A Jedi Master Returns to Epic Form



Star Wars delivers the heavyweight champion rematch that fandom has been aching to see. Obi-Wan Kenobi ends an inconsistent first season with an incredible Jedi versus Sith duel. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) reclaims his power in the Force while sadly accepting that the man he knew as Anakin Skywalker was truly gone. Darth Vader’s (Hayden Christensen/James Earl Jones) bitter hatred and pursuit of his former master gets another brutal comeuppance. Reva (Moses Ingram), the former Jedi youngling turned Sith inquisitor, redeems herself after a Tatooine pursuit of Luke (Grant Feely). The finale was undoubtedly thrilling. Its high points make up for logistical errors that enable the epic showdown.

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Part six opens in Mos Eisley with an injured Reva making inquiries. She’s looking for a moisture farmer named Owen (Joel Edgerton). Meanwhile, in the space above Jabiim, Darth Vader’s star destroyer chases the Path Network’s refugee transport. Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) tells Obi-Wan he needs time for repairs before the jump to lightspeed. Obi-Wan realizes that he must leave or risk everyone being killed. Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) becomes upset and storms away. Obi-Wan comforts Leia by giving her Tala’s (Indira Varma) holster. She’s too young to have a blaster, but one day will not be.

On their farm, Owen is warned about Reva. He wants to run with Luke but Beru (Bonnie Piesse) refuses. She retrieves two hidden rifles. They knew this day would come. Reva will attack at night when the suns are down. They should stay and make their stand. Owen lies and tells Luke that Tusken Raiders are coming. The boy should flee into the desert if anything happens.

Obi-Wan gets ready to board the transport’s drop ship. He praises Roken’s efforts as a leader. Darth Vader watches as Obi-Wan separates and flies toward a nearby planet. He orders the star destroy to follow the Jedi. The Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) responds this is a tactical error. They have a chance to wipe out the Path Network. An obsessed Vader overrules him. He will take a shuttle to face Obi-Wan alone.

Obi-Wan Lands for the Duel

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Obi-Wan lands for the duel. Leia has left her droid Lola with him. On Tatooine, Reva infiltrates the farm. She’s met by Owen who punches her wounded abdomen. Reva easily cuts through his defenses before tossing him down. Beru tries to stop her but is also flung away. Luke climbs out of a hatch and runs into the desert night.

Obi-Wan and Darth Vader face each other for a fight to the death. Lightsabers hiss with static as they clash furiously. Obi-Wan pulls down a rock pillar with the Force and hurls it at Darth Vader. He comments that his former master’s strength has returned. Vader punches the ground and causes a crack that engulfs Obi-Wan. He hurls huge boulders into the crevice to bury him. Vader curses Obi-Wan as he walks away in triumph.

Luke frantically tries to escape Reva. He tries to climb away from her, but she uses the Force to pull him down. Luke falls and is knocked unconscious. Reva readies her blade to kill. She flashes back to the terror she felt as a youngling when Anakin confronted her. She cannot kill Luke. Reva collapses in horror at what she’s become.

Obi-Wan strains as he holds the crushing boulders at bay. He remembers his sworn duty to protect Luke and Leia. The boulders explode away as Obi-Wan erupts in the Force. Darth Vader turns around to block a ferocious lightsaber strike. Obi-Wan tosses him back with a powerful Force push. He pummels Vader with a barrage of flying rocks. Vader tosses one back but it’s cut in half by Obi-Wan.

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Obi-Wan assaults with his superior lightsaber skill. He smashes the breathing apparatus on Darth Vader’s chest. Then whips around to cut him in the back. He delivers a wicked blow to Vader’s helmet that cuts in half. Obi-Wan stares sadly at the burnt and disfigured face of Anakin.

Obi-Wan apologizes for what Anakin has become. Darth Vader doesn’t accept his sympathy. His vocal synthesizer fails. Vader admonishes Obi-Wan in his real voice. He killed Anakin Skywalker. Obi-Wan will be next. The cold truth finally dawns. Anakin no longer exists. Obi-Wan spares his former apprentice once more. He leaves Darth Vader injured and defeated.

Obi-Wan senses that Luke is in danger. He races back to Tatooine and lands on the farm. He, Owen, and Beru see Reva carrying Luke back. She lays the boy before them. Owen picks him up with a concerned Beru. Reva kneels before Obi-Wan. She tosses her Sith lightsaber to the ground. She weeps in distress. Has she turned into Darth Vader? Obi-Wan congratulates her for accepting mercy. She has renounced the Dark Side of the Force.

