Obi-Wan Kenobi reminds us of a new hope
A lot has been written about Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi rewriting Episode IV: A New Hope. Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) sends an urgent request for help to Ben Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness) through her R2-D2 droid. Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Disney+ exclusive, reveals that their relationship was deeper than we thought.
They are more than just a daughter of an old friend or someone who fought in The Clone Wars with her father. Their relationship is one of their own. The show’s new episodes are about Obi-Wan (now Ewan MacGregor), who has to rescue Leia Blair (Viven Lyra Blair) from being used by the Inquisitors as bait.
The new Star Wars series follows Obi-Wan Kenobi’s adventures from Episode III: Revenge Of the Sith to Episode IV: A New Hope. This show will fill in the details about his life during those years and any adventures he may have had. Viewers were surprised when episode one featured a 10-year-old Leia Organa as the lead. She became the show’s second lead in many ways (at the least in the four episodes that we have seen). The story is about Obi-Wan trying to save Leia while being pursued by Darth Vader’s Inquisitors.
Many fans felt this was an issue and that the show was rewriting A New Hope’s events. Leia’s request for assistance from Obi-Wan in the original movie implied that they had never met or didn’t know one another personally. Fans of Obi-Wan Kenobi seem to believe that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series is ‘ruining or retconning the events of the original story to fit the new story.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4 has been released. This episode seems to have even more connections to A New Hope. Episode four of the new series sees Obi-Wan attempting to enter the Fortress Inquisitorius to rescue Leia, who was captured by Reva (Moses Ingram), the Third Sister.
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s episode four plot beats are similar to A New Hope. Obi-Wan must rescue Tala (Indira Varma) and Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.). They are reluctant to start but eventually agree to help. This is similar to how Obi-Wan (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) had to hire Han Solo to assist them in the rescue of Leia (A New Hope), an older, less diplomatic Leia. In both the movie and the episode, Darth Vader alerts Obi-Wan to his presence and acts like a force of reckoning that bears down on him. However, the result is very different from A New Hope.
Obi-Wan used the Force to create a noise elsewhere to escape from Stormtroopers. Obi-Wan uses Force to make a loud noise and get away from Stormtroopers. Obi-Wan, an older Obi in A New Hope, uses the Force to create a noise elsewhere to escape Stormtroopers. You can’t teach an older Jedi new tricks.
Despite the similarities between Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 4 and A New Hope, it is still not retconning Star Wars events. The adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Leia, as well as the touching moment they share on board the ship after they escape from the prison, only add depth to the relationship that we (briefly!) see in A New Hope.
Leia would naturally reach out to Obi-Wan, the man who saved her from death when she was younger, to protect her from the Empire’s overreach. We see her in Episode IV. Naturally, she would not mention details of the adventures but only refer to their official relationship, which was through Obi-Wan and her father’s relationship during The Clone Wars. These adventures provide insight into why Leia Organa Solo was named Ben Solo (Adam Driver) after Obi-Wan from the sequel trilogy. It feels hollow to think she named her son after Luke’s Jedi mentor, whom she never met, without the Obi-Wan Kenobi events. Leia’s close relationship with Obi-Wan before these events makes this even more meaningful and heartwarming.
Obi-Wan Kenobi walks a fine line, adding layers to stories and characters we already know about while also introducing new events. The remaining episodes of Season 2 won’t take too many liberties and end up changing or destroying something that has been established.
In two weeks, we will know Obi-Wan Kenobi has only two episodes left in its first season. They’ll have to wrap up these plot threads before Ben Kenobi can return to Tatooine and the events of A New Hope unfold as they are. Let’s pray that director Deborah Chow can and will stick to the landing…