Wednesday, June 1, 2022

REVIEW: 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' - The Past Haunts Obi-Wan as He Faces His Former Apprentice in Battle Once More in 'Part III'

Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi - Episode 1.03 "Part III"

Obi-Wan searches for allies.

"Part III" was written by Jody Harold, Hannah Friedman, Hossein Amini & Stuart Beattie and directed by Deborah Chow

Obi-Wan remains haunted by the past. He feels responsible for what his apprentice became. He believed Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One. He would bring balance to the universe. That increasingly seems impossible of ever being true. The forces of good and evil are constantly at war. Noble individuals try their best to save lives and allow civilizations to prosper. And yet, so many corrupt forces exist that wish to oppress and exploit the most vulnerable. It's terrifying to Obi-Wan when he can feel Darth Vader's presence again. For a decade, he believed he killed Anakin. It was a massive bombshell when Reva revealed the truth to him. In that moment, he could escape a near certain dual with lightsabers. He cannot be spared the same fate here. He must confront his former apprentice once more. For the first time, he must witness the Sith Lord he has become. Darth Vader proudly declares that this is entirely Obi-Wan's doing. As such, he must suffer the same torment that was inflicted on him all those years ago. His former Jedi master must be tortured before being killed. Darth Vader has the strength to overpower Obi-Wan, who has grown weak. So much of that is caused by Obi-Wan being on a certain path for so long. He was given a specific mission. He had to look after Luke from afar. And now, he's brought into an entirely new world once more. It's full of conflicts that were once so common. The circumstances are completely different. He calls out for help from his former master, Qui-Gon. He was told he could communicate with him again. He could receive more teachings during this time in hiding. Instead, he has only been consumed by the despair. He lingers over the horrors of the past. Those mistakes are still playing out in the present. So many people have heard about the legendary Obi-Wan Kenobi. They view him as one of the greatest Jedi Knights to ever live. It's remarkable that he has escaped Darth Vader's influence for so long. That came at the expense of his Jedi ways. He had to sacrifice service to others to preserve the most vital mission. And now, he's distracted from that. Instead, Anakin and Padmé's other child may be in the most danger. Leia already demonstrates the skills to be a great Rebel figure in her own right. However, she endures this journey alongside a stranger who agonizes over the secrets he carries. He doesn't resemble the man Luke meets when he is forced from his home and must embark on his own journey with the Force. In that time period, Obi-Wan understands the connections between past and present. He carries the burden in silent knowing his mission is uniquely his own. He can't stand in the way of doing what's right even if it means concealing the truth.

Obi-Wan hasn't reached that moment of grace yet. He sees the echoes of the past in how Luke and Leia now behave. He mourns Padmé's death constantly. He was powerless to save her. Instead, he only fulfilled the prophecy that sent Anakin down this dark path. He will eventually find redemption. Obi-Wan will inspire that journey in Luke. At the moment, it's all about the epic showdown between master and apprentice. Obi-Wan will sacrifice his life to ensure Leia's protection. Of course, his sacrifice to buy more time doesn't pan out. Their lives are still in danger. However, the show must create convenient and somewhat illogical ways to explain why things are tense without being too consequential. And so, Obi-Wan confronts Darth Vader. The Sith Lord hopes to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding. He kills and torments the innocent citizens of this community simply because they happen to be on the planet the transport ship took Obi-Wan and Leia. Obi-Wan prioritizes their safety just as much as he does Leia's. In fact, he trusts her in the care of another. Sure, everyone must make their own decisions on how much they are willing to fight back. People believed in the noble intentions of the Empire when it first rose. However, the nefarious motivations from the Emperor were always apparent. The darkness could cloud judgment to a certain extent. It's how people respond knowing the full truth that matters. Some step up and form the early days of the resistance. They fight back mostly by providing safe passageway for anyone being hunted down by the Empire. That route is clear even though Obi-Wan doesn't trust allies to find him right away. He believes he is the only support Leia has. He is her only hope of returning home. That mission hasn't been accomplished. Instead, Reva reaches the end of the tunnel before Leia does. The pilot is killed. The child is taken once more. Obi-Wan won't have any time to heal before having to return to the heat of battle. He knows the beauty that once existed on this planet. Now, all of its resources have been mined to the detriment of the ecosystem and its native population. He sees the horror all around him. That leaves him incapable of serving as the bold and powerful Jedi he must be to emerge victorious in this fight. He survives due to the bravery of others. They lead with clear and level heads. Other Jedi have moved through this checkpoint hoping to continue making a difference. That influence is still felt. It's simply a much more personal battle for Obi-Wan because the darkness he once feared has now emerged stronger than ever before. He's powerless to stop the corruptive force. It's up to others to restore hope and balance. Obi-Wan still struggles to let go of the priority he has enjoyed for so long. He made mistakes and must now accept that despite the horrors he now must endure as punishment across the galaxy.