While Obi-Wan Kenobi has featured one reunion between the Jedi Master and Darth Vader, a Star Wars Rebels line leaves some questions.
The line in question comes during the second episode of Star Wars Rebels Season 2. In the season premiere, Vader just learned that Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, was still alive. This leads the Sith Lord to inform his master, Emperor Palpatine, about the discovery. You can read what you want into it but it sounds like neither Vader or Palpatine know of his whereabouts.
Palpatine: Lord Vader, have you dealt with the rebels in the Lothal system?
Vader: Yes, Master. They are broken.
Palpatine: And yet I sense in you something more to your victory.
Vader: I believe the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker lives and is in league with these rebels.
Palpatine: Are you certain?
Vader: It was her.
Palpatine: This is an opportunity we cannot let pass. Skywalker’s apprentice could lead us to other lost Jedi.
Vader: Such as Kenobi.
Palpatine: Perhaps, if he lives. Be patient, my old friend. For now, dispatch another Inquisitor to hunt them down.
Vader: As you wish, my master.
This episode of Star Wars Rebels first aired in 2015. One thing this tells me is that Vader doesn’t know what happened to Kenobi following the June 22 finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Disney+ series takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and 9 years before A New Hope. The second season of Star Wars Rebels takes place approximately four to three years before the Battle of Yavin. We can theorize all we what but Bob Iger announced several standalone films were in development in 2013. Of those films, only Rogue One and Solo made it to cinemas. Following Solo‘s failure, Lucasfilm would subsequently cancel the anthology films. Boba Fett would be reworked for streaming and get re-introduced in The Mandalorian. The Obi-Wan Kenobi film, announced in 2017, would also be reworked for TV.
Obi-Wan Kenobi would see a serious reworking before launching on Disney+. Instead of the focus being on Luke, it is Leia that gets the focus in the series. There would be even more reworking in early 2020 with Lucasfilm being unhappy with the scripts. This is where you have the likes of Pablo Hidalgo and Dave Filoni coming into play. Should something happen in this series, how will it impact events in a later series or movie? When you look at this line in question, it’s already been a number of years since Kenobi and Vader encountered each other. Moreover, it’s probable that Kenobi ends up going into full hermit mode and this is why Palpatine doesn’t think he’s alive. We’ll just have to see what happens on June 22.
If there is another season of Obi-Wan Kenobi, it’s quite possible that we get another encounter between Kenobi and Vader. The other way of reading the line is that Vader and Kenobi fight and Kenobi leaves with an injury. It’s a way of keeping lines in both this episode and A New Hope canon. That’s the trick that comes with having to keep up with so much media. It isn’t just the movies and TV series! We also have books and comics that must adhere to canon, too. This is the primary difference between Marvel and Star Wars. With Marvel, the primary canon are the movies and TV series. But with Star Wars, it is basically all the movies, TV series, books, and comics since the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. The LEGO series and specials are considered canon-adjacent.
All episodes of Star Wars Rebels are streaming on Disney+. The final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on June 22, 2022 on Disney+.
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