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Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi’s finale still has us divided

As is usually the case with anything Star Wars related, the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale continues to divide fans of the franchise, especially with one big decision.

Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Disney Plus show Obi-Wan Kenobi

If there is one thing Star Wars is good for, it’s stirring debate among the fanbase. Sometimes, the discussion is healthy and friendly, but at times, it gets a little too heated and frankly, offensive. The latest furore is surrounding the finale of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and one big decision from the titular hero.

I guess that’s the beauty of Star Wars, in a way. There’s always something to think about. Even the concept of watching the Star Wars movies in order can lead to a fierce argument, and now, the wide range of Star Wars series on offer are prompting conversations, too. While most of the galaxy is still thinking about the Ahsoka finale, we’ve found ourselves deep in thought on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series instead.

He may be one of the best Star Wars characters, but the mighty Jedi is not without his flaws. The crux of the show is the battle Obi-Wan faces in reconciling his past mistakes and accepting he wasn’t to blame for the fall of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force.

It’s an intriguing journey for Obi-Wan, which leads him to a riveting duel with his former Padawan. But, in a Reddit thread, fans are wondering why Obi-Wan didn’t use this opportunity to just kill Darth Vader once and for all, and they have a point.

The original poster wrote: “Minus the fact that he couldn’t kill him for continuity purposes, why would [Obi-Wan] not end [Vader’s] reign as Palpatine’s apprentice when he has him at such a disadvantage? His helmets been cut open and his suit isn’t operating properly so I really don’t understand the purpose of letting him live just so he can continue being a menace to the galaxy. So much grief could have been avoided by killing Vader when he had the chance.”

Obviously, for very practical reasons, killing off the best Star Wars villain at a place in the timeline where he canonically has to survive simply wouldn’t make sense. But, from a more philosophical point of view, the dilemma facing Obi-Wan is not as clear-cut as the post suggests.

We as viewers are looking at this situation with the benefit of hindsight. At the time, in the heart of the fight, Obi-Wan does not know what Vader will do in the future. All Obi-Wan feels is that his friend is still in there, deep down somewhere, and the thought of taking his life is too much. With the guilt Obi-Wan already bears for not preventing Anakin’s demise, he was never going to be able to strike him down in this instance.

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Star Wars cast members Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen do fantastic work in this scene to portray that conflicting emotion, the pain, and the uncertainty. So, it’s not just the continuity of the franchise that prevents Obi-Wan destroying Vader, it’s his inherent light, and his faith that his apprentice can still find that light himself, too.

For more from a galaxy far, far away, check out what we know about the new Star Wars movies, The Acolyte release date, or dive into our guide on Star Wars Celebration 2023 to see everything we learned from the event. Alternatively, get excited about other new movies like Avatar 3 and The Marvels.