The Obi-Wan Kenobi series had already allowed us to see a confrontation between master and pupil in the earlier episodes when Darth Vader completely dominated his former master and was about to burn him alive. Kenobi, at that time, was out of shape and didn’t have the same connection with the Force. However, in the series finale, he and Vader met once more in a proper duel as he managed to defeat the Sith Lord decisively. So, how did Kenobi defeat Darth Vader in the series finale?
Obi-Wan was able to defeat Darth Vader because he was able to regain his strength in the Force and because he found a new purpose in life. On top of that, Darth Vader was seemingly distracted by his obsession with Kenobi and was most likely hindered by his feelings for his former master.
As stoic as Anakin Skywalker had become under that suit, he is still quite emotional. It was probably his emotions that hindered him in that battle against Obi-Wan, who was quick enough to find Vader’s weakness and use it against him. Nevertheless, Darth Vader has always been the strongest Force user of his time, but we’ll take the opportunity to discuss how Kenobi defeated him.
What Happened In The Obi-Wan Kenobi And Darth Vader Rematch?
Before the premiere of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, it was already teased that Hayden Christensen was going to return as Darth Vader and was going to have a rematch with his former master. And throughout the series, the rematch was something that was teased to use because Vader was always pursuing Kenobi wherever he was.
The series started off with Kenobi showing his new life on Tatooine as it was clear that he was not only bored with his life as a manual laborer but was also bothered by the events that happened ten years ago when the Republic fell as a result of his failure to keep Anakin Skywalker from the dark side. However, he had to return to action because he needed to rescue Leia Organa, who had been captured by some mercenaries as a way for the Inquisitor named Reva to lure Kenobi out.
When Kenobi was simply trying to get himself and Leia away from the Inquisitors, it was clear that he was a shell of his former self because he wasn’t even strong enough to face an Inquisitor in battle. He relied more on his blaster pistol than on his lightsaber. It was also clear that he struggled with his connection with the Force because he found it difficult to use it to prevent Leia from falling to the ground.
Then, when he went face to face with Darth Vader for the first time in ten years, the Sith Lord completely dominated him. He had no way of defending himself from Vader’s control over the Force. The former Anakin Skywalker merely toyed around with him and used the Force to hold him down while flames burned him alive. Darth Vader even told him that the years were not kind to him as it was clear that Obi-Wan Kenobi was a shell of his former self.
However, in the series finale, Obi-Wan Kenobi was on board a ship with Leia and the refugees of the Path as they were being tailed by Vader’s Star Destroyer. Kenobi decided to take a smaller ship to lure Vader away from the refugees as he knew that his former Padawan was fixated on him. This allowed him and Darth Vader to have a real rematch on a remote planet that’s full of rock formations, as the Sith Lord even told his men that he would face Kenobi alone.
In that fight, Darth Vader was quick to realize that Kenobi had regained his old strength. Still, he used the Jedi’s weakness against him and was able to get the upper hand by burying him in a pile of rocks. It can be presumed that the weakness that Vader was talking about was Kenobi’s feelings for his old friend and former Padawan.
Despite that, Kenobi was able to bounce back by tapping into his power. He regained his old form and was seemingly stronger than he ever was, as seen from the fact that he was able to use the Force to pelt Darth Vader with a lot of rocks. And as they resumed their lightsaber combat, Kenobi was able to defeat the Sith Lord by focusing his attacks on his life-support system and by slicing his helmet open.
After defeating Vader, Kenobi saw his former Padawan’s eyes for the first time in ten years and apologized for failing him. However, Darth Vader said that it was he himself who killed Anakin all those years ago as Obi-Wan realized that his friend was truly dead and has now been completely consumed by the Sith Lord. He left Vader then and there without killing him.
How Did Obi-Wan Manage To Defeat Darth Vader In The Series Finale?
We all know that Darth Vader is arguably the strongest Force-sensitive being of his time because of his incredible connection with the Force. But if Vader is as strong as he is supposed to be, how did Obi-Wan defeat him?
Kenobi’s Renewed Purpose
On top of the fact that Obi-Wan uses a lightsaber form that allows him to defend himself against almost any kind of other lightsaber form, he was also fighting Darth Vader with a completely renewed sense of purpose.
Throughout the series, Kenobi struggled to find his purpose in life and was still bothered by the events that happened during the fall of the Republic. But he found new meaning in being the protector of Luke and Leia, the latter with whom he was able to form a special bond throughout the entire series. He also steadily realized that he was not fully at fault for what happened to Anakin all those years ago as he went into that fight with Darth Vader wanting to end things with his former Padawan.
Kenobi finding a sense of purpose was able to give him the inner peace and balance he needed to reconnect with the Force and defeat Darth Vader. We can even argue that he was even stronger than he was ten years ago in that rematch against the Sith Lord.
A Distracted Vader
While not exactly apparent, Darth Vader was also distracted throughout that entire fight. He did not enter the fight with Kenobi with the focus that he needed to end things with his former master once and for all. Instead, he entered the fight, seemingly bothered and distracted by his obsession with taking revenge on Obi-Wan.
This was hinted at during the scene wherein Kenobi was onboard a separate ship and was trying to lure Vader away from the refugees. The Grand Inquisitor was wise enough to tell the Sith Lord that they needed to pursue the bigger ship instead. However, despite his intelligence, Vader allowed his feelings to get the best of him when he ordered his ship to pursue Kenobi instead.
Of course, there is another proof that only became clear after the battle with Kenobi. Darth Vader was seen back in his base of operations in Mustafar. He was communicating with Emperor Palpatine as Darth Sidious suggested that he might still have feelings for his former master.
Even though Vader reassured his master that Kenobi meant nothing, it was this scene that made it clear that his feelings for Kenobi clouded his mind in that fight against the Jedi Master. We all know that Vader could have done better in that fight because he has defeated countless Jedi Masters in the past during the Inquisition period. He even dominated Reva, who couldn’t even lay a finger on him.
But the fact that he struggled against Kenobi, who is supposed to be weaker than him, proved that his feelings for his old master were bothering him in that fight. This happened to be the second time this happened, as he allowed his hubris to get the better of him during the first fight with Kenobi in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
And in their rematch, Vader’s feelings clouded his mind well enough for Obi-Wan to target Darth Vader’s life-support system and defeat the Sith Lord decisively.