Obi-Wan Kenobi, Season 1, Episode 1: Part I (Recap 1 of 2)
Hello there! (Can’t start this one any other way, can I?)
My dear nerds, the time is finally upon us: the Obi-Wan series is here. I’ve spent the last week+ in Disneyland and at Star Wars Celebration (where among other things, I idiotically decided that yes, the day after the Obi-Wan show comes out would be an emotionally stable time for me to meet Ewan McGregor and speak words at his face), so, it should go without saying that my Star Wars Brain Rot is at an all-time high right now. I’m as interested as anybody to see what the hell I end up writing here.
So: Obi-Wan! Who’s got thoughts and feelings about that guy?? ME! (I know, I know: I’ve been really holding back.) But not JUST me: apparently Star Wars still has some thoughts and feelings left to give about our dear beloved desert hobo, too, and that’s what we’re gonna explore in today’s recap and this series overall, presuming I survive the next several weeks of episodes (which, frankly, is a gamble.)
Rather than my typical pre-recap summary/queue-up, I’m gonna let Star Wars take the lead and helpfully guide us through the shitshow that was Obi-Wan’s life prior to the shitshow that it is at this point in the timeline.
All right. Obes Kenobes, everyone. I asked and asked and asked for it, and was very very very annoying on the Internet about it for actual years, and now it’s here. Let’s go.
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
We kick things off with the powers that be really, REALLY wanting to make sure we understand how absolutely terrible Obi-Wan’s backstory is, so we get a montage that is a high-/lowlight reel of all the greatest hits: Qui-Gon’s death, Anakin’s tragic past and Clouded Future, the Love and the Hate and the Lava Fire — the whole nine yards.
Yep, those were some good times all right! Woo hoo! Thank goodness Anakin came to his senses and all the younglings came back to life and Palpatine stepped on a LEGO and died.
UGH OK FINE, YES: Anakin royally fucked up and now here we all are. Leia’s on Alderaan with Bail and Breha, Yoda’s living in a swamp, Anakin’s living in Dramatic Bullshit Manor (“We Buy Kenobi Memoriabilia! Inquire Within“, and Obi-Wan has taken Luke to Owen and Beru over on Tatooine (“Failure Rumination Caves for Rent; Actual Bed Not Included“.)
How’s our boy doing after all of this misery and death and pain? Well, I’m gonna be honest: he’s seen better days, our Obi-Wan. But before we go to meet him, we’re “treated” to YET ANOTHER ORDER 66 FLASHBACK. Jesus Christ, we’re going to see this shit from EVERY POSSIBLE PERSPECTIVE, aren’t we? WHY STAR WARS.
Recurring Theme: Your Order Is Complete and Ready For Pick-Up
Yes, we start by seeing some younglings at the Old Folks’ Home sweetly practicing some Jedi moves, which is very cute, but also: it’s nighttime, damnit! Shouldn’t these babies be getting ready for bed? Also, kudos to the crew of this series for making sure that the Jedi Temple has absolutely no real lighting save for a few LED touch lights, because we all know their power was cut off centuries ago due to lack of payment. Sure, let’s make the babies train in the dark. Why not?
Moments later, the half of the 501st that isn’t currently trying to murder Ahsoka (AGGGHHH) show up to wreck up the place:
Ultimately the kids’ teacher is killed, leaving this group of babies to ponder their next move: what do they do now?
We pan out to a scene of total devastation, just so we’re sure to get this series really off on the right footing.
Then it’s time for the title screen! MY BOY HAS HIS OWN SHOW YOU GUYS. At last. I’m crying.
Seeing it be real is just wild to me. I CAN’T HANDLE THIS.
Recurring Theme: It’s Coarse, Rough, and Irritating
We jump ahead in the timeline by 10 years, and find ourselves back on Tatooine, AGAIN, because of course we do because Star Wars will never free us from this sandy pain.
The townspeople of Tatooine are having what appears to be a normal day (for once), so of course shit hits the fan in the form of a menacing ship arriving:
Who’s paying a visit to this recurring nightmare planet? Why, it’s a group of Inquisitors — including the Ultimate Grand Supreme himself, becoming the latest character to make the jump into live-action.
And of course, if Inquisitors are around, that can only mean they’re looking for a Jedi! DUN DUN DUUUUUN!!
