By ShootingNova 12 Comments
I made a respect thread for Obi-Wan in his prime, so now, months later, I am making the thread for the old man that we all knew and loved in the Original Trilogy.
Respect Ben Kenobi:
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the greatest Jedi Knights in history:
Luke Skywalker was a most fortunate apprentice - he had no less than two teachers, and they were two of the greatest Jedi Knights who ever lived.
The first was Obi-Wan Kenobi, the man who had instructed Luke's father in the ways of Jedi Knighthood and the use of the Force. The second was Yoda, a 900-year old Jedi Master who had been Obi-Wan's own teacher.Source: Dark Empire Endnotes
Obi-Wan Kenobi is more powerful than Darth Vader as of their duel on the Death Star, rendering Vader's telekinetic powers ineffective against him:
The idea of Vader using telekinetic powers during his fight with Luke was created during story meetings. There was concern, however, that the audience might think back to the first film and wonder why Vader didn't use all his powers on Ben; but this was easily explained by the fact that Ben was probably stronger than Vader. George Lucas and Leigh Brackett also discussed the different levels of the Force; maybe Ben was a six, Vader was a four, Luke is now at level two.Source: The Annotated Screenplays
Obi-Wan is still a formidable practitioner of Form III despite being aged and out of practice:
Even in his elder years, Kenobi remains a formidable Form III practitioner.Source: Insider #62: Fightsaber
Obi-Wan is the preeminent duelist in the galaxy, a title inherited by Vader following Obi-Wan's death. In other words, he is at least as skilled as Vader in A New Hope with a blade:
Darth Vader is the preeminent lightsaber master in the galaxy, now that Obi-Wan Kenobi has been destroyed.Source: Lightsaber Dueling Pack — Darth Vader
Despite being aged and out of practice against another Force user for seventeen years, Obi-Wan Kenobi duels evenly with Darth Vader. Vader is unable to break Obi-Wan's defenses, and though Obi-Wan tires under Vader's powerful assaults, it is only his voluntary surrender that allows Vader to cut him down:
Although Obi-Wan is still a match for Darth Vader, he allows himself to be killed in the duel, giving Luke and the Rebels precious time to escape.Source: Mysteries of the Jedi
Teacher and pupil engaged in a savage but evenly matched lightsaber battle.Source: The Essential Guide to Characters
During the fateful duel with Darth Vader aboard the Death Star, the tall and powerful Sith Lord cannot break Obi-Wan's defenses until Kenobi voluntarily yields.Source: Insider #62: Fightsaber
"I have been waiting a long time, Obi-Wan Kenobi," Darth Vader intoned solemnly. "We meet again at last. The circle has been completed." Kenobi sensed satisfaction beneath the hideous mask. "The presence I sensed earlier could only have been you."
Kenobi regarded the great form blocking his retreat and nodded slowly. He gave the impression of being more curious than impressed. "You still have much to learn."
"You were once my teacher," Vader admitted, "and I learned much from you. But the time of learning has long passed, and I am the master now."
The logic that had constituted the missing link in his brilliant pupil remained as absent as before.
There would be no reasoning here, Kenobi knew. Igniting his saber, he assumed the pose of warrior-ready, a movement accomplished with the ease and elegance of a dancer.
Rather roughly, Vader imitated the movement. Several minutes followed without motion as the two men remained staring at each other, as if waiting for some proper, as yet unspoken signal.
Kenobi blinked once, shook his head, and tried to clear his eyes, which had begun to water slightly. Sweat beaded up on his forehead, and his eyelids fluttered again.
"Your powers are weak," Vader noted emotionlessly. "Old man, you should never have come back. It will make your end less peaceful than you might have wished."
"You sense only a part of the Force, Darth," Kenobi murmured with the assurance of one to whom death is merely another sensation, like sleeping or making love or touching a candle. "As always, you perceive its reality as little as a utensil perceives the taste of food."
Executing a move of incredible swiftness for one so old, Kenobi lunged at the massive shape. Vader blocked the stab with equal speed, riposting with a counterslash that Kenobi barely parried. Another parry and Kenobi countered again, using this opportunity to move around the towering Dark Lord.
They continued to trade blows, with the old man now backing toward the hangar. Once, his saber and Vader's locked, the interaction of the two energy fields producing a violent sparking and flashing. A low buzzing sound rose from the straining power units as each saber sought to override the other.
Illuminated by the flare from contacting energy fields, Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader were backing toward the bay. The fight attracted the attention of others beside the Senator. Every one of the guards moved in for a better view of the Olympian conflict.
