Disney’s first trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi features a narration from the Grand Inquisitor – which tacitly explains why more Jedi didn’t survive.
Only a tiny handful of Jedi are still around in Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s chosen time period – and the show’s trailer subtly explains why. In fairness to Yoda’s finest, the Empire didn’t exactly make survival easy. Palpatine’s Order 66 wiped out much of the Jedi Order and its students, and those precious few who did avoid assassination were hunted down by Darth Vader’s dreaded Inquisitors. At this point, Kenobi is among a tiny fulcrum of surviving Jedi that includes Yoda, Ahsoka Tano and Grogu. Despite the Empire putting maximum effort toward extinguishing all Jedi, however, it’s still surprising how completely – and how quickly – the Order fell. How didn’t more Jedi – these fabled, formidable warriors who can literally sense danger with their minds – slip between the Empire’s fingers?
Although the era has been explored plenty in animation and comic book mediums, Obi-Wan Kenobi marks Star Wars‘ first live-action foray into that weird little gap between Order 66 and A New Hope. Disney+’s next Star Wars TV show also affords live-action debuts to the Inquisitors, with Obi-Wan Kenobi featuring the Grand Inquisitor, the Fifth Brother, and Reva the Third Sister. The Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer centers around these futuristic witchfynders, and narration honors go to their very own Matthew Hopkins – the Grand Inquisitor.
The Grand Inquisitor offers a stirringly spine-chilling speech in the Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer. Rupert Friend’s peeved Pau’an claims the trick to effective Jedi-hunting is patience, adding, “Jedi cannot help what they are. Their compassion leaves a trail. The Jedi code is like an itch.” Essentially, the Grand Inquisitor is accusing Jedi of being terrible hiders because they’re ideologically compelled to do good deeds. Say, for instance, you’re a Jedi Knight who somehow managed to escape Coruscant’s Jedi Temple during Order 66. You’ve slipped away to an Outer Rim planet, evading the Empire successfully, and plan to lie low, but the people of your new hometown are being bullied into subservience by local criminals. Using your awesome Jedi powers, you send these local criminals running, tails firmly between legs. Rumors of this bravery begin to spread and, before long, there’s an Inquisitor knocking on your door.
The Grand Inquisitor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi narration actually forms a convincing, logical explanation as to why more Jedi didn’t survive post-Order 66. Had runaway Jedi kept quiet and ignored any wrongdoing witnessed, they might’ve actually evaded the Empire long enough to see Return of the Jedi. Alas, most Jedi apparently couldn’t resist popping their heads above the parapet to help folk weaker than themselves. It’s often said the Jedi were killed by hubris, and that’s certainly true. A great deal, however, were killed by their own kindness too. Perhaps this weakness explains why Yoda chose Dagobah as his hiding place – a planet completely devoid of civilization and society, where he wouldn’t face temptation to play the hero.
Jedi compassion is probably why Reva finds herself on Tatooine in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Although he’s supposed to be staying anonymous and protecting Luke Skywalker from afar, Ewan McGregor’s older-Wan may encounter a situation that compels him to act, accidentally sparking rumors of Jedi activity that reach Inquisitor ears. Indeed, this has already been teased by Marvel’s canon Star Wars comic books. In 2015’s Star Wars #7, Luke Skywalker discovers how “Ben” Kenobi once fought on behalf of local townspeople when Jabba the Hutt started collecting “water tax” during the Great Drought. Although Obi-Wan tried remaining inconspicuous, his use of the Force could’ve easily betrayed him. Maybe a similar scenario plays out in Obi-Wan Kenobi, proving that Jedi, no matter the risk, just can’t help being the good guys.
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