‘Stranger Things’ or ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Which Will You Watch?

Netflix and Disney Plus stream their big hitters May 27. CNET staffers make the case for Stranger Things or Star Wars. Are you Team Hawkins or Team Tatooine?

The next Star Wars TV show pits Obi-Wan Kenobi against his darkest enemy, Darth Vader. But that isn’t the only clash of titans on your screens right now. Rival streaming services Disney Plus and Netflix go head to head as the Obi-Wan Kenobi show and Stranger Things season 4 premiere on the very same day — today, Friday May 27.

Disney Plus hadn’t even debuted when Stranger Things launched on Netflix in July 2016. We’ve watched the kids from Hawkins, Indiana, tackle teen angst and Upside Down monsters in this ’80s-influenced monster hit. By contrast, Obi-Wan Kenobi sees Star Wars star Ewan McGregor pick up his lightsaber for the first time in 17 years. And it turns out both are pretty good — CNET’s Richard Trenholm calls Obi-Wan “assured, pacey and … most importantly, character-driven”, while CNET’s Gael Cooper says season 4 of Stranger Things is “the best one yet.” Decisions, decisions!

We asked CNET’s staffers which of these two sci-fi epics they’re most psyched to see. Which will you choose?

Hello there

Much as I love spending time in the neon glow of Stranger Things, I’m extremely eager to follow old Obi-Wan Kenobi on some damned-fool idealistic crusade. Star Wars is irresistible, McGregor has only gotten better in the years since Revenge of the Sith, and director Deborah Chow helmed some of The Mandalorian’s finest episodes.

I’d happily watch Obi-Wan just wander around Tatooine for six episodes, but it sure looks like he’ll have to show some Imperials who’s boss. It’s going to be epic.

Turn me upside down… again

I love Star Wars, but I’m more excited about Stranger Things. And before you boo me, let me explain. We know Obi-Wan will be fine. There’s no tension, danger or mystery about what’s going to happen to him. We already know he falls to Darth Vader aboard the Death Star so Luke and the crew can escape. Any tension or sense of danger within Obi-Wan’s show is undercut by the fact that we know how his story plays out.

The story of Eleven and the rest of our Hawkins gang, on the other hand, is a mystery. We can guess and speculate, but we don’t know. I want to be at least a little surprised about what happens. That’s what’s pulling me to Stranger Things.

A tough choice

That’s a tough choice. Both appeal to my Gen-X DNA. Modern Star Wars products feel so overwarmed and designed-by-committee that I can’t imagine anything surprising. From the trailers, Obi-Wan (the show) looks like The Book of Boba Fett, which looked like The Mandalorian, etc. Apparently space is… mostly desert.

Stranger Things does feel like it ran out of ideas after the first two seasons. Sometimes it’s OK to say: “We’ve done enough, we’ve told our story, let’s go out on top.”

I did go to the in-person Stranger Things Experience in NYC a few weeks ago, however, so maybe I’m all talk. Complaining and overanalyzing is a pivotal part of fandom, so that’s just my way of saying I’ll be watching both.

A celebration

I am really excited to watch both of these shows at some point, but Obi-Wan will absolutely be coming first, and really for me it comes down to timing. Stranger Things was one of the first horror-adjacent things I could watch with my kids, one of which is now deeply happy to sit and enjoy anything spooky. And the recent teases that this next season is going to lean darker really has me curious. But as I write this, I’m double-checking the pieces of my Jedi robes I’ve spent the last month assembling for the Star Wars Celebration convention happening on the same day as the release of Obi-Wan. So, obviously, that’s going to be something I’ll need to watch first to avoid any spoilers at the con. 

Help me, Obi-Wan

This is probably sacrilege, but Stranger Things has never really done anything for me. Right from the start, I didn’t have much emotional connection to those 1980s retro touchstones like The Goonies or Dungeons & Dragons. Maybe I’m missing out, but I haven’t watched it since the first season.

But Ewan McGregor with a lightsaber? That is extremely my jam. Star Wars TV shows have been a mix after the excellent Mandalorian and the plodding Book of Boba Fett, but Obi-Wan is a character who just exudes that big-screen Star Wars magic. In my mind, the franchise is crying out for some of that energy. And if the first episodes aren’t so great? Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters this weekend, and that’s a lot of fun.

It's pulling us in!

Given the history, I am 100% sure that Stranger Things will be a better season of television. Besides a few dud episodes, the Duffer brothers have barely put a foot wrong with what has ultimately become one of the most influential TV shows in the short history of streaming television. I’ve loved Stranger Things with every fiber of my being.

But unfortunately, Star Wars is Star Wars. Like a decaying draugr, ambling awkwardly in the direction of brains, fate has decreed I must flay myself once more at the altar of George Lucas. Like most long-term Star Wars obsessives, I’m duty bound to watch this show the second it drops. Also like most Star Wars fans, I’m duty bound to complain about it online.

I fully expect that Obi-Wan will be disappointing and underwhelming, but I will be there from day one, desperately hoping to be “whelmed.”

Fügen Sie Ihren Kommentar