Last week we left dejected Obi Wan having made good an escape from the Inquistor’s with a Young Princess Leia. He wouldn’t have made it if the Grand Inquisitor hadn’t been team killed by Third Sister Reva. In other words, Kenobi only made it because his experiences now include a huge dose of Luck.
This show had zero respect for the source material in its first two installments. Reva, seeking out and mocking a hiding, cowering Obi-wan, mentioned that Darth Vader is a thing and that he’s Anakin Skywalker. This is played like a major reveal and bred several mysteries at once the show seems unaware of.
Obi wan KNEW about Anakin’s Sith Lord name, he saw him called Vader on security logs in the Jedi Temple after Order 66. So the name shouldn’t be any surprise. The show got this wrong. Reva may not have known this but it’s not news to Kenobi.
The fact Anakin’s alive at all being a revelation seems shocking. While Kenobi probably assumed Anakin died after he chopped up and torched him, a lot of time has past. We’re over halfway to the Original Trilogy now.
For Obi Wan to have no knowledge of Vader this many years later? This means the Dark Lord of the Sith has had no presence or notoriety in the Empire at all. Ten years in. The idea he still needs a bacta tank also implies hes still healing. This seems strange too. We had always been told (and been shown) Vader had a special chamber where he could take off some of his armor and breath some special, medicated air. Why they chose the bacta tank is an ‘in world mystery.’ They’re highly effective and he’s had ten years. How much more can he heal? He’ not a reptile. Them limbs ain’t growing back!
So as I pop open a drink and settle in I’m ready to draw on my years of being a New York Jets fan to absorb what might just be another punishing installment. Hopefully, young Leia will be less adversarial and maybe even act somewhat closer to age appropriate. Like maybe crying after this kidnapping and combat ordeal.
Watch this show with the subtitles on, because the names and motivations the director utterly fails to get across are there. With that I’m ready to take notes and dive into Episode 3.
You can skip the recap this time and dive right in because after the recap the characters provide a recap of their own to start the episode.
We open with Kenobi trying to commune with the Force as he relives his every mistake on screen. We hear old lines re-spoken in a more narrative fashion as well as Reva repeating the lines she scream-sang at Kenobi last week.
While we see that he is reliving his regrets it’s amazing that at least one third of his trauma is shown as Reva’s mocking and screaming. The encounter was indecisive, they never fought and all we found out Obi Wan is as scared as could be of her. The man who gamely fought Dooku twice.
He’s never met Reva before but she lives in his head moments later to the level of Anakin or Qui-gon. Reva throws a veil of deep fear over Kenobi. Owen Lars was less afraid of her. Too bad she was cartoonish and laughable last week.
Obi wan doesn’t seem able to really commune with the Force anymore and for most of the sequence we see Vader being snapped together like a LEGO as Kenobi more or less sulks. This scene reminds us LEGO Star Wars is actually better.
Vader is talking via holo-link to the shows main bad-guy faction star, Reva. His armor is better than it should be at this point in the timeline, but really, its his voice that shocked me. He sounds a LOT younger than he did in Rogue One. He also is now passively pissed off at all times. He’s more emotional than we recall. Vader apparently has about the same level of respect for Reva I do. So, almost none.
It’s all making sense til 5:05 when Vader shows his soft side. The zoom conference with Reva turns into an Employee Review.
Reva could make “Grand Inquisitor” if things work out. The last holder of this ‘prestige’ job has just been described as ‘nothing’ by Vader. He then dangles it as a prize. Who would ever want this job that comes with a death threat and carries no respect from the boss?
Vader’s whole environment is minimalistic, poorly thought out and badly done. He sits upon a bare marble throne in a vast empty marble room. He has no visible tech near him. The voice of James Earl Jones seems to be a component, but there’s some kind of computer help in there smoothing it out. It could also be purely computer generated like the voice of CGI Ghost Luke.
Confrontational child Leia extolls Obi Wan to make the ship go faster. He doesn’t bother telling her they’re just moments from arrival, he just complains instead. Then they discuss the Force in the most minimalistic and idiotic way possible. Obi Wan has fixed Leia’s tiny droid toy called Lola and gives the brat the toy back.
The Princess is not the least bit phased by her first trip into space, a kidnapping and almost falling to her death. Though she may be ten years old she’s like a walking, talking Twilight Zone episode of her own. Princess Leia is being written more or less like Rey. If you like that sort of ‘arc-free character’ you’ll love this shows take on Leia.
