‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ review: Ewan McGregor returns as the Jedi Knight in the years before ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ & More Trending News


The reply comes in “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” a six-episode Disney+ collection whose first two chapters stirringly ship what followers ought to want from a present as eagerly anticipated as any theatrical blockbuster.

It’s value recalling a stand-alone film was truly the authentic plan for this collection, which options Ewan McGregor reprising his function from the prequel trilogy, before the box-office underperformance of “Solo” prompted Lucasfilm to go in a special path.

On the plus aspect, the episodic format permits for a considerably extra leisurely tempo in exploring the characters and laying out the story, which — after a considerably pointless recap — picks up a decade after the defeat of the Jedi, discovering McGregor not fairly trying midway to changing into Alec Guinness, however shut sufficient.

Although there’s an intensive time hole between films, a few of this era was lined in the wonderful animated collection “Star Wars Rebels,” which launched to the display screen Inquisitors, lightsaber-wielding villains tasked with looking down these Jedi who survived the purge orchestrated by the Emperor. As the trailer explains, the Inquisitors’ secret weapon is the nature of the Jedi themselves, as the Inquisitors search to lure their prey into the open by testing their innate goodness.

While the Inquisitors have tracked lesser Jedi throughout the galaxy, one in specific, Reva (Moses Ingram), seems obsessive about finding Kenobi, who resides an existence of desert drudgery whereas hiding in plain view. He watches the younger Luke from a good distance, which remains to be too near swimsuit the boy’s Uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton), who properly remembers how he ended up with the lad in his care.

Ewan McGregor stars in the Disney+ series 'Obi-Wan Kenobi.'

Directed by “The Mandalorian” veteran Deborah Chow, these episodes most importantly concoct a more-than-plausible rationalization, which should not be spoiled, for bringing Kenobi out of his cave and into jeopardy. That state of affairs additionally creates loads of alternatives for callbacks that, in a theatrical setting, would have followers whooping and hollering.

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Those different thrives apart, McGregor — 17 years faraway from “Revenge of the Sith” — proves an unlimited asset, completely capturing the legendary Jedi at this stage, nonetheless wounded by having misplaced Anakin Skywalker to the darkish aspect and wearily left in a holding sample that provides room for some hope however, below present circumstances, not an entire lot.

Frankly, watching “Obi-Wan Kenobi” merely reinforces a way that Disney/Lucasfilm in all probability left cash on the desk by pursuing this streaming route, given what an attraction this mixture of parts — together with the much-hyped return of Hayden Christensen — would have been in a theatrical format. Movie theaters may be celebrating “Top Gun: Maverick’s” touchdown this weekend, however a movie this deeply enmeshed in “Star Wars” mythology, 45 years after its introduction, would have been a can’t-miss commodity.

Those concerns apart, the Disney+ collection presents subscribers what appears like an exquisite distraction, no Jedi thoughts tips required. While there are nonetheless 4 installments to return, based mostly on the liftoff, the Force remains to be very a lot with “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which can possess a bit much less spring in its step however has misplaced none of its attract to those that have lengthy adopted him.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” premieres May 27 on Disney+.

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