Who wins this Duel of the Fates? Not Obi-Wan.
Star Wars Defined is our ongoing collection the place we delve into the newest Star Wars reveals, motion pictures, trailers, and information tales to divine the franchise’s future. This entry examines Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6 and the ultimate showdown between Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker.
This week, Obi–Wan Kenobi delivered its title bout. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) vs. Darth Vader (James Earl Jones/Hayden Christensen), like we’ve by no means seen them earlier than and can most likely by no means see once more…uh, let’s commerce “most likely” with “perhaps” given the present’s streaming success. The confrontation was chopped up equally to how Luke Skywalker’s Darth Vader saber battle was in Return of the Jedi, buying and selling Ewok/Stormtrooper hijinks with Third Sister Reva (Moses Ingram) scurring after a Tatooine baby.
Director Deborah Chow couldn’t give us what we wished in a single large gulp. That’s not the George Lucas means. Star Wars is about pleasure delaying, giving us simply sufficient to maintain us going, by no means lingering on the occasion all of us confirmed up right here to expertise.
As a season, Obi–Wan Kenobi was an agonizing watch. Our title character spends a lot of the collection hiding from his failures and, in doing so, regularly failing these nonetheless bothering to battle the Empire. In Episode 3, when Obi-Wan first put his eyes on the monster he left melting on Mustafar, he practically succumbed to his despair. Obi-Wan most likely would have let Vader snuff him out if not for his new mates.
“What have you ever change into?” requested the Jedi. “I’m what you made me,” answered the Sith.
These six phrases lower deeper than any lightsaber gash. They represented all the pieces Obi-Wan feared at that second. The darkest evil strolling the galaxy got here from his instruction and his ignorance. Besides now, Obi–Wan Kenobi Episode 6 want to let Obi-Wan off the hook. Ought to we let it?
Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi Returns
All through the season, we watched Obi-Wan Kenobi slowly escape his despair. His interactions with Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) and a burgeoning resistance power woke up hope inside. Sure, he and the Jedi Council misplaced, and their failure to acknowledge the evil rising from throughout the Republic and their prized pupil value the galaxy its freedom. Billions died as a result of Obi-Wan couldn’t think about such atrocity percolating in Anakin. Obi-Wan earned that disgrace and will by no means shake it.
Nonetheless, whereas Obi-Wan was prepared to put down within the desert and sulk, 1000’s of others continued to battle. That they had no different alternative. Obi-Wan’s downside in Episode 1 is that he couldn’t shake the reminiscence of his beating. He cloaked himself in defeat, and solely Leia, apparently, may shed him of it.
I used to be just lately watching the Tony Hawk documentary Till the Wheels Fall Off. The movie proposes that the younger skate-rat grew to become a legend as a result of he by no means held onto the ache that got here with the falls. Hawk would break his arm, however he’d be again on the board days later, if not hours later. His incapacity to recollect the defeat allowed him to decide to the gnarliest tips.
Obi-Wan Kenobi going through Darth Vader on the anonymous moon in Episode 6 is the Jedi Knight getting again on the board, again within the battle. Crossing swords was most likely sufficient, however Vader’s closing phrases to him sealed the deal. No matter guilt Obi-Wan had about chopping the legs and arms off his pal rapidly dissipated.
Anakin Skywalker, a Suicide?
What was the very first thing we ever realized about Darth Vader? In Star Wars: A New Hope, Ben Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker, “A younger Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine till he turned to evil, helped the Empire seek out and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father.”
A number of years later, in Return of the Jedi, Power ghost Kenobi finagles historical past to clarify the white mislead Luke after the child learns the reality about expensive previous dad. “Your father,” he mentioned, “was seduced by the Darkish Facet of the Power. He ceased to be the Jedi Anakin Skywalker and have become the Sith Darth Vader. When that occurred, the nice man who was your father was destroyed. So, what I informed you was true… from a sure standpoint.”
From a sure standpoint? In 1983, we had been proper there with Luke Skywalker. Come on, Ben. That’s some B.S. In mild of Obi–Wan Kenobi Episode 6, we completely perceive how Ben got here to that conclusion. He did the psychological gymnastics, for his personal sake, and for Anakin’s sake. He’s simply following the reality scripted by Darth Vader.
Together with his helmet shattered and his fleshy components poking out, Vader gurgles his disgust towards Obi-Wan. He refuses to just accept Obi-Wan’s wet-eyed apology. “I’m not your failure,” he wheezes. “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did.”
Vader can’t give Obi-Wan the win. As soon as once more, the Jedi bought the excessive floor. This time by smashing the mechanical bits that preserve the pulpy physique beneath respiration. Shriveled and as pathetic as ever, Darth Vader rejects Obi-Wan’s standpoint, proudly taking possession of his selections throughout Revenge of the Sith.
Nobody compelled Anakin to the Darkish Facet. Nobody guided his hand as he struck these younglings down. Palpatine merely stoked the fires of hate swelling inside. As soon as the Jedi switched groups, he was wanting to tackle a brand new mantle and kill the previous him. Obi-Wan stays the final vestige of his earlier life, and that’s why he’s bought to kill him so dangerous. That’s additionally why Palpatine desires Vader to surrender the ghost as Episode 6 wraps up.
Vader’s attachments to Obi-Wan are a menace. They remind him that there was as soon as Mild in Vader in addition to Darkish. It’s a crack that can solely widen as Vader more and more associates along with his son, Luke Skywalker. Palpatine can sense the betrayal on the horizon. You must surprise if that Mild in Vader may have grown sooner if Obi-Wan didn’t stroll away.
As crushed by Vader’s phrases as Obi-Wan was in Episode 3, he’s extra so by those shot his means in Episode 6. Searching for forgiveness for creating Vader may have shaped a bridge between the previous grasp and pupil. Accepting Vader’s whole blame for his creation causes Obi-Wan to reject his brother as an inhuman different. The dismissal permits Vader to double down, triple down on his wretchedness.
If that’s what Obi-Wan was going to do, he most likely ought to have killed Vader on the moon proper then and there, saving numerous lives. However he can’t kill Vader similar to Luke can’t kill him in Return of the Jedi. Obi-Wan can ignore the love he feels for Anakin, however he can’t fully eradicate it, and this can be a sort of cowardice too. It’s a lingering worry that can bubble into Obi-Wan’s request of Luke to do to Vader what Obi-Wan couldn’t.
Fortunately, Luke Skywalker has the larger coronary heart. The son’s openness to a Mild Facet chance leads the daddy to activate his darkish grasp. Obi-Wan may have gotten that ball rolling earlier if Vader’s phrases in Episode 6 didn’t damage him so deeply. Accepting Anakin Skywalker’s dying is as a lot a failing as ignoring Darth Vader’s gradual creation in Revenge of the Sith. The subsequent technology is at all times left to repair the failings of the earlier one. Simply ask Ben Sol0.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6 is now streaming on Disney+
Associated Subjects: Ewan McGregor, Star Wars, Star Wars Defined