After spending half of his limited series running from his former apprentice, the surviving Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi is finally looking like his old self this week. Obi-Wan and his new ally, Tala, start off Episode 4 by formulating a plan to save the young Leia Organa from the clutches of the Empire’s villainous Inquisitors.
This episode finally shows us more details about the Inquisitors, their fortress on the watery moon Nur, and Reva’s twisted plan to find the nascent Rebellion’s hidden network, The Path. Fans of the extended Star Wars universe are in for a treat this week as we return to the Fortress Inquisitorius for the first time since the location’s debut in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, when that game’s protagonist, Cal Kestic, broke in to recover a stolen Holocron.
Some fans online were frustrated with Obi-Wan’s pace in the first three episodes, noting that the title character seems to be only going through the motions. Now, however, he’s knocking the rust off his lightsaber skills and showing us the talents that made him one of the Republic’s foremost generals, and one of the most respected Jedi in the Order.
Back to the Bacta Tank
The episode opens with our hero recovering from his duel with Vader in Episode 3, where he was handily bested and literally raked over the coals by his former apprentice. Tala and her allies were able to rescue Kenobi and ferry him to safety, and now he bears burns on his body that are eerily similar to those Anakin suffered in their final duel on Mustafar. As Kenobi floats in the healing fluid Bacta, he and Anakin seemingly connect via the Force, and Obi-Wan sees dark portents of their past clashes.
When he regains consciousness, Kenobi urgently asks his new allies to help him storm the Inquisitors’ base of operations on Nur. Tala thankfully still has Imperial clearance from her time as a deep-cover agent working within the Empire and hatches a plan along with some Rebel sympathizers to sneak Kenobi into the fortress and slip back out with Princess Organa.
Reva, the Third Sister, successfully recaptured the Princess during the chaos of Kenobi and Vader’s duel last episode. She tries to convince Leia to tell her where The Path’s hidden hideouts are, but the young princess firmly tells Reva off and keeps the Jedi Order’s secrets. While Reva tries to extract the knowledge from Leia using the Force, Leia’s latent Force sensitivity and strong willpower allow her to resist the technique.
Echoes of a Past Mission
Eagle-eyed Star Wars fans will notice the numerous echoes of past adventures as Obi-Wan sneaks into the Fortress Inquisitorious through a hidden underwater hatch. His plan is identical to the one employed by Cal Kestic in Fallen Order when he used the same approach to enter the Fortress and steal back a Jedi Holocron containing the names of Force-sensitive children around the Galaxy.
The scene also echoes Kenobi’s own mission way back in The Phantom Menace, when he, his master Qui-Gon, and their ally Jar Jar Binks descended beneath the waves on Naboo to visit the Gungan capital city. He even uses the same distinct rebreather technology that the franchise introduced in that film!
Meanwhile, Tala showcases espionage skills that allow her to sneak into the Fortress and override the security to cover Kenobi’s tracks. One has to wonder if Tala ever crossed paths with Cassian Andor, another expert spy who works for the Rebellion during this period of time. Maybe she’ll even get a chance to cameo in Cassian’s upcoming solo series.
And Echoes of the Future
Obi-Wan’s stealthy mission through the Fortress is also reminiscent of his quest through the Death Star in A New Hope. Of course, those events are still nine years away from the time Kenobi takes place, so what we’re seeing is the old Jedi Master honing the skills that will eventually aid him in his final mission.
Kenobi dodges Seeker Droids, avoids detection from patrolling Stormtroopers, and proves himself to be a capable combatant with his lightsaber. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Obi-Wan slash through the ranks of villainous foot soldiers, and it’s a treat to see McGregor back in “action hero mode” after his turn in the prequel trilogy.
While he successfully frees Leia from Reva’s clutches with the help of a distraction from Tala, the trio inadvertently alerts the entire base to their presence. Kenobi has to fight his way out, turning several Stormtroopers into red-hot chunks of bad guy soup. The three heroes find themselves backed into a corner when Reva isolates them in the hangar bay, but they’re saved when their Rebel allies ride in with T-47 Airspeeders–the same model that the Rebels will later use to defend their base on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. One of their friends is shot down, but the heroes escape unscathed.
Vader storms into the Fortress when he hears that Reva has lost both Leia and Kenobi, and he’s determined to punish her for failing again. However, Reva gets a stay of execution when she explains that she’s placed a tracker on their ship. Soon, the Empire will know exactly where The Path keeps its headquarters, and the Inquisition will be able to demolish the fledgling Rebellion.
Meanwhile, Kenobi reflects on the mission while Leia feels the weight of an ally giving his life to ensure her safety. This is the first of many instances in which a Rebel will fight to the death to protect the Princess of Alderaan, and it helps drive home how long Leia has spent in the fight by the time of A New Hope.
The episode closes with Leia’s personal droid, Lola, awakening from its deactivated state. The audience learns that Reva snuck the tracking device into the droid, and now we know a final showdown between the Third Sister and Obi-Wan is inevitable.