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'Obi-Wan Kenobi' Is The Last Hope For Star Wars Under Disney

'Obi-Wan Kenobi' Is The Last Hope For Star Wars Under Disney

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All the way back, in the first movie, Luke Skywalker is cleaning his newly acquired droid R2-D2. In the process, he accidentally triggers a secret message sent from Princess Leia aboard the ship Tantive IV. A message that kickstarts the movie's second act and -- in many ways -- the Star Wars franchise as an enterprise:

"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."

It's a classic line. Maybe the defining line in a series packed with them. But in 2022, on May the Fourth of all days, it's a line that hits differently. 

In May 2022, weeks ahead of Obi-Wan Kenobi's premiere on Disney Plus, it could be me delivering that line. Me: A bruised and battered Star Wars fan, watching aghast as Disney released clunker after clunker into the canon.

As I press play on the new trailer for the series, it could be me in hologram form: "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." 

And from a weird, meta perspective it could be Disney itself. Following a mixed big-budget trilogy and largely unsuccessful spinoff movies, chased by mediocre shows like The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi feels like a huge gamble for Disney. A do-or-die moment for a series languishing in the doldrums. A last hope.

This was a movie that told us to "let the past die, kill it if you have to." It was everything the Star Wars series needed, and it was amazing.

Of course everyone got mad. Disney panicked. Rise of Skywalker, a cobbled-together spreadsheet of a movie, was the result. It looked, felt and played like a movie written by a toxic Reddit thread gone sentient, and it undid every bold decision made in The Last Jedi. It was the first nail in the coffin of my own Star Wars fandom, but it wouldn't be the last.

In the wake of Rise of Skywalker we've seen Star Wars do little but pander to an audience desperate to bask in nostalgia. To be clear: We all need to take our share of the blame for this. We've devolved into a cursed collective that judges the quality of shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett based on the quality of its cameos. Did a grotesquely CGI'd Luke Skywalker turn up? Good. No Ahsoka Tano or Baby Yoda in this episode? Bad.

It's utterly warped.

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