Obi-Wan Kenobi finale is the episode I’ve been waiting for — here’s why

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+
(Image credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

The Obi-Wan Kenobi finale is here, and I'm thankfully relieved and happy about it. Which is a far cry from where I was on day one. Originally, I argued that the storyline involving young Princess Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) just felt too off. Her behavior was too erratic, even for someone who grows up to become a key leader of the rebellion.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi story being more about Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Leia also felt like a huge bait-and-switch from the original hype. We were sold a Disney Plus Star Wars show about the rematch between Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, with the latter played by a returning Hayden Christensen. 

But up until episode 5, we didn't actually see the actor's face beyond a glimpse in a bacta tank. Even then we only saw Christensen in flashbacks, and it all felt too little too late. But friends told me "Patience you must have, my young Padawan."

Read next: Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally pitched as a trilogy — what does this mean for possible season 2?

And, fortunately, the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale delivered exactly what it needed to. In just seven lines of dialogue, in fact. Here's the Obi-Wan Kenobi moment that "fixed" the show for me.

The moment Hayden Christiansen and Darth Vader needed

During the climactic fight-scene in the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale, the Jedi Master and his former pupil clash once more. While that fight is cool and interesting, it's the dialogue, and a bit of costume work that meant the most — emotionally speaking. 

After Obi-Wan slices a bit of Vader's helmet off, he can finally look his former Padawan in the eyes. And so he says, "Anakin," right before he gets cut off.

Darth Vader (played by Hayden Christiansen) in Obi-Wan Kenobi, looking into fire

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Darth Vader replies in a voice that's mixed between James Earl Jones' and Christensen's, "Anakin is gone I am what remains." Dealing with remorse, seeing the scarred face that he played a part in creating at the end of Episode III, Kenobi replies "I'm sorry. I'm sorry Anakin, for all of it."

But Vader refuses to accept this apology, shouting "I am not your failure Obi-Wan. You did not kill Anakin Skywalker. I did, the same way I will destroy you!" 

Here, we get more of Christensen's voice, as we see more of his face.

Hayden Christiansen will reprise the role of Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker in Obi-Wan Kenobi

(Image credit: Lucasfilm Ltd and Disney Plus)

Kenobi replies, "Then my friend is truly dead, ... goodbye Darth." And the word 'Darth' sounds so completely unnatural, as if it's a word Kenobi still doesn't believe. Vader yells "Obi-Wan!" as Kenobi leaves, and I'm sitting there emotionally satisfied. 

This is exactly what this series needed. To have a moment of emotional vulnerability, at least on one side of the equation. Vader's not ready for that yet, and he won't be for a long time.

The other big Obi-Wan finale moments

While I appreciated how Reva found her way back to the Light side, the other big moment that I was happy to see was all about Leia. As noted above, I wasn't originally sold on her playing such a huge part of this story.

What I didn't realize then, though, was how important Leia could be to Obi-Wan. Stuck under an avalanche of rock that Vader dropped on him, Kenobi found his strength in thoughts of Leia. 

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

It's the most obvious connection. Obi-Wan lost faith in himself because of Anakin's decisions, and turning to the Dark side, and his connection with Leia is the perfect counter. The one thing that helps him rekindle his personal strength.

That bond is shown in no better place than the holster Obi Wan gifted the princess, which she proudly brandishes. You can tell exactly why she believed he was her only hope later in The Skywalker Saga.

Outlook: Obi-Wan Kenobi shouldn't have a season 2

Yes, there are 9 years between the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi and A New Hope, so there's legit potential for a sequel season. But Obi-Wan Kenobi was clearly written to be a single story: How and why Ben Kenobi became Obi-Wan again, and how he found himself during the dark times of the Empire. 

The missing part of the Obi-Wan Kenobi story has been told. Now we see how he finally came face-to-face with Anakin/Darth Vader, offering some closure on their relationship, and how his bond with Leia saved him.

That's not to say I don't want to see some of these characters again. A show starring just Roken (O'Shea Jackson) and Sully (Maya Erskine), about their work on The Path could be the best Star Wars show yet. Especially if they helped Grogu to freedom.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.