In Episode Five of Kenobi we finally see the days of the old Republic before Order 66. Ponytail Padwan Anakin (rather then long haired knight Anakin) and Kenobi train with lightsabers. This is much closer to what the show promised than what we’ve gotten so far, so of course it’s very brief and very bad.
If the actors were deaged it wasn’t done well. This sequence from the days of the Prequels is supposed to show us that Anakin is very smart but so impulsive he may as well be an idiot. This is in line with what we always heard. It seems to make sense. Late in the episode, however, the show unwittingly tells us things the writers apparently didn’t care to think about or didn’t consider the implications of what they were doing.
In the last couple of minutes we find out in no uncertain terms Vader’s known about most of what’s going on since Reva impaled the Grand Inquisitor back in Episode 2. So Vader’s not acting impulsively at all, just performative and weird. If the writers even realize they did this to themselves is anyone’s guess. The reality is Vader’s actually been pretty cunning.
Because they need to drive events to an end we have the plot uniting pretty much every character in this show on some desert planet called Jabiim. It’s just another rebel base in another desert and it doesn’t really matter- which is lamentable in and of itself.
Episode 5 is action packed but none of the fights are all that good. Instead of a story though, the episode really is just a bunch of events that are dense in contradictions.
The contradictions include the aforementioned ’emotional Vader’ who isn’t really emotional at all. There’s a surrender and a release of Obiwan I’m still augering and a bunch of strange things that had me give up my initial draft and start over. Trying to recap it all had me at 5,000 words- and this episode is just 32 minutes long.
It’s thirty two minutes of non thought out damaging idiocy that feels like the lovechild of Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker. The show is reaching for the ‘highs’ of The Force Awakens. In other words – this is a deeply misguided attempt to shore up the sequels at the expense of the Lucas created movies. It’s very poorly shot and has some awful camera work.
I have so many questions after this episode. It is definitely the best episode of the show, it was also definitely the worst episode of the show.
The episodes many contradictions include Bail Organa sending an ill advised panic stricken message to Obiwan- something they agreed not to do. He reveals all names and locations, needlessly, showing no guile. He also doesn’t say he wants to see and speak to his daughter. This message was idiotic and Bail even says so. It feels like a fake and a trap it’s so contradictory, but it is real.
At one point we see Reva back-talking Vader and it’s striking that he allows it. It’s preposterous to behold. Vader never layed down for disrespect til now.
The writers don’t want Leia in the forefront this week so they have her hacked droid destroy the controls to the hangar door preventing all escape.
Obiwan watches this whole act of sabotage impassively. He doesn’t grab the droid with the Force and stop it even when it’s clearly up to no good. He seemingly fails to comprehend. Eventually its TEN YEAR OLD Leia that grabs and repairs her droid, which then helps her finish repairs to the hangar door just in time. How this ten year old princess knows advanced control system wiring is left unsaid.They just gift her with advanced technical knowledge to accomplish this. Everyone owes Leia their life. She beat her evil father and doesn’t even know it. She’s ten.
The show’s flawed internal logic is on full display as things we are told get contradicted moments later. For instance, the “Impenetrable Base” is easy to breach and is taken fairly quickly by a very small force of maybe 50 troopers.
There’s some strange conversations in public between Reva and Obiwan. Some of this is through a door that’s like a bank vault and some is face to face. It’s all stuff no one else should ever know. There are dozens of witnesses as they discuss treason against the Empire and a bid to kill Vader. I guess Reva accepts this proposal because she has just two stormtroopers march Kenobi back to where he came from. Later he’s simply running around free.
As we rush to the final act there’s a heroic sacrifice by the rebel sand snake lady and her droid to buy time. We met her 2 episodes ago. I was unmoved by this. Perhaps the writers smelled the fart in the air and floored the accelerator, because after plodding slowly the pace of the story really speeds up and gets hard to follow.
Fortunately, cause and effect are just words to these writers, so you can sit back and just observe. Things related to the story are not happening while the events occur. This is action without meaning and has a hollowness to it.
The sacrifice begins a dense sequence of happenings that transcend my ability to put together cohesively. I’m dealing with a badly written show and this week we time hop through three time frames. Old Republic, Order 66 and ‘the present.’ The flashbacks are only just so well organized and accidentally run contrary to the main story. Instead of showing us Vader’s fatal flaw we have a measured, calm Vader who was just letting events play out quite deliberately.
This is the toughest review I’ve ever tried to write. I could go down dozens of rabbit holes about the problems in this episode. This was a shot at all six Lucas films through what seems like a mix of malice and indifference. This week’s story is not good or interesting. Its simply packed with action. The action isn’t balanced with humor or imbued with a meaningful feeling though. It actually felt perfunctory.
On the whole the writing is Sequels Style. So unrefined, ill executed and poor on visual storytelling.
