Observe: This text is full of spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi, particularly, “Half V”. Learn at your personal danger.
Within the first episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” there was some extent that basically appeared just like the present may contact on some deep, painful points of the Jedi instructor’s character. We all know that Obi-Wan spent about 19 years hanging out on Tatooine, ostensibly watching younger Luke, planning a day when Anakin Skywalker’s kids could be able to struggle the emperor who corrupted their father. Nevertheless, right now it is sensible that Obi-Wan has one thing to work on, as a consequence of the truth that his failure as a Jedi and a instructor allowed the Nazi monsters to come back to energy within the galaxy. Nevertheless, the present started with a really attention-grabbing twist: Obi-Wan didn’t know that Anakin was nonetheless alive.
The thought is that Obi-Wan thought he killed his greatest good friend again in Revenge of the Sith, solely to find that not solely did Anakin not solely survive, however he additionally grew to become a twisted authoritarian monster, which is excellent for Obi-Wan’s growth as an individual. By the point we meet him within the authentic Star Wars trilogy, his perspective has tailored to the besieged confession. However Obi-Wan Kenobi had the chance to discover his journey up up to now, the sentiments he struggled with alongside the best way, and his true psychological state after assembly his good friend for the final time in The New Hope. You possibly can learn rather a lot about Obi-Wan’s resolution to sacrifice himself with Darth Vader’s lightsaber aboard the “Loss of life Star,” and Obi-Wan Kenobi may assist discover these nuances.
The identical might be mentioned in regards to the newest revelation of the story with Reva, a brutal imperial inquisitor who hunts Obi-Wan all through the present. In Half V, we study that Reva’s formidable ascent by way of the ranks of the Inquisitors is in truth a way to an finish: she desires to get nearer to Vader to kill him. Reva was one of many younger servants on the Jedi Academy when Anakin stormed her in Revenge of the Sith. She watched as the best hero of the Jedi Struggle killed her mates. She is filled with rage and looking for revenge, and Obi-Wan’s seize is a ladder she intends to make use of to succeed in Vader and take revenge.
Each of those twists, nonetheless, really feel like they’ve left rather a lot on the desk when it comes to the characters they’re purported to serve. Obi-Wan solely discovered about Vader within the second episode, and he did virtually nothing with that info – largely as a result of he spent many of the remainder of the present in pursuit of Leah. Reva, then again, revealed his precise background in Half V, immediately recontextualizing all his actions all through the collection. However as an alternative of giving us a special view of what Reva was making an attempt to realize, the revelation makes a few of her previous actions irrelevant, and her resolution to launch Obi-Wan within the fifth episode shouldn’t be tracked in any respect.
These two twists are nice concepts for each Obi-Wan and Reva, however the best way they have been deployed appears to undermine what may have been some highly effective character growth. Actually, their time and placement needed to be reversed: we needed to study Reva’s prehistory firstly of the collection, whereas Obi-Wan needed to study Darth Vader’s survival a lot later.
As an alternative of showing to Obi-Wan early that Anakin is alive, the present may go away Abi-Wan operating with out information of Vader’s existence, whereas the viewers is aware of he is hiding within the shadows and even sees him main inquisitors who prey on the Jedi. It will have been a robust dramatic irony that will have given the present time to kind out Obi-Wan’s emotions about what occurred in The Sith Revenge, and would have ended when Vader clashed with Obi-Wan at a devastating second. After struggling along with his unhappiness, instantly now we have in horror Obi-Wan faces his good friend and his failure suddenly. It’s even harking back to the same rhythm from the unique trilogy, when Vader reveals that he’s Luke’s father in “Empire Responds”. This flip had a big impact on the viewers in 1980, and right here Obi-Wan Kenobi may have used the same thought in reverse, forcing us to look at Abi-Wan address the complete impression of the second everyone knows is coming.
As an alternative, Vader appeared as a villain from a slasher film, killerly strolling the scenes, whereas different characters continuously handle to flee from him, albeit barely. And we’ve seen little or no of what emotional impression his good friend is inflicting on Obi-Wan – which is meant to be the essence of this present.
