The season, possibly series finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi is out today on Disney Plus, and while the actors and showrunner have said they’d return for another go-round, this was written as a standalone series to begin with. And now that it’s aired, it’s pretty easy to see how they could end it here if they wanted to, and have it be satisfying.
The quality of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s six episodes has been…variable, to say the least, but the last two weeks here have been pretty excellent, and this season 1 finale I would I actually classify as outright great.
Let me say that again, spoilers follow.
The main attraction here is a climactic duel between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan on a planet once Obi-Wan separates from the refugee cruiser, correctly guessing that Vader would chase him.
The result is what I would classify as the single best lightsaber duel I’ve seen in a live-action Star Wars production, including all the movies and shows so far. From the actual swordplay choreography to the use of force powers, including Ben finally unleashing more Force potential than we’ve ever seen from him as he slings boulders at Vader, it’s all pretty spectacular. There are also callbacks to the prequels, like a “I have the higher ground” moment from Vader, though thankfully he doesn’t say that explicitly.
This all culminates in Ben getting the better of Vader, chopping up his robot suit and through his mask, revealing the scarred face of his former friend Anakin underneath. It’s a powerful scene, well-acted by both Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, finally justifying him being inside the armor this whole time. In my mind this moment is so good that it justifies the entire series (though yes, I know Rebels did this first in Ahsoka and Vader’s battle).
I was a little more perplexed about Reva’s storyline, which had her going to Tatooine to kill Luke, which she thought would be revenge on Vader, given that she’s learned he’s his son. Though it doesn’t seem like she knows whether or not Vader knows this, making it a somewhat confusing concept.
That said, I do like the parallels of what they did with Reva, given that she was a Youngling who watched her friends slaughtered by Vader, but ultimately she chooses not to become that, a contrast to what we just saw with the too-far-gone Anakin (who is at least too-far-gone until the end of Return of the Jedi). If the rumors of a Reva spin-off are true, this would seem to be where it would start, but I’m still not sure how wild I’d be about that concept.
We have some nice moments with Ben and Leia in the epilogue, and a great “Hello there” when he officially meets Luke for the first time. The show sneaks in two last minute cameos, the Emperor commanding Vader to stop chasing Kenobi around as it’s affecting his more important work, and then Qui-Gon shows up as a Force ghost, which the show has been broadcasting would happen this whole time. But it was still nice to see.
Again, Obi-Wan Kenobi could easily wrap things up here, but we’ll see if they dip back again for a season 2. It wouldn’t make much sense to stack even more Vader-Kenobi showdowns after this, but we’ll see what happens. Overall, I did end up liking the series, particularly once it pulled things together for the finale.