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Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 Review: Fearless and Stubborn

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 Spoilers Ahead

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+.
© 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 wastes no time jumping into action-packed adventure while understanding after the events of The Mandalorian that viewers will go absolutely wild to see men begrudgingly taking care of a child. Bonus points if the child is fearless and stubborn Leia Organa, who’s going to be difficult, and well, rightfully so. But beyond this notion, two episodes in, the show already possesses so much heart that every frame is a work of art.

Where the first episode gives us a closer look into where the characters are when they are on separate paths, the second fortifies Ben Kenobi’s importance in Leia Organa’s life by showing us a burgeoning understanding that’ll lead to the necessary growth for both characters. Simultaneously, the deliberate choice to end the episode with the reveal that Anakin Skywalker as Darth Vader is alive allows the series to move with stellar pacing. If the entirety of the premiere episodes weren’t enough, a single expression from Ewan McGregor in that final moment is a strong awards contender.

Still Got It

Ewan McGregor in Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2
©Disney | LucasFilm

Ten years is a long time to disconnect yourself from years of training in isolation. No matter force sensitivities, the human psyche alone can be detrimental at times with its ability to weaken even those who are supposed to be strong. But despite how long it’s been and how rusty he might be, he’s still got it.

Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t the man to mess with; resourceful and completely snarky when need be, he might be the Jedi they’re looking for, but he’s not going to be the one they find. Enter, Kumail Nanjiani as Haja Estree—the Jedi (?!). In an unsurprising turn of events, the banter between Haja and Ben was a delight, no less. As was, more than anything, Leia’s instance to accept whatever help was necessary because sometimes, the kid is smarter than the adult.

But nothing is more evident in Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 than how the shocking news will affect him or what kind of a path it’ll lead him towards. The high ground was never a place Ben wanted to stand on; he didn’t bury both Anakin’s and his lightsabers in the same place because he ever thought himself better, stronger, or even nobler. Anakin’s descent towards the Dark Side might have been his choice, but Kenobi feels like it was equally his fault with everything in him.

He’s wise enough to know how powerful a person’s choice is and where temptations could lead, but he’s too broken by the loss to move forward when it’s such a colossal part of his being. As Bail Organa tells him in the first episode, you can save her, but despite knowing better, this isn’t a man who’ll be able to bury his past. It’s not in the cards for him. It’s a part of him not because he refuses to let go but because he does not want to—he loved Anakin and Padme too much to ever do so, and today, he sees much of the very goodness she last spoke of in Leia.

Fearless and Stubborn

Ben and Leia Organa in Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2
©Disney | LucasFilm

In his nightmares, Padme’s final words about their being good in Anakin never leave him. But right alongside that goodness is a stubborn and fearless spirit that etches itself onto their kids. Vivien Lyra Blair deserves immense praise for her portrayal of Leia Organa, matching mannerisms with Carrie Fisher in an utterly stunning way. In short, there are no words for it. Blair is an equal player alongside McGregor, holding her own in a way I’ve never seen another young actress do as brilliantly when walking into an already established iconic role.

And what this episode does is it reminds us of who Leia Organa grows up to be—not the princess, not even the general, but a leader, just like her mother. This friend of Obi-Wan’s she doesn’t know much about but will grow to learn more about in time. She becomes the kind of leader people would go to the ends of the galaxy for.

It’s in the quiet moments where this show does the most digging, probing into the parts of both characters and the pieces of them that are missing. Leia is an Organa; that much is established in Episode 1, but she’s also a Skywalker, and it bears repeating as much as necessary that she’s a critical part of the empire’s downfall right alongside her brother. There’s much that can be said about the influence she has on her own son later. Her story is just beginning, and it’s already on the right path towards inspiring yet another person, which I presume we’ll see more of in later episodes when more of Ben Kenobi is unveiled.

Further Thoughts

  • I could write a novel on Ewan McGregor’s expression the moment it dawns on him how alike Leia and Padme are.
  • I could also write a novel on his expression when he learns that Anakin is alive.
  • I just think it’s brilliant that Skywalkers keep torturing Obi-Wan and leading him towards havoc.
  • I really hope we see more of Kumail Nanjiani as Haja.
  • “You’re my daughter” / “Granddaughter, maybe” I’m still yelling about this.
  • This episode feels like a love letter to all of us who hoped Rey would be a Kenobi.
  • Leia in green like in Return of the Jedi??? Yes, I cried. Leave me alone.

Now streaming on Disney Plus: What are your thoughts on Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2? Let us know in the comments below.

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