Recurring Theme: This Garbage Galaxy Doesn’t Deserve The Jedi
They make their way to a bar (does Tatooine even have like, regular restaurants? It’s a desert for God’s sake; these people should not be boozing it up this much! Hydrate, people!), zeroing in on their prey. The Grand Inquisitor explains to the bar’s owner that his line of work is actually pretty breezy: the Jedi are such a bunch of do-gooder, day-saver dorks that all you have to do is lean back and let them show themselves through their Good Deeds (and, one assumes, by following the trail of unpaid utility bills)!
He goes on: rumor has it there’s a Jedi right here in this bar! A wanderer, perhaps! Maybe he’s looking for other dweebs like himself! And maaaaaaybe someone in this bar found themselves in trouble, and then what? Would the Jedi help them, and risk showing themselves? Or move on?
He continues his Villainous Grandstanding, blahblahblah-ing on about how the Jedi would have to help a guy in need, and then rumors would start swirling, and then the Inquisitors would come find them, etc etc etc, and Reva — one of the other Inquisitors — has understandably decided she’s had enough, and chucks a knife at the bar’s owner in an attempt to cut to the damn chase.
But before the blade can make contact, something stops it mid-air. Ah ha! The Force is in the house! The culprit? This guy:
Reva locks on to their Fugitive Jedi, and chaos ensues as he makes a break for it:
He gets surrounded, and tells them they’re wasting their time: they can’t find ALL the Jedi! Reva is unimpressed:
Her extraness here is not appreciated by her coworkers, and she’s Force-pushed away from Nari, the Jedi, giving him time to bolt out of the bar.
Recurring Theme: The Eternal Obe-Session
Reva gets a talking-to:
She sasses: why are they even bothering to chase after “scraps”? The Grand Inquisitor replies that that’s all they have left to go after, and she counters that they should maybe be trying to find better prey then.
He catches her drift, and is not amused:
I will never, ever stop loving that nobody in the Empire ever even needs to clarify who they’re talking about when they’re talking about Obi-Wan. Can you even begin to fathom how fucking obnoxious Vader must be at all times for them to have gotten to this point? It’s been TEN YEARS of this nonsense, too. It’s almost enough to make me feel bad for all these Darksiders. Nobody deserves to deal with Anakin and his whole situation.
He continues his lecture, which ostensibly is directed at Reva but I’m pretty sure was actually directed at me:
NICE TRY, Star Wars, but neither Reva, nor Anakin, nor I am willing to do so. Sorry not sorry! The madness controls us now!
Reva, a liar, says she understands.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Underpaid Employee
OH NO, here he comes. So we head out to the further expanse of the desert, and we see a meatpacking operation of some sort:
And it’s here, in this grungy and somewhat grim place, that we find him:
He’s been on screen for literally one second and I am already emotionally compromised. His blue shirt. His hair. Look how sad you can tell he is and WE CAN’T EVEN SEE HIS FACE YET. I love him so much I’m going to be SICK.
LOOK AT HIM. LOOK AT HIS HAIR.
Turns out I have a serious thing for old, weathered, unshowered hobos who live in the desert and cry themselves to sleep on a rock every night while pining for their Definitely-Just-Friends Former Coworker. OK, well, really more like I have a thing for one particular hobo. Which I guess you all already knew.
It’s quittin’ time at the Space Sashimi Plant, and Obes tucks away a smidge of meat for reasons that will make me cry later:
Then, AT LAST, we see his face, and he looks? FORLORN:
ANAKIN HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO HIM. His nails are all dirty. His hair, while beautiful, is also gross. Even his beard is sad, somehow.
You know what? I reject this. I REJECT THIS! This is an attack on my person, this is something I did NOT sign off on. LOOK HOW HAPPY HE WAS:
The funniest part here — and by “funny”, I of course mean deeply upsetting — is that Obi-Wan had virtually nothing to even be happy about THEN ^^, either. The war had been dragging on for years, he’d just gotten a concussion and been in a spaceship crash, Ahsoka’s mad at him, Bo-Katan was a total bitch to him for no reason, Satine’s dead, Maul’s still alive…he had precious little to smile about. But he still had Anakin, so he was still smiling. Which is obviously OK. GOOD BYE FOREVER.
All right, so, yes: he sad. He cleans up his workstation and gets in line to punch out.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sad For You On The Actual Worst Day of His Life
A man ahead of him the queue notices that their paycheck is a little light today — by half! — and asks for more compensation.
