WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6
Obi-Wan Kenobi completely altered its plans for Reva – here’s why the rewrite made for a better ending. From Tala the undercover Imperial to L0-LA the cheeky droid, Obi-Wan Kenobi introduces a raft of fresh faces into Star Wars lore, but few leave an impression quite like Moses Ingram’s Reva. A former Jedi Temple youngling who survived Order 66, Reva became an Inquisitor and worked her way up the Empire’s ladder all for a shot at killing Darth Vader. She fails, obviously. Vader defeats her without even drawing his lightsaber… but he doesn’t take her life.
That’s not how Reva’s Obi-Wan Kenobi story was supposed to end. According to writer Stuart Beattie – whose contribution to Obi-Wan Kenobi began when Disney were still eyeing a full Ewan McGregor movie trilogy – Darth Vader would’ve killed Reva after their one-sided duel. Beattie believes Reva’s bloody Third Sister antics put her beyond redemption, and his original draft made Reva responsible for convincing Darth Vader to stop hunting his former master. Beattie’s Reva plan does a much better job of maintaining Darth Vader’s ruthless characterization, and avoids the weird subplot where Reva kidnaps Luke Skywalker (for reasons known only to herself) then hands him straight back.
Based on Stuart Beattie’s descriptions (via The Direct), however, Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s finale would’ve been worse had Reva’s fate remained unchanged. Beattie is correct in saying Reva doesn’t deserve redemption come Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s end. She stole countless innocent lives on her quest for revenge, and that level of bloodshed can’t be swept under the rug unless your name’s Ben Solo. Nevertheless, Reva spending a decade vying for Darth Vader’s charred head only to die pathetically at his feet within seconds feels both unsatisfying and incomplete. Luke Skywalker’s kidnap might’ve played out a little strangely, but it facilitates an all-important conversation between Reva and Obi-Wan. It’s here the Third Sister finally accepts the moral gravity of her actions, realizing she became the very thing she swore to kill. This moment digs into the heart of Reva’s motivations – honoring her fellow fallen younglings – and is crucial to understanding her character arc.
Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6’s final Reva scene is also vital for Ewan McGregor’s character. Throughout his entire solo series, Kenobi has lamented “failing” Anakin, but that mental burden is lifted after Darth Vader himself says it was he who truly vanquished Anakin Skywalker. When Reva asks Obi-Wan, “Have I become him?” and Kenobi replies, “No… you have chosen not to” the old Jedi master finally moves beyond Anakin’s shadow by doing something he couldn’t earlier in the series – help a fellow Jedi find their way. This exchange also directly sets up Anakin’s redemption in Return of the Jedi, since Obi-Wan acknowledges lost souls can come back to the light… if they choose to do so.
Reva surviving her Darth Vader encounter also benefits Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s ending more generally. Without her presence in the finale, we don’t get Uncle Owen and Aunt “Badass” Beru putting their lives on the line to defend Luke Skywalker. The battle is Owen and Beru’s undisputed Star Wars highlight, easily trumping past moments like telling Luke to come in for dinner and burning to death off-screen. More seriously, their impassioned defense perfectly demonstrates a deep love for Luke. Without Reva’s kidnap, the ice between Obi-Wan and Owen doesn’t thaw either, meaning that heartwarming finale exchange between Kenobi and young Luke never happens. Lastly, Stuart Beattie originally intended the dying Reva to somehow quash Darth Vader’s Kenobi obsession. Emperor Palpatine inherits this job in the finished episode, and he makes far more sense for the role. Vader is still clinging to Anakin’s attachments, and Palpatine is desperately trying to kill that side of his apprentice – unsuccessfully, as it turns out.
Perhaps Reva’s death made sense in the context of a movie trilogy, but for the TV series Obi-Wan Kenobi eventually became, her survival made for a better ending, improving not only her character but the final episode as a whole. And with so much Star Wars in the pipeline, keeping good characters around leaves doors open for future appearances…
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