Warning: This article will contain spoilers from Obi-Wan Kenobi Part IV
After a climatic mid-season battle between two Star Wars legends shocked audiences worldwide last week, Obi-Wan Kenobi returned today after the longest hiatus the series has seen so far. To the surprise of many, Part IV was not the slow burn that was anticipated, but rather the beginning of the race to the finish line. But does this episode hold up against its predecessors? Let’s jump into the review and find out.
Following his nearly-fatal duel with Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) is transported to the planet Jabiim and placed in a bacta tank for healing. However, his nightmares are too much for him, as he rushes out of the tank to the dismay of Tala (Indira Varma). Desperate to save Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) from Fortress Inquisitorius, Obi-Wan enlists the help of Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and his small team of fighters from The Path.
Meanwhile, the young princess of Alderaan is being interrogated by the Third Sister Reva (Moses Ingram) within a holding cell. Despite Reva’s best attempts, Leia’s wit, fortitude, and likely strength in the Force keep the information safe.
Thanks to the help of Roken, Obi-Wan, donning traditional Jedi robes, and Tala are able to infiltrate the Fortress and find a way to rescue Leia. While exploring the restricted areas in the belly of the beast, Obi-Wan stumbles upon a chamber filled with the bodies of Jedi stored in stasis. Shocked and horrified, he cannot dwell on his fallen brethren, and proceeds onward to successfully save Leia.
During the escape, Obi-Wan begins to appear to return to his former self, as he deflects blaster fire and cuts down several stormtroopers and droids. His attunement with the Force is still not what it was, but there is a clear visual display that Obi-Wan is becoming more and more prepared to take on Vader again. The episode ends with the trio making their escape despite Reva’s best efforts, although they will not get far, as the Third Sister has placed a tracker within Leia’s droid Lola.
This episode came out of left field for me, and truthfully I thought it was the weakest episode of the series so far. If you read my review last week, I truly anticipated this episode to be much slower, and to allow for more focused character development and growth. While we are seeing Obi-Wan return to form, there is still much that could have been done or still needs to be done before he can face his former apprentice again. I feel very similarly about Reva. We still lack any backstory for her character, and her conversations with Leia in this week’s episode felt like the perfect time to do it. With only two episodes left, I hope that her history is not neglected or saved for a final battle exposition.
The introduction of the Jedi stasis chamber is one of the more interesting concepts to come out of canon in the recent years. With the work that The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch are doing with filling in the gaps of Palpatine’s master cloning plan, it seems that Obi-Wan Kenobi is adding to that puzzle. I do not expect to see or even reference this again in the series, but there is no doubt that the goal was to add more connective tissue between these eras and the overarching reign of Darth Sideous.
My biggest issue with the episode was pacing. It started incredibly fast, so much so that I felt lost for a moment. The introduction of Roken felt extremely rushed, especially considering how much depth O’Shea Jackson Jr. is bringing to the performance. I hope to see more of him in the final two episodes.
Finally, I would really love to see more of Hayden Christensen in this series. He has done an excellent job so far embodying the role of Darth Vader, yet I hope the series offers him the chance to act once more, either as Anakin or as Vader. While no one officially teased flashback sequences, the show hinges on the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and what better way to show that than to provide more flashbacks of their dynamic that the recaps and prequel footage can’t provide?
Ultimately, I thought this episode was good, not great. The series has taken a bit of a lull with Part IV despite being as fast-paced and action-filled as it was. I hope that as we approach the finish line, the writers remember what intrigued audiences about this series and what got everyone so excited in the first two episodes. I have no doubt that the series will finish strong and I look forward to seeing how it ends.
What did you think of this episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi? How did you feel about the story so far? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media pages!