Monday, May 30, 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 Review

I'm struggling with these spoiler free reviews. There is a practical point where I have to assume the reader has seen episode 1 and the trailer.

So I guess it would be fair to say to you, dear reader, there will be some spoilers after the title card.

OK before I dig into the spoilers, I have to mention that I might not be the demographic this show is targeting. Or I'm exactly the targeted demographic. 

This series is obviously light on the budget. It comes across more like the newer Doctor Who episodes. This type of TV makes wonderful memories of cowering behind the couch while also speaking to the child viewer. Not only does it have that non specific fear vibe, the quality is not your typical CGI to insane levels that Star Wars is known for. It doesn't quite drop into the Three Walls of a Star Trek set, but is more akin to the more adventurous scenes of more typical science fiction shows. 

It has some of the glow of Bladerunner and Tron, while also having the gray cardboard concrete of any number of movies and TV shows from my youth. I kind of love it. 

And now on to the story. Thank God there is a story beyond "and Ben sat in the desert for 10 more years..." I was expecting Hutt and Sand people. And I am really glad they tapped the Inquisitors as villains. Reva, the Inquisitors' very own watergirl for all the respect she gets is devious as she is evil and ruthless. Not a supervillain by any measure, but she gets the job when it comes to luring Ben out of the desert. 

Ben ends up on a world where privacy is king. What had been a hindrance to the Empire is now shared equally with the hero as he hunts for the kidnapped 10 year old Leia. I hear the actress is actually 8 and I see that she is excellent. 

One of the funny things about Star Wars is, the galaxy is old and things are often presented as "it is because we say it is". In this episode, we get to see why something bad stuff is simply glossed over. The Jedi are truly dangerous to society at large and the embodiment of this is not the Inquisitors or The Jedi, but Leia. Pay close attention to her actions and activities and try to imagine how bad an untrained force user is in the world. 

Anyway, Ben's mission is simple. Get the girl home from a sad-sack world that is all the worst the Star Wars galaxy has to offer. 

There are a few cool cameos in this episode Ewan's daughter and a certain rockstar. Neither is particularly jarring at first glance, but Esther Rose McGregor lands a gut punch line if you figure out who she is. She's someone's daughter. 

And we are back to children. Ben has to win over this precious princess in order to save her from the villains. This is where the writers duck and weave and throw a crackpot idea to separate Ben from the princess. The results are fun, but the whole idea was bad. It's the one disappointment I had. 

As we approach the end of this episode, hope is snatched from the jaws of the Dark Side. Every character would or could have been a beast that either gets owned by their own actions or actually turns out to be a little more heroic than the audience would have believed. It plays rather well. 

On the other hand, as Leia and Ben make their escape, there is a moment of fear. This is the moment where Ewan McGregor pulls off some of his best acting, in a show that doesn't lack good acting. We get the see and feel the moment Ben realizes Anakin is out there. 

I was disappointed by the 35-minute run time, but hey, this was essentially a two-part which ran for 80 some minutes. As I understand it, this show will drop on the typical Disney Wednesday. That means the next review will be in less than 3 days. I can't wait. 

And now the ad. Find your favorite figures at GameStop.

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