Why Star Wars Fans Should Actually Be Excited For Obi-Wan Kenobi's Rematch Between Jedi Master And Darth Vader

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Disney+ is bringing more adventures to the galaxy far, far away with some of Star Warsmost beloved characters in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is back, and surprisingly enough, so is Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader. The two will presumably face off in another showdown with the series adding another chapter to their long history as metaphorical brothers and sworn enemies, so I was a bit shocked when I saw reactions to the news of the rematch ranging from middling to doubting whether or not another big fight should be featured.

Star Wars fans should be excited for the rematch between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader, in my book, if not outright thrilled such an event is happening. Of course, we can’t talk about anything in the Star Wars universe without a healthy amount of debate, so in the spirit of that, here are some things to consider for anyone on the fence about Vader and Kenobi’s upcoming showdown being anything other than must-see television.

Anakin burning in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Vader and Obi-Wan Consistently Deliver The Most Thrilling Encounters Of The Star Wars Saga

When you think of the most terrific lightsaber duel in Star Wars history, what comes to mind? For me, and I imagine many others, it’s the duel on Mustafar between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Not only is it one of the most elaborate duels in the franchise, but it’s two incredibly skilled combatants with a deep history, leaving it all on the table in a life or death situation. Even knowing Anakin was going to lose, there are moments rewatching where one has to think maybe, just maybe, Obi-Wan wouldn't escape his former Padawan’s wrath

Obi-Wan Kenobi precedes Obi-Wan and Vader’s final duel on the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope, where there’s some phenomenal storytelling. While Obi-Wan is still a force to be reckoned with in that movie, I think it’s fair to say he lost a step in his older age. Vader's goal in their A New Hope encounter is to destroy Obi-Wan, but Obi-Wan's motive is different. It’s his goal to give Luke and the rest of the crew a chance to escape, and apparently, the only way to achieve that is via self-sacrifice. I don’t necessarily subscribe to some popular beliefs about this duel, but we’ll get into that later and, for now, hopefully agree that the A New Hope showdown is a thrilling duel because of what’s at stake. 

If Obi-Wan and Anakin/Darth Vader have delivered intense stakes, awesome lightsaber duels, and emotional payoffs in their other showdowns to date, why should we be concerned about Obi-Wan Kenobi at all? I certainly sympathize with the idea of going to the well too many times, but I don’t think this is something happening simply for the sake of it happening. It makes sense that Vader and Kenobi would cross paths again before their final encounter, and precedent shows that it’s probably going to be a showdown fans will be discussing for quite some time. 

Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

This Is Likely The Most Even Playing Field For Vader And Obi-Wan

Obi-Wan and Darth Vader meeting up pre-Star Wars: A New Hope is exciting because I think it’s the most even playing field for each combatant in terms of a battle. We know that, canonically speaking, Anakin Skywalker could've been the strongest Force user ever had he never lost to Obi-Wan, but this isn’t to say that he never gained power after being cut down. In fact, Vader is plenty powerful, and I’d argue he’s a more formidable match for Obi-Wan than he was in their duel on Mustafar. 

Darth Vader is not as athletic as he was as Anakin Skywalker, but with that loss comes a change. Darth Vader’s dueling is more deliberate, calculated, and plenty effective without the flips and twists of his youth. Go back to how easily he cut down those Rebel soldiers in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, his battles with Luke, or any number of duels in his Marvel Comics run. Vader does far fewer acrobatics than Anakin Skywalker, but through deliberate movement, tactics, and skill, he’s not liable to make the near-fatal mistake he did in Revenge of the Sith

Anakin’s loss to Obi-Wan came down to a lack of self-control, and I fully believe we’ll see a Darth Vader in much better control of himself in the upcoming series. Obi-Wan is still a great Jedi, so I don’t think for a second he’ll be a slouch, but all Jedi lose a step as they age. Qui-Gon Jinn was considered a Jedi Master and died to Darth Maul, who had very little command of the Force. 

Obi-Wan may have a greater command of the Force, but I speculate we saw him at his absolute best on Mustafar. Plus, he’s going up against someone who has the resources of the Empire behind him, so he’s already working at a disadvantage. Some people think Obi-Wan has this one in the bag, and I think they’re just a bit too confident in Tatooine’s resident hermit.

Obi-Wan in Star Wars: A New Hope

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

We Need A Decisive Tiebreaker

If I were to do a scorecard on the saga between Anakin/Vader vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi, I’d put them at 1-1. Obviously, Obi-Wan gets the win at Mustafar, and while this may be controversial to some, I think Darth Vader gets a victory when Obi-Wan dies in Star Wars: A New Hope. We can talk about self-sacrifice and the implications all day, but I personally think that if Obi-Wan’s only option was to die in order for Luke and everyone to escape, then his chances of winning weren’t all that great. If that’s not true, then why not just fight Vader as long as possible and escape, or try to kill him?

Even if you can’t agree with that, I don’t think you can rule a decisive winner here. Had Obi-Wan killed Anakin on Mustafar, he might’ve stopped a great deal of destruction throughout the galaxy. I could argue that Obi-Wan took the greatest loss there using the same logic that Vader lost in letting Obi-Wan distract him in A New Hope

We can wax poetic on motives, implications, and validity of wins and losses all day, and my point is, we get closer to a definitive answer with a third showdown in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hell, maybe we even get some clarity that gives more depth and weight to the battles on Mustafar and the Death Star, if that’s even possible. As I said, this is something we should be excited about, even if we’re still a little nervous, because there’s a lot at stake. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi is expected to release on Disney+ in 2022 and feature some sort of showdown between Vader and Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hopefully, anyone on the fence about seeing that is a little more enthused about the idea by reading this, or at least willing to be a little less cynical before seeing it go down.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.