The following recap contains spoilers.
If we’ve learned anything from the rise of streaming services, it’s that the penultimate episode in a series is generally the most shocking to entice viewers to stick around for the finale. Episode 5 of Obi-Wan Kenobi is the Empire Strikes Back of the series, revealing the purpose behind Reva’s place alongside Darth Vader and providing ample screentime for the returning Hayden Christensen in the form of a flashback Anakin Skywalker. There’s a major character death – Tala, alongside her trusty droid – and the last scenes allude to the new hope himself, Luke Skywalker, sleeping peacefully. Episode 6 will bring our characters to Tatooine in what will culminate in an epic showdown between hero and villain. But there is more to unpack from Episode 5 before we get there.
The first scene of the episode is easily the best opening so far, showing Anakin Skywalker as a Padawan facing his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, in a lightsaber duel (all blue, no evil yet). It serves as a comparison to the warfare between the characters at the present, with Darth Vader being all-out attack to finish his foes – which is also the reason he’s now more machine than man. Using Leia’s droid, the new Grand Inquisitor – Reva – tracks Ben Kenobi to the rebel base (sound familiar?) and a host of Stormtroopers are blasting the doors for entry. It’s a stand-off, and this is where the fun begins.
While fan theories have long speculated that Reva was a youngling during Anakin’s turn to the dark side and the execution of Order 66, the conversation between Ben and Reva is not just about the revelation – there’s blame placed on Ben’s shoulders for not being there to guard the children against his wayward Padawan. Reva’s lightsaber miraculously opens the doors, and the Stormtroopers blast their way through the tight confines of the base.
It’s interesting to see Stormtroopers shoot in a smaller space. They actually hit their targets and it’s a claustrophobic battle of beams. Despite an earlier chat with Tala highlighting her backstory, she’s shot and then sacrifices herself with an Alien-style grenade drop. It’s a shame to see one of the better actors of the series bite the dust, but as is with most of the characters in this series – if they survive events, they’ll be long gone before A New Hope begins in nine years. Better to show their sacrifice.
Ben doesn’t give up hope as he loses a friend, thinking of a way to use Reva against Vader. She wants pure revenge – not a return to the light side of the force, it would seem. With a plan in the works, Vader arrives in his menacing style (ripping off doors, stopping ships mid-air, threatening anything with a pulse) and fails to stop the escape a decoy deployed by Kenobi’s understanding of his personality. Reva tries to slay Vader, but he’s aware of her motives. We get to see Vader at his peak – again – but this time it’s against an opponent that should be worth the fight. He stops her swings with the force and barely moves at all, eventually stabbing her through the stomach. Though as the old Grand Inquisitor arrives and takes back his badge, we realise that lightsabers maybe aren’t all that deadly (unless you’re Count Dooku and lose your whole head).
The episode ends with Reva finding Ben’s message from Leia’s stepdad (Organa) which highlights the presence of Luke on Tatooine. She’s not dead, and will no doubt tell Vader about this finding. Everything feels like it has come together perfectly for the rematch of the century. After seeing the flashback battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin provide some of the moves the prequels were renowned for, the next lightsaber fight we witness will be worth the watch alone.
If episode 6 is to clone Return of the Jedi, is Reva set to save Ben in the role of redemption?
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