Ewan McGregor entices, Flea and Kumail Nanjiani bring a touch of humor and fun, Moses Ingram delivers some real badassery, and all the while, little Leia steals the show
Greetings Native Viewpoint film review readers. If you are anything like me, an admitted eye-rolling worthy fan of Star Wars, you got to your laptop, pc, tablet or smartphone early Friday morning to watch the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the latest mini-series on Disney plus.
Here is my review.
9.5 out of 10
My quick quote: “A well-deserved 9.5 out of ten with a plethora of jaw-dropping moments right at the start. Ewan McGregor entices, Flea and Kumail Nanjiani bring a touch of humor and fun,
Moses Ingram delivers some real badassery, and all the while, little Leia steals the show. The best series in the Star Wars franchise to date.”
Synopsis: Jedi Master “Obi-Wan Kenobi” begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi. faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
I just sat and watched the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi and my heart is still racing with excitement.
I have to give some sincere appreciative acknowledgments to director Deborah Chow and teleplay writer Joby Harold for what I think is a near-flawless series in the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise.
The story is magnificent, and the cinematography is fantastic (I am specifically referring to the beauty of the neon lights and cityscapes of the planet Paiyu in the second episode.)
There is one thing I am exceptionally happy about — and it’s something that bothers me in many different movies that make use of CGI — the animals generally have a weird look about them and their faces are always way too phony-looking for me.
In the case of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the CGI is miraculous on the animals in this series — they look exceptionally realistic. I was awestruck watching Obi-Wan Kenobi (aka Ben) riding his four-legged Eopie, which roughly is a cross between a camel and an elephant.
Another few moments including a city rodent and a desert rodent were just as masterful.
I have always said the difference between good and great is detail. My sincere appreciation to the CGI folks — the Eopie and the alien rodents, all of them were flawless.
The intro to the series was the best I’ve seen
In my few years of experience as a film reviewer, I’ve never complimented a series for this. But I have to say the Disney’s recap before the Obi-Wan Kenobi series — highlighting the history of Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader, Qui-Gon (Obi-Wan’s mentor played by Liam Neeson) Mace (played by Samuel Jackson) Princess Padme’ (played by Natalie Portman) and Palpatine among others — was the best recap I’ve ever seen, bringing me right back to the familiar — albeit the extremely complex world — of Star Wars.
There was zero lag getting back into the story, it was also a bit funny in a great way
I was immediately captivated by the Inquisitors coming to hunt the last vestiges of the Jedi, and I was seriously impressed by all of their performances. I appreciated the badassery of Moses Ingram as Reva aka the Third Sister, a welcome actor who brings sincere defiance to the screen. I would love to see her more in this series and in additional Star Wars episodes in the future.
Gracious and appreciative shouts to Flea as Vect Nokru (a bounty hunter/soldier for hire) and Kumail Nanjiani, one of my favorite comedic actors, who brings a bit of sincerity and comic relief to the series.
(P.S. Veteran begging for change, I know who you are.)
Ewan McGregor is a flawless Obi-Wan Kenobi
McGregor is absolutely masterful as a Jedi that has long hidden his lightsaber from the world, determined never to return for the good of the Rebellion. I believe everything he does and commend him highly for his genuine and sincere performance.
Bring on the Little Leia series
All said, I have to give an ovation to Little Leia, portrayed by the young actor Vivien Lyra Blair, who in my view, utterly steals the show with her straightforward wit and natural ability as an actor. She is hilarious without trying to be. I found myself laughing out loud at her performance several times.
If Disney plus created a series called “Little Princess Leia” I bet it would be popular, because Blair is a seriously funny kid. Great stuff Little Leia.
A few critical points — that don’t detract from the series — but I did notice them
These points of critique are seriously minor, but as a critic, I do notice certain things that I have to mention. Even if I do fear being a bit over picky.
I will mention them vaguely as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I do want to address things that stuck out in my mind.
When a young Princess Leia is running from folks chasing her, I found that the pursuers were a bit bumbling and dorky as admittedly a 10-year-old, no matter how agile would not be that hard to catch. I think there could have been a little bit more creativity involved here such as a rabbit hole, or log opening that was too small for an adult but perfect for little Leia or something along those lines.
There was another moment where one of the characters had buried something in the desert sand. But when they went to get it, it was maybe two feet under the surface. Knowing how quickly the landscape of a windy dune can be, I would have appreciated it if the item was at least ten feet or more underground. Yes, dear reader, I know that is pretty picky, but I noticed it, thus I mentioned it.
One last moment was when a person was killed and hung on display to scare the local residents, even though the person was dead, and their head should have been hanging down, it defied gravity and faced forward.
My critiques are minor and didn’t take away from the series. All said it was miraculous, I yelled so loud at some of the revealing moments that the people around me wondered what I was watching.
Overall, Obi-Wan Kenobi is the best series I have seen in the Star Wars franchise to date.
I love the series, commend all of those involved, and can’t wait to watch the rest of it.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is now playing on Disney+ the first two premiere episodes are available now.
Stay tuned for my appearance on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, where we will be discussing the series. (I’ll be sure to post the forwarding link here once it airs.)
Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is the founder and editor of Native Viewpoint. With over 16 years of experience as a Native journalist and former member of the White House Press Pool. Follow Vincent on Twitter at @VinceSchilling or on any other of his social media accounts by clicking on any of the icons below.
Support Native Viewpoint a Native multimedia website, by clicking here.