Earlier this week, The Direct ran an article in which writer Stuart Beattie discussed the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Beattie revealed that he was originally hired to write the script for the project when it was still a movie, and that he actually had three films in mind – the first of which is what became the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
As such, Beattie is actually listed as a writer for two episodes of the six episode series, even though he said he never worked on the show itself, and he received a story credit for three of the episodes. But the show didn’t follow every detail exactly as he wrote it, and it sounds like one especially notable difference is as it pertains to Reva.
- Beattie created Reva. “She was my creation… I created Reva all the way through,” he said.
- Beattie created her for a specific reason: “We were always faced with the fact that Obi-Wan could never kill Darth Vader. So he needed to defeat someone. And so Reva was my attempt to give him someone to defeat or someone to save, because he’s not going to save Darth. The Darth Vader storyline is going to end in a downer, so I wanted to save someone, and that’s why I created Reva.”
- In Beattie’s version, Reva didn’t know that Anakin Skywalker was Darth Vader, because he didn’t think she would have known that since she only saw pre-suit Vader in the Temple. In other words, in his version she thought it was Anakin Skywalker coming to kill them – meaning that “in her mind, the Jedi Council were the biggest villains in the galaxy. She believed the lies that they were plotting a coup to overtake and get power and all that, but they were stopped by the Clones. So she believed that’s why she’s hunting Jedi, because she believed the Jedi are the worst, basically.”
- Reva’s redemption then was to come after Kenobi told her the truth, that it was actually Darth Vader (i.e. the fallen Anakin Skywalker) and not the Jedi Council who were to blame. Realizing she had been wrong, Reva then lied to Vader, telling him that she killed Kenobi, only to be killed by Vader. “I wanted her story to end,” Beattie said. “I wanted Reva to play her part in the Kenobi-Vader story, which was, essentially, at the end, she was the one that allowed Vader, basically told Vader to stop hunting Kenobi. You know, she ended the obsession Vader had with Kenobi.”
- Beattie also said that in his story Reva was going to be the only Inquisitor present, hunting Kenobi.
So while the character was created by Beattie, and while it seems many of the story beats overall may have been similar, there seems to have been a pretty drastic change in how it ended. But what’s especially interesting is that Beattie’s comments actually line up somewhat with the leaked plot of the series from a few months ago, in which Reva was going to discover the Lars Homstead but then, having a change of heart, was going to return to Vader and inform him that she had killed Kenobi – and Vader was going to, in turn, kill her. Curiously, the same people who reported that later said that the ending was changed to leave open a possibility of further stories and another season.
Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but this does confirm that there was a different ending originally planned. And honestly, I’m torn on whether it’s better. I think there’s a lot of it that makes sense, and I’m a bit uncomfortable with Reva just wandering the galaxy knowing about the Skywalker twins. At the same time, however, there have been plenty of Star Wars stories about the villain being redeemed and dying right away; there have been far fewer stories about the villain surviving and living to make amends for it.
One other thing to highlight here is Beattie’s answer about wanting to give Kenobi someone he could actually redeem, since that couldn’t be Vader, and I think that’s an angle that a lot of fans have missed with Reva. We knew all along that the main villain of this series was Darth Vader, and we also knew that Darth Vader would not be saved or redeemed, nor would he be killed. So the challenge, then, was how to tell that story in a compelling way while also allowing Kenobi to emerge victorious, to a degree. I think the showrunners nailed it, personally, but I also really appreciate the perspective of having Reva introduced in order to give at least one of the villains the chance for redemption. It makes it feel true to Star Wars while honoring the stories that came before.