Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Part I Episode Review

Obi-Wan Kenobi™ (directed by Deborah Chow) premiered on May 26 on the streaming service Disney Plus. The limited Star Wars television series follows Obi-Wan Kenobi™ in the years between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith™ and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope™. But it’s clear from the very first episode that we’ll be doing a lot more than simply spending time with the old hermit Ben Kenobi™ on the barren Tatooine™ sands.

Read our recap and review of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Part I below.

A long time ago…

The Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show opens with a gut-wrenching recap from the prequels — as well as a voiceover quote from the animated series The Clone Wars™. The footage recounts Obi-Wan’s time with his beloved apprentice Anakin Skywalker™ and his relationships with fellow Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn™, Mace Windu™, and Yoda™, as well as the eventual downfall of the Jedi.

Order 66

Once we get to the actual series’ first scenes, we see young Padawans™ training at the Jedi Temple™. Under the guidance of an older Jedi, they practice Force-based movement high above Coruscant™.

Soon, however, they must flee as clone troopers™ execute Order 66™, following the orders of Sith Lord Sidious™ to exterminate light side users all across the galaxy. Viewers are left to wonder whether any of these younglings will survive and whether we will see any of them later.

The Jedi Will Hunt Themselves

Ten years later, an unnamed city on Tatooine sees regular life continuing as citizens haggle and socialize. The shadow of an Imperial ship, flying overhead, casts a heavy sense of unease over the entire city. When it lands, three Inquisitors exit the ship. They quickly descend on a nondescript saloon, where the Grand Inquisitor™ questions the owner, whom he suspects is harboring a Jedi.

Reva™, AKA the Third Sister™, grows impatient with the Grand Inquisitor’s meandering speech and she uses violence to draw out the hiding Jedi. Though her means are nearly successful, tension is evident between Reva and the Grand Inquisitor. While the Grand Inquisitor is satisfied hunting down Jedi “scraps,” Reva hungers for more important prey — like, Obi-Wan Kenobi. She agrees, begrudgingly, to leave this vendetta behind.

Forgetting the Past

Speaking of Kenobi, our first glimpse of the exiled Jedi shows him working at a meat packing plant on the outskirts of the city. The monotony of Ben’s life is shown through the repeated imagery of his day to day schedule. At the packing plant, we also witness a different side of the former Jedi Master — a man who no longer defends the defenseless. When the warden threatens a fellow coworker, Ben does nothing to battle this injustice, though he does stick up for himself with a swindling Jawa™.

At night, Ben is plagued by nightmarish visions of his past. Waking up in a cold sweat, he calls out to Qui-Gon. Though removed from the Force, he seeks the advice of his own beloved Master. The next day, he watches over young Luke Skywalker™ from afar. He returns that night to drop off a model ship, possibly the same one seen with Luke in A New Hope.

Under the cover of night, the Jedi from the saloon, named Nari™ pleads with Obi-Wan for help. But Ben refuses, forsaking the name Obi-Wan Kenobi and telling Nari, “The time of the Jedi is over … Let it go.”

Saying Alderaan Things

This disheartening scene gives way to a familiar mountainous planet, dotted with sylvan groves, clear waters, and a shimmering skyline. Alderaan™! A young princess is seen getting dressed by attendants while Queen Breha Organa™ walks in to pick up her daughter. Except, this isn’t Princess Leia™. Staying true to her classic sense of independence, Leia has avoided her royal duties in favor of playing outside. With her droid Lola, she is scouting starships.

Though Breha bristles at Leia’s mischievous nature, she quickly forgives her daughter — even when Leia pulls another trick to retrieve her confiscated droid. As this sweet scene plays out, an ominous figure looms behind a tree, watching from afar.

New World Order

Meanwhile, back on Tatooine, Owen Lars™ confronts Ben. He disapproves of the gift Ben has left and demands that Ben stays away from Luke. Even though Ben had earlier rejected his Jedi past, he is still committed to guarding Luke and beginning his training when his Force abilities manifest.

Their argument is cut short by the barking orders of Fifth Brother™. He, along with Reva, have returned to the city to continue hunting the Jedi. Fifth Brother attempts to bribe the citizens but Reva chooses intimidation. She cuts off the hand of a woman who speaks against the Inquisitors before noticing Owen, who she perceives to know something. Owen assures Reva he has no love for the Jedi, and he isn’t lying.

Reva delivers an ultimatum: Somebody speaks up or else she kills Owen and his family. Her methods are once again interrupted, this time by Fifth Brother, while Ben looks on from the shadows doing nothing. Fifth Brother warns Reva to give up her search for Obi-Wan but Reva maintains she will find what she is owed.

Refusals of Duty

Across the galaxy, the royal family of Alderaan continues their diplomatic duties. Encouraged by her father Senator Bail Organa™, Leia tries her best — though she would rather be doing anything else. The Senator and the princess share their strong morality in the face of injustice. When Leia’s cousin provokes her, saying she’s “not even a real Organa,” Leia uses her trademark wit to put him in his place.

While it’s well-deserved, Leia’s insult lands her in trouble. Breha urges Leia to rise above and Bail talks with his daughter about leadership. Leia runs off into the woods, her safe haven, but she is abducted by Vect Nokru™ (played by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea) and his associates. Bail and Breha plead with Ben Kenobi via hologram to help rescue Leia, but Ben says no.

Our Obi Hope

The next morning, above the street, Ben sees Nari’s body hanging. The Inquisitors finally found him and killed him. Grief and guilt play across Ben’s face as he returns home, where Bail waits to convince him. At last, Ben agrees to help.

On the abductor’s ship, Leia shows her trademark ingenuity as she recruits Lola to help untie her. Vect interrupts her escape and crushes the droid. Leia threatens him, brave in the face of danger, but her chances look increasingly dire — especially after Reva calls in to reveal herself as the one behind Leia’s abduction.

We return to Ben Kenobi, now traveling across the desert. He stops and digs up a discarded lightsaber, which he brings with him to the space port, gearing up to travel off planet to Daiyu™.

What did you think of Obi-Wan Kenobi Part I? Check out our recap for Part II on our blog, then join the conversation alongside other Star Wars fans in the Let Your Spoiler Sideshow Facebook Group.