Wednesday, June 8, 2022

REVIEW: 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' - Obi-Wan and Tala Plot Another Rescue Mission After Reva Captures Leia Again in 'Part IV'

Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi - Episode 1.04 "Part IV"

Obi-Wan plots a mission.

"Part IV" was written by Joby Harold & Hannah Friedman and directed by Deborah Chow

Obi-Wan lingers on the past. The pain of betrayal and the sense of powerlessness overwhelm every single essence of his being. That prevents him from ever keeping Leia safe for a long period of time. He has to let all of that go in order to complete the mission. People are willing to sacrifice everything to aid him. That support largely comes from him being a Jedi. People still recognize the honor that came from those guardians. Rules were broken. That led to the rise of the Empire. People allowed their emotions to be clouded by rage and fury. This series has depicted Obi-Wan as an older man out of touch with the skills that once provided him with so much confidence. He was weak in his battle with Darth Vader. He feels his hold on the Force slipping. He is no longer the same man he once was. He has to become that once more in order to save Leia. She is in the same precarious position she was in before. Previously, she was captured simply to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding. That's what Reva needed from her. And now, Leia is taken prisoner once more and interrogated because of the information she might have about the Path. The Empire knows about the existence of this network helping fugitives evade capture. They want to stomp it out before it grows into a fiery resistance. The audience knows that is inevitable. Leia becomes an influential figure in that cause. She showcases her strength here. She refuses to give up any information. She sees Reva using her words to present a rosier version of the world. The inquisitor projects a life of prosperity that can only be given by the Empire. And yet, she is furious towards anyone who would choose to walk a different path. She sees the grandiosity of the Empire as the only way. There is no choice whatsoever. She has gained a ton of power. She aspires to give Darth Vader what he has always wanted. Obi-Wan has evaded him for a decade. That time hasn't been spent honing his skills. Instead, it has only allowed the decay of the Jedi to continue. People fight back. It increasingly feels more and more futile. Reva can't comprehend anyone standing in her way. She demands respect. She continually has to fight for it. Her journey apparently parallels Leia's. She too was once a young girl who befriended a drone. A piece of Reva's history is missing so that the audience can easily connect with her. She increasing acts as a villain meant to terrorize the protagonists when the iconic visual of Darth Vader can't be utilized. The show can't go to that well too many times without throwing the overall mythology out of whack. Of course, Reva has to stand as her own unique character too. Here, it basically comes across as the same storytelling pattern repeating.

Obi-Wan is successful in saving Leia. The princess has been rescued once more. It's simply a little ridiculous how easily Obi-Wan and Tala can infiltrate the headquarters of the inquisitors. All it takes is Tala leading with conviction. Reva admires how well she lies. It possibly conveys uncertainty as to which side she truly aligns with. And yet, the moment always makes it incumbent on her to help lead Obi-Wan to freedom. All hope seems lost. Then, everything miraculously works out in the end. It works because of the high-stakes action. It's cathartic to see Obi-Wan wield his lightsaber with so much ease once more. It's required of him now. He has to protect Leia. He has to be strong in the Force to complete this journey. Lives are still lost. The characters mourn. The audience has no real connection though. The pilot dies mostly to showcase the danger all of this was meant to be. Obi-Wan and Tala do the majority of the hard work though. Meanwhile, Reva is left scrambling to keep a handle on things. It's a lot of intense running. It's convincing. It's simply baffling as to how Tala could have reunited with Obi-Wan and Leia before they were caught by more than Stormtroopers. It's also laughable how anyone thought hiding Leia under a trench coat would go unnoticed. All of these logistical details add up. They stand out alongside moments that are meant to be searing and personally devastating. Obi-Wan discovers this building also serves as a tomb for fallen Jedi. Their bodies are forever embalmed to prop up the mission and depravity of this place. It's horrifying. Obi-Wan can only linger on that thought for a moment. He can't get distract by the youngling whose potential was cut short by the devious ambitions of the Sith. He has to find Leia. He does so without her being tortured. Reva was willing to follow through on that threat. It doesn't have to be executed. It's disrupted. Reva still gets to make the last point. She reveals she planted a tracker that will follow Obi-Wan and Leia back to the humble resistance. As such, the fight is not done quite yet. A showdown is still brewing. Obi-Wan and Reva are destined for a dual at some point. The show has played around with that imagery even though it was more potent to witness Obi-Wan and Darth Vader together again. That battle went unresolved. So many emotions are still pent up. It's still a massive release when Leia simply reaches out and holds Obi-Wan's hand. The promise of a better future is present within her. She inspires that in others even though she remains a young child caught up in this drama.