Obi-Wan Kenobi is not letting up, with its latest entry, Part IV. While this may have been a quieter episode than the previous installment, it gave an opportunity to dive deeper into these characters. Not every episode needs to include heart-stopping action, or big bright sequences. Sometimes, like this episode proved, it’s better to sit with these characters and let them really show their true colors.
Obi-Wan Kenobi really said, you want to see more parallels between Obi-Wan and Anakin? Say no more. This series has made a point of delving deeper into this relationship, which is foundational to the Star Wars universe. Showing each of their emotional pain manifesting in physical damage is the kind of storytelling Star Wars does best. Even though they may not have met face to face again on this episode, their connection remains evident.
Ewan McGregor continues to be nothing less than captivating in his leading role. Each episode, it becomes more clear that he’s the perfect character to headline his own series. The focus on Obi-Wan’s healing, both physical and emotional, was a heartbreaking but necessary choice. This series so far has been all about the trauma Obi-Wan has faced since the prequel trilogy.
This episode brings up a really important point about the healing process. While Obi-Wan is admonished to take more time to allow is physical wounds to heal, he’s told time will also heal his emotional battle scars as well. This is an unfortunate fallacy that too many fall into in the real world. Grief and loss may evolve and change over time. Ridding ourselves entirely of the emotional pain we’ve experienced throughout our lives is a tall order indeed.
Reva (Moses Ingram) continues to be the most compelling villain the Star Wars franchise has seen in a long time. Her scenes with Leia (Vivien Blair) are further proof of this. It’s also clear that Blair, young as she is, is able to get the absolute best performances out of all of her series co-stars. Seeing two of the most compelling characters of this series finally get to share one-on-one screen time just makes me think how fortunate fans are to have the universe expanded by these incredible artists.
Reva’s naked ambition gets clearer with each episode, and it suits her. It’s a rare thing, to see someone more terrifying and so unabashedly evil when compared to Darth Vader. In fact, seeing these two characters side by side is just further proof that Reva should continue to have the focus as the villainy that drives the plot. Her unyielding devotion to the Empire makes her a topical and terrifying character to watch in action.
I confess that I thought that Tala (Indira Varma) was in for her final episode. I was beyond relieved to discover this wasn’t the case. This is also a compelling character, in a show filled with characters who truthfully deserve their own solo shows. The tension that builds with Tala, as she navigates two worlds, is breathtaking. I’m glad to see this character at least lives to fight another day. I’m just hoping she won’t get wasted.
The episode ends on a sober, heartbreaking note. Another focus of Obi-Wan Kenobi so far has been the very real impact of the Empire. It’s a topical political commentary, that Star Wars has never shied away from making. The path of facism always leads to death and destruction. Standing against these forces may be necessary, and yet it comes at a heartbreaking cost.
Obi-Wan Kenobi shows no signs of slowing down as we approach the second half of the show’s inaugural season. The continued focus on grief and loss is timely in a moment where so many of us have faced incalculable losses ourselves. It reflects our own experiences, which the most compelling art so often is. If the tone of the first episodes can be matched, we may be in for an enthralling end to the story of a character who has endeared fans from his introduction.
New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi air Wednesdays on Disney+.