Star Wars goes back to its fairytale roots this week to give us a short, swashbuckling episode about rescuing a princess from a dragon in a castle. Just like the middle chapters of The Mandalorian and The Book Of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi is slightly sagging in the middle here – taking slightly too long on the off-roads after last week spoiled us with the return of Darth Vader.
Fresh from burning up his old master in a fire pit, Vader (Hayden Christensen with James Earl Jones on voice duties) steps back here as Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) recovers from his wounds. A bacta tank can cure pretty much anything in the Star Wars universe (see the first six episodes of The Book Of Boba Fett…) but Obi only floats around in it for a few minutes before panicking and climbing out – suddenly remembering about Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair).
The last time we saw her, she was running right into the arms of the Third Sister (Moses Ingram). Now swept away to an evil black pyramid in the middle of a water moon, Leia is chained up in the dungeons of “Fortress Inquisitorius”, giving us one of the silliest lines of the series so far. Luckily, the name and the building design don’t spoil some great interrogation scenes between Leia and the Third Sister. Vivien Lyra Blair perfectly channels Carrie Fisher’s sass in a conversation that runs along the same lines as the princess’ later grown-up dealings with the Empire.
— Obi-Wan Kenobi (@obiwankenobi) June 7, 2022
Strapped to a medieval torture rack and seconds away from being lasered into an amber coffin for display in the Inquisitor’s trophy room, things look bleak before Obi-Wan bursts in swinging his lightsaber. Now magically dry after swimming in through one of the sewer pipes, Obi is on a two-person rescue mission with Tia (Indira Varma). Slowly getting his mojo back, the raid gives Obi a chance to hone his fighting skills (one hallway battle nodding to his old Clone Wars glory days), as well as his force powers – graduating quickly from moving a few nuts and bolts with his mind to blowing up a whole underwater corridor.
Somehow finding an XXL overcoat in the middle of the fortress (did one of the stormtroopers have it in a locker?!), Obi tries to walk out the front door smuggling a small girl under his arm. It might be the laziest bit of writing in the show so far but it thankfully doesn’t last long – and the ruse doesn’t work either – as the Third Sister spots them almost instantly. Teasing us with a full-blown inquisitor showdown but snatching it away in the final moments, the heroes are saved by reluctant rebel Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr., making his Star Wars debut here as a pilot with impeccable timing).
Finally, then, Vader shows up. Too late to actually help, he chokes out the Third Sister until she gasps out her real plan – using Leia’s loveable little droid, L0-LA59 (AKA Lola) to hide a tracking device that will lead her straight to Obi-Wan Kenobi. And straight to the showdown that’s hopefully building up in the final two episodes of the series.
- This week also sees the introduction of PEN15’s Maya Erskine as a (so far unnamed) rebel pilot working with Roken.
- The ships that fly to the rescue are T-47 airspeeders (later becoming the secret weapon of the Rebel Alliance in the battle of Hoth), making their first appearance here in the live-action chronology.
- Obi is taken to Jabiim for his bacta tank therapy – the same planet he fought on during one of the biggest battles of the Clone Wars in the books and comics.
Obi-Wan Kenobi airs every Wednesday on Disney+
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