Welcome to my weekly review of Obi-Wan Kenobi, where I will be walking us through each episode and giving my thoughts on the show. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at “Part III”.
Obi-Wan is meditating on the cargo transport and trying to contact Qui-Gon Jinn… without success.
On Mustafar, Darth Vader emerges from his bacta tank and is put into his armour. He receives a transmission from Reva updating him on what happened on Daiyu (though it appears that she reported the Grand Inquisitor as being killed by Kenobi). Vader senses that Reva wants to be the new Grand Inquisitor and tells her that should they be successful in catching Kenobi, the rank is hers, however failure will result in her death.
Obi-Wan successfully repairs Lola (L0-LA59) just in time for the transport’s arrival at Mapuzo, and he and Leia sneak off the transport as it is unloaded. The pair make their way to the co-ordinates that Haja gave them for a meeting, while Obi-Wan explains to Leia how what used to be a lovely planet has been ruined by Imperial mining, and tells her that Bail Organa is one of the few in the Empire still trying to do good.
“People are not all good, Leia.”
Reva arrives back at the Fortress Inquisitorius, where she informs Fifth Brother and Fourth Sister that she has found the manifest of the transport Obi-Wan took, so has tracked him to one of the mining systems. She reveals that Vader has put her in charge of the chase—angering Fifth Brother, who wants to become Grand Inquisitor himself—and orders probe droids to be sent to the mining systems.
Obi-Wan and Leia arrive at the meeting spots but there is nobody there, leading Obi-Wan to feel that they have been duped by Haja. Leia sees a transport passing on the nearby road and flags it down, using the lie that Obi-Wan had created that they are a father and daughter who are farmers on Tawl, who have gotten lost and need directions to the nearest port. The driver introduces himself as Freck and says that is where he is headed, so lets them jump in the back of his transport, which Leia accepts.
As they travel, Freck picks up 4 stormtroopers whose transport never arrives. They reveal that hey are hunting for a Jedi who may be nearby, so they begin asking questions of the pair. Leia and Obi-Wan expand on their earlier story saying that Leia’s mother had passed away, and that Obi-Wan had taken her to see where he first met her mother. Obi-Wan unintentionally calls Leia by her real name rather than the one she had made up, which makes the troopers suspicious, but he successfully passes it off as being his late wife’s name, saying that Leia was his wife’s name, and that he occasionally mistakenly calls his daughter by her name as they look and act so similar. The transport soon reaches the troopers’ destination and they disembark. Leia, having noticed some truth in Obi-Wan’s comments about Leia’s similarity to her mother realises that Ben knew her real mother and asks if he is her father, which he confirms is not the case.
The transport arrives at an Imperial checkpoint, and Freck suggests to the troopers that they may want to check out the pair in the back of the transport. The stormtroopers order Obi-Wan and Leia off the transport and call in a nearby probe droid to scan their faces. The droid scans Obi-Wan first, but as it identifies him, he draws his blaster, shooting it and the stormtroopers and knocking Freck out. As he and Leia prepare to run away, a transport arrives containing 3 stormtroopers and an Imperial officer, who shoots al 3 troopers in the back, revealing herself as Tala Durith, Haja’s contact.
At the Fortress Inquisitorius, the Inquisitors get a signal with a positive identification from the probe droid that Obi-Wan destroyed. Fifth Brother reveals that he has already informed Lord Vader, and they order the battalions to shut down the ports.
“I miss home.”
Tala leads Obi-Wan and Leia to a nearby town, telling them that she has a pilot who will take them offworld to Jabiim, but they need to hang on for 3 hours until his scheduled departure time. She leads the pair into a droid maintenance building, where everything is automated, and introduces the pair to NED-B, a loader droid who opens up a secret entrance to a back room. Here, Tala reveals that she is part of a wider network helping Jedi and Force-sensitive children escape Imperial rule and set up new identities. Obi-Wan recognises one of the names: Quinlan Vos, who Tala says helps them from time to time. She explains to the pair that the Empire is hunting anyone who is Force-sensitive, but nobody knows what happens to them as they are never seen again.
2 stormtroopers take a look around the maintenance building but fail to find the entrance to the back room, however Tala realises that it is not safe to delay. She opens a door to a tunnel system, however as they are about to enter, Obi-Wan feels a disturbance in the Force. Looking into the street, Obi-Wan sees that the Inquisitors have arrived… along with Darth Vader.
Realising that Vader can likely sense him, Obi-Wan tasks Tala with getting Leia to Alderaan, while he leads Vader away from the town and port into the mining area. As they make their way through the tunnels, Leia convinces Tala that she can make it to the ship on her own, and asks Tala to go back for Ben, which she does.
