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Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen returned for Obi-Wan Kenobi. I have no shame in declaring this Disney Plus show to be my favorite of them all. Yep, for me, it trumps The Mandalorian and even The Clone Wars.
I know I’m one of the few with this opinion. In general, it scored less favorable reviews than some other series (see the abovementioned two examples) or new video games like the Jedi installments.
I strongly recommend that the people who didn’t like Obi-Wan Kenobi take a while to think about it. Yes, this wasn’t the Jedi Master from Revenge of the Sith whom we came to love. It wasn’t the person you might have envisioned from the comics. But it is an invaluable bridge between Episode III and A New Hope, filled with potential and intriguing arcs.
It’s not the series we wanted, but it’s the one we needed.
This Obi-Wan Kenobi series synopsis will explain why this series is as-near-as-makes-no-difference to perfect. I am a bold one.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Synopsis
Obi-Wan Kenobi Part I Synopsis
Release date: 26 May 2022
Part I opens dramatically. It follows a group of Younglings training in the Jedi Temple as Order 66 is carried out. Suddenly, clone troopers burst in. Although their Master (Minas Velti) defends and protects them, leading them toward safety, she is eventually killed by a blaster bolt. The Younglings continue running for their lives.
Jumping forward ten years to Mos Eisley (Tatooine) in 9 BBY, three Sith Inquisitors (the Grand Inquisitor, the Third Sister, and the Fifth Brother) enter a saloon, explaining they’re hunting Jedi. After cornering him, Reva (the Third Sister) attacks him against the orders of her superior. As a result, he escapes, and she’s told to drop her unnecessary obsession with hunting “bigger prey” – Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, living in the Jundland Wastes, returns to his cave from his place of work. He scales a distant hill and watches a young Luke Skywalker playing in the sand.
The following night, the escaped Jedi, Nari, runs into Obi-Wan. He instantly recognizes him and asks for help and advice on what to do next, but Kenobi tells him to take his lightsaber and bury it to avoid drawing attention. (This is part of his slightly flawed strategy to protect Luke.)
Meanwhile, a young Leia plays in the forest on Alderaan. She does everything she can to escape the dull diplomatic duties assigned to her.
Nari, the renegade Jedi, is found and killed by the Inquisitors, and his body is made a spectacle. Although saddened, Obi-Wan is paralyzed and refuses to act. He tries to persuade Owen to let him train Luke, but Owen refuses, having seen what happened to Anakin.
But Leia sneaks out one time too many, and this time, kidnappers are waiting. They take her to the Third Sister, who plans to use her as bait to lure out and capture Obi-Wan. After much resistance to leaving Luke, Kenobi is persuaded to launch a rescue mission by Bail and Breha Organa, Leia’s adoptive parents.
He heads out into the desert, finding and retrieving his lightsaber from where it was hidden, and boards a freight flight to rescue the young girl.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Part II Synopsis
Release date: 26 May 2022
Using Bail’s information, Obi-Wan tracks Leia’s kidnappers to Daiyu. He wanders the streets looking for her, eventually finding Haja, a con man pretending to be a Jedi. Haja shows Obi-Wan where to go. He admits to taking his clients’ money by fraud but insists he always gets them somewhere genuinely safe.
Obi-Wan skulks through the sewers before being captured by Leia’s kidnappers. He easily escapes, springing the young girl from her cell and leading her away from danger.
After being chastised for kidnapping a senator’s daughter by the Grand Inquisitor, Reva is insistent. She puts a bounty on Obi-Wan’s head, drawing attention from many of Daiyu’s lowlifes.
Leia begins to suspect Obi-Wan is one of the kidnappers, and she’s caught up in some scheme. This isn’t helped by his unwillingness to show her his lightsaber or reveal anything about himself. As such, she runs away into the marketplace.
Obi-Wan chases her but draws the attention of bounty hunters. Watching the cityscape, Reva notices the commotion and gives chase. During the chase, Leia attempts to jump across a gap between buildings that’s too wide, falling towards the ground. This forces Kenobi to reconnect to the Force and catch her – a relatively small action that takes all his effort.
