Obi-Wan Kenobi wrapped up by being simultaneously certain and uncertain of what the future holds. The six-episode season, once billed as a limited series, concluded with the eponymous Jedi rediscovering his true nature and calling, with every character and piece of canon slotting, relatively snuggly, into the place it needs to be for A New Hope. The season was a little messy but largely satisfying and I am perfectly content with this as an ending for the show. And yet, it seems like it might not be. The actors are speaking of how they’d love to return and head honcho Kathleen Kennedy has mentioned that if they can come up with a good story to tell they won’t hesitate to do so. Even the semantics have changed, with the once ‘series finale’ now called a ‘season finale’. Yet with the final episode having a conclusive ending for Obi-Wan’s trauma and guilt, what would a second season of this show explore?
This season of Obi-Wan Kenobi looked at the lingering psychological impact of Order 66, the fall of the Republic, and Anakin’s embrace of the Dark Side through both Obi-Wan and Reva, who are able to transcend their troubles and return to their Jedi ways. Telling such a huge story set during this time with major players from the Skywalker Saga was risky. It took huge effort to convince fans, who have had their own headcanon for decades, that Obi-Wan and Vader met and fought once more before their final encounter on the Death Star. I think Lucasfilm succeeded and I enjoyed the characters’ limited reunion, but can they really do it again? I’m happy to be proved wrong but I don’t think Vader and his former master can meet again in another season and so, as much as I loved his return, I don’t think Hayden Christensen should be back as a major player in season two. The conflict and dramatic pull between Obi-Wan and Vader is, for now, over.
Therefore, a second season will have to see Obi-Wan on a different kind of journey. It may seem like a step down but I’d happily watch six episodes of Obi-Wan on a much smaller stakes adventure restricted to Tatooine. There’s always the continuation of elements of the first season, like Reva and The Path, but as much as I want to see actual atonement for a former villain rather than have them die the second that they turn good, I don’t think this story needs Obi-Wan at the centre of it. It could be its own show or comic or novel. Maybe the mentioned Quinlan Vos could appear and go on a buddy comedy with Kenobi like they did in The Clone Wars, but that doubles the character arcs that need to be thought up out of thin air. There is Maul of course, who at this point is running his criminal empire. Maybe Obi-Wan is the reason the villain becomes stranded on Malachor and a second season could tie into Solo with an appearance by Qi’ra. And there are still Inquisitors to fight rather than Vader; I’m shocked Kenobi didn’t duel with one in this season.
But I feel the most likely answer lies in the very final moments of the season when Obi-Wan finally communes with his master Qui-Gon Jinn. I see this as an ending for Kenobi, representing that he has finally found balance after his journey and is a true Jedi again, but it can also be a beginning. With the help of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan too can learn how to survive after death and become a ‘Force ghost’. In a recent interview, Stuart Beattie, one of the credited writers of the show and developer of the earlier movie version, said that a film trilogy was planned and the second film would deal with the “required forethought” of Kenobi’s sacrifice in A New Hope. Perhaps this could be revived for a second season where Obi-Wan has to come to terms with the fact that he’s a Jedi again yet still can’t act like one, having to stay hidden instead. He has to smother his own agency to support Luke’s when the time is right. His destiny is to die.
I would love for this to lead to a weird and trippy second season. Yoda went on a bizarre odyssey through the Force in the sixth season of The Clone Wars to truly balance and understand himself so he could break the wall between the cosmic and living Force after death. The first season already borrowed elements from the animated shows so I’m fine with the second being a live-action, Obi-Wan-centred version of this story told once again. Maybe on his quest Kenobi has to visit Dagobah and the cave there, meeting Yoda once again, or just another nexus of the Force. Who knows, maybe there is a nexus point on his homeworld of Stewjon allowing for a reunion with, and necessary dramatic rejection of, his true family. Characters from his past like Satine or Anakin could appear as visions through mystic means, allowing for Hayden to return with none of the canon restrictions. Obi-Wan could even come to see Luke as the Chosen One rather than Anakin, an opinion we see him hold in Rebels.
Whatever adventure Obi-Wan Kenobi goes on next, if indeed he does, I hope it is a more introspective one than the first season. While I like the arc he goes on I don’t think it was executed or explored to the fullest extent. It began and ended strongly with scenes dedicated to understanding Obi-Wan’s headspace and situation but I found the middle of the season rushed and uninterested in his journey. The change in Kenobi was shown through his actions, which is good, show don’t tell, but I think it needed to slow down and allow him, and us, to reflect on what is happening. Take the start of the fourth episode: Obi-Wan has just faced Vader, a colossal moment, but I don’t know what his thoughts are after the encounter apart from the obvious. I wish it took a moment, had him talk with Tala and properly introduce the Jabiim base before rushing off on yet another rescue.
Whether Maul or Vader again or, most likely, a spiritual journey into the Force itself, whatever trial Obi-Wan faces next, I hope the show counters any canon questions born from a galactic adventure by instead focusing much more on being inward-looking at a character at a seemingly dull but actually fascinating time in his life.
What do you hope to see in a second season of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let me know in the comments and be sure to geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.