Throughout the entire Obi-Wan Kenobi series, what was clear was that Darth Vader was fixated on finding his former master so that he could end things himself. It was clear that his hatred for Kenobi ran so deep that he was willing to let Leia and a lot of Force-sensitive refugees go so that he could hunt the Jedi Master. And that was when he believed that he was no longer Anakin. So, if that’s the case, why does Darth Vader still hate Obi-Wan so much?
Darth Vader hates Obi-Wan Kenobi because, deep inside, he is still Anakin. He is yet to let go of his past as Anakin Skywalker because there are still things tying him to his past. In that regard, Vader wants to kill Kenobi so that he can finally dispel the only thing that ties him to his past as Anakin.
When Anakin became Darth Vader, all of the people he held dear were either dead or hiding. The list includes Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano, among others. But the connection he had with these people is what kept him from fully transforming into Darth Vader. So, with that said, let’s look at the true reasons why Darth Vader hates Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Why Does Darth Vader Claim That He Killed Anakin?
The entire Obi-Wan Kenobi series focused on the titular character’s new life as a Jedi that has forced himself to go into exile after failing his apprentice ten years ago and seeing the Republic he worked so hard to protect falling and transforming into a tyrannical Empire run by the Sith. He was depressed and bothered by the fact that he thought that he had killed Anakin in their duel ten years ago.
But in the early part of the series, Obi-Wan Kenobi found out from Reva that Anakin Skywalker was still alive in the form of Darth Vader. And while he spent a good part of the season running away from Vader and the Inquisitors to keep Leia and the Force-sensitive refugees safe, Obi-Wan knew that he had to face his past again if he wanted to move on in life.
As such, during the final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi Master separated from Leia and the refugees so that he could confront Darth Vader alone. In fact, Vader took this challenge and confronted Kenobi alone as well because he wanted to end things with his old master on his own terms.
On a remote planet, the two dueled in a ferocious show of their skills with the lightsaber and their control over the Force. However, it was Kenobi who triumphed in that duel when he found his connection with the Force once more and was able to tap into the strength that he had deep inside. Kenobi sliced open Vader’s helmet to reveal part of Anakin’s face as this was the very first time he saw his old Padawan’s face in ten years.
Obi-Wan apologized to Anakin for failing him all those years ago while also showing all of the pent-up feelings of regret he had been bottling for a decade. However, Darth Vader told him that Kenobi neither failed nor killed Anakin. Instead, it was Vader himself that killed the Jedi named Skywalker ten years ago, as this was what ultimately allowed Obi-Wan to realize that Anakin was already truly dead. But why did Darth Vader say that he killed Anakin Skywalker?
The reason why Darth Vader claims to have killed Anakin Skywalker is tied to the fact that he was owning up to his decision of turning to the dark side on his own without anyone failing to protect him or keep him away from the Sith. Vader had now become a person different from the kind Jedi that Anakin was, and that’s why he needed to say that he killed him so that there would be nothing left of his past life.
In a way, he was metaphorically telling Kenobi that he was the one who chose this path for himself and that killing his identity as Anakin Skywalker was what eventually completed his transformation into the Sith Lord known as Darth Vader.
Kenobi understood what Vader was telling him because he was quick to accept that Anakin was already dead and had become consumed by Darth Vader. This is the reason why Obi-Wan told Luke in A New Hope that Vader killed his father and why he refers to his old friend as Darth instead of Anakin.
Why Does Darth Vader Hate Obi-Wan So Much?
As said, Darth Vader has already cast his past as Anakin Skywalker and was now a completely different person. But if that is the case, why is there a need for him to harbor such a deep hatred for Obi-Wan Kenobi if he is no longer Anakin?
That’s because, deep inside, Vader is still Anakin Skywalker. He might have been consumed by the Darth Vader persona, but he still has a small piece of the Jedi knight known as Anakin somewhere in him. And that is why he hates Kenobi so much that he was obsessed with finding him throughout the Obi-Wan series.
Darth Vader’s obsession with Obi-Wan Kenobi was so deep that he decided to let Leia and a group of Force-sensitive people go just so he could go after the Jedi Master. And when the Grand Inquisitor questioned his orders, Vader told him that Kenobi was not just a mere Jedi.
In a way, Darth Vader hates Obi-Wan so much and wants to kill him because he is one of the remaining pieces that tie him to his past as Anakin Skywalker. It was never about the fact that Kenobi cut off his limbs, left him for dead, and allowed him to burn in a river of lava. Instead, it was more about him cutting his ties to his past as Anakin by killing and destroying Obi-Wan, who was the one person most important to Skywalker after Padme’s death.
Darth Sidious, who is the Emperor, knew that Darth Vader still had ties to his past as Anakin when he questioned his resolve during the end of the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale. Vader simply brushed the hunch off by telling the Emperor that Obi-Wan means nothing to him. But the truth is that he knew that he was still Anakin deep inside and that Obi-Wan was someone important to him. And the only way for him to sever that connection with his old self was for him to kill Obi-Wan.
This goes back to the fact that, in the events of Sar Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Leia told Luke that there’s still good in Vader. Luke was also able to pull the good out of his father when he compelled Darth Vader to betray the Emperor and save his son from death. This was the Anakin that had been living deep inside him for a long time, and this was the very same person that Darth Vader wanted to forget about ever since he became a Sith Lord.
And while Vader thought that he was able to sever his past with Anakin when he struck Kenobi down in their final duel, what he didn’t know was that his children survived in the form of Luke and Leia. And because both Luke and Leia were the remaining pieces that tied him to his past as Anakin, he could never completely become Darth Vader.