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 end result was already recognized.

Extra from The Hollywood Reporter

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 way more perception into Anakin’s tragic existence.

With the discharge of George Lucas’ unique trilogy, Star Wars chronicles the traditional hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker, a younger boy who embarks on a quest to avoid wasting 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 realized the Star Wars The saga was not solely about Luke, however truly a higher, interconnected story concerning the rise, fall and redemption of Darth Vader.

In simply six episodes, Obi-Wan Kenobi provides extra gasoline to the endless 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 grew to become 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 an excellent higher objective, 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 at all times 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 likewise later after Anakin vengefully kills a camp of Tusken Raiders, the padawan expresses frustration with Kenobi, calling his grasp “overly vital” 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 puzzled how precisely Obi-Wan was “holding [Anakin] again, ”it’s clearer now from the Obi-Wan Kenobi flashback. Besides from an outsider’s perspective, Obi-Wan is sensible in his determination to delay Anakin’s rise by the ranks. Anakin Shoo reckless, aggressive and much too positive 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 remaining showdown in A New Hope, through 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. According to Lucas’ affinity for overarching themes that pop up repeatedly all through every of the movies, it would at all times be Anakin’s future to come back 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 reworked into Vader, not simply bodily, however mentally and emotionally, as properly.

“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 could be seen within the first few episodes of the restricted collection, the Jedi-in-hiding holds the load of the galaxy on his shoulders, feeling answerable for not solely shedding 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 strains that Obi-Wan lastly wanted to listen to with a purpose 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 previous 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 little thing – his previous life, his physique, his spouse, his mates 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 usually 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 understand it simply but, the viewers is properly conscious that Anakin is certainly nonetheless buried someplace deep throughout the monster.

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