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Why Reva’s Obsession with OBI-WAN KENOBI Is So Personal

Obi-Wan Kenobi opened with the darkest moment in Jedi history, Order 66, even though Star Wars fans know all-too-well about Palpatine’s massacre. The few Jedi who escaped that slaughter faced a different kind of nightmare, though. Survivors like Nari could never hide in peace. The Emperor had his own band of Force users hunting the remaining knights and their students down. That is unless they turned on their own kind and joined the ranks of his Imperial Inquisitors as Reva did. But that infamous day in the galaxy far, far away never left her, even if she didn’t hold it against the men who executed it. The first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi seem to show her obsession with the former Jedi Master began when she escaped Order 66.

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The majority of Inquisitors had been former Jedi themselves. That includes the group’s leader, the Grand Inquisitor. Star Wars Rebels showed he had once been a Jedi Temple Guard. The past of the sinister group’s members is so important to this new story that Obi-Wan Kenobi made sure to mention it directly. The people the Inquisitors were are just as important as who they are now. Especially when it comes to the franchise’s newest character and one of the series’ leads, ‎ Moses Ingram‘s Third Sister a.k.a. Reva.

Despite being the most ruthless and focused member of the Inquisitorius introduced in the first two episodes, the other dark side users have nothing but contempt for Reva. They believe her beneath them because she grew up in the “gutter.” If not for her own impressive skills they say she wouldn’t even be one of them. And because they remind her she’s unworthy of her lofty position in the Emperor’s elite unit, they think her singular focus on finding Obi-Wan is merely a ploy to gain favor with Darth Vader and Palpatine.

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But Reva’s obsession may not about improving her standing in the Empire. It seems far more personal. So personal that it makes her reckless and puts a target on her back. Her determination to find the former Jedi Master puts her at odds with some of the most powerful killers in the galaxy far, far away. Her fixation also led her to kidnap a senator’s daughter, despite the risk that would bring to the Empire itself, since at the time Palpatine still depended on the Galactic Senate to govern. And her uncontrolled compulsion to locate Obi-Wan made her disobey the powerful and dangerous Grand Inquisitor. He’s a man who would have no problem putting a lightsaber through her. (Which is exactly why she did it first. Too bad for her we know he’ll survive.)

The Inquisitors serve at the behest of the Emperor and answer to Lord Vader. For Reva to repeatedly go out on her own and to violate direct orders, all to find one man the Grand Inquisitor isn’t even trying to locate anymore, is not a matter of social climbing. Nor is it one of perspective job growth. It’s something that drives Reva because it means so much to her. And Reva confirmed as much when Fifth Brother asked her what she hopes to “gain” by capturing Kenobi. “What I’m owed,” she said.

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For Reva, the capture and subsequent death of Obi-Wan Kenobi will serve as a form of personal payback. Why, though? Why would this one specific Jedi matter so much to her? The answer lies in her past, a past the show explored in its very first scene.

Reva is a Force user the Emperor found living on the street. She also knows the truth about Darth Vader, information reserved for a select few in the galaxy; Reva knows Darth Vader was and is Anakin Skywalker. How would she know that, though, since Palpatine and Vader don’t share that fact with anyone?

Well, she likely knows the same way Obi-Wan and Yoda know. The Third Sister was at the Jedi Temple during Order 66. She either saw Anakin kill her fellow Jedi or saw the recording of his crimes. That’s why she has such hatred for Obi-Wan. She was a Padawan who escaped Order 66. But Reva survived the massacre only to see her and her friends hunted. She survived only to find herself without a home or a mentor, her faith in everything she had once believed in destroyed.

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The Jedi took Reva from her family. They swore not only to train her in the ways of the Force but to protect her and every other Padawan. Instead, they let a Sith Lord take control of the galaxy and allowed one of their own to slaughter them. When the Emperor, who had shown the power of the dark side, found her she was already full of hate for the Jedi Order. It was easy to lure her to him and make her a tool of his evil. The Jedi had failed her, personally. And as far as she knew no one individual is more responsible for that than the Master and only surviving Jedi Council member that had failed to train Anakin Skywalker. That’s why she hates Obi-Wan and is obsessed with getting the revenge she seeks and believes she is owed.

When Reva revealed the truth to Obi-Wan that Anakin still lived, she knew what that would do to Anakin’s former mentor. She knew as well as anyone the torment Master Kenobi must carry over his own failures. But like all remaining Jedi, Reva carries Obi-Wan’s failures too. It’s why her character was likely the first one seen on a show bearing his name. We bet she was that young girl training at the Jedi Temple during Order 66, the Padawan forced to flee into a world that hated her. The show is telling her story just as much as it’s telling Obi-Wan’s.

Because the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi has never been the story of just one man. The worst moment in Jedi history touched the lives of every Jedi who survived it.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at  @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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