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Obi-Wan Kenobi - Review (Episode 6)

Updated: Jul 12, 2022


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


We finally here, the last episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show! I know I'm a bit late to the party with this one, but real life got in the way the last couple of weeks. Anyway, we're here now, ready to share our thoughts. The episode picks up shortly after the end of the last one. The members of the Path - including Obi-Wan, Leia, Roken and Haja - are fleeing in their transport ship, which is running out of fuel, as Roken quietly informs Obi-Wan. Hot on their trail is Darth Vader in his Imperial Star Destroyer. I've heard people compare this chase scene to the one in The Last Jedi for this reason. However, I'm also taken back to one in The Empire Strikes Back, where a Star Destroyer is chasing the Millennium Falcon (larger ship pursuing a much smaller ship).


At this point, Obi-Wan decides that the best course of action is for him to leave the ship, as it's him that Vader wants. Roken doesn't think this is a good idea, telling our favourite Jedi that they should all try and stick together. He also deduces that Obi-Wan actually wants to confront Vader, so it's not a 100% altruistic move on the part of the former Jedi general (although to be fair, said action would help the Path members to get away as well). So, he leaves Leia in the care of Haja of all people, and entrusts him with the responsibility of taking the young princess to her adoptive parents on Alderaan, hereby completing the last leg of the rescue mission. I can see why some fans were upset at this development - after almost 5 episodes of Obi-Wan going on this rescue mission, he suddenly at the end decides to leave her in the hands of someone he'd only met a couple of days ago. Therefore, he doesn't even get to finish what he started in the first place. Of course, someone might say, "Well, they're being chased by Vader, of course Obi-Wan has to do that, and Haja has been shown to be ultimately trustworthy". Yes maybe, but I don't buy it. First, there was no need to for the writers to have put themselves in this corner, to the point where Obi-Wan can't even complete his given mission. Second, yes, Haja did show himself to be trustworthy, but he's still basically a stranger to Obi-Wan. Bail Organa and Obi-Wan were friends from the days of the Republic, knew each other for years and trusted each other implicitly. Anyway, we have to work with what we have. The former Jedi takes a smaller ship down to a rocky, seemingly uninhabited moon in the Mustafar system. Vader, against the advice of the Grand Inquisitor, actually pursues Obi-Wan to the moon. Imagine if Vader had actually taken the GQ's advice - that would have been awkward for Obi-Wan... Also, couldn't Vader have told his ship to continue pursuit of the transport vessel while he went down to the surface to deal with Obi-Wan. Could he then not have asked them to pick him up on the way back? Guess not. Anyway, both master and ex-apprentice both land on the planet and the re-rematch of the century is upon us.


But wait, we can't ignore plot B! What's that you may ask? Why, the Reva sub-plot, dear readers. Somehow an injured Reva - and remember she was stabbed in the gut by Darth Vader using a lightsaber in the previous episode - managed to get off Jabiim and race to Tatooine in record time, and seemingly before Obi-Wan and Vader landed on the Mustafar moon to start their duel. How did she drag herself to a transport ship and perform this amazing feat? Don't know, and I guess it's not important. Off-screen shenanigans will fix all and any plot holes. And her plan? Menace the Lars family homestead and kill Luke Skywalker as revenge... against... Anakin? This plan makes no sense to me, although then again Reva still being alive doesn't make sense to me either. Anyway, Reva finds out where the Lars farm is, and makes her way there to kill Luke, as we said. Luckily, Owen was forewarned of Reva's intentions, and he and Beru prepare to fight off this would-be child murderer in an attempt to protect the future Jedi. And I'm not going to lie, I kind of liked that they actually gave Owen and Beru something to do for once, even if it ultimately proves futile.