“What have you become?”
“I am what you made me.”
In the mining area, Obi-Wan and Vader come face-to-face and eventually begin to fight, though Vader quickly overpowers him and throws him momentarily not a fire so that he can burn like Vader did. Vader sends some stormtroopers to collect the injured Obi-Wan, however Tala arrives on the scene and causes an explosion, which creates a new fire barrier between Obi-Wan and the Imperials, allowing NED-B to carry Obi-Wan to safety.
Leia reaches the end of the tunnels, only to find that Reva—who had discovered the safehouse and the tunnels—has reached the port first, killing the pilot and waiting for Leia to arrive…
Wow! Was this the best episode of any Star Wars live-action series so far? Well I’m not sure if it quite beat the emotion of Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett, but it’s right up there!
Ewan McGregor was widely considered one of the best actors in the Prequel Trilogy, but he has taken Obi-Wan to incredible new levels with this series, while Vivien Lyra Blair is managing to hold her own as Leia. I understand that some people are finding the pairing of Kenobi and Leia a little too similar to Din and Grogu, but while there are certainly similarities (a gruff older male being opened up emotionally by a cute kid), this series is able to go further with some wonderful conversations between the pair that just heighten the emotion and build on the characters—such as Obi-Wan’s description of the Force feeling like the safe feeling of turning on a light when you are afraid of the dark—while these touching moments of dialogue were spread throughout the episode between moments of action or tension.
Indira Varma was a welcome addition to the cast in this episode. She has the bearing that I could 100% see her as an Imperial officer, but then finding out that she as working against the Empire as part of a Star Wars version of the Underground Railroad also worked perfectly. And a shout out too for Moses Ingram, and Sun Kang as Reva and the Fifth Brother. With Reva being subservient to Vader but instead furthering her rivalry with Fifth Brother, it really brought out the best in both actors, and felt much better than the dynamic between Reva and the Grand Inquisitor. Oh and I suppose I should mention Vader. Well having Hayden in the suit certainly gave the feeling of a Vader in his prime, while even the voice (I’m so glad that it was still James Earl Jones, having not heard any confirmation of his involvement I was getting nervous) sounded more like the Vader from the Original Trilogy than that of Rogue One, where it certainly felt like Jones’ age could be heard at times.
“Kenobi is all that matters now. Is that understood?”
If there was one word to describe this episode, it would be “tension”. Knowing that Vader is getting involved from the start of the episode immediately raises the stakes further, the Imperial flag in Freck’s transport added some nerves to Kenobi and Leia’s travel and then the scene with the stormtroopers questioning them got to a point where I was so nervous I barely breathing. And then again with Obi-Wan being chased by Vader, having Obi-Wan filling the screen as the camera rapidly moved around him gave a great sense of disorientation, I was constantly waiting for Vader to pounce!
And on the subject of their fight, I think that this series could actually go a long way to giving a canon reason for how unexciting the duel in A New Hope is compared to the rest of the saga. Here we see a Vader in his prime basically toying with Kenobi as his years of hiding have clearly weakened him. Why would Vader expect that the next 9 years would see Obi-Wan suddenly start getting back to his best? While Obi-Wan is just distracting Vader so that Luke and the others can escape, so has no reason to fight at his best and push Vader to fight harder.
Where will things go from here? Well we’ve already had Vader set up that failure will result in Reva’s death, which likely explains why we haven’t seen her in other stories before. It looks like Obi-Wan will be going on a rescue mission next week, as though it looked like the episode ended with Leia running away, there’s no way she should be able to escape Reva. And with the Quinlan Vos mention, could my prediction that he appears in the series actually prove correct, just in a different way to how I expected?
“Quinlan was here!”
“Yeah, he helps now and again. Smuggling younglings.”
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- So this episode seemed to suggest that the Grand Inquisitor is indeed dead. I hope that we get something before the end of the season to bring us in line with Rebels, as his death is a major retcon that is frankly inexcusable.
- Damn these Padmé references are pulling at my heartstrings!
- I’m starting to notice the score a bit more now, and I’m loving it. It’s definitely not sticking with me immediately as some have, but it’s hitting the right notes as I’m watching the show.
- I love just how many of the conversations Leia has in this episode are hinting towards her eventual growth into a member of the Rebel Alliance
- The Fortress Inquisitorius looked absolutely amazing! It was great to see it translated from Fallen Order
Moments in Canon
- Quinlan Vos’ survival of Order 66 was already known from 2017’s Star Wars: Darth Vader comic, though we still do not know how he survived
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….