Kenobi heard the approaching commotion and spared a glance back into the hangar. The squad of troopers bearing down on him was enough to show that he was trapped.
Vader took immediate advantage of the momentary distraction to bring his saber over and down. Kenobi somehow managed to deflect the sweeping blow, at once parrying and turning a complete circle.
"You still have your skill, but your power fades. Prepare to meet the Force, Obi-Wan."
Kenobi gauged the shrinking distance between the oncoming troops and himself, then turned a pitying gaze on Vader. "This is a fight you cannot win, Darth. Your power has matured since I taught you, but I too have grown much since our parting. If my blade finds its mark, you will cease to exist. But if you cut me down, I will only become more powerful. Heed my words."
"Your philosophies no longer confuse me, old man," Vader growled contemptuously. "I am the master now."
Once again he lunged forward, feinting, and then slashing in a deadly downward arc with the saber.
It struck home, cutting the old man cleanly in half. There was a brief flash as Kenobi's cloak fluttered to the deck in two neat sections.
But Ben Kenobi was not in it. Wary of some trick, 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.
The guards slowed their approach and joined Vader in examining the place where Kenobi had stood seconds before. Several of them muttered, and even the awesome presence of the Sith Lord couldn't keep a few of them from feeling a little afraid.
Source: A New Hope
"I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan," Vader said as he moved closer to the elderly Jedi Knight. "We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete."
Obi-Wan assumed an offensive position.
Vader continued, "When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master."
"Only a master of evil, Darth," Obi-Wan said. He made a sudden lunge at Vader but the dark lord blocked the attack. There was a loud electric crackle as their lightsabers made contact. Obi-Wan swung again and again, but each time Vader parried.
Vader said, "Your powers are weak, old man."
"You can't win, Darth," Obi-Wan said. "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
"You should not have come back," Vader said.
Their lightsaber clashed again, And again, and again. And as their battle continued, they moved closer to the main doorway that led directly to the hangar that contained the Millennium Falcon.
It was a lightsaber duel. Luke could only imagine the identity of the tall, black-clad humanoid who wielded a red lightsaber. The other duelist wore a brown cloak, and Luke thought he recognized him immediately.
"Ben?" Luke said, and came to a stop. Who's he fighting?
Ben looked to Luke and smiled, then raised his lightsaber before him and closed his eyes. He looked almost serene.
Darth Vader thought Obi-Wan was surrendering, but the dark lord was without mercy. Vader's lightsaber swept through the air and sliced through Ben's form. Ben's cloak and lightsaber fell to the floor. His body was gone.
"No!" Luke shouted.
Hearing Luke's cry, the stormtroopers turned and shot at him. Luke raised his blast rifle and returned their fire, hitting one trooper, who tumbled forward into the elevator well.
Han immediately joined the fight, firing at the troopers while the droids and Chewbacca hurried into the Falcon. "Come on!" Han shouted to Luke.
Darth Vader ignored the blasterfight and looked down at the old brown cloak and lightsaber that lay on the floor. Incredibly, Obi-Wan had completely disappeared.Where is he? How could he vanish? What sort of trickery is this? He had assumed Obi-Wan's study of the Force had ended long ago, and that his powers had diminished over time. But Vader was wrong.
Source: A New Hope Junior Novelization
There he was.After so much time and across so much space, the hooded figure of Obi-Wan Kenobi, his former Master and friend, stood right in front of him. He had aged; his face was lined, his beard white. It was impossible to not remember vividly the last time they had seen each other, when his Master had crippled him and left him to die on the fiery banks of a river of molten rock, light-years from here.
Now his anger smoldered in him like the banks of that coursing stream of lava. You should have killed me then, Obi-Wan.
Vader lit his lightsaber. The red beam crackled with power. Obi-Wan had already known Vader was there, of course. The Force swirled about the two of them, forging a link impossible to miss.
Vader stroke toward the old man. As he drew nearer, Obi-Wan ignited his own lightsaber. The blue gleam of the blade flashed brightly.
"I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete."
Vader raised his weapon to attack, and Obi-Wan matched his pose.
"When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the Master."
"Only a master of evil, Darth." With that, Obi-Wan stepped in and cut.
Vader blocked the attack easily. Obi-Wan attacked again, and again, Vader blocked each strike.
If the old man thought he could rattle him by attacking instead of defending, he was mistaken. Vader riposted, sped up his timing, and took the initiative, forcing the erstwhile Jedi to defend.
