The series finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi has landed on Disney+, serving as a conclusion to the six-episode miniseries following a former Jedi master rescuing a young princess. “Part VI” begins with the Third Sister on Tatooine searching for Owen Lars in an attempt to kill Darth Vader’s son, Luke Skywalker. This opening scene kicks off a superbly exciting finale that ends a series that isn’t as mind-blowing as some may have hoped. For what it’s worth, though, “Part VI” is satisfying and thrilling, despite containing the same rough edges that the show as a whole has.
As Vader’s Star Destroyer pursues Roken’s freight transport, we have a wonderful visual reference to the opening shot of A New Hope. As Owen and Beru are alerted to the threat to their nephew, Kenobi and Leia share a beautifully written scene where he gives her Tala’s holster. It’s sad to see them part ways after their adventure together, but it’s also fascinating to see Kenobi knowing he must face off with his old friend. Meanwhile, the Third Sister mercilessly pursues Luke as Owen and Beru protect him. These two storylines are edited together phenomenally for much of the episode.
Vader lands on a rocky moon, preparing to face off with his former master. After Vader asks Kenobi if he has come to destroy him, Kenobi repeats the line he said on Mustafar: “I will do what I must.” The epic rematch that Star Wars fans have been waiting for ensues, and the results are excellent. While I would have wished for a production design as epic as the lava planet of Mustafar, it’s a well-choreographed battle that’s slower than their battle in Revenge of the Sith and faster than their battle in A New Hope, bridging the gap between the two quite well.
The duel has exceptional moments, such as when Vader crushes Kenobi with rocks while claiming the high ground. Kenobi lifts the stones in a similar fashion to Rey in The Last Jedi, and the battle even features Kenobi performing his iconic Soresu pose. Everything leads to where many wanted the show to go, with Kenobi partially destroying Vader’s helmet in a scene that feels inspired by one in Star Wars Rebels. Seeing Hayden Christensen’s face behind the Vader mask is the perfect use of the actor, and it’s a brilliantly executed moment, as we see Kenobi heartbroken to see what his old friend has become. The emotion in McGregor’s eyes is depressing in this scene. By combining Christensen’s voice with Vader’s, director Deborah Chow has outdone herself.
I adore the way their battle ends. Everyone who knows the show’s context knows that neither of them would die in this battle, however, the dialogue they share is magnificent. Vader states that he was the one who killed Anakin Skywalker, which adds context to Kenobi’s lie in A New Hope when he said that Vader betrayed and murdered Luke’s father. The finale has Kenobi accept that his friend is truly gone, a somber note for the former Jedi master who has lost all hope. This sentiment is perfectly written when Kenobi says goodbye to “Darth,” adding more context to a moment in their battle in A New Hope when Kenobi says, “Only a master of evil, Darth.”
The storyline of the Third Sister battling Owen and Beru while trying to kill Luke mostly works. It is the less exciting part of the episode, as the Third Sister is never as engaging as the writers hoped she would be. Most of the sequence is compelling, and it ends with Luke unconscious and the Third Sister ready to strike him down. She cannot do so because she sees herself in Luke and realizes she has become the very thing she swore to destroy. We cut away from the moment, and later in the episode, the Third Sister brings Luke’s unconscious body back to Owen and Beru. After a few moments, Luke wakes up.
The ideas are fine, but the execution of them is pretty poor. Having Luke be unconscious doesn’t sell the moment as well as it could, as the Third Sister never sees the fear in Luke’s eyes that Vader saw in hers. Cutting away from the moment she decides not to kill him is another poor choice. The suspense of whether Luke is alive or not when Reva is holding his body does not work in the slightest because the original Star Wars trilogy exists with him as the protagonist. Seeing the Third Sister stop herself from killing Luke would have made for a much more emotionally resonant moment.
“Part VI” wraps up by bringing Ian McDiarmid back as Emperor Palpatine, who is speaking with Vader. Kenobi gets a couple of beautiful scenes, where he tells Leia about her parents and meets Luke Skywalker for the first time, gifting him the toy he plays with in A New Hope. The episode finally pays off what they have been setting up, with Liam Neeson returning to the role of Qui-Gon Jinn as a Force ghost, reuniting Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan for the first time since The Phantom Menace. It’s a remarkable conclusion to Obi-Wan Kenobi, a series that gives fans both what they want to see and what they don’t. There is so much to love about a series that we never knew we needed, but are so fortunate to have. It may not be a perfect finale, but it satisfies in all the right ways, concluding the story while leaving a slim possibility for more.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds at its goal and leaves a memorable impact.
Disclosure: The critic watched the episodes on Disney+ for ComingSoon’s Obi-Wan Kenobi season one episode six review.