Rupert Friend, as the Grand Inquisitor in an image from 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'.

Even more than “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”, the most important phrase in the Star Wars saga is: “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope”. It is the message that Princess Leia, captured by Darth Vader, sends to the old Jedi, turned into an anchorite on a desert planet called Tatooine. Luke Skywalker, a young farmer with space dreams, manages to get this hologram to him thanks to the stubbornness of a robot, R2D2, who communicates by beeping, although he always understands perfectly what he means. That meeting will change the history of the galaxy.

If someone deserved a series at the height of his legend, this was the character that Alec Guinness played first and then Ewan McGregor and, fortunately for fans of the saga, he just got it. The first chapter of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series taken from the Star Wars universe that Disney + has just released, is simply dazzling. The second episode lowers expectations a bit —two were released last Friday—, although it is still a good adventure story on a planet full of echoes of bladerunner.

For those who followed the galactic saga in order of theatrical release, and not in chronological order, and, above all, for those who believe —like the author of these lines— that the strength lies fundamentally in the first three episodes, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back Y return of the jedi —which are actually in the middle of the narrative—, Obi-Wan Kenobi was a fascinating character. During filming in Tunis, Alec Guinness, one of the greatest actors of all time, kept complaining to George Lucas about what he considered ridiculous “may the force be with you” phrases. None was aware of what that movie or that saga was going to mean, nor that that sentence was going to become the epicenter of a cultural and economic empire.

Rupert Friend, as the Grand Inquisitor in an image from 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'.
Rupert Friend, as the Grand Inquisitor in an image from ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’.Matt Kennedy (Matt Kennedy / Lucasfilm Ltd.)

The Serie Obi-Wan Kenobi confronts the mysteries with which it began Star Wars: What was that wise old man doing on a lost planet? Who is Lea? Why does the force reside in Skywalker? How were the Jedi exterminated? How did the Empire implement its reign of terror? The films and series of the Star Wars universe, which multiply with greater or lesser fortune, depend not so much on the appeal of the good guys —although Ewan McGregor is a great Obi-Wan—, but on the bad guys. And here they are hard to beat: some sinister inquisitors who travel the universe to exterminate the members of that order of warrior monks, capable of controlling the force.

With an intense visual display full of surprises, Obi-Wan Kenobi is loaded with nods to those who have been trapped for decades by the saga created by George Lucas, inspired by an impossible cocktail —from Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table to the westerns of John Ford or the books of the anthropologist Joseph Campbell—; but it also offers characters that can serve as a hook for those who are new to the galaxy. There is something new and, at the same time, strangely familiar in this series, perhaps because it is able to answer questions that some of us asked ourselves when we were children and raise questions that will accompany those who now join the saga for a lifetime.

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