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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Oops! Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4 Review

This week flew by. In fact, I thought Thursday was Wednesday. It isn't. 

So, here is this week's review. 


This episode stars Reva, Kenobi, and Leia, with a brief visit by Vader. This episode picks up where the last one ended, Ben and Vader are in serious need of healing. Our old friend the Bacca Tank appears in two different forms. 

Meanwhile, Reva has Leia where Leia wants her. The little princess tries to dance with the Inquisitor and does a remarkable job at it. Unfortunately, too many hijinx with the dark side end up in pain and torture. A child couldn't see that coming. 

Moses Ingram is an excellent villain and foil to Leia. They manage to verbally box each other into surprising corners. Ingram as Reva reveals an incredible amount of understanding of Leia's situation and makes many plays at getting the child to reveal some secrets. It doesn't work, because Reva is an Inquisitor and lets her passions get the better of her. 

The scrappy heroes throw together a terrible plan to invade the Sith Castle in the Mustafar system to free Leia. Indira Varma aka Tala takes the lead and runs the mission save the girl from certain death. I find her very boring, which is actually excellent. She's a spy, she's too dull to notice. It works for me and works for Kenobi, too. 

Much of the rescue involves a series of callbacks to other shows and movies. From the prequels, we get a water world and a tiny breathing mouthpiece. I mentioned the Bacca Tank already, it was used to creepy good effect. Ben tricks stormtroopers with imaginary noises while Tala leaves her communicator on a table like C3PO. My favorite is Ben savaging two stormtroopers like Ahsoka Tano did in the Mandolorian. Snowspeeders make a comeback. 

While I found this episode to be lackluster, the real star is The Force itself. Or at least how it works. At various points, people use and misuse The Force to disastrous effects. Reva finds out that it doesn't work on people who are telling the truth or are at least not telling a lie. Leia also finds that she can protect herself from imagined threats by belief, but all the belief in the world doesn't protect her from getting kicked around. Vader and Ben discover that being aware of each other is rough. 

This sort of undoes some of the worst Force appearances in the most recent 3 films. First, it makes a precedence for telepathy or at least extreme clairvoyance. We got that through "feelings" in the original films, through blurry images in the prequels, and in the last 3 films, full-on mind-melding. Ben and Vader engage in it in an unwelcome and disturbing way, which support's Vader's anger and Ben's fears. 

It also shows how useless The Force is when one cannot imagine the true events occurring. This is greatly amplified when a dark-sider doesn't have the focus or enough information to act, yet acts anyway. It is a slight nod to Ben Solo being a stupid villain, meaning someone who had zero awareness of their actions and how they would be taken by others. 

Personally, I loved Kylo Ren because he was not a Sith Lord and was not bright at all. It was really shocking to see someone completely out of control for no good reason other than that was simply what they were. This is kind of in the vein of Shakespearean villains who engage in evil stuff because they are evil, not because anything special happened to them. 

I'll give this episode a smidgen over middling. 3 of 5 stars. 

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