Monday, June 13, 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi - Part III & Part IV

Obi-Wan's (Ewan McGregor) somewhat half-assed rescue attempt continues in both "Part III" and "Part IV" which includes the series providing some stunning visuals and small emotional moments while also throwing in even more of the problematic head-scratching plot issues that can't be resolved. "Part III" is notable for the reunion between Kenobi and Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) who easily bests his former master in combat. In a theme which which will continue into the next episode, we see Kenobi has pulled back from the Force in the decade since we last saw him, leading to much of his former abilities becoming atrophied. This of course raises the question of how exactly he planned to teach young Luke about the Force?

After besting his master, and burning him in a bit of proper vengeance, Vader loses his prey thanks to a fire (you know the same kind of fire he just put out with the Force ten seconds earlier but for some reason now confounds him?). This allows the Jedi's new friend Tala Durith (Indira Varma) to step in and literally pull his ass out of the fire. Good thing Kenobi and Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) crossed her path, as without Tala I'm pretty sure the bumbling former Jedi may have eventually decapitated himself and Leia with his own lightsaber at some point.

After a all-too-brief stint in the bacta tank, Kenobi and Tala go after Leia who has been taken to by Third Sister (Moses Ingram) to Fortress Inquisitorius where she expects to scare and/or torture information out a small child that she can't possibly have. Leia, whose entire knowledge of a Rebellion is meeting one person and walking through one tunnel on a planet I'm betting she can't even name, in Third Sister's mind, is somehow the Rosetta Stone to all things Rebellion. Um, what? In fact the only thing Third Sister's actions ultimately accomplishes is to prove the Empire's complicity in Leia's kidnapping and turn a young girl into a rebel whose future actions will lead to their own demise.

After all-too-easily escaping the castle of Force sensitive Sith users who never sense a Jedi in their midst, and for some reason keep dead Jedi trapped in amber in their basement, our protagonists flee into space. There's obviously a throwback here given the small group able to save Leia from the Death Star in the original Star Wars. However, doing it yet again seems like every Empire installation is about as hard to get into as McDonald's. As for Leia, she sure does end up getting kidnapped a lot. In fact, in what now amounts to the entirety of Star Wars cannon, I'm not sure there's a single storyline in which she isn't captured at some point prior to the Star Wars sequels where she's killed off. The girl who gets kidnapped, and always needs to be rescued by men, may not be the most empowering message to center her character around.

Kicking in a late twist, we discover Third Sister turned Leia's robot into a tracking beacon to follow them. This is dumb, as given her actions on a Senator's child there's no way Third Sister was ever planning on letting Leia leave alive. She kidnapped and tortured the daughter of the a member of the Galactic Senate. Even in the most optimistic view of the episode's bad writing, where this was a failsafe if Leia ever indeed escaped, what is the point of a tracking device for a little girl on-board a spaceship that can take her through space straight back to her home planet of Alderaan? The Empire knows EXACTLY where Kenobi will take her, so why do they need a tracking device when there's absolutely no reason for them to go anywhere else?

  • Title: Obi-Wan Kenobi - Part III & Part IV
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