Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 3 Delivers Plenty Of Surprises

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

With the young Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) in tow, Ben Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is whisked away to the distant mining planet of Mapuzo. They're told they'll find help out there, but all they find is a ravaged planet and Imperials everywhere. The pair hitch a ride with Freck (Zach Braff), a mole-like alien who loves the Empire. He tries selling them out and Ben and Leia have to fight their way through. When an Imperial Officer helps them into the outpost, they discover this to be Tala (Indira Varma), a woman who works to help Jedi on the run. She's got a plan to get Ben and Leia off-planet, but things are complicated when Darth Vader arrives on Mapuzo with a desire to capture and torture his old master.

The episode ends with Tala having rescued Ben from the clutches of the Empire, but young Leia having fallen into the hands of Reva, the ruthless Third Sister.

This brings us to the mid-point of the series, wondering how things could possibly play out from here.

Kind, but sad

One of the lines Leia has in "Return of the Jedi" has had fans scratching their heads for a long time. When Luke asks her on the forest moon of Endor if she remembers her real mother, Leia recalls that it's fleeting. "Images really, just feelings. She died when I was very young. She was very beautiful. Kind, but sad."

This echoes a conversation Obi-Wan has with Leia in this episode, as he talks about being taken from his family as a baby on Stewjon. "I still have glimpses, flashes really," he tells her, "My mother's shawl, my father's hands. I remember a baby. Yes, I think I had a brother."

Leia seems to want to know more about her mother, which is why she creates the cover story with the Stormtroopers about her mother being dead. Kids don't think that quick on their feet unless there's something that's on their mind a lot. It creates a poignant, touching moment that deepens both Obi-Wan's history and Leia's character, giving us a glimpse of her latent Jedi powers and another layer of reasoning behind these lines from the 1983 film. Some fans have mistaken her comments as a continuity error, but I would argue they lacked imagination and didn't put the dots together, as this scene in "Obi-Wan Kenobi" has.

Obi-Wan also gets to talk to Leia about the Force itself, which, in a way, is the beginning of her training.

Quinlan Vos's survival

The biggest revelation to Obi-Wan in this episode, besides the twisted metal appearance of his former apprentice, is likely the fact that Quinlan Vos has survived this late in the purge. For those who don't remember, Quinlan Vos was first mentioned in the film canon in "Revenge of the Sith." Obi-Wan tells Anakin that Quinlan has moved his troops to Boz Pity. But Quinlan himself appears briefly in "The Phantom Menace" and was the star of a number of Legends comics.

He teamed up with Obi-Wan Kenobi in some episodes of "The Clone Wars" and featured prominently in "Dark Disciple", a novel based on unproduced stories from that television show, where Quinlan is assigned to assassinate Count Dooku and gets involved with Asajj Ventress to do it.

He's a fan favorite Jedi, and many fans will be pleased to hear of his survival to this point. Tala refers to his help in smuggling Force-sensitive younglings out of places like Mapuzo, giving hope that we might see him in future storytelling. Perhaps he was partially responsible for Grogu's survival, we may never know.

Things to watch out for

For those looking for some of the smaller details in the episode that connect to the broader universe, look no further.

The first is Vader's Castle on Mustafar. Its first appearance was in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" but it goes back to a sketch Ralph McQuarrie did as he designed the original "Star Wars" trilogy. Its construction and further use appeared in a number of "Darth Vader" comics as well, giving Vader a base of operations in the place of his birth.

Another base of operations seen in this episode is the Fortress Inquisitorius on the moon of Nur, outside of Mustafar. It first appeared in the game "Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order" and is the headquarters of the Inquisitor program. When Kanan Jarus is taken to this system, it was noted that this was where Jedi go to die. Later in the episode, Tala talks about the Empire hunting even Force-sensitive children and seeing them simply vanish, it's likely that many of them ended up here.

A couple of things to watch out for on the Imperial side of things: the launching of probe droids echoes Vader's use of them in "The Empire Strikes Back" as he hunted for the rebels hiding his son. The Stormtroopers are also in classic form, commenting to each other at one point about "that new T-16." This has been a throwaway bit of conversation in "Star Wars" dating back to 1977, and this has a second meaning hidden into it, as a T-16 is the sort of ship Luke flew in Beggar's Canyon back on Tatooine.

Tala talks about getting Jedi out to the planet of Jabiim, which appears in some canon storytelling, as a mining planet the First Order enslaved Wookiees to obtain. Chewbacca was slated to head there, but with the help of a porg named Terbus, he was able to slip through their grasp.

And yes, that was Zach Braff from "Garden State" and "Scrubs" fame as Freck, the brown-nosing alien who tries to sell out Ben and Leia. His "Scrubs" co-star Donald Faison is a massive "Star Wars" fan, too, and joined the universe as Hype Fazon on "Star Wars Resistance."

Corran Horn

One thing I missed in the second episode, and I hope it will bear fruit in the future, is the cameo of Nyche and Corran Horn. They're the people Haja Estree cons into getting off of Daiyu and helps them get to Corellia. Corran Horn is a fan-favorite character from the Legends timeline, created by Michael A. Stackpole. He ended up flying in Rogue Squadron and joining Luke's Jedi Academy. It's telling that they would send this iteration of Corran to Corellia, because the Legends version of Corran ended up working with CorSec, the Corellian Security Force, before joining up with the Rebellion against the Empire. This would make him just the right age to join up with Luke sometime in the Mandalorian timeline, and let's all hope he does.

The verdict

This episode really plays into the idea that the Jedi at the end of the Clone Wars were very much in their prime. Obi-Wan is completely out of practice in his confrontation with Vader, and Vader feels like he's chopping trees more than fighting elegantly. This confrontation is emotional, and shows Obi-Wan doing his best to avoid it, but Vader's thirst for revenge is too great. It's heartbreaking to watch Vader force Obi-Wan to watch him murder innocents to goad him into action, brutal and ruthless.

Twisted and evil, indeed.

The thing I appreciated most about this episode is Obi-Wan's trauma and patience. Obi-Wan was always kind and patient, but he's dealing with a lot of trauma and he's having a difficult time with snapping at Leia. He hasn't learned his lessons quite yet and he's still learning how to walk that line and pull himself back from the despair he's feeling. In the episode, he talks about how the Force feels like turning on a light in the dark, and he's having trouble finding his switch.

It makes me wonder when we'll see him decide to search for that light in Anakin as the rest of the show unfolds. We see him haunted by the Anakin he knew in the fields of Mapuzo, and something tells me this is just the beginning.

There are three more episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" left, new episodes premiere on Wednesdays on Disney+.