Disney Star Wars goes further with Anakin’s Jedi massacre than Lucas dared to

Disney Star Wars goes further with Anakin’s Jedi massacre than Lucas dared to

Revisitations of Order 66 aren’t uncommon in the Star Wars franchise, but Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5 proved that Lucasfilm’s work under Disney has gone much further in detailing Anakin’s (Hayden Christensen) horrific actions. Despite Emperor Palpatine intending Order 66 to kill all Jedi as deemed enemies of the Republic, various Star Wars TV shows have revealed some Force users were spared. In revealing another survivor, though, Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi goes further than George Lucas’ prequel trilogy ever went in exploring how cruel Anakin’s slaughter of the younglings at the Jedi Temple truly was in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Warning! SPOILERS for Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5 ahead.

Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t the first Disney Star Wars series to introduce a survivor of the younglings’ slaughter, as both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett already revealed that Grogu was saved from the Jedi Temple massacre. Still, being a series set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, it shows how the Inquisitors look not only for all Jedi who managed to escape, but also for generally Force-sensitive people with no affiliation to the Jedi Order. While Anakin’s killing of the younglings marked for many viewers the moment he fully committed to the dark side, Obi-Wan Kenobi paints an even more horrific scenario, letting Reva (Moses Ingram), a survivor of Anakin’s horrific actions, reluctantly tell her story.

The Star Wars original trilogy introduced Darth Vader as a fearsome villain, but Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t hesitate to show just how gruesome and ruthless Anakin truly became when he joined the dark side. Reva’s heartbreaking talk with Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5 fully underscores this, putting the pain of Moses Ingram’s Inquisitor Reva first. 

The scene focuses on the younglings’ perspective and Reva’s point of view when she played dead to survive while the people she saw as the only family she knew were being slaughtered by someone they thought was an ally. It’s shot in a way that their fear cannot be overlooked, with Anakin looming menacingly under his black cowl. By introducing his victims’ point of view, Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi takes Anakin’s younglings’ slaughter further than George Lucas’ prequel trilogy ever did, making the event feel even more harrowing than it already was.

While Revenge of the Sith already gave importance to the act, it showed the slaughter as something terrible, but functional to the plot; at that moment, Anakin’s actions were meant to show how far he had fallen. But by focusing on the victims, especially one who also survived the slaughter as Reva did, Obi-Wan Kenobi makes the Jedi Temple attack even more real. 

Viewers are reminded of the horrific impact Order 66 had on people who survived it, people like Reva. Even a decade later, her raw feelings get the better of her in her talk with Obi-Wan, culminating in the heart-wrenching lines, “Where were you when he was killing my friends?” and “Why didn’t you stop him? Why didn’t you save us?”

Reva’s pain is made visible and unavoidable by her flashbacks, both in her talk with Obi-Wan and her duel with Vader, which left her wounded on Jabiim. Their final duel in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5 puts a spotlight on her visible fear when Vader is involved, and even worse, it proves that Vader remembers her as he calls her youngling. 

While mercy might have defeated Vader in Return of the Jedi, letting him have a redemption story through Luke and sacrifice, Obi-Wan Kenobi makes it almost impossible to believe that Vader could be worthy of redemption, as it depicts him as a villain darker than anything George Lucas ever showed.

New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi release every Wednesday on Disney+.

 

Leave a Reply