The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Obi-Wan Kenobi

Yay, it’s over.

At least the episodes were short.  It had that going for it. If nothing else.

This entire mini-series is defined by three characteristics: undermining canon, internal inconsistency, and being wholly unnecessary. 

Let’s take a quick look at the very first time we met Obi-Wan in 1977.  

Kenobi is quickly established as a Gandalf/Merlin/hedge-wizard-in-general figure. If he ever was a fighter, his bad-ass days are clearly behind him.  He’ll be a teacher and advisor but that is going to be pretty much it.  He is rather startled by the use of his old name.  But he isn’t terrified of its use by a strange droid either.    Apparently, he feels it has been a very long time since he troubled the councils of the high and mighty. He’s not acting like he’s on the Empire’s ten most wanted list. 

This new show is completely inconsistent with that.  It takes place only nine years before Luke starts his hero’s journey. Ben was getting called “Obi-Wan” constantly in this show.  He wouldn’t be floored by its use nine years later.

And he’s never seen R2D2 or C3PO.

That last one is on George Lucas.  The droids served an interesting narrative function in the first movie.  He’d lifted opening his movie with Two Nobodies as the POV characters from Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress (along with the helmets). But the droids served no purpose at all in the Prequel Trilogy other than to sell toys.  Their inclusion undermined canon.

And I’ll admit it even if Doomcock won’t.  George Lucas only ever gave a fuck about his own canon if someone else wanted to change it. Star Wars had no grand Tolkienesque vision.  Lucas was constantly screwing with the back story, especially when he was trying to find inspiration after being disengaged with it for a period of time.  Nobody else was allowed to play in his sandbox without following his rules but that was just Lucas being a classic Gamma Boss. 

In the first movie, Vader was absolutely not the second biggest guy in the Empire.  He was a gopher. A court favorite commando short-bird colonel like Otto Skorzeny.  He got away with some major disrespect to the general staff, but he couldn’t kill any of them out of hand if he just felt like it.  There was always somebody ‘holding his leash.’ And Vader and Luke’s Father were separate characters.  I’ve gone into all this elsewhere before.

My point is this.  The background material has enough problems as it is without making even more prequel material.  

You can work with that time period if it doesn’t involve any of the major characters from the movies but putting any of the New Hope characters together in the same room was a fundamentally terrible idea.

Next, the inconsistency in this show is a constant issue. Always in motion were the motivations.  You weren’t sure why the hell the characters were doing what they were doing other than they had to do it to make the next scene happen.

Joby Harold is allegedly the showrunner but really it was Deborah Chow.  Traditionally the Directors ran theatrical films and writers ran TV shows.  But a few years ago, the Television Writers’ Guild tried a power play on the agents and all of the writers were required to fire their representation.  The agents shrugged, said fine if that’s how you want to play it, and started repping the directors as showrunners.  TV writers are now firmly in the backseat on any TV production no matter who the official showrunner is. 

Consequently, Reee-va was constantly doing things she shouldn’t have if she had a coherent character. First, she is doing a lot of pretty evil things, like torturing and killing Jedi and maiming bystanders, and innocent children, all so she can get to Obi-Wan.  BUT plot twist, she is really doing all this because she wants to kill Darth Vader.  BECAUSE plot twist, she had been a Youngling, and Vader had stabbed her with his lightsaber during Order 66.  She had lived but none of her friends did.  BUT plot twist, Vader knew it all along (Ha! Ha!) he only played along so he could…uh…prank her?  Then for reasons of weak contrivance she finds out that Luke is Vader’s son and sets out to kill him because…uh…there is no reason.  She has no reason at all to kill Luke but she sets out to do it anyway. And doesn’t.

The writing was completely built around visuals that Deborah Chow wanted to shoot, regardless of whether or not the narrative made any kind of coherent sense.  Qui-Gon Jinn now looks like a pussy for not walking it off when he got stabbed by a lightsaber.   Reee-va got run-through twice and the Grand Inquisitor once.  They were all up and about within minutes.

There is one decent scene.  It’s after Obi-Wan has defeated Vader and sliced off half of his helmet.  But it isn’t worth watching this series to see.  Especially when you can see the exact same scene in Star Wars Rebels.

That is the other problem with this show, a lot of it is just ripped off from other pieces of Star Wars and sewn into this cinematic flesh golem.  Fallen Order, Rebels, A New Hope, the best parts were taken from other sources, although the worst seem to be pretty original. 

I looked at a few other scenes in other productions with the lead actress.  She can act but she was hopelessly miscast here.  She ended up just screaming most of her lines because she couldn’t carry off being threatening.  

Is it Woke?  It’s Disney Star Wars.  Here was the original casting call.

Indira Varma played “Tia” and she’s Hindustani, not BIPOC but hey, brown is brown right? It can’t be racist if we do it.

At the end of the day.  Obi-Wan Kenobi was a terrible idea, terribly written and terribly executed. 

There is no reason to see this at all.  Therefore…

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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