The Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ will premier exactly forty-five years later to the day of the original Star Wars release in 1977. As with any new Star Wars production, speculation had run rampant with respect to what we’ll see in the series. Yesterday, however, we finally got our first glimpses of the series. (You can even watch the trailer below.) One rumor held true, and we’re definitely going to see Inquisitors in live action. Likewise, as the raspy breathing at the end of the trailer confirms, we’ll see Darth Vader, as well. The question, though, is whether or not we should. Hayden Christensen’s return as Anakin Skywalker is a surprise (to be sure, but a welcome one), but it should stop there. The series doesn’t need, and shouldn’t include, a confrontation between Vader and Kenobi.
I know this may be an unpopular opinion. Many fans would love to see Obi-Wan and Vader clash while both remain relatively close to their primes. (After all, we’ve only seen Vader in all his fury in live-action in Rogue One, and briefly.) But…. And herein lies the “but:” Obi-Wan meeting his old pupil as Darth Vader in the Kenobi series is not only unnecessary, it could negatively affect everything between the two that follows.
An Obi-Wan v. Darth Vader duel: ill-placed in Kenobi series
As it stands right now in Star Wars canon, Vader viewed himself as a “Master” even before the Battle of Yavin. He explicitly states as much in A New Hope with the line “when I left you I was but the learner, now I am the master.” Obi-Wan, of course, epically reminded him otherwise, but that doesn’t change Vader’s mindset in that moment. The line makes perfect sense, if canon holds true. The last time the two met prior to the Kenobi series, Anakin was filled with delusions of grandeur. On Mustafar, he was still very much the apprentice, the learner, to Obi-Wan’s mastery.
Ten years then pass following the events of Revenge of the Sith. Do we really think that in that span Darth Vader hasn’t honed his skills to such great degree that he’d not already consider himself a Master of the Force by the time of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series? Of course he would. So if he faces Obi-Wan in the Kenobi series, his statement in A New Hope suddenly loses all its meaning.
Based on the concept art, and the flames surrounding them as they battle, here’s what I’m predicting: any duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader in the series will be Obi-Wan’s nightmare. He’s remembering his duel with Anakin Skywalker, but Vader’s current form replaces Anakin in the vision. At least that’s what I’m hoping. Anything else will dilute an otherwise poignant scene from the original film.
What are your thoughts?
The Obi-Wan Kenobi series premiers May 25th on Disney+.