With only an episode left in the chamber, 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' is wheeling out the big guns - literally, in this episode.
After last week's cliffhanger saw the Third Sister sneak a tracking device aboard Lola, Leia's cute little droid Lola (which is not named after Carrie Fisher's pet bird, we checked), this week's episode opens in an interesting fashion - a flashback to Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in a training duel on Coruscant. The scene plays out throughout the episode, and even though you can see the heavy makeup and prosthetic hair, you really can feel how different their performances are.
Ewan McGregor looks far more relaxed, even enjoying himself, while Hayden Christensen sans Vader armour looks wired and tetchy. That's sort of the crux of the episode - that Vader, even now, is still impatient and restless. He's just driving right at Kenobi, ignoring everyone else, a fact that Kenobi understands and uses to his advantage. The scene weaves in and out of every episode, and unlike 'The Book of Boba Fett', it doesn't hamper the current strand by dipping back into the past. If anything, it's actively moving it forward because as their training match progresses, the dynamics of it plays out in the present.
The other big reveal is one that's been all too easy (sorry) to spot coming - namely, that the Third Sister was a youngling herself and had survived Order 66. Again, easy to spot if you were paying attention is the fact that she is hunting Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker on her own mission of revenge. If they kept this as is, that she is basically on a quest of vengeance and not redemption, this might actually work. The fight that takes place between her and Vader, later on, is done very well and you can really see how physicality is something that Moses Ingram has in spades. Of course, the return of the real Grand Inquisitor - like she was ever going to hold that title for long - was equally telegraphed, but you have to wonder why they kept him out of circulation when his absence was felt.
Seeing as how the whole "getting caught on purpose" thing is almost always used for villains, it's intriguing to see Kenobi use it this time. More pointedly, it's in keeping with 'A New Hope' and all of the lines copied from it throughout this episode.
To go back to Darth Vader for a moment, one thing that's noticeable in this episode as well is how much closer James Earl Jones' voice sounds to the movies. Hearing him bellow and shout in the previous episodes was odd as he's never done it before, yet whenever he speaks in this episode, it's that same icy calm that he had in 'The Empire Strikes Back' which is much scarier than hearing him shout or snarl. Darth Vader, when you come down to it, is a physical presence. Yes, the voice does so much but it's how it's used that makes him terrifying. He speaks calmly and tersely, he's sarcastic, and it's his actions that carry more weight than his words. This is really the first time the series has gotten it right, which is a shame when there's only an episode left.
- Tala sacrificing herself to save Kenobi and the rest of them kind of points out how underutilised the supporting cast has been throughout this, I mean did anyone actually care?
- Sucks that we didn't get a wide shot of Darth Vader's Star Destroyer - was it the Devastator, was it the Executor? Enquiring minds want to know
- Obi-Wan Kenobi's mullet haircut in the flashback fight was disgraceful, and the fact that mullets are back in fashion now proves that human civilsation is coming to an end and rightly so