Obi-Wan Kenobi is downright incredible. There are no words. Actually, there are some. Ewan McGregor. Hayden Christensen. Moses Ingram. Kumail Nanjiani. Rupert Friend. [REDACTED]. [MORE REDACTED]. Amazing stars worthy of recognition for their part in this series. Though, as widely regarded, directors will make or break a project. Deborah Chow makes it, big time.

Straight from the success of The Mandalorian Chapters 3, 6, and 7, Chow has made her name known in Hollywood. All 3 of those episodes in Mandalorian were critically acclaimed, and with Parts I and II of Kenobi, well, it’s safe to say that she’s solidified her current status as one of the highest-quality TV directors in the business. On that note, let’s jump right into my review of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Reva (Moses Ingram) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI. Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Reva (Moses Ingram) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI. Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Directing

Deborah Chow. Well done. I mean, well done. It’s not every day you see this level of punctuality and focus put into a series. I’ve always said shot selections are everything, and Obi-Wan is no different. In Part I, the choice between day and night for the meeting between Ben and Nari is incredibly small, but so meaningful. The night gives a certain feel to it, more ominous and gloomy.

Chow has her own directing style, displayed in The Mandalorian, and now in Obi-Wan. She’s a big fan of lesser used shots, such as an upside down pan or a close-up. She’s not afraid to go the extra mile, it seems, to make the scene work. I also would like to point out the stunning visuals in the series, and how they’re portrayed. Maybe it’s just me, but the lightsabers seem so much more vibrant and stunning. Just take the picture below. Again, it could be just me, but I’m in love with the VFX so far.

Acting

Oh boy. This is going to be hard. I can’t say half of anything because this is a spoiler-free review, but let me put it this way. Off the freakin’ charts. Ewan McGregor is ridiculously charismatic. The aura that he projects instantly takes over whoever else is on the screen, second only to [SPOILERS]. More on that in a second. And no, for all of you that will be peppering my messages with questions shortly, Hayden Christensen does not have any screen time, so I can’t judge whether he’s worth it yet.

Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI. Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI. Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

McGregor isn’t the same as he was in the prequels, and rightfully so. Obi-Wan is a different character than he was 10 years prior. He’s a farmer now, Luke Skywalker’s guardian angel. Just trying to live a peaceful life. He’s not the fabled Jedi Master he once was. Kenobi seems to have accepted that the Empire won, and just wants to survive. McGregor plays this version of Obi-Wan as if he’s a different character than the prequel version, and in some ways, he is. But, rest assured, the charisma and screen-capture is still there, in amazing force.

Story

Look, the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi is a complicated one. It’s in some ways harder than creating a brand-new story because you’re bound by the constraints of the projects before and after, as it has to fit within the continuity of the timeline. And Kenobi sports a tan beard in the series, while he’s ash-gray in A New Hope. However, the minor things are, well, minor. The overarching story of Kenobi in the series is so far great, and certain plot points will be sure to bring a smile to every Star Wars fan’s face.

The overall story is great. The first two episodes paint a picture of a discouraged being. One fallen from grace. And you see that so much in modern-day news, that to see it happen to a character such as Obi-Wan Kenobi is, well, shocking. He’s a childhood hero for so many, and to see that fall from power can be…saddening. It certainly is for me. And, to add to the action are Inquisitors hunting Kenobi. It’s a dystopian tale, but a certain element makes for a lot of fun, and is what keeps Kenobi going.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI. Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI. Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Visuals

The visuals in this series, as previously mentioned, are gorgeous. The color spectrum has no limits, seemingly, as we can go from the dullest of tannish-browns on Tatooine to the most vibrant purples, reds, and greens on Daiyu. From the first two episodes, only Inquisitor lightsabers have been shown, but whenever Obi-Wan and Vader find each other, the visuals will be on par with Revenge of the Sith. Incredible VFX and color grading, I’m surprised that Lucasfilm was able to get such good work done, considering the heavy strain on studios currently.

Costumes And Styling

This might be the only category that I don’t give a good mention about. Whoever did the makeup and hairstyling in the series needs to do better. First off, how does Obi-Wan go from a tan beard to fully white only nine years later? On top of that, why does the Grand Inquisitor look like a man that got drunk in a lipstick drawer? In Revenge of the Sith, and Star Wars: Rebels, the Grand Inquisitor is clearly a Pau’an. Now, I guess, he’s a human with fancy styles? The costumes are fine, and the series clearly had the budget to go all-in on everything. And they did…except makeup and hairstyling?

Conclusion

And there you have it. Obi-Wan Kenobi. A spectacular series filled with emotion, action, and stunning visuals. It’s one to watch as soon as possible, and not to have spoiled. There are twists and turns at every corner, and you never know when one might appear. Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+, and you can tell us what you thought of the series by mentioning @ReviewedCinema on Twitter.

Overall Grade: A

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