He still had some skill, his old Master did, but he was out of practice. Vader could feel it through the Force.
Obi-Wan twirled and blocked a slash, then wove a defensive pattern with his blade. The Force was still with the old Jedi; he was able to anticipate Vader's strikes and block or parry them. But after a quick exchange, Vader felt the energy shift in his favor. "Your powers are weak, old man."
There had always been in Vader a small bit of worry about this day. Not much; just a trace. He had been sure, in his useful arrogance, that he had been stronger, had been better than the Jedi Knight who had been his teacher, and the memory of what Obi-Wan had done to him would never be erased. He had been a superior fighter even when he had been Anakin Skywalker, and yet Obi-Wan had defeated him.
Could he win now?
It was as if the old man could read his thoughts:
"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
Vader knew that Obi-Wan was taunting him by using the Sith honorific, but he would not allow himself to be baited. Obi-Wan lunged again, attacking, but Vader was ready. Their sabers clashed, sparks spewed, the stink of ozone wafted over them, but Vader stood his ground. The blades slid along each other's length, then stopped, bound together in the magnetic handle guards, the men face-to-face.
Vader shoved, hard, and they broke the clash. Obi-Wan retreated a step.
Vader felt the fierce anticipation of victory pound in his heart. "You should not have come back," he told the old Jedi.
Another exchange - four, five, six attacks and blocks - and Vader knew the old man was weakening. The Force might be strong in Obi-Wan, but the dark side was stronger in Vader. It let him anticipate his adversary's strikes and counter them almost before they began.
Obi-Wan knew it, too. He began a retreat, backing away, his lightsaber itself seeming weaker as he moved.
Vader backed Obi-Wan past an open blast door leading to the forward dock where the Rebel freighter was being held under guard. The old man was obviously tiring.
You're mine, old man, Vader thought.
But just as he was ready to deliver the final strike, Obi-Wan managed a fast series of attacks, and Vader had to move quickly to avoid the strikes. Even as old and weak as Obi-Wan was, his technique was accomplished enough that a foolish move on Vader's part could still be fatal.
A group of stormtroopers standing in the dock became aware of them. Vader felt rather than saw them notice the strange duel, and sensed the troopers heading toward them.
He did not wish them to interfere, but to even warn them off would take concentration that he could not afford at the moment. Should his attention falter, Obi-Wan could kill him in the blink of an eye.
Vader heard someone call from the dock: "Ben?" It was a young man's voice. Still he could not risk a look in that direction. But Obi-Wan glanced away, quickly, then looked back at Vader. Then he did the last thing Vader could have possibly imagined --
It was an expression not the least worried; almost beatific, in fact. Then, still smiling, Obi-Wan lifted his lightsaber so that the tip pointed straight up at the ceiling.
The action was so totally unexpected that Vader paused for an instant in shock. Not even the Force had lent him prescience concerning this. His former Master had left himself wide open. Was it a trap?
It didn't matter. If it was, Obi-Wan wasn't fast enough, or strong enough, to spring it in time. Vader shifted his lightsaber and cut from the right, hard, aiming for the neck -
His lightsaber sheared through the old man as if the latter were no denser than the air itself, and Obi-Wan collapsed.
Yes! Fierce, exultant joy coursed through the man who had been Anakin Skywalker. He had done it! He had slain Obi-Wan Kenobi! His revenge was complete!
From a distance he heard someone scream "Nooo!" - a cry of utter despair. But Vader paid it no heed. The dark side surged within him as powerfully as he had ever felt it - for an instant. But then it stopped.
What had just happened?
Vader looked down at the body. But there was no body. Only Obi-Wan's robes and cloak.
This was impossible! It could not be!
The squad of stormtroopers began firing at somebody in the docking bay, but Vader could not be bothered to look. He stepped forward, staring down in disbelief. An illusion of some kind? Some Jedi mind trick that the old man had never imparted to him?
Impossible! Obi-Wan had taught him everything Vader knew...
But, whispered a voice from within,maybe not everything that Obi-Wan knew.
Vader reached out with his boot to touch the corpse, but he only stirred the empty vestments, charred by the lightsaber's heat, with his questing foot.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was gone.
How could this be?
For the first time he could remember, the dark side had no answer. And a great surge of unfamiliar emotion suddenly washed over him.
Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith's apprentice, one of the two most powerful beings in the galaxy, was afraid.Source: Death Star
Tarkin watched the recording of Vader fighting the old man in a lightsaber duel, fascinated. Obi-Wan Kenobi had survived all these years. Who would have believed it?
