In case you were wondering, here’s what’s going to happen to the main characters on the new Disney+ series, “Obi-wan Kenobi”:
• Obi-wan (Ewan McGregor) is going to be struck down by Darth Vader. But he’ll return as sort of a ghost to help guide Luke Skywalker.
• Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) is going to be super evil and murder a whole lot of people. Minutes before his death, he’ll save his son and kill the evil Emperor Palpatine (the first time). After his deathbed repentance, he will, apparently, be absolved of all his sins and return as sort of a benevolent angel.
• Owen (Joel Edgerton) and Beru Lars (Bonnie Piesse) are going to be murdered and their bodies gruesomely burned.
• Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) is going to grow up and help defeat the Empire. He’ll save his father. He’ll be betrayed by his nephew. He’ll become sort of a ghost himself, and help defeat the First Order.
These aren’t spoilers because WE ALREADY KNOW ALL THIS. We’ve known some of these things for 45 years. Which is why — despite the fact that I’ve loved “Star Wars” for 45 years — I have little interest in the new “Obi-wan Kenobi” series.
We’ve been down this path before. The three “Star Wars” prequel movies — “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” — took six years to tell us what we already knew. What? Luke’s father is Darth Vader? We learned that in “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980, so trying to make it seem shocking 28 years later in “Revenge of the Sith” was kind of stupid.
“Obi-wan Kenobi,” which starts streaming Friday, takes place 10 years after the events in “Revenge of the Sith” and about nine years before the events in the original “Star Wars” movie, later subtitled “A New Hope.” And, yes, we see things play out that we never knew about before.
But it’s still headed in the same direction. There’s still no suspense. Any time Obi-wan is in danger, we know he’ll get out of it.
At the risk of being super-negative, the more “Star Wars” TV series I see, the less interested I am in “Star Wars.”
Prequels can work. “Rogue One” is a great “Star Wars” movie — arguably, one of the best “Star Wars” movies, period. But we didn’t know what was going to happen to the characters, who were unfamiliar to us. Pretty much the same could be said for “The Mandalorian.”
But the 2018 film “Solo” was less successful because, again, no suspense.
I’ve been a “Star Wars” fan since I went to see the original movie the day it opened. But I’ll never understand the obsession, in some quarters, with Boba Fett.
And, no, I’m not against more “Star Wars” TV series. But I’m not interested in “Star Wars” shows that do little more than fill in gaps in a story we already know extremely well.
Dark thoughts about ‘Stranger Things’
Almost three years after season three, we’re about to get season four of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Well, the first half of season four — seven episodes will start streaming on Friday, and the final two will debut on July 1. And episodes will be long. Overall, Season Four will be five hours longer than any of the three previous seasons.
The narrative resumes six months after events at the end of season three. And things have taken a very dark turn. Dark even for “Stranger Things.”
The first three seasons were consistently good, and sometimes great. Expectations have risen for season four. But if ever there was a show that might jump the shark, this is it. The longer this goes on, the more worried I am. The hardest thing to do is to carry a narrative like this through multiple seasons and then wrap it up in a way that makes all — OK, most — fans happy.
I’m encouraged by the fact that creators/producers/brothers Matt and Ross Duffer told us years ago that they had a multi-season plan before they started, and they knew how it would end. At least this isn’t “Lost,” where they were making stuff up as they went along and the end was a misbegotten mess.
The build-up for the “Stranger Things” finale is going to be huge, and there’s no way to please everybody. Think “Game of Thrones.”
But for now … enjoy season four. Just don’t watch it alone in the dark.
In the Age of the Internet, fans come out online to support seemingly every show that’s ever canceled. Some of the protests have merit, but the vast majority do not.
Before social media, the 11 people upset that some lame show was canceled had no way of knowing there were 10 others who agreed with them. Now, they get together online and think they represent viewers everywhere.
I don’t generally celebrate when a show gets the ax, because I know that means a lot of people are out of a job — writers, producers and crew members, not just actors. But there’s no need to mourn when shows like these get the ax:
“American Rust,” “A.P. Bio,” “The Baby-Sitters Club,” “Batwoman,” “Bull,” “The Celebrity Dating Game,” “Charmed,” “The Courtship,” “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Dollface,” “Dynasty,” “The Endgame,” “Good Sam,” “How We Roll,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “In the Dark,” “Kenan,” “The Last O.G.,” “Legacies,” “Mr. Mayor,” “Naomi,” “Ordinary Joe,” “Our Kind of People,” “The Outpost,” “Pivoting,” “Promised Land,” “Queens,” “The Republic of Sarah,” “Roswell, New Mexico,” “Saved by the Bell” reboot, “Shahs of Sunset” and “Space Force” … just to name a few.
I’m not saying they were all always bad shows, but they all outlived their usefulness.
While I’m not suggesting a campaign to save any shows — I know that’s almost always a waste of time — I will admit that I’m saddened by a few cancellations.
“B Positive” and “United States of Al” both showed considerable improvement in their second seasons, and seemed on the road to becoming above-average sitcoms. I kind of liked “The Hustler,” although that was mostly because of host Craig Ferguson. I would’ve liked to have seen another season of “Julie and the Phantoms.”
And I absolutely loved “The Big Leap” … although, deep down inside, I’m not sure that a second season could’ve lived up to the first.
Editor’s note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.