Say what you will about the prequel trilogy, but there’s no question that Revenge of the Sith produced some of best scenes in Star Wars. Even today we continue to peel back the nuanced layers of that film and see them in a new light. Take, for example, Anakin’s anointment to the Jedi Council via Palpatine’s imposition. Perhaps we didn’t realize it at the time, but that scene would lead to Obi-Wan Kenobi throwing ultimate shade at Darth Vader years later, nearly three decade prior. Confused? Allow me to explain.

Obi-Wan Kenobi; Darth Vader; Star Wars; A new Hope
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

First, let’s take a step back. A New Hope (then just Star Wars) originally hit theaters May 25, 1977. In it we learn that Darth Vader was once Kenobi’s pupil, one who’d turned to evil. In the film’s third act, Kenobi and Vader face off in the halls of the Death Star as Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and the droids make their daring escape. It’s in that scene that Kenobi epically trolls Vader, throwing his emotional state of kilter and distracting him from what unfolded right behind his back. But how and why did Kenobi’s words seemingly cut so deeply?

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Master of Shade

ANakin Skywalker; Jedi Council; Revenge of the Sith
“This is outrageous!” (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Now, think back to Revenge of the Sith. At Chancellor Palpatine’s insistence, Anakin Skywalker become a member of the Jedi Council. However, as Mace Windu infamously stated, “You are on this Council, but we do not grant you the rank of Master.” Anakin, of course, brimmed with indignation and anger. “What? How can you do this? This is outrageous; it’s unfair. How can you be on the Council and not be a Master?” After summarily being told to “take a seat,” Anakin simmered down, but the slight of not being made Master continued its slow burn until Anakin would explode and become Darth Vader.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, of course, knew all of this. He sat in the council chamber when all that transpired. So, years later when he face his former apprentice, he knew exactly which of Vader’s buttons to push. When Vader boldly declares that he is now the master, Kenobi stingingly reminds him that he never actually achieved that rank. He’s nothing more than a “master of evil.” Vader, not unsurprisingly, doesn’t take too well to the verbal jab. He immediately initiates an aggressive attack on Kenobi…. And the rest is history.

Kenobi; Vader; Star Wars
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Throughout the films and The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi had some exceptional one-liners, for sure. Here’s hoping that trend continues when he returns to Star Wars in his new series May 25th on Disney+.