So, back to Vader and Obi-Wan back in the rock-encrusted Mustafar moon. Vader says something to Obi-Wan that I found kind of risible. "Have you come to kill me, Obi-Wan?" And I'm like, um, you're the one that's clearly obsessed with Obi-Wan and has been chasing him all over the galaxy. So, projection, much? Anyway, that line made me chuckle a little bit. But there are some better ones in there, as we shall see. The actual fight is pretty cool, not better than the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan v Darth Maul one in The Phantom Menace, as some have been eager to claim, but still very good; rougher and less choregraphed. It's great to see Obi-Wan almost up to full Jedi power and holding his own against Vader this time (he was kind of pathetic in the quarry duel in Episode 3 of the show). Roughly halfway through the battle, Vader buries Obi-Wan in rocks, and strides off, confident that he's finally killed his former "master", as he mockingly still calls Obi-Wan during the fight. Then Obi-Wan does something that's quite dumb (to me, anyway). While he's Force holding up the rocks so they don't crush him, he thinks of Luke and Leia. Ok, fair enough you might say, it's appropriate that he'd think of them to find his inner strength. But, Vader is still in close proximity. Can't he mind probe Obi-Wan, or at least sense what Obi-Wan's thinking? Wouldn't Obi-Wan, in essence, be giving the game away, with a Force user who's able to sense things still stalking around nearby? Remember back in Return of the Jedi, Vader could tell that Luke was thinking of Leia, and told him that his feelings had betrayed her. Sure he would do the same here? Maybe, you would argue, he's too raw, angry and emotional right now, but I still think he would have sensed something. Unless Obi-Wan is a master of Force Block, of course.


Anyway, Obi-Wan manages to shake off the rocks that threatened to crush him, and he's back on the offensive against Vader. Eventually he manages to tear a hole in Vader's mask, exposing half of Anakin's face. The Sith Lord is now weak and vulnerable, his breathing heavy and difficult; it's actually nice to see Hayden Christensen peeking out through the iconic outfit, reminding us that Vader is still human under the suit. It's a great scene, a great reveal, with some crackling dialogue to back it up. “I’m sorry, Anakin. For all of it,” Obi-Wan says. Vader/Anakin sneers back and retorts, “I am not your failure, Obi-Wan. You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did.” Which is a great line, maybe THE best line in the show, and it reinforced by the brilliant idea of mixing of Hayden's voice with James Earl Jones' as the suit's voice-box crackles and fizzles due it's being damaged by Obi-Wan's lightsaber. "Good-bye, Darth”, Obi-Wan says sadly as he walks away from the injured Vader, and the scene gives more credence to Obi-Wan's line to Luke of "He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil" in Return of the Jedi. What I would have liked to have seen is more of Obi-Wan trying to convince Anakin to turn back to the light to give more weight to Vader's "Obi-Wan once thought as you do" line in (again) Return of the Jedi. I am also not sure why Obi-Wan doesn't finish off Vader at this point. Then again, I'm not sure why he didn't finish him off in Revenge of the Sith either, when Anakin was suffering untold agonies due to his horrific burning. So whatever crimes and unspeakable acts Anakin commits as Vader are partially Obi-Wan's fault. There must be some residual guilt there, whatever the case. Anyway, Obi-Wan leaves Vader to his thoughts, and his own turn to Luke on Tatooine. He's in trouble!


Back to the b-plot, then. Reva has found the Lars homestead and Owen and Beru are trying to fight her off. They tell Luke that Tusken raiders are attacking the farm and he runs to the hills. Reva pursues and uses the Force to knock him off the cliff edge. Luke falls and is rendered unconscious. At this point I have to wonder. Obviously Luke has no idea about what the Force is. So when he wakes up, does he think he just fell off the edge of the cliff rather than being pushed by a wizard with magical powers? Maybe we'll find out in a future season. Anyway, Luke's unconscious and Reva holds her lightsaber over her head ready to strike... but of course she doesn't. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan has returned to Tatooine (seriously, how do folks get from point A to B so quickly in this episode) and together with Owen and Beru, begins to search for the missing boy. However, they needn't have worried. Reva flashes back to her traumatic experience as a Youngling at the fall of the Jedi Temple, and decides not to kill Luke (thankfully for canon). Instead, Reva brings back the unconscious Luke to the farm, and Obi-Wan, instead of killing her, tells Reva that she's now free to be whatever she wants to be (I'm paraphrasing, of course). Seriously, how is Reva still alive? Never mind, this act brings closure to one of the most forced (hehe) and contrived redemption arcs in TV history. Reva rides off into a spin-off show that will most likely never be made, now.


