Our hero managed to escape with the help of Tala Durith (Indira Varma), an Imperial officer who’s secretly helping Jedi escape Vader’s clutches via an underground railroad known as the Path. The volatile Sith Lord will undoubtedly be pleased when he finds out.
Unfortunately, Tala and Obi-Wan left little Princess Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) to reach the ship that’ll take her home to Alderaan alone and she stepped right into the clutches of Imperial Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram), aka the Third Sister. The villain is determined to win favor with Vader, so it’s lucky that only Obi-Wan knows Leia is the Sith Lord’s lost daughter.
It’s time to immerse ourselves fully in the Force and dive into a galaxy of SPOILERS. This show takes place around 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and nine years before A New Hope.
Obi-Wan reconnects with the Force awesomely and teams up with Tala to rescue Leia from Fortress Inquisitorius on Nur, but the wily Reva placed a tracker in the girl’s beloved droid LOLA. It’s part of her plan to track down the Jedi and the Path, which just about saves her from being fatally Force-choked by Vader (who storms into the room in an extremely cool manner).
“It seems I have underestimated you,” the Dark Lord says as he releases Reva. Every line induces chills, James Earl Jones is still magnificent at 91.
This calls back to the original Star Wars movie (aka Episode IV: A New Hope), since Vader employs a similar tactic in allowing the Millennium Falcon to lead the Empire to the hidden rebel base in Yavin IV. Since that movie takes place nine years after this show, it makes sense that the Sith Lord would employ the tactic again.
Leia also remembers the move in A New Hope, reasoning that having a tracker on board is “the only explanation” for their escape. I guess the events of this show taught her that lesson the hard way.
Seeing Obi-Wan sneaking around an Imperial facility is visually similar to the original Star Wars, in which he slinks around the halls of the Death Star to disable the battle station’s tractor beam. Fortress Inquisitorius was previously seen in 2019 video game Jedi: Fallen Order, in which Cal Kestis infiltrates it for the final mission (the game takes place five years before this show).
Before his trip to Nur, Obi-Wan has a brief dip in the healing fluids of a bacta tank to fix up his burns after his battle with Vader. Like any good action hero, he cuts his recovery short because he needs to rescue Leia. This trope always stresses me out — rest up Obi-Wan, you don’t want to get a horrible space infection.
This bath also presented the perfect opportunity for a delightful flashback — just ask Boba Fett, that fella loved his snoozy recollections — to Obi-Wan and Anakin being super Jedi best friends and leaping about in their cool armor during the Clone Wars, but that doesn’t happen. We just get a memory of his recent trauma in battling Vader, and the image of the Sith Lord in his own bacta tank. Which is still pretty cool, and better for pacing than hopping back further in the chronology.
Obi-Wan is also introduced to anti-Imperial network leader Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who’s trying to help surviving Jedi. His wife was either a former member of the Order or a Force sensitive who was hunted down by the Inquisitors. It’s unclear if she’s someone we’re familiar with.
Roken’s network isn’t quite the Rebel Alliance we see in the Original Trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi). At this point in the timeline, the resistance effort is a scattered series of cells operating largely independently — they’re united by renegade Imperial Senators Mon Mothma and Bail Organa (Leia’s foster father) during the events of CGI animated series Rebels a few years later.
During his Fortress Inquisitorius infiltration, Obi-Wan discovers a horrifying room filled with the preserved bodies of dead Jedi — including younglings. It’s a striking reminder of the Empire’s terrible deeds.
Some fans might recognize a Cosian that looks like Jedi Master Tera Sinube among the entombed. He showed up multiple times in The Clone Wars CGI animated series, perhaps most memorably when he helped Anakin’s Padawan Ahsoka Tano recover her lost lightsaber.
It’s unclear why the Empire is holding onto the bodies of Jedi, but it could be related to Emperor Palpatine’s attempts to genetically engineer Force-strong beings to act as replacement bodies in the event of his death.
The Bad Batch’s first season (which takes place 10 years before Obi-Wan) and The Mandalorian (which occurs around 18 years after this show) allude to Palpatine’s attempts to use science to extend his own life indefinitely. He hadn’t quite pulled it off by the time he was killed in Return of the Jedi, which is why he returns in a yucky, failing cloned body in The Rise of Skywalker (around 44 years after the events of this show).
Since we know how the Palpatine plotline plays out, this feels like a bit of a storytelling dead end. Hopefully these genetic experiments will turn out to be about more than just his machinations.
