Lucasfilm is now halfway through its first and possibly only season of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, bringing a thrilling story that fills in the gaps between the original trilogy and the prequels in the Skywalker saga. However, that run on Disney+ has come with more than just solid reviews, as the franchise once again has to deal with fans voicing some not-so-flattering opinions about the show's cast.
This comes most prominently with Moses Ingram, who stars as the dark side's Force-using Inquisitor Reva, also known as the Third Sister. Ingram is a 29-year-old Black actress who previously starred in Netflix's Queen's Gambit, but her Star Wars debut has been far from a perfect experience for her.
Since Obi-Wan premiered on Disney+ on May 27th, Ingram has been the subject of racist backlash from various sects of the fandom. Ingram, leading man Ewan McGregor, and the official Star Wars social media accounts have all reacted to the hateful outpouring from fans.
Despite the effort to resist, fans are letting their thoughts be heard through critically low reviews of the show.
Fans Review-Bombing Obi-Wan Kenobi
Last week, Obi-Wan Kenobi opened at a 71% audience score via Rotten Tomatoes. Those numbers have swiftly sank over the past week to a 57% following racism-centered controversy over Star Wars' official response to social media sent towards Moses Ingram. Meanwhile, the critic score for the series has maintained a fresh rating with little fluctuation, currently sitting at an 87% approval rating.
This is not the first time a Disney project has been subject to review-bombing. Moon Knight was met with negative 1-star reviews on IMDB due to the premiere's acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide. Eternals was hit by review bombs due to its inclusion of a gay kiss and LGBTQIA+ representation in the film.
The following are six examples of .5-star and 1-star audience reviews of Obi-Wan: Kenobi.
User Josh L. compared the show to the Skywalker Saga's prequel trilogy, saying that it was just as bad as those legacy films:
Josh L: Don't worry, it stands up to the prequels. Absolute dumpster fire.
Tad G. called the show "fan-fiction" while describing it as "poorly written and directed."
User "SS" harshly noted that this Disney+ series is ruining one of Star Wars' biggest characters:
SS: Garbage! Way to ruin a legendary character.
Bob B. listed off various reasons for not liking the show, noting that the only good thing about it is its six-episode length:
Bob B: Disney recipe for success: 1. Centered around child actors 2. Unlikable cast that can't act 3. Lazy writing and bad action scenes 4. Childish dialogues 5. "Fan service" The only good thing about this series is that is so short... thank god. Lets get through this one and forget it like the rest of Disney Star Wars production.
Vulgaris M chided the show for making Obi-Wan look afraid the entire time while calling Moses Ingram's Reva "the most pointless villain in all the Star Wars universe." This user also feels that Disney is subliminally pushing their own agenda with the story coming through in Obi-Wan Kenobi:
Vulgaris M: So far I saw 3 episodes out of 6, in the first, Obi-Wan does nothing at all while looking frightened, in the second, Obi-Wan meets tiny Leia while looking frightened, on the third he flees from Vader while looking frightened. That's it. Then there is the Third Sister, the most pointless villain in all the Star Wars universe, even worse than Snoke. She acts like a child, has no background to talk about, no purpose, is badly written and badly acted. Of course, everyone knows Disney is pushing "the message" with this one, but no one dares to talk about it. I hope it becomes at least digestible with episode 4. Let's see.
Scott L felt that Reva has gotten more screen time than the show's own titular character, calling Ewan McGregor "the only saving grace" in the series while criticizing Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise:
Scott L: The show is called Obi-Wan Kenobi not Reva the Third Sister. Reva has gotten more screen time than the actual character this show is named after. Plus the amount of 'Until a women is in charge or does it is the right way' is getting very stale for this poorly acted out Disney trash. Ewan is the only saving grace in this and its utter garbage. Episode 3, Darth is alright, but Reva trying to take over is utter bull and needs, like in food, 86 this rubbish. Plus what is Kayleen still doing in charge of bloody Disney Star wars after the flops?! and her attitude?! WHY WHY WHY?!
Tom D didn't feel that anything at all in Obi-Wan Kenobi was good, criticizing Leia, the script, the villains, and the casting in general. This user compared the Disney+ show to "a kid's show:"
TomD: Interesting how every Star Wars fan-boy just defends the show by pointing out the low reviews are a scam instead of actually making valid points about the show. The script is weak, the villain is non-existent and played by a bad actress, Leia is written in a way where she just comes across as unrealistic and annoying instead of independent and strong. Overall the casting is quite weak, only Obi-Wan is shinning but sometimes even he can't make the script work. The constant running chases are way too goofy and pathetic. Overall it feels like a kid's show instead of a decent story from Star Wars. It looks painfully like Star Wars 7-9.
Will Obi-Wan Suffer From Poor Audience Reviews?
It's impossible to avoid review-bombers if enough people want to have their voices heard. The issue with review-bombing is that making the film or series look bad is often for reasons outside of the storytelling and filmmaking.
The Suicide Squad was met with a lot of unjustified negative reviews by Zack Snyder fans. This has become an issue when filmmakers and studios try to push the limits of inclusivity or when a large mass of fans ignite a social media outrage.
Obi-Wan Kenobi has been faced with many justified criticisms, even about Ingram's character Reva. However, 57% is not representative of a show that is breaking Disney+ viewership records.
The main negative effect of this behavior is the simple fact that, without context, it looks like audiences are not enjoying the latest Star Wars show with a "rotten" rating on RT.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Parts I-III are streaming now on Disney+.