Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6: “Rematch of the century” headlines emotional finale

. 1 week ago
Obi-Wan Kenobi

The finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi finally brings the “rematch of the century” to our screens. It’s not the legendary Star Wars event it was made out to be, hampered by uninspired direction – however, for the most part, it’s a richly envisioned ode to the tragedy and power of Darth Vader.

This is why we’re here. Reva’s (Moses Ingram) presence has been a bonus, as has young Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair), but an unseen fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) is the very thing the series was marketed on. Even from the outset, we were promised a face-off to remember.

More than a year-and-a-half ago, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said: “This will be the rematch of the century.”

Episode 5 set the stage for a duel of the fates, so to speak: Reva was revealed to be one of the younglings targeted by Anakin as part of Order 66, using the cover of an Inquisitor to try and get close to Vader and kill him; while Obi-Wan and Leia narrowly escaped an Empire attack, only to have Vader on their tail.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader
Episode 6 brings the long-awaited “rematch of the century.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6: Darth Vader faces his old master alone

The finale opens with Reva in Tatooine, on the hunt for Owen (Joel Edgerton), Beru (Bonnie Piesse), and most importantly, a young Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely).

We then cut back to Obi-Wan and Leia aboard Roken’s (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) ship, soaring through space amid enemy fire from Vader’s Star Destroyer. Obi-Wan hatches a plan to draw Vader’s attention away and makes his way to a nearby planet in a smaller spacecraft.

Roken pleads with Obi-Wan to stay while he tries to fix the ship’s hyperdrive, but he realizes this isn’t just about saving the lives of innocent people. “You want to do it, it’s about you and him,” he tells him. “Whether he dies or I die, it ends tonight,” Obi-Wan says.

Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi
Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

As predicted, Vader commands the Destroyer to follow Kenobi and leaves to fight him alone. The Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) insists Vader shouldn’t abandon the mission at hand for the sake of a lone Jedi, to which Vader replies: “He is not just any Jedi.”

Soon after, the former brothers come face-to-face. “I will do what I must,” Obi-Wan says. “Then you will die,” Vader replies.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6: Is it the “rematch of the century”?

As much as it’s always been the headline event of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the fight was always going to be tricky. Where do you draw the line between their understated duel in A New Hope and Vader’s super-powered ruthlessness in Rogue One? How do you make Obi-Wan a convincing opponent after his butt was handed to him in Episode 3?

They clash lightsabers and go to war, but it lacks the flamboyant flair of the prequel’s balletic fights and the crunching physicality of the later sequels. Paired with the dour environment around them, it veers dangerously close to feeling a bit empty, though it’s saved by its ferocity and Vader’s growing aggression with every swoosh.

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi overcomes Darth Vader with the force.

Then we get to the rocks. Listen, this is Star Wars, so I’m not expecting realism – but Obi-Wan is buried under massive boulders whipped on top of him, without nary an injury. Sure enough, he frees himself using the Force, before summoning the might of all of the rocks around him and pelting Vader with them. As cool as it is, there’s no weight to any of it.

Obi-Wan then gets to work finishing Vader off, dominating him and slicing his lightsaber through his helmet, revealing Christensen’s face and voice. The way it’s distorted with James Earl Jones’ iconic cadence is very impactful, it must be said.

“Anakin is gone. I’m what remains… I’m not your failure, Obi-Wan. You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker – I did. The same way I will destroy you,” Vader says, but Obi-Wan doesn’t engage – he walks away, leaving Vader alone, screaming Obi-Wan’s name. “Then my friend is truly dead,” Obi-Wan says.

This isn’t the best fight in all of Star Wars – hell, their first face-off in Episode 3 was superior. Especially after it was used in the first trailer, the absence of John Williams’ Duel of the Fates feels like a major missed opportunity. It’s not just for the nostalgia, it’s the propulsive, emotional aural oomph the fight needed.

However, their rematch is a testament to the one thing the show has absolutely nailed: portraying the terrifying heartache behind the loss of Anakin, and the futile fury of Vader against Obi-Wan’s better nature.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6: What else happens?

We later cut to Vader back on Mustafar, talking to a hologram of… well, somehow, Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) returned again. The Emperor accuses Vader of allowing his fixation on Kenobi to make him weak, to which he says: “Kenobi means nothing. I only serve you, my master.”

Meanwhile, Reva tracks down Luke at his home in Tatooine. Owen and Beru hold her off, but Reva soon chases down Luke alone.

By the time Obi-Wan arrives, they fear it’s too late – but Reva then arrives with Luke in her arms, having failed to carry out her revenge. Obi-Wan tells her that mercy doesn’t make her weak, it makes her stronger than those around her.

Obi-Wan then journeys to Alderaan to see Leia one last time before he sets off on his next adventure, telling her about the intelligence and “fearlessness” she’s inherited from her mother and father – obviously, he doesn’t reveal their identities.

Obi-Wan also pays a visit to Owen. “You were right, he just needs to be a boy… take good care of him,” he says, before Owen offers to let him meet Luke. Which paves the way for Obi-Wan to say the line: “Hello there.” Surely, all around the world, Star Wars fans were cheering this moment.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6: One last long-awaited cameo for Star Wars fans

That’s not all. In the first episode, we saw Obi-Wan alone in his cave, waking up in a cold sweat and calling out for his former master, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Throughout the series, Obi-Wan speaks to his master; not necessarily in the hope of him appearing, but more like a habit, or a compulsion.

Just as the episode draws to a close, with Obi-Wan riding an eopie off into the distance, a Force Ghost of Neeson’s Jedi appears. “Took you long enough,” he says. “I was always here Obi-Wan, you just were not ready to see… come on, we’ve got a ways to go.”

And off they ride into an uncertain future; only for us, we know Obi-Wan’s fate. The question is: will we see a Season 2? Only time will tell.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is streaming on Disney+.

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