REVIEW: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Part 3

obi wan kenobi 3

As the third episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi already arrived in just a few days, we didn’t have to wait too long to see where the journey leads Obi-Wan and Leia, as they find themselves on a new planet and facing some familiar threats. The story still is very much about Kenobi’s internal struggle with the past and having the literal future face him every step of the way. Now that he realizes his biggest mistake is still out there, it may come to haunt him sooner than he might’ve imagined. The question remains: can the series carry the momentum as we now reach the halfway point?

The series continues at a slower pace, as we take our time having our two main leads interact and try their best to stay out of sight. Obi-Wan continues to cry out to his former master, which continues to build up the momentum of Liam Neeson to appear as Qui Gon Jinn. Still, the main focus is the arrival of our duo on a mining system. Kenobi remains untrusting and it ends up forcing them into a situation that could’ve been avoided, but thankfully made for good storytelling. The moment he pretends to be Leia’s father was a nice moment, especially when she realizes that he knew her real mother. It was kind of heartbreaking when she also asked about her father, whose ghost is currently haunting the former Jedi Master.

The strengths of Obi-Wan Kenobi continue to come to the forefront with its writing, as the dialogue scenes and especially the final confrontation of this episode are some of the best the series has to offer. Yet, the action sequences have made rather a curious choice that just doesn’t seem to hold up as well. The show looks great and is visually impressive with how it uses its cinematography to highlight Kenobi’s loneliness through the environment.

Yet, as soon as action sequences take over it becomes this shaky, uncoordinated experience. They aren’t bad sequences, it just takes you out of the experience and it feels like the camera movement is reflective of Kenobi’s inner turmoil. The once elegant and prideful Jedi Master barely even wields his lightsaber, generally even tries to avoid using it at all cost. It may be a more thematic choice that could become relevant later on once he and the camera steady at some point. However, I have to highlight the poor Stormtrooper that fell on top of the laser gate and getting split in two was quite the fatality in this otherwise somber series. Also, they really didn’t need to reactive the fence, could’ve just walked around it.

Moses Ingram continues to give an energetic performance with Reva that is only lacking in fully understanding her character, which is likely a revelation kept in the dark for later. They seemingly hinted at what her ambitions are, which fits the Sith we know from the original and perhaps reflects the Master and Student dynamic being disrupted with these groups of former Jedi and force-sensitive people. There are too many Sith that lead to a whole new problem even Vader isn’t happy to deal with.

Speaking of, we finally have the return of Darth Vader on-screen and he’s as intimidating as always. The version we meet here is not the one we see in Rogue One, as he feels a bit rougher around the edges. Anakin is shining through here and that seems intentional given he’s still holding on to a very important grudge. Every time he is on screen though, it’s an absolute highlight for the series. The intensity remains even with the rougher edge, and the cinematography used with him is quite something. Especially how they used fire to have it reflect in his eyes to highlight his anger towards his former Master was a perfect touch.

Also, the way he simply “took care” of the townsfolk without even batting an eye leaves quite the impression, especially on how unhinged he is as Vader. You can even see the fear in the eyes of the Inquisitors and hopefully, we’ll get a conflict later on that highlights his overwhelming power that further solidifies Obi-Wan’s journey to once again standing toe-to-toe with his former pupil.

The series is already at its halfway point and it does feel like the story is going to ramp up for the eventual final showdown. Kenobi learning to trust people and find his inner peace again is a perfect story to explore here. It was a surprise to see Vader’s arrival this early but it felt like the perfect way to escalate the story and force him to face his past. The only issue remains that the action sequences just feel a bit off in comparison to the rest. What makes the episode stand out is it’s final third and it hopefully builds into the final few episodes and we see Kenobi’s journey come full circle as he lets go of that blaster.

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