Obi-Wan Kenobi Deepens Anakin Skywalker’s Star Wars Tragedy – The Hollywood Reporter

Obi-Wan Kenobi Deepens Anakin Skywalker’s Star Wars Tragedy – The Hollywood Reporter

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

The emotional commitment of Obi-Wan Kenobi were huge – even if much of the outcome was already known.

During the Disney+ Star Wars miniseries, it is not the threat of life or death that makes viewers’ hearts beat faster, but the journey to discover the deeply fractured relationship between the master, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), and his padawan, Anakin Skywalker that Darth Vader became more understandable (Hayden Christensen). And Obi-Wan Kenobi gives much more insight into Anakin’s tragic existence.

With the release of George Lucas’ original trilogy, Star Wars tells the story of the classic heroic journey 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 saga wasn’t just about Luke, but actually a larger, interconnected story of Darth Vader’s rise, fall and redemption.

In just six episodes, Obi-Wan Kenobi adds more fuel to the never-ending fire of Star Wars storytelling, as it deepens the tragic ends of Anakin’s arc. As the series follows Obi-Wan on his journey to overcome 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 herself – the chosen one who became a relentlessly evil man-machine.

One moment in particular comes to mind triggered by the fan-anticipated flashback scene in “Part V”. It’s a short series that serves an even bigger purpose, as viewers are treated to a training duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin, prior to Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

During the flashback, it is clear that despite Anakin’s talent and power, his master always seems to be one step ahead. This sentiment parallels in the fifth episode, as Obi-Wan again outwits Vader, who can’t seem to overcome his impatience.

Think back to two exchanges between Anakin and his wife-to-be Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in Attack of the Clones† In the first act of the film, and also later after Anakin vengefully kills a camp of Tusken Raiders, the padawan expresses his frustration with Kenobi, calling his master “overly critical” and misunderstanding.

“I’m really for him,” a young Anakin tells Padmé. “I’m ready for the tests, but he thinks I’m too unpredictable. He won’t let me go any further.”

If fans were wondering how exactly Obi-Wan “held on” [Anakin] back”, it is now clearer from the Obi-Wan Kenobi retrospect. Except from an outsider’s point of view, Obi-Wan is wise in his decision to delay Anakin’s rise through the ranks. Anakin is reckless, aggressive and way too sure of himself. As his master, Kenobi sees this – not yet realizing that it will lead the young Skywalker to the Dark Side, but as a roadblock in his Jedi development.

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

It’s these personal flaws that keep Anakin never really able to defeat Obi-Wan. With this context in mind, “Part V” even reformulates the pair’s final confrontation in A new hope, in which Vader strikes down his master once and for all. One step ahead to the end, Obi-Wan clearly lets the Sith Lord win. In keeping with Lucas’s affinity for overarching themes that crop up continuously in each of the films, it will always be Anakin’s destiny to shortchange Obi-Wan until he is able to finally redeem himself and return to the Light.

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

“I let you down, Anakin,” Obi-Wan told Anakin in Revenge of the Sith† And it’s the fault of that—this sense that he’s created a monster—that Obi-Wan has carried with him ever since. As seen in the first few episodes of the limited series, the Jedi-in-hiding holds the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders and feels responsible for not only the loss of Anakin, but also the fall of the Jedi Order and the Republic as a whole.

And as intended, it’s heartbreaking to see the emotion in Obi-Wan’s eyes as he tells Anakin what he’s been holding onto for 10 years: “I’m sorry,” he says, finally being able to see his padawan’s face from under Vader’s helmet. to see. With a voice that’s an amalgam of both the suit and Christensen, Vader delivers the lines Obi-Wan finally needed to hear 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 can walk away from the encounter, recognize his old friend as “Darth” and leave his attachment to Anakin. And while it’s a moment of triumph for Obi-Wan, it’s another tragic hour for Anakin Trapped in the shell of Vader’s suit, he has lost everything: his old life, his body, his wife, his friends and his children, and now he has even lost Obi-Wan.

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

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

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