Wednesday, June 22, 2022

REVIEW: 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' - Obi-Wan Finally Receives Clarity and Peace During a Fateful Battle With Darth Vader in 'Part VI'

Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi - Episode 1.06 "Part VI"

The action-packed special event finale.

"Part VI" was directed by Deborah Chow with story by Stuart Beattie, Joby Harold & Andrew Stanton and teleplay by Joby Harold, Andrew Stanton & Hossein Amini

For a decade, Obi-Wan wasn't at peace. He was focused on one mission. He had to be on Tatooine to protect Luke. That mission forced him to turn his back on the ways of the Jedi. He had to exist as something else in order to offer the protection needed. He lost his way to such an extent that he didn't know how to make his way back to the man he once was. He lingered over the past. He killed his padawan. Then, he discovered Anakin survived and became Darth Vader. The Sith Lord still rules over the galaxy. Luke isn't the only child in need of protection either. Leia was put in danger due to Bail Organa's connection to the Jedi. Obi-Wan had to find himself in order to save the most vulnerable. He had to find redemption and acceptance. He's not to blame for the destruction that radiates throughout the galaxy. He didn't fail others because he was blind to the darkness growing around him. He's not responsible for Anakin's downfall. On this journey, he had to accept that Darth Vader killed Anakin Skywalker. That had to occur in order for him to accept the dark side of the Force. That's what he needed to gain even more power. This series has done a phenomenal job in demonstrating the scale of Darth Vader's abilities. He too is blinded by the past. His path led him back to his former master. Obi-Wan and Darth Vader were destined for a confrontation. They yearned for that. They had unfinished business that must be resolved before moving onto the next stage of their existence. They were determined about this conflict ending in death. It was foolish to believe it could end any either way. Those are the extreme stakes they have to project onto the situation. It would be smarter for the Imperial Cruiser to continue chasing the resistance ship. Obi-Wan sacrificed himself knowing he is more valuable to Darth Vader than the lives elsewhere. In that moment, he accepted his mission as a Jedi. He saw the future in the eyes of those in the crowd. They needed to survive. That was the priority. It was more important that the resistance to the Empire emerged from this confrontation. The battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader is minuscule in comparison. That's simply the fate of two men who project the importance of their bond above all else. It still requires so much strength to arrive at that conclusion. They strive for teachings from their masters. They need guidance. And yet, the mission is theirs to take. They have to explore every possible outcome. It's only in facing the demons of the past that they can move on to fulfill their destines for the future.

Obi-Wan refuses to turn his back on Anakin again. He did so once. He had to kill to stop the most dire outcome from occurring. He has to complete the job. He can't acknowledge Darth Vader as a separate person. The fighting style is so familiar. Obi-Wan trained Anakin. He taught him the ways of the Force. He feels responsible for everything that happened after he took up that pledge from Qui-Gon. Anakin made his own choices. He continues to fixate on the rage that motivates him throughout this quest. He must make Obi-Wan suffer. That's more important than submitting the rest of the galaxy to his will. He eventually arrives at that place where the fate of an entire planet is within his grasp. He wields that power with absolute viciousness. Right now, it's presented in an epic lightsaber dual between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. During that conflict, they both feel victorious. They each have moments of superiority. And yet, the morality comes from what they decide to do. It's one thing for Obi-Wan to see what Anakin has become through the Darth Vader mask. It's more horrifying to see the man behind it all. In that moment, everything becomes clear. This isn't the man Obi-Wan once knew. This is a Sith Lord who has given himself completely to a different cause. He's not capable of redemption. It's fascinatingly framed as two voices crying out. Obi-Wan can hear his padawan. It's mixed in with Darth Vader's iconic voice. That represents duality. And yet, Obi-Wan understands the singular focus. Nothing can change what Darth Vader has become. It's freeing to accept that. Plus, Obi-Wan can extend dignity and grace to someone who is not beyond redemption. Darth Vader is defeated in battle. He's still filled with vengeance. The Emperor molds him back into the vision of terror he must exist as. He can't allow his feelings to blind him from what needs to be done. These journeys happen in parallel. They resonate in so many ways. It's also destined to tear them apart. These two were once the closest of friends. That doesn't mean their journeys had to compliment one another. They are on their separate paths. Reva was left with that trauma as well. And now, she is on the verge of becoming exactly like the man who murdered the only family she ever knew. She couldn't prevail against Darth Vader. She could kill his son. She has the opportunity to do so. She can't bring herself to do it. That brings honor to the lives lost. Obi-Wan provides guidance for a youngling lost in the ways of the Force. She's torn about which path to follow. She is in control of her destiny. These decisions have to be made. Moreover, people have to be at peace with these paths. It's only then that they are rewarded with what they've always needed. Expectations set up pain and betrayal over things not happening as they are suppose to. The universe is vast and mysterious. Everyone is placed on a path of importance. They don't always have the benefit of seeing how crucial it will become. Obi-Wan has found peace. It may be much more complicated than anyone could ever imagine. That's the brutal reality of this dangerous world where so much has been lost. Yet it's also inspiring to see the best of each other in the eyes and actions of the next generation. They are the future. They are the hope. Obi-Wan can lead with that certainty despite not knowing what the future holds for him personally.