Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 5 Review

by 24britishtvJune 15, 2022, 7 p.m. 17
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Obi-Wan tries to offer Reva a chance, distracting her in the process to buy the Jabiim refugees time to figure out their escape. This plan partially works, though not before the good guys take some casualties. Tala goes down fighting in a moving scene reminiscent of Rogue One. Leia restores the base’s power in time for the good guys to narrowly escape.

But when Vader finally arrives and Reva confronts him, he toys with her before stabbing her in the gut and revealing that the Grand Inquisitor is still alive. (The only explanation for this: he was sustained by his revenge. I love Star Wars. Death, like hyperspace travel times, is mostly metaphor.) Left to die on Jabiim by the Empire, Reva finds Obi-Wan’s broken commlink with a message from Bail revealing that Obi-Wan was protecting another child on Tatooine. Seems like she’s headed there in the finale next week.

It’s almost painful to compare this episode’s straightforward emotional parallels to The Book of Boba Fett‘s far messier bacta flashbacks. The practice duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin does so handily what Boba’s glimpses of his own childhood attempted to do: to parallel the past with the present. It isn’t even subtle; there’s literally a reflection on the floor of the room. But as a glimpse into what feels like a deleted scene from the Prequels, it works.

Unfortunately, the sets continue to be one of the few weaknesses of the show. The Jabiim base is a re-skin of the heroes’ fortifications from The Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi, and it’s impossible to ignore the styrofoam look of the cave The camerawork often frames this location with symmetrical, cold competence, giving it less of a lived-in feel than Star Wars has at its best. It’s almost a problem of scale, as if the camera is constantly looking down on these locations instead of operating from eye level. The franchise is still making film history with the experimental combination of practical sets, digital painting, and the Volume, but the seams show more in Obi-Wan Kenobi than in The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian also still takes the prize for the best TV combat sequences, although the duel between Darth Vader and Reva achieves some impressive characterization. Vader’s utter disinterest in the fight, going so far as to never draw his own lightsaber, perfectly gets across that he’s an unstoppable juggernaut. Like the duel between Vader and Obi-Wan earlier in the show, the way characterization is shown through the swings of a lightsaber or lack thereof is exquisite. It all looks distinctly like it’s happening on a stage, though. More fascinatingly obscure names carved into the rock don’t make the place feel any more lived-in.

The reveals about Reva’s motivations directly comment on Obi-Wan and Anakin’s legendary heroism. She’s essentially operating on headcanons. It’s a pillar of her life that she believes Obi-Wan doesn’t really want to kill Vader or save the Jedi he supposedly champions. At best, to her, he’s an absent parental figure.

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