Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Cobra Kai Fans Are Comparing Season 3's Finale To Star Wars

Major spoilers for Cobra Kai season 3 follow.

The smash hit Netflix series Cobra Kai is always full of surprises, and the last couple episodes of the stellar third season had a ton of them. After seemingly endless speculation as to whether she would make a return, we indeed saw Ali Mills-Schwarber (Elisabeth Shue) visiting town at a most opportune time, easing the tensions between ex-Cobra Kai and current Eagle Fang sensei Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Miyagi-do sensei Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) as perhaps only she could have. Then, while the trio — plus Daniel's increasingly amused wife Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) — were making nice at a Christmas party, we saw the students of Cobra Kai mastermind John Kreese (Martin Kove) invade Daniel's home, rudely interrupting a get-together hosted by Daniel's daughter Sam (Mary Mouser) by starting yet another knock-down, drag-out battle of the opposing dojos. 

Finally, as result of that incursion, we saw Johnny and Daniel doing the previously unthinkable: teaming up to beat the snot out of Kreese, a fight which nearly went the other way thanks to the intervention of Johnny's estranged son Robby (Tanner Buchanan), an ex-Miyagi-do student now under Kreese's sway. Robby shockingly attacked his own father after the latter confronted Kreese at the Cobra Kai dojo in the aftermath of the brawl — and only after Daniel rode to the rescue to end the fight did Kreese suggest settling the beef once and for all at the upcoming All-Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament, which is sure to be a focus of season 4.

Robby's arc has been quite interesting, and fans are looking forward to seeing if it plays out like many of them think it will — in a manner similar to another young, troubled, and powerful character who famously fell to the Dark Side.

Cobra Kai sports a few similarities with the Star Wars prequel series

We speak, of course, of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), who came into conflict with and eventually betrayed his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in the Star Wars prequel series, which concluded with the young Jedi embracing his destiny to become the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Robby's fall to the Dark Side began when Sam — with whom he had become romantically linked while training under Daniel, and living at his home — slipped up and shared a kiss with her ex-boyfriend Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), the former Cobra Kai student and reigning All-Valley champion. After season 2's mega-brawl at West Valley High School, in which Robby seriously injured Miguel and subsequently went on the run, his sense of aggrievement only got worse — toward Sam, Miguel, and even Daniel, whom he felt had failed him as a teacher and friend. (Robby had always been aggrieved toward Johnny, who wasn't around for most of his childhood.)

Similarly, Anakin's fall began as the result of his being terrified of losing the woman he loved — Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), whom he correctly feared was destined to die in childbirth. He sought forbidden knowledge of how to cheat death from the evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid), who made Anakin his own disciple. Anakin then fully gave in to his hate and fear, turning against the entire Jedi order and even his own master (and still losing Amidala in exactly the manner he'd feared). 

The similarities between Cobra Kai and Star Wars aren't lost on fans

Cobra Kai fans on Reddit were quick to point out the similarities, starting with user Throway_275, who wrote, "[Cobra Kai is] so similar to [Star Wars] in [that] it's soap opera drama dressed up in '80s masculinity... probably why I love it so much." User Barb_ms quickly concurred. "Star Wars is my main fandom and I absolutely love all the nonsense and drama in it," they wrote. "And Cobra Kai is basically the prequels but instead of the force and the Jedi you have Karate. And even though it is not at all realistic it is still absolutely great and I wouldn't want it any other way. Things don't need to be realistic to be awesome, in fact most of the time they end up being way cooler."

Some users opined that while Robby's arc was a compelling one, the character's actions would have made more sense had he been fleshed out a little more. "[Robby] had so much potential from the beginning but [the writers did] such a poor job in getting us to invest in him," wrote user HaluSinazn. "Just everything about his story arc has felt half-assed... from his initial interest in joining Miyagi-do to his relationship with Sam to his now descent to the dark side and joining Kreese." User Janzo45 agreed, writing, "Yeah I prefer him as a villain. I always felt it was the right role for him when he first appeared in season 1. Seeing him trying to be good just didn't feel convincing enough for me and I found it a bit cringey."

Barb_ms then popped back into the discussion to gently disagree. "I personally think Robby has the most interesting and compelling story in the show," they wrote. "I'm a big Anakin fan and for some reason even before this season Robby always reminded me of him, that's maybe why I've always liked him. I really hope he gets a redemption arc."

Could Robby be the one to bring balance to karate in the Valley?

If Robby does indeed learn to see the error of his ways in joining the (obviously evil and scruple-free) Kreese, it would certainly serve to cement the similarities between him and Anakin yet further. This would be even more the case if Robby were to make an extremely late reverse heel-turn at a most opportune time — just like Anakin did at the conclusion of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. As we all remember, Anakin was prophesied to bring balance to the Force, a prophecy which seemed glaringly false after Anakin's fall to the Dark Side — but which ultimately proved to be true when he suddenly broke free from the sway of Sidious-slash-Emperor Palpatine, seemingly destroying his former master just in time to save his son, Luke (Mark Hamill).

If Robby were to eventually turn against and conquer Kreese at the exact moment that the latter seems poised to cement his ultimate victory, then we would have to go ahead and say that paying homage to Star Wars had been part of the plans of Cobra Kai's writers from the beginning. In doing so, just like Anakin brought balance to the Force in the galaxy, Robby could bring balance to karate in the valley — but if that is to be his destiny, he'll have to once again embrace the teachings of Daniel and Miyagi-do. Because balance, as we know, is Daniel's thing.