Obi-Wan Kenobi's Biggest Problem Exposes a Major Issue for 'Star Wars'

Photo credit: Disney+
Disney's Obi-Wan Kenobi has come to an end with an explosive finale that closed storylines and answered some longstanding questions (including some that perhaps didn't need answers).
While Star Wars fans like Reva may be hopelessly searching for meaning in a figurative desert until the release of Andor later this year, there were some pressing issues raised by the show's final act.
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While Moses Ingram's Reva got a decent character arc, the core cast of Leia, Obi-Wan, and Anakin didn't see much progression (if any) over the course of the show.
Photo credit: Disney+
Sure, we had some fun interactions and important moments, but the show's fixed position within an expansive timeline meant that growth in any direction was never really an option.
At the beginning of the show, Obi-Wan on Tatooine is watching over Luke because he's worried the Empire will find him. He then protects Leia from the Empire over the course of six episodes and continues to feel bad about how things ended with Anakin. At the end of the finale, he returns to Tatooine and decides to stop watching the Lars family's moisture farm.
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Unfortunately, that's about as much as we get. We don't get a sense of what Obi-Wan's new priorities are or what he might be feeling beyond a general sense of hope.
Photo credit: Disney+
In fact, a more traditional story might suggest that the lesson of his adventures with Leia is that he is best at helping young Skywalkers take an active part in their lives, rather than being a Jedi with no ties. Unfortunately, every other piece of Star Wars media prevents this natural next step from being taken.
The same fixed position that sits snugly between the events of Revenge of the Sith/The Bad Batch and Rebels/A New Hope also removes all major personal deployments from the series.
At no point during the climax of the final episode did you feel that Anakin was in any real danger on Obi-Wan, and the same goes for Luke and Leia. Lightsaber fights are fun, but the point is that they're deadly.
Photo credit: Disney+
Handling them requires skill, because the slightest slip could cause something terrible. When this is not the case, when the sense of threat is removed, even the most dramatic action scene can seem weightless (see also Yoda's staggering monkey action against Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones).
At no point do you believe that any of the four core characters could die simply because you know Armor plans that isn't possible.
This complaint that digging deeper and deeper into an ever tighter and tighter time band in the Star Wars canon is leading to diminishing returns could be applied to any franchise spin-off.
Unfortunately for Star Wars, the ever-growing number of shows on the horizon and apparent concerns about introducing new characters make it even more urgent. Criticism was directed at Star Wars when Obi-Wan was announced and was a recurring refrain as Book of Boba Fett continued to roll out characters in the name of fanservice.
Photo credit: Disney+
That conversation also converged with broader ethical concerns about what being so servile to the original canon and performances might lead to - given how AI has been used to "rejuvenate" Mark Hamill, much like posthumous use by Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher's similarities.
Ultimately, it's new, original characters that will delight new, younger viewers. The reason people get excited about seeing prequel cameos or The Clone Wars and Rebels characters is because they were the leads in the shows and movies they saw first.
That's why characters like Reva, and to a lesser extent Idira Varma's Tala, are such a breath of fresh air.
Reva, or Third Sister if you prefer, is the only character in Obi-Wan Kenobi to receive a full arc.
Photo credit: Disney+
She is introduced as a somewhat precocious, angry subordinate of Darth Vader with a mysterious obsession with Obi-Wan and the Jedi, only to slowly unravel her true motivations before undergoing a major change of heart.
And yes, we know she's not entirely original, as she bears striking resemblances to previous Inquisitor characters like Jedi: Fallen Order's Second Sister and even characters like Asaj Ventress, who start out as padawans but end up on the dark side .
But beyond her typical Star Wars-esque backstory, Reva also serves as an interesting narrative foil for Anakin. Her irritability and hot temper mirror the way Anakin acts fast (and thinks slow) in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Copyright: Lucasfilm Ltd. – Disney+
She, like Anakin, is lured to the dark side due to the power she can draw from the trauma of her past. These similarities give her depth, although they seem to have flown over the heads of fans who find her annoying or tearful (both accurate Anakin descriptions).
Looking ahead, we can only hope that Star Wars manages to escape the pull of its own legacy. Part of the justification for gutting Lucasfilm's own Expanded Universe was to de-canon and allow for more creative and exciting stories without having to juggle the weight of 40+ years of storytelling.
Unfortunately, for now, the stories we get are struggling to escape the weight of nine films.
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