It’s time for a little clandestine adventure in this week’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
We last saw our title hero being carried away by the loader-droid after Vader (Hayden Christensen; James Earl Jones) literally dragged Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) across the coals. Part IV begins with him laid out on a stretcher and then put into a bacta tank to heal his burns. The episode cuts to parallel shots of Vader in his own tank. We see Obi-Wan’s shoulder, then Vader’s, Vader’s amputation, then Obi-Wan’s hand. Obi-Wan has flashbacks to his fight before coming to, emerging from the tank, and asking where Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is. Vader himself made clear that burning Obi-Wan was payback for his actions on Mustafar during Revenge of the Sith, but this episode takes it a step farther by using visual imagery to mirror their conditions.
Reva (Moses Ingram) is interrogating the princess, lying to her by saying Obi-Wan is dead. She wants information on the “Path” – the way remaining Jedi have been navigating to safety. When Leia resists, Reva tries to read her mind, but Leia is strong enough in the Force to repel the attempts. Finally, Reva has Leia taken to an interrogation chamber with a frightening-looking contraption set to harm her.
The rescue mission begins to form. We meet Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), a fellow Jedi smuggler who works with Tala (Indira Varma). He gives Obi-Wan, Tala, and some pilots the location for the Inquisitor fortress, and despite it being seemingly-impenetrable, Tala volunteers to help Obi-Wan. On the way, Obi-Wan tries to use the Force to move something, but it’s slow, unsteady work. He’s still healing.
Tala contributes significantly to this episode, helping to bolster her status as a new fan-favorite. She uses her Imperial officer status to maneuver into the fortress and help Obi-Wan sneak inside. Meanwhile, Reva is about to torture Leia, but Tala causes a distraction until Obi-Wan can rescue the girl. Tala’s diversion results in her permanently blowing her cover when Reva learns that she has been working as a spy.
On his way to find Leia, Obi-Wan also discovers a hallway of possibly-dead Jedi encapsulated in an amber-like substance, including Clone Wars character Tera Sinube. It’s a moment that’s clearly harrowing for Obi-Wan, especially since a youngling is one of the entombed Jedi.
Obi-Wan finally finds the interrogation chamber. He turns off the lights before his saber blazes on, spinning and cutting down the stormtrooper guards. Slowly but surely, Obi-Wan is getting back into his groove.
As he and Leia escape, they trigger an alarm, sending Reva after them. Tala breaks free from her own stormtrooper guards and heads to meet up with Obi-Wan and Leia who are currently caught in a set of hallways. Obi-Wan repels a grouping of blaster-shots, defeating the stormtroopers, but since the fortress is partly underwater, when a window cracks, water threatens to rush inside. He uses the Force to keep the water at bay until Tala can take Leia. Then, as a group of stormtroopers rush in, Obi-Wan lets the water go. It’s a Moses-parting-the-Red-Sea kind of moment, where our heroes run to safety while the stormtroopers drown.
The escape is going well, but then Obi-Wan tries to smuggle Leia out in a trench-coat. Yes, two Force-sensitives in a trench coat just trying to make a run for it. This goes about as well as you think it will. Reva catches up.
Our team is saved just in time, however, by the pilots we met earlier. One of them named Wade (Ryder McLaughlin) goes down in the fight, but Sully (Maya Erskine) escapes with our trio. Shortly after this, Vader comes storming in, force-choking Reva for her failure, but she tells him she let them go willingly after putting a tracker on them so she can find the location of the ship. “It seems I have underestimated you,” Vader says.
In the end, after they’ve made their safe escape, Obi-Wan and Leia have a seat next to each other and she takes his hand in hers. They look at each other, and it wouldn’t surprise me if in that moment she said to herself “If I ever have a son, I know what I’m naming him.”
The last shot of the episode shows Lola turning on, red-eyed, suggesting she is what currently holds Reva’s tracking device.
Although some folks have referred to this episode as “filler,” I beg to differ. It offers tension, action, and strong character moments that work to pull the story forward. While it may be another rescue mission similar to what we have seen in episode 2, this one adds in plenty of new elements to keep the content feeling fresh. For me, I’m enjoying these episodes more week by week, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Parts V and VI take us.