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A shorter episode than most of the season so far — advantages of existing on a streaming service — this installment of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” was just about wall-to-wall action.
Once again, the plot was all about rescuing Princess Leia (it’s no wonder she wasn’t impressed when Luke Skywalker showed up in “A New Hope”; it was old hat by then). And once again, we saw that she had that same sassy attitude “Hope” Leia gave Vader even at ten years old.
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In fact, the banter between Vivien Lyra Blair’s Leia and Moses Ingram’s Reva was easily among the biggest highlights of the night. Ingram is doing an incredible job of making Reva just so easy to hate, because boy is she despicable.
She lies and tries psychological manipulation on Leia, and as soon as Leia stands up to that, she resorts to physical torture. There are no depths to which she will not sink. But every time Leia stood firm, we were dying.
When Reva was trying to read her mind and Leia asked if they were having a staring contest? That’s gold right there. When Reva said they were all on the same side, so Leia said she’d need to share the intel Reva was looking for with her father first, but that should be okay, right?
Already, Leia is so wise beyond her years, it’s clear why she was light years ahead of both Luke and Han Solo when she finally joined up with her brother and future lover a few years down the road from this harrowing adventure.
While Leia was laying the smack down on a woman twice her size with the full power of the Force at her beck and call, Obi-Wan was rescued from Darth Vader pitching him in the fire last week by NED-B and Indira Varma’s Tala.
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Tala brought him to Jabim, where he and Leia were supposed to go, where he meets O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s Roken. He’s an engineer working with the Rebellion, as well as helping with The Path; a secret underground railroad for Force sensitive people.
We learn that his wife was Force sensitive, and alludes that she was taken out by the Empire. Ultimately, he agrees to help Obi-Wan and Tala mount a rescue of Leia — after Tala tells him that Leia will be able to reveal everything about what they’re doing.
Honestly, in what capacity would Leia know much of anything about this rebellion or The Path? She was in one facility trying to escape, but it’s not like NED-B spilled any secrets her way. Now, Tala may have just said that to convince Roken to help, but Reva seemed pretty convinced Leia was a fount of intel, too.
Regardless, Roken rallied two of his pilots, Sully (Maya Erskine) and Wade (Ryder McLaughlin) to help with this rescue plan, which had about as many things go wrong as Luke, Han and Chewbacca’s big rescue plan on the Death Star.
Still, we got to see Obi-Wan coming back into his confidence, we got to see Tala fearlessly stand up to Imperial officers, as well as Reva herself when Obi-Wan needed a final distraction to rescue Leia from the torture device Reva had resorted to after the sass princess refused to talk.
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The visuals throughout were stellar, but there were some logical flaws. At one point, Obi-Wan’s leg is clearly visible as he jumps off of the hallway to try and hide from two Stormtroopers moving his way. We know they have famously terrible aim — so maybe it’s because they can’t see with those helmets on, just like Luke always claimed.
At another point, in a very cool hallway sequence in the underwater portion of the base, the glass cracks and Obi-Wan holds it together just long enough to flood the hall. He runs and apparently escapes just in time for Tala to close the door, but zero water came out after him?
We saw it creeping through the seal on the door, but the shot we saw of him running, it was right behind him. That scene would have been more effective if some of it had come through the door. Then, the scenes of them trying to escape with Leia under a jacket would have had even more danger because of wet footprints!
Ultimately, we had a showdown on the loading dock, which is a familiar “Star Wars” trope, with the timely arrival of Sully and Wade with blaster fire in their little speeder ships the only thing that saves our intrepid trio from the wrath of Reva.
Ultimately, Reva manages to take out Wade during their escape — but he died a hero, helping Sully and the others by providing covering fire — before nearly getting taken out herself by Darth Vader for her failure to capture his old Master.
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But, it turns out Reva let them escape because she’s a big-picture kind of gal. She planted a tracker on them — more specifically, inside Leia’s droid — that will bring the full might of the Empire to bear on wherever they’re going, i.e., their rebel base.
Vader said he underestimated her, and clearly he learned something, too. It’s a tactic he would use himself later. And while Leia has no idea right now that her droid friend has a tracking device, she suspects as much immediately after her own rescue in “A New Hope,” insisting they let her go. Clearly, she learns from this experience.
It’s nice to see connections both forward and back from this bridging series taking place between George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” trilogy and his subsequent prequel trilogy. It’s easy to get bogged down with continuity, but when handled right, it offers an extra layer of Easter egg enjoyment for long-time fans. Just so long as it’s not impenetrable to new fans.
Now that the good guys are reunited, it’s time for the Empire to prepare their final attack. And we’ll assume that just like the original trilogy, that battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader was just a prelude for a bigger battle to come in these final two episodes? They wouldn’t deny us that, would they?
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” drops new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.
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