Haja eventually helps them escape through a transport to Mapuzo, where people will wait to help him. Despite distrusting the petty criminal, Kenobi is left with little choice. They follow his instructions, but it isn’t long before Reva corners him and uses a Force mind probe to discover Obi-Wan’s location.
As they try to escape at the hangar, Reva corners Obi-Wan and tells him she’ll take him to Vader. In doing so, she reveals that Anakin Skywalker is still alive and survived the injuries on Mustafar. He grasps he now needs to protect Luke and Leia from not just the Empire but their father, too. Just before he’s forced to fight the Third Sister, the Grand Inquisitor interrupts, telling Reva to stand aside. She stabs her superior through the torso, with the distraction providing enough time for Obi-Wan and Leia to escape.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Part III Synopsis
Release date: 1 June 2022
Reva tells Vader, who rises from his bacta tank, that Obi-Wan is alive. She’s instructed to bring him to the Sith Lord, with the promise of being the new Grand Inquisitor if she’s triumphant – and death if she fails.
Obi-Wan and Leia land on Mapuzo, where they pretend to be farmers from Tawl. Leia flags down a passing transport to catch a lift with ‘Freck’ to the nearest spaceport.
At a checkpoint, Freck betrays them to the Imperials. Obi-Wan deals with them before an officer and more troopers corner him and Leia. Tala Durith, the Imperial officer, turns out to be Haja’s contact, and she kills the stormtroopers surrounding them before helping them to safety.
Tala hides them in her workshop, where she reveals she’s a member of the Hidden Path, a group that helps former Jedi and Force-sensitives escape the Empire. While here, Vader and the Inquisitors arrive in the town, killing citizens at random to draw out Obi-Wan. He tells Tala to take Leia and help her return to Alderaan while he fends off his former apprentice.
He runs into a quarry, where Vader confronts him. The contest is imbalanced, with Obi-Wan unable to reach anything close to his former power. After a brief duel, Vader overpowers his old Master and drags him through the flames, putting him through the same ordeal he endured.
In the ensuing pause, Tala, who Leia has persuaded to go back to help, shoots the flammable material, creating a wall of fire and allowing her to get the Jedi to safety. Meanwhile, Leia runs straight into Reva.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Part IV Synopsis
Release date: 8 June 2022
Obi-Wan wakes up on Jabiim in a bacta tank, having been saved by Tala and her associates. He plans a rescue mission for Leia, who the others believe is held in Fortress Inquisitorius on the water moon of Nur. Tala agrees to accompany Kenobi, using her officer cover to get him in. All along, Reva interrogates Leia, but her strong Force-sensitivity means she can resist better than most.
Tala uses her clearance to enter the base, using a control panel to open a port, allowing the breathing apparatus-fitted Obi-Wan to swim inside. Dodging patrols, he finds the torture chamber where Leia is being kept.
Obi-Wan instructs Tala to create a distraction. She summons Reva directly from the torture room, bluffing her way into explaining that the Hidden Path’s network has been found on Florrum and must be immediately attacked.
Reva instructs the stormtroopers to take Tala for questioning as the base’s alarms go off. She disappears, and Tala uses the distraction of her comlink going off to kill her guards. She meets Obi-Wan and Leia in an underwater tunnel and the three hurry away.
They sneak to a hangar, where Reva and the Imperials corner them. Suddenly, two T-47 speeders strafe the platform, with one landing and allowing the three to escape. Wade, the pilot of the other speeder, engages Reva, providing the distraction, but is killed for his efforts.
Vader, furious with Reva, chokes her. She reveals that she placed a tracking beacon on the ship (in LOLA), allowing them to find the Hidden Path and Kenobi. He decides to spare her, allowing her to carry out her scheme.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Part V Synopsis
Release date: 15 June 2022
Vader experiences a flashback (see the detailed section below). He demands to know where Kenobi is, with Reva replying that they’ve tracked the Hidden Path to Jabiim.
