main
side
curve
  1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

CT What Did Vader Think Happened When Obi-Wan Disappeared?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by jedi_master_ousley, Jan 7, 2024.

  1. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

    [​IMG]
    Where did he go?

    The above statement combined with Darth Vader's seemingly confused response to Obi-Wan's disappearance has always made me wonder what was going through Vader's mind in that moment. It also brings to my mind several other questions about the impact of this scene.

    There is no indication that Anakin / Vader knew about the process of retaining one's identity through the Force, or becoming a "Force Ghost." The closest he gets to this is in Attack of the Clones, when Qui-Gon's voice can be heard shouting, "Anakin! Anakin, noooo!" during the Tusken Raider scene. Anakin never mentions this, and we can't be entirely sure he consciously remembered or even noticed it at the time. The other Jedi he saw die (and the ones he killed) did not disappear the way Obi-Wan did.

    Vader's statement to Tarkin implied that he did believe Obi-Wan was dead, though: "We've seen the end of Kenobi..." When he spoke to the Emperor and said, "he's just a boy; Obi-Wan can no longer help him," it implied that he did not realize that Obi-Wan actually could (and did) help Luke in the afterlife. Did he actually believe this, or did he have some doubts and hope that repeating it would make it true?

    On the Return of the Jedi commentary track, Lucas says that Obi-Wan and Yoda helped Anakin become one with the Force upon his death bed. This further reinforces that he had no prior knowledge that it was possible and only learned in the moments of his death.

    Did Vader tell Palpatine exactly what happened, or did he omit the part where Obi-Wan disappeared? I don't think it is likely that the Emperor would have known exactly what had happened, but perhaps Vader wanted to project confidence that Obi-Wan was defeated and would no longer be a problem. Sharing his confusion with the Emperor may have been perceived as a weakness.

    Did Vader consider the possibility that Obi-Wan had discovered the secret to "cheat death," the very thing that Palpatine never taught him despite saying that it could not be learned from a Jedi? That could have led to a decision to withhold information from the Emperor as well. If that was the case, this may have been a pivotal moment in Vader's first steps back towards the light side of the Force, whether he recognized it at the time or not.

    What sort of phenomenon happened in the Force when Obi-Wan disappeared, in terms of what Vader could sense? When Obi-Wan came aboard the Death Star, Vader was able to sense his distinct presence. It was also established by Obi-Wan's reaction to the destruction of Alderaan that death could be sensed in the Force. Does becoming "one with the Force" send out the same ripple in the Force as if one dies the old fashioned way? Or since Obi-Wan was retaining his identity in the Force, could his presence still be felt?

    With Obi-Wan's line about "becoming more powerful than you could possibly imagine," it would be interesting if Vader could still sense his presence in that moment. It would be a powerful way to further taunt Vader with abilities that he missed out on by joining the dark side, and lead to more doubt in his mind as to if Obi-Wan was actually dead.

    Vader then finds out that the boy who arrived there with Obi-Wan, and who destroyed the Death Star was named Luke Skywalker, and, of course, his son. What sort of confusion and doubt must have been going through Vader's head knowing that Obi-Wan not only had unknown Force abilities but was also hiding his son for that long - what else might he have been hiding, and what else might the Emperor have lied about, Vader must wonder?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2024
  2. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    If I had to guess he may have thought of the time he saw Qui Gon’s ghost on Mortis. While Obi Wan did not think his interaction was real Anakin did



     
  3. Alexrd

    Alexrd Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    We do see Vader confused looking around for Obi-Wan, but ultimately, we have nothing to support the assumption that he believed in anything other than that he died.

    When Obi-Wan died, he joined the cosmic Force. His presence in the living Force wouldn't exist, unless he manifested. So Vader wouldn't be able to feel his presence.

    There's no reason for Vader to consider that. Only Obi-Wan and Yoda are aware of the ability to retain their identity after death, something they learned how after Anakin became Vader.

