Everyone knows that Star Wars “rhymes,” but as this galaxy far away keeps expanding, the poetry of those rhymes is getting more nuanced and more complicated. Obi-Wan Kenobi was no exception, featuring countless parallels to Star Wars stories we’ve seen before, and in its finale episode, the Disney+ series makes a surprising connection to one of the most divisive entries in the Skywalker saga: The Last Jedi.
Warning. Spoilers ahead for Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6.
Episode 6 of Obi-Wan Kenobi has more than its fair share of memorable moments. The Disney+ series’ finale features several sequences that’ll likely go down in Star Wars history, including an epic new lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). In case that wasn’t enough, Liam Neeson also returns as Qui-Gon Jinn in the episode’s final scene.
There are several moments throughout the episode that also feel hugely (and intentionally) reminiscent of certain beats from previous Star Wars films. At least, that’s certainly true of one powerful moment during Obi-Wan and Darth Vader’s thrilling new duel, which calls to mind a similar scene from 2017’s Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi.
Overcoming Doubt — The midpoint of Obi-Wan and Anakin’s climactic duel in the Kenobi finale finds McGregor’s Jedi Master trapped under a pile of rocks that his former padawan piled on top of him. Plagued by painful moments from his past, Obi-Wan only gathers the strength to move the rocks off of him after he is flooded with brief glimpses of the time he’s spent around Luke (Grant Feely) and Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair).
The rush of images gives Obi-Wan the renewed strength he needs to free himself from Darth Vader’s makeshift pit. After chasing Vader down and re-engaging with him, Obi-Wan gets the upper hand in their fight when he lifts numerous boulders into the air and hurls them all at his former padawan.
Not only is this moment awe-inspiring in its own right, but it also feels distinctly reminiscent of when Rey (Daisy Ridley) uses the Force to lift dozens of boulders at the end of The Last Jedi to help the Resistance escape certain doom.
Saving Those You Love — At the start of both Obi-Wan and The Last Jedi, Rey and Ben Kenobi are unsure of themselves, which results in their connections to the Force becoming unbalanced. However, over the course of The Last Jedi’s 152-minute runtime and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s 6-episode story, both characters learn to root themselves and their connection to the Force in the love they feel for those close to them.
This gives Rey and Obi-Wan the strength needed to reorient their spiritual sides. Once they are able to reach that level of understanding, Rey and Obi-Wan’s moments of enlightenment are externalized when they are both forced to — as Rey would say — lift rocks with the Force.
In the case of Obi-Wan, he not only lifts rocks in the Kenobi finale in order to climb out of a suffocating pit (the metaphor could not be more clear) but also does it as a means of attack against Darth Vader. For Rey, lifting the rocks that she finds piled before her on Crait is the only way she can save her friends in The Last Jedi. In other words, after putting certain contextual differences aside, it becomes clear the two moments in Kenobi and The Last Jedi serve very similar purposes.
Both The Last Jedi and Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6 use the lifting of massive boulders to visualize the moments in which their heroes are allowed to, finally, unburden themselves of their greatest emotional insecurities and save the ones they love.
The Inverse Analysis — The Obi-Wan Kenobi finale draws inspiration from a number of different Star Wars sources, and it manages to pay homage to what’s come before while also remixing certain beats to accommodate its own story. That’s especially true of its callback to Rey’s triumphant moment at the end of The Last Jedi. While the two scenes in question differ in their own ways, they accomplish similar things.
Obi-Wan Kenobi understands, much like The Last Jedi, that something as simple as lifting rocks can be a powerful way of showcasing a hero’s connection to the Force, but only if the act itself makes emotional sense. For both Rey and Obi-Wan, lifting the rocks that lay before them is the only way they can protect those they love, so that’s exactly what they do.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is streaming now on Disney+.