Obi-Wan Kenobi: Episode 4 Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
After last week’s episode ended on a big confrontation that fans had been waiting to see, Obi-Wan Kenobi takes an unnecessary breather with a mostly uneventful filler episode.
Look, it’s no surprise that after Reva (Moses Ingram) captured Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) last week that Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) wants to save her as soon as possible. However, it didn’t seem like it would happen literally the next episode or so easily. This episode basically just shows Obi-Wan and Tala (Indira Varma) sneaking into the Inquisitor base to rescue Leia with some cuts to Reva interrogating her with some nasty threats. However, nothing too consequential happens and it comes off like a bland prison break sequence with very few meaningful close calls or outcomes.
Considering what happened to Obi-Wan at the end of his first duel with Vader (Hayden Christensen), you would think it would be tough for him to jump back into battle. But, with just a little bit of time in a Bacta tank, he’s oddly good to go. Honestly, he’s kind of better than he was before as he uses the force more and is more efficient in combat. The way he utilizes the force to put a group of pursuing stormtroopers underwater and the darkness to take out the stormtroopers guarding Leia is cool and feels like old Obi-Wan returning, but it feels too soon. Obi-Wan hasn’t really grown much since the first couple episodes, so it’s a little unearned for his wild west style fighting tactics to just go away.
The action, as a whole, is also very minimal and it’s a shame that the more character-driven parts of Obi-Wan Kenobi get traded in for a pretty by the numbers prison break sequence. Even though Deborah Chow still shows some strengths in her suspense building with a tense confrontation between Tala (Indira Varma) and Reva, but often the suspense is undercut by forced and obvious interruptions that let Obi-Wan and Tala catch a break. Overall, there are no real consequences to this mission, aside from Leia’s ladybug bot becoming a tracker for Reva, and things go way too smoothly.
Even worse is that a lot of questions are left unanswered still and this series is seriously starting to run out of time. We don’t learn much about Tala’s band of fighters aside from them just being affected by the Empire’s actions making them just an early era of the Rebellion. None of the characters stand out besides Roken, but it’s mostly because he’s played by O’Shea Jackson Jr. With Reva and the Inquisitors, there’s also not much more delved into them, which is a shame since we spend most of the episode on their turf. But there is one reveal that is pretty cool and could be significant.
As Obi-Wan sneaks around looking for Leia, he comes across a hallway filled with tanks that contain the answer to what the Inquisitors do with Jedi. Rather than just simply kill them, the Inquisitors seem to trap Jedi and force-sensitive people in a frozen state. The reason is never revealed, but the possibilities are intriguing. Maybe they’re just trophies for the Inquisitors and Vader to look at in glory or there’s possibly a greater purpose at hand. It certainly shows how dark this era of Star Wars is, especially seeing that youngling in one of them, but it doesn’t make up for what’s lacking with Reva and Vader.
Once again, Moses’ performance makes Reva an engaging character within Vader’s ranks with how nasty, cruel, and dark she can be, but lingering questions about her make her feel hollow. We still don’t know why she’s so hellbent on capturing Obi-Wan herself and if she just ends up getting killed by Vader like she almost does here, all this curiosity with her is going to come off like a waste of time. It’s also a shame that Vader takes a bigger backseat this episode and the series fails to build off its big confrontation last week. Honestly, it’s puzzling why the series isn’t delving into Obi-Wan’s feelings about Anakin becoming Vader. Ever since he’s found out about it, there hasn’t been much talk about it and it’s tough to figure out why.
With only two episodes left, Obi-Wan Kenobi is seriously going to have to rebound from this bland and mostly irrelevant episode. There’s a lot of ground the series must cover still in establishing Reva as a big compelling threat and tackling Obi-Wan’s feelings about Anakin becoming Vader and it’s really starting to run out of time.