Things look bleak for Obi-Wan at the beginning of the fourth episode of this six-episode limited event series. He’s badly injured from his lopsided duel with Vader, Leia has been taken and he still seems fractured from the force. But hope emerges, and rebellions are built on hope.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead, so if you have not yet watched this episode perhaps you may want to pause and go watch the episode first.
Darth Vader says this during a future attempt to rescue Princess Leia during A New Hope, but I kept thinking of this quote as this week’s episode progressed. And it’s appropriate as this episode has numerous parallels and nods to A New Hope.
The biggest takeaway I had from this episode though: Obi-Wan Kenobi is back.
As I noted above, Kenobi is in dire straits when we catch up with him, taken to Jabiim by Tala and he takes a dip in some bacta. Thankfully for us, but perhaps not for him, the dunk is short, as after a few minutes of a flashback to last week’s duel Obi-Wan wakes up and rises out of the tank with a simple question: Where is Leia?
Leia, as we saw at the end of the prior episode, has been captured by Reva and she has been taken to the Fortress Inquisitorius in the Mustafar system, which is of course, very close to Vader’s castle on Mustafar itself.
Roken, played by O’Shea Jackson Jr., was none too pleased to see Obi-Wan brought to Jabiim, noting that there are too many people looking for him. Obi-Wan insists he needs their help to rescue Leia, but Roken replies it’s not his problem, but as Obi-Wan points out she knows plenty about the Path after the third episode. And after Obi-Wan tells Roken that he doesn’t understand what the Empire is capable of, Roken reveals that he is all too familiar, having married someone who was Force sensitive who was eventually found by the Inquisitors. He’s in after all.
They have a de-brief on the fortress, and everyone notes that it’s a crazy mission — they don’t even bother with shields because no one would be crazy enough to attack it — but Obi-Wan says he will go alone if he must. Luckily for him, Tala says she will go with him, using her Imperial credentials to help (assuming, of course, that her cover was not blown in the prior episode).
Obi-Wan struggles to use the Force en route to Fortress Inquisitorius. He tells Tala he will be fine, but for the second time in this series someone tells him he needs to let go of the past if he wants to be able to save Leia.
As they are infiltrating the fortress, including a nice callback to Phantom Menace with Obi-Wan swimming with the aid of breathing device to enter the facility, Leia is asserting that they can’t do this to her and reminds them that her father is an Imperial senator (mirroring her own protests at the start of A New Hope). Reva arrives to interrogate her and lies to Leia, saying Obi-Wan is dead. For the second time in this series Leia is told no one is coming to rescue her (apparently, this is absolutely never true throughout the history of Star Wars). Leia resists Reva’s attempt to use the Force to get information about the Path from her, but Reva intercepts Lola when Leia attempts to use her trusty droid. Reva notes that she once had a droid when she was younger but that it, like everything else, was taken from her — further fanning the flames of the idea that Reva may be one of those younglings we saw in the flashback at the beginning of the first episode of this series. She also points out that the braver Leia seems to be, the more scared she is.
Reva vacillates between good cop/bad cop, and one point Leia seemingly is willing to play along. Of course, it is a ruse as she says she would want to speak with her father first, throwing Reva’s words of them all being on the same side back at her. Reva is not fooled (“Nice try, princess”) and when Leia asserts that she will never tell Reva anything, Third Sister says she hopes Leia likes pain and that it’s time to make her crocodile tears real.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan is still skulking around the facility in a similar fashion to A New Hope, but quickly has to improvise when Tala has a close call with an Imperial officer questioning her. Obi-Wan has to hide, but when Tala answers back on her com, it causes some stormtroopers to become suspicious. In another sign of Obi-Wan’s returning to form and yet another call back to A New Hope, he uses the same distraction trick he will use on the Death Star to throw the approaching stormtroopers off his scent.
He finally stumbles onto the secure area of the facility. Tala had questioned what they were keeping there earlier in the episode and Obi-Wan discovers the truth — it is a tomb filled with what appear to be Jedi captured by the Inquisitors. This obviously raises the question of what they are doing there. Is this part of Palpatine’s cloning program, harvesting blood filled with Midichlorians (also seemingly the reason for the hunt for Grogu in The Mandalorian)? We’ll have to wait for answers to that question, as Obi-Wan hears Leia pleading for help as she is put into a torture chamber and he asks Tala to create a distraction.
Tala does this by urgently summoning Reva and claiming to have information about the Path that she discovered on her post on Mapuzo. Reva is leery, outright asking Tala if she is a spy. Shockingly, Tala says of course she’s a spy, a double agent that has been undercover for two years and that she had to help Kenobi and Leia so she wouldn’t be killed. Reva wonders if she is lying to her or for her and wants her taken to interrogation, but of course that is the moment when alarms sound and Tala is able to escape to help Obi-Wan.