His request is not well-received, and he gets socked in the gut for his trouble:
The burly guy throws in a warning, and Obi-Wan looks very displeased:
OK, look: we all know I am deranged about Obi-Wan Kenobi, and that I had an Olympic-caliber crush on Ewan as a teenager (and OK, a little bit since then.) I get that I am biased beyond all belief, BUT I have to say, Ewan is CRUSHING IT in this series, and I don’t think I feel that way JUST because of my Problems. He’s just really bringing so much to the character. I know George said that in casting the prequels he chose the leads in part because they all were actors who were really good with expressing emotion through their faces and body language, and he was NOT WRONG. Ewan barely needs to say a word and you understand everything a scene is trying to say.
ANYWAYS, Obes is dismayed at the treatment of his coworker, and looks at Burly Angry Guy with the saddest face ever (until the next one.)
It’s NOT FAIR. He should be decked out in his cute little Jedi dress, perfectly manicured and reading while sipping tea. Or, failing that, he should be punching this dude and then hitting on him, like he would have to a bad guy in his heyday.
The dude asks Obi-Wan if he’s got something he wants to say. Obes pauses for a moment, then relents:
MY BABY. So good. So sad. So handsome.
I wonder how many times the word “handsome” appears on this blog. On a related note, here is an exchange between my sister and I last weekend:
As I always tell my internet friends when they meet me in real life, I am more or less exactly who I am online. I can only be me. 😄
OK! Where was I? Oh yes, Sad Obi-Wan. Again. Still. He’s depressed, and he clocks out of Space Meat Co. FFS, Bail, couldn’t you Western Union some money to him?? He HAS to keep this job? Sheesh.
Recurring Theme: St. Kenobi of Assisi
Obes gets a ride back into town with his coworkers on a space bus of sorts, and then he finds his eopie, who it turns out he was saving the bit of meat from before for:
Cool; he’s still the absolute kindest and animals love him. Great. This is fine.
We even get the tiniest ghost of a SMILE!
😭 I always knew this show would kill me. I’m thrilled to be right, but also OH WHY STAR WARS.
Recurring Theme: I Am Suing This Show For Pain and Suffering
With his eopie in tow, Obi-Wan makes his way across the desert back to his home. You know, his sad little hermit hut where he tells Luke about the Clone Wars while leaving out 99.9999% of the objectively batshit things said Wars contained. That one. That is his home. It has a shower and furniture and everything. He obviously lives there, because where else would he live? Jabba’s Palace? Over a cantina? A…a cave? Nonsense. That would be SO sad. Too sad even for Star Wars, I reckon!
HE LIVES. IN A CAVE. This is the most unacceptable thing I’ve ever seen in my life. ANAKIN LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO THEM ALL. Your million year old grandpa is living in a swamp ALONE, and Obi-Wan IS LIVING IN A CAVE AND HE HASN’T SHOWERED IN 10 YEARS BECAUSE OF SADNESS. I hope Sidious cancels your pod racing Pay-Per-View subscription, and you get a canker sore, you absolute trash bag.
You know what’s great? Obi-Wan has no furniture. He has a rug, a place to hang a bag up, and a bunch of crates that look like they were extras from the street decor at Galaxy’s Edge. And I thought he lived simply before.
He mixes up some food for himself, then goes outside to eat it as lonesomely as humanly possible:
As he eats, a Jawa named Teeka shows up with some merchandise for Obi-Wan.
What is it, you’re wondering? Oh nothing. Just a toy spaceship. Probably just something Obes collects for fun. Now let’s never speak of it again.
He haggles the price a bit, and gets swindled into buying back the processor board for his own vaporator (LOL):
Recurring Theme: The Dark Times
Teeka shows off some new stuff he’s gotten from a unique source:
Obi-Wan attempts an air of detached curiosity, while probably hearing nothing but sirens and white noise in his head:
Honestly? The worst part of every bit of Feelings in this episode I’ve had to rewatch to write this is made SO MUCH WORSE because I already know that everything after this is somehow even MORE upsetting. Like when I get to the middle of this series I’m going to need a full-length recap for every 5 minute time segment, because SO MUCH SHIT HAPPENS AND ALL OF IT DESTROYS ME. Something happens in the third episode that I could probably write several thousand words about and it takes up maybe 5 seconds of screen time. I am not remotely ready to cope with it yet. God help me.
Teeka explains to Obi-Wan that this Jedi escaped across the Dune Sea, and that he had Inquisitors after him and the whole deal. At any rate, Teeka hope they’ll get more of these fugitive nerds, because their stuff is good for business. Obi-Wan wearily tells him not to get his hopes up:
Cool. Cool cool cool.
He pays Teeka (who throws in a jab about how badly Obi-Wan needs a shower), and the two part ways.