I fully believe if they put any musical instrument in front of this child she’d immediately be a virtuoso. If she sat at a piano she’d be Elton John. If you gave her bagpipes she’d figure them right out. If you threw her a guitar she’d outplay Eddie Van Halen then smash it. It’s kind of boring and predictable.
Leia is as composed, plucky and defiant as a thirty year old after all these near death experiences. These writers can’t write dialogue for a child. Or a happy person. Or a woman who is friendly and engaging. Everyone speaks cryptically and dumb. So we plod forward following a deeply depressed Jedi and the world’s most insolent version of Young Sheldon ever.
More terrible trance nightclub music plays as the ship lands. I realize that George Lucas was a better writer with a much better touch for music. The Kenobi soundtrack is terrible AND dated. Trance music went out twenty years ago.
It really looks like Tatooine, but we’re told- in added off screen dialogue- that this joshua tree dotted desert (that is very much just a piece of our world with no additions or set dressing) is called Mapuzo, ‘a mining system.” Why he wouldn’t simply call it a planet I just don’t know. Then our heroes are on screen again for some good old exciting walking through the wastelands.
The idiotic conversation between Leia and Obi Wan is frustrating. He seems about as charmed with this brat as I am. He’s short and sharp in his responses. This was great TV? A child whose intelligence comes and goes suddenly changed to stupid and the least mentoring Jedi ever are just a horrible team.
Obi Wan is totally depressed as they walk across the old location where they filmed M*A*S*H. Apparently it was nice til the Empire started exploiting it. Maybe they’ve caused climate change because it doesnt look all that uninhabitable yet.
Kenobi should fear a trap after he was sent to a hangar to hop a ship and most of the bad guys are there at about the same time. He’s said it could be a trap a couple of times, nonetheless he does exactly what the suspect plan tells him. Apparently he’s going to some specific coordinates for some kind of rendezvous.
This was thankfully in the recap, because I missed this info last week when their ally the ‘Fake Jedi” hooked them up with looked like a ticket or a token. Its actually got coordinates on it. Its much bigger then we would need something like this to be and threw me off. It sort of seemed like a callback to Rise of Skywalker and the Captain’s Coin but apparently it’s a GPS locator.
I was so bored and underwhelmed I checked the timecode to see how much pain was left for me. I’m less than 9 minutes in to the roughly 50 minute episode. Its gonna be a rough 41 minutes to get this filler episode out of the way.
Because there’s just nothing going on, Kenobi hallucinates and sees a robed figure (Anakin?). With that we hard cut to what seems to be the water world of Kamino.
There, it’s Reva’s turn to do some walking…for a WHILE. She then has a conversation with some of the other Inquisitors. Again they all seem to hate one another and they cant just talk-since for about 10 minutes there’s been no action- so they Force torture Reva a little. Why Reva has no facial reaction at all when she’s seized by the Force makes me wonder if she ever acted before. I looked forever for this image, no luck. Could this mean Disney knows it was a horrible moment? This character is only blank or enraged. There’s no middle ground. I suppose this is the performance they wanted.
Reva then reveals she spoke personally to Vader and she’s ‘in charge of the hunt.’ This is spoken with all the passion of “do i get new tires or can it wait a week?’ At least the set is (sort of) cool.
Then, in a dramatic masterstroke that had me pausing to finish laughing, Reva speaks (not acts) the lines “Send out the probes. Do it now.” This is delivered like an angry mom sending a kid off to finish their homework. Reva speaks with no believability.
Exactly THREE probes are launched. This seems minimalistic after that confrontation, but I guess time isn’t important. This has been a boring twelve minutes and its looking this is the “Bloat Episode” where we just waste time.
Fifteen seconds after arriving at the coordinates Obi Wan decides theyve been lied to and set up. Then someone arrives and Leia takes charge and gets them a ride.
Leia won’t shut up and takes the lead in all conversations. They hitch a ride and soon some Stormtroopers hitch a ride too. It makes no sense for Stormtroopers to need a ride and the awful job Obi Wan does of cosplaying a farmer goes so badly Young Leia needs to bail him out.
Then we get a conversation that contradicts Return of the Jedi. Leia seems to have zero recall of her mother and starts asking Obi Wan who he is and if he knew Padme. Its pretty cringe.
Obi Wan’s recollection of his own early life is miserable and minimal. He think’s he may have a brother. He doesn’t recall much. If this isn’t the filler episode then this whole show is shit. There’s no way to tell yet. Little did I know a major underthought and rushed reveal was on the way.
