The penultimate episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi is here, and can we even breathe? This episode does what the series has done so well: tell beloved stories with new perspectives, and tell new stories with new characters that are nothing less than enthralling. Part V features some of the best character moments in a series that has been dedicated to giving us compelling characters, old and new.
Out of the gate, the flashback works to perfection. Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen have spent the entire series reminding fans how endearing the prequels were, in spite of their many flaws. Obi-Wan Kenobi has offered a perhaps surprising deconstruction of, and tribute to the character of Anakin Skywalker. His need for victory at any cost is his ultimate undoing. We know where this character ends up, and it’s frankly heartbreaking to see the in-between.
If Obi-Wan Kenobi has been a meditation on grief and loss, Part V was a reflection on the power of memory. Memory is at the core of each story viewers are presented with. Though time may pass, the past is never fully separate from the present moment. Memory sustains all, and can keep a revolution alive, even if the odds are not in our protagonists’ favor. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the perfect series to capture this powerful and universal truth.
“The Light will fade, but is never forgotten”Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part V
Relatedly, Obi-Wan Kenobi continues to prove why it is such a powerful rebuke to spoiler culture. We know where all of these characters end up. However, this series manages to leave us on the edge of our seats, wondering what will become of these beloved characters from moment to moment. It remains the perfect balance between fan service to stories and characters that we have come to love.
Part V is also a culmination for Reva (Moses Ingram). The plot twist that she is a surviving youngling is what Star Wars really should have done with Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux. While his character’s change in loyalties made absolutely no sense, Reva has been biding her time in the most satisfying way. That this character has been playing the long game, responding to grief with the fierce will to survive, is more than believable. Characters like Reva who refuse to die are the most compelling to watch. It’s probably safe to say we haven’t seen the last of her.
Tala’s (Indira Varma) arc came to a tragic end, and it could have been overdone. Instead, it was a heartbreaking reminder of the sacrifice that has pervaded each and every facet of the Star Wars universe. Freedom comes at a high cost. There were many more stories to be told with this character. That is the ultimate tragedy though, an entire story cut short before its time.
Although Obi-Wan Kenobi reminds us that Star Wars has always been about Leia, presumably as the series comes to a close, we’ll have to revisit Luke. It makes sense since this was always where the story was leading. However, as the finale approaches, I can only hope that focus on Leia will not be diminished, and she will get to continue to shine as she deserves.
Obi-Wan Kenobi hasn’t had a weak moment yet. Really, the only negative comment to be made about this series is that it’s a mere six episodes long. In many ways, Part V could have been considered a finale in its own way. There’s still a final battle to be fought, however. With one episode left, hopefully, this series can continue to play to its strengths: re-contextualizing the Star Wars prequels, fleshing out old and beloved characters, and giving new characters the conclusions they deserve.
New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi air Wednesdays on Disney+.