Recurring Theme: Shirt
I feel like I’ve been PRETTY CLEAR with Star Wars about my request for a Shirtless Nightmare in this series. You know, for mirroring reasons and nothing else. I am not suggesting that we take Obi-Wan’s shirt off JUST so I can ogle an old man like some middle-aged nerd girl who refuses to carry herself with even a semblance of dignity or maturity. That’s not what I’m about, OBVIOUSLY.
Alas: we next find Obes having a nightmare, but with the exception of his feet he is very much clothed.
Please note the following things that are Not Okay:
- He sleeps on a rock. A ROCK. He doesn’t have a bed! He has one thin pillow and blanket and it maybe looks looks like he has a very thin mattress but HE SLEEPS ON A ROCK IN A CAVE. ANAKIN GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE AND LOOK WHAT YOU DID.
- His nightmare is, of course, Anakin Themed:
I know how it goes, Obes. Sometimes I fall asleep right after watching Revenge of the Sith, too.
He bolts awake, and — you guessed it! — looks sad.
I cannot HANDLE how bent out of shape these two are over each other. JUST KISS AND MAKE UP GUYS, I can’t live with this pain any more than Obi-Wan can.
Recurring Theme: Dead Guy Won’t Take Your Calls
Dead Dad Feelings Time! Obi-Wan says to an empty room:
He gets no response, and looks distraught:
FOR FUCK’S SAKE QUI-GON THROW THE MAN A BONE. Whatever you’re doing in Space Heaven can’t be more important than helping Obi-Wan. LOOK AT HIM HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE SOCKS.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Luke
The next day, Obes heads out to pay a Creeper Visit to the Lars Homestead. He spies Wee Baby Luke, and my heart explodes:
I…am not prepared for the Skytwin Content of this show. I’m not! I am just Not.
Luke tears off, and as Owen and Beru search for him, Obi-Wan sees where he’s run off to: he’s on the roof of the homestead, playing pilot:
OK, Star Wars. Thanks. THAT’LL BE ENOUGH.
Obi-Wan soaks this in:
Could someone PLEASE do literally ANYTHING that won’t make this man look Haunted By His Past for like, 10 minutes? PLEASE????? God.
Later that night, Obes makes his way to the entrance of the homestead, leaving a package behind:
ANAKIN HE KEPT BUYING SHIT FOR YOUR KIDS BECAUSE HE LOVED YOUR DUMB ASS SO MUCH. You murdered HIS ENTIRE FAMILY and ruined his life and he STILL worked a shitty job to make money TO BUY TOYS FOR YOUR DAMN KIDS. Never forget, you are THE WORST. THE WORST.
Recurring Theme: Rejection of The Call
We continue our Hero’s Journey Speedrun as Obi-Wan makes his way home in the dark, where he encounters someone:
Ah yes! Our Runaway Jedi. Joke’s on him, though, because Obi-Wan is pretty set on the idea that he didn’t actually survive:
Nari isn’t buying it, and is perplexed: what are you doing here, Obi-Wan?
Undeterred, Nari presses: he needs Obi-Wan’s help; Obi-Wan has no idea what he’s been through! Sighing, Obi-Wan gets off his eopie to impart some Depression Advice to Nari:
Obi-Wan motions to Nari’s lightsaber, and tells him to take it…
Gee, I sure hope I don’t have to see Obi-Wan’s buried lightsaber with my own two eyes and have it be so much more painful than I ever imagined! That would be so upsetting!
Oh RIGHT, because Obi-Wan’s life of sleeping in a damn CAVE and crying himself into his next Anakin Nightmare is really living a normal one.
Nari is shocked: but what about the people who need them? What about the fight? Obi-Wan scoffs: the fight’s over, man!
Nari, looking mightily disappointed, is like DUDE WTF HAPPENED TO YOU??
You wanna know what happened to him, Nari? ANAKIN FUCKING SKYWALKER happened to him, that’s what. The man has been pummeled physically and emotionally by the human equivalent of a hurricane throwing a temper tantrum.
Obi-Wan looks devastated (again, still, nothing new here), and mournfully says that the time of the Jedi is over, and tells Nari to “let it go”.
…and it’s at this point that we get booted to another planet to (re)introduce some people who will also be coming for my whole entire life! Hooray! This, coupled with the fact that we’re about halfway through, seems like a good place to take a break. Join me next time, when someone crashes Obi-Wan’s depression cave, and it becomes immediately apparent thereafter that Obi-Wan cannot and will not ever say no to a Skywalker. See you back here soon!