‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Series Sparks Debate Over Polemic Opening Scene

in Entertainment, Star Wars

obi-wan kenobi on daiyu

Credit: Lucasfilm

While many expectant fans were thrilled to enjoy the first two episodes of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, the show has sparked debate due to a polemic scene.

'Obi-Wan Kenobi' official poster
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Will Be “Connective Tissue” of the ‘Star Wars’ Franchise

The controversy started in light of recent events. Some disturbing similarities can be found between the tragic mass shooting at Texas elementary school and the massacre that Order 66 brought upon Jedi younglings in the Star Wars storyline. This scene has proven especially hard to watch for some franchise fans, many of whom have demanded a warning notice to be added at the beginning of the episode. Warning, spoilers ahead.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

The scene in question is the first one in Obi-Wan Kenobi, which comes after a lengthy recap of the events leading up to the time frame of the series that takes place a decade after the events depicted in 2005’s Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

The scene shows the cavernous Jedi temple under attack by Imperial Inquisitor and Stormtroopers. With chaos and death all around, a female Jedi dodges blasters and red lightsabers to get some young boys and girls to safety. The teacher is cut down, and the cluster of less than half a dozen students decides to “run” in the hopes of escaping a similar fate. The jarring scene ends with the children bolting over an overhead pathway as Jedi are massacred by Imperial forces.

Sung Kang as the Fifth Brother Grand Inquisitor
Credit: Lucasfilm
Itzy (@itzybitzyminnie) took to Twitter to warn fellow Star Wars fans before watching the show, as it had been tough for her to watch. 

just a warning for anyone watching kenobi, bc i needed that warning, intro to first ep involves order 66 and in light of recent events its v hard to watch

While many users agreed with Itzy and commented that a warning was in order before the episode, some responded that this was Star Wars and that adding an “offensive content” disclaimer would be ridiculous. This polarizing topic sparked a heated discussion in the replies to this tweet.

Inquisitor and Stormtroopers on Daiyu in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Regardless of the mixed opinions, Disney decided to add a series of warnings to the Ewan McGregor-led show. The initial statement read as follows:

Although this fictional series is a continuation of the story from Star Wars movies filmed many years ago, some scenes may be upsetting to viewers in light of the recent tragic events. Warning: Contains violence involving children.

However, this statement was later edited and changed to read, “There are certain scenes in this fictional series that some viewers may find upsetting,” which some consider an understatement from the initial warning. In addition, the warning is not presented as a slate at the beginning of the episode and instead has to be sought out by viewers.

warning for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series
Credit: Screenshot via Disney+

After trying to read this statement ourselves, we found it under the “Details” tab, the fourth and last on the platform, practically hiding the warning and taking away from its objective, as viewers would not be aware of the notice unless they looked for it.

“In light of recent tragic events, we recognize there are certain scenes in this fictional series that some viewers may find upsetting and a content warning has been added to the show page,” a Disney spokesperson told Deadline. “We are also working to add an advisory in front of the series as quickly as possible.”

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

The company added the first version of the current content warning early Friday, just hours after Obi-Wan Kenobi debuted. The much-anticipated series dropped its first two episodes late Thursday, almost three days after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Netflix did something similar this week for its Season 4 premiere of Stranger Things, adding a warning card about a scene of violence involving children. The card appears before the Season 3 recap that auto-plays at the beginning of Season 4, Episode 1 for viewers in the U.S. only.

disney plus logo
Credit: Disney+

While the timing for the premiere of these shows was rather unfortunate, both Disney and Netflix can add a warning card to make their viewers aware of the content they are about to watch and create a more educated decision on whether or not they are prepared to watch it.

More on Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Cal Kestis ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Crossover Teased by ‘Star Wars’ Actor

Here’s an official description of this new Star Wars Story:

The series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where he faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Hayden Christensen Obi-Wan Kenobi Series
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: After Losing Two Seasons, ‘Star Wars’ Longest Live-Action Series May Be Cut Even Shorter

Have you watched the first episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let us know your thoughts below!

The new Star Wars limited series stars Ewan McGregor, reprising his role as the iconic Jedi Master, with Hayden Christensen’s return as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Joining the cast are Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.

View Comments (9)