Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 Stages A Thrilling Cyberpunk Rescue

There will be spoilers ahed for "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Episode II.

As Obi-Wan Kenobi sets out to the planet Daiyu in order to rescue Princess Leia Organa (played to perfection by Viven Lyra Blair), he finds that the galaxy is not the same as he left it. He struggles to find his footing and make his way to Leia Organa. To his credit, his skills aren't so rusty and, with the help of a con man pretending to be a Jedi, Haja Estree (Kumail Nanjiani), he tracks down Vect and the stolen Princess easily. But it's all been a trap of the Inquisitors. Kenobi is in a fight for his life as Reva lets every bounty hunter on the planet know that Kenobi is there, but he also has to contend with a headstrong little girl who doesn't trust him at all. The two of them fight their way off of Daiyu, but not before Obi-Wan Kenobi discovers a startling secret: Anakin Skywalker is alive.

As he reaches out with the Force, it's apparent that his former apprentice senses him as well.

The plight of the clones

One of the best moments in this second episode comes with a brief cameo from Temuera Morrison as a homeless veteran of the Clone War, panhandling for change with his clone helmet. This moment rips at Obi-Wan. He doesn't seem to know this clone in particular, but he fought alongside these men for years during the galactic conflict that ended the way of things. To see them discarded in this way, utterly untaken care of by the Empire they helped establish, is a particular disappointment. To date, we've only seen a few clones in their retirement and they've all had better lives than this particular one, so it's interesting to see how they're moved aside for an army of conscripts.

In "Star Wars: The Bad Batch," Tarkin explains this transition, as it's much cheaper to recruit the dregs of society than it is to breed perfect warriors. And as they aged out of the army, these clones were merely forgotten. It's so great to see Temuera Morrison reprising the role again here in live action, it's something that gives hope to everyone who wants to see Captain Rex in "Star Wars: Ahsoka."

Details to watch out for

There are echoes of classic films and "Star Wars" movies. Kumail Nanjiani's character feels like a composite of characters from "Star Wars" and "Casablanca," the con man with a heart of gold has as much in common with DJ and Han Solo as he does with Rick and Captain Renault. The setup for the episode feels very much like a John Woo film, where all of the scum and the bounty hunters are after Kenobi, even though he's dealing with so much already.

The entire episode adds so much to Carrie Fisher's delivery of the line, "Ben Kenobi? Where is he?!" in "A New Hope." It establishes so much of their rapport and adds greatly to those moments. Then, Kenobi is able to hit the higher emotional chords when he is able to see Padmé in the young, take-charge princess. That he gets to tell the girl about her mother, albeit obliquely, is a heartbreaking delight.

Another thing to watch out for in this episode particularly are Ewan McGregor's adoption of Alec Guinness mannerisms. Watching him stroke his beard just so looks as though it comes right from "A New Hope," but this younger, scrappier Obi-Wan adds a Toshiro Mifune bent to it, somehow evoking those Kurosawa roots with the smallest of actions.

What's up with the Inquisitor?

We watch as Reva (Moses Ingram) runs a lightsaber through the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend.) But how can this be? We know the Grand Inquisitor survives through to "Star Wars Rebels" in order to bedevil the days of Kanan and Ezra. Likely, this is a narrative choice to incapacitate the Inquisitor and take him off the board. That opens narrative possibilities for Reva and increase the stakes of the standoff with Obi-Wan and Reva herself.

Obi-Wan would no doubt be able to handle the Inquisitor by himself, so taking him off the board to fight another day makes a lot of sense.

What I'm saying is: he's more than likely not dead. So don't count him out just yet.

The final word

This episode builds beautifully on the first, adding deeper layers of complications for Obi-Wan and bringing Anakin Skywalker as Darth Vader back into the forefront. This is going to be the confrontation of the century between the two of them, much more emotionally. There's a reason the recap at the beginning of the first episode reminds us of Padmé's admission that there is still good in him. Obi-Wan has to try one more time to turn him back to the good side. This story is hinted at in "Return of the Jedi," when Luke tells his father that the Emperor hasn't driven the light from him fully. "Obi-Wan once thought as you do," Vader tells his son, but we've never seen that on screen.

Now is our chance.

And as we have four more episodes of this show left, I can't wait to finally see it.