Obi-Wan Kenobi - Review (Episode 2)

Updated: Jun 8



BACKGROUND


It's been ten years since the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. All remaining Jedi not ensnared by Order 66 are in hiding. Obi-Wan Kenobi (an older, scruffy looking Ewan Macgregor) is living on the desert planet of Tatooine, watching over Luke Skywalker. Meanwhile, Leia Skywalker, is being raised by the Organas as their own on Alderaan. The true identity of the Skywalker twins is known only to a handful of people. But ten years after the destruction of the Jedi Order, events conspire that threaten to tear everything apart...


OK, now that we got that dramatic opening out of the way, a couple of notes on the review. It's quite SPOILER HEAVY, so don't read on if you don't want to know what happens. Also, what's written in this article are my views, and my views alone, so don't take them as gospel. And with all that said and done..


THE ACTUAL REVIEW


The episode kicks off where the last episode closed off, with Obi-Wan getting on a transport ship to the neon-covered planet of Daiyu. His mission: rescue the kidnapped Leia Organa and return her to her parents, Senator Bail Organa and his wife. Obi-Wan wanders the streets of Daiyu, lost and confused. He learns that all signals to and from Daiyu are blocked, making his mission to find the space pirates that kidnapped the young girl all the more difficult. To top it all off, the streets are being patrolled by stormtroopers (yes I can say that officially now), and Kenobi is very self-conscious about not sticking out like a sore thumb.


Couple of encounters worth noting here. Obi-Wan comes across a homeless clone trooper (Temeura Morrison), bearded and not in the best of health. He asks Obi-Wan for some money, and after a moment, the former Jedi complies. Obi-Wan then comes across a young pink-haired girl, who tries to sell him some drugs, essentially. In return, he tells her he's looking for his daughter who was kidnapped. The pink-haired girl then tells Obi-Wan he will never find his daughter and gives him a free hit. Most importantly is Obi-Wan's meeting with Haja (Kumail Nanjiani), a hustler and seeming con-artist who pretends to be a Jedi, as seen in his dealings with a mother and son, who are trying to secure passage to Corellia. Haja appears to move objects by using the Force, but Obi-Wan knows that the Jedi are all but gone. Consequently, he is immediately suspicious. It transpires that indeed, Haja is no Jedi. Exposed by Kenobi, it's confirmed that Haja was able to move objects by the use of magnets hidden in his cloak. Still, he offers to help Kenobi find the missing girl, insisting that yes, although he took money from the mother and son, he did actually help them get to a safe place. In short, Haja appears to be a (minor) thief with a heart of gold.


Haja leads Obi-Wan to the sewers, and disguising himself in hazmat suit and goggles, the former Jedi enters a sort of makeshift laboratory. There he creates a distraction by causing a glass tank to explode, and this allows him to slip through a door. Kenobi finds his way into a cell where he finds a silent, hooded figure. He believes it to be Princess Leia, however he is sorely mistaken: it was just a broken down droid acting as a decoy. Kenobi is therefore captured by the space pirates. He manages to subdue them (but not before bleeding a little) and makes good his escape. Eventually he manages to finds Leia. I don't have much of an issue with everything that has transpired in the episode so far. I still have a problem with Kenobi going off-world and leaving Luke unprotected. Although, to be fair I'm not sure how he could protect Luke given the fact that he's cut himself off from the Force. I know he did it to avoid detection, but I'm still going to gripe about it, because again, I'm not sure how he thought he was going to protect Luke without his Jedi powers. I like the character of Haja, another roguish character with an apparent heart of gold, that will cost him later on. Again, the music is not doing much for me, but I like the look of Daiyu; it reminds me of Attack of the Clones and films like Blade Runner. There's also a titbit, well, a big titbit, that I didn't mention in the previous review. It turns out that Reva (the Third Sister) was behind the kidnapping of Leia. The motive? To order to lure Obi-Wan out. I'm sure Reva mentioned a link between Organa and Obi-Wan that led her to hit upon the idea of kidnapping the little princess. To be honest, I was not expecting that twist, it came out of the blue for me, and I think it's quite a clever ploy. Although I'm not sure why Reva wouldn't sweat Bail Organa in that case - he obviously knows where Obi-Wan lives... Which reminds me, how does Bail know exactly where Obi-Wan lives? If I was a former Jedi in hiding, I wouldn't tell anyone, friend or foe, especially when I could be tortured for that information. Of course, Reva doesn't know that Bail knows where Obi-Wan lives, but just in case she decided to sweat him, she would find that detail out quite easily. Perhaps Inquisitors are not permitted to torture senators? Another minor annoyance: the space pirates don't know that Obi-Wan can't use the Force, so how would they know a decoy would work in luring him into a trap? I guess they got lucky. Anyway, back to the plot.


