The third episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series quickly picks up right where the second episode left off and it isn’t long before the Jedi Master comes face to face with his worst nightmare.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead, so if you have not yet watched this episode perhaps you may want to pause and go watch the episode first.
“He’s coming, Master.”
Obi-Wan begins the episode trying to meditate and reach Qui-Gon Jinn once again, but instead is greeted with several reminders of his personal suffering — Reva revealing Vader lives, Master Yoda telling him that viewing the security footage in “Revenge of the Sith” will only lead to pain, Qui-Gon’s denying request for Obi-Wan to train the boy and several of Anakin’s lines from just before their duel on Mustafar.
As Obi-Wan is reliving all of this pain, we see his former apprentice living through some pain of his own, although this is of the physical sort, not the mental or spiritual. We see Vader being built, as all of the various pieces of machinery that help keep him alive after his defeat on Mustafar at the hands of Obi-Wan are put into place. We see he is, in fact, on Mustafar, in his castle on the lava planet. There he speaks with Reva (and yes, James Earl Jones is back as the voice of Darth Vader), reaffirming that he care of nothing but capturing Kenobi (even brushing off the Grand Inquisitor’s stabbing, which Reva pins on Obi-Wan). Vader promises her she will be promoted to Grand Inquisitor if she can help deliver Kenobi to him. However, if she fails him? Well, she won’t live to regret it, he menacingly warns her.
Once they land, Obi-Wan’s broken cynicism returns to the fore when he again questions whether the help Haja provided them is really a trap. He even snaps at Leia when she simply asks why Haja would lie, telling her that people aren’t necessarily good. Clearly, Obi-Wan is still reeling from all the betrayal and loss he suffered at the end of the Clone Wars despite getting an opportunity to meet his erstwhile best friend’s daughter. Later, he immediately goes to the worst-case scenario of thinking that they were deceived when no one is waiting at the coordinates, while Leia asserts that perhaps their contact is just late (spoiler alert, she’s right).
Obi-Wan notes that the barren planet once was verdant with fields and families until the Empire arrived and turned it into a strip-mining operation. He again expresses pessimism about the Empire and the galaxy despite the best efforts of people like Leia’s adopted father, but then he has a brief vision in which he thinks he says Anakin, with all his limbs and clad in brown Jedi robes, before snapping out if it and telling Leia to stay close by.
Meanwhile, we arrive at the Fortress Inquisitorius, where we are once again reminded of why the Sith observe the rule of two. Reva and the Fifth Brother snipe at each other over who will take the Grand Inquisitor’s place, especially after Reva reveals that she has spoken with Vader and he has asked her to head the search for Kenobi. Fifth Brother is outraged and again stakes his claim to power, telling Reva that he will get what he deserves and ominously so will she. Later on, they are once again at each other’s throats about who will ultimately win this power struggle when Fifth Brother beats Reva to the punch by informing Vader that they have found Kenobi.
The story picks up when Leia sees a vehicle coming and moves to hitchhike despite Obi-Wan’s protests. They are picked up by Freck and immediately he questions their story of being farmers visiting this planet, foreshadowing his suspicion of the pair. We immediately learn he is a BIG fan of the Empire and soon after picks up some typically inept stormtroopers.
Obi-Wan tries to deflect when asked again what they’re doing on this planet, but Leia quickly covers with the cover that Obi-Wan has taken her to the place where he met her mother, who is no longer with them. They press Obi-Wan on whether he has any information on the Jedi and he stumbles and accidentally calls Leia by her real name. They actually pick up on this, but he saves it by saying that he gets confused sometimes and when he sees her he sees her mother’s face, which clearly hit a little too close to home.
When the stormtroopers depart, Leia point-blank asks Obi-Wan if he knew her birth mother, which cause Obi-Wan to deflect again and her to accuse him again of hiding things from her and lying to her. She then really twists the knife by asking if he is her real father, which a saddened Obi-Wan replies he wishes it were so but no. She wistfully then admits she wonders about her birth parents and tries to picture them, leading to Obi-Wan’s surprise admission that he remembers glimpses of his birth family, including a baby which believes could have been his brother. But then he notes that he got a new family with the Jedi, just as Leia has with the Organas.
They reach a checkpoint, where Freck sells them out and the stormtroopers tell them to get out of the vehicle and call upon a probe droid. Obi-Wan shoots it in the eye right after it recognizes him, and makes quick work of the remaining troopers. However, as soon as they make it through the gate, another garrison arrives and they look to be in trouble, That is until they are saved by an Imperial captain who shoots the troopers and reveals herself to be their tardy contact.
