WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6.
The story of Obi-Wan Kenobi had several objectives — one being to develop a complex cast of characters, many of them familiar to large portion of viewers, in a very short amount of time. Less than six hours isn’t a lot of room to tell a complete story. But by focusing on the emotional journeys of its main players, the show succeeded where many before it may have fallen short.
Reva is perhaps the most important example to note. She had the opportunity to strike down defenseless, innocent prey the same way Anakin Skywalker once had. But she chose to honor her fallen friends by letting Luke Skywalker live. She chose not to follow the same path that birthed Darth Vader. She chose to be someone else. No one made that choice for her; no one else could have. She is free because she chose to be free.
Obi-Wan, also, chose to let go of his need to feel responsible for Vader and what his former apprentice had become. He chose to put his trust in Owen and Beru, to move forward and further away from his past mistakes even if he never forgot them.
Vader chose, too. When Palpatine accused him of obsessing over Kenobi, he chose to finally cut ties with his old master — once and for all — in favor of his new one. When he tells Obi-Wan who’s really responsible for Anakin Skywalker’s death, he committed to carrying the full weight of that blame for the rest of his life.
The show’s story needed to set each of its characters at a starting point and put them through trials to get them to a different place at the end. This manifested in each of these characters having to make choices that set them on their own respective paths. That is why this story matters. Obi-Wan Kenobi needed to get from “Jedi survivor” to “hopeful master.” To get there, he had to get to a point where he had to choose to leave the past behind and embrace the future.
So much of Star Wars is about choice. Vader choosing to save Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi. Rey choosing the Skywalker name at the end of the sequel trilogy. Every choice we make in life defines the steps we take later. We can’t always see where every decision will lead, but it usually works out how the Force wills it in the end.
All episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are now streaming on Disney+.
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