There is no doubt that one of the best characters in the history of Star Wars is Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was introduced as the wise old Jedi that guided Luke Skywalker’s early beginnings as a Jedi and taught him the basics of the Force after telling him about his true nature. However, we also know that Kenobi ended up facing his old Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader when the Rebels rescued Leia from the Sith Lord’s ship. But when Vader seemingly struck Kenobi down, there was no body. So, did Vader really kill Obi-Wan?
Technically speaking, Darth Vader did kill Obi-Wan Kenobi or was about to do so when the old Jedi Master dropped his guard down and allowed the Sith Lord to kill him. In that sense, the Force took him in willingly right before Vader’s lightsaber could cut him down, which was why his body disappeared.
The thing about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s death is one of the topics that Star Wars fans often discuss when discussing old movies. Nearly five decades after the original movie was released, fans still talk about this moment like it happened yesterday as it is still one of the events that weren’t entirely explained in full in the movie. So, with that said, let’s talk more about whether or not Vader did indeed kill Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Why Did Obi-Wan Let Vader Kill Him?
The first true Jedi Master everyone got to meet in the Star Wars lore was Obi-Wan Kenobi, who spent his time as Old Ben Kenobi to keep watch on Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. Of course, we know that Kenobi was the man that ended up telling Luke who he really was and what he was capable of as a Jedi. And that was the reason why he allowed Luke to tag along in his quest to rescue Leia while also training him as a Jedi along the way.
But in the rescue mission on Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer, Obi-Wan sensed the presence of an old and familiar friend he once loved as a brother. Darth Vader also sensed the presence of his old master on that ship, which was why they both had to meet each other one last time in a lightsaber duel. And we all know the long history between Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker before the latter fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader.
Kenobi and Vader met in a lightsaber duel one last time to finally end a longstanding feud between two people who once loved each other like brothers. The battle was almost a stalemate because Obi-Wan always knew how to fight his old Padawan on par. However, when Luke, Han, and Leia showed up, Kenobi smiled at the younger Skywalker before allowing the Sith Lord to strike him down.
In that regard, Obi-Wan Kenobi willingly allowed Darth Vader to kill him. But there was actually more to his death scene than what some fans know. And that’s because, before his death, Obi-Wan told Vader that he would become stronger than him if the Sith Lord were to strike him down.
That meant that Obi-Wan wanted to die at that moment because he knew that the only way for him to eventually end the reign of the Sith was to become one with the Force through death and help guide Luke as a Force Ghost. Kenobi, at that age, was never going to be able to defeat Vader decisively. And even if he did beat Vader, there was no way he could ever end the Empire, especially because he couldn’t find a way to defeat Emperor Palpatine.
As such, the best way for Obi-Wan to help the cause of the Rebels was to submit himself to the Force through death. That was why he told Vader that he would become more powerful than he could ever imagine as he became one with the Force. And when he realized that Luke was the new hope that the galaxy could lean on to bring light back to the galaxy’s people, that was when Obi-Wan was confident enough to allow himself to die.
Why Was There No Body When Kenobi Died?
Of course, while we all know that Obi-Wan Kenobi died in that duel with Darth Vader, the biggest debate regarding this battle was whether or not the old Jedi Master did indeed die at the hands of his former Padawan. That’s because we all know that Kenobi’s body disappeared right then and there before Vader could even strike him down.
When Obi-Wan finally submitted himself to his fate, his body disappeared right before Darth Vader could touch his robe. Some fans think that he didn’t die at Vader’s hand. But the truth was that Darth Vader really was the one that killed Obi-Wan Kenobi because the old Jedi had already submitted himself to his fate.
By giving himself up to death, Kenobi was allowing Vader to strike him down, and that was why the Sith enforcer was the one that actually killed him. But because Obi-Wan had already accepted his fate and given himself to the Force by allowing death to take him willingly without any regrets whatsoever, the Force took him in before Darth Vader could actually kill him.
So, the fact that Kenobi’s body disappeared before Darth Vader could strike him down is what we would call a divine intervention on the part of the Force. Whether or not the Force intervened in that battle, Kenobi would die at the hands of his former apprentice. It was already a foregone conclusion that he would die, so Obi-Wan’s death can still be credited to Vader.
But because he submitted himself to death willingly and happily because he knew he could leave the galaxy’s fate to Luke, he became one of the Force when he decided it was time for him to die. That was the reason why Kenobi’s body disappeared.
Yoda also went through the same experience. That’s because Yoda died willingly and without any regrets, after he had done what he could do to train Luke well enough to get him ready to fight Vader and put an end to the reign of the Empire. The Force willingly took Yoda in because he knew that his job was done and that he could now die peacefully and without any regrets.
This was unlike how other Jedi died, as some of the Jedi that were killed in the past were not even ready to become one with the Force. As such, their bodies were still left behind even after they died. But Obi-Wan had already accepted his fate and death even before the killing blow struck him, which was why the Force took him. And when you look at Kenobi’s accomplishments and beliefs as a true Jedi that defended the innocent and was loyal to the light side of the Force, you would understand why he was worthy of becoming truly one with the Force.