Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 5 Review: Star Wars Memories Make An Emotional Entrance

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WARNING: Light spoilers for the fifth episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Episode 5 of Obi-Wan Kenobi is a satisfying enough penultimate installment that reveals the villains of the series, tells what will happen in the last hour, and has enough twists and tragedies to make another decent entry in a series that was uneven. during. It’s no secret that the long-awaited rematch between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader is the main commercial argument of the latest Star Wars show, but the series has found its strengths when it abandons the setup in favor of the emotional background of the series. Here Obi-Wan Kenobi finds a way to balance both, and while it’s a shame it took until the penultimate episode for the series to find its rhythm, it leads to an episode that is one of the strongest in the series.

After a daring rescue in episode 4, in episode 5 of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader and Reva track down the Jedi to Jabiim, the planet where Tala took him and Leia after their escape from Mapuzo. Although their respite is short, the rebels plan to escape as Vader hovers menacingly over the planet, sending Reva down to stage an attack on the base. While Obi-Wan, Hajja (Kumail Nanjiani), Tala (Indira Varma), and Kaulen (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) are battling stormtroopers and the new Grand Inquisitor, Leia sets in motion a plan to help everyone escape from the clutches of the Empire.

Related: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Score on Rotten Tomatoes Compared to Other Star Wars Shows

Obi-Wan Kenobi varied in quality between episodes: some recordings served as brief stops on the way to a much more exciting ending, while others balanced the nostalgia-based premise with a more detailed exploration of the grief and trauma that affected him. Obi-Wan. At first it seems that episode 5 falls into the latter category, but it doesn’t fit that assumption, despite using flashbacks showing him training with Anakin. Seeing Hayden Christensen as a young Anakin is certainly exciting, especially given the long overdue reassessment of the once controversial prequel trilogy, and the flashbacks serve to highlight Anakin’s arrogance, which has turned into a threat now that he has become an awe-inspiring Sith lord.

“Your thirst for victory, Anakin, blinds you,” Obi-Wan tells the young Padawan in a flashback. This is a bit at first glance in terms of trying to concretize Vader’s current motives, especially given the fact that viewers have spent more than enough time with the character in both iterations. Nevertheless, it serves as a worthy enough help for the current conflict, giving Obi-Wan Kenobi an emotional through-line beyond the Jedi’s relationship with Leia.

Another relationship that is finally explored in the 5th episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi is the relationship between Reeva and Vader. Although the Star Wars show hinted at the Third Sister’s grudge against Obi-Wan, it turned out to be a fake for another kind of grudge. In another flashback (this time about the events of Order 66), it turns out that Reva was a Youngling who watched Anakin kill other Jedi trainees. This led to her long-term plan to defeat Vader once and for all. Obi-Wan even offers to help her with this, but she refuses.

Many have criticized Reva for being an unambiguous villain (a criticism that was largely unfounded), and this twist certainly proves that patience pays off. Moses Ingram was one of the strongest additions to the “Star Wars” franchise to emerge thanks to Obi-Wan Kenobi, and episode 5 proves that the actor (and her character) were never unambiguous. Also, while viewers don’t get the gift of a confrontation between Obi-Wan and Reeva, the powers of Vader’s Power are fully on display in a stunning action sequence that effectively ends the episode and teases what Obi-Wan will face. in the final.

In the first four episodes, Obi-Wan Kenobi struggled to balance nostalgia for the past with the future of the franchise. Constant focus on already well-known characters will definitely not help. Although the series did Christensen a disservice by waiting for episode 5 to show his helmet-less return to the Star Wars universe, it’s really a worthy return. The flashbacks here serve to provide a new context for the current conflict, especially when it comes to the characters who need it most. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s fifth episode does what the penultimate episodes do best: propels the story forward by reflecting on how the characters got to this point. When it comes to “Star Wars,” there are many stops along the way to this point, and McGregor’s steely determination in the episode’s final moments contains decades of characteristics that somehow still seem fresh. While there’s still plenty of time to stumble in the last hour of the show, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s 5th episode certainly proves that the show may have found its footing.