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‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ finale review: Episode 6 threads the needle between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘A New Hope’ (SPOILERS)

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A sequence the place the straightforward phrases “Good day there” produce waves of recognition in followers clearly possesses sure benefits but in addition should grapple with the load of expectations, in addition to the problem of laying the story into this between-movie period with out inflicting too many tremors for that viewers to nitpick.

Such debate is inevitable, however hardly something right here offset the pleasures of seeing Ewan McGregor again and utterly proudly owning the title position, and a light-saber rematch with Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) that delivered spectacularly on that promise.

In a manner, the present’s actual triumph was its preliminary, very intelligent ruse in focusing not on a younger Luke however reasonably a pint-sized Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair), establishing a bond between Kenobi and the princess whereas making a rousing excuse to deliver him out of hiding and again into the world of journey and heroism.

That was solely the tip of the venture’s inventiveness, which included cleverly using a flashback to offer Christensen precise display screen time with out being buried below that Darth Vader armor or completely ceding his voice to the good James Earl Jones.

The inventive spark prolonged to the finale, and provides monumental credit score to the writing group (Joby Harold, Andrew Stanton and Hossein Amini collaborated on the script) and director Deborah Chow, who — having additionally labored on “The Mandalorian” — has greater than earned the fitting to play a significant position in Lucasfilm’s plans ought to she select to proceed working on this a part of the cinematic galaxy.

Ewan McGregor in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' on Disney+.

Even anticipating a number of the thrives, it was nonetheless thrilling — and for some maybe chill-inducing — to listen to Kenobi echo his earlier phrases to Anakin by saying “I’ll do what I need to” earlier than their muscular duel, or to see Obi-Wan reunited with the ghostly specter of his grasp, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), a gathering foreshadowed because the finish of “Sith.”

Ditto for Vader telling his former grasp, “You did not kill Anakin Skywalker. I did,” a line that feeds straight into Kenobi’s rationalization to a extra grown-up Luke about his father’s destiny in “A New Hope.”

Leaving few stones unturned, even the long-suffering Owen (Joel Edgerton) and Beru (Bonnie Piesse) had their overdue second within the highlight, defending Luke from a vengeful Reva (Moses Ingram). After the ugly reaction to the character in some quarters, Reva’s tragic arc created a stable emotional hook within the later episodes earlier than feeling considerably overshadowed by all the opposite large moments and cameos tying again into the unique movies.
As for different potential quibbles, there’s the problem of Kenobi once more leaving his one-time protégé alive to proceed his reign of terror, although the glimpse of Anakin’s face via the masks (recalling a scene from the animated “Rebels”) offered logical cowl for that, and in spite of everything, it isn’t just like the battle may have led to a extra everlasting manner.
It is value remembering “Obi-Wan Kenobi” was initially conceived as a film, and regardless of the “Solo”-induced cold feet that despatched the idea to streaming, every thing right here suggests it will have been a crowd-pleasing blockbuster. Regardless of the monetary ramifications of that, the six-episode format for Disney+ did permit subplots and characters extra room to breathe in useful methods.

Though the ending actually felt neat and conclusive, it isn’t arduous to think about a situation the place Disney and Lucasfilm plot a return to Tatooine if McGregor’s prepared. As a result of whereas followers might need their very own concepts about when it is time to trip into the dual sundown, after a venture as polished and commercially marketable as this one, nicely, studios will do what they have to, too.