Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for “Part IV” of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+.
The fourth episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi was the shortest of the limited series so far, but there was no shortage of action as Obi-Wan had to semi-recover from his burns from the battle with Darth Vader, plan a rescue mission with Tala, and escape the Inquisitorius Fortress with young Leia in tow. It was a close call with Reva on their tails, but they got away. Still, Reva managed to plant a tracker on them, but what now seems like a big potential win for Vader’s hunt for his former master could be proof of the ultimate fatal flaw in his plan.
Vader was so infuriated that Reva lost Obi-Wan from what was supposed to be the impenetrable fortress of the Inquisitors that he broke out his classic Force choke move, and would have killed her if she hadn’t managed to sputter out that she let them go, and planted a tracker on them. She promised that “soon the location of the network and Kenobi will be ours,” but Vader doesn't seem too invested in the network at this point. After Fifth Brother’s protest that the base was almost destroyed, she uttered the magic words: “Kenobi is all that matters.”
Vader’s response is what may have given away what his downfall will be against his former master in the series:
He emphasized the “him,” so I think it’s fair to assume that Vader’s top priority is finding Obi-Wan rather than rooting out the members of the network, which is likely the very early form of the Rebel Alliance that will ultimately be the downfall of the Empire. And he’s willing to rely on Reva – who technically is tracking Leia – to make it happen. Considering that Reva is a new character for Obi-Wan Kenobi (which Moses Ingram addressed), she isn’t at Vader’s right hand in the original trilogy, and doesn’t even appear in Star Wars Rebels, it seems safe to say that relying on her in trying to capture his former master is a mistake.
If anything, FIfth Brother seemed to be the only one present who was thinking clearly rather than about vengeance on Obi-Wan, who clearly has the kinds of trustworthy allies that Vader doesn’t. Reva’s focus on finding Obi-Wan is all for Vader’s sake and hopes of becoming the new Grand Inquisitor; if Tala hadn’t distracted her by claiming to know his location, she might have tortured the information about the network out of Leia. Vader wanting Obi-Wan above all without truly trustworthy allies to back him up could be exactly what gives Obi-Wan and the network what they need to survive, which is one very important thing: time.
Tala told the exiled Jedi that time is what he needs to recover both with his use of the Force and from the emotional wounds of everything he had gone through, and “Part IV” gave him a chance to dust off his Jedi skills in the mission to save Leia. The final moments of the episode – before the reveal that Reva was tracking them via Lola – showed a sweet bonding moment that indicates that Obi-Wan has motivation to focus more on saving her than dwelling on his own guilt about her father. Who knew that a deadly heist that damaged the structural integrity of a fortress could be so healing?
His lightsaber skills were already much improved from what they were in the duel with Vader in “Part III,” and he regained enough mastery with the Force to hold off torrents of water long enough to flood a compartment full of stormtroopers while still having enough time to escape himself. He’s not exactly back at his full strength from Revenge of the Sith, but he certainly is recovering and has the motivation to keep improving.
And if we assume that what Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy previewed as the “rematch of the century” between Obi-Wan and Vader is still to come rather than their short battle in “Part III,” then Obi-Wan may have what it takes to put up a good showing against his former pupil and defeat him yet again. After all, we certainly know that Vader won’t be killing Obi-Wan at this point in the Star Wars timeline, with nearly a decade still to go before A New Hope.
As long as Vader continues to rely on Reva and focus his energy on finding Obi-Wan over anything else, I get the sense that Obi-Wan will have the time that he needs to come out on top yet again. We know that Vader will survive, Obi-Wan will survive, Leia will get back to her parents on Alderaan, and the story will eventually pick back up on Tatooine; now, the pieces are falling into place for how it happens when it seems like Vader and Reva currently have almost all the advantages.
As director Deborah Chow told CinemaBlend, the Inquisitors are “all individuals” with different backstories rather than a “monolithic team or entity.” Vader can’t count on the absolute loyalty of Reva or any of the others quite like the Emperor can count on his (for now) with the Rule of Two, and Vader’s presumed downfall in his chase for Obi-Wan this time could come at least partly from within as well as from without.
You can look forward to the final two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi (opens in new tab) on Wednesdays at 12:01 a.m. PT with a Disney+ subscription, plus plenty of other Star Wars content for any fan of that galaxy far, far away to enjoy.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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