Episode 3 was f*cking glorious. I know there's people who are going to take issue with some of the stuff that's happening here, saying it's retconning the canon or changing things that have long been established (there's certainly a debate to be had). But if you can put that stuff aside, this is likely the best pure Star Wars content we've gotten in a long time. If they can maintain this level of storytelling for the rest of the season it will be thoroughly satisfying.
So after a few days to digest all this, a couple of thoughts:
First, Ewan McGregor is killing it. I've never been the biggest fan of his or of his version of Obi Wan, for a multitude of reasons, mostly on George Lucas' poor writing and attention to detail when it comes to story telling. But, so far in this series, based on what we know to have happened, he's knocking it out of the park. He should probably be 10-20 years older than he is based on what he's supposed to look like 9 years later (have a feeling they'll address this) but other than that he's nailing the part.
Second, I'll be the first to admit that when I heard the rumors of the supposed plot (which ended up being true) I thought it was a terrible idea. Didn't really make sense to me and continued the blunder (IMO) of shrinking the galaxy. But, now 3 episodes in, I can say that it's working for me. And I also don't feel like they've done anything yet to betray or retcon previously established canon. They're walking a thin line to be sure, but so far they're within the boundaries of plausibility based on the things we know for sure.
I have a few theories, probably mostly wrong as usual, about what's going to happen, but I do expect some sort of big twist. Maybe a villain redemption, probably the return of a previously thought dead character, Inquisitors turning on each other (not a stretch, obviously), that sort of thing. We'll see. I kind of wonder if they're holding out on announcing a 2nd season until after some major event happens.
Anyway, outside the production quality being a bit hit or miss here and there, I'm enjoying it. It's good Star Wars content. Reva and Tala are both intriguing new characters. It was fun to hear Zach Braff's voice pop up in Star Wars (Scrubs multiverse?). Looking forward to seeing O'shea Jackson and what his character is like (Quinlan Vos?). Cool to see more of Vader's castle on Mustafar as well as Fortress Inquisitorius on Nur in live action (check out the Jedi Fallen Order game if you haven't yet, it's badass). Props to Deborah Chow and everybody else involved, looking forward to the 2nd half of the season.
I think it's awesome. IMO this is peak Star Wars content. I think Ewan is killing it and I think the way they've handled Vader has been super satisfying. I wasn't super stoked initially about the plot they decided to go with but I feel like it's worked our really well and gotten progressively more interesting and engaging. I was skeptical about Reva after the first 2 episodes but she's ended up being a great character and an interesting villain.
There are some small quality control issues, little things that feel kinda lazy or hokey that I can understand people not liking. I also understand that people think it challenges some of the already established canon, and I admit they're walking a fine line, but I think it all works. But you have to kind of let go of all the stuff you assumed over the years, which I get can be difficult for some people.
I thought for a second Vader was going to cut Reva's head off in a call back to what happen with Count Dooku in RoTS and I got really excited for a second. Missed opportunity IMO, but I guess they had to leave it open for Reva's redemption, which is a little obvious but I'm ok with it. If that's what they're working towards. Was the Grand Inquisitor being alive the big twist? What's Reva going to do with the new information she got?
I can't say she's bad. Unappealing to many adults, including myself, though. If she was more like the kids from Stranger Things, it would be better. Instead, she gives off vibes that make me feel like I'm watching one of those crappy Olsen twin movies from the 1990s.
She kind of drives me nuts as well but its no different than most child actor roles in this era. Anyone know if Liam Neeson will make an appearance. Wasnt Yoda's instruction to Ben at the end of episode 3 was to make contact with Qui Gon?
My relationship with the current Star Wars properties is really unhealthy.
I admit I enjoyed The Mandalorian, and I've watched all of that. However, despite having thought Boba Fett was cool in the '80s (I was really happy having the action figure), I somehow knew to stay away from The Book of Boba Fett. My best friend from the '80s told me to check out the penultimate episode, though, to see more of Luke Skywalker as a post-RotJ (and so post-Empire) Jedi. And my S.O. and I ended up watching the final episode of The Book of Boba Fett too, because my S.O. liked Baby Yoda. Other than that, the best thing we got out of the episodes of The Book of Boba Fett that we watched is that we both enjoyed referring to the black-furred Wookiee character as "Chewblacka."
We've watched all five episodes of Obi-wan Kenobi so far, and we'll watch the sixth. And despite the interesting points that kept us watching, I still feel the same way I did before this series started: the world would be a better place if the Star Wars franchise ended with Return of the Jedi in 1983. I don't think any of the Star Wars properties that came after RotJ really added anything good.
So it's been kinda cool to see a younger Darth Vader kicking ass, and that was the main thing we wanted to see.
But in the end, all the Star Wars properties at this point feel like for-kids cartoons or Lucasfilm-sanctioned fanfic written by and for pre-adolescents.
And the fifth episode was just plain stupid.
I kept saying "gee, it's a good thing a Star Destroyer can't carry more than two landing craft," so the Empire couldn't, say, send a bunch of fighters and other ships to sit and wait for the hangar to open and attack from above. Also, it makes total sense that even decades before the Death Star, a galaxy-spanning empire wouldn't have any kind of weapon as powerful as, say, a c.1965 hydrogen bomb, so there was no way they could use the strategy Ripley suggested for dealing with the threat in Aliens ("nuke the entire site from orbit - it's the only way to be sure").
I once saw the $#!+ty Star Wars prequel trilogy described as "the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker." It might actually have been George Lucas himself who said that. In literature classes in the 1980s, I learned that a tragic hero usually has a "tragic flaw," like Macbeth's ambition, Othello's jealousy, Oedipus's hubris, Frankenstein's failure to take responsibility, or Hamlet's indecisiveness. So I joked to a friend once that Anakin's tragic flaw is that he's a dumbass. The fifth episode of Obi-wan Kenobi actually made that joke look more like good analysis, because Darth Vader exhibits surprising-even-to-me amounts of dumbassery in how he deals with the situation in that episode.