Star Wars Television

Hayden Christensen Returns as Anakin in Penultimate ‘Obi-Wan’

After dragging its heels in last week’s episode, fans began to question if Obi-Wan Kenobi fell off the hype train. After all, Obi-Wan’s infiltration of the Inquisitor’s base felt anti-climatic and unoriginal. Thankfully, the miniseries bounced back by giving fans what they wanted to see. Obi-Wan’s character development continues, learning about Reva’s past, and, most importantly, the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker! 

Not to mention, Vader continues to be the badass fans know, love, and fear.

Hayden Returns as Anakin

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Part V- Hayden is Back
Source-Tumblr, Disney

The episode opens with a flashback that made millions of Prequel fans cry out in joy: the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, still just a Padawan. When the Prequels first came out, Hayden received a lot of flak for how he portrayed Anakin. Fortunately, time has softened people’s views on the films and has made fans look back at them fondly. Plus, one can hardly tell that Hayden’s playing a man who’s half his age now. 

The relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan serves as the driving Force of the episode, symbolized through their sparring match in the flashback. Not only does it bring back the acrobatic moves found in the Prequels (was that so hard, Abrams?), it highlights the dynamic between master and student. Obi-Wan is, as always, the cool, collected, and rational mentor trying to help his student overcome his flaws. Anakin, for his part, feels more cocky than angsty, like his portrayal in The Clone Wars show. It’s both wholesome yet heartbreaking to watch since you know how their relationship ends.

The worst part, though? It’s the fact that Obi-Wan blames himself, even though it’s not entirely his fault.

The Jedi Failed Anakin

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Part V- Anakin and Obi-Wan Spar
Source-Tumblr, Disney

As Reva and Vader track Obi-Wan and Leia back to Jabiim and the Path’s base, they lock the place down while the Path races to get all the Force-Sensitives to safety. To stall for time, Obi-Wan tries negotiating with Reva, to which she calls him out for his failure to stop Anakin from falling to the Dark Side. While Obi-Wan deserves some of the blame, though, he’s not the only one at fault. The Jedi as a whole failed Anakin.

The Jedi touted themselves as defenders of peace and justice. So, they decided the best way to do that and connect to the Force was by locking themselves inside their temples and trying to avoid attachments and emotions. As such, when Anakin clearly needed help dealing with his emotional issues, they remained apathetic or saw it as a weakness. In other words, Obi-Wan didn’t know how to help Anakin when he needed it most, and that pushed him into Sidious’ clutches and turned him into Vader. Despite this, it’s something that still haunts Obi-Wan and why he was so broken in the premiere. He can’t even say whether or not he wants Anakin dead now.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Part V-Armor-Piercing Question
Source-Tumblr, Disney

Eventually, the Empire does get in, with Tala dying to buy the Path time to escape. However, it almost comes too late, as Vader personally arrives to bring them down. It’s at this point where everyone’s reminded that, cyborg or not, Vader remains almost unmatched in power.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Part V- Vader's Flex
Source-Tumblr, Disney

In the old EU, Vader’s injuries significantly nerfed his powers. Part of the reason why he goes after his son is that he knows he can’t beat Sidious without help, the handicap was so great. Thanks to Disney, while Vader’s movement gets slowed down, his power in the Force isn’t just strong. It’s even stronger. Case in point, Vader uses the Force to pull a shuttle out of the sky single-handedly. With one hand. 

Reva Was in the Temple

Then, he immediately follows this up by showing Reva how powerful he really is. As some fans speculated, Reva was a youngling survivor of the Jedi Temple during Order 66. Her whole reason for joining the Inquisitors was so she could kill Vader. However, Vader shows off just how far beneath him Reva is, only using the Force and her own lightsabers to bring her down. It’s a significant flex, made even worse by revealing he knew what she planned from the start. The Grand Inquisitor isn’t even dead!

In the end, Obi-Wan, Leia, and the Path get on their escape ship, but the Empire’s not far behind them. Worse still, Reva remains alive, and thanks to a poorly-timed message from Senator Organa, she learns about Luke. Luke’s life is now in danger, ending the episode on a deadly cliffhanger.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Part V-The Grand Inquisitor Lives
Source-Tumblr, Disney

There’s no telling what will happen in the final episode of the miniseries. Many fans still hope that Obi-Wan and Vader will have a proper rematch. If this episode is any indication, though, Disney has something big planned for the finale. At least, that’s what fans hope will happen. 

I Give “Part V” a 4.5/5

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