Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 1 Review – This is not the good show you’re looking for

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 2,5/5


Since Disney have taken over Star Wars, retconning the entire expanded universe in the process, the quality of storytelling has been… mixed, to put it lightly. After the tepid offering of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi released to one of the most divided reactions to a film. It essentially split the fandom in half, with some critics hailing Rian Johnson’s movie as the best thing ever and others (including ourselves I may add) pointing out why this is the worst Star Wars film of the lot.

Solo suffered as a result of that backlash with middling indifference, while Rise of Skywalker bowed out this messy sequel trilogy with a 2 hour fetch quest. The Mandalorian helped to reel back disenfranchised fans with a return to what made Star Wars so enjoyable, with a simple adventure, before Book Of Boba Feet forgot about its own main character for 2 episodes and decided colourful Vespa bikes was just what Star Wars needed to spice things up. So that brings us along nicely to Obi-Wan Kenobi, a series that – on paper at least – couldn’t fail.

Nostalgia? Check. Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen back? Amazing! Six episodes of action and a lavish budget of around $25 million an episode? Count us in! So imagine our surprise when Obi-Wan Kenobi released and we get a rushed, poorly written, clumsily directed show with bad dialogue and continuity breaking errors.

Now, I do appreciate this review will probably ruffle a lot of feathers and trust me, it pains me to give another Star Wars product a bad review. There are undoubtedly a lot of Star Wars fans that love this universe, regardless of quality. Any questions about logic or plot are generally written off with a flippant “just enjoy Star Wars” or “It’s always been silly!” as if that’s a way to excuse the issues.

Hell, growing up I had all the little mini figures, I wrote fanfiction, had some of the expanded universe books and re-watched the movies religiously. And then I watched The Last Jedi and fell out of love with what Disney were doing to this. And Obi-Wan Kenobi feels like the last nail in that coffin.

Split across six episodes, Obi-Wan Kenobi bridges the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, showing what our Jedi has been up to in the years on Tatooine leading up to the 1977 feature. Episode 1 starts off rather well, with Obi-Wan trying to eke out a living while hiding from the Inquisitors, an evil group of Jedi-hunting Sith (I know they’re not technically Sith but they’re about as close to that title as can be) that remain dead-set on finding and killing all Jedi.

The Grand Inquisitor is overshadowed by the most evil Inquisitor of them all, Reva. Between cutting off hands, torturing children, hanging people and being an unstable menace, her ultimate goal here is to find Obi-Wan and make him pay for past transgressions.

With Vader recovering following what happened on Mustafar, the Empire grows in power while Bail Organa sends an urgent transmission to Obi-Wan asking for his help. Little Leia Organa has been kidnapped and it’s up to Obi-Wan to save her. Abandoning his post and deciding not to watch over a young Luke Skywalker after all, Obi-Wan heads off on a rescue mission to bring Leia back.

I won’t spoil much more and I’ll try not to reveal big plot points but everything after episode 1 is a continuing spiral of continuity errors, plot contrivances, deus ex machina, clumsy dialogue and every bad writing trope in the book. Not only does the show butcher its main character, with Obi-Wan mostly playing second fiddle to the female supporting characters, the classic bait-and-switch actually sees the show focus mostly on Leia and Reva as the central characters. The latter is a clumsily inserted player, with seriously questionable motivations, poor dialogue and an obvious but haphazard character arc. But ironically, she’s one of the few characters here that actually has an arc. Obi-Wan, for example, ends up – mentally at least – in the exact same position as he started from, with barely any direct involvement in the plot that happens around him.

Beyond the narrative though, Obi-Wan Kenobi features characters teleporting inexplicably from one location to another, fatal wounds brushed off with a perfunctory shrug of the shoulders, infecting scene development and editing. Hell, even the action sequences are poor, with an abundance of shaky cam. Sometimes camera work and directing can hide some of the big flaws but here, wide open expository shots only highlight and showcase the errors further, rather than hide them with perspective. In episode 3, Obi-Wan and Leia are stuck at a laser gate but instead of walking around, they blast the gate and turn off the lasers.

Another time, Tala (a new female character who leads Obi-Wan through various missions) infiltrates the Inquisitor base and knocks out an officer (quite loudly I may add) in a room sporting several other officers. In the space of 3 minutes, the room layout changes, the personnel numbers are different and  It’s sloppy and amateurish – something you’d never guess given Star Wars’ lavish budget.

