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Wednesday morning saw the beginning of the second half of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus, and Part IV advanced the plot significantly while providing a lot of fun look-backs at aspects of the saga as well as look-aheads for some of the characters in the show.

There were so many neat callbacks, I decided to separate them into short lists.

The Phantom Menace
Obi-Wan swims underwater on the planet Nur to access the Fortress Inquisitorious. He uses the same kind of rebreather device we see him and Qui-Gon use to get to Otoh Gunga early on in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999).

Attack of the Clones
I wonder if this bit will come up in one of the final two episodes. It also finds threads in two different Star Wars films.

As Reva interrogates Leia on Nur, she covertly places a tracking device on Leia's droid Lola. Lola typically lights up with a blue light, but in the episode's final shot, her eye port lights up red, indicating it is in tracking mode for the Empire.

In Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002), Obi-Wan throws a tracking device on Jango Fett's Slave I when their battle on Kamino ends in a draw. This ensures Obi-Wan will be able to track the bounty hunter to his next stop, even though he failed to apprehend Jango.

A New Hope
The tracking device trick also works ahead to Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). Darth Vader confronts Reva after Obi-Wan, Leia and Tala escape Nur, blaming her for her failures. As she is being Force choked, Reva reveals she placed a tracking device with the party. Vader releases his hold on her after learning the news. This is a trick Vader will himself use in ANH when the Millennium Falcon escapes the Death Star. Recall Grand Moff Tarkin's line to Vader. "You sure the homing beacon is secure aboard their ship? I'm taking an awful risk, Vader. This had better work." My guess is Vader knows it's going to work, because he saw Reva do it 10 years earlier.

Another nice visual callback to ANH is the idle communicator left on the desk of an Imperial facility. Tala has to leave the communicator when she is confronted by another Imperial Officer in the fortress. The shot recalls the shot in ANH when C-3PO forgot the communicator in the Death Star control room as Luke Skywalker is trying to contact him.

Leia's resistance to Reva's Force probe into her mind not only conjures up Leia's mind probe resistance in ANH, but also calls back to Rey pushing back on Kylo Ren's Force mind probe in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). 

Obi-Wan also uses a Jedi trick to distract two stormtroopers searching for him on the fortress, the same trick he uses after disabling the Death Star's tractor beam in ANH. 

Jedi Fallen Order
The callback here is obvious. Fortress Inquisitorious is the final map location of this 2019 video game where Cal Kestis and Cere break in during the last level of the game. This location from the game is faithfully recreated for live action in this episode. The structure resides mostly underwater, and a Jedi tomb is chillingly revealed as Obi-Wan is searching for a captive Leia.

Some have wondered why the fortress was such a mystery to Obi-Wan and Tala's contact, Roken (played by O'Shea Jackson Jr.), when Cal and Cere successfully breached the facility five years earlier. My theory is Cal Kestis has not made contact with any members of The Path since the events of Jedi Fallen Order. Cal likely stayed isolated from any larger groups at work in the galaxy.

The sequel to Jedi Fallen Order, Jedi Survivor, is slated to release for the newest-generation gaming consoles sometime in 2023, and is set in roughly the same time period as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
As Obi-Wan, Tala and Leia escape from Fortress Inquisitorious, they disguise themselves among the Imperial forces present. Taal simply dons her usual officer's uniform. She throws an officer's cap on Obi-Wan's head, and he dons a long duster jacket Hidden within that jacket is young Leia, who runs along to make any onlookers believe there are only two in their party.

This scene reminded me of the Mimban battle sequence early in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), when Rio Durant is similarly disguised. He is half the height of a normal human and uses the long cape and outfit of a Mudtrooper to disguise his true species. 

Obi-Wan Getting His Mojo Back
OK so this isn't a film, but it is my other primary takeaway from this episode. He was brutalized by Darth Vader at the end of Part III, where we really see how out-of-practice the former Jedi Master is in. Part IV opens with shots of Obi-Wan healing from his burns in a bacta tank. Some terrific back-and-forth shots of Vader, also recovering from their battle, in a bacta tank, shows the unlikely parallel journey these two are on, and the pain they continue to cause one another. 

After Obi-Wan exits the bacta tank, he is dressed more like what we're used to seeing him in from the films, and he speaks and acts with more confidence. The Force doesn't come as easily to him as it once did, but his lightsaber skills are still sharp, as he easily deflects blaster bolts and defeats a handful of stormtroopers as he breaks Leia out of Fortress Inquisitorious. 

The series started with a (properly) diminished Obi-Wan compared to what we know him as. He hits a low point when he is burned by Vader late in Part III, but Part IV acts as that first movement up from hitting bottom, as start to see small hints of the grand Obi-Wan we all grew to know and love through the prequel era. 

Moses Ingram continues to play Reva as unmistakably evil in this episode as well. She continuously lies to Leia during their interrogation, and each interaction between them becomes more intense, with Reva's pure evil blasting through the screen in every scene. 

This show continues to be everything I hoped it would be, and the stakes are set appropriately high as we head into next week's penultimate episode. Obi-Wan and Leia believe themselves to be safe, but the tracker placed on the droid Lola tells us differently. I can't wait.

Brad Monastiere
I live in Michigan and have been an unconditional fan of Star Wars and Indiana Jones for decades. Follow me on twitter @bmonastiere 

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