The penultimate episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited event series is action-packed, both in the past and the present, and sends us hurtling toward what could be an epic finale. So strap in as if Darth Vader was trying to literally pull your transport back to earth.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead, so if you have not yet watched this episode perhaps you may want to pause and go watch the episode first.
We finally get our much-anticipated flashback to prequel-era Obi-Wan and Anakin, and despite being seemingly innocuous it is the backbone of this episode and perhaps this entire series.
The episode opens with said flashback as we see Anakin waiting for Obi-Wan so they can spar at the Jedi temple. They banter for a moment before circling each other, which is an apt allegory as in the present they are basically circling one another once again. Reva informs Vader that Lola has tracked Obi-Wan to Jabiim and Vader rewards her by making her grand inquisitor. He sets an immediate course for Jabiim.
Upon arrival on said planet, Roken tells Obi-Wan that he’ll help get Leia back home, but only after he gets the others who have been waiting months off planet as the old trade route they have been using will be closing soon. Meanwhile, we see Haja, the con man “Jedi” from Daiyu on planet. He notes that after encountering Reva in episode two, he is now wanted by the Empire, so he sort of knows how it really feels to be a Jedi. Although, his roguish nature shines through while noting that there are some good business opportunities here. Never change, Haja, never change.
Vader orders Reva to lock down the facility where our heroes are preparing for “dust off,” as Roken calls it, despite Reva’s protests that they could survive for days in that scenario. Vader is only concerned with breaking Obi-Wan.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan sees more carvings similar to the ones in the safe house from the third episode of this series, including one with the quote: “The Light will fade, but is never forgotten” - perhaps continuing his own Jedi reawakening from the previous episode.
Lola successfully seals them in just as an Imperial cruiser arrives. Obi-Wan notes that Vader is behind this and will attack next, as he has no patience for a siege, leading us back into the flashback where Obi-Wan chides Anakin for being too aggressive, noting that a Jedi’s goal is to defend life, not take it. Anakin replies that mercy doesn’t defeat an enemy, a chilling reminder that even as a Jedi the darkness was present in Anakin, as was seen at times in the prequels and the Clone Wars animated series.
Of course, Vader orders the attack as Obi-Wan predicted, and in a scene where we see shades of the old General Kenobi, Obi-Wan rallies everyone telling them that if they fight they will not survive, but they don’t need to fight but rather just hold off the Empire until they can escape. Thus begins an effort to seal off every entrance. Reva and her forces arrive and immediately begin using a heavy gun to try to break through the door. Roken and Haja go back and forth over what they can do, and Leia immediately volunteers to go into the vents to try and fix the hangar door. Roken tells her it’s not playtime, but Obi-Wan backs her up, noting that if Roken trusts Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan trusts Leia. This feels monumental as it is a sign of the evolution of Obi-Wan throughout the series, going from a place where he trusted no one to now explicitly verbalizing his trust in another. This is another sign Obi-Wan is healing mentally and getting closer to the Jedi Master we will meet in A New Hope rather than the bitter, broken-down hermit we meet at the beginning of this series.
Obi-Wan receives a communication from Bail Organa, who is concerned because he has not heard from Obi-Wan in a while. He says that if he does not hear from Obi-Wan soon he will head to Tatooine to offer assistance to Owen with Luke. As his message is finishing, Tala arrives and reveals to Obi-Wan why she has joined the cause. She was carrying out orders on Garel for a roundup of “people not paying their way, taxes for the cause.” Of course, it was a lie and it was really four families of force-sensitive people. She says 14 people died, including six kids, and she couldn’t do anything to help them, which is why now she does what she does. She also alludes back to their conversation from the last episode on the way to rescue Leia, saying he was right that are some things you can’t forget but you can fight to make them better.
After seeing shades of the general, we then see shades of the Negotiator, as once the Empire is close to breaking through Obi-Wan decides to try to stall them by speaking with Reva. During their conversation through the door, Obi-Wan ponders how Reva would have known that Anakin is Vader and puts together that Reva was one of the younglings we saw at the beginning of the first episode of this series and that she was at the temple on the night of Order 66 and saw him. This sends Reva into her own flashback of that evening and we see Anakin walking with the 501st as he beings to slay the younglings.
Reva says she thought he was there to help them and that she couldn’t save them because she was too weak (once again, the Dark Side coming through). She notes that she played dead and hid with the bodies and felt them go cold. They were the only family she knew and Anakin/Vader slaughtered them, leading Obi-Wan to realize that she isn’t serving Vader but rather hunting him. He proposes they team up, but Reva asks if he really wants Anakin dead, to which Obi-Wan’s silence speaks volumes. She unloads her resentment toward Obi-Wan, asking him where he was while his padawan was sacking the temple asking why Obi-Wan didn’t stop him, why Obi-Wan didn’t save them. She says she doesn’t need Obi-Wan’s help, and replies after he tells her she can’t do it alone that he would be surprised at what she’s been able to do alone (perhaps evoking Dooku’s taunt about pride before the fall from the prequels).
Reva cuts through the door with her lightsaber and the battle is underway. Obi-Wan is on the front line, deflecting blaster bolts as Roken and others take aim on the Imperial forces. Eventually, the rebels are forced to retreat, but Tala is shot in the stomach and Ned-B is also badly damaged. As Obi-Wan attempts to fight back to Tala to help her, Ned-B collapses in front of her, effectively shielding her. Tala knows she will not survive, and instead shoots out the control panel sealing Obi-Wan in with the others with a final, “May the Force be with you,” before setting off a thermal detonator in a final heroic act.