Like episodes two, three and four, this episode is deeply incoherent with broken internal logic. These writers can’t (or won’t) read the room. Four viewings of this to attempt to be comprehensive showed more flaws on each view. This review could be much longer even if the topic was confined to just plot holes or contrivances. Instead I’ve decided to be a bit minimalistic about this strange episode.
The episode is just Disney sci fi porn. The biggest difference between sex porn and Disney Sci Fi Porn is the Disney Story is unaware its bad and it doesn’t really pay off. Also, no one is naked or even so much as dressed in an alluring manner for Disney. The Kenobi show’s Star Wars outfits are off the rack at Party City. Everyone looks very low effort.
In another bad contrivance they bring Leia to this random planet rather then home. Other people straggling in to the base might make sense, but the characters who rescued Leia should really have known better than to have gone to this planet- or anywhere other than Alderaan or Coruscant. They came here for no reason.
This planet is a needless risk and a waste of time. They are worse off for this dumb decision. They should have taken the princess home.
Tracking the rescuers to Coruscant or Alderaan would provide the forces aligned against them with no useful information. On either planet Leia could easily be reunited with her family while Kenobi returns to his real job- watching over young Luke.
I have serious issues with the Kenobi show at this point. They are creating problems and contradictions that ripple across all six Lucas movies. Only an extensive series of Video Essays can cover the mess the show has made. They are just looking to burnish the horrible Disney made Star Wars of the Sequels.
Because we have Ewan McGregor reprising his role this show is just the Star Wars version of Star Trek Picard. In other words- super damaging and very hard to watch if you love the movies. JJ Abrams inspired writing strikes again. The man is a cultural menace.
This episode seems completely made on small TV soundstages. It culminates with a few reveals that are all weird or contradictory. Like the accidental reveal that lightsaber wounds through the gut are no big deal.
Among other events we see Vader do his best REYLO impression by pulling a ship from the sky. It was cool til ‘the real ship’ blasts off, revealing Vader had been easily hoodwinked.
When the real ship takes off Vader is too confused to pull the same move and lets them go. Just like Rise of Skywalker there were two ships, but you need to watch really closely to see the ‘real ship.’ Our attention is focused on a decoy ship. Why Vader himself failed to notice it or why his force sensing abilities seem to have abandoned him as he goes for an empty ship is sort of a mystery too. He isn’t too tired to try again on the second ship, hes just too slow to react. We know this because he demonstrates his power level is still off the charts in a Force-Only brawl moments later. Vader just let his quarry go, it seems. This makes twice catching Obiwan wasn’t worth any extra effort for Vader so far in this show.
The bottom line is that Sequels Force Rules are in effect. This means we have to wonder why Yoda doesn’t just Force teleport into the battle to help and a few other kooky things, too.
At this moment Reva makes her move and attacks vader from behind. She waits til he’s no longer distracted. Moments before Vader was completely vulnerable. This was just the worst moment to make this move and the ensuing fight puts Disney’s money maker Vader in various profitable toy selling poses.
Reva has her saber but Vader never uses his. First he fights using only the Force. After a few poses he force grabs Reva’s Inquisitor saber. His initial pose inspires ‘Toy 1’ as he regards the dual bladed weapon. He then breaks it in half to strike a pose for ‘Toy 2’ – this time he makes like he’s going to duel wield the sabers for a moment. He doesn’t though, they’re just selling toys.
Then Vader turns one lightsaber off and and throws it at Reva’s feet, giving her a chance for a fair duel. There is a LOT of posing.
Ultimately, Vader runs Reva through and gloats while she’s squirming in pain.
Thats when the OG Grand Inquisitor walks in, We saw this chatacter run through by Reva just a couple of episodes ago. Shockingly, he’s perfectly fine. He just strides in and resumes the same racially tinged put-downs while Reva is writhing around wounded in the dirt. And Disney claims its fans are the racists? They just broadcast an image that could be a Proud Boys tattoo!
They leave Riva and you can’t help but think they’re inept. The Grand Inquisitor easily survived an identical wound. It’s all on the table with Sequels Force rules. Reva could just Force heal herself. Of note- she seems to have no way off this dumpy planet.
As she crawls through the dirt (rather than use the Force) she retrieves part of her saber and finds Obiwan’s Communications fob. Its stuck on voicemail and replays the panicked message from Bail we saw earlier where he spills all the beans. Kenobi absolutely should have just destroyed this liability as soon as he got the useless, needlessly detailed message from Bail.
On the transport, running away again, Obiwan sort of senses something is wrong, but quickly blows it off. They have no hyperdrive and there’s an Imperial Star Destroyer in orbit. With that the episode ends.
I didn’t think the Sequels people had a good show in them, so I expected Book of Boba Fett-like problems. As crazy as it sounds, this show never really reached the ‘Highs’ of the mundane Book of Boba Fett show- which was at least self aware enough to just throw some episodes of the Mandalorian they had laying around at us! Make of that what you will. Maybe it’s as close as a coin flip as to which is worse, but look where we are now! Star Wars just squandered its last hero. Kenobi is a story-less waste of time.
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