‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ accused of failing to understand its audience

obi-wan kenobi
via Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wraps up tomorrow on Disney Plus. Hopes are high for the big finale, though it’s safe to say that the show itself has received a mixed reception. While fans have universally praised Ewan McGregor’s return to his prequel trilogy role, questions have been raised about the quality of the effects, the short length of the episodes, the repetitive story structure, and whether it really fits with the story established in A New Hope.

Now a fan on r/StarWars thinks he’s identified why Obi-Wan Kenobi hasn’t landed as it should: it was targeted at the wrong people. They see the story as catering to casual viewers whereas it should be aimed directly at hardcore fans. Or, as they put it:

“Why would people who know nothing about Star Wars suddenly watch a show about a pre-established character they know nothing about? I doubt Kenobi is a big draw for those people.”

First up, Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi was at the center of three of the highest-grossing movies of the 2000s, the character is one of the most iconic in the original trilogy, and is heavily featured in other Star Wars media. All of which means I doubt there are many Disney Plus subscribers who outright didn’t know who Obi-Wan was until this show.

The poster also claims that these casual viewers may be nervous that Reva could kill Luke, Obi-Wan, or Vader, but there’s no tension for actual Star Wars fans as we know they have plot armor. The simple counterpoint to that, made in the replies, was that the entire prequel trilogy was full of plot-armored characters and for all those movies’ well-documented faults that aspect wasn’t criticized.

But even if that wasn’t true there’s a very good reason why Lucasfilm will probably never make a Star Wars show that explicitly targets the hardcore fans. That’s because they know that – despite their protestations – the most committed fans will dutifully watch anything with Star Wars in the title. So, they may as well aim for a wide audience as those fans are already locked in.

Even so, grumbling about Obi-Wan Kenobi has intensified over the last few weeks, so if it doesn’t stick the landing in the finale tomorrow expect fireworks across the Star Wars fandom. Let’s just hope that the expected second confrontation between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader doesn’t completely undercut their reunion in A New Hope, that we finally get a better look at the young Luke Skywalker, and that Reva’s story gets a conclusive ending.

Obi-Wan Kenobi concludes tomorrow on Disney Plus.