How ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Deepens the Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker

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

The emotional stakes of Obi-Wan Kenobi have been monumental – even when a lot of the result was already identified.

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All through the Disney + Star Wars miniseries, it is not the specter of life or loss of life that set viewers’ hearts racing, however the journey to higher perceive the deeply damaged relationship between the grasp, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), and his padawan, Anakin Skywalker turned Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). And Obi-Wan Kenobi provides much more perception into Anakin’s tragic existence.

With the discharge of George Lucas’ authentic trilogy, Star Wars chronicles the traditional hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker, a younger boy who embarks on a quest to save lots of not solely the galaxy, but in addition his father, from the evils of the Darkish Aspect. It was solely with the discharge of the prequel trilogy 16 years later that followers discovered the Star Wars The saga was not solely about Luke, however truly a better, interconnected story concerning the rise, fall and redemption of Darth Vader.

In simply six episodes, Obi-Wan Kenobi provides extra gas to the unending fireplace of Star Wars storytelling, because it deepens the tragic ends of Anakin’s arc. Whereas the collection follows Obi-Wan on his journey to launch the remnants of guilt and trauma from the occasions of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sithit paints an much more despairing portrait of Anakin himself – the Chosen One who turned a ruthlessly evil man-machine.

One second specifically involves thoughts, introduced on by the fan-anticipated flashback scene in “Half V.” It is a temporary sequence that serves a fair better function, as viewers are handled to a coaching duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin, set previous to Star Wars: Episode II – Assault of the Clones.

All through the flashback, it is clear that regardless of Anakin’s expertise and energy, his grasp appears to all the time be one step forward. This sentiment is paralleled all through the fifth episode, as Obi-Wan as soon as once more outsmarts Vader, who can not seem to overcome his impatience.

Assume again to 2 exchanges between Anakin and his soon-to-be-wife Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in Assault of the Clones. Within the first act of the movie, and in addition later after Anakin vengefully kills a camp of Tusken Raiders, the padawan expresses frustration with Kenobi, calling his grasp “overly crucial” and misunderstanding.

“I’m actually forward of him,” a younger Anakin tells Padmé. “I’m prepared for the trials, however he feels that I’m too unpredictable. He will not let me transfer on. ”

If followers questioned how precisely Obi-Wan was “holding [Anakin] again, ”it’s clearer now from the Obi-Wan Kenobi flashback. Besides from an outsider’s viewpoint, Obi-Wan is sensible in his choice to delay Anakin’s rise by means of the ranks. Anakin Shoo reckless, aggressive and much too certain of himself. As his grasp, Kenobi sees this – not but realizing it would lead the younger Skywalker to the Darkish Aspect, however as a roadblock in his Jedi improvement.

“You’re a nice warrior, Anakin, however your have to show your self is your undoing. Till you overcome it, a padawan you’ll nonetheless be, ”a de-aged McGregor says to Christensen as a younger Anakin in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

It is these private shortcomings that by no means enable Anakin to really defeat Obi-Wan. With this context in thoughts, “Half V” even reframes the pair’s closing showdown in A New Hope, by which Vader strikes down his grasp as soon as and for all. One step forward till the very finish, Obi-Wan clearly lets the Sith Lord win. In step with Lucas’ affinity for overarching themes that pop up constantly all through every of the movies, it would all the time be Anakin’s future to return up brief with Obi-Wan, till he is ready to lastly redeem himself and return to the Gentle.

In “Half VI,” the collection ’ending battle between Obi-Wan and Vader strikes a extra emotional chord, as followers see Anakin absolutely remodeled into Vader, not simply bodily, however mentally and emotionally, as nicely.

“I’ve failed you, Anakin,” Obi-Wan informed Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. And it is the guilt of that – this sense that he has created a monster – that Obi-Wan has carried ever since. As may be seen within the first few episodes of the restricted collection, the Jedi-in-hiding holds the burden of the galaxy on his shoulders, feeling chargeable for not solely dropping Anakin, however for the autumn of the Jedi Order and the Republic as an entire.

And as supposed, it is heartbreaking to observe the emotion in Obi-Wan’s eyes as he tells Anakin what he is been holding for 10 years: “I am sorry,” he says, lastly capable of see his padawan’s face from below Vader’s helmet. In a voice that is an amalgam of each the go well with and Christensen, Vader delivers the traces that Obi-Wan lastly wanted to listen to so as to let go of his guilt.

“I’m not your failure, Obi-Wan,” Vader says. “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did. ” With that closure, Obi-Wan is ready to stroll away from the encounter, acknowledging his outdated good friend as “Darth” and leaving his attachment to Anakin behind. And whereas it is a triumphant second for Obi-Wan, it is nonetheless one other tragic hour for Anakin. Trapped contained in the shell of Vader’s go well with, he is misplaced every part – his outdated life, his physique, his spouse, his pals and his kids. Now, he is even misplaced Obi-Wan.

It is these moments of the present that draw the characters of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader even nearer collectively. Whereas we sometimes see them as two separate beings (with 20 years handed between Episodes III and IV), the restricted collection provides higher perception into the person – or what’s left of him – within the go well with.

As Padmé says in her final phrases to Obi-Wan, “There’s good in him.” And whereas Darth Vader could not notice it simply but, the viewers is nicely conscious that Anakin is certainly nonetheless buried someplace deep throughout the monster.

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