The story of a Jedi master brought out of retirement to bring a young princess to safety continues in “Part III” of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a new Disney+ series set in the Star Wars galaxy. Ewan McGregor returns as his beloved character in an episode that begins with Kenobi trying to reach out to his former master, Qui-Gon Jinn, through the Force. This scene continues a story thread hinted at during the end of Revenge of the Sith, and offers the possibility of an emotional pay-off. The rest of the episode is a fascinating continuation of the story of Kenobi and Skywalker, offering some of the best sequences in the franchise to date.
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A show like Obi-Wan Kenobi exists to give fans a look at things we had never seen before. The newest episode gives us more of Hayden Christensen wearing the Darth Vader suit, with James Earl Jones returning for the iconic voice. It’s everything we hope for from a show about Kenobi, exploring their connection and his trauma for failing him. The shows have offered critical development for Kenobi’s character, as we see Kenobi and Skywalker’s brotherhood in The Clone Wars become a terrifying dynamic in this show when Kenobi is haunted by a vision of Anakin Skywalker in the desert.
Kenobi and Leia hitch a ride from Freck, who agrees to drive them to the nearest spaceport. Despite his brief screen time, Freck is a fascinating character. In a galaxy where most of our heroes have been rebels, Jedi, and scoundrel pilots, Freck is an example of an average Joe who has bought into the Empire’s propaganda and supports them. There are likely many others with his ideology, which makes the Empire’s world feel believable and lived in. The episode then shows its ability to put the heroes in suspenseful situations, as Kenobi and Leia are joined in the back of the truck by Stormtroopers hunting them down.
After a close call, Kenobi and Leia avoid getting caught posing as farmers from Tawl. The Stormtroopers leave, and the episode gives us a look at the character of Kenobi that we have never gotten. His compassion is evident as he consoles Leia, not wanting her to know that her father is the most feared man in the galaxy. He shares his past, being taken by the Jedi Order at a young age, not remembering much about his parents, and believing he had a brother. Kenobi has never had much of a backstory for anything before The Phantom Menace, and this show seizes the opportunity to give that to us.
The episode’s action kicks in when Kenobi and Leia are at an Imperial checkpoint, and the Stormtroopers discover his identity. The ensuing shootout is exciting and has a fantastic moment where a Stormtrooper takes Leia hostage, and while pretending to surrender, Kenobi shoots the Stormtrooper and saves her. The tension of this show works so well because the characters are always on the run, evading capture. This show has the thrills of The Fugitive in a story so investing that you cannot wait to see what happens next — even more so than the slower-paced The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
As Darth Vader arrives on the planet, we see what makes him the most terrifying person in the galaxy, as he terrorizes and kills civilians. The episode then brings us to a finale that can only be classified as nerd heaven. Vader ignites his lightsaber and comes face-to-face with Kenobi for the first time since the Battle of Mustafar. Kenobi ignites his lightsaber, and they battle. The sequence uses darkness well, treating Vader as a horror movie villain. Vader soon gets his revenge by igniting the rocks and watching Kenobi burn as he did on Mustafar. The flames are reflected in Vader’s eyes, symbolizing his hatred.
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With the help of Tala Durith (Indira Varma), Kenobi is able to escape, but the Third Sister catches Leia before she can flee. This cliffhanger ends one of the finest pieces of Star Wars we have gotten. Deborah Chow is outdoing herself, creating the show we didn’t know we needed but are now desperately craving more of. Bringing McGregor and Christensen back together as their famous characters was a recipe for success that is being taken full advantage of in Obi-Wan Kenobi, a show that gets better and better as it continues.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 9 equates to “Excellent.” Entertainment that reaches this level is at the top of its type. The gold standard that every creator aims to reach.
Disclosure: The critic watched the episodes on Disney+ for ComingSoon’s Obi-Wan Kenobi season one episode three review.