Why "Obi-Wan" Is The First STAR WARS Production In 17 Years
Following Lucas' deal with Disney (happening some 10 years ago, if I remember correctly), the hype around STAR WARS and everything it stood for was at an all time high. As the new, "sequel" trilogy was announced, people actually expected to return to a galaxy far, far away, both in spirit and image. But unfortunately it didn't happen.
By a forced and uninspired remake of "A New Hope" for gen-Z (episode 7), some bad-dream fan-fiction (episode 8), and something that can hardly be described as a movie (episode 9), the so-called Sequel Trilogy (ST) not only failed to deliver, but it missed the mark completely. Disney just proved that it did not know what to do with a property worth of 4 billion dollars. Not even the two stories, "Rogue One" and "Solo", could save the franchise, the former being just some quality fan service, the latter, just an excuse for trying some recasts (and disastrously failing in the process).
Then came the live-action series (I don't mention the animations, both pre- and post- the Disney acquisitions, because I couldn't care less about them) that wanted to expand the Star Wars universe, replacing the previous… Expanded Universe (the EU — some incoherent mess of Lucas-sanctioned fan fiction containing novels, comics, video games e.a. created between 1977 and 2012). The first one, "The Mandalorian", tried to do exactly that, and it somehow succeeded, not by some great creative effort, but by exploiting the Original Trilogy (OT) nostalgia (and with serious vibes of the previous EU) and by introducing Baby Yoda, an unnecessary yet very popular plot device. Adding insult to injury, "The Mandalorian" also introduced new special effects (as Lucas would call them) in the form of a de-aged Mark Hamill playing once again a young Luke Skywalker.
The second, "The Book of Boba Fett", was assumed as the first legit direct sequel to the originals, more precisely, to episode 6; it showed us how Boba Fett survived the Sarlacc Pit (he briefly appeared in the second season of "The Mandalorian" as well). Besides this nice little piece of trivia, the new series failed to bring anything new, anything of substance, to the STAR WARS franchise; well, anything but new action figures.
Finally, after years of rumours, speculation, and fan delirium, God looked down to us and said: "let there be and 'Obi-Wan' live-action series". And there was an "Obi-Wan" live-action series, and it was good. Jokes aside, the main feeling of this series (and I'm writing this article after only seeing 3 episodes of a total of 6) is that STAR WARS is back. And it's not because we see Ewan McGregor again in the part he graciously honoured in the Prequel Trilogy (PT) or his counterpart, Hayden Christensen, under heavy make-up and the heavy suit of Darth Vader; not because, finally, we've got something directly related to the movies, connecting the PT and the OT thought the main characters; not because it's full of nods and winks to both the PT and the OT. It's a STAR WARS production because it comes organically, it fits perfectly in its place, it forces almost nothing onto the viewer; the PT-OT narratives intertwine naturally, no plot device can lead anywhere than to episode 4, it's all predictable, and the predictability feels so much better than it felt with the PT. For us older fans, it can be viewed as the prequel we always wanted, or rather everything we wanted to see happening before episode 4 (as some people used to say in 2005 about "Revenge of the Sith": this is the real episode 1!)
So "Obi-Wan" is the first STAR WARS product we have a reason to care for; something that relates to the STAR WARS we know, the STAR WARS that actually matters. Everything else is showbusiness.