Whereas Obi-Wan Kenobi was purported to restrain Vader’s existence from Obi-Wan, revealing Reva’s previous is one thing the present was purported to disclose to viewers early on. The inquisitor’s journey to convey down Obi-Wan in any crucial method acquires a robust emotional resonance when you recognize it’s a part of her lifelong revenge in opposition to Vader himself. It additionally provides viewers the chance to see all of her actions by way of two lenses. Private struggling and the will for revenge pushed Reva to the place of nice energy. The present may add rather a lot to her character, displaying what it value her to hunt revenge, in addition to what she gained from it, and the way it may complicate Vader’s private homicide. Do you continue to wish to kill your evil boss when serving him has gained you unimaginable power and authority? How do the wishes of revenge and energy compete, and does Reva take into account her actions divided between serving them? These are nuances, fascinating questions of the characters who may take into account the present, however by holding again Reva’s prehistory for a flip, he loses the chance.
Furthermore, offering viewers with further details about Reva may current what Star Wars desperately wants: a extra delicate have a look at the Darkish Aspect of the Pressure. In Reva now we have one thing like a singular character within the annals of the historical past of “Star Wars” (and for the sake of this dialogue we are going to observe the films and TV exhibits, as a result of that is the content material of “Star Wars”, which most individuals know). She is a personality who turned to the Darkish Aspect particularly to avenge and kill one of many worst folks within the galaxy. She is, in truth, an individual who makes use of the Darkish Aspect to attempt to do one thing good, and the present may use that reality to speak how Reva behaves on the earth and the way she sees herself. It’s a possibility to deepen the concepts behind the prequel trilogy and Anakin Skywalker’s character as a complete – Anakin was a person who thought authoritarianism may very well be used to maintain folks protected, and his fall to the Darkish Aspect was about utilizing objectives to justify means.
For Reva, the objective of killing Vader justifies harming anybody who wants it alongside the best way; her revenge is all-consuming. Offering us with details about her prehistory permits us to think about how she justifies her pursuit of her objective, to indicate how her anger corrupts her, and to current doable battle in how she pursues her objectives. As an alternative, Reva principally seemed like only a tremendous evil Darkish Aspect consumer all through the present – and now she’s an excellent evil Darkish Aspect consumer with a tragic background.
And if Obi-Wan and Reva’s turns have been considered otherwise, we may get extra out of Darth Vader’s character. One of the vital attention-grabbing concepts of Episode 5 is that when Reva makes her play for Vader, he’s prepared for her. Actually, he says, he knew all alongside that he and Reva had a previous. I believe this episode is a bit complicated in my presentation, however I learn within the episode that the flashback of the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin ought to report that Vader was prepared for Reva due to what he realized from Obi-Wan : Don’t take into consideration profitable to see different alternatives and threats. The thought is that Vader grew to become far more crafty and scary than he was within the function of Anakin; he’s far more intriguing, the long-sighted villain of the unique trilogy, versus the Monster of Rage of the Pressure we see on the finish of The Return of the Sith.
However the Reva flip undermines this aspect of Vader as properly. If we had watched Reva handle the interplay with the Sith Darkish Lord all through the present, realizing she was negotiating revenge, Vader’s revelation that he was on her on a regular basis would have been a lot stronger. This can be utilized as a way of representing the truth that Vader makes use of Reva simply as she makes use of him. And that will give a perspective on Vader, whom now we have not seen within the supplies of the reside motion – a person who, having misplaced every thing, sat down within the boiling, calculated darkness to realize their objectives. OG Vader was at all times the scariest when he was unpredictable, when he strangled the admirals with out elevating his voice, and that second may very well be embedded on this fable.
It’s a disgrace as a result of Obi-Wan Kenobi clearly has some attention-grabbing concepts about his characters, however he doesn’t appear to mean to actually enchantment to them. Within the case of each turns – Obi-Wan realized of Anakin’s survival, and Reva revealed that she was on a mission to assassinate Vader – these moments have been deployed for an on the spot emotional outburst to the detriment of the characters concerned.
Watching Obi-Wan run round with little Leia, mixing it up with the Jedi once more, there are enjoyable moments, however we’ve seen numerous materials in regards to the well-known instructor who fights in wars. The explanation to look at Obi-Wan Kenobi is to see extra of who this man is, who he has change into due to his expertise and the way he has struggled with the unimaginable ache of the occasions of the Star Wars trilogy. The present has the chance to delve into a few of the franchise’s plot characters in Obi-Wan and Vader, in addition to new ones akin to Reva – however it appears to be extra involved with plot twists than the folks affected by these twists. I can’t assist however consider how far more efficient Obi-Wan Kenobi would have been if the collection had allowed its characters to deal with their traumas, as an alternative of holding them again or rejecting them by way of plot twists.
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