Kenobi finds an initially reluctant Leia, but she is eventually persuaded to go with Obi-Wan. He leads her out of the sewers into the streets of Daiyu. Kenobi tells her to keep a low profile. Meanwhile, Reva enters the cell where Obi-Wan was being kept until a short while ago, and is understandably upset to learn that he's gone. While that is going on Kenobi and Leia change out of their clothes, and the precocious ten year old figures out that he is a Jedi. Kenobi then insists that they make their way to a spaceport and gain a transport out of Daiyu.


Meanwhile, the remaining Inquisitors arrive on Daiyu: the Grand Inquisitor, the Fifth Brother and the hitherto unseen Fourth Sister. Together they confront Reva and talk her down for kidnapping an Imperial Senator's daughter. Reva counters that they have done worse, and that she used Leia as bait to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding. Which worked, by the way. However, the Grand Inquisitor is furious that Reva disobeyed his orders, and relieves the Third Sister of her duties. He vows to punish Reva for her actions and capture Kenobi himself. However, Reva is never one to back down and actually places a bounty on Kenobi's head, which attracts the hive of scum and villainy currently residing in the city. I'm of course talking about bounty hunters. Wanted posters of Kenobi go up across the city, and the bounty hunters are quick to mobilise. With the situation becoming more dire, Kenobi buys Leia a green shawl and tells her to pretend that they are a farming family from Tawl. They begin to move through the marketplace while keeping a low profile. Along the way, Leia asks Obi-Wan for proof that he's a Jedi, but he refuses. Leia then reveals that she is ten years old, and Kenobi is quick to quip that she does not look her age.


Meanwhile, Haja learns about the bounty on Kenobi's head and seemingly decides to joins in the hunt, sensing an an opportunity to make money. While this is happening, the Grand Inquisitor orders that the city be locked down and a garrison dispatched within the hour. He also emphasizes the importance of capturing a target as big as Kenobi. While all this is going on, Reva is surveying the surrounding area from a tall building, hoping for a glimpse of Kenobi.


And while that is going on, Kenobi and Leia are hiding in an alleyway. The latter is upset about the damage the space pirates did to her droid, and Obi-Wan assures her that she'll be safe at home by nightfall. He then makes the mistake of inspecting the hologram of a bounty hunter he had taken down earlier near Leia. Well, I say mistake, but really he told Leia to stay put, she just didn't listen. Anyway, the hologram is showing the wanted poster of Kenobi. It doesn't take Leia long to believe that Obi-Wan's been lying to her, despite his protestations of friendship with her father. Believing Obi-Wan to be the real kidnapper, Leia runs away, fleeing into the marketplace. And I'm guessing this is where some fans have a problem with Leia's character in this show. Almost everything that happens to Obi-Wan in the rest of the episode can be directly attributed to her, including his being forced (hehe) to reveal his weakened Force powers. Due to Leia running away, Obi-Wan gets involved in a myriad of fights and shootouts with several bounty hunters, first on the streets and later on the rooftops, where Leia has run off to. All the shooting attracts the attention of Reva, who moves swiftly and agilely in the direction of the commotion, and I don't think I've seen anyone move as Reva does in all of Star Wars, lithe as a panther, as she parkours her way to Obi-Wan's position. She even uses the Force to to collapse an antennae tower, which she then uses as an improvised bridge. It's very cool to see in action, if a little unbelievable.