At the same time, Obi-Wan arrives in the torture chamber and kills the lights. In a scene similar to Ahsoka’s movements at the beginning of her second-season episode of The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan uses the dark to his advantage, activating his lightsaber to take out one trooper, extinguishing it to hide his movements and then taking out the other (Ahsoka had to learn her moves somewhere, where better than from her grandmaster).
Leia is relieved to see Obi-Wan alive and they make their exit as Obi-Wan again promises to get her home. Here we see more of Obi-Wan rounding back into form, taking out a probe droid and many stormtroopers (he even breaks out his familiar heroic lightsaber twirl after a particularly impressive display). Despite his injuries, he seems much more fluid and confident here, regaining his past swordsman form from the prequels and a welcome sign for a likely second showdown with Vader before this series concludes. Eventually they end up in a corridor where the fight results in damage to the glass protecting the corridor from the water surrounding it. Obi-Wan is able to deflect a blaster bolt, shutting the blast doors to keep an oncoming Imperial squad at bay, but at the same time the glass is about to give. Tala arrives and Obi-Wan tells her to take Leia, he holds the glass with the Force until the Imperial forces open the blast doors at which point he uses the Force to send the tidal wave toward them and he escapes along with Tala and Leia.
They make their way to the flight deck but are quickly surrounded by Imperial forces and Reva asks Tala if an old man and a child were worth betraying everything she is. Tala in a sick burn says the Empire never represented what she is. Just when it looks bleak for our heroes, the rebels from Jabiim arrive and give Obi-Wan, Tala and Leia cover. They manage to get on one of the T-47 speeders and escape, but not without losing one of their rescuers much to the other’s dismay. Once picked up by Roken, Tala solemnly notes they really are soldiers now, and Obi-Wan and Leia have a heartfelt moment where she takes his hand and they share a meaningful glance with each other.
Of course, back on Fortress Inquisitorius, Lord Vader is none too pleased and reminds Reva with a force choke (yet another A New Hope callback perhaps, Vader force choking an Imperial) of what he said the consequences for failure would be. However, she saves herself by noting she placed a tracker on our heroes. Vader asks if she’s sure, and she says wherever Obi-Wan goes, it will follow.
The tracker? Our beloved Lola! How dare Reva!?!
- This was the shortest episode of the series thus far and thus there is very little fat here. Personally, I was a little surprised to see how quickly Obi-Wan got back into the fight. I thought that we might get some more of Obi-Wan questioning himself and blaming himself for his failures, but there was really none of that here. Perhaps it will be explored more in the final two episodes of the series, or perhaps it’s part of the journey Obi-Wan is said to be on to go from the broken man he is at the beginning of the series to the calm, zen Jedi Master we meet in A New Hope. We’ll see, although I did love seeing Obi-Wan fully embrace his heroism once more. Perhaps all it took was being back in his more traditional Jedi garb rather than his stinky Tatooine threads.
- Speaking of bacta, I for one was thankful it was a short dip. We got plenty of bacta time in The Book of Boba Fett and I had assumed that perhaps this would be the device the show would use to provide a flashback. I still assume that we will get a flashback featuring Obi-Wan and Anakin because it makes little sense to bring back Hayden Christensen back otherwise, but it remains to be seen how we get there.
- Roken notes that he can’t just shut down Jabiim since everything runs through there, so it will be interesting to see how our Lola as tracker cliffhanger plays out.
- Interestingly, Roken also is the first character we see address Obi-Wan by his GAR title of general. There have been rumors that Roken is somehow related to Saw Gerrera, who of course had interacted with Obi-Wan in the Clone Wars animated series and we later see in Rogue One. Given Gerrera’s at-times extremist ways, it will be interesting to see how this could play out if Roken is, in fact, related.
- Despite all the call backs to A New Hope in this episode that I mentioned above, a big opportunity is missed when Obi-Wan does not steal the stormtrooper uniform once he arrives on the facility and use it as a disguise as Luke and Han did in rescuing Leia from the Death Star.
- Speaking of stormtroopers, this episode once again firmly showed them to be nothing but cannon fodder for our heroes. It’s somewhat baffling that the Empire, for all its might, never found a more formidable fighting force.
- I truly enjoyed the moment that Reva, with mock sincerity, promised Leia on her word that no one would be hurt while Leia pretended to be contemplating cooperation. If you believed that I have some droids to sell you I got off some Jawas.
- Vader has little screen time here, but he is, like in the prior episode, terrifying and unyielding. He is out for his old master’s blood and he will destroy anything and everything in his way. It is still somewhat unclear why Reva shares his dogged focus on Kenobi, even down to her using his line that Kenobi is all that matters.
- How is it that Reva and none of the other Inquisitors picked up on Leia’s Force sensitivity, especially after she resisted the mind probe? It would have been hard to retcon no one knowing Leia’s true parentage if they had, but it still seems like a shortcoming for Vader’s feared Jedi hunters.
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!