‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ brings ‘Star Wars’ out of the desert and onto Disney+

The reply is available in “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” a six-episode Disney+ collection whose first two chapters stirringly ship what followers ought to need from a present as eagerly anticipated as any theatrical blockbuster.

It is value recalling a stand-alone film was really the unique plan for this collection, which options Ewan McGregor reprising his function from the prequel trilogy, earlier than the box-office underperformance of “Solo” prompted Lucasfilm to go in a special route.

On the plus aspect, the episodic format permits for a considerably extra leisurely tempo in exploring the characters and laying out the story, which — after a considerably pointless recap — picks up a decade after the defeat of the Jedi, discovering McGregor not fairly trying midway to turning into Alec Guinness, however shut sufficient.

Though there’s an in depth time hole between films, a few of this era was lined within the wonderful animated collection “Star Wars Rebels,” which launched to the display Inquisitors, lightsaber-wielding villains tasked with searching down these Jedi who survived the purge orchestrated by the Emperor. Because the trailer explains, the Inquisitors’ secret weapon is the character of the Jedi themselves, because the Inquisitors search to lure their prey into the open by testing their innate goodness.

Whereas the Inquisitors have tracked lesser Jedi throughout the galaxy, one specifically, Reva (Moses Ingram), seems obsessive about finding Kenobi, who resides an existence of desert drudgery whereas hiding in plain view. He watches the younger Luke from a good distance, which continues to be too near swimsuit the boy’s Uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton), who effectively remembers how he ended up with the lad in his care.

Ewan McGregor stars in the Disney+ series 'Obi-Wan Kenobi.'

Directed by “The Mandalorian” veteran Deborah Chow, these episodes most importantly concoct a more-than-plausible rationalization, which should not be spoiled, for bringing Kenobi out of his cave and into jeopardy. That situation additionally creates loads of alternatives for callbacks that, in a theatrical setting, would have followers whooping and hollering.

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These different thrives apart, McGregor — 17 years faraway from “Revenge of the Sith” — proves an unlimited asset, completely capturing the legendary Jedi at this stage, nonetheless wounded by having misplaced Anakin Skywalker to the darkish aspect and wearily left in a holding sample that gives room for some hope however, below present circumstances, not an entire lot.

Frankly, watching “Obi-Wan Kenobi” merely reinforces a way that Disney/Lucasfilm most likely left cash on the desk by pursuing this streaming route, given what an attraction this mixture of components — together with the much-hyped return of Hayden Christensen — would have been in a theatrical format. Film theaters is perhaps celebrating “Prime Gun: Maverick’s” touchdown this weekend, however a movie this deeply enmeshed in “Star Wars” mythology, 45 years after its introduction, would have been a can’t-miss commodity.

These issues apart, the Disney+ collection presents subscribers what looks like an exquisite distraction, no Jedi thoughts tips required. Whereas there are nonetheless 4 installments to return, based mostly on the liftoff, the Power continues to be very a lot with “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which can possess a bit much less spring in its step however has misplaced none of its attract to those that have lengthy adopted him.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” premieres Might 27 on Disney+.

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