Obi-Wan Kenobi: Review Episode 6: The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Jun 22, 2022
Hello there. 

Welcome to our review of the final Episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. 

Please allow us to ruminate before we fanboy over one of the Star Wars franchise's most significant moments in 20 years. 

The last three years have seen Star Wars fans treated to two truly delightful seasons of The Mandalorian.

That show personally helped wash the 'salty as Crait' taste of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker from our mouth. Sure both movies featured some excellent moments but each ended with a crash as the Skywalker lineage ended not with a bang, but a whimper. 

We then were treated to Boba Fett which started strongly but the switch from a 'badass assassin in a cool helmet' to a 'loveable chap' as a Dayamo felt somewhat unearned. 

Whereas Mando was a slightly episodic adventure which culminated in Baby Grogu meeting Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan's six-episode arc has been more a character study of Obi-Wan's mental trauma of realising he must protect Leia by facing his former friend who is now the most monstrous man-machine in the form of Darth Vader:

obi-wan final episode review

Obi-Wan's Force spirit has slowly returned as he has faced off Leia's kidnappers, had a run-in or two with Third Sister Reva, a faceoff with Vader in which he was burned on hot coals as Vader played mind games with him, through to seeing a new friend die so that he and Leia may live. 

It's no wonder he aged so much from this time to the beginning of ANH...

And here we are, at Episode 6, the one where everyone heads conveniently back to Tattooine, to where an unknowing child named Luke Skywalker dreams of being a pilot, where Owen Lars dreams never seeing a Jedi again, to where Bail Organa will be waiting for his beloved daughter. 

It's a set-up for one of the most expected showdowns in Star Wars history.

Vader versus Kenobi with everything on the line. 

Though we know both characters survive, and while the visual feast of two former Jedi going toe to toe was a visceral delight, the real story is what this episode should be known as 'The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi'.  

For the third and not the final time, Obi-Wan has to fight his former friend.

The mental exhaustion has been telling. 

obi-wan final part review

The difference between Kenobi from the start of this show to the final episode is that gift that Leia has unwittingly given Ben, the gift of love.

His adventures rescuing Leia have renewed his well and his strength returned just when he needed it.

So let's cut to the chase. Vader and Kenobi have a doubly epic duel during each get a chance to really show their skills. Vader does some of the same kinds of actions that he did on Reva in Episode 5, yet Kenobi is able to match him move for move. Kenobi is given the chance to show is classic arms raised pose and display his Jedi fighting style. 

In obtaining the high ground over Kenobi, and leaving him for dead (in a mirror of the ending of The Revenge of the Sith) Darth Vader shows his continued arrogance and lack of patience. 

A defeated Kenobi's will is renewed when he thinks of Leia and Luke and the murdered Tala - a second round with Vader bears us to witness to the GREATEST Kenobi we have seen. We have never seen him stronger as a Force user and in strong and obvious echoes as to how Luke defeats Vader in Return of the Jedi, Kenobi defeats Vader, leaving him once again the broken man. 

Kenobi leaves Vader knowing it is finally over between them and that Anakin Skywalker is truly dead. 

The subplot of Reva stalking Luke was simply a waste of time. Reva's journey should have ended at the hands of Vader rather. The ending to this plot was signalled in the first episode when she taunted Owen. 

He admirably responds to her taunts but ultimately this story has gone nowhere in an exciting way, other than perhaps to witness a would-be Jedi has returned from her dark side.  

After a poignant farewell to Leia where he finally acknowledges he knew her parents and his recognition of Owen and Beru's love and effort with Luke put things in perspective for Obi-Wan as to his role.

His head thus being cleared of Vader and the love in his heart renewed y Leia and Luke, his head clears and his is able to commune with Qui Gon Jinn who makes a very welcome cameo. This signals the training in the ways of the Force that Obi-Wan will ultimately need in another decade is about to begin. 

Absolutely brilliant storytelling. 

And to top it all off, we got a cameo of Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor putting even more mental stress on the now fully formed Darth Vader. 

Trivia and references found in the episode:

  • When Kenobi says to Luke "Hello there" this is not only a call back to the prequels and A New Hope but a nod to Helle There becoming an internet meme over the last decade. 
  • Ben's "I will do what I must" and Vader's retort "Then you will die" is a straight up reference to their duel in Revenge of the Sith
  • When Kenobi acknowledges Darth Vader's claim Anakin is dead with "Then my friend is truly dead" this echoes what Luke will eventually say to Vader in Return of the Jedi "Then my father is truly dead". Even the 'Darth' line is a call back to ANH. 
  • Kenobi's blow to Vader's face opening up his helmet means both Kenobi and Anakin's apprentice Ashoka have done this. Each time reveals a certain truth about Vader's identity for each of them. This makes Luke's eventual redemption of Vader all the more powerful.
  • Kenobi cracking open Vader's skull may now explain Vader's scar from his reveal in Return of the Jedi:
    vader's scar explained

Bonus Image of Qui-Gon Jinn's cameo appearance:

qui-gon jinn in Kenobi cameo

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