Our hero managed to escape with the help of turncoat Imperial officer Tala Durith (Indira Varma) and anti-Imperial network leader Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who are secretly helping Jedi and Force sensitives escape the Empire via an underground railroad known as the Path. Obi-Wan is one of the few people who knows Leia is Vader’s lost daughter.
After a failed attempt on Vader’s life, a badly wounded Reva spots Obi-Wan’s dropped commlink and sees a garbled message from Leia’s foster father, Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), that mentions “learned of the children,”http://www.cnet.com/”Tatooine,”http://www.cnet.com/”Owen” and “the boy.”
Conveniently that’s just enough information for her to figure out that Luke Skywalker is Vader’s son — probably should have changed his name — and find the 10-year-old on the desert world. I reckon he’ll be alright, though, since he’s living a normal life and blissfully unaware of the Force by the time we meet him in A New Hope.
On board the escape transport with Leia and a bunch of refugees, Obi-Wan senses the danger to Luke. So I guess he’ll be headed back to Tatooine in a hurry in next week’s finale. He might be a bit delayed, since their hyperdrive is broken and Imperial forces are right on their tail.
Master and apprentice
As his Star Destroyer travels to the Path base on Jabiim, Vader reflects on his time as Obi-Wan’s Padawan. We get some delightful flashbacks to a sparring session they had in the era before Attack of the Clones, as evidenced by their outfits, hairstyles and Anakin still having his right hand (Count Dooku slices off a chunk of his arm in their duel on Geonosis).
It highlights their slightly tense relationship, Anakin’s impatience and Obi-Wan’s ability to outthink him — all of which play into the show’s present-day story. City planet Coruscant also makes a spectacular backdrop for their duel.
“You are a great warrior, Anakin, but your need to prove yourself is your undoing,” Obi-Wan says. “Until you overcome it, a Padawan you will still be.”
There might be some subtle digital de-aging or clever application of makeup going on here, but the visual effects team didn’t overdo it — Christensen in particular looks older in these scenes than he did in 2002’s Attack of the Clones (maybe because he doesn’t have a beard to hide behind). Their onscreen dynamic is pretty electric, though; it seems like the actors loved having the chance to revisit an earlier point in their careers with two decades’ more experience.
If there’s no de-aging, these guys won the genetic lottery, and I am a bit jealous.
It’s also just nice to see notorious sand-hater Anakin before he became a horrible mass-murderer, but his descent into darkness is the focus of the episode’s other flashback. This happens in Revenge of the Sith, which takes place three years after Attack of the Clones.
Surviving Order 66
Unsurprisingly, Reva is revealed to have been a Jedi youngling who survived Order 66, when clone troopers turned on their Jedi allies. She was seemingly stabbed by Anakin when he stormed the Jedi Temple, and played dead among the bodies of the other children to avoid detection. Which is absolutely horrifying and presumably what prompted the “upsetting” scene warning that precedes the episode.
An empathetic Obi-Wan sympathizes with what she’s been through and realizes her becoming an Inquisitor was all part of a revenge plot against Vader. She’s been planning to slay the Sith Lord all along, and can tell Obi-Wan isn’t entirely certain about taking the life of his former apprentice.
Despite this, Obi-Wan sees an opportunity in Reva’s quest — he surrenders and offers her the chance to kill Vader while he’s distracted. However, it’s really just a big trick to give Leia, Obi-Wan and the refugees a chance to escape.
Dark Lord’s power
Once again, Vader is pretty epic to watch in action. Arriving on Jabiim, he rips a decoy ship out of the sky with the Force and tears open the hull to find it empty, but his need to show off allows the real transport to escape.
Vader pulling down the ship with the Force seems to highlight his power (and echoes a moment from 2008 video game The Force Unleashed), since his former Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Rey struggled to do so in The Clone Wars finale and The Rise of Skywalker, respectively. It looks less impressive when the ship is revealed to be empty. In fact, Vader looks like a bit of a fool (don’t tell him I said that).
When Reva makes her move, he effortlessly stops her attacks with the Force and stabs her through the torso (again), then reveals that he knew her origins all along as she lies in the dirt.
“Did you really believe I did not see it, youngling?” he says. “You are of no further use.”
The Grand Inquisitor is revealed to have survived being skewered by Reva — shocking absolutely no one who’s seen CGI animated series Rebels, since it’s set after this and he’s the main villain in season 1 — and he suggests that his desire for revenge helped him survive. He probably got shoved in a bacta tank too, that always helps.
Vader and the Grand Inquisitor leave her to die, which seems a little illogical. But I guess the show needs someone to go after Luke in the finale, and having any other Imperial do so and fail to tip Vader off to his son’s existence would stretch credulity.
Obi-servations and Easter eggs
Leia feels quite sidelined in this episode, since she’s mostly in a box messing with wires. At least she fixes her droid and helps everyone escape.
The moment where Anakin smacks down in Obi-Wan’s lightsaber to break his defense mirrors a similar mode in the Return of the Jedi duel between Luke and Vader.
The dynamic between Tala and loader droid NED-B echoes that of Cassian Andor and K-2SO in Rogue One, right down to their deaths at the hands of the Empire. We’ll see Cassian again in his Disney Plus prequel series in August, and K-2SO will likely show up at some point during the show’s two-season run.
Obi-Wan spots a bunch of lightsaber hilts in a box in the Path base, but I don’t think any of them belonged to anyone we know.
We would be honored if you would join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, June 22 , when episode 6 – the series finale – of Obi-Wan Kenobi hits Disney Plus.
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True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick).
So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.
What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information.
That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab).
Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”.
But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.”
Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case
Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022
Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame.
For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog.
See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre.
For now, we sit tight until October 26.
Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.
You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.
According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.
The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.
So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022
It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community.
A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway.
Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.
Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis.
Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.
Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.
USB-C has come a long way since its debut in 2014, now becoming the standard for charging and basic data transfer (on everything except the iPhone, of course!) as well as audio and video for more and more devices. The European Parliament, long enamored with the idea of a consumer- and environmentally-friendly standard for charging devices, is pushing it forward even further. A newly-passed law says that almost all portable electronics will need to charge via USB-C by 2026.
At this point, most new laptops already use USB-C charging, taking advantage of the standard’s flexibility to deliver a range of wattages up to 100 watts. There are two exceptions: the top of the market and the bottom. Cheap budget laptops are still sometimes equipped with less expensive, semi-proprietary barrel charging cables or something like Lenovo’s rectangular charger.
On the other hand, power-hungry laptops that need more than 100 watts still use proprietary connections for their massive adapters. The USB Implementers Forum is working on expanding that limit and some of these laptops can still charge slowly over USB-C. These are the only laptops that Europe will allow to be sold with proprietary chargers after the spring of 2026. While nothing forces manufacturers to follow this new law worldwide, streamlined manufacturing and economy of scale will effectively force the rest of the world to follow in practice if not in legislation.
Parliament posted its reasoning online (spotted by Windows Central), saying that this move will encourage technological innovation and give consumers access to more interoperability with a bonus that more easily-reusable cables and chargers means less electronic waste. The post estimates that it will help consumers save up to 250 million euro a year on new charger purchases.
The bigger news is that this move is likely to finally force Apple to abandon the Lightning connector for the iPhone, cheaper iPads, and a few lingering accessories. (Apple already uses USB-C charging on most iPads and all Macbooks.) The switch for smaller mobile devices will happen by the end of 2024. This includes “all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable.” (Note: This technically creates a loophole for any device that recharges via wireless only.) That should give laptop manufacturers plenty of time to flush out the remaining old-fashioned chargers from their assembly lines.
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.