Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, the new animated series on Disney + this fall

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, the new animated series on Disney + this fall

Star Wars

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is the new animated series announced by Disney as part of the Star Wars Celebration 2022, arriving on the Disney + streaming platform this fall.

Focused on a series of stories related to the Order Jedi, the show will see not only the presence of Ahsoka and Count Dooku during different periods of their lives, but also Qui-Gon Jinn, the Jedi who will again be played by Liam Neeson.

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi will consist of a total of six episodes, three dedicated mainly to Ahsoka and three to Count Dooku, and some details about the plot of the series are already known.

Ahsoka The episodes dedicated to Ahsoka will revolve around to her youth, to the period she spent with Anakin Skywalker during the Clone War and to the moments after Order 66, when the fighter had to face an Inquisitor.

As for Count Dooku, we will see him when still she was a Jedi, before moving on to the dark side, and struggling with the aforementioned Qui-Gon Jinn. A curiosity: the character of Liam Neeson will also appear in a young version and will be voiced by his son, Michael.

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Review: Ewan McGregor returns with dignity to 'Star Wars; universe in 'Obi-wan Kenobi'

Those “Star Wars” fans who began crowding movie theaters on May 25, 1977, and ultimately spread the word about George Lucas’ instant classic received a belated 45th anniversary present at midnight Friday morning when the first two episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” dropped on the Disney+ streaming service.

For those of us who remember the cinematic magic of watching “Star Wars” that first time, “Obi-wan” is a reward for putting up with some mediocre prequels and the unevenness of the final three films. The irony: Without those prequels, there is no “Obi-wan Kenobi.”

There probably could have been, but in that first prequel trilogy filmmakers found the perfect actor in Ewan McGregor to take up the mantel created by Sir Alec Guinness in the original film. He embodied Obi-wan while channeling Guinness and putting his own spin on the character.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's 'Obi-wan Kenobi.'

In those films, he and Liam Neeson, who appeared in the first, provided some of the best moments. At the end of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” when he agreed to settle in on the desert planet of Tatooine to keep watch over a young Luke Skywalker, fans knew there was a story to be told there.

Sometimes fans are right; more often than not they’re wrong.

However, “Obi-wan Kenobi” validates their opinion in that the audience is treated to the most cinematic Disney+ “Star Wars” series yet.

'Obi-wan Kenobi' hits a sweet spot

Yes, “The Mandalorian” with “Baby Yoda” possesses its charms, most notably a cute and cuddly alien. As for “The Book of Boba Fett”? Enjoyable, but I viewed it from the perspective that a series based on a minor character that fans latched on to didn’t scratch my particular itch for a compelling story in George Lucas’ universe.

Reva (Moses Ingram) in Lucasfilm's 'Obi-wan Kenobi.'

Based on its first two episodes, “Obi-wan Kenobi” holds that possibility. Yes, it’s fan service, but it also delves into the psyche of a character that deserved further exploration.

Kenobi lives a rote life on Tatooine, keeping his head low, working to harvest the flesh from some slain desert beast as part of food production and keeping a distant eye on Luke. What fun. But Jedi Knights are bound by duty, honor and compassion, so serve as a babysitter he will, biding his time, all while being a hunted man.

Story continues

Kenobi is still wanted for his deeds against the Empire and the Inquisitors, former Jedi who’ve turned on their brethren, value him as a prize for leader Darth Vader, who exists in his infamous plastic-encased state because of Kenobi. Yes, that sets up all sorts of dramatic possibilities, no? Add to the mix that an old friend has called Kenobi back into service for personal reasons, and yes, the paths to take are compelling.

Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and a Stormtrooper in a scene from Lucasfilm's 'Obi-wan Kenobi.'

Deeper dive into Obi-wan Kenobi's character

The creators behind this series, which include director Deborah Chow who helmed two episodes of “The Mandalorian,” look first to Kenobi’s state of mind given his current plight. He’s no longer the confident, borderline cocky Jedi he once was. He’s just a guy and based on the episodes provided, this will likely be as much a story of redemption as it is that of a man doing a significant favor for an old friend.

And McGregor brings all of his skills to the part. It says a lot about his reverence for the franchise and the material here that he returns. The self-doubt in him is stronger than the Force, and watching to see his journey back will hopefully prove compelling.

The reality for “Obi-wan Kenobi” is that the filmmakers needed to get this one right and borderline perfect. Based on what’s presented thus far — with the exception of some over-the-top acting from one character — they’ve done so. This limited series (six episodes) possesses the potential to do something that’s escaped almost every film and series after the conclusion of “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi” — generate universal praise and audience enjoyment.

George M. Thomas dabbles in movies and television for the Beacon Journal. Reach him at Follow him on Twitter @ByGeorgeThomas

Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton), left, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Lucasfilm's 'Obi-wan Kenobi.'


Show: “Obi-wan Kenobi”

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christiansen Jimmy Smits, Joel Edgerton,

Streaming: Disney+

Grade: B+

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Review: 'Obi-wan Kenobi' takes 'Star Wars' character to another place