Obi-Wan Kenobi: episode four recap – a massive homage to A New Hope (with one key difference)

From the captured princess to Obi-Wan’s attempted rescue, this action-packed episode was much like the film that started the whole Star Wars franchise

Spoiler warning … this recap is for people who have been watching Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+. Do not read unless you have seen episodes one to four.

Hello there

The evolution of the bacta tank on screen in the Star Wars universe is interesting. (I say interesting in the very loosest fashion.) In the original trilogy, we only ever got a fleeting glimpse of one – Luke was submerged in one of the healing machines after the wampa attack in The Empire Strikes Back. And there are mentions in Rogue One and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but by the time of The Book of Boba Fett, we saw Boba heal in real time over seven episodes, complete with nightmarish flashbacks of his time living with the Tuskens.

And now to Obi-Wan Kenobi, where our hero, badly burned during his showdown in Part III, had a go. Thankfully – given how terminally boring great swathes of TBOBF were – Obi-Wan cut his time short so he could get to the meat of this week’s story.

After he hauled himself from the tank, we cut to Leia, sitting in a cell at the Fortress Inquisitorius (I thought that was a spell in Harry Potter?) doing her very best impression of herself in the opening of A New Hope. “You can’t keep me here, my father is Bail Organa, he’s a senator. I am a princess of Alderaan,” she said, foreshadowing her “I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan” declaration by about nine years.

And there we had the first of many nods to A New Hope in this episode. In fact, the plot was almost exactly the same as the 1977 film that kickstarted it all – we had a captured princess being questioned in an impenetrable fortress, a reluctant pilot, members of the gang dressed in Imperial uniform, with a past-it Jedi leading the way. This time, Obi-Wan made it out alive, and the only loss was a pilot we hadn’t really seen before. Let’s all down a shot of bantha milk for Wade Resselian.


Young Leia, played by Vivien Lyra Blair, has come in for criticism, with many commenters here saying they find her annoying. I’m going to go out on a limb and say she gets better and better with each episode, and stole the show here, the way she managed to stay so defiant and optimistic in the face of the Third Sister’s questioning. Her transition to headstrong leader of the Rebel Alliance is easy to imagine.


We are slowly being drip-fed information about Reva’s past, and her line about “losing everything” is another nod to her motive for helping wipe out the Jedi. Yes, she hates them, but not for what they stand for, but what happened after they fell. My guess is that she hates the Empire every bit as much as she despises her old order.

How long before someone realises there’s a tracking chip in Leia’s droid? And, assuming Reva doesn’t survive the series – I think it’s almost certain she won’t – who will be the one to kill her? Obi-Wan in a showdown, or Vader, in a scene reminiscent of the one here when he had her in a Force choke? And where is the Grand Inquisitor?

Notes and observations

  • I was wrong about O’Shea Jackson Jr’s character. I was hoping, despite the rumours otherwise, that he was going to be playing a younger version of Saw Gerrera. All the talk of Jabiim and the growing shoots of the rebellion got me excited. Nevertheless, he was great as Roken, and I especially enjoyed the way he referred to Obi-Wan as “General” – a nod to his role in the Clone Wars. Also, I couldn’t help but be amused by his light-speed fast U-turn from “I’ll never help, leave this planet at once” to “I was married to a Jedi once, absolutely count me in.” We will be seeing more of him.

  • Many commenters last week were outraged by the way Tala, Leia and Reva used the escape tunnel without passing each other. I, however, am happy to assume there was at least one other way in and way out of the tunnel and leave it at that. It’s not lazy writing or a plot hole, it’s just … not showing the audience the exact schematics of a tunnel.

  • Was that Obi-Wan’s old A99 aquata Jedi breathing device, first seen in the waters of Naboo in The Phantom Menace? I’m pleased he kept such a fancy bit of kit and didn’t bury it on Tatooine. You never know when something will come in handy again, do you?

  • It was also nice to see Obi-Wan end his swimming sequence with what is presumably a hitherto undiscovered Force power: Force Totally Dry Yourself Off. Or at least that, presumably, is the explanation for how he fails to be soaking wet when emerging from his time spent underwater.

  • Any clues on the Jedi in the tombs on Fortress Inquisitorius? I think that was Tera Sinube in the first capsule, the elderly Jedi and expert on the Coruscant crime world we met in The Clone Wars, helping Ahsoka track down her stolen lightsaber. There was also a very fleeting glimpse of Coleman Kcaj, a former member of the Jedi High Council. And the youngling … I couldn’t help think of the young Jedi in Revenge of the Sith, at the temple during Order 66: “Master Skywalker, there’s too many of them, what are we going to do?” Far more likely, that youngling was one of the five escapers we saw at the beginning of this series. That would take us to just two left of that initial group unaccounted for, excluding Nari, Reva and the youngling in formaldehyde. Is one of the others Roken’s aforementioned wife? Who else?

  • It also got me thinking about why the Empire is keeping those Jedi corpses. Merely as trophies, or something more sinister? Is this the beginning of the Emperor’s cloning exercise, as seen in full effect years later in The Rise of Skywalker? Or something more akin to the experiments done on poor Grogu in The Mandalorian? Is the Empire trying to extract midi-chlorians from those corpses, Jurassic Park-style?

  • The way Obi-Wan wielded his lightsaber, a few twirls here, a few fancy moves there, plus the way he held the shattering glass at bay until the right moment … I think someone is regaining his mastery of the Force. Just in time for another scrap with Vader in Part VI.

  • That heartbroken second pilot was played by Maya Erskine, star of PEN15. She’s listed as being in three episodes, so, as Tala said, it looks as if she is a soldier after all.

  • Finally, Obi-Wan changed his clothes. Forgetting the fact he worked as a fishmonger in the desert and his clothes could have probably walked to the fortress on their own, the Imperial uniform bought him a valuable few seconds before being rescued by the speeders. Maybe he’ll learn about laundry and disguise.

What did you think? Is the series still heading in the right direction? Have your say below …


Andy Welch

The GuardianTramp

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