I Hope the Obi-Wan Kenobi Miniseries Isn’t Just a Six-Episode Rematch with Darth Vader


May the Fourth has come and gone this year, and with it came a new trailer for the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries. While there’s a lot to get excited about here, I’m also a little nervous about it.

Okay, so I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve done a whole lot of poo-poo-ing on Disney’s Star Wars output in the past several years (expressing my boredom with The Mandalorian and extreme frustration with Rogue One). So of course I’m going to go into Obi-Wan Kenobi with some trepidation.

But I’m actually more excited for this series than I’ve been for anything Star Wars-related in a long time. I actually really like the era between the prequels and the original trilogy (I think the Solo movie was genuinely great), and getting to see Ewan McGregor back in the role of Obi-Wan is just, well, *cheff’s kiss*.

But take a look at this trailer:

Is it just me, or is it starting to feel like this whole thing is just going to be a six-episode rematch between Anakin and Obi-Wan, with the two of them spending the whole season just preparing for their epic showdown? Anakin will be talking about how much he hates Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan will be ruminating over how much he dreads his inevitable encounter with Vader.

That’s not really what I want from this series.

Sure, there will be a battle between these two dudes, and I’m sure it will be the climax of the series. I’m totally fine with that. But I also want to see more character work. I want to know what Obi-Wan’s been up to on all these years (aside from spying on Luke Skywalker, I mean). I want to see him just kind of chilling in the desert and surviving the elements, drinking blue milk and hiding from Tusken Raiders.

As for Anakin, I want to see him wrestling with his turn to the Dark Side. Don’t show us the lava-castle-residing, pun-wielding version we saw in Rogue One; give us a Darth Vader with some depth. Show us a man who feels conflicted over his role in the Empire’s rise. Bringing Hayden Christensen back for the role creates a lot of opportunity for a nuanced version of Vader; please don’t waste that.

Now, I’ll admit that the previous trailer was more my speed. Here it is, in case you’ve forgotten:

This trailer is perfection, and for almost two minutes, I suddenly remember what it used to feel like to be excited about Star Wars. Hearing Obi-Wan say, “The fight is done; we lost,” over the classic Star Wars theme, then to have that fade out and kick into “Dual of the Fates?” I admit, that gives me goosebumps no matter how many times I watch it.

We see a whole lot of Obi-Wan brooding, thinking, blending into his surroundings. This seems like a more cautious version of the character than we saw in the prequels. This is a man who carries a heavy burden. That’s the version of Obi-Wan I’m interested in; not the one who hacks and slashes things with his lightsaber at every opportunity.

I don’t know. There’s a part of me that really does feel like I want something completely different from Star Wars than the general populace. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve got the original trilogy to watch and re-watch, as well as The Last Jedi and Solo, both of which are way better than anyone ever gives them credit for being. I can sit here in my time capsule and just enjoy the parts of the mythos that I still love, while pretending the rest of it doesn’t exist.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

But there’s a part of me that still wants to love Star Wars like I used to, that wants to believe an Obi-Wan television series is going to have some heft to it rather than something that stretches out fan service across six hours. I want the leadup to the next bit of Star Wars media to be one of anticipation and not dread.

But I also realize there are things in my life that I need to let go of. Maybe Star Wars is one of those things.

The ball is in your court, Disney…

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