I guess that’s one way to rescue a princess? Oy.
Obi-Wan is taken to a Path safehouse on another world and dunked in a bacta tank, which just makes his visions of/connection to Anakin stronger. He wakes and climbs out before he’s fully healed, asking to speak to Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), the leader of this particular Path station. Obi-Wan asks for the man’s aid and he’s reluctant to offer it, but soon commits what forces he has. Tala agrees to don her Imperial uniform again to get into the Fortress Inquisitorius (yes, really), and help Obi-Wan get inside. She’s almost stopped at the security checkpoint, but cows the officer into letting her pass. Once in, she opens an underwater access point to let Obi-Wan swim inside. She begins guiding him through the complex, getting stopped by another officer who wants her clearance; she subdues the man and continues guiding Obi-Wan, who comes across the Tomb of Fallen Jedi.
Leia is being held by the Inquisitors and questioned by Reva, who tells her that Obi-Wan is dead, that no one will come save her, and that she must give up all information on the Path. She continually refuses each attempt and tactic Reva tries, so she’s brought to an interrogation chamber for torturing. Obi-Wan can hear her screaming for help and tells Tala to create a diversion. Tala demands to speak to Reva right away, telling her that she has information on the Path and its operations as a spy. Reva is entirely suspicious, but Obi-Wan gets his opportunity to break into the chamber and rescue Leia.
Obi-Wan and Leia are instantly spotted, setting off an alert in the fortress and causing Reva to rush off in search of them. This gives Tala the chance to escape, knocking out her stormtrooper guard. Obi-Wan gets stuck in a hall with water starting to break through the glass of a lower deck, but he directs the water toward the troops coming after him. Tala hands him some officer clothes and they try to sneak out through the docking bay, with Leia under his very long coat. The bay is soon on lockdown and Reva has them cornered with a long line of troops behind her. Two snowspeeders appear and gun down the troopers, one landing to pick them up. On escape, one of the ships is shot down. Sully (Maya Erskine) has to tell Roken that they lost their comrade once his transport picks them up. Leia takes Obi-Wan’s hand on the ship.
Vader arrives at the fortress to give Reva a murdery dressing-down, but she assures them that she’s got a plan—she put a tracker on Leia’s little droid pal. Everywhere Obi-Wan goes, they’ll know.
Here’s my problem: Somewhere in the midst of these six-part stories, there’s always an episode that’s basically a half-hour, and they want us to believe it’s because the story demands this. They’re doing a good job by making things the length they want to be and not forcing the narrative into same-time blocks. They’re always wrong, though, and the half-hour segment usually drags the whole thing down.
Was there some good action? Sure! Was it great to watch Obi-Wan re-find some of his skills? Yes! Was the Leia and Reva Showdown
Half-Hour tense and full of drama? You bet!
But the episode starts with Obi-Wan and Tala making their way to a small outpost that’s part of the Path, and Roken tells them that there’s no way he’ll help them retrieve Leia because they’re not soldiers, and Obi-Wan pleads to the man that he has no idea what the Empire can do, and Roken says that he does because his wife was Force-sensitive and they took her away… and then he just agrees to help. After he explained what the Empire did to his family and why he’s afraid, he does this abrupt one-eighty without a clear change of heart, and everyone around him does the same because he said so. How about you give me my full fifty-minute episode, and I get to understand the reasoning behind anyone’s choices here?
Or, here’s another one: Obi-Wan notes that Inquisitor HQ (I am not calling it Fortress Inquisitorius, are you kidding me) has no shielding because the Empire clearly believes that no one would be crazy enough to try and infiltrate it. So they do, and then they eventually escape on an snowspeeder, and not only does the base have no shields, but apparently no blaster turrets, no cannons, no TIE-fighters, literally no defenses of any kind whatsoever are you serious??? You have stormtroopers around and ready to shoot intruders, but you clearly aren’t expecting any, so what are they even doing at this outpost? Are they all just custodial staff that you occasionally let stomp around? How about you give me a fifty-minute episode, and I get a more realistic escape than whatever the hell is going on around here.
(As a sidenote, I’ve decided that this means that Vader’s Sadness Kingdom also has no shields or defenses and would like to request a movie where some Rebellion operative tries to infiltrate it and kill him, and it just becomes a horror movie where they’re pacing through darkened corridors trying to find him, and then suddenly you hear the breathing, and you shout RUN and Vader says things like “You came here to hunt; now experience what it is to be hunted,” thank you, this is my greatest run-on sentence and I am keeping it.)
