Here at Saberzone, we often stick to historic topics with our articles -- lightsaber styles, duelling forms, character moments etc etc. In short, it's the stuff that you can discuss for years afterwards.
But today is a special day. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney Plus's new series, has premiered globally. At the time of writing this article, it's still early days for the new release with just two episodes 'in the wild'. The remaining four (it's a six part series) will release as follows:
- Obi-Wan Kenobi ep three: June 1st
- Obi-Wan Kenobi ep four: June 8th
- Obi-Wan Kenobi ep five: June 15th
- Obi-Wan Kenobi ep six: June 22nd
That's not long to wait and some of you reading this article may even be in the future where they've already released. But because we're such fans of the franchise, how can we not commemorate the release by sharing some spoiler-free thoughts? But first, let's recap via IGN.
And most importantly, can fans of the franchise breath a sigh of relief that their treasured character hasn't been destroyed by a bad cinematic outing? (*Cough cough* Rise of Skywalker).
What the media is saying about Kenobi
It's very early - but all signs are looking positive. Total Film cited Obi-Wan's slingshot back into action as 'unexpected', writing: "First episode over and wow, what a start to Obi-Wan,a very special premier that takes Obi into the action in an unusual way. Glad theyre releasing two at once, because one isn''t enough!"
Brett White from Decider was even more emphatic with his praise: "Ewan McGregor’s return as Kenobi is everything you want it to be. Right away, the series immediately tugs on every single bit of nostalgia we all have for this actor in this role, using it not to elicit cheers but rather sorrow. Your heart breaks for Obi-Wan, with McGregor playing the former Jedi master with a deflated resolve to hide. Of course there’s no show if Obi-Wan continues to do nothing, but when he inevitably does something, it feels earned."
Dominic Patten from Decider saw the opposite side of things, stating that 'The Force is not strong with Obi-Wan Kenobi' and that it 'tries too hard'. But writing this as a fan of the franchise and having watched the first episode, I can't disagree more.
What about the actors?
Hayden Christenson, who depicted Anakin in the prequels, had a simple statement for fans, stating "I missed you guys too." When pushed for a message for fans before the series, he smiled and masterfully quoted his former Padawan life: "This is where the fun begins."
Ewan McGregor is well aware of the weight of expectation placed upon his portrayal. Despite the relatively lukewarm reception to much of the prequel series, his character has always been beloved by fans -- especially when you combine the appearances by McGregor and Sir Alec Guiness. Ewan knows the weight of fan responsibility well, stating this via TVLine: "It was very important that we got [it] right for the canon of Star Wars, that we that we don’t make any mistakes, but also that we tell a story that’s our own story. I think there are some threads that we saw between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope that will be very satisfying for the fans to see and recognize.”
What does Saberzone think?
We've said it time and time again - we love Obi-Wan as a character and our entire team were hyped for this release. Having watched the first two episodes already, all we want to say is that our cautious optimism has been rewarded and that the show looks to be what we hoped it would.
In the context of very mixed Star Wars releases over the past few years, such as the slight disappointment of The Book of Boba Fett through to the outright disaster like The Rise of Skywalker or the fantastic The Mandalorian, we'd already be confident in placing Obi-Wan Kenobi at the top of the pile.
And with four more episodes to come, we hope that statement ages well.
But hey - until it's all done, why not enjoy a bit of Obi-Wan cosplay to celebrate? Our Legendary saber, the Elegance, is a tribute to the elegant duellist who acts as a guardian figure for the galaxy's most important New Hope.