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Obi-Wan Kenobi Opening Sequence Has Fans All Saying The Same Thing

After a production shut-down, script rewrite, and head writer replacement (via Collider), Disney+ and LucasFilm's "Obi-Wan Kenobi" debuted on May 27. Early reviews from several outlets (including Variety, BBC, and IGN) have been favorable, and the series' first two parts racked up an 88% critic and 74% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. All this is no small feat, given the immense pressure the series was under to both live up to the hype and appease an increasingly vocal fandom that ranges from highly particular to downright toxic (via Men's Health). But even without the more aggressive elements of the franchise's following, writer Joby Harold, from a strictly narrative standpoint, had his work cut out for him. 

The series had to fill in the blanks of its titular protagonist's 10-year exile following the events of "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith," a prequel that continues to divide/disappoint a full 17 years after its debut (via CBR). What's more, it needed to fulfill studio head Kathleen Kennedy's desire to tell, in her words, "a hopeful, uplifting story" (via Entertainment Weekly), despite the broken state that Obi-Wan's (Ewan McGregor) seeming failure in "Revenge of the Sith" leaves him in. Finally, it needed to strike a delicate balance of narrative consistency/callback and plot and character innovation, all while providing — from the outset — just enough fan service to appease audiences without prompting critics to accuse it of cheap nostalgia. It's all a heavy burden, but one that some feel the series is managing to carry, particularly in its opening sequence. 

Fans loved the Order 66 callback

After a brief recap of Obi-Wan's ill-fated storyline in prequel films leading up to the series' starting point, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" opens on a devastating scene from "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith." The film saw Hayden Christensen's conflicted Anakin Skywalker enter the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and assassinate a group of force-sensitive younglings in training. His Order 66-derived actions solidify his transition to the Dark Side, and the provocative scene remains one of the most notorious in the film series' first three episodes (via CBR). 

As the pinnacle of Anakin's pre-Darth Vader cruelty, it also reinforces the deadly consequences of Obi-Wan's failure to prevent his protégé from giving in to the Dark Side, thus providing audiences immediate insight into (and/or a reminder of) his state of mind. Rather than replay the scene from the film, the opening of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" shows a handful of younglings team up to escape the chaotic violence.

By and large, the fan response to the risky opening was positive. "I was so hoping they'd open with something dramatic right off the bat, and they didn't disappoint," wrote u/Touhokujin on the series' subreddit. Others were equally impressed by the emotional weight of the opening. "I cried when Anakin did it and I cried this time as well," wrote u/purplenelly, adding "really good fight choreography by the teacher too." One fan went so far as to say that "[the] opening was the best part tbh," while another brought the focus back to the instructor (portrayed by Ming Qiu): "[L]ove how the instructor was ready to throw hands immediately no questions asked," wrote u/Yes_This_Is_God.

The opening may reveal Reva's origins

The scene's choreography and emotionally-charged reference weren't all that impressed viewers. For many, the scene's potential insight into a new antagonist was the real reason to take note. In the following scene of the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" pilot, The Republic's Grand Inquisitor and his two henchmen (one of whom is named "Third Sister"/Reva, aka Moses Ingram) arrive on Tatooine in search of an unnamed Jedi. Thus far, all we know about Reva is that she's intent on finding Obi-Wan. According to some fans, however, the opening sequence reveals her motivations.

"I'm guessing one of those kids is Reva and maybe some of the other Inquisitors," wrote u/samuel906, a theory echoed by many fans on the subreddit and several outlets, including Inverse, GamesRadar, and The Direct. "I'm betting that's why she's obsessed with Obi," u/alexgreen0606 added, theorizing that "[Reva] must low key hate him for not helping save her from the Sith."

As Newsweek's breakdown of the canonical Inquisitors reveals, Reva was essentially created for the series — a fact that further supports the theory of her Order 66 origins. None of the younglings are referred to by name, and it's unlikely the show would begin on a handful of characters to whom it never returns. In other words, as u/DavidBHimself pointed out, "there was no other reason to show those kids run away [unless] they are future inquisitors." If they are, this means the series kicks off on a note that fully and efficiently connects Obi-Wan's immediate past with the present upon which it intends to focus — without relying solely on canonical nostalgia.