Obi-Wan’s swimming into Fortress Inquisitorius calls back to his swimming on Naboo in The Phantom Menace and mirrors Cal Kestis’ method of infiltration for Jedi: Fallen Order’s last mission.
Leia’s Force sensitivity likely allowed her to resist Reva’s mind probe.
We overhear a Stormtrooper saying Nur gives him the creeps — I never tire of getting snippets of Imperial goons’ conversations, reminding us that they’re mostly average Joes just trying to make a living in a galaxy run by space wizards.
The torture chamber Leia is brought to is similar to the one where Jedi: Fallen Order’s final boss takes place.
The black-armored Purge Troopers make their live-action debut in this episode, having previously appeared in Jedi: Fallen Order (where they were a serious pain to defeat in battle), its Dark Temple tie-in comic series and writer Charles Soule’s 2017 Darth Vadercomic run. Their helmets have been redesigned in the years since those appearances, likely as the Empire transitioned from clone troopers to stormtroopers.
For years, USB technologies have been an alphabet soup of terminology—when, really, all consumers care about is how fast the USB connection is. But now, finally, a new USB logo scheme solves this problem.
The USB Implementors Forum unveiled new logos on Friday for laptop ports, chargers, and cables that actually try to communicate what each one does. It’s a far cry from the nightmare naming scheme that the USB-IF implemented in 2009. It’s worth noting that the names of each specification apparently haven’t changed, but the logos have, and that’s all that matters.
USB-IF executives said the new logos were established alongside the new 240W USB-C power specification, which can now charge USB-C powered laptops at the levels required by even some gaming laptops. Now, the various USB specifications are defined by their speed. Charging specifications are defined by their wattage, with logos that actually indicate this.
“With the new higher power capabilities enabled by the USB PD 3.1 Specification, which unlocks up to 240W over a USB Type-C cable and connector, USB-IF saw an opportunity to further strengthen and simplify its Certified Logo Program for the end user,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and chief operating officer, in a statement. “With our updated logos, consumers can easily identify the USB4 performance and USB Power Delivery capabilities of Certified USB-C cables, which support an ever-expanding ecosystem of consumer electronics from laptops and smartphones to displays and chargers.”
Check out the new logos, which will be used on packaging, ports, and device power ports:
About the only drawback? There’s no obligation for device makers to actually inscribe the logo on their laptops, which could mean a continuation of the confusion around ports.
The new USB cable logos also feature clear communication of their speed as well as their charging capabilities. The big question is whether these cables will support Thunderbolt, or DisplayPort, or USB4 —any of the protocols, that is.
OLED monitors, with their vibrant colors and perfect black levels, are some of the very best screens you can connect to your PC. Unfortunately, they’re also crazy expensive: with only a few models on the market, the cheapest is still more than a thousand bucks. That might be changing soon, if a report on OLED mega-manufacturer LG Display is accurate.
OLED-info.com quotes unconfirmed news out of China’s manufacturing sector, saying that LG is ready to start manufacturing smaller OLED panels for smaller TVs and computer monitors. Specifically, it’s preparing to ramp up smaller displays using the cheaper WOLED panel technology, which can be produced much more economically than the older types of OLED panels seen in high-end televisions.
Despite being ubiquitous on smaller gadgets like phones and smartwatches, and extremely popular in high-end televisions, OLEDs have been slow to come to the PC market. We’re just starting to see them become a popular option on more and more laptops, but you can count the number of commercially available desktop OLED monitors on one hand. And, of those, LG’s own offerings have been focused on the ultra-high-end professional media market — it’s only this year that the company has begun supplying panels for gaming monitors to companies like Alienware and Corsair.
While we can’t verify the news without a more conventional source, it makes sense. The high-end television market is currently saturated (no pun intended) with OLED screens since there’s been relatively little innovation in the last few years and huge numbers of consumers upgraded their home theaters during the pandemic. OLED manufacturing technology is poised to go bigger (or rather, poised to hit the midrange between small and big) after spending a decade maturing in the mobile electronics market.
If all goes well, we might begin to see more affordable OLED monitors announced at trade shows like CES, E3, and Computex in 2023, with models hitting the market in the summer or fall. Keep your fingers crossed for some display bargains.
Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.
The Google Pixel Watch is incoming (Image credit: Google)
We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.
Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.
Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.
Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022
If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.
We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.
There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).
Analysis: a big moment for Google
It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.
While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.
Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.
What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.
Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.