Lucasfilm and Disney recently announced the cast for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi and it looks to be a good mix of returning favorites and new faces. However, of course, one name stands way above everyone else’s and that’s of Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader. This is a huge moment since he is resuming his role a whole 15 years since Revenge of the Sith ended. Also, if anyone had any doubts, then know that he is going to be the major antagonist of the show.
As far as Hayden’s performance as Vader goes, it’s still divisive, but his return means that we will get to see more of a mostly forgotten time period in Obi-Wan and Anakin’s lives. Also maybe this time, Hayden will get to show everyone again that he was indeed the best choice for Darth Vader. These are enough reasons to make anyone watch the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, but we think that Darth Vader’s appearance is going to actually give the answer to a long-forgotten mystery heading back to Return of the Jedi.
Want to know what it is? Then read on below about it:
The Disney+ show will be following Obi-Wan Kenobi and it will be set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Lucasfilm has announced some of the cast members who will be playing notable roles, but they haven’t announced the characters that most of these actors will be playing. Of course, we know that Ewan McGregor will be resuming his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi but nothing much is known apart from this.
However, we must say that Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton are most probably playing Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, just like they were in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Among the actors whose roles we most definitely don’t know, there’s Indira Varma and Kumail Nanjiani.
In terms of plot, we know that the show will be set a decade after Revenge of the Sith. So this will be during the time when the Empire was growing and Darth Vader was powerful. However, if Hayden is reprising the role of Anakin Skywalker as well then it could be a more ‘Force-aided’ situation.
After all, the last we saw of Christensen, Anakin’s body was burned, broken, and merged with various cybernetic parts in Episode III. We know that it is what made him into Darth Vader. However, it doesn’t seem like we will be seeing too much of Anakin in the show and it will most probably be just Vader. Or will it?
When Lucasfilm released the cast list for Obi-Wan Kenobi then it showed Hayden Christensen right beside Ewan McGregor. So it does seem like he is just second on the cast list after Obi-Wan himself. As such this could mean that we will be seeing a lot of Vader as well as Anakin. After all, it doesn’t make sense to bring back Hayden if they are not even going to show his face. Also if they only wanted Vader, they could have just cast a tall buff guy and be done with it.
Disney has struck gold with the new Star Wars shows made for Disney+. After all, The Mandalorian is one of the current pop-culture sensations. But apart from the obvious profits, there’s another useful thing that these shows are doing- helping answer unanswered questions regarding the Star Wars movies. So in a similar vein, Obi-Wan Kenobi too could very well address some loose ends from Return of the Jedi.
Here we are especially talking about the conversation that Vader had with Luke while they were on Endor. There Luke insisted that there was still some of Anakin in Vader. So in return, Vader responded by saying:
“Obi-Wan once thought as you do.”
But the question is- how is it possible for Vader to know that Obi-Wan still felt that way? After all, we last saw these two in Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan left his friend to burn to his death. Now, in A New Hope when they meet again, Obi-Wan doesn’t give any indication that Vader is deserving or even capable of redemption. As such, Vader becomes just an enemy for Obi-Wan to defeat. So it’s certainly strange that Vader has this insight in Return of the Jedi. But most importantly- will this unique scene have a different meaning in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series? We do think so.
Now, the most logical reason would be that the duo met in between those two trilogies. So since Obi-Wan had more time to reflect and meditate so he probably had more perspective about the tragic downfall of his student. As such it seems like he could understand better how Anakin fell to the dark side. But it also seems like he knew that the emperor couldn’t have eradicated Darth Vader’s goodness entirely.
So when they will finally reunite again in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, we could see Obi-Wan trying his best to reach out to the goodness in Vader in hopes of getting to Anakin Skywalker. We obviously know that he fails, but this could very well be the very first step that marks Anakin Skywalker’s journey back to the light. So while Obi-Wan’s plea will definitely not have any effect on Vader in the show, but they will prove fruitful when he relays it back to Luke after years.
Such questions are popping up because the movies told us there weren’t any more encounters between Obi-Wan and Anakin between their Mustafar match and then another one when they were on the Death Star. Also, there was no reason for them to duel again since Obi-Wan’s entire job during the almost two decades was to guard Luke and ensure that he doesn’t reveal himself. So putting himself in Vader’s path would jeopardize both those plans.
However, we must also say that there’s really nothing in the films ruling out another fateful meeting between that of Obi-Wan and Anakin. Fans will remember that when Vader is able to sense Obi-Wan on the Death Star he says:
“I sense something, a presence I’ve not felt since…”
Obviously, the dialogue stops here and we don’t get a time and place. So till now, most fans thought Vader was referring to the Mustafar fight. However now it seems like the Obi-Wan show is going to prove us wrong. This is not to say that the Disney+ show will be the first one to talk about the time period when Obi-Wan was on Tatooine.
In fact, there was a 2013 novel by Jackson Miller which played with this period. However, that novel was just a Western set on Tatooine. As such the encounter between Vader and Obi-Wan in the new show is going to be epic for sure as well as never-done-before.
There is a difference between how the prequel movies were perceived back then and how they are seen now. Many people have reevaluated those movies and come to the conclusion that they are pretty ok. Now we must say that this is a huge improvement over the way these movies were thought about back in the day.
There are mainly two factors that have contributed to this change of opinion. One is pure nostalgia which has shed a pleasant light on the movies. The other one is the sequel trilogy and just how divisive even that was as well. In fact, it was so divisive that it made the prequel trilogy look good in comparison. However, there is a less considered third factor as well and that’s the Clone Wars animated show. That show really added in the necessary depth and nuance which the prequel movies were lacking.
In fact, it can be said that it was that animated show which popularized the trend of expanding upon minor dialogues to make the world of Star Wars richer. So with this changing tide regarding the previous movies, now’s the right time to make this Obi-Wan Kenobi show. After all, they can add more depth to the stories and correct the wrongs of the past. As such with a new director at the helm even the actors will be able to do a better job.
Now, even if Obi-Wan Kenobi is just centred around this plot point of Obi-Wan and Vader meeting in some way or the other, even then that will make the show worth watching. Also, this is a story that can only be told only with Hayden Christensen back as Anakin and Vader- showing the duality of the broken man and one of the strongest in the galaxy. So as we said before, it’s a great chance for Hayden to show everyone that Vader was always his role to play. Also, it’s a great way for the prequel movies to redeem themselves in a major way.