Last episode, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) survived his encounter with his former apprentice, Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen/James Earl Jones), although he receives some pretty bad burn injuries, which mirror those Vader inflicted in their previous fight in “Star Wars: Episode III” on Mustafar. But young Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) has been kidnapped again by Reva Sevander/Third Sister (Moses Ingram) who is prepared to torture or even kill her to learn any information leading to the location of the last remining Jedi. As such, Part IV sees Kenobi and Tala (Indira Varma), an Imperial officer he met last episode who helps Jedi escape and find new lives, have to free Leia from the Inquisitors’ base, Fortress Inquisitorius.
This episode strongly mirrors “Episode IV — A New Hope,” with Kenobi evading stormtroopers in the Imperial base to rescue Leia much like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo will do in that film. It does beg the question: How many times has Leia gotten captured by Imperials in her life? She has also been branded as a Jedi sympathizer in this episode despite being just 10 years-old, which should have serious ramifications on her future. By Episode IV, she becomes an Imperial senator — I’m just not sure how she’s going to get out of all of this in a way that erases any suspicion until then.
This does feel like a filler episode, but it does flesh out the Empire’s brutality — we see (presumably) dead Jedi, frozen in some amberlike substance in the basement of the base who didn’t want to turn into Inquisitors, of whom the internet will no doubt identify in the following days. And it’s still very unclear what’s going on with Sevander — she seemed fully-prepared to kill Leia, then when Kenobi inevitably rescues her, she claims she lets him go, hoping to track where he’d take her.
I’m not sure what her plan is or her endgame, but I am certain that if she actually confronts Kenobi, she will be obliterated in that fight. Unlike his fight with Vader last episode, where he was overwhelmed and unfamiliar with his fighting tactics — as well as overcome with emotions at the sight of his former apprentice — Kenobi has a clear sense of purpose in defending Leia from Sevander, and he’s encountered her a few times over the course of this series. A lot of fans have complained about how aggressive her character is, and it’s definitely intentional — Kenobi will probably use it to his advantage and unbalance her.
I also strongly believe that the Grand Inquisitor will make a comeback by the series’ end. As I’ve explained in my theories article for this show, he died way too easily, and he know he appears later in “Rebels,” which takes place a few years after this show. I’m also skeptical of the level of freedom Vader has allowed her — I don’t think he would allow someone who has frequently been insubordinate to stay long-term as an Inquisitor unless he’s using her and plans to dispose of her later.
Overall, this episode wasn’t as strong as Part III, but it doesn’t have to be. Part V and VI now have the large task of wrapping this series up — I’m still not a fan of the six-episode season format Disney Plus has embraced.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” Season 1: Part IV gets a 7/10