We are now halfway through Obi-Wan Kenobi, and stakes are rising. Not directly for Kenobi or Leia as we know that they make it out of this series alive, but for everyone else in their path as the two try and make their way back to Alderaan. So many metaphors in a fantastic episode (perhaps one of the best in Star Wars so far).
**Spoilers for Part One and Part Two of Obi-Wan Kenobi**
When I Left You…
Part Three jumps right into where we left off with Part Two as Vader is being put together. Revenge of the Sith had a scene similar to this, but this scene shows how much more machine than man Anakin Skywalker has become.
Chronic pain is also something that is never directly mentioned, but there is no way Darth Vader isn’t experiencing constant pain in his state. And he blames it all on Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Reva has blamed the Grand Inquisitor’s skewering on Kenobi, but Vader does not care. He just wants his former Master and tells Reva that she can have his position if she delivers Kenobi. If not, well…
Meanwhile, Kenobi, now realizing that Anakin survived being burned alive and has become Darth Vader, hears Anakin’s voice and sees him in hallucinations. It does not help that Anakin’s daughter, Leia, is currently with him as they head to Mapuzo, a mining planet, to meet Haja’s contact. During a tense conversation with Stormtroopers, Leia realizes that Kenobi knew her real mother and asks him if he is her real father. It is heartbreaking because Kenobi not only knows who her father is, but is struggling with his role for why Anakin is not in Leia’s life.
Although, Leia not knowing what her father has become is a good thing because she probably would not be happy watching things unfold in this episode.
We also get the revelation that Obi-Wan vaguely remembers his family, including a brother. Rey could have been a Kenobi after all.
…Now I am the Master
This is Vader only ten years after Revenge of the Sith and his lava fight with Obi-Wan so that anger is still fresh.
And that rage burns through in a chilling scene where Vader tries to lure out Kenobi by terrorizing the townspeople on Mapuzo. Part Three shows a level of brutality that Star Wars has previously not allowed for human characters. A Stormtrooper gets cut in half, and we see it( no cutaways).
Then, when Vader arrives in the town Obi-Wan, Tala, and Leia are in, he starts to Force choke a random villager. His son comes out to try and help him, and Vader snaps this kid’s neck. The snap sound never felt so brutal.
This all makes me wonder if we will actually see Vader murdering Younglings when we revisit the very beginning scene. I imagine we still won’t as those kids were younger than the poor boy in the village.
The fight between Vader and Obi-Wan plays like a horror scene where the prey is just trying to make it out alive. Obi-Wan is no match for this Vader, and the Sith easily apprehends him and starts to burn Kenobi alive when Tala and NED-B rescue him. Vader gives a look across the flames that one can only guess is the look of disappointment. There are people wondering how the “actual” fight will play out but do not be surprised if this is what we get. Apparently, it is easy to disappoint Star Wars fans, but this episode has already given more than one could hope for (unless you are just greedy).
Only When The Eyes Are Close Can You Truly See The Way
Dark and light metaphors and visuals are everywhere in Part Three, starting at the beginning. Obi-Wan is still trying to connect with his former Master Qui-Gon. On the transport on the way to Mapuzo, Leia asks a shaken Obi-Wan to describe how the Force feels:
“Have you ever been afraid of the dark? How does it feel when you turn on the light?
“I feel safe”
“Yes, it feels like that.”Obi-Wan to Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi Part III
And Obi-Wan is struggling to find that light. He doesn’t completely trust Haja and is impatient waiting for his contact. He doesn’t trust the backroad pick up driver Freck who is sympathetic to the Empire (ok he was right about that one). And when Haja’s contact, an Imperial named Tala, does show up, Kenobi questions why she would risk her life to help them.
But signs of life begin to emerge when Tala shows him The Path, an Underground Railroad-inspired tunnel for Force-sensitives and Jedi on the run from the Empire. Kenobi sees Quinlan Vos’s name written, and Tala confirms that he helps Younglings escape from time to time (If you want more info on Quinlan, check out my Whatever Happened to…Quinlan Vos? post). Seeing Quinlan in this series is now a real possibility, though I still hope we do not. But it is nice to confirm that Vos did survive Order 66.
Also, at the beginning of The Path are the words “Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see.” And we get a rare smile from Kenobi.
It’s hope. This is what Star Wars always circles back to in a galaxy constantly at war. Hope that there are better days ahead and that those who you have put your faith in will come through.
The hope that the Jedi symbol represents does not sit well with the Third Sister, as she finds the secret tunnel. It is further proof that she is a former Youngling. We have already seen in the background of the room in Fortress Inquisitorious that they have Youngling helmets as souvenirs, so we will see, likely through Reva’s POV, what the Empire does to Force-sensitive children.
And it also hints at a potential redemption for Reva, who is not at the level of psychopathic like Vader (she is shocked when he snaps that kid’s neck). Like the Second Sister in Jedi: Fallen Order, Reva is trapped in a cruel system of do or die. But if Vader, who has killed so many people (including children) can somehow be redeemed by a single act, it is not hard to believe that Reva will find her way back to the light.
The Power Struggle
I love the threatening banter between Third Sister and Fifth Brother (Moses Ingram and Sung Kang) have fantastic chemistry. Obi-Wan Kenobi has done a better job than Rebels in showing why there is a Rule of Two, and why the very concept of Inquisitors does not work. But it is effective for Vader’s objective which is to get Kenobi.
And I did not forget about the Grand Inquisitor. Curious that they have been very vague on his fate. When Reva starts talking about the Inquisitor’s fate to Vader, the Sith cuts her off, stating that the Grand Inquisitor does not matter to him. And for the series, he absolutely does not matter. I guess that is the point. Vader’s life at this point consists of getting revenge on Kenobi (Maul is somewhere in that line as well).
We know how everything turns out (though someone will watch this without knowing the outcome of the Orginal Trilogy) but, sadly, Vader is so focused on his anger towards Kenobi that he cannot even sense his own daughter. We might even have a scene with them together in the next episode.
Leia’s situation is up in the air now that Reva has cornered her, and the prospect of having Leia offer her wisdom to the Third Sister is exciting going into the second half of the series.