Obi-Wan Kenobi easily makes it into everyone’s top Jedi lists. So, exploring his life events in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope has been a delight. The series opened with him trying to rescue Leia from the Third Sister, then having him cross paths with none other than Vader himself.
Five episodes down, Obi-Wan is very close to safely delivering Leia home. So what happens in the finale? Does he succeed?
In the Obi-Wan Kenobi S1 finale, Reva tries to kill Luke to exact her revenge on Darth Vader. In the meantime, Vader chases down Obi-Wan to a deserted planet, where the two duel. Obi-Wan emerges victorious and manages to save both Leia and Luke by the end of the episode.
I have to admit that I was one of those who didn’t like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s pace and felt it had failed to raise the stakes, especially since both its beginning and end were already determined.
What I was impressed by (and hope other fans/viewers could appreciate as well) is that it really zeroed in on Obi-Wan as a broken general who very well needed this mission to find his path again.
This episode majorly has only two streams of plotlines that converge together at the end. Let’s explore them in detail:
Reva’s Second Revenge Plan
In Ep 5, Reva fails to (literally) stab Vader in the back. But she can hurt him with the new information she has acquired about Luke and Leia.
We find her on Tatooine, hot in pursuit of Luke. Thankfully, Owen and Beru (what a wonderful cameo there!) had been warned about her arrival and prepare to protect Luke. When Reva finally shows up, they put up quite a fight, but she inevitably finds Luke and chases him into the desert.
The obvious revenge plan here is to kill Luke since she has deduced he is Vader’s son. But as her own childhood memories flash in front of her eyes, she realizes she cannot murder a child, as Vader had.
Still, it is poignant to see the impact that all this trauma has on her. Because despite not killing Luke, she tearfully questions if she has already become like Darth Vader and whether she’s too far gone.
Obi-Wan sounds a note of reassurance by telling her that bringing back Luke alive is all the signs she needs that she hasn’t strayed to the dark side.
Just like that, we see the end of the Third Sister, which hopefully opens up a second act for Reva.
Obi-Wan Gets His Mojo Back
Darth Vader’s ship is following Obi-Wan, who realizes he must go off on his own as Vader will stop chasing the path protectors. Although Leia dislikes this plan and storms off, Obi-Wan promises he’ll reunite with her soon.
In an escape pod, Obi-Wan entices Vader to follow him to a deserted planet where we get the rematch we deserve. It is definitely different from the first face-off they had earlier in the season—Obi-Wan is no longer scared, even when he gets attacked by Vader several times.
Through the sequence, we see that Obi-Wan’s control over the Force is slowly returning. So even when Vader “finishes” Obi-Wan off by burying him under a tsunami of rocks (being a tad too cocky with “You have failed, Master“), we know this is not the end.
With images of young Leia and Luke reminding him why he must fight back, he emerges out of the rocks alive. My, oh my, how glorious it was to see Obi-Wan lift those very rocks and catapult them at Vader!
With some more thunderous lightsaber moves on both sides, we reach the moment where Obi-Wan lands a decisive stab on Vader’s helmet, damaging his breathing system and chipping it off enough to get to his face within.
We have to remember this is the first time Obi-Wan is seeing Vader as Anakin. With the mask broken, it is so haunting to hear Anakin’s voice pour out through Vader’s shell.
Obi-Wan still wants to help his friend and apologizes for everything that has happened thus far. But unlike Reva, Vader has indeed far gone and he scoffs off any of Obi-Wan’s compassion with, “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did.”
This whole exchange is the pinnacle of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. It is obvious that for now, Obi-Wan has won, and perhaps it is his folly that he doesn’t kill Vader off despite this victory. It may be for the better since we know Anakin can find redemption.
For Vader, Obi-Wan letting him live is just another humiliation that will fuel his vengeance.
There isn’t really an “epilogue” to the episode, but the final scene feels like one since it takes place after that emotionally charged sequence with Vader.
Vader is once again back on his throne in Mustafar and has given up chasing down Obi-Wan. He appears to be healed but the repairs are only skin-deep.
Ian McDiarmid, who returns to play the Emperor, rightly remarks that if Vader has any residual feelings for his former master, it might get nasty.
Sadly, Vader’s hamartia is his refusal to be humbled and so, getting defeated by Obi-Wan, the man he once called a father-figure, will continue to plague him till he dies.
Obi-Wan’s own tale ends by paying two visits. First, he meets with Organas and bids farewell to Leia. Then he returns to Tatooine (where we know he’ll spend the rest of his days) and is introduced to Luke for the first time in person.
We get one final cameo via Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn, who finally appears to Obi-Wan. This is a good sign, as it means that Obi-Wan has finally found his inner peace once again and can go forth defending the Force like he used to.
About Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Star Wars spinoff series directed by Deborah Chow for Disney+. It premiered on May 27, 2022 on Disney+.
The main cast includes Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, who will be reprising their roles for Obi-Wan and Vader, respectively. Additionally joining them are Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Joel Edgerton, Bonni Piesse, and Rupert Friend among many others.
The show follows Obi-Wan Kenobi ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith where he faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.