Warning: This article will contain spoilers from Obi-Wan Kenobi Part V
Following a daring rescue from Fortress Inquisitorius last week, Obi-Wan Kenobi returned today with its penultimate episode. While last week’s episode was the lowest rated of the series so far, this week the series took a much needed turn in the right direction, delivering what I believe just may be the best episode of the series so far. Let’s dive into the review.
Part V opens with a flashback sequence on Coruscant within the Jedi Temple sometime prior to the events of Attack of the Clones. The sequence shows Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (played by a digitally de-aged Hayden Christensen) preparing for a sparing match. The episode cuts back and forth to the duel several times throughout.
In present day, Obi-Wan, Tala (Indira Varma), and Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) arrive back on Jabiim and anxiously await the Empire’s next move while attempting to get refugees at their camp off-world. However Lola, the now fan-favorite droid of the young Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) has been corrupted by the Empire, and sabotages the base, preventing our heroes’ escape.
It is not long before newly-appointed Grand Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) and Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) himself arrive, the former on the surface with the latter in a Star Destroyer in orbit. Reva attempts brute force to enter the base, only to find that Vader already knows what Kenobi will do –surrender.
In a conversation intended to stall for time, Obi-Wan comes to the realization that Reva knows Darth Vader’s true identity because she was there on the day of Order 66. She indeed was one of the younglings in the series’ opening flashback sequence as many had predicted. It is also here that we learn Reva’s quest for power has only ever been to seek revenge against Vader for what he took from her. In her moment of weakness, Obi-Wan takes advantage, and hatches a plan.
Growing tired of waiting, Reva storms the stronghold, engaging her stormtroopers with the band of fighters inside. Here we see a great final moment from Tala, who sacrifices herself and her droid NED-B in a sequence that felt like it was ripped straight out of Rogue One. In order to save lives, Obi-Wan surrenders, just as his former apprentice predicted. Finally, in this moment, Reva sees the light, and in her thirst for revenge, allows Obi-Wan back inside to draw Vader down to the surface.
It is within this time that Leia is able to fix the sabotaged base (and Lola!) and everyone is able to escape, but not before a fake out in which Vader rips a decoy transport out of the air and back down to the surface. It is here that Reva makes her move, but unsurprisingly, her master sees it coming. After an intense duel that showcases that Vader has learned much since his time since his sparring with Obi-Wan, Reva is stabbed with a lightsaber, mirroring her strike of the original Grand Inquisitor. In true Star Wars fashion, from the shadows of Reva’s defeat comes the return of Rupert Friends’ character, who promptly takes his mantle back.
The episode ends with Reva, lying in her defeat, alive, and fueled by vengeance, picking up Obi-Wan’s damaged holoprojector, in which Bail Organa mentions Owen’s boy on Tatooine. Obi-Wan senses this, and the race is on to get back to Luke for the finale.
After my disappointment in last week’s episode, Part V really hit a lot of the notes I wanted Part IV to hit, particularly with character and development. I was really surprised by Tala’s sacrifice, but loved her arc and what she meant to Obi-Wan and his growth throughout the series. Finally getting confirmation of Reva’s backstory was incredibly satisfying as well.
The element of development that I’m most ecstatic about though is the inclusion of Hayden Christensen as Anakin, with dialogue. This is the development I had hoped to see more of throughout the first four episodes, and I hope we see more of it in the finale. The relationship between master and apprentice is so crucial to this series, and flashback sequences like the one in this episode are exactly what help audiences connect with the characters and their arcs.
Performances were very strong again, which has been a constant for the series. I have particularly been impressed with O’Shea Jackson Jr. as of late, and I hope there is opportunity for Roken to continue as a character elsewhere in other content. He is a natural leader and his charisma adds so much to an otherwise small role. Perhaps he could show up in the sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor.
I do have some fears going into the finale, namely that Reva and Vader will be heading to Tatooine. There has already been some uneasy treading with the proximity of Leia to her father in this series, and I would hate to see the same for Luke, especially with how well the new canon has handled Darth Vader’s revelation and processing that he has a son. I’m sure the series will do all of it justice, and I look forward to seeing how the show ends next week.
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!