‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Reunites Obi-Wan and Anakin in ‘Part III’ (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 3, “Part III.”]
“Part III” reunites former Padawan and former Master in an explosive fashion. Perhaps that’s fitting because, in many ways, the third episode reads like a love letter to Revenge of the Sith. Anakin sees “through the lies of the Jedi!” in Obi-Wan’s tortured memories, Padme (Natalie Portman) is referenced, Kenobi briefly hallucinates his fallen friend as the man he once was, and, in the eventual fight, Vader tortures Obi-Wan in a manner that calls back to his own almost-end on Mustafar. Quite a bit happens, though, before we get to that point.
Obi-Wan and Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) head to a mining system where they hope to find allies, but all they find is dirt, dust, and Empire-ruined fields. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, Leia impulsively hails a random transport. She and Obi-Wan pretend to be a father-and-daughter farmer duo. The dude appears to think nothing of them, saying he was going that way and is happy to give them a ride. Since the guy’s Imperial, they’ll have to stay focused if they want to avoid detection.
But Obi-Wan’s focus is slipping, a fact made apparent at the start of the episode when he again tries to communicate with Qui-Gonn (Liam Neeson). Instead of making contact with his former master through the Force, Obi-Wan hears Anakin telling him he “does not fear the Dark Side” and that he “[sees] through the lies of the Jedi.” And that’s not the only time Ani haunts Kenobi; when they first land on the new planet Obi-Wan has a vision of Anakin as he appeared on Mustafar, freshly turned from the light. When a troop of Stormtroopers boards Freck’s transport, Obi-Wan slips up in a major way — he accidentally refers to Leia as Leia, rather than “Luma.” By claiming he mistook his daughter for her late mother, he’s able to cover his mistake — but the perceptive Leia correctly guesses Obi-Wan knew her mother.
They wind up at an Imperial checkpoint where they’re nearly captured. The Third Sister — who, we discover, has ambitions of becoming the next Grand Inquisitor — is still looking for Obi-Wan and, as per Vader’s orders, sent out probe droids to search for him. One detects him before he can destroy it, and while he defeats the troopers at the checkpoint, another squadron soon arrives. Thankfully, they’re saved by a kind stranger… in an Imperial uniform, played by Indira Varma! (You might recognize her from Game of Thrones.)
The officer’s name is Tala, and as she explains to Kenobi and Leia, she joined the Empire “when it stood for something.” Having seen the truth of it, she now works to save Jedi and Force-sensitive people through a system of secret passageways. (Star Wars loves a good Imperial-turned-Rebel story: For another example, see Rebels’ Alexsandr Kallus.) In those passageways, Obi-Wan sees writing by a Jedi named “Quinlan,” meaning Quinlan Vos. He appeared in the Clone Wars as an ally of Kenobi’s, but his history only gets more interesting from there: the guy eventually teams up with, and falls for, Dark Sider and betrayed former apprentice to Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress.
Tala, Obi-Wan, and Leia are all set to leave through the tunnel when Obi-Wan senses something through the Force that pains him. As they look through the doors, they find it’s not just the Inquisitors who’ve landed on the planet — Vader’s there, too. Obi-Wan watches in horror as Vader tortures and kills the innocent townspeople, and then he makes Tala promise to get Leia out of there. “I’ll lead him away,” he volunteers, meaning to distract Vader so the child can escape.
Lesser shows might’ve had Obi-Wan and Vader just barely miss each other, saving genuine interaction for the series finale. Obi-Wan Kenobi instead opts to show their reunion mid-season, in a nighttime-darkened minefield. Vader ignites his saber. Shakily, Obi-Wan ignites his. “What have you become?” Obi-Wan asks his former Padawan. “What you made me,” Vader replies. They fight, and it’s painfully clear Kenobi’s out of practice. “You should’ve killed me when you had the chance,” Vader hisses.
Partway through the tunnels, little Leia notes that Obi-Wan is not, as he told her he would be, “right behind them.” She convinces Tala to go back for him. Tala instructs Leia to keep going to the spaceport, where a pilot will meet her. She then turns back to help Obi-Wan. Reva (Moses Ingram), meanwhile, has found her way to Tala’s hideout and to the tunnels. It’s not clear how Tala avoids Reva, but it’s a good thing she does — she shows up just in time to save Obi-Wan. As she arrives, Vader’s using the Force to strangle his old master; he also spills and ignites a flammable powder and drags the weakened Obi-Wan through it, calling back to his own fiery almost-end on Mustafar. “Now you will suffer, Obi-Wan,” he says. There’s an agony to the Vader-Kenobi scenes that invite viewers to feel for both of them… the one screaming in pain, and the one wearing a mask, flames flickering in his eyes.
Obi-Wan gains a few nasty burns before Tala’s able to distract Vader and the Stormtroopers by shooting an explosive canister, but she ultimately succeeds in rescuing him and she and her droid prepare to take him to a new world, Jabiim. But while Obi-Wan might be safe for now, Leia certainly isn’t. In the episode’s final moments, she makes it through the tunnels only to find Reva, who has killed the pilot, waiting for her. “Are you the one I’m supposed to meet?” she asks. “Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it,” Reva says, “but I’ll take you from here.” Uh-oh!
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Wednesdays, Disney+