Obi-Wan Kenobi: Finale Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
After all the confrontational build-up and potential for big character moments, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s finale lives up to the hype in delivering epic lightsaber battles and meaningful conclusions.
The penultimate episode saw Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) about to be pulled in two different directions as Vader (Hayden Christensen) was chasing him down and Reva (Moses Ingram) had her sights set on going after Luke (Grant Freely). At first, it was tough to see how this finale would handle both things happening at once since Obi-Wan can’t be in two places at once. However, it smartly brings Owen (Joel Edgerton) and Beru (Bonnie Piesse) back to prepare for Reva’s arrival while Obi-Wan distracts Vader to let the Rebel refugees escape. The shifts in focus make each storyline feel important in its own way and work together in raising the stakes and anticipation.
But before we get to Reva squaring off against Owen and Beru on Tatooine, we’ve got to talk about the highly anticipated finale duel between Obi-Wan and Vader because it was everything fans could’ve wanted. The whole series has really been leading up to this moment of Vader and Obi-Wan going toe to toe and it does not disappoint. This finale duel between Vader and Obi-Wan frankly might be one of the coolest fights in Star Wars as it’s not only incredibly thrilling, but also delivers some satisfying emotion.
The choreography and raw power between the two are constantly thrilling to watch and both of them feel like they’re in top form and holding nothing back. The dark setting also allows for some amazing lighting effects and color to be added through lightsabers and there’s some really amazing shots here that keep the battle engaging. Even better is that there’s some great callbacks through dialogue and one nod in particular that leads to a deeply emotional exchange.
Obi-Wan slicing off part of Vader’s helmet is undoubtedly a nod to a similar moment from Star Wars: Rebels, but this moment acts as more than just a solid nod. Obi-Wan finally seeing Anakin under the mask stops their fighting completely and delivers some big emotional blows. Obi-Wan is nearly in tears as he apologizes to Anakin for what happened and in a rare moment, we get shades of Anakin talking to Obi-Wan. This is probably the most open we’ll see Anakin be until he’s dying in Luke’s arms in Return of the Jedi and what he says here is much darker. Rather than blame Obi-Wan, he instead tells him that him becoming Vader was his choice and that the Anakin he knew is long gone. It’s a legitimate signifier that Vader is totally enveloped into the dark side and it’s what makes Obi-Wan able to move on.
He now knows that he can’t change Anakin back and that things are too far gone for now. The visual of him walking away dejected and disappointed feels very akin to Batman walking away from Jason Todd in the Under the Red Hood animated movie. However, he uses these feelings to go back and help Luke, knowing that he could be what changes Anakin later in life. It’s the perfect moment to send Obi-Wan into his future role in the franchise and Vader screaming for him at the end is another great callback to Darth Maul’s Kenobi scream in Clone Wars. The series really goes all out for this Vader and Obi-Wan confrontation and it’s what makes it an immensely satisfying moment for Star Wars fans.
Reva hunting down Luke is equally satisfying as Owen and Beru put up a great fight that’s just as thrilling to watch. Obviously, even with homefield advantage, Owen and Beru can’t do enough to stop Reva from eventually reaching Luke after a suspenseful cat and mouse chase. Now, Reva obviously doesn’t kill Luke, but the moment she has of retracting her rage is a strong steppingstone in her arc. Again, it’s kind of bumming that the writing goes the typical villain, but not quite route, but it is satisfying to see her have some growth and not even need Obi-Wan to step in. There have been rumors of her possibly getting her own series and this could be a good starting point.
The most emotionally fulfilling moments of this finale easily come in the final exchanges that Obi-Wan has, especially with Leia (Vivian Lyra Blair). Obi-Wan’s final words to Leia about the qualities she got from her parents that make her great is absolutely beautiful as it solidifies their bond and makes for a fitting end to their arc together here. Owen also finally warms up to Obi-Wan enough to introduce him to Luke and even though we don’t actually see them talk, it’s satisfying to know that it happened and leads excellently into Obi-Wan going off on his own journey, whatever that is. But the best, I mean the absolute best, surprise comes from Liam Neeson reprising his role as Qui-Gon Jinn as he talks to Obi-Wan as a force ghost. It was the perfect little surprise to end the series on and really embodies that Obi-Wan is back to his better self.
The journey to the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale might have been shaky at times, but the series not only sticks the landing through two epic action sequences, but also through its satisfying emotional beats that allow Obi-Wan to move forward in his journey. Plus, it offers some amazing encounters and surprises that no fan should miss.