REVIEW: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi,’ Episode 4

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Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4 features the Jedi Master engaging in one of Star Wars‘ favorite recurring tropes as the second half of the series begins. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) is still reeling after his brutal battle with Darth Vader, so Tala ( Indira Varma) takes him to the planet Jabim where her fellow spies are located. Though he needs to heal, Obi-Wan manages to convince Tala’s allies, Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and Sully (Maya Erskine), to assist him in a rescue mission so that he can spring Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) from the Fortress Inquisitorius. Inside the Fortress, Reva (Moses Ingram) presses Leia for information on the Path.

One of the best things about Kenobi is how it has managed to serve up scenes that run parallel to moments from Star Wars: A New Hope without lessening those moments in the process. Take the Obi-Wan/Vader duel from the third episode. It was a visual reminder of how much the former master and apprentice have changed in the years following Revenge of the Sith – as well as bringing a wealth of emotions, including guilt and rage, to the surface. This episode continues another trend, breaking into an Imperial base to rescue an ally. A New Hope launched this trope by having an older Obi-Wan, alongside Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, break Leia free from the first Death Star, and other Star Wars TV series, including The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch, have put their own spin on it.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4 parallels this scene in a discreet way. For one thing, Obi-Wan doesn’t have to deal with Vader – instead, he faces an army of stormtroopers and the danger of the Inquisitors. And unlike the Death Star, the Fortress Inquisitorius is in the middle of a massive ocean. In fact, water plays a major role in the episode due to Deborah Chow’s direction. The opening cuts back and forth between Obi-Wan attempting to heal in a bacta tank and Vader submerged in his life support capsule on Mustafar.

The highlight of the episode is a hallway sequence where Obi-Wan has to use the Force to hold back gallons of water as well as stormtroopers’ blaster bolts. The tension rises as the glass cracks, and Natalie Holt’s score swells to a massive crescendo, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. Chow even choreographs an intense lightsaber battle that takes place in the dark, with the only sources of light being Obi-Wan’s cobalt blade and the blood-red blaster bolts.

Another highlight of the episode is the face-off between Reva and Leia. Blair continues to be amazing as little Leia; her sassiness in the face of evil drew more than a few chuckles from me. Ingram is utterly fearsome as Reva; her rage is palpable, whether it’s slowly simmering or it erupts to the surface. Reva also mentions her time as a Jedi, which I hope to see more of. With only two episodes left, I hope that showrunner Joby Harold can flesh out Reva as a character. Then again, this is the shortest of the episodes so far, so I give Ingram credit for working within that time limit.

The rest of the supporting cast manages to hold their own with the few scenes they’re given, especially Jackson Jr. and Varma. Roken has his own ax to grind with the Empire, and even though the danger to his people is great, he ends up helping Obi-Wan. Varma and McGregor have some pretty intense chemistry throughout the episode, as Tala serves as Obi-Wan’s inside man and shows genuine fear during the hallway sequence. It’s no surprise that a romantic relationship was part of the original Kenobi pitch; I could see these two having a fling.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4 serves as a parallel to a classic Star Wars scene, featuring white-knuckle action as the Jedi Master embarks on a rescue mission. The second half of the series is off to a great start, and hopefully, the last two episodes end the series on the same high note that it began.

New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.


Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4 serves as a parallel to a classic Star Wars scene, featuring white-knuckle action as the Jedi Master embarks on a rescue mission. The second half of the series is off to a great start, and hopefully, the last two episodes end the series on the same high note that it began.