Effective actor Ewan McGregor has very little to work with but he gets across sorrow, confusion and depression really well and I’m feeling all three at once. Becoming a Jedi sounds a lot like joining the Branch Davidians now.
They end up at a random check point for an action scene that’s terrible. One of the three probe droids assigned to the entire universe shows up and is able to identify Kenobi and inform the Inquisitors before Kenobi blasts it. He’s much better with a blaster this week.
At this point cause and effect are thrown out. The story can’t really be described in a way thats all that narrative. Instead of “Because of this event, this happens, which creates this situation.’ This string of events can only be described as “this happens, then this happens, then this happens.” With that in mind here’s how the event heavy but plot – absent episode wraps up.
Leia and Obi Wan encounter some turncoat Imperials or proto Rebels who save the day thanks to their leader – a very decisive woman. She finishes what Kenobi started and easily rescues the pair.
Leia finally gets weak for a moment- but the way a 30 years old does. Then they run into Calculon from Futurama. Good luck finding any decent images of the Loader Droid online, but trust me he looks like Calculon. The poor droid has no voice or even an R2-like interface to communicate and that’s presented as mean and sad. The sole purpose of this droid seems to be to excuse the views expressed by the idiotic droid Lando is having sex with in the SOLO movie about ‘droids rights.’ This show is showing us droids as more sentient then we’d thought. A non verbal minimally intelligent loader droid strikes me as cost efficient rather than cruel. It’s weird and new.
Then the woman in charge tells them they’re travelling through some kind of Jedi Underground Railroad. I laughed! This show is taking itself way too seriously by equating Order 66 to slavery. I don’t know how hard this will hit most people, but talk about trivializing real bravery! Now running an Underground Railroad looks very easy.
So anyway, they say they save Jedi all the time. This is at least the second time this week Kenobi’s looked dumb, scared, out of it and needed the female rebel faction leader to talk him down.
McGregor seems to be struggling against the appeal of just checking out as an actor. This is actually on point for the scene but continues for the rest of the episode. I’m not sure we see any spark in his eyes again. He’s playing depressed and beaten well. Since he’s better than the material his acting sets the tone. He will bring you with him to depression and hopelessness. As far as this episode goes? He leaves you there.
The plan is to go into a secret tunnel that no one can know about. So of course it’s covered with space graffiti we can see relates to the Old Republic and the Jedi. No one knows where it leads and no one whose gone in has ever been seen again- but people are sure it’s safe anyway. Its Schroedingers Escape Tunnel! This was some stupid, needless dialogue that means the Proto Rebels could be dupes. The whole escape tunnel thing was a little like Logan’s Run.
This whole sequence is painful and Leia is just far too upbeat and in control. Obi Wan just repeats or elaborates on things Leia says.
For some utterly preposterous reason Vader is here. He can’t seem to sense Obi Wan or his own daughter just yet. He kills a few rando’s for no reason except to show hes bad. This scene sucks.
At 32:56 we DESTROY the Original Trilogy with sites set firmly on A New Hope by having a face to face confrontation between Vader and Obi Wan; and a bad one at that.
Vader initially makes no attempt to engage him, he merely poses with his saber deployed- for about 50 seconds during which Kenobi attempts to flee. The sequence is idiotic, the dialogue is mostly horrible outside one cool line from Vader. Vader is just not that motivated to act- despite Kenobi being just feet away.
Insufferable child Leia wants her escort – the heroic female ‘proto rebel’ faction leader – to leave her alone and is just a horrible kid whose overconfidence seems sure to be rewarded sooner rather than later.
Then, cutting back to the quarry, Vader and Kenobi finally fight. It’s really underwhelming. I heard some odd noises. Subtitles told me this was grunting and some speaking. The sound mix is terrible!
At this point I’m really hoping Obi Wan is hallucinating because he loses quickly to Vader and needs to be saved by the woman who saved him earlier.
For whatever reason Vader and his guys are deterred by one blaster shot and some fire while Obi Wan is rescued. They do throw in a line about how there’s no way to get around it (if you had the captions on) but the fire’s really not very scary or big. Then it seems like all the Stormtroopers and Vader just have a thing for fire and stare into it aimlessly. Why Vader releases his Force grip on Obi Wan is a mystery.
