Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Complete Series UHD Review

4.5 Stars Nostalgic
Obi-Wan Kenobi Review

The Disney+ limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives on 4K Blu-ray looking and sounding great.

Part II (2022)
Released: 27 May 2022
Rated: TV-14
Runtime: 39 min
Director: Deborah Chow
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Kumail Nanjiani, Marisé Álvarez
Writer(s): Joby Harold, Stuart Beattie, Hossein Amini
Plot: On a dangerous crime-ridden world, Obi-Wan becomes a target.
IMDB rating: 7.3
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Disney
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: TV14=TV-14
Run Time: 4 Hr. 21 Min.
Package Includes: UHD
Case Type: 2-disc UHD steelbook
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 04/30/2024
MSRP: $44.96

The Production: 4/5

Set ten years after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi returns us to the time of the prequel trilogy, with a few actors reprising their roles, most notably Ewan McGregor in the title role. Living in exile on Tatooine, he takes the identity of “Ben” Kenobi, looking after the Skywalker family from afar. When the leader of Alderaan, Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), informs Obi-Wan that his daughter Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) has been kidnapped and needs his help, Obi-Wan is on the case. What Obi-Wan doesn’t know is that it is a ploy to bring him out of hiding, set in motion by Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen/James Earl Jones), with The Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) tasked to exterminate any remaining Jedi in the galaxy.

As a six-episode series (originally conceived as a feature film), it is a nostalgic return to the George Lucas-era of Star Wars that helps to fill in some of the character gaps between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, showing just how menacing Darth Vader became and how troubled Anakin was under all that armor, thanks to a very convincing performance by Hayden Christensen. Ewan McGregor shines in the role of Obi-Wan rather effortlessly, but also adding some more depth to the character. The series does have some pacing issues that could be attributed to stretching the story out to nearly four and a half hours, but for most Star Wars fans, it is still a must-see.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Obi-Wan Kenobi was captured in 4.5K resolution on Arri Alexa LF, Mini LF, and RED Komodo 6K cameras and completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The series initially streamed on Disney+ in heavily compressed 2160p with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range. The six episodes are spread out over two BD100 discs (three episodes each) and are presented in 2160p HEVC encodes with HDR10 and are major improvements over the bitrate-starved streaming versions. There is a lot of detail here, even in the shadows, which occasionally suffered from black crush on Disney+ (evident in the first episode when Obi-Wan is having nightmare flashbacks from the prequel trilogy).

Audio: 5/5

Default audio on these discs is a lossless Dolby Atmos track (with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core) that, like the video, puts the streaming version to shame. These mixes are highly immersive, from the rustling winds of Tatooine and the songbirds of Alderaan to the bustling traffic noises in the skies of Daiyu. LFE is strong where necessary, adding extra emphasis to explosions and such. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 3/5

Special Features are spread across the two discs, with the video featurettes on disc one and a commentary track on disc two. Missing is the one-hour Disney+ documentary Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return.

Disc One
Duels of Fate: Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader (1080p; 11:22): A look at the lightsaber duels between these two foes.

The Dark Times: Villains (1080p; 11:46): As the title implies, this featurette takes a look at the villains at hand in the series.

Designing the Galaxy (1080p; 10:57): A brief look at the production design of the series.

Disc Two
Audio Commentary on Part VI with Director Deborah Chow: Deborah Chow discusses various aspects of the series finale.

Concept Art Cards: Three post-card size cards with concept art.

Overall: 4.5/5

Obi-Wan Kenobi is an entertaining continuation of Obi-Wan and Darth Vader’s journey after the events of Revenge of the Sith.

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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Sam Favate

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Great review. Couldn't agree more with the part about the 4k discs putting the streaming image to shame.

Let's hope they continue with 4k discs for these shows for a very long time. They're great.
 

justarandomstan

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Great review. Couldn't agree more with the part about the 4k discs putting the streaming image to shame.

Let's hope they continue with 4k discs for these shows for a very long time. They're great.

I love the fact that those releases are available, however I absolutely hate the fact that some of them were a limited edition of some sort.

There's almost no way to get Mando S1 & 2, Loki, Wandavision for regular prices anymore.

I don't understand how that's a good strategy at all.

Didn't have the funds to buy them immediately after they came out last year and now all I can do is pay extortionate prices on eBay or the Amazon marketplace... :/
 

Todd Erwin

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I love the fact that those releases are available, however I absolutely hate the fact that some of them were a limited edition of some sort.

There's almost no way to get Mando S1 & 2, Loki, Wandavision for regular prices anymore.

I don't understand how that's a good strategy at all.

Didn't have the funds to buy them immediately after they came out last year and now all I can do is pay extortionate prices on eBay or the Amazon marketplace... :/
Disney is in the process of turning over their physical media operations to Sony. I would expect that these titles will become more readily available later this Summer after the dust settles.
 
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