Aboard the cargo freighter they boarded in the second episode of Obi-Wan KenobiObi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) tries, yet again, to reach out to his former Master Qui-Gon Jinn through the Force, but instead, his thoughts are interrupted by memories of his past thanks to Reva’s (Moses Ingram) shocking revelation last week.
On Mustafar, Darth Vader (Hayden Christensenvoiced by James Earl Jones) goads Reva into continuing the hunt for Obi-Wan Kenobi with the promise that she can step into the role of Grand Inquisitor. There’s an implication that she wants something more — something that Darth Vader seems to be aware of. With the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) disposed of, Reva’s conflict with the Fifth Brother (Sung Kang) only increases as she vies for Vader’s approval and the Inquisitors continue to treat her like an outsider among them.
Like any young traveler, Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is restless aboard the freighter, and while it’s been a while since Obi-Wan has traveled with a youngling, he knows the quickest way to keep her occupied is to repair her Lola droid. Leia questions him about the Force and what it feels like, perhaps alluding to Leia’s own Force-sensitive nature. They make it safely to the mining planet of Mapuzo, where they pretend to be a father-daughter duo from Tawl. When they arrive at the rendezvous point, Kenobi is convinced that Haja Estree (Kumail Nanjiani) lied to them, but Leia, with childlike faith, chooses to see the good in people. Which gets them into a lot of trouble.
Instead of wandering aimlessly across the planet like Obi-Wan would prefer, Leia decides to flag down a transport vehicle driven by Freck (Zack Braff) who puts them right into the crosshairs of Stormtroopers. Obi-Wan and Leia both manage to lie quite convincingly when they’re questioned about who they are and where they’re from, right up until Obi-Wan accidentally calls her Leia instead of Luma. Every good lie has a grain of truth to it, and Obi-Wan seizes on the fact that Leia reminds him of her mother Padmé to convince the Stormtroopers that his misstep was made out of grief, rather than deceit. Once they part ways with the Stormtroopers, Leia has her own questions for Obi-Wan, namely: is he her father? Of course, he isn’t, but you can not blame her for wondering if he is. This conversation prompts Obi-Wan to talk a little about his own childhood and his fleeting memories of his parents and his younger brother.
At an Imperial checkpoint, Obi-Wan and Leia have to face off against even more Stormtroopers, narrowly escaping with their lives with the help of an Imperial Officer named Tala (Indira Varma). She may work for the Empire, but she has been running an undercover operation to rescue Jedi who survived Order 66 and Force-sensitive children targeted by the Empire. In her headquarters, Obi-Wan discovers that Quinlan Vos is among those Jedi who has been through Mapuzo. Will the two Jedi cross paths in a future episode or is this mention meant to excite fans looking for bigger connections to the Star Wars universe?
As they are preparing to leave for the vessel that Tala has arranged for them to get off of Mapuzo, Obi-Wan is sent reeling when he feels a disturbance in the Force. Darth Vader has arrived. Desperate to keep Leia away from her father and out of harm’s way, Obi-Wan sends her with Tala while he sets off to act as a diversion and face his former friend.
Under the cloak of night, with nothing but a red lightsaber and a blue lightsaber to illuminate the way, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi engage in battle for the first time since that fateful day on Mustafar. Darth Vader is every bit the daunting figure that has haunted nightmares since his first introduction — stealthily moving through the night, driving Obi-Wan into a newly set trap. Darth Vader may be more machine than man, but he is still driven by the perceived betrayal that brought an end to Anakin Skywalker’s friendship with Kenobi. Instead of killing him, Darth Vader wants to make Obi-Wan suffer like he did on Mustafar, and he drags him through the flames. But Darth Vader’s plans of maiming Obi-Wan like he was interrupted by Tala arriving to save the day.
The episode winds down with Reva intercepting Leia’s escape off of Mapuzo, setting the stage for next week. How will they get off of the planet now that the Empire’s presence has increased? Is Obi-Wan going to need a trip in a bacta tank? Does Reva have a personal connection to Obi-Wan? Will Qui-Gon Jinn ever answer his call?
Deborah Chow continues to deliver some of the most visually stunning Star Wars stories to date, intricately building on its script with clever directorial choices and building on this somber chapter in Kenobi’s life. Now that we are officially at the halfway point in this story, the series has delivered on its promises, while leaving a world of potential ahead to discover. Centering so much of the story around Leia adds new, much-needed context to Star Wars: A New Hopeand makes it clear that Leia is just as important as her twin brother.
The first three episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are streaming now on Disney +.
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