After years of being a possibility, and five weeks of entertaining fans, Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi is officially in the books. The Disney + series has brought to life a previously-uncharted chapter of the live-action Star Wars galaxy, chronicling the exploits of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) between the events of the prequel and original trilogies of films. Even before the finale debuted, speculation began about whether or not more story could be in store, and if the series could get a second season. While that decision will reportedly be made if audiences want it to happen, the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s season finale proved that the show does not need a second season.
From the jump, Obi-Wan Kenobi surprised fans with its central premise – not only would the show be following its titular character on a previously-unseen adventure, but that adventure would revolve around protecting a young Princess Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) and bringing her back to Alderaan. Leia’s very kidnapping was revealed to be part of a plot from the Empire to draw Obi-Wan out of solitude and into the clasp of Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), who still wanted revenge for what he perceived to be Obi-Wan’s betrayal. That kickstarted a story from there that encompassed multiple lightsaber duels, an ever-growing roster of guest stars, and a pretty effective balance between easily-predictable fan service and genuine surprises. Given how successful Obi-Wan Kenobi was, it’s understandable that audiences might want to get to experience more of that – but there’s the question of whether or not that formula can (and should) be repeated in a hypothetical second season.
What made Obi-Wan Kenobi work was its mix of the expected and the unexpected, with the show still being able to flourish and brilliantly mirror the first six Star Wars movies while under the “plot armor” of characters like Obi-Wan, Leia, and Anakin surviving well past the events of the show. Even the very inclusion of Leia and Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) was a surprise, allowing for Obi-Wan to directly and earnestly confront his trauma about his past without counteracting the events of the original trilogy. While a hypothetical second season could easily chronicle more of Obi-Wan watching over Leia and Luke, doing so would grossly undercut his final scenes on the show with both kids, which were arguably among the highlights of the finale. The same can be said for Obi-Wan’s conflict with Anakin – something that we know comes to a head when they meet as older men in A New Hope, but that does not need countless additional rematches in the meantime. It would also cheapen the narrative simplicity of the series’ final scene, in which he decides to head out on his own alongside the Force Ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Sure, the larger canon of the Star Wars universe has indicated that in between that and A New Hope, Obi-Wan did things like fight a Krayt dragon and duel with Darth Maul – but we do not necessarily need to see those in live action for them to “matter”. And potentially filling Obi-Wan’s days with another six episodes of wholly new adventures would arguably lessen the solemn, tragic undertones of his canonical decades-long exile.
Sure, there is obviously more potential with McGregor’s take on Obi-Wan, as evident by rumors that he might return in the upcoming Star Wars: Andor series. But in terms of Obi-Wan’s individual arc, it’s tough to imagine a story that would measure up to what we’ve gotten over the past six episodes, and that would somehow tie together the prequels and the original trilogy in an even stronger way. That isn’t to say that the other elements of Obi-Wan Kenobi could not be continued elsewhere, with the show introducing side characters like Reva (Moses Ingram), Haja Estree (Kumail Nanjiani), and Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) who seem primed to pop up in other Star Wars media at some point. In particular, fans have already called for Reva to get her own spinoff series – and given her arc in the finale, if that were to come to fruition, it’s safe to say that it would take a wildly different shape than just being “Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 2. “
It’s understandable that Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s success has already launched conversations about a potential Season 2 – both because the show was such a high point for Disney’s Star Wars universe, and because television trends of the past few years have shifted wildly. The idea of what is or isn’t a miniseries has changed in the streaming age, as tons of shows have gotten unceremoniously canceled after single seasons, while others that were originally billed as miniseries (HBO’s Big Little Lies) have since gained additional seasons. Meanwhile, shows that unabashedly are presented as miniseries, either because they’ve adapted the entirety of their source material (Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit) or they’ve ended on a note that feels impossible to follow-up on (HBO’s Watchmen), have still been met with questions about a potential second season. If anything, the smash success of those self-contained and definitive miniseries should lead to more self-contained and definitive miniseries being made, instead of thrown-together second seasons of the ones that already exist. That mindset is true for any of the successful miniseries that have popped up lately, but it’s especially true for Obi-Wan Kenobi, when the series exists in one of the biggest and most ever-sprawling fictional narratives in pop culture, where there will inevitably be more stories brought to life. So, while Obi-Wan Kenobi certainly could get a second season, it’s safe to say that it definitely does not need one – especially given its special place in the Star Wars galaxy.
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