Fans of OBI-WAN KENOBI, forgive me. I have been chosen by Aaron Goldstein to sub-in for his review this week due to my passionate tirades on social media about how god awful this week’s episode was. But silver-lining: I now sympathize greater with Darth Vader. Because after last night’s episode, I’m ready to destroy OBI-WAN KENOBI!
Let me start out with an out-of-context spoiler for the show. There’s literally a scene that reminded me of this moment from AUSTIN POWERS 3:
That encompasses the depths (pun intended) of how stupid this episode gets.
Ignoring the fact that there are only six episodes of this series total (meaning only two more left), and nothing at all is accomplished in this episode, we are bearing witness to perhaps the most lazily written, and sloppily directed installment, not just of this TV series, but in potentially all of the entire STAR WARS franchise.
I want very much to support Deborah Chow as a director. Her Season 1 episodes of THE MANDALORIAN were fun and exciting with terrific action sequences. However, as a director, she has utterly failed throughout this series, with gaping lapses in production logic like Obi-Wan’s inability to walk around a laser gate. But these momentary lapses of judgment in the previous three episodes were nothing compared to the sheer stupidity of logical issues she creates in this one. For instance, she wants us to believe that a spy helping Obi-Wan can communicate and speak to Obi-Wan within earshot of several Imperial officers around her, without anyone:
- Noticing someone who isn’t their coworker is currently sitting behind them and hijacking a work terminal, or…
- Hearing the entire conversation go down without arousing any suspicion for at least ten whole minutes?
Much less having a character smuggle another character through a coat awkwardly with hundreds of Stormtroopers and Imperial officers around without anyone noticing? I don’t know about any of you. But if there’s a literal person protruding from a coat, while the person wearing the coat struggles to walk with their stowaway firmly grabbing on to them down a hallway, I’m going to notice that. Everyone is going to notice that! Except apparently the director of the episode, which, how the hell does that happen? What happened to Jedi mind tricks? Or, even without one, literally the idea of two characters making some sort of non-stupid escape plan before springing into action?
Then there’s the character of Reva. I think it should be pointed out that I am very much anti-bullying and harassment, especially when a terrific actress like Moses Ingram is doing all she can to try and save this character. But unfortunately for Moses, it’s not in her control if Reva, Third Sister, is perhaps the worst written character in all of STAR WARS. None of her motivations or decisions make any sense whatsoever. Half of the choices and moves she pulls here contradict themselves and her decisions. It makes zero sense to send a hostage out so you can track a target, but also want to keep the hostage captured to lure them in at the same time. But the writers are simply milking a false sense of suspense from a situation because either…
- They’re lazy.
- They think the audience is stupid.
- Have no literal plans for what they want to do with said character.
At minimum, the one positive bright spot about the series continues to be Vivien Lyra Blair, and I will say her relationship with Obi-Wan (as well as Ewan McGregor’s performance) evolving in this episode was nice enough. But I’d wished they did something entirely different to get it to where it is at the end of this dismal, woefully done edition. Especially considering nothing else gets accomplished in these thirty minutes.
And, at the end of the day, all of that amounts to a series that’s starting to show its true colors as a cash grab to bait the dwindling the STAR WARS fan base with nostalgia into supporting a streaming service, without putting so much as the bare minimum amount of quality and thought into whether or not what we are seeing on screen makes sense. It’s bad sloppy writing and direction that relies heavily on conveniences as it treads water (no pun intended) to get characters from this episode to the next.
With two more episodes left, the team behind OBI-WAN KENOBI has their work cut out for them to turn around something that has, frankly, turned out to be as disappointing so far as the prequels that inspired it. I hope you don’t find my lack of faith disturbing, but you’ll excuse me if I await a new hope for STAR WARS, outside of Team Kenobi.
It’s available on Disney+.