With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate

Following up on the theme from last week’s entry, here’s another winning entry from our annual student competition:

Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate
By Oliver Rucker

So, I am super late to the party. Being the Star Wars fan that I am, I’m frankly embarrassed, but I finally got around to watching Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series diving in on the beloved Jedi’s life in between the fall of the Republic at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and our introduction to Luke Skywalker and the gang in A New Hope.

For starters, I’d like to attempt to explain myself. I was coming off of The Bad Batch and The Book of Boba Fett, both of which I did not care for. I can go on and on, but to keep it brief, if I was twelve, I’d love Bad Batch, and I simply found Boba Fett to be remarkably boring. So as excited as I was to see what Obi-Wan was getting up to on Tatooine, my spirits were down, expectations low, I was dejected, and honestly just a little but Star Wars’d out.

Before going any further, I’d like to explain that I am not like every other Star Wars fan in existence, who just has a fiery hate for everything new that is put out into the cosmos. In fact, I find myself to be in the strong minority that really enjoyed Attack of the Clones. Sure, the dialogue is just awful, but the story is incredibly strong and it evokes emotions like sadness, anger, jubilation, memorization, and the anticipation of imminent disaster. All things I love in a movie.

This brings me to Kenobi. A television show that left a bad taste in the mouths of many Star Wars, but was a symphony of flavors in mine. In many different words, spread across various reviews online, as well as from the critical mind of my roommate, most found the show to be boring and pointless. For some it was the Second Sister plotline, others didn’t care for Leia and everything she had going on. Some walked away underwhelmed, unfulfilled, with an Ewan McGregor shaped hole in their heart left empty, losing hope that the void would be filled. While my heart goes out to those people, and I hope they were able to find peace with Andor, The Mandalorian, or even Ahsoka, I left with a different feeling.

I’m going to put it bluntly. I loved Obi-Wan Kenobi. Did I have some issues with it? Sure, and we’ll get into them, but overall, I felt this was an emotional, visually spectacular, action packed adventure that I can only hope gets renewed for a second season, although that’s looking pretty bleak.

In many ways, I felt the same way I feel every time I watch Revenge of the Sith. The emotions are flowing. I’m sad, I feel like things could easily be different, it’s frustrating. Kenobi is just a continuation of this. We are devastated right along with Obi-Wan when he realizes what his former apprentice has done. We want to console him and tell him that it’s not his fault. For so many across the globe, Obi-Wan kept us company for hours on end when we were kids, when he’s hurting, we are hurting. If a movie or a TV show makes me feel something, anything at all, to me it was worth it. Whether it’s joy or sadness, if I have an emotional reaction, I’m in. That’s what Kenobi gave me. A large part of it was its sentimental ties to my childhood, but I enjoyed the story. I loved the new look we got into Leia. It gave us a better sense of the hardship of the Jedi during this time. The only frustrating thing; I couldn’t help but keep thinking that if Obi-Wan and Darth Vader just sat down and had a talk, everything could be resolved. That’s all Star Wars is, one giant misunderstanding. Ugh, it’s so frustrating.

Now, as I said, it wasn’t without its flaws, but the main gripe I have is more toward the general Star Wars universe itself, not necessarily Kenobi. Here it is…how is it, when someone clearly dies, they just keep coming back. It happened twice in Kenobi. The Grand Inquisitor was stabbed in the stomach with a lightsaber and inexplicably survived, same with the Second Sister.

This is consistent with what we see in the rest of the series. Boba Fett is eaten, but survives, Darth Maul is cut in half, but survives. And of course…somehow Palpatine returned. If it happens once, whatever, but when you make it a habit, it becomes a problem.

End of the day, give Kenobi another chance. It is emotional, it is visually fantastic, and in no way is it on the same level as Boba Fett.