Kenobi’s Vader Rematch Is Already Canon (It Was Teased In Return of the Jedi)

Kenobi's Vader Rematch Is Already Canon (It Was Teased In Return of the Jedi)

Obi-Wan Kenobi will face Darth Vader in his Disney+ TV show – and far from breaking canon, it fulfills hints in Return of the Jedi from George Lucas.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV series will see the Jedi Master go head-to-head with Darth Vader – an encounter teased in Return of the Jedi. When Obi-Wan Kenobi came face-to-face with Darth Vader in the first Star Wars film Star Wars: A New Hope, it was clearly the first time they had met in quite a while. “When I left you, I was but the learner,” Darth Vader taunted as the two prepared to duel. “Now, I am the master.”

At the time, the general assumption was that this meant Darth Vader had not met Obi-Wan since that fateful duel on Mustafar, where the Jedi Master defeated his former Padawan and left his body burning on the volcanic planet. This explains why there was such surprise when Disney revealed both Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen would be returning in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV show, with Christensen finally getting the chance to suit up as Darth Vader himself. The two will reportedly clash on two separate occasions, undoubtedly making this a major event series but also challenging the perceived canon of Star Wars audiences.

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Surprisingly, though, Return of the Jedi actually teased at least one additional encounter between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. In one key scene, Obi-Wan’s Force Ghost spoke to Luke Skywalker, attempting to talk him out of trying to redeem his father. “I also thought he could be turned back to the good side,” Obi-Wan observed. “It couldn’t be done. He is more machine now than man. Twisted and evil.” The clear implication, therefore, is that Obi-Wan tried to redeem Darth Vader before their duel in A New Hope and turn him back to the light side of the Force but was shaken when he encountered the Sith Lord.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader fighting on the Death Star with Vader using his dual-phase lightsaber in A New Hope

This, presumably, is part of the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV show; Obi-Wan clings to hope that Darth Vader could be redeemed but ultimately abandons it after two more encounters with his former apprentice. It’s important to note Darth Vader won’t be fully-formed in Obi-Wan Kenobi, with director Deborah Chow teasing he isn’t quite the powerhouse seen in the original trilogy. “He’s in between these two trilogies,” she pointed out. “So he isn’t the New Hope Vader quite yet, you know what I mean? So we are with the character sort of in the middle of this period. It is still Vader obviously, but it’s a Vader that isn’t quite as fully formed as A New Hope.” This comment is crucial to understanding how Obi-Wan Kenobi fits into the Star Wars canon, simply because it means Darth Vader still considers himself a learner rather than a master – thus explaining his dialogue in A New Hope.

There is, of course, a certain degree of irony here. Many had assumed Obi-Wan’s duels with Darth Vader somehow broke canon, but in reality, they hadn’t known the lore quite as well as they believed. Far from contradicting established Star Wars continuity, the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV show is, in fact, the fulfillment of events first teased back in Return of the Jedi – events George Lucas always intended to have happened.

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Thomas Bacon
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Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant’s staff writers, as well as a Peer Mentor for new writers and a member of the Care Team, offering support and a listening ear to members of the Comics group. A lifelong fan of major franchises including Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Marvel, Tom is delighted his childhood is back – and this time it’s cool. You can find him on Twitter @TomABacon.

A graduate of Edge Hill University, Tom remains strongly connected with his alma mater as a volunteer chaplain. He’s heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will swiftly learn he’s into British politics too.

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