After Roken and the crew land on Jabiim, the fugitives – including Haja – prepare to depart via an old trade route. Vader orders Reva to trap the Hidden Path on the planet. She uses a reprogrammed LOLA, Leia’s droid, to lock down the hangar doors, preventing their escape. Tala and Obi-Wan realize Reva is after them, and Vader is most likely leading the hunt.
Reva, Purge troopers, and stormtroopers surround the base, while Leia enters the vents to find what’s causing the doors to remain closed. Obi-Wan tells Haja to watch over her.
Obi-Wan receives a message from Bail, who is worried about the lack of communication and preparing to head to Tatooine to protect Luke and the Lars family from Vader. Meanwhile, Tala admits to being part of an Imperial operation that rounded up and killed fourteen Force-sensitive individuals on Garel, vowing to make amends.
With the outer doors under pressure from the Empire, Obi-Wan invites Reva to talk to buy time. Communicating through the doors, Obi-Wan realizes she was one of the Younglings attacked by Skywalker during Order 66 – betrayed by someone they trusted.
Finally, understanding that Reva wants to kill Vader using himself as bait, he tries to persuade her to help him against his former apprentice. Reva rejects this, telling him he should have been there at the Temple to stop Anakin when it mattered. Instead, she cuts through the door with her lightsaber, opening it. Obi-Wan pushes her back, and a firefight ensues, with the Empire quickly making progress against the hopelessly outnumbered Path.
During their advance, Tala is hit. Her loader droid kneels over her while she activates a thermal detonator, blowing herself up as she seals the inner blast door. Her sacrifice buys them a little more time.
Knowing the fight is lost, Obi-Wan surrenders to the Imperials, leaving Leia in Haja’s care. He tries to persuade Reva to use him as bait to attack Vader once again. Outside the base, Reva tells the Sith Lord that Kenobi is inside, and he makes his way in.
Obi-Wan escapes from the stormtroopers guarding him and returns to the hangar. Leia manages to free LOLA from the restraining bolt, and they open the doors together. All the fugitives, including Obi-Wan, Leia, and Haja, pile into Roken’s ship.
Vader smashes through the door and uses the Force to grab the departing ship, tearing it apart. However, it’s a decoy, and Roken then takes off and escapes. Reva uses Vader’s fixation on Obi-Wan to attack him from behind, but he toys with her, revealing that he knows about her plan but has found it useful in the hunt for Kenobi. Now, though, he has no further use for her and stabs her like he did ten years earlier when she was a Youngling. The Grand Inquisitor also shows up, revealing he survived – “Revenge does wonders for the will to live, don’t you think?” he tells her. They leave Reva to die.
She reaches for the holoprojector left behind by Obi-Wan. It contains the message sent by Bail, and she deduces that Anakin Skywalker’s son lives on Tatooine. (“Revenge does wonders for the will to live, don’t you think?” – subtle!)
Meanwhile, Roken tells Obi-Wan that the hyperdrive is broken and they cannot escape the pursuing Empire.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Part VI Synopsis
Release date: 22 June 2022
The ship continues trying to escape the Imperials while they try to repair the motivator and get the hyperdrive working. Obi-Wan plans to surrender to Vader so the remaining passengers can escape, again leaving Leia with Haja. Despite their protests, he knows it’s the only way to get the Imperials off their tail because his former apprentice is only after him.
Back on Tatooine, Reva is looking for the Lars homestead. Owen hears this and tells Beru they must leave, but she opts to stay and fight instead.
In space, Obi-Wan gives Leia Tala’s blaster holster as a present before telling Roken to continue leading the Rebellion. He then boards a ship and flies away in the opposite direction. Despite the Grand Inquisitor’s protestations, Vader orders his ship to follow Kenobi.
Obi-Wan lands on a desolate, rocky moon, and Vader flies down in his shuttle to face him alone. In a parallel to their previous meeting, Vader asks Obi-Wan if he’s come to destroy him, with his old Master replying, “I will do what I must.” Vader replies that he will die.
The two duel for a while, with Vader soon realizing that Obi-Wan’s strength has returned – he has fully reconnected to the Force. The Sith Lord collapses the ground beneath Obi-Wan, throwing rocks onto him and attempting to bury him. Despite being haunted by the fight with Anakin on Mustafar, Kenobi focuses on his memories of Luke and Leia, his former Padawan’s children. He uses the strength he gets from his to hurl these rocks away, leaping back to solid ground and ambushing Vader as he returns to his shuttle. He throws rocks at the Sith Lord, eventually attacking him with his lightsaber, damaging his life support system, and cutting open his helmet.
At this point, Obi-Wan breaks down, tearfully apologizing to Anakin. Vader replies that he is not Obi-Wan’s failure – his old Master didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker; he did. Accepting that his friend is completely gone, Obi-Wan leaves, showing the Dark Lord mercy, much to his fury.
At the same time, Reva attacks the Lars homestead, quickly overpowering Owen and Beru and chasing Luke into the canyon. She corners him and prepares to strike him down but cannot after remembering her own ordeal at Anakin’s hand. She brings Luke, who’s unconscious, back to the farm, where Obi-Wan meets her. Since she didn’t fall to the Dark Side, she’s free to choose her destiny from here on out.
Sidious questions Vader’s fixation on Obi-Wan, leading to him giving up the hunt and reaffirming his loyalty to the Sith Lord. Meanwhile, Leia is reunited with her parents. Kenobi gives her wisdom about her parents and the characteristics she shares with them. From Padme, she is “wise, discerning, and kindhearted,” and from Anakin, she’s “passionate, fearless, and forthright.” He then departs to resume his place watching over Luke on Tatooine.
Here, he brings Luke a toy, and Owen allows the Jedi to meet his adopted son and the son of his former Padawan. Obi-Wan accepts that Luke can’t be treated as anything other than a young boy, allowed to grow up and make his own decisions. He then travels into the desert, meeting the Force ghost Qui-Gon by Beggar’s Canyon. This represents that his full connection to the Force has returned, and even more so since his time as a member of the Jedi Order.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Series: Complete Flashback
Part IV: 1:58 to 2:41; 7:32 to 8:00; 22:20 to 22:36; 25:53 to 26:29; 29:22
The flashback in Part V is broken up throughout the episode. It needs to be seen in one go to fully understand its significance. I’ve brought it all together here for you. There are many things to notice here, but I’ll just point out two. Firstly, the strikes and techniques mirror Mustafar’s fight from Revenge of the Sith. Second, these flashbacks are from both Vader and Kenobi’s perspectives at different times, representing how they both try to overcome their past (perceived?) failures.
Anakin stands in the sparring room in the Jedi Temple and gazes out the window (toward Padme’s residence!). Obi-Wan enters. “Ah, there you are,” he says.
“I was beginning to think you weren’t coming, Master,” replies Anakin, bowing.
“Good,” nudges Obi-Wan back. “Then maybe I stand more of a chance this time.” He takes up his stance. “Are you ready?”
Their lightsabers are active.
“Then let’s begin.”
They circle each other, grinning slightly as in any brotherly relationship, before the sabers clash and cross.
Anakin advances quickly, with much quicker, more aggressive strikes forcing his Master backward. Obi-Wan pushes him back into the center of the room.
“You grow too aggressive, Anakin. Be mindful. A Jedi’s goal is to defend life, not take it.”
Anakin leaps forward, and Kenobi rolls around his strike, leaving the two back to back.
“Mercy doesn’t defeat an enemy, Master,” grunts Anakin as he continues the attack, “which is why you’re gonna lose!”
The blows come harder and faster now. “There’s no way out, Master.” Anakin knocks his Master down to the ground. “Admit you are beaten!”
Again, Obi-Wan throws Anakin away and stands up, maneuvering around him. His apprentice turns and continues the sparring session, again pushing Obi-Wan back, eventually disarming him and knocking him to his knees.