Some of the dialogue choices also leave a lot to be desired. In one episode, a new character called Roken bemoans how his wife was killed and he doesn’t like the Jedi. At the end of his big monologue about why he won’t help…he decides to help. Another time, Vader chases Obi-Wan down to an abandoned planet for their long-awaited rematch, only to utter “have you come to kill me, Obi-Wan?” Even though he was the one to follow.

Between characters teleporting around, surviving fatal wounds without explanation, the bad dialogue and clumsy cinematography, one would be forgiven for thinking this is Game of Thrones season 8 or Doctor Who Season 13 all over again. The difference here though is that fans of Star Wars will excuse a lot of these errors in favour of Disney’s ultimate weapon – nostalgia.

Just like Solo, Rise of Skywalker and Book of Boba Fett, this era is absolutely obsessed with nostalgia to hide the poor writing. Now, when done correctly it can elevate a movie and make it an amazing watch. When done poorly, it just plays out as cynical point-scoring.

The nostalgia here is ramped up in the final episode, which will be enough to excuse a lot of the bad writing for many fans. This is the serial equivalent of The Last Jedi and reaction to Obi-Wan is going to be split. There are many people out there that love this show, and that’s absolutely fine. As a critic, examining the writing, directing, sound design, visuals, dialogue and everything else that goes into making a good production – Obi-Wan fails at all of it. For a company the size of Disney and for a budget as lavish as this one, that’s inexcusable. We deserve better than this.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a bad series and one that does more harm than good to the Star Wars universe. It raises numerous questions about A New Hope, damaging that film with important questions that this show has crowbarred into the lore. With the next 18 months already mapped out for Star Wars content, diehard fans will quickly move on and enjoy what’s to come. For others, the damage done in this series may just be too great to ignore, souring the experience. As Obi-Wan himself puts it, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror.”

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  • Verdict - 3/10

16 thoughts on “Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 1 Review – This is not the good show you’re looking for”

  1. a chore to watch. I kept turning it off, and putting it off for over a month after I started initially watching. I probably shouldn’t comment on it as a whole since I didn’t respect it enough to complete it in a timely manner. I just can’t get past the bad acting, and dialogue. only thing I enjoyed was ewan mcgregor reprising his role.

  2. This entire show was like an afternoon soap written for uneducated single moms with disobedient toddlers to feel vindicated by acting badly towards gentlemen who will just take the abuse of street baller trash-talk like some whimbly stockholm abuse parade from the 1980’s.. talking about moses, whose acting is tragically bad for being a supposed top-tier imperial. It’s like she wasn’t even trying to play a role that fit the canon. She was just being herself in some job she obviously wasn’t invested into taking seriously. It would be like nick cage playing the next conan. Dry and uninvested acting.

    Shoot, maybe Moses can be the next cage.
    Anyway.. I digress.
    In my opinion, Moses single-handedly made the show unwatchable. She was a terrible cast for the role, and the casting director should be canned for their stupidity. Can’t just find any random diversity hire to fit some board quota. At least try to find someone capable in the role. Moses belongs in some modern life drama. Not sci fi. She is just so awefully mundane.

  3. Just finished watching series. I grew up with this universe—too young to see Star Wars but lucky enough to see Empire and Jedi in theaters. The newer franchise turned me off and Obi Wan was my “only hope.” Enough nostalgia WAS there for me not to hate this. Hell I started sobbing when Luke came back in Mandalorian. How lucky we are to still have James Earl Jones voice Vader? And a young Leia was somewhat believable.
    (A young Luke was Ah…NOT!)

    What I did appreciate was how Ewan McGregor still encompassed Obi Wan. Everyone around him seems like they’re acting, especially Jimmy Smits who was trying out Shakespeare??? But McGregor remains a fully three-dimensional character never over acting.

    Now onto the things that bugged me: Wish the scene where Kenobi first realizes this Frankenstein cyborg is Anakin, could have had more subtleties. Have Anakin maybe refer to him as “Master” right before he realizes who it is. The story line that really bothered me was Kenobi turning his back on young man Jedi in town. It seems (on some level) as though he’s protecting Luke to preserve the Jedi order. Wouldn’t you want someone already trained as an ally, or at least help him get out of dodge? And then the poor guy is hanged in public—brutal. Kenobi skates the line of throwing away his Jedi identity then not having any choice but to get roped back in. Not believable. Also not believable was just how much his powers had atrophied.

    And I can’t even digest how confusing Reva’s motivations were, like a ping pong. You’d think there’d be more than enough in the budget to hire the best writers, sci fi geeks galore, but instead we get a tepid storyline with perpetual bad dialog. At least there’s nostalgia.