Darth Vader and the Empire’s Forces

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On Mustafar, Darth Vader speaks with a holo of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). He wants to commit the Empire’s forces to find Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Emperor agrees with the Grand Inquisitor’s reasoning. Scouring the galaxy for one Jedi is a waste of time. He acidly threatens if Vader’s “feelings” on the matter are clear. Darth Vader shrinks before the Dark Lord of the Sith. His only wish is to obey the Emperor’s command.

On Alderaan, Leia dresses in a white jumpsuit with braided hair. She wears Tala’s holster proudly. Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and Breha (Simone Kessell) take her to a landing ship. She’s overjoyed when Obi-Wan emerges with Lola. Obi-Wan gives her kind words of encouragement. He tells Leia that she has the finest traits of her parents. Obi-Wan says goodbye to Bail. He’s always available to help if needed.

Obi-Wan returns to his desolate cave on Tatooine. He packs up his meager belongings. Obi-Wan visits the farm to speak to Owen. They agree that Luke should have a normal childhood. Owen allows Obi-Wan to speak with Luke for the first time. The Jedi Master greets his future apprentice with his trademark “hello there.” Obi-Wan rides towards a canyon. He’s met by the Force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Who was always with Obi-Wan. Now Obi-Wan has grown in the Force to see him. Obi-Wan follows Qui-Gon towards his destiny.

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Unpacking Obi-Wan Kenobe Season Finale

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Whew! There’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with the issues before gushing with effusive geek joy. How can Reva, who was run through with a lightsaber, be on Tatooine shortly after receiving such a grievous injury? This was the second time she’d been stabbed in the guts by Anakin. The series never explains how she recovered and survived on both occasions. We are meant to accept that her need for vengeance overcomes a hole in the gut. Obi-Wan needed a bridge scene with her getting a bacta treatment or mechanical innards like Fennec Shand.

The transport ship fleeing the star destroyer reminded me of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This chase makes no sense. Darth Vader could have blown up the ship or used a tractor beam to pull it in. I can buy that his searing hatred blinds common sense. Why not follow Obi-Wan in the shuttle while the star destroyer obliterates the transport? Also, the drop ship has a warp drive. Obi-Wan could have left with Leia at any time. The chase is just a poor set-up for the duel.

It’s fair to say every Star Wars fan was blown away by the climax. I got chills hearing Hayden Christensen’s voice spew venom through the cracked helmet. It was a scene very similar to Ahsoka’s fight with Darth Vader in Twilight of the Apprentice, the best episode of Star Wars Rebels. Both battles represented a stark moment. Anakin Skywalker had transformed into a monster.

Part six packed a knockout blow of emotional gravitas. Obi-Wan had to face his guilt and perceived failure. He blamed himself for Anakin’s embrace of the Dark Side and the downfall of the Jedi. Obi-Wan’s unshackles his mental burden after kicking Anakin’s butt for a second time. Anakin Skywalker sold his soul to the Devil. His gloating of that awful fact gave me chills. Darth Vader was a choice that spawned evil incarnate.

The return of Qui-Gon Jinn was expected, but satisfying nonetheless. Yoda promised to show Obi-Wan how to communicate with Qui-Gon in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. He would reveal the path to immortality. A Jedi becomes a part of the Force when they are ready to spiritually move on. Obi-Wan following Qui-Gonn teases further great adventures.

The original supporting cast reprising their prequel characters was fantastic. I loved that Beru wanted to stay and fight for Luke. A mother will defend her child at all costs. She and Owen, like Bail and Breha, have committed to parent the Skywalker children. It sucks that they all die horribly. Hayden Christensen makes his mark as Darth Vader. James Earl Jones and David Prowse, the original Vader, were largely unseen. Christensen’s face behind the mask was remarkable. Blending his and Jones’s voice nailed the whopper impact.

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first season ends on a high note because of Ewan McGregor. He embodies the mythic hero. Obi-Wan asserting his strength in the Force was stupefyingly awesome. We believe that the character regained his lost confidence. McGregor channels Alec Guiness while making Obi-Wan his own. He’s tough, compassionate, and a great leader, the definition of a Jedi Master. The duel with Darth Vader was the best Star Wars television moment since the de-aged Luke’s rescue of Grogu. I have no doubt we’ll get a second season of Obi-Wan. There’s room for grand exploration. The showrunners just need to iron out small details and tighten the narrative.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a production of Lucasfilm. All six season one episodes are available to stream exclusively on Disney+.

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