One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious Crumb have the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, StarWars.com presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In this installment, two StarWars.com writers pick their best-loved chapter from the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series now streaming on Disney+.
Spoiler warning: This article discusses details and plot points from Obi-Wan Kenobi.
It’s the penultimate episode, Part V, says Neil.
For me, Star Wars has always been about the echoes of the past. That moment when the story reflects a moment that reminds us of another place, another person, a time in the saga dear to our hearts. The fifth episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, while staying present in an anxious moment — Obi-Wan, Leia, and the Path refugees hunkered on Jabiim, trying to escape the approaching Empire — manages to echo an expansive set of films and television shows.
Opening with a brightly-lit flashback to the prequel era, this episode reunites us with Anakin before his turn to the dark side: the smiling, devil-may-care Jedi, sparring with Obi-Wan in order to prove himself yet again. For those of us with a deep, abiding love for the prequel era of the Skywalker Saga, that return to Coruscant — really just seeing Hayden Christensen without that bulky armor in the way — stirred something in our hearts. The rest of the episode, flashing between Obi-Wan’s duel with Anakin and his desperate attempts to protect Leia and the others from Reva’s assault, reminds us how much of that prequel-era Anakin (brash, headstrong, focused on victory) remains in present-day Darth Vader.
Beyond that, the episode reflects a host of moments from the saga’s past and future. There’s the reluctant scoundrel Haja Estree, recruited into a fledgling rebellion like Han and Lando. The panic-stricken escape from an approaching battalion of stormtroopers is reminiscent of the Battle of Crait in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And how can you watch Vader’s impressive display of the Force — holding back the departing shuttle — and not think of Rey’s attempt to do the same in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?
The last stands of Tala and NED-B, sacrificing themselves to buy the others time, echo both the “Jedi Night” episode of Star Wars Rebels and the final moments of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. “Some things you can’t forget. But you can fight to make them better” sounds a lot like “Rebellions are built on hope.”
Amid all those echoes, the episode still offers something new and surprising when we learn everything we need to know about Reva, the youngling-turned-infiltrator. Reva, played by Moses Ingram, has until this moment possessed a single-minded, driven purpose: Get Kenobi. Chapter by chapter, we learned of her ambition to become Grand Inquisitor, and to take her place at Vader’s side. But flashing back to the first moment of the series, Part V finally explains who Reva really is — one of the few younglings to escape Vader’s extermination of the Jedi at the Coruscant temple during Order 66.
Reva’s arc elevates this chapter. Her pleas to Obi-Wan (“Why didn’t you stop him? Why didn’t you save us?”) serve to enhance the saga-spanning character development of both Kenobi and Vader while twisting the knife into an already guilt-ridden Kenobi. The fact that she refuses all help and requires no partnership only makes the next bend of her arc even more sorrowful. And when she discovers Bail’s message and the existence of Vader’s son, the story returns to Tatooine, the ultimate echo in the place where it all began.
The action-packed and heartfelt finale, Part VI, is definitely my favorite episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, says Kristen.
When Obi-Wan Kenobi was first announced, we had no idea that this series would take us on an adventure with Leia and Ben fighting side-by-side against the Empire. The twist that Reva was a youngling almost killed by Vader himself during the atrocities of Order 66 had us reeling! The Grand Inquisitor and the Inquisitorius in live action!
But the final episode is by far my favorite. There’s nothing more satisfying than a fantastic conclusion and Part VI of Obi-Wan Kenobi delivers. It’s the episode that finally relieves the tension and provides a greater emotional context for Star Wars: A New Hope, while also paying tribute to the prequels.
Not only do we get another emotional confrontation with Darth Vader and Ben Kenobi, but it also has the redemption of Reva, Ben reuniting with both of Anakin and Padmé’s kids, Force ghost Qui-Gon, and — maybe my favorite part of all — Aunt Beru defending her homestead without even breaking a sweat. There is so much character development here, I found myself cheering, crying, and aching for each one. Part VI continues the main themes of hope, the importance of friendship, and exemplifies the idea that every character has a choice to be better.
Vader and Ben’s final conversation at the end of their epic duel is something that will stay with me for a long time. I love the symbolism behind their lightsaber colors reflecting in their eyes as they purge their grief, Vader’s voice modulator cracking into Anakin’s voice as we look into his eye. As Anakin reveals that Ben is not responsible for his transformation into Darth Vader, we see the blue tint of Ben’s lightsaber reflected in Vader’s eye change to the red tint of his own lightsaber. We see Ben finally understand that he is not the one who created or could save Vader.
Another reason Part VI is my favorite episode is Reva’s story arc and redemption. Although she starts down the path of revenge, she ultimately makes her own choice to instead deliver Luke safely back to his homestead. Ben wasn’t able to save Vader, but he was able to help Reva cast aside her hatred and find herself again. These are the moments that matter the most in a time of evil and uncertainty.
Of course, the entire series was building up to the reveal of Qui-Gon Jinn as a Force ghost and the payoff was incredible. Not only was he there for Ben, it felt like he was also there for those of us who grew up on the prequel trilogy. It was the perfect ending to a great show and a reminder that the greatest battle was still ahead.
Which episode is your favorite? Tweet us your response @StarWars!
And watch all episodes of the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series, now streaming on Disney+!
Kristen Bates is flying by the seat of her pants and doing the best she can. Slow walker. Spends too much time on the internet. Season ticket holder for the Boonta Eve Classic. Aspiring smuggler. Find her on the interwebs @kristenkbates.
Neil Kleid is a writer and designer who truly belongs among the clouds. He digs Star Wars, comix, mobile design, BBQ, and baseball. Talk to him about design and Lobot on Twitter at @neilkleid.
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