[This story contains spoilers from episode three of Obi-Wan Kenobi.]
Star Wars fans knew it was coming, and in Wednesday’s new episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, it finally happened: Obi-Wan and Darth Vader fought once more.
The build-up to the battle — a maniacal Vader (Hayden Christensen in the suit and James Earl Jones once again providing the voice) torturing townsfolk to draw out Obi-Wan via his compassion and desire to help — was fantastic, but it was the actual confrontation that was so satisfying.
The lightsaber fights in the prequels were truly a sight to behold: The high-energy, lighting-fast dueling choreography of the Jedi in their prime was eye-popping. But the fight in Obi-Wan Kenobi was not that style. It was much more akin to the fight between Obi-Wan and Vader in A New Hope. Thus, it was a gratifying moment for (most) fans.
It was a slow and reactionary moment for (a jarred at best) Obi-Wan, which is what would be expected from a Jedi who has not turned on his lightsaber for more than a decade and cut himself off from the Force. Obi-Wan, just as he told Bail and Breha Organa in episode one, is clearly not who he used to be. And that was certainly shown in how poorly he fought Vader, who was clearly just toying with him, wanting to drag out the suffering.
In A New Hope, the confrontation between Obi-Wan and Vader was more about the meaning of the fight, rather than the battle itself, which is exactly how this most recent fight felt. Of course, it has been argued by some fans that the fight in A New Hope is boring, and they much prefer the high-octane saber battles of the prequels. In fact, there’s even a fan video that significantly spices up the New Hope lightsaber fight. To each their own (saber battle).
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a character study first and foremost, but still packs plenty of action. And that saber fight is most certainly in character. Plus, it’s a good bet that this is not the last time Obi-Wan and Vader will square off before the series concludes June 22. And it sure appears Obi-Wan is going to have a visit from someone very important from his past to get him ready for the next confrontation.