Warning: This article will contain spoilers from Obi-Wan Kenobi Part VI
17 years ago, fans across the globe thought that they witnessed the end of Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of beloved hero Obi-Wan Kenobi. Now, just five weeks after its premiere, his triumphant return to the character in his own limited series has ended just the same. And what a finale it was. Let’s dive into the review.
Part VI opens on Tatooine, where Reva (Moses Ingram) seeks out Owen (Joel Edgerton) following her discovery of the importance of young Luke (Grant Feely) on Jabiim. We then jump to Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in pursuit of the transport that escaped in Part V.
Aboard the transport, Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), assures everyone that they’ll be able to escape the Empire’s grasp, but it’s clear to Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) that the refugees will not be free as long as he is aboard. Ready to face his former apprentice, Kenobi says his goodbye to Leia, (Vivian Lyra Blair) leaving her in the care of Haja (Kumail Nanjiani). Back on Tatooine, upon hearing about Reva’s presence on-world from a local vendor, Owen and Beru (Bonnie Piesse) lockdown their farm in anticipation of the former-Inquisitor’s arrival.
Baiting Vader to an unknown rock-world, Obi-Wan discovers that Leia has snuck Lola into his cloak as a companion. When the Dark Lord of the Sith arrives, the gloves are off and the battle begins. The duel lasts about eleven minutes, with some cutting back to the scrummage on Tatooine. The long-awaited duel is a fair sequel to the Battle of the Heroes, albeit the spectacle is on a bit higher of display. The duel felt personal, and the ending certainly brought the emotion and the relationship of these two characters to the forefront in a way that will leave many fans, myself included, satisfied.
Upon departing his duel with Vader, Obi-Wan returns to Tatooine to find that Reva has decided not to seek revenge by killing Luke. The first chapter of her arc is complete, and her growth as a character is only just beginning. While reports circulated that her fate may have been changed upon the reception to her character, it’s hard to believe this wasn’t the plan for her from the beginning.
The finale concludes by following each of our main characters some time after the climax. Vader, sitting upon his throne on Mustafar, assures his master Darth Sidious (cameo by Ian McDiramid) that Kenobi means nothing to him now, although it seems quite hard to believe. Obi-Wan returns to Alderaan temporarily to say his goodbyes to Leia and return Lola before heading back to Tatooine to do the same with Luke. It is clear now that Obi-Wan is at peace, and has a firm understanding of who he is and what he needs to be for the young boy. The series ends with a final cameo from the Force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn (cameo by Liam Neeson), who joins Obi-Wan on his next journey in life.
Despite everything up against it, I was very impressed with the series’ ability to conclude in under an hour. It had much to accomplish, and I feel that it did so fairly well. The standout of it all has to be Ewan McGregor, who brings arguably his best performance of the series to this episode. He really carries this series, and while he surrounded by very talented performers, he continues to grab your attention on the screen.
Something many fans were clamoring for this episode was the return of some classic themes and motifs in the music. While some were left out, many of the themes, including the Imperial March, were brought back and used. I thought this personally added a lot of weight and emotion to an already great score.
My criticisms of the episode continue to come from visuals, primarily cinematography, but they extend to the Disney+ television as a whole, not just to Obi-Wan Kenobi. I hope there is a restructuring of the visual approach to these series. Star Wars was always built for cinema, and while I love seeing these series develop on Disney+, there are ways to bridge the gap and to make the experience feel more cinematic. Andor seems to be heading in a positive direction with this and I look forward to seeing more of that later this year.
Its hard when writing reviews for something so near and dear to your heart to be objective, to be fair. Quite frankly it can be difficult to always find the right words to express what the return of this character means for me. While I certainly have had my ups and downs with the series, at the end of it all, it brought me joy to see Ewan McGregor’s true send-off to this character. There have certainly been rumors, some more substantial than others, that the character may return, but I do not think there is a better way to conclude this journey than what these creators have given us in this finale.
Ultimately, Obi-Wan Kenobi was never going to be able to fulfill all the expectations set upon it. While certain tweaks and changes could have improved the series in my eyes, it ultimately delivered a very powerful story for a fan-favorite character that has left a strong impact on audiences. Cheers to Deborah Chow and the rest of the creative development team on the series. I don’t think you could ask for more from the story.
What did you think of Obi-Wan Kenobi? How did you feel about the series? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media pages!