This Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi article contains spoilers.
Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5 is sensory overload for fans who have longed to see Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen back in their Prequel garb, or Darth Vader pull down a ship from the sky with the Force and duel another dark sider, or Obi-Wan taking on stormtroopers with his lightsaber, or classic Legends Jedi return to canon. There’s so much going on in the adrenaline-filled penultimate episode of the Disney+ series that viewers barely have time to process massive developments such as the heroic death of Tala Durith or Reva’s tragic past as a Jedi youngling.
But when the dust has settled, and only a wounded, revenge-fueled Reva remains on the desolate surface of Jabiim, some viewers might be left with quite a few questions about where the show is going next. For example, what is up with that ominous final shot of little Luke Skywalker sleeping peacefully back on Tatooine? We have some theories about the ending of episode five as well as what this all might mean for the season finale…
How Is the Grand Inquisitor Still Alive?
A few weeks ago, a very vocal group of fans cried out in terror when Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 2 seemingly “killed off” the Grand Inquisitor — even though continuity had already established that the villain was supposed to die several in-universe years later on the Rebels animated series. To some, the Grand Inquisitor’s untimely death at the hands of Reva felt like a betrayal of Star Wars canon. But was all this noise just for show, or did the concerned party really think the character wouldn’t make a dramatic return later in the series?
Either way, the Grand Inquisitor cheerily marches right back onto the stage in Reva’s moment of defeat. It’s revealed that the leader of the Inquisitors was just playing dead while Reva’s “rage” led Darth Vader and the Empire to Obi-Wan. Basically, making her think she was finally getting what she wanted made her better at hunting the Jedi Master.
But how did the Pau’an baddie survive being cut down by Reva’s saber on Daiyu? Well, let’s just put it this way: if Darth Maul can survive being sliced in half through sheer force of will (and with a little help from his powers), the Grand Inquisitor should be able to get up after taking a lightsaber blade to the stomach. He wouldn’t even be the first villain to cling on to life by using the dark side of the Force (see: Emperor Palpatine, Maul, Darth Sion, etc).
His innards may have even been replaced with machine parts just like Fennec Shand in The Book of Boba Fett. It all connects!
What Was Reva’s Plan and Will She Survive?
Anyone who thinks Reva is going to die from that wound needs to rewind the tape. Yes, we do see Vader cut down Reva with her own lightsaber, but it’s no killing blow. In fact, it looks like he dispatches her much in the same way he did all those years ago when she was just a youngling, stabbing her in the abdomen, leaving her to die from her wound. Her defeat at the hands of Vader is undoubtedly supposed to mirror what Anakin did to her during Order 66, and if she got up the first time, you can bet Reva will survive her latest encounter with the Sith Lord.
After all, like Maul before her, Reva’s hunger for revenge against Vader has kept her alive this long. Why does she want to destroy him? Well, he killed her entire “family” of younglings on that horrible night in the Jedi Temple, and she’s spent the last decade waiting for the right moment to avenge them, rising through the ranks of the Inquisitorius until she’s close enough to the Sith Lord to strike. Of course, Vader has been expecting the Third Sister’s betrayal the entire time and makes very quick work of her. He even looks kind of bored during the whole affair.
But even if Reva failed to take down Vader, she now has a new way to get back at Anakin Skywalker…
Is Little Luke Skywalker in Danger?
Dragging herself across the dirt floor of the rebel cave, a wounded Reva discovers Obi-Wan’s smashed comlink, which Haja dropped during the refugees’ escape from Jabiim. On the comlink is a message from Bail Organa referencing not only Leia but “the child on Tatooine.” Yes, Bail is talking about the 10-year-old Luke waiting back on Tatooine to fulfill his destiny. Reva now knows that Obi-Wan is hiding something on the desert planet and that this mysterious child may be the key to discovering the Jedi Master’s secret.
It’s unclear if Reva actually puts two and two together during this scene. If she realizes Obi-Wan and Bail are hiding the children of Anakin Skywalker, Reva’s heading straight to kill Luke on Tatooine. If she doesn’t, Reva will likely figure it all out in the season finale and still try to kill the boy just to take him away from Vader. This will undoubtedly all lead to a final showdown between her and the Jedi Master, but I’d be especially worried if I were as helpless as Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
What Do All Those Flashbacks Mean?
Throughout the episode, we’re also treated to several flashbacks to a sparring session between Obi-Wan and Anakin that seem to be set just around the time of Attack of the Clones — the brothers-in-arms are still master and padawan here, and Hayden Christensen is wearing the little rat tail that signifies an apprentice. In the flashback, Obi-Wan is trying to teach a headstrong and overzealous Anakin essentially what he says years later during the raid on Jabiim: “There are other ways to fight.” Young Anakin believes that only with his lightsaber can he defeat his opponents, and at first he does disarm Obi-Wan, but then his wise master proceeds to outsmart Anakin, forcing him to grow more reckless in his attacks as he tries to get Obi-Wan to yield. Eventually, a weaponless Obi-Wan disarms his padawan and roasts him for wanting to “prove himself so badly” that he’ll do it at any cost.
This whole flashback works on multiple levels: not only is this memory a way for Obi-Wan to strategize against his impulsive former apprentice’s weaknesses but it also works as a bit of foreshadowing for what’s to come down the line. We see, for example, that Obi-Wan is able to once again outsmart a rage-filled Vader without having to actually face him, planting a decoy transport to shield the real one during the escape from Jabiim.
But it also speaks to Vader and Reva’s own dynamic. It’s clear Reva is out of her depth against the Sith Lord, and we watch as he easily dodges her lightsaber without his own weapon, just like Obi-Wan in that flashback. He simply disarms her and beats her with her own sword. Reva was consumed by revenge — and the need to prove herself as the Grand Inquisitor in order to get close to Vader — that it blinded her to the way all of her enemies were playing her the whole time, just as Obi-Wan manipulates young Anakin’s attacks.
The flashback could also be foreshadowing Obi-Wan and Vader’s next confrontation. Vader clearly won their first round, just like in that flashback, but now that his former master has regained his footing and has embraced being a Jedi once again, it’s possible the old man could take the high ground in the end.
Will Obi-Wan and Vader Finally Have Their Rematch in Episode 6?
So, the big question is: are Obi-Wan and Vader going to fight again in the finale? Absolutely! It’s a foregone conclusion at this point. Although the rebels have made their escape from Jabiim, Roken informs Obi-Wan that the ship’s hyperdrive is damaged, which is very bad news because the Empire is on their tail. No matter where they’re heading, Vader and the Inquisitors can follow them there.
When the Dark Lord of the Sith does catch up with them, it’ll likely be up to Obi-Wan to distract Vader while the refugees figure out a way to escape again. But what exactly will be the outcome of their rematch? No, it’s not as simple you might think…
How Will The Obi-Wan Kenobi Finale Set Up A New Hope?
Director Deborah Chow and writer Joby Harold have a very difficult task ahead of them. Not only do they have to deliver a satisfying ending for the series that ties up all the loose threads — including Reva’s tragic story — but it has to do those things without breaking the canon and what we know must come to pass in A New Hope. We know, for example, that:
1) Obi-Wan, Leia, Luke, and Darth Vader can’t die on this show since it’s set before the Original Trilogy.
2) Obi-Wan returns to Tatooine after this adventure to once again watch over Luke.
3) Even though Obi-Wan has to survive this show, it’s clear the Empire thinks he’s dead by the time of A New Hope.
4) At the start of the Original Trilogy, Luke doesn’t really know who Ben Kenobi is beyond the rumors he’s heard about the old hermit living in the desert — and he also has no idea what a lightsaber and the Force are.
5) Princess Leia does eventually make it back to Alderaan.
Basically, whatever happens in the finale needs to at least entertain us with the illusion of stakes, even if most of the main players are wearing plot armor. But just because we know where these characters are headed doesn’t mean Obi-Wan Kenobi can’t do some interesting things on the way there.
Consider point #3 above: unless there’s a secret second season of the show in the works, Obi-Wan and Vader’s duel has to end with the Jedi Master finding a way to disappear again, perhaps even by convincing the Sith Lord that he’s finally dead. I find it hard to believe that Vader would ever stop hunting him, otherwise. So does Obi-Wan stage his own death in order to escape the Empire and go back to his peaceful life on Tatooine?
Sure, but there’s one wrinkle in that plan: Reva knows about Tatooine, and is likely on her way to learning who Luke actually is and tracking him down. Which means there is another villain who knows about Obi-Wan’s hideout and whom he’s protecting. It’s a loose end the show will have to address before the curtains close. You might be thinking Obi-Wan can easily solve this problem by killing Reva in a duel (just as he will when he faces Maul on the desert planet in a few years time). But assuming Reva does find Luke back on Tatooine, Obi-Wan can’t just show up using his Force powers and swinging his lightsaber to save the day since, again, Luke doesn’t know what those things are in A New Hope. Even if you were only 10 when it happened, surely you’d remember that one time this old, dusty wizard showed up at your house to save you from an Inquisitor, right?
Unless Obi-Wan is able to use the Force to erase little Luke’s memory of this epic duel somehow, it’s more likely the Jedi Master and Reva will have to come to a different kind of understanding. Will Reva ultimately choose the path of redemption by sparing the child, and therefore reject the path Anakin took when he slaughtered her fellow younglings? Or will she decide that letting Luke grow up to become the Jedi that finally kills Anakin Skywalker is its own kind of sweet revenge?
We don’t know! The point is that the show has kept us guessing all the way through, and still has several ways it could surprise us in the finale, even if all roads inevitably lead back to 1977.
The finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi will hit Disney+ on Wednesday, June 22.