    And it's because they managed to do it that they were able to help Anakin after he died.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2024
    wobbits and jedi_master_ousley like this.
  4. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    While not remotely serious, I'm immediately reminded of a fancomic I saw once where Vader defensively tells Obi-Wan's ghost something along the lines of "I thought maybe you used the Force to shrink" and Obi-Wan ridicules him.
     
  5. DARTHLINK

    DARTHLINK Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 24, 2005
    When I first saw that scene, I literally thought that's what Obi-Wan did: shrink himself to the size of a bug.
     
    MaverickJedi85 likes this.
  6. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    The Lucas/Foster novelization has Vader think it's some sort of ploy by Kenobi. Here's the text: Wary of some tricks, Vader poked at the empty cloak sections with the saber. There was no sign of the old man. He had vanished as though he had never existed. So Vader, at first, thought it was just an illusion to throw him off-guard. Other material I've read suggest that, when he realized it wasn't a trick and Kenobi had really disappeared, Vader was confused...and scared.
     
  7. themoth

    themoth Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2015
    I think he would’ve been curious, but ultimately had comfort in knowing Kenobi was dead regardless.
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  8. MeBeJedi

    MeBeJedi Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    May 30, 2002


    [​IMG]
    :p
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    That scene always made me cringe. IRL, there's no locker room with a shower for aircrew. We stow our gear in the lockers and go home to shower and change.
     
  10. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Vader stepping on his cloak like " know you're there" is straight up LOL
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  11. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    That's interesting as well. I'm curious how the conversation with Palpatine went afterwards. Did he tell him Obi-Wan disappeared, or just hope he was dead or at least gone in whatever capacity that meant...

    MeBeJedi! MeBeJeeeedddiiii! Long time no see!
     
    MeBeJedi and Sarge like this.
  12. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    May 18, 2017
    That sounds a lot more boring Sarge.
     
    MeBeJedi and Sarge like this.
  13. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    One of our mantras when we were flying missions in Iraq was "Boring is good."
     
  14. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    May 18, 2017
    You weren't inverting jets to flip people the bird?
     
  15. Django Fett

    Django Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2012
    I believe right from that moment through to taking his mask off whilst he's dying in Luke's arms, Anakin has kept his feelings about it to himself. It's his most guarded feeling, the one he wants Palpatine never to realise. All his questions, everything he's asked himself over those 4 years and when it comes he decides to take that leap of faith, removing the mask not only to look at Luke through his own eyes but to end his first journey and begin his next in the netherworld of the Force.

    Does he know Obi-Wan and Yoda are waiting for him on the other side?
     
    Megazord and jedi_master_ousley like this.
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    ^ I want to believe he didn't know. Maybe he hoped so, but that didn't matter to him at the last moment when he was making his choice to turn, no matter what the cost. If he thought he had found an easy out, that would cheapen his sacrifice.
     
  17. Django Fett

    Django Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2012
    I don't think it was an easy way out, he'd learnt it was going to be the start of the next journey. He knew he was dying, he wanted to face that as Anakin, without the mask, Vader was no more. Anakin was impatient to get going.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2024
    SateleNovelist11 likes this.
  18. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    If memory serves, in the EU, Vader believed that Obi-Wan had used an obscure technique to commit suicide. Therefore, he believed that he won the duel by default. I do recall in the novelization of ROTJ, Palpatine was not aware of how Luke finished his training until he ripped information from Luke's mind to learn about Yoda. He then rejoiced in Yoda's demise and mocked his preferred manner of speaking. Palpatine seems to have thought that Luke received more training from Obi-Wan until he learned of Yoda. So, this indicates to me that neither Sidious nor Vader had any knowledge of Force ghosts. Anakin only learned about them when he died, as Obi-Wan taught him how to transcend the physical plane of existence, which is why we see him as a Force ghost shortly after his passing.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/dF2vWaJUa0w