“There,” he says, a satisfied grin on his face, “your weapon’s gone. It’s over.”
“Your need for victory, Anakin, it blinds you,” Obi-Wan gently smiles back. Distraught, Anakin turns away, and Obi-Wan kicks out at his legs. His Padawan slashes at him, but Obi-Wan uses the same rotating move as before, knocking him back before Force pulling Anakin’s weapon from his hand.
“You’re a great warrior, Anakin,” pants Kenobi, “but your need to prove yourself is your undoing. Until you overcome it, a Padawan you will still be.”
Anakin sighs, but Obi-Wan smiles encouragingly, patting him on the back and walking away.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Key Moments
- Part I, 4:30 to 6:00 – Reva’s time in the Temple during Order 66 (pfft, it’s intense!)
- Part I, 38:32 to 40:09 – Leia’s kidnap.
- Part I, 40:09 to 41:44 – Bail and Breha try to get Obi-Wan to rescue Leia.
- Part I, 43:27 to 44:38 – Bail visits Obi-Wan in his cave and tells him to go to Daiyu. He hesitantly agrees.
- Part II, 12:35 to 13:01 – Obi-Wan frees Leia.
- Part II, 25:37 to 26:27 – Obi-Wan reconnects to the Force to catch Leia from her fall.
- Part II, 27:14 to 28:26 – Haja rescues Obi-Wan and Leia from a bounty hunter and offers them an escape route to Mapuzo.
- Part II, 31:05 to 32:57 – Reva corners Obi-Wan in the Daiyu hangar, revealing that she’s been looking for him to bring him in and that Darth Vader – Anakin Skywalker – is still alive. Reva also stabs the Grand Inquisitor.
- Part III, 21:15 to 22:01 – Obi-Wan and Leia meet and are saved by Tala.
- Part III, 32:25 to 40:49 – Obi-Wan duels Vader and loses but is saved by Tala. Leia is kidnapped (again) by Reva.
- Part IV, 9:36 to 13:10 – Tala and Obi-Wan break into Fortress Inquisitorius to rescue Leia.
- Part IV, 20:20 – Tala directly confronts Reva to prevent her from torturing Leia and allow Obi-Wan to rescue her.
- Part IV, 27:02 to 29:08 – escape from Fortress Inquisitorius.
- Part IV, 29:40 to 30:01 – Reva reveals she planted a tracker on the ship (in LOLA).
- Part V, 9:40 – the Imperials begin their assault on the Jabiim hideout.
- Part V, 14:59 to 18:11 – Obi-Wan learns of Reva’s past as a Youngling stabbed by Anakin.
- Part V, 20:21 to 21:33 – Tala is fatally hit and sacrifices herself to buy more time.
- Part V, 22:37 to 23:28 – Obi-Wan comes up with a new plan, surrendering to Reva and convincing her to attack Vader while the others escape.
- Part V, 28:30 to 33:53 – Vader arrives while Obi-Wan and the fugitives escape onboard Roken’s ship. Reva attacks Vader, but he easily defeats her, stabbing her just like he did during Order 66. The Grand Inquisitor shows up, revealing he survived, and they leave her to die.
- Part VI, 14:17 – the fight between Obi-Wan and Vader begins.
- Part VI, 16:21 – Reva attacks the Lars’ homestead, looking to kill Luke, Anakin’s son.
- Part VI, 24:07 to 26:31 – Obi-Wan and Vader’s heartbreaking exchange.
- Part VI, 26:47 to 32:32 – Reva spares Luke and rejects the Dark Side.
- Part VI, 32:40 to 33:59 – Sidious tells Vader to stop obsessing over Kenobi and focus on his job.
- Part VI, 35:22 to 39:32 – Obi-Wan says goodbye to Leia.
- Part VI, 41:20 – Obi-Wan confirms he won’t push Luke to become a Jedi – he will simply watch to see what he becomes.
