Star Wars Fans are the Biggest Problem With the Obi-Wan Kenobi Series

Natasha Butler-Rahman, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Disney+ recently came out with a new series following the mid-life of a beloved character of the Star Wars franchise, Obi-Wan Kenobi. This series takes place ten years after the prequels and around nine years before the original trilogy. In it, Ewan McGregor reprises his role of Obi-Wan for the first time since 2005. The prequel films were quite poorly received due to factors such as overused CGI, poor acting from Hayden Christensen, odd dialogue, etcetera. However, many critics had to recognize McGregor’s undeniable commitment to the role, which no doubt continues throughout this new series.

To put it simply, Star Wars fans are being too picky with this series.

McGregor studied Alec Guiness’ (who played Obi-Wan in the original trilogy) voice, and mimics it almost perfectly in this new limited series. His syllabic emphasis and mannerisms are quite similar to Guiness’ Obi-Wan. Ewan McGregor’s performance has no doubt contributed to the success of the series.

However, the series has not gone without criticism, with some Rotten Tomatoes reviewers calling it proof that the Star Wars franchise has become “a dead corpse held up with strings by Mickey Mouse.” This critique, abstract as it is, makes a good point. The Obi-Wan series is one of many spinoffs Disney has produced that barely allow for any new characters or conflicts. This also happened in the young Han Solo movie. There are no stakes. Fans are aware for the entire time when watching this series that Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, and Leia are not going to die. Many scenes are intended to be tense, but ultimately cannot lead anywhere, as the characters have to survive for the series to make sense in the canon.

Another common criticism is in the dialogue, as many of the interactions are unrealistically witty and read like fanfiction. I would posit to these critiques that Star Wars has sort of always been like this, even in the originals. If lines such as “you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy looking nerf herder!” could slide, then the Obi-Wan dialogue should be just as acceptable. To put it simply, Star Wars fans are being too picky with this series. These movies are not Shakespeare. Enjoy them for what they are.

There has also been a notable amount of racism on social media from Star Wars fans directed towards Moses Ingram, who is the first Black woman to ever play a leading role in the franchise. Many fans seem to be taking out their distaste for the writing and plot of the series on her through blatantly racist posts. I’d actually say that what has bothered me the most since the release of this series has been the fans.

Overall, I find the series itself to be quite fun for what it is, which is a cash grab/fan service/passion project hybrid. It’s not supposed to be an artful masterpiece, but a fun nostalgic piece for fans of Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan and for those who have been asking for a glimpse into a young Leia’s life. If you fit into one of those categories, then this is the show for you!

This piece also appears in our June 2022 print edition.