Sacrifice and Consequences – Review of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” Part Five

The limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi is nearly complete. “Part V” of the series reveals more about Reva, the Third Sister, while also putting Obi-Wan Kenobi on a direct confrontation with Darth Vader for the final chapter of the story. More than anything, this episode is about sacrifice and the consequences of the sacrifices people choose to make, juxtaposed between two of the side characters of this series, Tala and Reva.

Spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched “Part V” of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

All of us make sacrifices when we make choices in our lives. Whether these sacrifices benefit us, hinder us, benefit others, or hurt others is the true mark of our empathy. For me, “Part V” is a tale of two characters, Tala and Reva. Both of them have served the Galactic Empire for many years. Both women are strong-willed and fiercely independent. And both of them have suffered an immense tragedy that set them on their separate paths leading to this moment in the series. The difference lies in what choices the two made, the sacrifices that they were willing to make against themselves and others.

As Tala reveals to Obi-Wan during the episode, she was part of an Imperial group that was supposed to find a group of families on a planet called Garel. The Empire lied to Tala about the reason for the roundup. She soon discovered there were four families, all of them Force-sensitive. In the course of executing the roundup, fourteen people died, six of whom were children. The stark reality of the evil behind the Empire and the Inquisitors awoke something in Tala, who would then devote her life to getting people like those families away from the Empire and the Inquisitors. The tragedy she witnessed strengthened Tala’s resolve to do the right thing, to place herself at great personal risk to ensure that others did not experience the same events that she was witness to. That level of moral courage remains true in this episode as Tala sacrifices herself to ensure the rest of the refugees (as well as Obi-Wan and Leia) have a chance to escape. I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews that I’ve enjoyed Indira Varma’s performance as Tala and she made the most of this character, bringing a soulful, haunted performance to the Imperial turncoat who is just trying to do the right thing.

By contrast, Moses Ingram as Reva, the Third Sister, is a tormented character whose personal trauma has given way to nearly unstoppable rage. I speculated from the beginning that Reva was one of the Jedi Younglings from the opening scene of Obi-Wan Kenobi and it turns out we were correct. What has eluded us as the audience is the reasoning behind Reva’s rage and in “Part V” we finally find the reason. Reva and the other Younglings were caught and slaughtered by Anakin during the purge of the Jedi Temple. She watched as Anakin, now Darth Vader, cut down everyone and nearly killed her. She blames Obi-Wan for his failure to stop Anakin’s fall to the dark side and has spent years plotting for a way to get close enough to Anakin to complete her revenge. In the course of seeking that revenge, Reva has inflicted her rage and hatred on others, no doubt committing various atrocities as an Inquisitor. Tala experienced the trauma of what the Empire could do and tried to save people from such a fate. Reva, on the other hand, inflicted her trauma on others so as to ingratiate herself with the Empire. With each act of violence, she brought herself closer to the ultimate target of her rage, Darth Vader.

The bulk of the episode focuses on the siege of Jabiim, with Vader, Reva, and the Empire descending on the planet due to a tracker placed in Leia’s droid. Throughout the episode, we cut back to a time before the Jedi Purge, before the Clone Wars, when Anakin was still the Padawan of Obi-Wan. A friendly duel between Master and Apprentice plays out as a backdrop for the episode, specifically Vader’s unquenchable need to dominate others to achieve victory, which inevitably costs him everything he ever wanted.

Vader is no less terrifying in this episode than he was in “Part III” when he made his first appearance. Obi-Wan wisely uses Vader’s single-mindedness against him, pulling the Sith Lord into a trap long enough to ensure the Path refugees can escape and setting up Reva to finally enact her revenge. But Reva is no match for Vader, who doesn’t even bother with using his own lightsaber for the fight. In a display of raw power that reminds us as the audience that even in his diminished state, Anakin is still one of the most powerful Force users in Star Wars, Vader deftly stops Reva’s attacks with the Force. The Sith Lord is toying with Reva before finally stabbing her with her own lightsaber and revealing that he has known all along that she was one of the Younglings from the temple.

But there is one final twist in store for “Part V”.

During the course of the episode, Obi-Wan receives a message from Bail Organa. Bail is concerned over the lack of communication from Obi-Wan. Fearing that his old friend and adopted daughter are lost, he states he is heading to Tatooine to reach out to Owen Lars and help protect Luke. The transceiver Obi-Wan used to receive the message is damaged and lost in the escape from Jabiim but it is found by the wounded Reva after Vader and the revived Grand Inquisitor (who Reva stabbed in the gut at the end of “Part II”) leave her for dead. Reva now knows about Luke. The episode closes with a return to Tatooine and a close-up of a sleeping Luke Skywalker, hinting that the final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi will take us back to Tatooine. I greatly enjoyed this episode. While there have been some critics who haven’t taken kindly to the series, Obi-Wan Kenobi has managed to tell an engaging story (with some less than stellar spots here and there). I’m excited to see where the final episode takes us as the audience and I’ll be posting my recap/review of the episode when it drops.

My book series The Atalante Chronicles is now live on Amazon for Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover Print-On-Demand. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Blood And Stone, Book One in my series, is also available on Smashwords (Affiliate Link)
The Crone and The Curse, Book Two in my series, is also available on Smashwords (Affiliate Link)

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