‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Part III: Rebuilding a Broken Master

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s always been a perspective guy. As we follow him through the six-part streaming series, the emotional resonance the audience feels comes from seeing Kenobi experience a series of revelations. While they’re not revelations to the audience, they are revelations from a certain point of view: Kenobi’s. It’ll be all but impossible to top Part II’s reveal, where Kenobi learned that Vader survived their dual on Mustafar; however, Part III countered that with a reveal that caught the old Jedi Master by surprise.

For the bulk of the show’s first 2 episodes, Ewan McGregor has masterfully portrayed a Kenobi who has been defeated. As he says in the show’s first episode: “The fight is done. We lost.” He’s biding his time on Tatooine, waiting for Luke to come of age to be trained. This Kenobi is not only a shadow of his former self but also a far cry from the character as he is portrayed in Star Wars Rebels, much less the spunky old wizard played by Alec Guinness in A New Hope. Hope is the operative word and, finally, in Part III, Kenobi finally finds some.

The first half of Part III seems to justify Obi-Wan’s worldview. As he and Leia land on Mapuzo and make their way toward the coordinates given to him by Kumail Nanjiani’s Haja Estree, nobody is there to meet them. Kenobi already distrusted Estree and expected to be let down. Things go from bad to worse for the pair when the friendly mole man who promised them a ride to the nearest port, hands them over to some Stormtroopers. And just when it seems that Kenobi’s belief that he’s essentially alone in the galaxy will be proven correct, Talia Durith enters the chat.

Durith’s character not only plays an integral role in Part III, but it’s also clear that she will play an even bigger role in evolving Kenobi’s view of the galaxy. As Tala shows Kenobi her hidden back room and explains The Path, we see a light in the Jedi’s eyes for the first time in the series. It’s not just the revelation that Jedi Master Quinlan Vos has survived Order 66; it’s the revelation that there are still people in the galaxy out to do good, and there are a lot more than he could have ever thought. It’s no stretch to say that Durith’s Path is part of the early stages of the Rebellion and probably serves as one of several key points in Leia’s life that set her on the path to becoming one of the Rebel leaders. Kenobi’s meeting with Tala gives him hope.

Of course, that hope is quickly tempered by the terrifying arrival of Vader on Mapuzo, his subsequent, but short, dual with Kenobi and his torture of his old master. Yet, here again, Kenobi experiences something he thought lost in the galaxy as Durith puts herself at risk to save him from Vader. Yes, Part III ends with Kenobi a mess, and Leia about to be in the hands of Reva, but that can’t undo what’s been done. We all know how this series has to end because we already know what comes after it, making character development of the utmost importance. And Part III provides arguably the most important developments in Obi-Wan’s character since he moved from Padawan to Master: it’s begun to rebuild the broken Jedi.

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