extra than simply Obi-Wan as a person, specializing in his relationships with pivotal characters within the Star Wars universe. There’s Leia, who slowly shifts from reckless baby to the power (no pun supposed) we all know her as as an grownup, partly on account of Obi-Wan’s steering. Over the course of six episodes, Obi-Wan adjustments, too, and steadily turns into himself once more, not solely by way of resuscitating his Jedi powers but in addition the compassion that’s so core to his character. And he does all of this with a younger and impressionable Leia watching him — her fiery persona serving to to tug him out of his shell.

Darth Vader utilizing the Drive to regulate a complete spaceship.
Picture: Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan pulls in just a few new threads as effectively. Reva (Moses Ingram) begins out as the large dangerous, a cruel hunter who’s solely fixated on Obi-Wan. And she or he makes a fantastic traditional Star Wars villain, one who’s initially bereft of conscience however in the end turns into sympathetic — even when her origin was very clearly telegraphed from the opening moments of the present. Plus, she has an especially cool lightsaber. Many of the different new characters are largely background materials, although they’re sometimes nonetheless entertaining, like Kumail Nanjiani’s tackle a con artist pretending to be a Jedi.

However the obvious point of interest is between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader (performed variously by Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones, each reprising the position). Their fallout is all the crux of the present. Leia is captured in an try to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding in order that an inquisitor, Reva — a part of a small group of fearsome Jedi-hunting elite commanders — can get into Vader’s good graces. Vader, in the meantime, has clearly by no means gotten over the occasions of Revenge of the Sith, which, to be honest, left him burned to the purpose that he wants an advanced robotic go well with to operate. Each Obi-Wan and Vader appear to dream about nothing however one another, the occasions of the prequel trilogy haunting their sleepless nights.

For six episodes, the present slowly builds as much as that final confrontation between Vader and Kenobi. It spends a lot of that point displaying Obi-Wan reacquainting himself with the Drive whereas additionally reestablishing simply how terrifying Vader could be. Whereas most of the Drive customers within the present are adept (or straight up struggling like Obi-Wan), Vader has a uncooked energy that’s clearly unmatched. There are scenes when he drags victims behind him simply to scare folks and a second when he manages to cease a big freighter ship mid-takeoff utilizing solely the Drive. That is Vader on the top of his powers — and a reminder of why the galaxy is so fearful of him. And even with a few of the pressure eliminated due to the actual fact we all know they each will reside, it nonetheless manages to be an unimaginable second — and absolute traditional lightsaber duel — when the 2 lastly face off within the finale. (In actual fact, Obi-Wan includes a handful of nice one-on-one motion sequences, most of which contain Vader and his laser sword.)

Reva leads a platoon of stormtroopers.
Picture: Lucasfilm

There’s nonetheless loads of Star Wars silliness in Obi-Wan. Many of the large shock reveals are simple to foretell, the flashback sequences are very on the nostril, and the Drive stays a mysterious, uh, power that appears to bend to the need of the present’s writers as a lot because it does the Jedi and Sith. Characters additionally sometimes make baffling selections; Obi-Wan would’ve been a really completely different present if folks really took a second to make sure their victims have been lifeless as a substitute of simply strolling away. It by no means will get too egregious, however you’ll need to droop your disbelief just a few occasions on this present about area wizards.

With its slate of upcoming books, reveals, and flicks, Disney is intent on as soon as once more filling in each little hole within the Star Wars timeline. (RIP expanded universe.) To date, the outcomes have been blended. Regardless of what my Kenner motion determine would possibly’ve predicted after I was 12, Boba Fett’s inside life is just not all that fascinating. He’s extra fascinating as a thriller. However for Obi-Wan, a personality who’s integral to this universe and but so usually performs a supporting position, it makes lots of sense to dig into this key a part of his story, one which additionally helped form the motivations of characters like Leia and Vader. It helps that Obi-Wan does lots of traditional Star Wars issues rather well — cool lightsaber battles; menacing villains; a phenomenal, lived-in world — along with telling an fascinating story.

So, regardless that you know the way issues will finish, the present manages to make the highway to that conclusion a obligatory a part of the Star Wars mythos — one which reminds you ways enjoyable this universe could be.

All six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are streaming on Disney Plus now.

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