Check out our previous reviews of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series here.
The fear and trepidation in Obi-Wan’s eyes once he finds out Anakin is alive is a theme that presides over ‘Chapter III.’ While I was surprised that we got to the Darth Vader piece of the piece this quickly, it was a pleasant surprise for a show which has been setting the stage for a battle (or a couple). Vader (with a returning James Earl Jones to voice/Hayden Christensen on screen) is every bit of the boogeyman Obi-Wan makes him out to be. Ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, the fallen Jedi is at the peak of his hatred — force choking and even killing innocent townspeople to get to Obi-Wan. It’s clear that no matter where in the galaxy Obi-Wan goes, Vader is hell-bent on finding him — a physical and mental impediment of the past our grizzled hero will have to face.
As high-octane as the latter half of “Chapter III” is, the beginning further investigates Obi-Wan’s psyche and his bond with Leia. Obi-Wan’s description of “the force” to Leia, the “light in the dark,” is happening in this series. We go to a new place, Mapuzo, a mining planet that Obi-Wan describes to Leia as not always being that way. The Empire were the ones who came through and made the once lust land barren. It’s a direct metaphor for Obi-Wan, who can’t fathom anyone being nice or helping him out. Hoja’s contact is late to the entry point, and he immediately loses all hope. This is where the intuitiveness of 10-year Leia balances him out. She has a mindset that tries to have a healthy amount of optimism.
Leia knows Obi-Wan is hiding something from her — and says the heartbreaking dialogue of wondering who her father is and that she “wonders what he was like.” At this point, Obi-Wan hasn’t seen Darth Vader yet, and he probably hopes there is still hope for him. We also get a small amount of backstory about when Obi-Wan was a child, and he may have had a brother. Unfortunately, Jedi padawans are taken from their families when they are young. Not only does it connect Leia and Obi-Wan, but it also brings about a sadness about the Jedi order. Anakin was like a brother to Obi-Wan — that ghost will always haunt him somehow.
The inquisitor infighting continues, where Reva and the fifth brother are jockeying for position for the grand title. (The Grand Inquisitor can’t just be dead, right?) Vader has a particular interest in Reva, again alluding to her “getting what she’s owed to her.” Little breadcrumbs continue to be dropped about why she’s so furious about getting Obi-Wan — the fit of rage Reva lets out when she sees the message in the underground cave. If Reva was one of the padawans in “Chapter I,” she could feel abandoned by the Jedi altogether, and that’s where her hatred originates.
Before the big confrontation, Obi-Wan and Leia meet Tala Durith (Indira Varma), an imperial officer who realizes the promise of the Empire is all a lie. Characters like Tala and Hoja are an awakening to Obi-Wan — they both have made mistakes but still choose to do good. Even though the Jedi are few in numbers, that “light in the dark” still shines for those who see it. I hope in the next half of the season, Obi-Wan allows himself to see that prospect. The fight between Obi-Wan and Vader (if you can call it that) is a telltale sign of where both men are. Obi-Wan is tentative and afraid. “The years have made you weak.” Vader doesn’t want to kill Obi-Wan; he wants to torture him, similar to what happened on Mustafar.
- We are at our peak, “all hope is lost moment.” With Obi-Wan incapacitated, how is Leia going to escape Reva?
- Are we going to get some flashbacks as Obi-Wan heals?
- Reva’s comeuppance with the Grand Inquisitor has to be on its way, right?
- When Reva experiences the force pull from The Fifth Brother, why does the camera focus on her side?
Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm