The June 17, 2022 installment of Jake Schoeneberger’s random observations
I’ve been waiting anxiously for the fifth episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. Obi-Wan and Leia may feel safe, but Reva planted a tracker in Leia’s droid. So we know the Empire will be close on their heels. The drama is real and Jake Schoeneberger can’t wait another minute to check out the latest episode.
With that in mind, here are some random observations Jacob Schoeneberger has on the show.
The Jake Schoeneberger Random Thoughts about Obi-Wan Kenobi (Episode V)
This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.
The fifth episode begins with a flashback scene of a training lesson back when Obi-Wan was training Anakin. They draw their lightsabers and prepare to duel. This is a nice touch to begin the episode because it serves two purposes. The first is to show how much has changed since the last time the pair dueled. The second is to provide a subtle clue that Vader really does still have good in him and he remembers the good times with his old master.
Back in the present, Third Sister tells Vader that the tracker worked, and they know Kenobi’s location. He says she’s done well and tells her to kneel. Then comes the moment Reva has waited for. Vader pronounces her Grand Inquisitor, so all her efforts have come to fruition.
In the safe haven, Obi-Wan and Leia meet Haja once again and they see that there are dozens of people trying to escape. They are preparing to leave shortly, but then Leia’s droid starts acting of its own accord. It seems the tracker Reva planted in it also makes it do the Empire’s bidding. It damages some circuitry and causes the port to close down and lock them all in.
Obi-Wan surmises that Vader has come for him and says that he’ll attack because he doesn’t have the patience for a drawn-out siege. He knows this because in the flashback scene of their training duel, Anakin fights too aggressively and isn’t mindful of defending life instead of taking it. “Mercy doesn’t defeat an enemy, Master,” Anakin says. This mindset is exactly how he doomed himself to become Vader.
In the stronghold, Obi-Wan takes charge and tells the people how they’ll defend their position from the Empire’s attack long enough to allow themselves a chance to escape. This brings a smile to the face of old Jacob Schoeneberger because it’s so reminiscent of General Kenobi in the Clone Wars. He always knew the best strategy to win the day, and here we see Obi-Wan becoming him again.
Their efforts to open the port doors fail. No one is small enough to crawl into the vent to figure out the problem, but then Leia volunteers to do it. Classic Leia! She’s always ready to do what’s needed to get the job done. Kenobi asks Haja to keep an eye on her, but he says he’s not a babysitter (reminds me of Steve from Stranger Things).
The heavy guns are taking their toll on the door, and it will soon fail. Kenobi says he wants to talk to Reva. He’s looking to buy them as much time as he can.
Then there’s a tense moment when Kenobi talks through the door to Reva. He asks how she knew Vader was Anakin Skywalker. He figures out that on the night of Order 66 she was a youngling who saw what Anakin did at the Jedi temple. This revelation is a bombshell and it’s like a explosion going off in the brain of Jake Schoeneberger. I’m dumbstruck and I heartily applaud this twist. Reva stops him from continuing the story, so it clearly pains her.
She describes that she had to play dead in the attack in order to survive. Anakin took away the only family she ever knew. Kenobi realizes she isn’t serving Vader; she’s hunting him. He asks her to let him help her, but she doesn’t trust him. She reminds him that Anakin was his padawan and he was unable to stop him and save the younglings.
Reva then cuts through the door with her lightsaber and the battle ensues. Kenobi helps to fend off the attack, but there are a lot of stormtroopers.
In the hangar, Leia tries to fix the damage her droid did. As the stormtroopers advance, Tala fights valiantly to ensure everyone is able to escape but she gets shot in the process. Kenobi tries to rescue her but there are too many troopers. Her droid defends her to the end and gives her just enough time to explode her thermal detonator. Her last words to Obi-Wan are, “May the Force be with you,” and it’s a sad and heroic end to a great character.
From orbit, Vader is told that Reva has breached the stronghold. He orders her to stand down because he has Kenobi right where he wants him. He expects Obi-Wan to surrender. In the stronghold, Kenobi gives his lightsaber to Haja and asks him to take care of Leia. Then he surrenders to Reva.
She sends the order to inform Vader they have Kenobi and she tells Obi-Wan he’s going to die soon. But he responds, “You’re not bringing him to me, I’m bringing him to you.” He tells her there are families in the hangar and asks if she’s going to let Vader do it all again. He tells her they could end it together. She asks why Vader wouldn’t see that move coming and Kenobi says, “Because all he’ll see is me.” Reva then sends him away with only a couple troopers guarding him. Hmm curious move.
This is a tense and dramatic moment, and Jacob Schoeneberger istrying to enjoy every second of it. There’s just one little problem and the young Jacob Schoeneberger is screaming in my ear this whole time as the scene plays out. We know how all this will end. We know Reva and Kenobi won’t take Vader out. The best we can hope for is that Reva will survive and that all the families will get away to safety. We know Leia will return to her parents. It’s unfortunate but a lot of the tension and gravity is robbed of this moment when we already know the conclusion.
