Star Wars‘ new Obi-Wan Kenobi series has revealed the first look at Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader – if only briefly. This new Star Wars event series hinges on the “main event” lure of Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen’s Vader re-meeting for another epic lightsaber duel (or two). However, it’s clear that the Obi-Wan series isn’t rushing its Vader reveal – possibly frustrating quite a lot of fans in the process. However, when we finally do get get to see Vader, it’s definitely a side of him we rarely ever see!
(WARNING: Obi-Wan Kenobi SPOILERS Follow!)
The events of Obi-Wan Kenobi “Part I” force Kenobi out of hiding on Tatooine for a critical mission: rescue ten-year-old princess Leia Organa, who was kidnapped by bandits. “Part II” of Obi-Wan saw Kenobi travel to a shady colony perfect for hiding scumbags and low-lifes, in order to track Leia down. The whole thing turns out to be a trap: a particularly obsessed Imperial Inquisitor (Moses Ingram’s Reva) used Kenobi’s bond with Bail Organa from the Clone Wars to bait him out of hiding. Obi-Wan is forced to run with Leia – a chase that culminates with Reva cornering Kenobi and Leia in a cargo hold.
In order to bait Kenobi emotionally, Reva chooses the standoff as a prime moment to reveal to Obi-Wan that Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is still alive. Obi-Wan and Leia manage to escape the scene – but Obi-Wan cannot escape the impact those words have on him. For the first time in a long time Obi-Wan reaches out through the Force to confirm if Reva is telling the truth – and he definitely confirms it, as he senses Vader’s presence. However, as we know all too well in Star Wars lore: when you peer into the abyss, the abyss can also peer back at you:
Anakin aka Darth Vader in Episode 2 of Obi Wan Kenobi. A cheap makeup effect. What a god damn shame! Going to ruin Ben and Vader in a few episodes. No words man. pic.twitter.com/gd3dTbiEGK
Seeing Vader in his Bacta tank healing bath has become a more and more popular staple of Star Wars lore. Films like Rogue One, comic series (now TV shows) are all featuring more scenes of Vader outside of his armor – but this moment in Obi-Wan is the most detailed yet. If nothing else, seeing “Vader’s” body outside the armor only reinforces the constant state of unending pain and torment the character was always in. It’s also been revealed to be a key of Darth Sidious’ manipulation of Vader – never letting him no comfort, camaraderie, or joy again – and why, when Vader eventually locates the feeling of love for Luke (and Leia), he ultimately redeems himself and turns on Palpatine.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+.