Some fun and intriguing surprises make us excited for the rest even if the show seems to fall into some of the same shortcomings as the newest movies and series.
I'm one of those who really don't like the new trilogy. It's not just simply fan-service, but fanboy-service. By that I mean the references and general formula are so in your face and predictable (or completely unjustified nonsense) that they lack any impact. The same goes for The Book of Boba Fett and the second season of The Mandalorian to some degree, so I've been trying to keep my expectations in check for Obi-Wan Kenobi even if what we've seen and heard seems promising. Fortunately, Disney and Lucasfilm has learned some lessons.
Because the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi have left me intrigued and wanting more. As someone who has stayed away from most of the casting announcements, rumours and such, the show's direction surprised me. I'm not going to spoil how here, but let's just say Ben's story goes places I didn't know I wanted to learn more about. Sure, director Deborah Chow, Ewan McGregor and crew still fall into some of the same trappings as the aforementioned disappointing movies and shows. It's just that everything between these segments keeps me captivated.
McGregor does a good job as the old Jedi who has basically given up on everything besides his one task of watching over Luke, while the new faces range from great to a bit too theatrical and over the top. The latter is mostly due to them apparently being included just to mark a point on the Star Wars checklist, whether it is the baddie who are just evil for the sake of it or the obligatory cute droid you hate to see get hurt. The greats definitely outdo the worst, however, as most of the main characters do a terrific job and the blend of action, drama and humour made it easy to watch through the first 90 minutes in one go.
The checklist-shortcomings also apply to entire set-pieces though, making the show feel like a kids show from the 80s or 90s. Neither an especially good or bad thing in my opinion. Not once, but twice do we have to watch a kid being chased for a long time by someone who would have caught them in seconds if it wasn't for the pursuers' theatrically stupid mistakes or just weird editing I guess was made to prolong the sequences and try to create some tension. A part of me that wanted something new and different find these sequences tedious, while the part that just wants to throw realism out the door and just enjoy the action kind of enjoys it. One thing is clear either way: Disney can't get the pacing right on these Marvel and Star Wars shows if its existence depended on it.
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That's why I'm so glad that the rest of the first two episodes is far better. While we basically know where everything will end up, the journey has started out great with some exciting twists and turns, fascinating universe-building and what I'll settle with calling a great mix of old and new to avoid the spoilers. Obi-Wan Kenobi has definitely made me feel a great disturbance in the force with its first two episodes, and it seems like it's a good one.