The Imperial, who later reveals herself to be Tala, brings them into town and to a droid repair facility which is really the home to safe house and secret tunnels used to shuttle Jedi on the run to safety. She serves as a contrast to Obi-Wan’s cynicism by noting that there are many good people out there risking their lives. Tala also reveals when asked that she had joined the Empire when she thought it stood for something but quickly became disillusioned when she saw what it really was.
In a bit of foreshadowing, Tala notes that the Empire is not just hunting Jedi, but also force-sensitive children and when Leia asks what happens to them Tala says they don’t know because they are never seen again.
After a near-miss with a couple of stormtroopers, Obi-Wan and Leia’s departure timeline is moved up and just as they are about to enter the secret tunnels Obi-Wan is stopped in his tracks. Vader is here. Obi-Wan quickly goes to a window where he not only sees his former apprentice for the first time in his suit but he sees the full terror of Darth Vader in action, as Vader uses the force to pull people out of their homes, force chokes them and snaps their necks. Obi-Wan tells Tala to get Leia to Alderaan and that he will buy them time and distract Vader.
Then we finally get our rematch. Obi-Wan asks Vader, “What have you become?” and he’s referring to more than just the suit. Vader replies that he is what Obi-Wan made him, again a statement laced full of meaning. The duel reveals that Obi-Wan is completely overmatched by Vader, quickly put on the defensive and forced to a knee. Vader taunts that Obi-Wan should have killed him when he had the chance and eventually force chokes Obi-Wan into the air and throws him into a burning fire, looking to inflict the same pain that he has endured.
Luckily for Obi-Wan, Tala at Leia’s urging has returned to help, shooting a stormtrooper and providing the cover for Ned-B, the loader droid from the repair shop, to pull him to safety. Unfortunately, at this same moment Reva has gone somewhat rogue again and in doing so discovered the safe house and the secret tunnel. And in the episode’s closing moments, she intercepts Leia after killing the pilot that was supposed to take her to safety. This opens up a lot of questions going forward, including whether Reva will feel Leia’s force sensitivity and whether she’ll be able to connect the dots as to who Leia really is.
This is where the fun begins.
- As they approach their destination, Obi-Wan repairs Lola much to the delight of Leia and she asks him about the Force. He compares it to being afraid of the dark and having a light put on, that it feels safe. He seemed hesitant to go into the Force with Leia, still perhaps fractured from it despite successfully using it to save her in Daiyu.
- As Obi-Wan and Leia are going over their story back on the mining planet and he again tells her not to talk, to which she replies full of what will become her trademark sass, “I can’t talk or I don’t like to talk?” It was a fun moment in which Vivien Lyra Blair does an excellent job channeling Carrie Fisher and the woman Leia will be when we see her in the future.
- In what may be a nod to the fans, Leia asked Obi-Wan if he is going to say hello when they first encounter Freck. Sadly, he does not say his trademark, “Hello there,” but rather just hello.
- Blair also is excellent in a moment showcasing Leia’s vulnerability beneath her fearless exterior. She apologizes for running away in the first episode and admits she just wants to go home. It’s similar to a scene in the second episode where in speaking of the broken Lola (“Don’t worry, she’s strong”) where she may have really been speaking about herself. Obi-Wan promises to get her home.
- Obi-Wan has a moment of hope when he sees in writing on the wall that his old friend Quinlan Vos had been there, begging the question if we might see the Clone Wars character at some point in this series.
- One wonders if perhaps the purpose of this series is to restore some of the hope and optimism that Kenobi once held during the Clone Wars so that he is ready when it is finally time for him to train Luke. His damaged psyche is on full display in this episode.
- Vader is at peak terror here, similar to how we see him at the end of “Rogue One.” I wonder if Vader, knowing Obi-Wan so well, used his destruction of the townsfolk to lure Obi-Wan out into the open, again calling back to the Grand Inquisitor’s monologue in the first episode of the Jedi’s compassion being their undoing.
- I think it’s fair to assume, given what we already know will happen in the future, that Vader will not come face to face with Leia in this series, otherwise it would be difficult to believe that he would not be able to tell she was in fact his daughter with Padme. But never say never.
- Lastly, I just want to leave this here:
We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold. If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist. pic.twitter.com/lZW0yvseBk— Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2022
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!