WARNING: SPOILERS FOR OBI-WAN KENOBI EPISODE 3
The rematch of the century finally occurred in episode 3 of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader faced off against his Master Obi-Wan Kenobi a decade after their first almost fatal duel on Mustafar. In their encounter on Mustafar, Obi-Wan Kenobi pretty much dominated Anakin Skywalker. Ten years later, it was Darth Vader. The second lightsaber duel did not last as long and ended quite differently than the duel on Mustafar. Although Darth Vader dominated the duel, he allowed Obi-Wan Kenobi to survive. Did Darth Vader feel remorse for Kenobi or was it part of his plot to find and kill more Jedi and to make Obi-Wan Kenobi suffer as he had on Mustafar?
For the last 10 years, Obi-Wan Kenobi had been in hiding on Tatooine keeping an eye on Anakin and Padme’s son. Obi-Wan Kenobi had become a different person, not using his Force powers, and not training in the Jedi ways. All of this made him a lot weaker than back when they were on Mustafar.
On the other hand, Darth Vader had learned a lot in the past decade. He had become used to utilizing the weight of his armor when striking his opponents. Kenobi definitely felt those heavy blows and almost lost control of his lightsaber at one point. Darth Vader even felt comfortable using telekinesis against his former master. Darth Vader humiliated Kenobi by using the Force to drag him through a bed of flames. Vader wanted Kenobi to burn like he did back on Mustarfar. He still blamed Kenobi for all the tragedies in his life and wanted him to suffer just as he did. Vader did not want to kill Kenobi too quickly.
His plan to torture Kenobi was disrupted, however. A new ally saved Kenobi when her well-placed blaster fire from her perch on the high ground caused Vader to break his grip on Kenobi. In the chaos that ensued, she and her droid were able to pull Kenobi to safety. Vader pulled away, but still experienced the satisfaction that Kenobi did not escape unscathed and would continue to suffer from the burns. He could have easily pursued the Jedi despite the minor disruption, but he opted to stop. He expected another opportunity to torture Kenobi before finally killing him.
Vader could have easily continued after the minor disruption but opted to cease. It was as if he expected to have another opportunity to torture Kenobi before killing him. On the more practical side, the dark lord may have let Kenobi go so that he may lead the Sith to other Jedi. It is possible that Vader had intuited that a network of Jedi was close by, and killing more Jedi would be very satisfying for Vader.
Fans had seen Kenobi’s struggles as he lived in seclusion on Tatooine. He had to live with all the guilt and trauma that resulted from Order 66. In the third episode, viewers also learned that it was difficult for him to leave his biological family to join the Jedi family. This was very similar to Anakin’s life and struggles.
Vader could also sense Kenobi’s presence and feelings. No doubt he was aware of the Jedi’s struggle with killing Anakin back on Mustafar and his reaction upon realizing that Anakin was still alive as Darth Vader. In addition to his physical pain, Vader also wanted his former master to suffer emotionally. Director Deborah Chow commented on the relationship between the two:
“I felt like it was quite hard to not [include] the person who left Kenobi in such anguish in the series. I don’t know how you could not. I don’t think he ever will not care about him. What’s special about that relationship is that they loved each other.”
By keeping Kenobi alive, Vader wants to subject him to a similar quandary he blames Obi-Wan for placing him in.
This sets the series up for at least one more Vader-Kenobi lightsaber duel. There are three more episodes left in season 1 and the first three did not disappoint (there are even words that a second season may be in the works). We will have to wait and see what happens next. The final result of this duel is still up in the air along with the fate of young Leia as the episode ended with Kenobi agonizing in pain and Leia in the custody of Reva.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4 releases on Disney+ on Wednesday, June 8.
Written By Charles Cunha
Syndicated From Culture Slate