Serial Consumer celebrates and interrogates Evan’s relationship to franchised media and his addiction to purchasing its licensed products.
One constant critique of Marvel Studios’ Disney+ output is that their six-part series sag in the middle third before righting the ship with stronger penultimate and finale episodes. I agree that happens in a few of their shows, although I think the problem is somewhat overstated. It seems to be the case with Obi-Wan Kenobi, though. After Part III and Part IV were underwhelming and at times downright frustrating, Part V really cooks, progressing the central rivalry, our new antagonist and Obi-Wan’s journey from hopelessness into proactivity. Plus, flashbacks finally give Hayden Christensen something to do. I liked it a lot.
- The flashback to Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker training as a Padawan features both Jedi using lightsaber hilts from before Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. I know their costumes are the bigger indicator, but that attention to detail really got me sweaty. I own both of those hilts!
- The Order 66 content in this required a warning before the episode, with good reason. Anakin killing children has always felt like a very extra move on the part of George Lucas (who was ostensibly telling a story about Darth Vader’s ultimate redemption), but it’s used to great effect here.
- I’m glad they didn’t try to de-age Hayden Christensen. We know he’s in his 40s now. He looks great. I hope we get more with him in future seasons and maybe even Ahsoka Tano. I’d shit my pants if we saw a flashback to Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka in their Clone Wars-era costumes.
- Another wall of names written in Aurebesh for fans to decipher.
- Tala and NED-B sacrificing themselves was satisfactory.
- I feel like Obi-Wan’s arc in this show is what some audience members wanted from Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi: a few beats of hesitation before actively joining the fight. Obi-Wan here gets his “there are other ways to fight” moment before the story gives him a reason to reignite his lightsaber and do some sick moves. I don’t really have mixed feelings on this. I think Luke’s story in The Last Jedi is perfect for that trilogy, which is about Rey, and I’m glad it left this version open for Obi-Wan.
- We’re finally given Reva’s backstory, and it’s what most fans expected. She was a Youngling in the Jedi Temple who lost her family at the hands of Anakin during Order 66. The scene where she explains what happens is phenomenal and disturbing. This episode really opens her up as a character and gives Moses Ingram something to actually do, and she nails it.
- The fight between Vader and Reva is immensely satisfying, too. Where was this filmmaking during the fight with Obi-Wan in Part III? No matter. Hopefully we see Obi-Wan and Vader get a good duel in next week before concluding things on the Lars homestead.
- “We will leave you where we found you — in the gutter, where you belong. Goodbye, Grand Inquisitor.” The re-appearance of the real Grand Inquisitor with his big smile and bleak nastiness was done really well. Glad to see him back. He has two stomachs, you know.
- No idea how next week concludes, but presumably Obi-Wan uses the empathy of a Jedi to turn Reva away from attacking Luke. If she doesn’t die, maybe she’ll become a wandering warrior in need of redemption who occasionally helps Obi-Wan when he needs it. That is a decent set-up for a Season 2, should Disney+ insist on it.
I have not bought anything in the past week. It looks to be a relatively light summer on the Star Wars front, with most of the forthcoming 6” Black Series figures slated for the fall and only one Epic Collection in the forecast (Tales of the Jedi, Vol. 2). I have a few friends heading out to Galaxy’s Edge, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve released any of the newer lightsabers yet. Sometimes I consider buying a Force FX Darksaber, but the price remains a little too steep.
Nothing this week. We’re to the point in Obi-Wan Kenobi where most of the figures I wanted were written about in previous Serial Consumer entries, and not much new is appearing as the show reaches its conclusion. That’s an issue with these single-story shows. The Mandalorian introduced something neat every week, and I hope Andor will do the same.
The other problem, of course, is that I own 275 Black Series figures. We see live-action Purge Troopers in this show for the first time, but I own three of them already. I own 13 lightsabers — and don’t need another replica of Obi-Wan’s hilt from Episode II! I guess I do not own a Darth Vader hilt, but that has always been low on my list and sort of inessential to me. Someday.