What Disney needs to learn from ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ if it wants to save the Star Wars franchise

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When Obi-Wan Kenobi started, we had a very clear perspective of what the series could give of itself, and what was celebrated in its first two episodes was the apparent desire to distance itself from scenarios like Tatooine, exploited very recently in ‘ The Mandalorian’ and ‘The Book of Boba Fett’. And also in recognition of a legacy that, however, was not carried away by nostalgia. Unfortunately, with the conclusion of the series, we must admit that we missed the mark like any stormtrooper.

Regardless of the values ​​and virtues of the series, which some have, the truth is that the appearance of Darth Vader confirms the fears that have appeared since we saw the first trailers: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ indulges in an exploitation of nostalgia and the classic codes of the franchise without bothering to advance it. And beyond that the series is better or worse, the feeling that remains is, above all, that the series is stagnant.

There is no choice but to refer back to ‘The Mandalorian’, which at this rate is going to be the only genuinely round product that the franchise has given in decades. In it we saw classic themes of the series (the fight between Good and Evil and the intermediate characters, or the transformation into a hero of someone who does not see himself as such…) but converted through humorous and original ways. , with unexploited characters and classic narrative approaches but, at the same time, new to the saga.

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And, above all, with his very successful idea of ​​focusing attention on the footnotes, the B-sides of the fauna of ‘Star Wars’. And that’s what ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ does worst. Or, rather, that he doesn’t. His obsession with portraying a subject that has already been the center of study and obsession for fans and creators of the franchise for decades, the betrayal and the confrontation between the Jedi Master and his student Anakin Skywalker, who will end up becoming Darth Vader , is worn out.

lightsabers in wasteland

This wear and tear is reflected in an apparent reluctance in many creative aspects, derived from what seems to be driving the series on autopilot and that ends up wasting powerful ideas. Because there are, starting with the villain of the show, that Inquisitor Reva played by Moses Ingram, and whose motivation is the most surprising of the entire series. Unfortunately, her revelation comes late and after having defined her character based on topics, with which an arc closure that could have been more powerful is left with a feeling of missed opportunity.

This also affects the action sequences, some of the poorest and least imaginative in the entire franchise. The escape from the submarine base is full of conventions and borrowed ideas, the pursuit of Princess Leia in the first episodes has rightly become a meme, and the combats, except for the somewhat luckier duel between Reva and Vader, are forgettable. Let’s not forget: we come from ‘The Book of Boba Fett’, a debatable series on many points, but with impeccable action.

And this affects, of course, Darth Vader. His clashes with Obi-Wan Kenobi are brief, unexciting, and lack the epicness expected. of duels in this category, where the scenarios are also tremendously wasted. Aesthetically, for example, the final duel is interesting, with a dark duel where the sabers illuminate the figures, but they are battles without emotion, because we know that none of the opponents is going to perish.

Star Wars now only knows how to count its nostalgia: the return of Darth Vader to 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' is the worst and the best news

Because that is the big problem with nostalgia as a narrative resource: yes, it takes us back to emotions that we already felt in the best (and unrecoverable) moments of the franchise, but it takes all the emotion out of it because it runs along paths that we already know. It is a replica, an image returned by a mirror. In this case, we already know what happened to Leia, Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker -with this one, for example, the series dares to create a suspenseful situation by making us wonder if that creature will die or not, when We perfectly know the answer. As a hook, nostalgia is a perfect resource: but from there, Disney should think about how to generate new stories.

When Obi-Wan Kenobi started, we had a very clear perspective of what the series could give of itself, and what…

When Obi-Wan Kenobi started, we had a very clear perspective of what the series could give of itself, and what…

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