Set roughly a decade after 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi takes six episodes to tell a story about the titular Jedi Master (Ewan McGregor) reconnecting to the Force. After all, having your former Padawan turn to the Dark Side and tear apart the galaxy – not to mention the Jedi Order itself – would have that effect. But would this Obi-Wan story work better as a movie instead of a 282-minute Disney+ series? Probably.
‘Solo’ killed the development of an ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ movie
When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, the initial plan for Star Wars was simple: alternate between mainline “Episodes” and standalone stories. But by the time the sequel trilogy wrapped up, the notion of more movies bearing the A Star Wars Story subtitle disappeared. Only Rogue One and Solo came to fruition. And when the latter failed to meet expectations, Lucasfilm went in another direction.
Movies focused on Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi were stuck in development. Ultimately, both found new life as Disney+ shows debuting in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The latter essentially takes what was intended to be a two-hour story putting Kenobi on a collision course with Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), and stretches it to nearly five hours of content, bridging the gap between Episodes III and IV.
‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ feels overextended as a Disney+ series
When Obi-Wan Kenobi begins, the titular Jedi Master is already on Tatooine, where fans left him in Revenge of the Sith. He, of course, remains there to keep watch over young Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) until the next movie. But amid that mission, the Disney+ series sees Kenobi called into action to defend the other Skywalker twin, Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair). And so, a seemingly untold story begins. But not without some bumps along the road.
Obi-Wan Kenobi largely sticks to Stuart Beattie’s original story pitch – as reported by The Direct – of the Jedi Master’s return to the Force. And it builds to an emotional climax with Vader. But there are also plenty of story detours that could have been eliminated, especially in the fourth episode. As it stands, Obi-Wan Kenobi simply doesn’t have enough story to justify its runtime and overcomplicates an intimate story about mourning and loss.
Will ‘Star Wars’ fans get ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Season 2?
By the same token, Obi-Wan Kenobi also, at times, takes advantage of its serialized format. For instance, the extended flashback between Obi-Wan and Anakin would only work as well on TV. And while the story of these six episodes might have been more effective tightened into a movie, now that Obi-Wan Kenobi is on Disney+, there are lots of opportunities still ahead.
Fans are wondering with bated breath if the hit show will get season 2. And though nothing is official, the Star Wars community strongly reacted to it, for both good and ill. In today’s era, where the goal is to be trending, perhaps that’s enough for Obi-Wan Kenobi to live on. Of course, that depends on whether Lucasfilm can fit another Star Wars project on its schedule.