Star Rating:

Obi-Wan Kenobi 12+

Streaming On: Watch Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+

Season: 1

Episode: 6

Actors: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Liam Neeson, Moses Ingram

Release Date: Wednesday 22nd June 2022

Genre(s): Adventure, Sci-Fi

Running time: 49 minutes

Compared to 'The Mandalorian' and 'The Book of Boba Fett', what's kept 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' above them is the fact that it's truly an emotional story, and the soap opera-esque finale tells us as much.

Storywise, it's about as neat as you can get. Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi have their long-awaited rematch on a jagged, rock-strewn planet. Third Sister lands on Tatooine, ready to kill Luke Skywalker as revenge for what Darth Vader did to her and the rest of the Younglings, and both end in much the way you'd expect. Third Sister doesn't necessarily redeem herself, because how does one redeem themselves after killing innocent people and trying to murder a child?

Yet, the issue is that 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' wants us to have that redemption moment. In a pretty egregious example of travelling at the speed of plot, Kenobi lands on Tatooine just as Third Sister has her big emotional moment and he's there to witness and validate the whole thing. To be fair to Moses Ingram, she gives a great performance and you can really see the anguish in her face as she wrestles with how close she came to becoming the very thing she hates, and it juxtaposes so well with what Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi went through earlier.

Kenobi didn't kill Anakin Skywalker, it was Darth Vader who killed him. Even though it was retconned in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi', the idea of dissociating the two identities - Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker - makes sense. The choices that Anakin Skywalker made ensured his death and Darth Vader's birth, not Obi-Wan Kenobi's. Indeed, Vader nearly sees like he's proud of his choices. There's a hint of smile underneath the mask when Vader announces that he killed Anakin Skywalker, not Obi-Wan Kenobi.

It's pretty potent stuff, and the performances all around are to be commended. Now, let's get to the final moments. As we expected, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi (He said the line! Finally!), Princess Leia is returned to Alderaan and gets her cute little robot back, and we get the two cameos we were expecting almost by accident. Let's deal with the first one - Ian McDiarmid returning as the Emperor. It wasn't much of a cameo, to be clear, but it's better than nothing. For a character that was so instrumental and so central in Darth Vader's existence, it really didn't make sense for him to be absent so much in the story. He was the one responsible for slowly nudging him towards the Dark Side, so why wouldn't he be there at some other point in this story?

Conversely, the very absence of Liam Neeson as Qui-Gonn Jinn was truly poignant in the series. There was a beautiful moment, in the first episode, where Kenobi bolts upright from sleep and calls out to his master in fright, only to hear silence and see nothing. It really emphasised how alone Kenobi was, and how nobody was coming to save him. Yet, when we see Liam Neeson materialise in the desert, it almost felt like something of a cop-out. Still, the one thing 'Star Wars' does over and over again is having characters turn up and expect a round of applause from everyone.