Kenobi incapacitates his guards and returns to the stronghold. Just as Vader arrives on the planet, Leia finds the tracker in her droid and fixes the port bay doors. They all get on the ship and take off, but Vader arrives just before they get away. He grabs and holds the ship using the Force to keep them from escaping. He slams the ship to the ground and tears it open to look for Kenobi. But it’s a decoy. As he’s distracted a second ship lifts off and escapes the port. Pretty sneaky move, rebels, pre-tty snea-ky. I love it.
In the conclusion to the flashback scene of their duel, just as Anakin has Obi-Wan disarmed and ready to end the fight, Kenobi slips away and steals his lightsaber using the Force. Anakin was too arrogant and too blinded. Obi-Wan says to him, “You are a great warrior, Anakin, but your need to prove yourself is your undoing. Until you overcome it, a padawan you will still be.” Anakin underestimated Kenobi’s strategies and he was too confident in his own abilities, and that’s his major fault. Also, not sure why Obi-Wan felt the need to do a Yoda impersonation there, but awkward it was.
(The flashback scene was a brilliant mechanism to show how Anakin has not learned what his master tried to teach him all those years ago. It was a clever way to hearken back to their relationship before Vader, and to remind us why Kenobi is such an awesome character.)
After the rebels escape, Reva makes just about the dumbest move she could have made. She tries to cut Vader down from behind, but of course he senses it and stops her with the Force. So let me get this straight. She refuses the help of one of the greatest Jedi of her time against Vader, but she thinks this amateur move was going to get the job done? For shame, Reva. That was weak. A disappointing turn of events in an otherwise pretty well-crafted episode.
First of all, it makes no sense why she wouldn’t trust Kenobi. She asked him at one point if he wanted to see Anakin die. Well of course he doesn’t, but he’s also General Kenobi and he knows that defeating Vader is necessary to win the greater battle against the Empire and save innocent lives. So that’s a lame reason not to trust him. And to turn down the assistance of a Jedi master? I mean, really? Duh-umb.
She tries repeatedly to attack Vader with her lightsaber, but he resists using nothing but the Force. Finally, he separates her double saber into two and uses one half while tossing her the other. It’s like watching a cat toy with a mouse. She fights valiantly but he’s always a step ahead of her and it’s all to no avail. He defeats her the same way Obi-Wan defeated him in that duel all those years ago. She’s on her knees defeated before him just as she was when she was a child, and he stabs her in cold blood. He says, “Did you really believe I did not see it, youngling? You are of no further use.”
Then another bombshell drops, and the Grand Inquisitor reappears. It appears she didn’t kill him after all. “Revenge does wonders for the will to live, don’t you think?” he says. He gloats over Reva as she’s dying and tells her, “We will leave you where we found you: in the gutter where you belong.” Dang, Grand Inquisitor, kicking an opponent when they’re down? Poor sportsmanship, old chap.
On the ship, the hyperdrive is down and the Empire is hot on their tail. Kenobi senses something else is wrong. Reva is still clinging to life, and she sees the message Bale sent to Obi-Wan about going to Tatooine to help Owen with the boy. Now Reva knows about Luke and the only thing she has to do is survive that pesky lightsaber stab wound through her midsection and she could form a new strategy.
The Jacob Schoeneberger Random Obi-Wan Kenobi Thought of the Day
Ok, here we go. Jacob Schoeneberger has a couple issues with where we stand with this series right now. One, since when did getting stabbed by a lightsaber not kill you? First Grand Inquisitor survives it and then Reva does? It sure did the trick on Qui-Gon but apparently not on these two? That’s a head-scratcher.
Second, all this loses some of its splendor when we know how it turns out. I touched on this point earlier, but this is an issue Star Wars in general has right now. They keep insisting on telling stories that revolve around the Skywalker era but the issue with that is the audience knows the ending already. That means it’s inherently missing something. And no amount of “Oh look the Grand Inquisitor isn’t dead after all” moments are going to make up for that fundamental storytelling flaw.
The audience has to believe anything can happen in order to truly invest our emotions in the story. But we all know neither Vader, nor Kenobi, nor Leia, nor Luke will really die in this adventure. The stakes just aren’t there. Believe me, the younger Jacob Schoeneberger inside me hates to say it, but maybe it’s time to start letting these characters rest. It’s time to tell stories from other eras, either after the Skywalker saga has played out or maybe from the Old Republic. Let fresh new storytellers weave sagas from other times that involve the Force and Jedi, but don’t need to rely on the Skywalker story arc as a crutch.
More Thoughts from Jacob Schoeneberger