While that is going on, Leia's rooftop jumping shenanigans come to a close. There's a big gap between the next two buildings that can't be easily jumped across. Despite Kenobi's pleading with her not to jump, Leia tries anyway. She fails to grab hold of a cable and loses her grip. Kenobi is then forced to use the Force to drop Leia to the ground lightly, exposing himself. This action convinces Leia that Obi-Wan is a true Jedi knight. From then onwards, Leia doesn't disobey Obi-Wan too much (just slightly now and again). Finally the duo reach their destination, but the spaceport is being guarded by the agents of the Empire. Suddenly, they are surprised by an android bounty hunter called 1-JAC. Just when things look bleak for our favourite Jedi, out steps Haja and shoots the droid. He instructs Obi-Wan to make his way to Transport 8, where they will find passage to the planet of Mapuzo in the form of a large cargo shuttle. There, they will find allies who will help him and Leia. See, it turns out he did have a heart of gold, after all! Kenobi, however, still distrusts Haja. Why, Obi-Wan, why! Haja admits that he had been primarily motivated by money in the past, but that he's trying to make up for it. He then gives Kenobi a card containing some coordinates. Finally, Haja agrees to buy Kenobi and Leia enough time to escape.


Haja comes to a sticky end courtesy of Reva. They come across each other in an alleyway, and Haja tries to convince Reva that he's a Jedi. She sees through him, however, and uses the Force to throw him back against a wall. Haja tries to remain obstinate, but Reva uses a mind probe to obtain Kenobi's whereabouts. Poor guy had no chance. However, thanks to his instructions, Kenobi and Leia manage to get to the cargo port. There's some nice banter between Kenobi and Leia here. She thinks they should accept the help Haja claimed would be waiting for them on Mazpuzo, and Kenobi says that Leia reminds him of someone who was fearless and stubborn, a leader who had regretfully died a long time ago. He is of course referring to Padme Amidala. Leia denies that she is stubborn.


Just then, Reva enters the cargo port. Kenobi instructs Leia to go to the cargo shuttle. This she does and and activates it using a key Haja had given to them earlier. Meanwhile, Reva taunts Obi-Wan, declaring that she will bring him before Darth Vader. She then adds that Anakin Skywalker is alive and has been looking for Kenobi for a long time, and that the former Jedi cannot escape him. Obi-Wan is shocked - floored even - by this revelation. He had believed Anakin to be dead, but Reva is saying the exact opposite.


Before the fight can proceed any further, the Grand Inquisitor rudely - and luckily for Obi-Wan - interrupts Reva. After a brief confrontation, she stabs the Grand Inquisitor through the gut, but by that time, Obi-Wan has joined Leia in the cargo shuttle and have made good their escape. As the shuttle moves away, Reva vows to find him again. Inside the shuttle, Kenobi murmurs the name of his former apprentice, "Anakin", seemingly reaching out with the Force. Meanwhile, the scene cuts to Darth Vader; he's submerged inside a Bacta Tank. When he hears his former master calling out his former name, he opens his eyes, wide awake.


And that's the end of the episode. Here are my final thoughts. I didn't find Leia nearly as insufferable as some others seem to have done. Sure, she causes Obi-Wan a lot of grief by running away, but to be honest, despite being a precocious ten year old, she's still a kid, and just met this glowering stranger who claims he's a friend of her father's without any real proof. She has no reason to believe him. Once she becomes convinced that he's a Jedi knight, the relationship improves and some of the banter is quite nice. I liked the call-back to Padme and the fact that Leia resembles her in a lot of ways. I'm also told that the apparent death of the Grand Inquisitor breaks canon, because he appears in Rebels, which takes place after the events of this show. Not having seen Rebels, I cannot comment too much. Perhaps the Inquisitor in Rebels is a different character. Or perhaps the Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi is not quite dead as he seems. We'll find out I'm sure, although I don't think canon is too high on the list of Disney's priorities. The elephant in the room is Reva knowing that Darth Vader and Anakin are one and the same person. I'm convinced it has something to do with what happened in the Jedi Temple ten years ago, but of course I can't be sure. What's funny to me is that she just blurts it out right in the middle of the cargo port. Sure, there doesn't seem to be many people around, but the Inquisitors arrive shortly afterwards, and they could have heard her. Maybe she doesn't care that other people know. I am also not sure how Obi-Wan didn't know that Anakin/Vader was alive. Sure, he cut himself off from the Force on Tatooine, but before that? What about immediately after their duel on Mustafar, or a few days later? Are we meant to believe that they did not sense each other even once? And while on the subject, even if we are to believe that Obi-Wan didn't know his former apprentice didn't know, I feel it would have been better dramatically for him to learn that information himself, rather than be given to him a third party. It does lead to cool reveal at the end, though.


So that was my review of Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2. Stay tuned for my review of Episode 3 coming soon!

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