That he was still able to make a fight of it against Darth Vader was even more impressive. The man looked old enough to be Vader's father, and them some. Amazing.Source: Death Star
Force Speed enables a Force user to enhance the speed of their movements.
Obi-Wan moves at a speed deemed incredible for a being of his age:
Executing a move of incredible swiftness for one so old, Kenobi lunged at the massive shape.Source: A New Hope
Vader knows Obi-Wan can kill him in the blink of an eye, if his attention falters:
He did not wish them to interfere, but to even warn them of would take concentration that he could not afford at the moment. Should his attention falter, Obi-Wan could kill him in the blink of an eye.Source: Death Star
Telepathy enables one to influence or outright manipulate another's thoughts.
Obi-Wan utilizes Mind Tricks on a group of Stormtroopers on Tatooine:
The squad leader said, "Let me see your identification."
"You don't need to see his identification," Ben said in a calm, controlled tone.
Looking to his fellow stormtroopers, the squad leader said, "We don't need to see his identification."
Ben said, "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
"These aren't the droids we're looking for," the squad leader repeated.
Luke gave another quick glance at Ben. He's hypnotizing the stormtroopers. But how?
Ben said to the squad leader, "He can go about his business."
Looking at Luke, the squad leader said, "You can go about your business."
"Move along," Ben said.
"Move along," echoed the squad leader, gesturing with his hand for Luke to proceed. "Move along."Source: A New Hope Junior Novelization
Obi-Wan influences a pair of Stormtroopers to make them think they hear a noise behind them, distracting them enough for him to slip past them:
Using the Force, Ben flexed his fingers and gestured at the two troopers. Both troopers suddenly heard - or thought they heard - a muffled explosion from the doorway behind them, and turned away from the power terminal.
"What was that?" asked the second trooper.
"That's nothing," said the first trooper. "Top gassing. Don't worry about it."
Neither noticed Ben step onto the bridge and exit the generator trench.Source: A New Hope Junior Novelization
Force Sense is a passive Force power which enables a Force user to feel physical, emotional and mental traits as well as events.
Obi-Wan senses the destruction of Alderaan, light-years away:
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force," Ben said. "As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."Source: A New Hope Junior Novelization
Obi-Wan senses Vader aboard the Death Star, knowing of his presence before seeing him:
Obi-Wan had already known Vader was there, of course. The Force swirled about the two of them, forging a link impossible to miss.Source: Death Star
Obi-Wan feels the need to use his lightsaber prematurely, a foreshadowing of his fight with Darth Vader:
Ben stood in the shadows of a narrow passageway that adjoined the hallway. When he was sure the troopers had passed, he drew his lightsaber from his belt. He did not activate the blade but held it ready. He had a feeling he would be using his weapon sooner than later. Much sooner.Source: A New Hope Junior Novelization
Sound Mimicry is a power enabling a Force user to mimic the sounds of others.
Obi-Wan mimics the sound of a Krayt Dragon to scare away Tusken Raiders:
A great howling moan echoed through the canyon. Hearing the sound, the three Tusken Raiders fled from the landspeeder.Source: A New Hope Junior Novelization
Force Ghost is a rare, esoteric power learned by a Jedi that allows them to, upon death, become one with the living Force and materialize as spirits to those who were alive.
Ben Kenobi tells Darth Vader that if he is struck down, he will become more powerful than Vader can possibly imagine:
"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."Source: A New Hope
Moments after his death, Ben Kenobi's spirit tells Luke to run:
"Run, Luke! Run!"Source: A New Hope
Ben Kenobi's spirit manifests to Luke Skywalker on Hoth and instructs him to travel to the Dagobah system to meet Yoda:
Without materializing, Obi-Wan attempts to convince Yoda to train Luke:
"I cannot teach him. The boy has no patience."
"He will learn patience."
"Hmmm. Much anger in him, like his father."
"Was I any different when you taught me?"Source: The Empire Strikes Back
"You are reckless!"
"So was I, if you'll remember."Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Ben Kenobi's spirit appears to both Luke Skywalker and Yoda, warning the former to not rush off Dagobah:
Obi-Wan's spirit appears to Luke Skywalker on Dagobah to confirm the truth of Anakin being Vader, as well as telling Luke that he must face Vader once again. Obi-Wan also tells Luke that he has has a sister:
Obi-Wan's Force Ghost appears alongside those of Anakin Skywalker and Yoda in the celebration on Endor: