Obi-Wan Kenobi: Part V delivers its best episode to date in the penultimate episode and sets up what will likely be an explosive finale.
Disney learned from its mistake upon launching the series on May 27. This time around, there is a warning to alert viewers about unsuitable images. I’ll get to it soon but given Star Wars history, I’m sure that you can figure it out.
I’ve been staying up for launch of every episode and will do so again for the finale. What I hope is that it is not the series finale. I’ve been having fun staying up late to watch this show. And if I’m being honest, I hope that next week isn’t the end. There are plenty of more stories to tell! While I don’t know where a second season could go, I’m absolutely loving the redemption for Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen because they absolutely deserve it.
There’s a lot to discuss about this episode so please join with me below the image of Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) as I break things down.
This is the episode that has it all. When they tell you that this series has a beginning, middle, and end, they were not joking around. The fifth episode is leading us directly into the climax with no shortage of tension. Oh yeah, what were you saying about the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend)? “Revenge does wonders for the will to live.” I could have told you when it happened that there was no way that they were going to break canon. The Dark Side of the Force has a way of doing unnatural things. Did nobody learn anything from watching Revenge of the Sith?
What I love about this episode is we really get to see the Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) of old. I mean the Clone Wars general that puts leadership into action. He buys time for the Path’s refugees to mount their escape from Jabiim by confronting Reva (Moses Ingram). Kenobi realizes that she was at the Jedi Temple during the Order 66 massacre, that she was a youngling. He later turns himself in–again to buy time in a callback to The Last Jedi–while proposing a plan to Reva regarding Vader. It’s one of those classic team-up situations that we’ve seen time and time again to take down a Sith Lord. Only this time, Kenobi is of the belief that Vader will never see Reva coming. Unfortunately, Tala (Indira Varma) sacrifices her life with a thermal detonator to save everyone else.
There a plenty of moments in this episode where Darth Vader gets to be a badass. We’re back on the Devastator star destroyer as he continues to pursue Kenobi. The first is when he uses the Force to keep their transport from escaping. Unfortunately for him, it was a decoy but still, we’re seeing what the Dark Side can do. He doesn’t just force it to land but destroys it, too. It’s a moment that recalls the point where Kylo Ren and Rey go at it in The Rise of Skywalker.
There are plenty of flashbacks to the Clone Wars period where Obi-Wan and Anakin are training on Coruscant in a lightsaber fight just before Attack of the Clones begins or during the film itself. We know this because of their clothing and Anakin still has both arms and his Padawan braid. The exact time period may be a question but make no mistake that Anakin is looking out towards what is presumably Padme’s (Natalie Portman) residence. Could Padme return in a flashback next week? We’ll see.
“Your need for victory, Anakin, blinds you,” Kenobi tells him.
In a later moment:
“You’re a great warrior, Anakin, but you’re need to prove yourself will be your undoing. Until you overcome it, a Padawan you will still be.”
I’m hoping next week’s finale sees more flashbacks but we’ll have to see what happens. I know what people say about the prequels–myself included–but this episode brought plenty of nostalgia with it. The training battle is one of two fights in this episode. The latter is between Vader and Reva. At one point, you think Vader is going to behead her like he did Count Dooku. However, we’re left with the belief that Reva will live to see another day.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan’s silence also forces Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) into action, too. Unfortunately, a broken version of his transmission leads Reva to discover that there’s a boy hiding on Tatooine. The episode ends with an injured Reva probably beginning to put pieces together. She already knew that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker. It’s only a matter of time before Reva figures out that Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) is Anakin’s son. Put two and two together and it’s only going to be a recipe for disaster. What Kenobi doesn’t know is that Reva has seen the transmission, only because the transmitter fell off of Haja Estree (Kumail Nanjiani) during the battle. Haja had nowhere else to go and now feels like a real Jedi because he’s wanted by the Empire. He also finds it a good business opportunity!
In some of the blink-and-miss it easter eggs, Obi-Wan Kenobi finds a way to make Legends-era Jedi canon. I love how the Path network is finding ways to take advantage of all the Legends material, Even if those books and such are no longer canon, that doesn’t mean that characters didn’t exist in the universe. Meanwhile, a number of familiar species are waiting for their escape on Jabiim, including a pair of Trandoshans. Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) is seen using a bowcaster, which we usually only see on Wookies.
Joby Harold pens the script with Pixar vet Andrew Stanton. It isn’t Stanton’s first rodeo in the sci-fi fantasy territory. Ten years ago, Stanton was the director of John Carter. He’s done some directing on the TV side of things but no live-action features in the decade since. Unless you count directing two episodes of Stranger Things and For All Mankind. Maybe Disney will decide to give him another chance with how this episode turned out. Stanton is also listed as being one of next week’s writers for the series/season finale. If the cast and crew have an interest in making a second season, you can count me in!
Obi-Wan Kenobi delivers the goods in Part V and sets things up for an explosive finale.
SHOWRUNNER/DIRECTOR: Deborah Chow
SCREENWRITERS: Joby Harold & Andrew Stanton
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Deborah Chow, Ewan McGregor, Joby Harold
CAST: Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Vivien Lyra Blair, Maya Erskine, Indira Varma, Kumail Nanjiani, Marisé Álvarez, Rupert Friend, James Earl Jones, with Jimmy Smits and Hayden Christensen
Disney launched the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi on May 27, 2022. Weekly episodes will follow on Wednesdays through June 22. Grade: 4.5/5
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