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‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Inquisitor Reva is the next great Star Wars villain

It has come to my consideration that some Star Wars followers don’t like Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s antagonist Inquisitor Reva, performed by Moses Ingram. And to that I say: Are we watching the identical present? As a result of Reva completely guidelines.

The backlash in opposition to Reva has much less to do along with her character’s actions than the truth that she is a Black lady within the Star Wars universe. Following the discharge of Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s first two episodes on Might 27, Ingram posted examples of the racist vitriol she has been receiving on Instagram. This prompted the official Star Wars social media accounts to issue a statement telling viewers: “There are greater than 20 million sentient species within the Star Wars galaxy, don’t select to be a racist.”

Obi-Wan himself, Ewan McGregor, additionally posted a video condemning poisonous followers’ actions in direction of Ingram, saying, “for those who’re sending her bullying messages, you are no Star Wars fan in my thoughts. There is no place for racism on this world.”

There isn’t any doubt that the vocal hatred of Reva and Ingram’s efficiency stems from racism.

There isn’t any doubt that the vocal hatred of Reva and Ingram’s efficiency stems from racism. Racist trolls within the Star Wars fandom have notoriously attacked solid members of shade prior to now, together with sequel trilogy stars John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran. Now they’ve turned their wrath on Ingram. It is proof of the ugliest aspect of fandom, one which refuses to imagine that folks of shade, and particularly Black lady, have a spot in large franchises like Star Wars.

Racism and misogynoir — anti-Black misogyny focused at Black ladies — are vile constants in fandom. Simply take a look at reactions to the casting of Leah Jeffries in Percy Jackson and the Olympians or DeWanda Smart in Jurassic World: Dominion. Jeffries and Smart deserve far, much better, and so does Ingram.

Though it might probably by no means make up for the racist assaults on Ingram, or the racist historical past of the Star Wars fandom basically, each Ingram and Reva have fortunately obtained numerous well-deserved reward. If you happen to look by means of the Reva hashtag on Twitter, you may discover fancams, fanart, and appreciation posts celebrating the character and actor as an alternative of tearing them down. And it is no marvel individuals love them: Ingram’s efficiency is superb, bringing Reva’s depth and dedication to life. As an intriguing new addition to the Star Wars universe, Reva is hands-down probably the most fascinating component of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Who’s Inquisitor Reva?

A man with a pale white face and black armor corners a woman in black armor against a wall.

Give me all of the Inquisition drama.
Credit score: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Reva Sevander (aka, the Third Sister) is a member of the Imperial Inquisition, which means she’s a Jedi who turned to the Darkish Facet and now hunts Jedi herself. She’s the youngest member of the core group of Inquisitors we meet, which incorporates the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Buddy) and the Fifth Brother (Sung Kang).

To be completely trustworthy, I am not accustomed to Star Wars Rebels, so I went into Obi-Wan Kenobi with little information of the Inquisition. However as quickly because the trio of the Grand Inquisitor, Fifth Brother, and Reva first appeared, I used to be obsessed. They ooze menace with simply the correct quantity of theatricality — one of the crucial vital qualities of a Star Wars villain — and their presence instantly ups the stakes of the present.

As a lot as I like the Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother (they’re simply so completely sinister), Reva instantly stands out from the trio. Whereas the Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother are caked in gaunt, disfiguring make-up, Reva nonetheless seems human, setting her aside from her compatriots. It provides her a larger sense of vulnerability inside the group, which is then paid off by the Grand Inquisitor dismissing her as lesser than them. From there, we all know she has one thing to show.

As a lot as I like the Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother, Reva instantly stands out from the trio.

However her clear humanity is not the one factor distinguishing her from the others. Reva’s method to looking Jedi varies vastly from the Grand Inquisitor’s. She’s brash, she defies authority, and he or she’s prepared to cease at nothing till she reaches her objective of capturing Kenobi. Her fellow Inquisitors, whereas nonetheless clearly evil, have a extra scientific method. To them, this hunt is a vital job. To her, it is private. It is so private that she’ll do something to attain her objective. She’ll totally reduce off individuals’s arms and threaten harmless households simply to seek out one man. If you attain a degree the place even the Grand Inquisitor must go, “Whoa there, too far,” you understand you’ve got reached top-tier villain standing.

We do not know why, precisely, Reva is so hellbent on discovering Obi-Wan herself but — though I believe it has to do with that opening Order 66 flashback — however the rigidity and the thriller are half of the enjoyable of Reva’s character. We do know that Reva, like the opposite Inquisitors, was as soon as a Jedi or a minimum of coaching to be one earlier than becoming a member of the Inquisition. What prompted her to defect and hunt her personal sort? Was it self-preservation within the face of Order 66? Or was it due to a vendetta in opposition to one Jedi particularly? These are such fascinating motivations to play with, getting on the present’s core thriller of why Obi-Wan issues a lot to Reva.

In actual fact, as a lot as I like the dynamic between Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan, the present’s most important relationship up to now is that between Reva and Obi-Wan. It is the driving pressure behind all of the motion, together with the kidnapping of Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair), and all of it comes again to Reva’s singular obsession.


‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ has numerous explaining to do

In a present that feels so just like different Star Wars properties, Reva stands out

A woman in black armor stands in a dimly lit doorway.

Don’t get between Reva and her objectives.
Credit score: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Look, the present could also be referred to as Obi-Wan Kenobi, however I discover myself paying much more consideration when he is not round. Do not get me improper, I like the character and McGregor’s take. Nonetheless, his “lone wolf has to move vital little one” plotline feels far too near what we’re already seen in The Mandalorian.

Between seeing younger Luke (Grant Feely), Uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton), and Alderaan, Obi-Wan Kenobi feels partly like a Star Wars nostalgia fan service tour. That feeling even extends to scenes that includes Vader. We already know these characters. Greater than that, we all know how their tales finish. That information diminishes a lot of the present’s stakes shifting ahead.

However you understand whose story we do not know? Reva’s. As one of many few new characters launched in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Reva is a wild card. I get extra invested when she’s round as a result of I do not know if I will get one other episode along with her, or what she would possibly do subsequent. Take her homicide of the Grand Inquisitor in episode 2. I completely didn’t count on that, however I cherished it as a show of her ruthlessness. Let Reva be as evil as she needs every time she needs. It makes for excellent villainy.

Let Reva be as evil as she needs every time she needs.

Talking of nice villains, Reva positively shows traits of different well-known Star Wars unhealthy guys. Her ambition and frustration with the Inquisition think of Anakin’s journey within the prequel trilogy, and her killing her evil boss is pure Kylo Ren in The Final Jedi. However regardless of these similarities, Ingram makes Reva her personal. She performs her with the boldness of somebody who has a badass lightsaber and is aware of the right way to use it, but in addition with the vulnerability of somebody who’s been harm earlier than and has spent her entire life making an attempt to avenge that harm.

So whereas we do not know why Reva is so dead-set on capturing Obi-Wan herself, Ingram’s efficiency provides us greater than sufficient info to know that Reva has been ready her whole life for this. As soon as Obi-Wan and Reva lastly conflict head-on, we’re in for one hell of a showdown. And I can not wait to look at.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+, with new episodes every Wednesday.

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