But hold on, we're not done yet! We see Leia is back on Alderaan safe and snug with her adoptive parents. She decides to ditch the royal robes with an outfit reminiscent of the one she wears in The Empire Strikes Back, complete with empty holster. And that's how Obi-Wan finds her when he visits... Bail and his family... in Alderaan. Yes, a former Jedi and still wanted fugitive decides to leave Tatooine again to visit some pals on a well-known former Republican planet... What the hell is Obi-Wan thinking? Anyway, I can't be too mad at this scene, since I do like the relationship between Obi-Wan and Leia, and I guess they had to have a proper goodbye (and Leia now has her droid back). Still, a couple of things. Bail thanks Obi-Wan for bringing Leia back to them, but poor Haja was the one that actually got her through the last leg - maybe Obi-Wan should be apologising to them for not being the one to physically bring Leia back to her family. Not important, I guess.


Meanwhile we get a surprise cameo from... the Emperor! Yes, Ian MacDiarmid is back as good ol' - or is that bad ol' - Palps. He basically warns Vader to get over his obsession with Obi-Wan, and Vader is just like, "Yep, cool, totally over him now", as he sits on his throne on Mustafar. Something tells me, he's not quite over his obsession though, otherwise this 180 turn comes out of the blue. Cut back to Obi-Wan, and he's travelled back to Tatooine... again. He tells Owen he'll take a more hands-off approach when it comes to looking after Luke, and Owen is cool with that. He asks Obi-Wan if he wants to meet Luke. Obi-Wan does, and as he approaches the boy and looks down at him, smiles and says "Hello there!" Classic Obi-Wan, right there. But wait, there's more! Right at the end of the episode, Obi-Wan decides to leave his cave for pastures new, and as he's riding on his eopie to his new digs, we get another returning character - Qui-Gon Jinn! It's only a 30 second cameo, but it's great to see Liam Neeson back as Obi-Wan's former master. He tells Obi-Wan he's always been with him, he just wasn't able to see. He also tells Obi-Wan to hurry up, that they have a long way to go. Not sure if he means that figurately or literally or both, but with that, the episode - and the show - comes to an end.


So what do I think of the episode and the season as a whole? Well, it's definitely a mixed bag. It was great to see Ewan Macgregor back as Obi-Wan, while the call-backs to the prequels were good to see as well. It was also an experience seeing Hayden Christensen reprise his role as Vader/Anakin, although I question how much was he actually involved, since we mostly see suited-up Vader with the imitable James Earl Jones providing the voice once again. I am not sure Obi-Wan and Vader should have squared off not once but twice between Episodes III and IV; the first encounter was a lame duck, but the second was actually good. So mixed feelings, especially with how it well it relates to canon. I enjoyed the relationship and bond between Obi-Wan and Leia, even though I thought the rescue mission plot went on for too long (it took up most of the six episodes, in fact), plus stretched canon to almost breaking point. Luke was barely in it (probably for the best), but seeing Owen and Beru again was cool, and they actually get a little bit to do in the last episode. To cut a long story short, I enjoyed whenever a character from the prequels popped up. I liked some of the new characters too - Tala, Roken, Haja - but they're barely fleshed out, especially Roken. The worst thing about the show - to me, of course - are the Inquisitors. The Grand Inquisitor at least gets some miniscule development - but the others add nothing to the show, especially the Fifth Brother and Fourth Sister. What did they actually contribute? What did they actually do? The only thing they seemed to do was be angry at the Third Sister, Reva. And not much else. They could easily have been cut from the show. Speaking of Reva, the character works only when you don't know there's a redemption arc waiting in the wings. Said redemption arc was weak and forced. Sure, she wanted to take down Darth Vader. But she did a lot of evil things to do it, including kidnapping, intimidation and even murder. And seriously, how is she not dead by the end of the show? Guess being stabbed by a lightsaber (twice) is just a flesh wound in Disney Star Wars.


Anyway, that's the end of the review. Hope you've enjoyed my rants and see you when the inevitable Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2 hits our small screens. Until then, may the Force be with you!





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