Or, how about this: Why the hell am I looking at a Jedi mausoleum, is it just to have something freaky happening to distract us from the impending child-torture? I don’t think you should be trying to distract us from that, Disney. I get that it’s upsetting, but not only does the Jedi mausoleum pull focus onto Obi-Wan in a moment that’s decidedly not his, it also… doesn’t do anything? Obi-Wan says “This place isn’t a fortress; it’s a tomb,” which is simultaneously reminiscent of his immortal “That’s no moon; it’s a space station,” and also Boromir saying “This is no mine; it’s a tomb” in Moria, which is resultantly giving off very different vibes than we need at this point. Something should be happening? Nothing is happening? Then he suddenly remembers what he needs to be doing and rushes off to save Leia. How about you give me a fifty-minute ep—you know what, I give up.
Reva keeps getting short shrifted on character development as we go and it’s infuriating. We got so close in her interrogation with Leia, where it seemed like we might get a peek at where this all started for a second… and then they abruptly veer away to the torture. I was waiting for Leia to turn it back on the Inquisitor, to start prodding at her interrogator a little to buy herself time—it would’ve made sense and given us the opportunity to dive deeper on a character who we need to know better. But nah.
It’s probable, for the record, that this series is pulling its Inquisitor background wholesale from the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game that came out in 2019. That game follows a former Padawan named Cal Kestis, who survives the Purge and finds himself on the run several years later when his abilities are discovered by a probe droid. We get a lot more information within that game about the Inquisitors and their fortress, all of which can be presumed as pieces of Reva’s backstory. I won’t go into detail on the presumption that they’re going to reveal at least some of this info before the end of the show… though I will say that the lack of defenses on the fortress are even more ridiculous when you know Inquisitor HQ was relocated off Coruscant not five years previous due to other security problems.
Then there’s that extremely awkward scene on the way to the fortress where Tala tells Obi-Wan that it’s not just his body that needs to heal, all of him needs it, and that takes time. Which… are you trying to seed Obi-Wan’s entire “recovery” from what happened during the Purge with that line alone? Just a random placation from a person who he doesn’t know particularly well, that’s what we get? We’re supposed to infer that this is the beginning of his road to healing, or that you’ve at least addressed it now, so we’re all good? Because you didn’t, and that wasn’t enough, and I’m gonna need a lot more to buy that he’s internalized that message in any way.
The escape is still so hard to buy, I can’t stop thinking about it. The fact that Reva leaves Tala there with two stormtroopers when she’s obviously lying about everything and just caused a jailbreak; the fact that Tala knocks out that officer asking for her code clearance and his body is just out in the open and no one notices; the fact that the troopers guarding Leia don’t immediately call for backup when the lights go out and a rogue blue lightsaber appears. Also the idea that they are just gonna waltz out of there with Leia under a coat, like… I have never, in all my days, seen a rescue plan as hackneyed—the plan to get Leia off the Death Star was more thought through than this. The Ghost crew would never—
Anyway, here’s hoping next week makes a little more sense.
Sand and Jawa Junk:
- Fortress Inquisitorius is actually from the Legends canon in the gaming sphere, but there it was Citadel Inquisitorius, which is… not better.
- I forgot that little Leia is the same actress who was the daughter in Bird Box, which I neglected to remember because I did not like that movie and have largely blocked it from my memory.
- Watching Leia shift tactics to deal with Reva is what we deserve, more of that, please. Just the way she changes tone, body language, eye contact, the “is this a staring contest?“, the whole deal.
- Nice little callback to Obi-Wan’s favorite method of distracting stormtroopers—making noises happen elsewhere.
- I don’t feel like snowspeeders have enough space for four passengers? I mean, I guess you could all just climb on top of each other, but they’re definitely only set up for two pilots.
- Full credit to Deborah Chow, that second-to-last shot was beautifully done: Leia comforting Obi-Wan while Tala comforts Sully on opposite sides of the transport.
- I do like seeing Obi-Wan’s technique beginning to show again in his lightsaber moves. He was an advocate of Form… III? *checks* Yes, my random childhood lightsaber reading has served me well. The point is that Form III is one of the most defensive modes, created to help Jedi deflect blaster fire while expending as little bodily energy as possible.
- The tomb showed Jedi Pablo-Jill in one of the shots, but the biggest upset there was surely Tera Sinube, an elderly Cosian Jedi whose species always reminded me of dinosaurs. He was an investigator (basically a Force-detective?), and knew the most of any Jedi about the Coruscant underworld, hence his helping a young Ahsoka Tano find her lost lightsaber on the black market at one point… Clone Wars was great, y’all, what can I say.
Next Wednesday! You and me and the galaxy’s tiniest probe droid who used to be Leia’s best friend?