As you should already know by now Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader. At the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi have a battle to the death in the fiery pits of Mustafar. Anakin is left badly burnt, but thanks to the timely intervention of Darth Sidious, aka Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader is fully born as he becomes encased in his iconic armor. Until now, this was what we thought was the last meeting between Kenobi and Vader, before the start of the original trilogy. The announcement of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, however, changed that, as it was advertised partially as a chance for a rematch between the two, before the Death Star.
Another new reveal came from this show, which premiered on May 27. Part II features Kenobi learning about Darth Vader and how he survived the duel on Mustafar. It appears that Kenobi had thought that Anakin had died all those years ago, and was shocked to learn that he hadn’t. This of course raises a question, why didn’t he know he survived? Surely he should have known by now? Joby Harold, head writer on the show, has an answer for us, and it’s actually really simple. So simple, in fact, that you might be forgiven for thinking about a more complicated answer instead.
Obi-Wan spent most of his time on Tatooine, a backwater planet in the Outer Rim, cut off from the galactic community. As such, Kenobi didn’t have many opportunities to learn about Vader, much less his real identity. He was much more focused on laying low and surviving the Jedi Purge and wasn’t interested in learning about the Empire. Of course, when he goes on his mission to rescue Princess Leia, he is forced to discover the truth on his own, setting up a future confrontation in the next episode. That, my friends, is how he didn’t know about Anakin’s survival.
As for why he made it so that Obi-Wan didn’t know, Harold told this to The Wrap:
“That was actually not something I pitched originally. That was something I discovered along the way, and sort of had to confirm with Pablo [Hidalgo] and really think, ‘Hold on a second, what does he actually know? Does he know the moniker Vader? What would that mean? Can he associate the two? What was he cognizant of? How isolated is he? Where’s Vader at that time? Where’s his reputation and how well known is he?’ and all those pieces of the puzzle. The great piece of storytelling you can use is getting to Ewan play the moment of realization that that which haunts him is still alive and what does that mean for him? There were many avenues that I could take him down, all of which hopefully are good opportunities to tease out story as we continue. But it all comes down to, is it viable within canon to play that card? Which it was. Which is great, because that allows you, at the end of Episode 2 and the beginning of Episode 3, it gets you so much that feels essential to the fundamental story, which is Obi Wan, Vader, that which haunts you, facing the past, everything that comes to fruition in 3 and beyond.” (sic)
There are only a couple more weeks left before the final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi airs on Disney+. If you have a subscription, I’m not telling you to watch it, because I’m sure that you already are watching it right now. Thank you for reading this, now I have to return to the unknown regions of the internet.
Written by Ian Smith
Syndicated from Culture Slate