    Interestingly, in the new canon, Yoda appears as a Force ghost to Sidious to warn him that he will not win. While this interesting, I prefer the Legends explanation that neither Obi-Wan nor Yoda would dare to appear before Sidious or Vader because the two Sith Lords could trap them in a Thought Bomb. It is impressive that You and Obi-Wan could manifest themselves on any world they pleased in the galaxy merely about thinking about it. Obi-Wan did address Vader as a voice once and he empowered Luke on Mimban in order to give the young Jedi enough resolve to effectively stand against Vader. But Obi-Wan had determined that he would be a guiding spirit, not a meddling one. This is why he mostly gives advice to Luke in TESB and ROTJ. He also found it to be a draining experience to be around the Sith. That's probably one reason that he could not intervene to help Luke in TESB. The other is probably because Luke was very angry with Vader for kidnapping his friends, and Obi-Wan may not have been able to help Luke with a negative emotion compromising Luke's control of the Force. After all, Luke does fight a Vader who's holding back pretty effectively in terms of the beginning of their duel, but as soon as Vader uses the Force against Luke, that wore Luke out more than the duel itself. After Vader battered Luke by telekinetically throwing objects at him, he came at Luke like a hurricane and Luke didn't have much to offer. Leia is able to sense Luke and help rescue him, but I'd wager that all of the negative energy emanating from Vader in that fight probably would have been draining to Obi-Wan.



    Now, if Sidious and Vader trapped Obi-Wan and Yoda in a Thought Bomb, they would have been stuck on one planet and probably they would be unable to escape a specific location. I imagine that Sidious would have read about how Darth Bane deployed the Thought Bomb on Ruusan. If Obi-Wan had meddled with Vader, it's possible that Sidious could have trained with Vader to deploy a Thought Bomb against the departed Jedi Master.
     
  19. Clone8looper

    Clone8looper Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2023
    Maybe not long after those blast doors closed and the Falcon made its getaway, Vader returned to his meditation chamber to reflect on the recent events. Did he really just duel with his old mentor? Or was it a PTSD inspired hallucinatory episode?

    Whilst sitting in his chamber he could have been on the cusp of an emotional breakthrough. Confronting a vision from his past may have helped him deal with his own psychosis. But then the rebels attacked. His own son leading the charge. It’s tragically Greek.

    Or, maybe he just thought there was an inconvenient trap door placed right there in his favourite duelling spot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2024
    jedi_master_ousley and Sarge like this.
  20. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    "Wow, I didn't know my lightsaber could do that!"
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  21. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    The Official Star Wars Poster Monthly #1, October 1977, [linked here] seems to have pondered this question as well:

    "Finally, Darth comes face to face with his old adversary. Swiftly, they both unsheath their laser swords and fight to the death. They are well-matched but Darth finally slays Ben Kenobi - or does he? True, Kenobi's body is no longer there, but does Darth Vader really think that he can destroy the huge power of the Force so easily?"

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Kenneth Morgan and Sarge like this.
  22. moreorless12

    moreorless12 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Maybe its just me but Vaders "Obi Wan can no longer help him" in ESB does seem to hint he knows he might not be entirely gone. Still speaking about him in the present tense.

    In the originals I always got the impression that Jedi dematerialising at death was "normal" since its all we see happening. We don't see it with Vader but then again you could argue he was not obviously a "Jedi" even by the end of ROTJ, uncertain whether he would end up as a force ghost until he appears as one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2024
  23. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    I thought that as well prior to the completion of the prequels. I actually remembering wondering, "why didn't Qui-Gon disappear?" when TPM came out. Then once none of them disappeared in AOTC / on Geonosis, that's when I began to think that Obi-Wan and Yoda must have learned some secret the rest of them didn't know about.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2024
    only one kenobi and Iron_lord like this.
  24. themoth

    themoth Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2015
    In TESB he says don’t let yourself be destroyed as Obi-Wan did. He considers him dead even if he was curious about what exactly happened.
     
  25. DARTHLINK

    DARTHLINK Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 24, 2005
    I just figured it meant, 'He's gone, so he's not gonna be able to help Luke.' Presently, Obi-Wan is dead.
     
    lord_sidious_ and Sarge like this.