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That Surprise Death in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Created a Missed Opportunity

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Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5 spoilers follow.

In a show that revolves around iconic Star Wars characters such as Ben, Anakin, Leia and even Luke, it says a lot that someone new like Tala Durith (Indira Varma) has emerged as a fan favourite in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Originally conceived as a love interest for Obi-Wan (according to Entertainment Weekly), Tala’s shtick as a Rebel in disguise quickly won us over across the first five episodes.

Time and time again, Tala has used her Imperial credentials to help rescue Force-sensitive people to escape the Inquisitors’ wrath, and once Obi-Wan entered the picture, she helped him over and over again too, always at great risk to herself.

In fact, it’s safe to say that Ben wouldn’t even be alive now if it wasn’t for Tala, which makes it impossible to imagine this show without her. But imagine we must, because now, following the events of episode five, Indira Varma’s time on Obi-Wan Kenobi is no more.

After Reva breaks through Obi-Wan’s defenses, she and the Imperial scum under her command attack our beloved rebels. Overwhelmed by Stormtroopers, our heroes find their outlook pretty dire until Tala, being the selfless person she is, decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to save everyone.

“May the force be with you,” says Tala, which acts as a message for Ben, but also a warning to their enemies as the force of her bomb devastates them entirely. Yes, she’s just been shot, but still, her mind is always on others. That’s queen shit, right there.

And that’s why it’s so hard to reckon with Tala’s death. Despite her lack of powers or status, Tala is an ordinary person who’s willing to put everything on the line for justice. In many ways, people like her, those who rise up against evil no matter the cost, are the real heroes of this franchise.

It’s no wonder that fans were so quickly drawn to Tala, and it’s no wonder why said fans have been so vocal about her tragic demise. Sure, we all saw it coming after she gave Ben that rousing speech — “Some things you can’t forget. But you can fight to make them better.” But still, Tala had plenty more to give.

To be fair, we understand why the writers made this choice. Given Obi-Wan Kenobi’s place in the timeline, it’s not exactly easy to raise the stakes story-wise because we already know that the main characters are all going to survive these six episodes (which is why that Leia torture scene from episode four was particularly dull and unnecessary).

So someone new was clearly going to snuff it to give Obi-Wan Kenobi more weight and meaning. But did it have to be Tala who died? Especially in the episode where Reva’s journey becomes so prominent too?

Indira Varma’s character truly had the potential to become someone iconic if she’d only been given more time on screen. But at least we’ll always have these five episodes. As Tala herself said to Ben,”Some things you can’t forget.” And once the show comes to an end, this rebel spy will undoubtedly be near the top of that list.

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