Spoiler warning… this recap is for people who have watched Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+. Don’t read unless you’ve seen episodes one through six.
I tuned in for the Obi-Wan Kenobi final and that’s definitely what I got. Whatever complaints there are with this episode and series as a whole, no one could complain that the various plot points weren’t wrapped up neatly by the time the credits rolled. Obi-Wan was back on Tatooine, waiting for the next SOS, Luke was safe, Leia returned to Alderaan, and Darth Vader eventually killed every remnant of Anakin and pledged his unconditional allegiance to Emperor Palpatine. It was almost like the series wasn’t there – it didn’t change anything and overall we learned very little.
Nevertheless, there were positives, so let’s start with them. The fight scenes were spot on, mixing just the right amount of athleticism and skill with emotion and blind rage. (Predictions about Darth Vader’s missing scar were correct; indeed, it was Obi-Wan who gifted his old padawan that specific battle injury.) “Your strength has returned, but your weakness remains,” said an impressed Vader during the duel. , noting that the last time they crossed, about a fortnight ago, Obi-Wan could barely swing his saber, but here he made it rain and pushed his opponent in all directions.
We also learned more about the relationship between Obi-Wan and Owen and Beru. Their reaction to having Old Ben’s name mentioned in A New Hope is given extra weight, knowing what we now know.
Ultimately, I enjoy the chance to spend more time in this universe, even if it doesn’t really tell me anything I don’t already know. But as beautifully made as this series was, it suffered from a complete lack of danger. That was true in the prequels and it is still true here. At the very least, the series brought in some new characters to care about, but there weren’t enough of them. We also got a more nuanced characterization of Vader, and his statement that it was him and no one else who killed Anakin Skywalker was chilling.
The animated series The Mandalorian and Jedi: Fallen Order managed to show us new worlds and adventures, another side of the galaxy that we didn’t know existed. Obi-Wan was stuck telling the same old story. I was hoping there’d be a hint of another story in the credits, too, the same way the second-season post-credit scene set up The Book of Boba Fett. Would it be too much to ask to see Quinlan Vos sitting in a bar in the Outer Rim, sipping a cold glass of quanya? Or maybe Darth Maul, at one point reportedly in Obi-Wan, sitting on Dathomir, plotting his revenge against the man who cut him in half? Should there be another season, I’d like to see it overlap with the events of Star Wars Rebels and mimic Obi-Wan and Maul’s final duel on Tatooine.
Revenge of the Jedi? Return of the Sith?
Last week I outlined how the series had echoed the corresponding movies in the Star Wars franchise, leading me to think Part VI would be a standalone reissue of Return of the Jedi. That didn’t actually happen – why not Ewoks? — but there was at least some correlation in Anakin and Vader’s arc. In ROTJ, Luke brings out the remaining good in his Vader, who manages to overcome the dark side – effectively killing Vader – and throw the Emperor into a huge hole before making peace with the Force. In this series finale, we got the opposite, with Obi-Wan making the confession that Anakin is dead and all that’s left is Darth Vader, who surrendered to the dark side of the Force.
Back to Tatooine
When the episode started, we went back to Tatooine where Reva was looking for Owen and the boy she’d heard about in Bail Organa’s message. Nice to see Obi-Wan’s old boss getting knocked out of his hands at the fishmongers, but I think skimming his staff’s pay deserved a much more severe punishment.
Luckily, Owen and Beru got the nod that Reva was coming, so they managed to throw a welcome party at their desert home. Still weak from her fight with Vader, Reva was a lesser threat than she would have been at the start of the series, but nonetheless I think she could have overpowered the moisture burps, feisty and heavily armed as they were. It also made me think they might have put up a great fight when the stormtroopers came knocking on A New Hope.
Reva eventually found Luke, who by then had fallen off a cliff (another Skywalker, outsmarted by the high ground) and lay unconscious on the ground. At this point I couldn’t quite understand Reva’s intentions – she was going to kill Luke in the name of justice? I don’t see how killing the son Anakin doesn’t know exists is comparable to slaughtering countless Jedi during Order 66. And while Reva knew Luke was important enough to stay hidden, she really knew she was going to. Anakin’s son watched? Anyway, the terrifying visions of that fateful night at the Jedi Temple saw that she couldn’t go through with it, and instead she took the boy back to the ranch and his aunt and uncle. “Who you become now is up to you,” Obi-Wan told her, and whether we’ll see her again is a guess. I enjoyed Moses Ingram’s contradictory performance and would hope to see her character again at some point in the future.
As the episode drew to a close, I wondered if it was a good idea for Obi-Wan to meet Luke that way, but forgave any possible change in their relationship as soon as I heard Ewan McGregor roar, “Hello there!” The circle is now complete.
Finally! We got the cameo from Liam Neeson, none of us knew we wanted them until Qui-Gon Jinn was mentioned earlier in the series. And I know he was a Force ghost, heavily computerized, but Neeson didn’t look much older than he did in The Phantom Menace. Maybe dying is good for the aging process?
But what now? There are no official plans for a second season – Disney insists this is a limited series – but I’m sure that could change if the fans are hungry enough and the cast is excited. Seeing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon running off together made me think of a Jedi version of Randall and Hopkirk (deceased), where the pair travel across the galaxy solving crimes.
Comments and comments
As Obi-Wan lay under a pile of rubble, flashing back through key moments in his life and reaching for motivation, I was reminded of Beatrix Kiddo in a similar predicament in Kill Bill: Vol 2, remembering Pai Mei’s instructions.
Tessen, which Roken et al. went to, is a new planet not seen before in the Star Wars universe.
Obi-Wan’s “Goodbye, Darth” was a direct nod to how he referred to Vader during their last rematch in A New Hope, when Darth was considered a first name rather than a Sith title.
Obi-Wan has his cave packed up like he’s moving. Does this mean that if we see him again, he’ll be in the little studio apartment we saw in A New Hope? I can’t help but wonder what he got the money for. (And he’s definitely a cash-buyer—he can’t risk putting his name on a mortgage while hiding from the Empire.) And what was the chest he left behind?
Nice to see Tala’s blaster holster going to Leia. Can we assume this is the same holster she wears with Endor in Return of the Jedi?
What did you think? Did you enjoy the series? Would you come back for a second series? What did you make of? Haja Estreeparenting advice? Comment below and thank you for reading…