The finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi arrived today. It has the difficult task of delivering a satisfying ending while also keeping in line with the previously established continuity. For the most part, “Part VI” doesn’t disappoint especially with the much-anticipated confrontation between former master and apprentice. There are spoilers ahead!
With Darth Vader in close pursuit of The Path refugees, our titular hero decides to sacrifice himself and lead away the Imperial forces. Leia takes his departure the hardest but there are sweet gestures between the two as they exchange tokens. Kenobi gives Tala Durith’s holster, sans blaster, to the spunky young child while he receives the accompaniment of the little droid, Lola. Kumail Nanjiani steals the scenes he’s in working as the go-between with his humor. He’s forever a con artist.
Vader confronts his former mentor on a deserted planet and their rematch is as epic as you would expect. Obi-Wan Kenobi has much more flair this time around signifying his growth and progression this season. He’s ready for this showdown. The fight choreography along with the use of different camera angles creates a mesmerizing dance as they battle.
The flash of clashing lightsabers is hypnotic but the moment the Jedi force pushes his opponent ratchets up the intensity. It’s surreal to see the damage the Sith lord endures and he is far from the invincible figure we saw earlier in the season and in other films. There is plenty of emotional weight to the scene as master shows compassion towards his former pupil.
Vader’s broken helmet along with the distorted voice brings to focus both the machine he is now and the person he used to be. A final apology is Kenobi’s attempt to bring his friend and brother back to the light, but the response is disheartening. It plays with Alec Guinness’ lines from A New Hope that Vader killed Anakin Skywalker. The clever use of the blue illumination on Obi-Wan’s face at that moment and the shift to darkness represents the loss of hope. It’s all punctuated in the end when he finally calls his foe “Darth.”
Meanwhile, it seems surviving lightsaber stabbings in the torso is a thing now with Reva finding another means to strike back at Darth Vader: murdering his son on Tatooine. Revenge is a powerful motivator. Despite a valiant defense from Owen and Beru, the former Inquisitor has her target in sight. However, her own past trauma prevents her from carrying out her plan. Her journey has been an interesting one as we’ve gradually learned her backstory and at least one person can be turned back to the Light Side. Her greatest fear was turning into the very person she wanted to destroy.
The ending ties things up very nicely. Obi-Wan Kenobi has a touching reunion with Leia, and he is able to meet Luke for the first time. Acts of appreciation for the man who saved the day. Then, even though Darth Vader took another L, he will forever be linked with his master. In parallel scenes, we see that both meet up with their masters in fun cameos. The Emperor no longer has patience for his apprentice’s diversions and has him refocus on their plans. Then it seems Kenobi levelled up after his adventure because Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn finally answers his calls in force ghost form. A nice way to close things out.
There are some nitpicks story wise in the finale. It can show Vader’s obsession, but if he had his own ship, he could definitely have been able to pursue both Roken and his mentor if he split up his forces. Also, I’m not quick to give Reva complete forgiveness quite yet. Her show of compassion is a good start but she still committed horrific offenses while an Inquisitor so she still has a way to go for complete redemption.
The epic showdown between Kenobi and Vader is an instant classic in the entire Star Wars franchise and is a big part of why the season finale is so gratifying.
Binge all episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+.
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