To clear things up Vader spills some suspicious ore around first, but it appears that the soil of this planet is flammable to a point, as I said earlier things just happen in this episode. They set up a reason for there to be a considerable fire, but then touch them off in a real weird way – seeming to ignite the soil rather first like a fuse, then that ignites the ore. This makes you wonder why the fire only does what people want despite the completely flammable environment. Some have said she fires at the same area Vader hit with his saber earlier, where apparently there are some barrels of fuel. It’s all happening during the darkest of nights, so it’s hard to really tell.
However she does it, the rebel leader’s actions allow Calculon to slowly save Vader. I guess fire blocks the Force now? Vader had a bunch of options he didn’t use. Like Force jumping over the flames.
Then as we end the episode and the midway point of this season Leia becomes suddenly stupid and starts cooperating with what she should know is an Inquisitor.
Leia’s seen how they dress and has been chased by them, but this child genius is about to make the kind of mistake it normally takes a lifetime of drug abuse to achieve the naivete to commit. While on the run from the authorities she’s decided to team up with someone in a cop-like uniform.
Lets be clear here, even without context Riva does not look like any kind of good guy and Leia had issues with avuncular Ben. Still, I doubt she pays a price for this. If anything Leia will flip Reva to the light. I’d just point out “Go with the menacing stranger’ is not the greatest advice for children.
The show needs you to forget this or Leia would be really dumb. So instead we get an invitation for us, the viewers, to be dumb by writing Head Canon and scouring the internet for the usual 8 Easter Eggs that make this brilliant and all of us dumb.
Last week one of ‘Brilliant Easter Eggs’ was Princess Leia wears the same color combinations as in other movies. This is an Easter Egg? This is why the show is smarter than us?
We end with Kenobi out cold but rescued. His shoulder was burned badly when Vader tentatively dragged him through the fire he’d created.
“Directed By Deborah Chow” hits the screen. So this is this weeks culprit. Deborah, you did a terrible job and this episode was needlessly slow and confusing.
Kenobi is a show about nothing. So far we have only indecisive actions and the plot is stuck back where it was in episode 2. Leia is unaccounted for and kidnapped, Obi wan is useless and Vader is lurking around.
You can skip this week and just watch the recap next time. Nothing happened this week and it seems like Kenobi encountering Vader is just a thing we’re destined to see a few more times. Considering how nonchalant it was this time? I’m thinking it could happen any time. I predict we see them fight no less than twice more.
The show reached Book of Boba Fett lows in writing and action this week. Anakin and Obi Wan’s encounter is a total let down. There were some opportunities missed, again. For instance, being dragged through some fire is a great way to show how Kenobi ages so hard in just the next 9 years, or a blast of Force lightning he shields Leia from. That would mean spending money though. What we get is a guy with third degree burns on his shoulder from being dragged through a fire that doesn’t even singe off his hair. I guess ‘space fire’ is different.
This episode really deals some damage to A New Hope. I wouldn’t recommend bothering with this show. Play one of the video games instead. I’m losing more respect for the Star Wars Brand every week.
So to sum up – Obi Wan’s in trouble because he loses contact with Leia- the de facto brains of this operation. Without the child to reassure him hes frightened and jittery. He depends on her to handle most communications because hes a crazy hermit. The planet is a contradictory place. The soil is sort of flammable and it should have exploded the first time there was ever lightning. It’s pretty bland desert, but at least it’s not Tatooine.
Simping our way to episode 4 I don’t see any damage control or course correction. In fact what I’m seeing is all about making the Sequels look better at the expense of all Lucas Star Wars. If you’re a Legacy Fan satisfied with this show I can only say “Y’all easily pleased!” This is a lot of bad story really fast- three episodes in five days – and it’s all as bad as the SOLO Movie or worse.
The Kenobi shows mission is not to entertain but to tear down other Star Wars. The presence of Ewan McGregor makes this show Star Wars’ version of ‘Picard.’ McGregor is vandalizing his own as well as Alec Guinness work. He’s the executive producer of this project and he let this happen? I’m not sure Ewan is our pal anymore.
This story is just bad and we’ve hit the halfway point without a moment of dignity or bravery for Obi Wan while scoring points to bail out the prequels and SOLO whenever possible.
Maybe the only piece of ‘story’ this week is that Vader’s murderous march through the settlement killing men and young boys – but seemingly no women – may have bothered Reva. She’s unreadable but they cut to her after Vader does some particularly heinous stuff. Maybe this means she doesn’t like it. Wait and see on that one.
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