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Obi-Wan Kenobi Episodes 1 & 2: Review, Recap & Ending Explained

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Obi-Wan Kenobi Episodes 1 & 2 Review & Breakdown: The Beginning of a Beautiful, Tense, Thrilling Saga 

Warning: Major Spoilers for Episodes 1 & 2 of Obi-Wan Kenobi 

Disney and Lucasfilm have loads of “Star Wars” content lined up for the near future — we got a new Andor trailer yesterday, along with some news about the upcoming projects to grace our screens, including Ahsoka and Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, among others. However, the hype surrounding Obi-Wan Kenobi is massive, even by Star Wars limited series standards. This can obviously be attributed to the return of Ewan McGregor as the titular Jedi Knight, along with that of Hayden Christensen as Vader, along with the prospect of fleshing out what happened during a certain point in time in Star Wars history.

Taking place 10 years after the events of The Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place in the aftermath of Order 66, during the time in which the Jedi are hunted and almost on the verge of extinction. The first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are paced in a beautiful way — while episode 1 takes the time to recap the events of the prequels and take stock of the characters in the present, episode 2 dives into the heart of action while establishing intriguing, emotionally-rich storylines with Obi-Wan at the center.

OBI-WAN KENOBI EPISODES 1 & 2: RECAP

A TRAUMATIZED JEDI, DEADLY JEDI INQUISITORS, AND A WHOLE LOT MORE

The first episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi starts with a recap of some of the aspects of the Prequel trilogy, with a focus on Obi-Wan and Anakin’s bond through time, the latter’s turn to the dark side, and the culmination of events during the duel at Mustafar. There’s obviously an element of intense nostalgia that plays out here, as things are emotional from the get-go: while we are happy to see the return of Obi-Wan, seeing him struggling to make ends meet on Tatooine is deeply heartbreaking. The opening scene is a snippet of the Jedi murders during Order 66, with a group of younglings fleeing the scene after their instructor, Velti, sacrifices herself to save them. 

Rupert Friend in Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 1 2
(L-R): Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and a Stormtrooper in a scene from Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Obi-Wan works in a meat refinery of sorts, trying to blend in but never quite managing to (maybe it is just me, but Obi-Wan looks, dresses, and moves like a Jedi, making it difficult for him to truly ever blend in). Changing his name to Ben (very convincing), Obi-Wan lives in an isolated area and strikes deals with a Jawa named Teeka for parts, or everything things that the latter salvages. He’s clearly traumatized, showing signs of PTSD and unhealed trauma, as he is still gripped by night terrors and the guilt of having killed Anakin.

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The Jedi Inquisitors are soon introduced — the main trio, the Grand Inquisitor ‘(Rupert Friend), the Fifth Brother (Sung Kang), and the Third Sister, Reva (Moses Ingram) are menacing— who are hunting down the very last of Jedi across Tatooine. There’s even a Jedi hanging in the public square, which is very jarring, to say the least. 

Episode 1 shifts focus to Alderaan, Leia’s home planet, where she is introduced as a child, living out her life as the Senator’s daughter. Leia is both witty and inquisitive, sharp-tongued and insightful, which are qualities that the Leia we know possesses for sure, setting the tone just right for the events to come. Unfortunately, little Leia is kidnapped by mercenaries, which turns out to be a trap forged by Reva to lure Obi-Wana from hiding. This works, of course, leading to the thrilling, breathtaking sequences that take place in the cyberpunk planet of Daiyu in episode 2.

OBI-WAN KENOBI EPISODES 1 & 2: REVIEW & ENDING EXPLAINED 

THE PAST IS NEVER PAST 

Obi-Wan, at the beginning of the episode, is the shell of the man he used to be. He has not used his lightsaber in 10 years, has renounced his Jedi ways, and is forced to suppress his natural instinct to fight injustice due to the circumstances he is bound to. Moreover, his duty is to oversee a young Luke, and he seems to be doing everything in his power, including using his hard-earned credits to gift him a T-16 Skyhopper toy, which Owen (Joel Edgerton) does not accept. We get the tense conversation between the two, wherein Owen is critical of Obi-Wan, saying that he cannot let the past repeat itself, referring to Obi-Wan failing Anakin. However, when Reva threatens Owen publicly and pressurizes him to reveal information about the Jedi, he does not give Obi-Wan up. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 1 2
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

The past haunts Obi-Wan: clearly, he is unable to work through the trauma of losing Anakin, and the events that led to Luke and Leia leading separate lives for the sake of their safety.  He does hold himself responsible in many ways, believing he could have saved Anakin, and maybe even Padmé, which is why he refuses to help a young Leia when Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) asks for his aid. However, he does go in the end, which jumpstarts the scenes in Daiyu. However, Obi-Wan is not the only one with an attachment to the past, as Reva seems to have something personal against him, which might be connected to the fact that she is a Jedi Inquisitor who is seen as “less than” by her peers.

THE PAST COMES BACK TO HAUNT

The scenes in Daiyu work well both aesthetically and in terms of narrative flourish, as the dystopian, Blade Runner-esque streets act as a sordid, yet beautiful setting for most of episode 2. Moses Ingram as Reva steals every scene she is in and comes off as more menacing than the Grand Inquisitor himself, who is quite frightening, to begin with, swinging, double-sided lightsaber and all. Reva has personal motivations of her own, and has no regard for the rules set down by the Inquisitors — she is ruthless, and is read to even kidnap a child to further her ends, which involves handing over Obi-Wan to Lord Vader, who looks forward to meeting his former Master, and deal with him after the events at Mustafar. 

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The fight sequences towards the end are scant and spaced out, but they are thrilling nevertheless, as Obi-Wan gradually finds his pacing as a Jedi Knight, and manages to save Leia and earn her trust after briefly losing it due to a misunderstanding. The range of emotions conveyed simply by McGregor’s face is extremely nuanced and invested with depth. He is a man who no longer believes in himself, has lost everything dear to him, and believes he will fail again if he embarks on the Jedi Knight amidst the war-torn world he lives in. When Leia falls off the ledge, Obi-Wan uses the Force, probably after a very long time, and the scene is hard-hitting for a plethora of reasons for viewers.

Moses Ingram
Reva (Moses Ingram) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

There’s Kumail Nanjiani’s wild card character, Haja Estree, a Jedi imposter who is a scam artist mostly but ends up helping Obi-Wan and Leia escape in a craft. However, Reva arrives there, taunting Obi-Wan about how Lord Vader will be pleased when she hands him over — this sweeps the ground from Obi-Wan’s feet. Unaware that Anakin survived, Obi-Wan had no idea about Vader until now, and the prospect of Anakin being alive is too emotionally shattering for him, especially now that he has embraced the Sith Lord within him complete. We get a closing shot of Anakin in a Bacta tank, recovering from his deadly burns, waiting to rise and reach heights of power unknown to any man.

Obi-Wan Kenobi manages to evade the emptiness of The Book of Boba Bett completely, and instead, embraces the rich emotional vignettes of the man it is focused on. So far, the Disney+ series is quintessential Star Wars, with, I would argue, great improvements, with the intention of expanding a world that is already dense and multifaceted in many ways. What comes next will be instrumental in setting the tone for the show, although Anakin’s return might just be too much for Obi-Wan, as it entails unpackaging a lot of emotional baggage, and letting go of the past. 

★★★★

Episodes 1 & 2 of Obi-Wan Kenobi are currently streaming on Disney+

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