What the Re-Mastered Kenobi/Vader Lightsaber Duel Gets Right (and Maybe Wrong)

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Unless you’re a Star Wars fan living under a rock, you’ve hopefully seen by now the masterful reimagining of the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader from the original Star Wars. If you haven’t, we posted it for you yesterday. You can also see it in the embedded video below. The video shows us the true nature of the Force power struggle between the former master and apprentice. Granted we could never have seen this in 1977, for several reasons. Here’s a few things this reimaging gets right, and one thing it gets wrong.

First and foremost, the retelling of this lightsaber duel more closely depicts what would likely have actually happened. Yes Obi-Wan Kenobi had aged. But the lack of fight scene choreography was more due to the actor’s age, not the character’s. Remember, Sir. Alec Guinness was sixty-three years old when he filmed the original Star Wars. Unfortunately, the actor had aged even further than his years. Obi-Wan, on the other hand, had the benefit of a strong connection with the Force. Kenobi could still fight, as evidenced in his duel with (Darth) Maul in this scene from Star Wars Rebels. This would have taken place just a couple of years before the duel with Vader:

Lightsaber duel remaster truly shows Vader’s rage

Likewise, the re-imagined lightsaber duel truly captures Vader’s rage. For years he carried his hatred for Obi-Wan Kenobi, never knowing for sure whether his former master survived Order 66. After all, his last words to Obi-Wan Kenobi were “I hate you”. Further, Vader had, barely hours before, let the Death Star plans slip from his grasp. Vader literally watched them fly away at the end of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That failure surely fueled his rage. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader was driven by emotion, and we get to see it in the “new” lightsaber duel scene.

One thing the scene gets wrong (kind of but not really)

Perhaps “gets wrong” is a little strong, but there is one thing missing from the updated lightsaber duel: additional dialogue. Now, this is certainly not the creators’ fault; there’s only so much original Star Wars trilogy Obi-Wan and Vader dialogue with which they could work. Notwithstanding, there’s plenty of Obi-Wan and Vader voice-over material they could have used to better express the final encounter between these two.

Vader and Kenobi Lightsaber duel
Image: Lucasfilm ltd.

Vader was brimming with hatred. The Anakin inside him, in between thrusts and parries, would have assuredly reminded Obi-Wan of how the Jedi had left Vader to burn alive on Mustafar. He would have boasted more about his increased power. And yes, I think he would have even gloated more about Kenobi’s impending death.

All that being said – does the lack of dialogue make the lightsaber duel any less enjoyable? Absolutely not. In fact, I think I’ll go watch it again.

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