How will the Obi-Wan vs Vader duel in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus series affect Star Wars canon?
Obi-Wan vs Vader. It’s enough to send chills down the spine. But how will the inevitable duel affect Star Wars canon moving forward?
Rumor has it that the town of Little Marlow in Buckinghamshire is furious that the Kenobi/Andor mini-series’ is filming there. How dare they! Their presence is causing a huge disturbance in their Force and they don’t want this giant set to be built there. Honestly, if they set up shop in my town; I’d feel honored.
ANAKIN VS DOOKU
Anyways, Kathleen Kennedy reportedly teased a huge rematch between Vader and Obi-Wan, and while this may seem awesome; a neurotic canon cruncher like me has a few eyebrows raised. One of the worst things about The Clone Wars was that they felt the need to have Anakin fight Dooku every other week. In between the first and last duel in Episodes 2 and 3. Yes, I know when you make a TV show that ends up being retroactive that you have to make a lot of “adjustments”. But in the original Clone Wars multimedia practice, Anakin “missed” a chance to fight Dooku during the 3 years of the Clone Wars. And when he defeated Dooku on the Invisible Hand towards the end of the war; it had been quite some time since the two saw each other and their fight dialogue shows it.
Yet now that we know Anakin and Dooku met 6 or 7 times in established canon; it makes the growth as a warrior null and void for Anakin and makes the dialogue completely confusing. “Twice the pride, double the fall.” Don’t you mean 8 times?
Now it looks like Kenobi is destined to repeat this mistake by having Obi-Wan fight Vader in between Mustafar and the first Death Star duels. However, never fear. The Force is with us and there may be a glimmer of hope and ironically it lies in already established dialogue. Two throwaway lines from the Original Trilogy could retroactively imply (however slightly) that these two Star Wars giants may have met not 2, but 3 times.
The first piece of evidence was when they fought on the Death Star. Vader tries to rattle Obi-Wan with some Dun Moch and tells Obi-Wan that he is old and weak but also says “You should not have come back”. Back in 1977, this probably was implied to mean coming back out of hiding; but the 2022 retcon could be “coming back” from whichever location they last dueled. And it’s not Mustafar because Obi-Wan didn’t lose to Vader.
Not coming back implies he lost to Vader and we all know that Mustafar was quite a doozy for Anakin. He may have fought Vader on some as of yet unidentified planet and was forced to flee when he could not beat his former Apprentice. Now fast forward to Return of the Jedi where Luke gives himself up to his father and is about to see the Emperor. He begs Vader to “come away with him”. Back turned and lost in thought; Vader mutters almost to himself “Obi-Wan once thought as you do”. This implies that somewhere along the line Obi-Wan believed Anakin could have been saved and may have also begged his former apprentice to change his dark ways.
Aside from screaming that Palpatine was evil and that he was lost on Mustafar; Obi-Wan didn’t seem to be in the mood to plead for Anakin to return. He had just seen him choke his pregnant wife and it was very certain that Obi-Wan knew (at the time) that he needed to kill Anakin. Now perhaps when he met Anakin in the suit during this new series; he took pity on Vader and saw the same good that Padme and later Luke would see. So it’s all good. Obi-Wan and Vader can meet a third time without hurting canon. It’s grandfathered in and the Force has willed it.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!