  4. I should also add, I just pretend this show is like a piece of fan fiction and doesn’t really exist. Can easily ignore it outside of the context of canon

  5. Great review. I agree with a lot of it.

    Terrible writing and directing. The story was laughably bad, Reva’s revenge plot/redemption arc was laughably bad. Leia being such a huge part of this show, during this time period in a show about Obi Wan, makes no sense.

    This show was one of my most anticipated things last few years. And I know how amazing it could have been. There were even some great Obi Wan stories in the comics during this time period they could have looked to for inspiration. But instead what we got was a poorly made mess.

    Even the nostalgia scenes were done poorly. They came too late and didn’t even bother to de age Hayden and Ewan even tho they’re 20 years older lol. And the part where Obi clips Vader’s mask was already done in Rebels.

    Just a horribly made disaster. 4/10 from me.

  6. Haha sounds like you watched the original trilogy and not the new series.

    Horrible writing : check
    Horrible acting : check

    The thing about this series as a whole is that it followed the story of obi-wan and Anakin. If you think the original trilogy would be amazing coming out today you’re out of your mind. It’s cheesy, bad acting and writing but fun. And that’s what this series brought fun. Star Wars fans need to self reflect and realize the originals were horrid by today standards and just enjoy the story.

  7. “And then I watched The Last Jedi and fell out of love with what Disney were doing to this. And Obi-Wan Kenobi feels like the last nail in that coffin.”

    Exactly my sentiment. I couldn’t even finish the series. I cancelled Disney+ and I’ll never go back. Until at least Disney gives up their woke nonsense and putting KK in charge of ANYTHING. Not that she’s to blame for this nonsense… but she has certainly helped to bring down SW.

  8. Well, I enjoyed the whole series. It wasn’t perfect but the slow burn scenes on Tattooine accentuated Kenobi’s mundane existence well. The Light saber scenes were thrilling and Obi-Wan became one with the Force against at the end, whilst beating Vader yet again. It took me back being an excited 9 year old kid again and that’s all that matters.

  9. A well written, objective and accurate review of this series. If not for the nostalgia bait of stormtroopers and snow speeders, this series felt more like a Star Trek NG budget mini series, than a Disney+ mega millions production.

    Lots of weak dialogue, poor acting, contrivences, and plot inconsistencies. Effectively now in New Hope, whilst Luke is sad about the self-sacrifice of Kenobi – a man he barely knew, Leia now appears coldly indifferent to the guy’s death – despite him saving her life at least twice in this series. Or that Kenobi could have killed or captured a weakened Vader, thereby saving lots of characters lives who died in the original trilogy…I doubt Disney even realise (i.e. care) about the consequences for continuity and implications for characterisation to the 1977 film that made all this fan service possible.

    I wonder at what point the Disney execs can sit back and say they made their desired profits from the 4 billion purchase of the IP. The business model seems just to create cookie cutter production-line dross scripts until we’re labotomised by seeing too many light sabres. Surely there are some high quality writers and directors on this planet that Disney could easily afford to hire, or is that talent in a galaxy far far away also…?

  10. Thanks for this review. I have no idea how it received good reviews elsewhere. I don’t understand how fans can brush off so many glaring flaws.

    If you ever want a villain that can’t successfully kill you no matter how many tries, Darth is your guy.

  11. This was a well-written review by a man who clearly has his head on his shoulders. Good show!

  12. This series is absolutely terrible on so many levels. Disney has made a debauchery of Star Wars. They have buffooned all the old main characters we grew to love in our childhood to write their own narrative with their own new characters for their own political BS. This series was about Reva and little Leia; not about Obi Wan. They turned him into a bumbling idiot taking orders from child Leia; who is already a strong little girl. Disney f*** **f. Kathleen Kennedy should be fired.

    Disney+, consider me unsubscribed.

  13. Good call. And otherwise a very well written review. I’m amazed that a show that was delayed heavily for rewrites still feels like a first draft.

  14. Hey Tomas, thanks for commenting. That’s a fair critique and apologies if it came across that way. As the supporting characters are all female that take the lead, that’s why I mentioned it in that way but I’ve added the word “supporting” into the review though.

    Thanks for reading!

    -Greg W

  15. I’ll start by saying I didn’t like this show. And I agree with pretty much your whole review. I also want to point out everytime you mention ‘female characters’ you sound like an asshole.

    They are characters. The fact that they are female should be irrelevant. Just say ‘Obi Wan plays second fiddle to the SUPPORTING characters’ or something. Bringing gender into it just makes it seem like you hate the idea of women being in a show, and that you’d be fine with Obiwan playing second fiddle if the characters were male. Don’t get mad that they’re women, get mad that they’re written poorly.

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