[This story contains spoilers from Obi-Wan Kenobi “Part V.”]
There is a wish list among Star Wars fans of what they hoped to see in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and this week’s episode checked a big box with a lightsaber dash.
Within seconds of the opening of “Part V,” the penultimate episode of the Disney+ series treated viewers to a training duel between Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his then-Padawan Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), set prior to Attack of the Clones.
The moment was perfect for two reasons: Yes, it was great fan service, Christensen and McGregor (both de-aged) back in their prequel costumes — Obi-Wan with flowing hair and Anakin with his Padawan braid — but it served as an excellent storytelling device. Obi-Wan was able to stay one step ahead of Darth Vader in “Part V” because he knew his follies from those past sessions and correctly assumed the man had not changed.
Beyond the brilliant opening — and interment flashback segments — “Part V” also began to answer big questions that have been circulating over the course of the series. Let’s dive into the goods.
As expected by die-hard fans, The Grand Inquisitor returned. How did he do it? “Revenge.” At least, that is what Rupert Friend’s character drawled at Reva (Moses Ingram), claiming it was his need to seek revenge on his attacker that kept him alive.
As previously discussed, fans were shocked to see the icoinc Star Wars Rebels villain go down in “Part II,” given how important he is in the first season of the animated show, which isn’t set to take place until five years later. That lead to a larger question: Is Obi-Wan Kenobi making such big moves to rewrite the nature of what is considered canon in Star Wars? While that would open up another can of worms entirely, many were sure that it simply meant that Friend’s Inquisitor would soon make his return. And to do so in this week’s episode, standing by Darth Vader’s side, was quite the satisfying re-entrance.
In “Part V,” viewers also saw a deep dive into Reva’s backstory, where it was learned that it’s not Jedi she’s hunting — it’s Vader, himself. As some fans theorized, Reva was one of the Younglings who were present during Anakin’s massacre of the Jedi Temple during Order 66, which took place in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. A flashback to the horrific event occurred in the very first scene of the premiere episode, which led many to believe there had to be some full-circle connection there.
Indeed, Reva makes one minor slip-up in her Inquisitor facade during the second episode when she reveals to Obi-Wan that Anakin Skywalker is still alive. While an extremely powerful moment for Obi-Wan, it did lead to the question of how she was aware of such tightly-wrapped information in the first place. Luckily, Obi-Wan himself noticed it, too.
In a tense exchange that featured brutal flashbacks to Reva’s memories of Anakin murdering Younglings, it’s revealed that the headstrong Inquisitor has been climbing through the ranks simply to get closer to the Sith man-machine who destroyed her world. Does this mean Reva’s joined up with the good guys? Not exactly. The episode leaves off with a wounded Reva finding Obi-Wan’s communicator left behind in the dirt, carrying a message from Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) about Luke.
This far into the series, fans might have asked themselves if we will get to meet Luke at all by the end of the show. After an adorable appearance of the young Skywalker in the show’s trailer, and then briefly in the first episode, Luke has yet to make any real appearances, while his twin counterpart Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is a full-fledged starring character. “Part V” answered that Luke will indeed be coming onto the scene, but perhaps not in the way we thought — the boy is in danger.
As for bringing things full circle, we also see the return of Haja (Kumail Nanjiani) in this episode. While perhaps not wholly pertinent to Obi-Wan’s own character journey, it implies that Nanjiani’s time in the Star Wars universe may not just end with an episode cameo. It would appear that Haja has officially, if not unwittingly, joined the brewing Rebel Alliance, with Obi-Wan even asking the faux-Jedi to watch over Leia as he goes to (kind of) surrender to Reva.
Heading into the highly anticipated series finale, there are still big questions lingering: Will audiences be treated to an appearance from Obi-Wan’s late master Qui-Gon Jin (Liam Neeson)? Will there be an epic showdown between Vader and Kenobi a la Revenge of the Sith?
As Obi-Wan would say, “Patience.” With a rumored extended runtime — and if the great storytelling of the show is anything to go by — the final episode is poised to deliver.
The series finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi will stream Wednesday on Disney +.
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