Check out our previous reviews of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series here.
Spoilers for ‘Chapter Six’ ahead.
“Revenge does wonders for the will to live…don’t you think?” It’s an intriguing prospect watching these Star Wars stories, knowing what happens on the other side. We already know the fates of Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker long before this limited series came into our lives. However, the tried-and-true tale of a worn hero returning to prominence is enough to captivate audiences of all generations of fandom.
The sixth and (presumably) final chapter of Obi-Wan Kenobi circled themes of acceptance, redemption, and new hope (or hopes). Recall where we were in ‘Chapter Three’ — Obi-Wan was horrified at the prospect of facing Darth Vader. Seeing the Sith lord, Anakin had become enough for him to run during their first battle since Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan spent much of this series constantly languishing in the past and not seeing how bright the future could be. Here, the old “Jedi Master” has returned, knowing he must confront this fear personified in a man. In his speech to the refugees, Obi-Wan speaks as if he has a debt to repay the people who are the heart of resistance against the growing threat of the Empire.
It’s also clearly apparent that Darth Vader cannot let go of the past. His relentlessness in going after his old master profoundly clouds his judgment. What this series does right is to show how much of a monstrous force Vader has become in the galaxy. Despite that, he still has a lot to learn, and his tunnel vision often costs him the goal. The Grand Inquisitor points this out — but taking his eye off the proverbial ball will make the resistance network grow stronger.
The last fight between Obi-Wan and Vader was more than evenly matched. Obi-Wan changes fighting styles and is more aggressive. (Anakin finally gets the high ground). A significant turning point in this fight is the vision of the future — Luke and Leia, in particular. No longer bound to the losses of the past, Obi-Wan’s internal engine is renewed by what’s ahead of him. In contrast, Vader is anchored in everything he lost inside a half-machine tomb. Even powered by all that anger, the small light inside him leaves Vader vulnerable, and he knows it.
One last conversation they have is heartbreaking — just for that slight moment, Obi-Wan is talking to Anakin. A ray of blue light reflected from Obi-Wan’s lightsaber is enough for Anakin to release him. “You didn’t kill Anakin; I did.” Those words are a good deed. As quickly as it feels like Obi-Wan is making a breakthrough, the red flare of Vader’s lightsaber takes over Anakin’s face. Using Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones’s voices together is a terrific device, chronicling the war inside the man. Obi-Wan can accept his friend is gone — reminiscent of Ahsoka in Star Wars Rebels. Vader has now lost both physical and mental battles (as a cameo from Darth Sidious points out, “If your past cannot be overcome…”) Those defeats will make Darth Vader that much stronger in the force’s dark side.
Reva’s storyline ends with a redemptory arc that may initially seem confusing. At the end of Episode Five, Darth Vader leaves her for dead. Even with that, Reva still goes on pursuing Luke. (Shout out to Beru, telling Owen they weren’t fleeing and would stand up and fight. That’s the ole rebel spirit.) As far as lessons go, this was the clearest one to see from the start. Reva didn’t want to repeat the same cycle put upon her by Vader – which is fair. It’s still tough to believe she allowed herself to do all those misdeeds seeking revenge. Obi-Wan’s dialogue with her tries to stitch the motif together. What these main characters share is the hold that Vader’s actions had on them. Obi-Wan and Reva’s choices set them free — his only purpose now is revenge.
With wrapping up the heavier emotional aspects of the series, the Obi-Wan finale provided moments that were homages to Star Wars lore. Obi-Wan laughs briefly with Leia and tells her about the positive aspects of Padme and Anakin inside herself. He finally sees the force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn because the force is strong within himself again. The tyranny of the Empire looms, but hope still lives in those who seek its refuge.
Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm.