Obi-Wan Kenobi reached its penultimate chapter Wednesday, with episode 5 of the live-action Star Wars miniseries landing on Disney Plus. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) managed to free Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) from the clutches of the Imperial Inquisitors, so it looks like they’re free and clear. Except sneaky Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram), aka the Third Sister, planted a tracker on Leia’s cute droid LOLA, so the Empire can follow them.
Our hero managed to escape with the help of turncoat Imperial officer Tala Durith (Indira Varma) and anti-Imperial network leader Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who are secretly helping Jedi and Force sensitives escape the Empire via an underground railroad known as the Path. Obi-Wan is one of the few people who knows Leia is Vader’s lost daughter.
Let’s track down some major SPOILERS. This series takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and nine years before A New Hope.
A Skywalker in danger
After a failed attempt on Vader’s life, a badly wounded Reva spots Obi-Wan’s dropped commlink and sees a garbled message from Leia’s foster father, Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), that mentions “learned of the children,”http://www.cnet.com/”Tatooine,”http://www.cnet.com/”Owen” and “the boy.”
Conveniently that’s just enough information for her to figure out that Luke Skywalker is Vader’s son — probably should have changed his name — and find the 10-year-old on the desert world. I reckon he’ll be alright, though, since he’s living a normal life and blissfully unaware of the Force by the time we meet him in A New Hope.
On board the escape transport with Leia and a bunch of refugees, Obi-Wan senses the danger to Luke. So I guess he’ll be headed back to Tatooine in a hurry in next week’s finale. He might be a bit delayed, since their hyperdrive is broken and Imperial forces are right on their tail.
Master and apprentice
As his Star Destroyer travels to the Path base on Jabiim, Vader reflects on his time as Obi-Wan’s Padawan. We get some delightful flashbacks to a sparring session they had in the era before Attack of the Clones, as evidenced by their outfits, hairstyles and Anakin still having his right hand (Count Dooku slices off a chunk of his arm in their duel on Geonosis).
It highlights their slightly tense relationship, Anakin’s impatience and Obi-Wan’s ability to outthink him — all of which play into the show’s present-day story. City planet Coruscant also makes a spectacular backdrop for their duel.
“You are a great warrior, Anakin, but your need to prove yourself is your undoing,” Obi-Wan says. “Until you overcome it, a Padawan you will still be.”
There might be some subtle digital de-aging or clever application of makeup going on here, but the visual effects team didn’t overdo it — Christensen in particular looks older in these scenes than he did in 2002’s Attack of the Clones (maybe because he doesn’t have a beard to hide behind). Their onscreen dynamic is pretty electric, though; it seems like the actors loved having the chance to revisit an earlier point in their careers with two decades’ more experience.
If there’s no de-aging, these guys won the genetic lottery, and I am a bit jealous.
It’s also just nice to see notorious sand-hater Anakin before he became a horrible mass-murderer, but his descent into darkness is the focus of the episode’s other flashback. This happens in Revenge of the Sith, which takes place three years after Attack of the Clones.
Surviving Order 66
Unsurprisingly, Reva is revealed to have been a Jedi youngling who survived Order 66, when clone troopers turned on their Jedi allies. She was seemingly stabbed by Anakin when he stormed the Jedi Temple, and played dead among the bodies of the other children to avoid detection. Which is absolutely horrifying and presumably what prompted the “upsetting” scene warning that precedes the episode.
An empathetic Obi-Wan sympathizes with what she’s been through and realizes her becoming an Inquisitor was all part of a revenge plot against Vader. She’s been planning to slay the Sith Lord all along, and can tell Obi-Wan isn’t entirely certain about taking the life of his former apprentice.
Despite this, Obi-Wan sees an opportunity in Reva’s quest — he surrenders and offers her the chance to kill Vader while he’s distracted. However, it’s really just a big trick to give Leia, Obi-Wan and the refugees a chance to escape.
Dark Lord’s power
Once again, Vader is pretty epic to watch in action. Arriving on Jabiim, he rips a decoy ship out of the sky with the Force and tears open the hull to find it empty, but his need to show off allows the real transport to escape.
Vader pulling down the ship with the Force seems to highlight his power (and echoes a moment from 2008 video game The Force Unleashed), since his former Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Rey struggled to do so in The Clone Wars finale and The Rise of Skywalker, respectively. It looks less impressive when the ship is revealed to be empty. In fact, Vader looks like a bit of a fool (don’t tell him I said that).
When Reva makes her move, he effortlessly stops her attacks with the Force and stabs her through the torso (again), then reveals that he knew her origins all along as she lies in the dirt.
“Did you really believe I did not see it, youngling?” he says. “You are of no further use.”
The Grand Inquisitor is revealed to have survived being skewered by Reva — shocking absolutely no one who’s seen CGI animated series Rebels, since it’s set after this and he’s the main villain in season 1 — and he suggests that his desire for revenge helped him survive. He probably got shoved in a bacta tank too, that always helps.
Vader and the Grand Inquisitor leave her to die, which seems a little illogical. But I guess the show needs someone to go after Luke in the finale, and having any other Imperial do so and fail to tip Vader off to his son’s existence would stretch credulity.
Obi-servations and Easter eggs
- Leia feels quite sidelined in this episode, since she’s mostly in a box messing with wires. At least she fixes her droid and helps everyone escape.
- The moment where Anakin smacks down in Obi-Wan’s lightsaber to break his defense mirrors a similar mode in the Return of the Jedi duel between Luke and Vader.
- The camerawork and many of their moves echo those seen in their battle on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith.
- The dynamic between Tala and loader droid NED-B echoes that of Cassian Andor and K-2SO in Rogue One, right down to their deaths at the hands of the Empire. We’ll see Cassian again in his Disney Plus prequel series in August, and K-2SO will likely show up at some point during the show’s two-season run.
- Obi-Wan spots a bunch of lightsaber hilts in a box in the Path base, but I don’t think any of them belonged to anyone we know.
We would be honored if you would join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, June 22 , when episode 6 – the series finale – of Obi-Wan Kenobi hits Disney Plus.
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