While Leia is still trying to fix the controls, Vader tells Reva to stand down as Kenobi is already theirs, bringing us back to the flashback where Anakin has Obi-Wan pinned down. I have to say, the choreography here is very similar to what we saw from their duel in the third episode of this series, albeit without all the rage. Anakin beats Obi-Wan down to a knee and tells him to admit he is beaten. Back in the present Obi-Wan says it’s over and that he’s going back, but Roken said he can’t and that he’s fought for too long for Obi-Wan to throw that way. He also says if Obi-Wan surrenders Tala will have died for nothing. Obi-Wan says Vader wants him and expects him to surrender to save the innocent, which is why he must fight him, although he hands Haja his weapons and his communicator, which has been broken. He tells Roken that there are other ways to fight, a call back to his discussion with Han aboard the Millenium Falcon in A New Hope.
Obi-Wan surrenders and is taken to Reva, where he again presses her into teaming up to take down Vader, noting that she’s not bringing Obi-Wan to Vader, but rather Obi-Wan is bringing Vader to her. Reva contemplates and Obi-Wan says there are families back there, children. He asks her if she is going to let Anakin/Vader do it again, what he did to her. Obi-Wan says they could end this together. Reva asks why Obi-Wan thinks Vader won’t see it coming. Obi-Wan says because all Vader will see is him. This seems to satisfy Reva who has him taken back inside by two troopers.
Back in the past, Obi-Wan escapes being pinned down, Anakin knocks his lightsaber away and says with his weapon gone it’s over to which Obi-Wan replies: “Your need for victory, Anakin, it blinds you.” Foreshadowing.
Back in the present, Vader arrives and says he will take in Kenobi himself. But Obi-Wan has already taken down his captors and runs back to others. Meanwhile, Leia finds what she needs to fix, but Lola attempts to interfere. Leia takes off the restraining bolt and frees Lola from Imperial control as she fixes the controls. As everyone rushes to the transport, Obi-Wan arrives and has to break the bad news to Leia about Tala’s death. In the commotion, meanwhile. Haja has dropped Obi-Wan’s communicator.
Vader arrives and stops the transport from taking off, actually forces it back to the surface and literally begins tearing it apart. However, It was just a decoy and the real ship takes off as we go back to the flashback to see Obi-Wan disarm Anakin and tell his padawan he’s a great warrior, but until he can overcome his need to prove himself he’ll always be a padawan (could this be their justification for saying the line about “When I left you I was but a learner, now I am the master” is still canon-accurate?)
As he is reminiscing, Reva attempts to sneak up on Vader, but he catches her. Vader says Obi-Wan was wise to use her against me, perhaps stoking her anger toward him while also paralleling Return of the Jedi when he tells Luke that Obi-Wan was wise to hide Leia from him. Vader fights Reva using only the Force, and her rage and aggression are her undoing. Finally, after stopping her spinning blade and separating them into two sabers, they duel and Vader easily bests her. As he approaches to deliver the death blow, Reva again flashes back to the same scene from the Jedi temple, with it playing out in the present. Vader taunts her by asking if she really believed he would not see it, youngling, perhaps alluding to the notion that he knew who she was all along. The real Grand Inquisitor then arrives, taking back his pin while taunting Reva that revenge does wonders for the will to live and saying they’ll leave her in the gutter where they found her.
After they’ve left, Reva pulls herself to her lightsaber, but also sees Obi-Wan’s communicator and is able to play part of the message, hearing Bail say he will go to Tatooine to help Owen, who she interacted with in the series premiere, with Luke.
At the same time, Obi-Wan senses something is wrong, distracting him from the pressing issue at hand: Roken tells him their ship’s hyperdrive is down and the Empire is hot on their tails.
We close the episode with a shot of a sleeping Luke on the Lars farm on Tatooine. Something tells me that’s not the last we’ve seen of young Luke.
- This was another shorter episode. As much as I would like to spend as much time as possible with these characters, I am glad to see they are not just padding out episodes because they can.
- Haja continues to be a welcome bit of comic relief. From his glass-half-full that being on the run from the Empire has afforded him with business opportunities to whining that Leia isn’t listening to him and her telling him basically to shut up, he’s pure gold.
- In a series where we know that most of the main characters are going to live, that certainly opens up some of the other characters to potentially die to maintain some drama. Honestly, though, I was surprised to see Tala meet her end here. We did get nice closure on her motivations and why she did what she did and she did get a heroic moment at the end. I had thought that she was a character who could have had a place in the Andor series coming later this summer, but alas, it was not meant to be. RIP Tala.
- It was interesting to see almost all versions of Obi-Wan here. We got to see the Jedi Master, the General, the Negotiator and an evolving Jedi in exile. All that was missing was Padawan Kenobi.
- Speaking of Padawan Kenobi, we still have not seen Qui-Gon Jinn. Even with one episode remaining, I still firmly believe we will see/hear him in some form. There have been too many allusions to him to not eventually pay that off.
- It was an interesting choice to see them basically do no de-aging on Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor in the flashback scenes. At least it appears that way. It was great to see Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen dueling and bantering again, and they looked like they didn’t miss a beat in coming back together for this series.
- Stormtroopers, once again, prove to be the most ineffective fighting force in history,
- Vader continues to show terrifying power. Even more than the scene at the end of Rogue One, this series has felt like Vader at his peak Sith powers.
- With their hyperdrive down, will our heroes have to land somewhere to try and fix it? If so, it will it be a planet we’re familiar with?
- Finally, will we get one more Obi-Wan vs. Vader duel? It seems like we need one to close the loop, but perhaps Obi-Wan’s admonishment/advice at the end of their sparring session is enough.
Be sure to check back after every episode for my thoughts. If you have questions or just want to talk Star Wars, hit on me up on Twitter — my username is @a_silva32. May the Force be with you!