The third entry of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part III, doesn’t let up on the emotional damage, and that’s a good thing. In a series dedicated to highlighting the best part of Star Wars’ prequel trilogy, this episode is a standout. It’s Ewan McGregor at his best. If Liam Neeson carried the gravitas of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the torch has definitively been passed to his former pupil.
Of course, McGregor has carried so much of the gravitas of the Star Wars universe on his shoulders. In this episode of his titular show, however, the heaviness is obvious. Obi-Wan Kenobi has done such a phenomenal job so far of delving further into the characters and stories introduced in the prequel trilogy. The way this episode brings the prequels directly to the forefront is particularly heartbreaking.
It has to be said that having the big showdown, that everyone knew or at least hoped was coming, in Part III was a stroke of genius storytelling. Waiting until the last possible moment in the name of delayed gratification may not have served the story as well. Here, we get to explore the relationship between Obi-Wan and his former student. Hayden Christensen has made his return to the Star Wars universe in the most devastating way possible.
The fact that this entire episode is a meditation on pain and it’s honestly hard to watch at some moments. Fans are asked to re-live the worst and most heartbreaking moments of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. This time, viewers are compelled to view these events through a different lens. This time, it’s Obi-Wan being burned and nearly torn apart. It’s nothing less that heart-wrenching.
This episode further establishes just how terrifying Darth Vader is as a villain. It’s not the random violence, and the violently snuffing out of a child’s life, although these certainly don’t take away any of the horror. Rather, we see how the grief and loss Anakin experienced twisted and defiled him into a monster hell-bent on revenge. He’s a monster of the most horrid and relatable variety.
Obi-Wan’s grief has been clear from the beginning of this series. This time, we get to see him explore the loss of Padme in particular, and how it has impacted him. This is another powerful venue to show just how much of a father-figure Obi-Wan is to the matchless Leia (Vivien Blair). In all of Obi-Wan’s hiding from his past, it’s clear it’s never far from the surface. How to true to life this is.
Finally, it’s impossible to speak about the success of Obi-Wan Kenobi without speaking about the phenomenon that is Moses Ingram. Her villain, Reva, is among the most compelling this franchise has had in years. She’s the embodiment of the dark side, in the best possible way. The naked ambition, combined with the denial of everything she is, is a toxic recipe that explodes on-screen. It remains disgusting that Ingram is inundated with racists and trolls, the absolute bottom-feeders of the internet. Star Wars fans need to ban together, and stamp this out immediately.
Obi-Wan Kenobi continues to reach new emotional heights with each entry. Part III is absolutely no exception. Whether this is the half-way point of the series, or whether there is more to come remains a mystery. Whatever the case, this series remains grounded in the best parts of the prequel trilogy. If this trajectory continues, Obi-Wan Kenobi is liable to cement itself as a top-tier entry for the galaxy far, far away.
New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi air Wednesdays on Disney+.