How ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Goes Deeper Into Anakin Skywalker’s Tragedy

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[This story contains spoilers for the series finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi.]

The emotional issues of Obi Wan Kenobi were huge – even though much of the outcome was already known.

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Throughout Disney+ star wars miniseries, it’s not the threat of life or death that sets viewers’ hearts racing, but the journey to better understand the deeply broken relationship between the master, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), and his padawan, Anakin Skywalker turned Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). And Obi Wan Kenobi gives much more information about Anakin’s tragic existence.

With the release of George Lucas’ original trilogy, star wars chronicles the journey of the classic hero of Luke Skywalker, a young boy who embarks on a quest to save not only the galaxy, but also his father, from the evils of the dark side. It wasn’t until the release of the prequel trilogy 16 years later that fans learned the star wars The saga wasn’t just about Luke, but actually a larger, interconnected story about Darth Vader’s rise, fall, and redemption.

In just six episodes, Obi Wan Kenobi adds more fuel to the endless fire of star wars storytelling, as it deepens the tragic endings of Anakin’s arc. As the series follows Obi-Wan on his journey to release the remnants of guilt and trauma from the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sithit paints an even more desperate portrait of Anakin himself – the chosen one who has become a ruthlessly evil man-machine.

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One moment in particular comes to mind, prompted by the fan-awaited flashback scene in “Part V.” It’s a brief sequence that serves an even bigger purpose, as viewers are treated to a practice duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin, which takes place before Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

Throughout the flashback, it’s clear that despite Anakin’s talent and power, his master always seems to be one step ahead. This feeling is paralleled throughout the fifth episode, as Obi-Wan once again outwits Vader, who can’t seem to get over his impatience.

Think back to two exchanges between Anakin and his future wife Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in attack of the clones. In the film’s first act, and also later after Anakin kills a camp of Tusken Raiders in revenge, the padawan expresses his frustration with Kenobi, calling his master “overly judgmental” and misunderstanding.

“I’m way ahead of him,” a younger Anakin told Padmé. “I’m ready for practice, but he thinks I’m too unpredictable. He won’t let me go.

If fans were wondering exactly how Obi-Wan was “holding up [Anakin] return”, it is clearer now from the Obi Wan Kenobi backtrack. Except from an outside perspective, Obi-Wan is wise in his decision to delay Anakin’s rise through the ranks. anakin is reckless, aggressive and far too sure of himself. As a master, Kenobi sees this – not yet realizing that it will lead the young Skywalker to the dark side, but as a hindrance to his Jedi development.

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“You are a great warrior, Anakin, but your need to prove yourself is your downfall. Until you overcome it, you will always be a padawan,” an elderly McGregor tells Christensen as young Anakin in Obi Wan Kenobi.

It’s these personal shortcomings that never allow Anakin to truly defeat Obi-Wan. Against this backdrop, “Part V” even reframes the pair’s final showdown as A new hope, in which Vader slaughters his master once and for all. One step ahead until the very end, Obi-Wan clearly lets the Sith Lord win. In keeping with Lucas’ affinity for the overarching themes that continuously appear throughout each of the films, Anakin’s destiny will always be to fail Obi-Wan, until he can finally redeem himself and return. to the Light.

In “Part VI,” the series’ final battle between Obi-Wan and Vader strikes a more emotional chord, as fans see Anakin fully transformed into Vader, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

“I let you down, Anakin,” Obi-Wan told Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. And it’s the guilt of that – that feeling that he created a monster – that Obi-Wan has carried around ever since. As seen in the early episodes of the limited series, the Hidden Jedi carries the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders, feeling responsible not only for Anakin’s loss, but also for the downfall of the Jedi Order and of the Republic. a set.

And as expected, it’s heartbreaking to see the emotion in Obi-Wan’s eyes as he tells Anakin what he’s been holding back for 10 years: “I’m sorry,” he says, finally able to see the face of his padawan under Vader’s helmet. In a voice that’s an amalgamation of both the suit and Christensen, Vader delivers the lines Obi-Wan finally needed to hear to let go of his guilt.

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“I am not your failure, Obi-Wan,” Vader said. “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did it.” With that closure, Obi-Wan is able to walk away from the encounter, recognizing his old friend as “Darth” and leaving behind his attachment to Anakin. And though it’s a triumphant moment for Obi-Wan, it’s yet another tragic hour for Anakin. Trapped inside the shell of Vader’s costume, he has lost everything: his old life, his body, his wife, his friends and his children. Now he even lost Obi-Wan.

It’s these moments in the series that bring the characters of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader even closer together. While we usually see them as two separate beings (with 20 years between Episodes III and IV), the limited series gives a better look at the man – or what’s left of him – in the suit.

As Padmé says in her final words to Obi-Wan, “There’s good in him.” And while Darth Vader may not realize it yet, audiences are well aware that Anakin is indeed still buried somewhere deep within the monster.

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