May 27 is a big day in the world of streaming, with the arrival of two highly anticipated shows. Obi Wan Kenobi will take on the Hawkins Kids, landing on Disney Plus the same day as the first part of stranger things season 4.
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Both shows have been eagerly awaited for quite some time. It’s been three years since the third season of Stranger Things ended, leaving us with a pseudo-cliffhanger to deal with. Meanwhile, it looks like a standalone Obi Wan project has been rumored ever since Disney announced the development of the first Star Wars spinoff movies. back in 2013.
The closer we get to the first of the two shows, the clearer it becomes that my feelings are very one-sided. Specifically, I’m pretty excited for Obi Wan Kenobi to appear on my TV screen, as I couldn’t care less about the return of Stranger Things.
Obi Wan Kenobi brings back the best character from the Star Wars prequels
Star Wars: Obi Wan Kenobi isn’t just my most anticipated TV show of the month, it’s also the Star Wars spin-off I’ve wanted to see for the better part of a decade. And it all comes down to the fact that Ewan McGregor is back in one of his most famous roles.
There may be a growing number of prequel apologists who really like Episodes 1-3; I am not one of them. The prequels aren’t great movies, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have nice things to say about them. Ewan McGregor’s performance as Obi Wan stands out among all of this. He’s the only real redeeming part of the trilogy, and I’ve yet to meet a single person who doesn’t like McGregor in the role. It’s one of the few things all Star Wars fans can agree on.
It’s no surprise fans have been asking for an Obi Wan spin-off for so long that McGregor finally has became very lively with all the people who ask him about it. Partly because he had to lie to them all, but also because it sounds super frustrating.
To top it off, Obi Wan Kenobi won’t just be lounging on the sands of Tatooine waiting for something to do. It is not the Boba Fett book. Disney marketing hasn’t revealed much, but one thing we do know for sure is that Obi Wan is going to be a man on the run.
There’s no time to wistfully watch over baby Luke Skywalker when there are inquisitors to flee from and asthmatic killer cyborgs lurking in the shadows. And in a galaxy where Jedi are hunted with extreme prejudice, his lightsaber and Force abilities are only so useful.
While the Disney-era Star Wars movies have been controversial, the TV wing has always been great — even The Boba Fett Book, which I enjoyed watching regardless of what people on the internet might say. I have no doubt that Obi Wan Kenobi can knock it out of the park again, especially since it won’t be another show that limits his activities to Tatooine.
Of course, we know that Obi Wan survives at least another decade after the events of A New Hope, while Vader kicks the bucket a bit later at the end of Return of the Jedi. But as is the case with any sort of prequel, it’s not about where the story ends – it’s how it gets there.
And from what we’ve seen so far, Obi Wan Kenobi’s six-episode series is going to be one hell of a ride.
I have very lukewarm feelings towards Season 4 of Stranger Things
When I saw the very first Stranger Things trailer, I was excited. It was 2016, which seems like an eternity, and the world was a very different place. Obama was still president, the word COVID didn’t exist, and people still loved Game of Thrones.
The Netflix Originals were also, overall, pretty good. So when I saw this trailer for a new show, which appeared as ET meets Stephen King, I was pretty excited. The first season of Stranger Things did not disappoint, and the following two seasons kept me captivated.
There was a bit of a wait to endure between each new batch, but Stranger Things managed to deliver. They weren’t perfect by any means, but Stranger Things seasons 2 and 3 were among the best Netflix shows when they debuted.
Unfortunately, my feelings for the show have followed the same path as my feelings for Rick and Morty. It’s not that I gave up on the show, it’s just that the long gap between seasons got so bad that whatever embers of hype I had left were completely extinguished.
It certainly didn’t help that my opinion of Netflix has deteriorated over the past three years. It all went downhill since Netflix canceled the Santa Clarita diet in April 2019, which was one of the driving forces behind my decision to cancel my subscription later that year.
Since then, just about every Netflix show everyone seems to care about has been axed early, including The OA, Glow, Travelers, Baby-Sitters Club, and The Society. Moreover, all Live-action Marvel shows have migrated to Disney Pluslike Daredevil.
No matter how many trailers I watch or how much my co-workers talk about Stranger Things, I just can’t get excited about it. It doesn’t matter if Hopper is in a Russian gulag, or Eleven’s powers are down. I do not care.
Some new TV shows will have me waking up before work ready to watch an episode and see what happens. Wanda Vision was a great example, because this show was so gripping and mysterious that I had to know what was going on. I have a feeling Obi Wan Kenobi will end up the same way.
I don’t know exactly if and when I will watch season 4 of Stranger Things. I have access to Netflix, since I’m one of the password-sharers the streamer decided to crack down on, but it’s rarely my go-to streaming service. In fact, the only activity my profile has seen in the past few weeks is watching the latest episode of Better call Saul season 6 Tuesday evenings.
Chances are I’ll be bored without something to watch and decide it’s time to give Stranger Things 4 a shot. Or maybe I’ll end up watching it with my girlfriend, fault to be able to find something else that we will both be happy to watch. Either way, unless Netflix can pull off a miracle over the next two weeks, my level of excitement for the series will be extremely lukewarm.
At the end of the line
It goes without saying that there is room in my life for Obi Wan Kenobi and Stranger Things. The first wave of episodes may debut on the same day, but it’s not like I can’t watch and enjoy both. Once the work is done, of course, because concentrating on a TV show while trying to think and type coherently is nigh on impossible.
But that doesn’t change the fact that my arousal meter is skewed in a clear direction. Stranger Things’ long gap hasn’t worked in its favor, and I feel like the hype train lost all momentum in the process.
Paradoxically, the 17-year gap between Star Wars Episode 3 and Obi Wan Kenobi only worked in his favor. It could be nostalgia, or it could be the fact that Disney Plus hasn’t let me down yet when it comes to Star Wars.
In any case, May 27 can’t come fast enough. I’m pretty sure I’ll be awake early ready to see the first episode of Obi Wan Kenobi when it arrives at 8am UK time and my lunch menu will consist entirely of the episode 2. As for Stranger Things? Meh.