Yeah, It’s Gonna Suck: Obi Wan

Disney has waved a big enough pay check under Ewan Mac Gregor’s nose to make him cave. He shall again don his bathrobe, pick up his chrome plated flashlight and once more play Obi Wan Kenobi. And it’s going to be a series.

Honestly, the Mandalorean looks much more interesting because there are going to be new characters in it. Maybe some call backs to the first trilogy but that’s okay in moderation.

Obi Wan has two fundamental problems (…actually three).

First and foremost. Plot armor. Obi Wan will die on the Deathstar. That is a fixed point. That is the final end to his story. Which means that he will be in no danger at all during the course of this series. While this is usually the case with any lead in a series, it’s rarely written in stone like it is here. Obi Wan will never be in any danger.

Second and worse. There will be no character arc. He had reached his endstate in the last scene of Revenge of the Sith. He went into the Dune Sea to become “a strange old hermit,” called Ben Kenobi*. Whatever adventures he has, he will neither grow nor change because of them. The character will remain static because he has to. This complete lack of character development means that the show will always have lead boots on. There can be no great stories in it because change is integral to a great story.

Those are the two obvious problems. Here is a potential one that I think is most probable. The likeliest opponent for Ben Kenobi is Darth Maul. In Solo he was established as being very much alive and exactly how he was seen in the Clone Wars/Rebels. You can have some run-ins between them here and there, during the show’s run but eventually they are going to have to reshoot the final duel between these two. The best case scenario is that the retread will be better than the original but the worst case is that isn’t..

Does it have anything going for it?

In truth not much. Although I will give credit where it’s due. MacGregor was, consistently, a much better Obi-Wan than Alec Guinness.

Get your jaw off the floor, note the use of the word “consistently”.

No question he was great in the first movie. But the role Sir Alec wanted to be remembered for was Colonel Nicholson in Bridge on the River Qwai. By the time the third movie had entered production it was obvious that this Shakespearian actor was only going to be remembered for being a space wizard in a kid’s movie. When Obi-Wan sat down on a fucking log in Return of the Jedi, Guinness was all but saying, Sir Alec is done acting here now, just accept it. MacGregor for his part always kept trying as a professional should no matter what he thought of Lucas’ silly-ass scripts.

Regardless…

Yeah, it’s gonna suck.

*Which come to think of it wasn’t the best possible cover name for a man in hiding. Maybe Kenobi is the Star Wars-verse equivalent of “Smith,” but I’ve seen no evidence of it.

7 thoughts on “Yeah, It’s Gonna Suck: Obi Wan

  1. “Good heavens. What have I done?”

    “Madness!” (Supporting Actor)

    (Cue the closing march)

    And it’s a superior story outline to anything Star Wars.

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  2. Any change, any growth has to be reversed by series end. While this is possible and can even be a satisfying conclusion, it usually isn’t.

    If the series lasts there will be some arc involving a clone of Obi-wan which the producers can put in danger and even kill, audience questioning which is the real Obi-wan etc. Silly, but likely.

    Also the lightsaber duels in the original trilogy were exciting, sure they were juiced with the force, but they were believable. By the prequels it had just gotten ridiculous. The duels were so over the top as to be laughable. But now because of Lucas having to distract from his Turkey of a movie with special effects they are locked into absurd fight sequences. So yeah, it’s going to suck.

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    1. The prequels had the problem of making the Jedi and Sith too powerful. It took away the sense of danger or the requirement to use wits.

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  3. The lightsaber fights worked so much better in the originals because igniting them meant either death or losing a limb. They meant skill, discipline and serious business.

    Nowadays igniting the lightsaber is the equivalent of “Homer Simpson buys a gun” episode or the one in futurama where they cut and toast bread at the same time with a “lightknife”.

    They turned the lightsaber into an indispensable swiss army knife that you use continuously and from the simple efective design they went into the impractical (Phantom menace) to stupid (Force awakens) to ridiculous (Meh! of Skywalker)

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    1. Lucasfilm used to do swordfights right.

      The old formula was simple enough. Tension between the protagonist and antagonist is established. Their equivalent proficiency with swordsmanship is displayed. The tension between the men is built. up until it reaches a crescendo and they draw their steel. Done properly it’s climax to movie.

      Lucas did fine with that in the first trilogy. He absolutely forgot all of the basics by the end of second trilogy and the lightsaber duel turned into crappy special effects show.

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      1. This, so much this.

        Massive spectacle,endless action scenes with impossible to follow fights infested with CGI-shitfest, has complely replaced meaningful story and tension build ups, the stakes are so high all the time that it all became meaningless.

        Whats been defined as superhero fatigue is nothing but empty spectacle fatigue, as soon as anything becomes that (MCU is fast in the process) we end with a Disney Starwars situation.

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  4. “Ben, come help me kill Darth Vader. You can sit on this log. Can you hold this lightsaber?” — Mike, Red Letter Media

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