- Part VI, 43:18 – Obi-Wan finally sees Qui-Gon, and they walk together through Beggar’s Canyon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Will there be an Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 2?
Answer: Our most recent update is that there’s a lot of interest in doing Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 2 but that it ‘isn’t in active development’. Yet. That sounds promising to me.
What might it explore? I have no idea. But I can’t wait to see Obi-Wan as an all-powerful master of the Force in whatever story they choose to play out. They may delve into Reva’s arc some more. That would genuinely be great.
I would also love to see more CGI de-aging flashbacks to Anakin as a Padawan or Jedi Knight in the Clone Wars. Why not?
Why won’t Obi-Wan help Leia in Part I of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series?
Answer: Obi-Wan wants to avoid getting involved in saving Leia because he’s too focused on Luke. At the end of Part I, Bail tells the former Jedi that he knows it isn’t about the boy – not really – and that they all made mistakes. In this case, he’s referring to Anakin. Remember that Mustafar fight? (Of course, you do!) – “I have failed you, Anakin! I have failed you!”
At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan assumes some sort of guardian responsibility for Luke, leaving Bail and Breha to watch over Leia. “You couldn’t save Anakin,” Bail tells Obi-Wan in the cave. “But you can save her.”
Obi-Wan’s reluctance to leave stems from wanting to save Luke by teaching him to become a Jedi and knowing that revealing himself in the hunt for Leia could lead back to both her and the boy’s true parentage. Bail is pushing him to remember that both Luke and Leia are Anakin’s children, carrying that Skywalker power and that Amidala diplomacy.
Eventually, Obi-Wan comes to see that and steps back to allow the children to grow independently.
Why does Obi-Wan trust Haja to look after Leia?
Answer: Yes, Haja Estree is a con man, and his arc from slimy criminal to hero is somewhat questionably short. As this type of person, why would Obi-Wan trust him to look after Leia?
This answer has two parts. First, he’s a Jedi and therefore knows Haja’s true self relatively well. Secondly, Leia votes to trust him in Part II, and Obi-Wan comes to trust her judgment, recognizing aspects of her mother, Padme, in the young girl.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is the Perfect Bridge
You probably didn’t like how Obi-Wan was portrayed for most of the series. I didn’t either, at first, but once I understood its point in the story, I changed my mind.
A few niggles aside, what isn’t there to love? Vivien Lyra Blair is absolutely spot on with her portrayal of young Leia, incorporating a sort of naive but loveable version of Carrie Fisher’s character in the Original Trilogy. It was virtually flawless. Jimmy Smits and Simone Kessel play Bail and Breha Organa in a believably empathetic way. Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse return as Owen and Beru Lars, looking believably haggard and wary of the Jedi.
And that’s not even to mention Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen. Despite many years away from their roles, they returned and pulled it off spectacularly.
Let’s finish up with some of the plot points pulled together by the Obi-Wan Kenobi series:
- Obi-Wan truly believes Anakin Skywalker is dead (as does he), killed and replaced by Darth Vader. This explains why he tells Luke as such.
- “Goodbye, Darth” represents when Obi-Wan accepts Anakin’s ‘death’. He addresses him by his title to put as much distance between himself and his former friend. This is why, in A New Hope, he calls the Sith Lord ‘Darth’ (where it once was thought to be a first name).
- Anakin isn’t Obi-Wan’s failure, although he blames himself. Vader himself says that he killed Anakin (figuratively).
- How Leia might know to contact Obi-Wan for help.
- How Obi-Wan protects Luke even more by staying away and watching from a distance, allowing the child to grow up in his own time.
- Qui-Gon finally appears to Obi-Wan, having explained he was always there – Kenobi just wasn’t ready to see him. He only sees him after fully reconnecting to the Force and regaining his strength. This is how he learns to commit himself to the Force.
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin refers to Obi-Wan as “as wise as Master Yoda and as powerful as Master Windu”. In the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, we see those praises in their full glory (at the end). And I think that’s an excellent place to conclude our thoughts!