Why Is Obi-Wan Kenobi So Afraid Of Vader When He Already Beat Anakin?

One thing that is notable about the confrontation between the two, is that Obi-Wan doesn’t instantly reach for his lightsaber upon being cornered by Vader. Vader alerts Obi-Wan to his position by igniting his lightsaber, after which Kenobi tries to flee. It is only once the latter’s fear sets in that he ignites his own saber, almost as a defense mechanism because of his fear rather than to fight Vader off. This could be for several reasons, the main one being that Kenobi hasn’t used his saber in 10 years. The first two episodes established that Obi-Wan buried his lightsaber on Tatooine, and he seemed reluctant to dig it back up again before his search for Leia began. Kenobi not using his saber shows how his time on Tatooine has changed him, and how his skill is understandably lesser than it once was. During the height of the prequels, the Jedi were using their weapons almost every day during the Clone Wars, training endlessly. After this intensity, switching to not using the weapon for a decade could lead to a hesitance to use it again.

Also, after 10 years of hiding from the Empire in which something as obvious as a lightsaber would give him away, it may simply be a case of Obi-Wan subconsciously not igniting his lightsaber even though the Empire is already aware of his presence. Another reason could be Obi-Wan’s guilt at what he did to Anakin the last time he used his saber. The last time Kenobi likely used the weapon would be to maim Anakin on Mustafar, meaning he has traumatic memories linked to the weapon. All of this could tie into why Kenobi doesn’t immediately think to use his lightsaber to defend himself from Vader, instead letting his fear take over.

Why Obi-Wan Tries To Run Away From Darth Vader

One of the reasons why Kenobi tries to flee Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3 links to his reluctance to use his saber. Not only has Kenobi not used a lightsaber in 10 years, but he is much less attuned to the Force as seen in the first two episodes. On top of this, Kenobi has been living on Tatooine meaning he is likely much weaker in the body as well as the mind. Vader is also one of the most powerful Force users to ever live, meaning he vastly outmatches Kenobi who is out of practice.

However, the main reason Kenobi tries to flee from Vader stems from why he is so scared of him despite beating Anakin in combat before. The reasoning comes from, not only his fears that he isn’t strong enough to defeat Vader after 10 years in hiding but the fact that facing Vader means Obi-Wan will have to face up to his greatest failure. The first 3 episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi have heavily focused on Kenobi’s doubt, fear, and even depression that comes from allowing Anakin to fall to the dark side and the ensuing fight on Mustafar. Anakin being alive then, and right in front of him as Darth Vader, means that Obi-Wan has to come to terms with what happened, not only that Anakin turned to the dark side, but that Anakin almost entirely blames Kenobi for him becoming Vader as shown in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3.

Facing up to something like this, after a decade of believing Anakin was dead and the guilt that comes with believing Kenobi was the one to kill him is evidently not easy. Kenobi’s hesitance to fight Vader, and his fear of this despite beating Anakin before, all comes from Kenobi’s intense guilt that has been building over his 10 years in hiding. This is likely going to come into play again when Kenobi and Vader next meet. However, given that there are 3 episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi left, with hints that an intervention from Qui-Gon Jinn may guide Kenobi to confront his guilt, it is safe to assume the next meeting will be entirely different.

New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi release Wednesdays on Disney+.

Want more Obi-Wan Kenobi articles? Check out our essential content below…

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi Cast Guide: Every New & Returning Star Wars Character
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2’s Veteran Cameo Explained
  • Why Obi-Wan Kenobi Is So Weak In His Star Wars Show
  • Why Obi-Wan Can’t Talk To Qui-Gon Jinn’s Force Ghost
  • Did THAT Obi-Wan Kenobi Character Really Just Die?
  • Every Jedi Alive During Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Timeline
  • How Many Episodes Are In Obi-Wan Kenobi (& When Is The Finale)?


More information about Why Is Obi-Wan Kenobi So Afraid Of Vader When He Already Beat Anakin?

One thing that is notable about the confrontation between the two, is that Obi-Wan doesn’t instantly reach for his lightsaber upon being cornered by Vader. Vader alerts Obi-Wan to his position by igniting his lightsaber, after which Kenobi tries to flee. It is only once the latter’s fear sets in that he ignites his own saber, almost as a defense mechanism because of his fear rather than to fight Vader off. This could be for several reasons, the main one being that Kenobi hasn’t used his saber in 10 years. The first two episodes established that Obi-Wan buried his lightsaber on Tatooine, and he seemed reluctant to dig it back up again before his search for Leia began. Kenobi not using his saber shows how his time on Tatooine has changed him, and how his skill is understandably lesser than it once was. During the height of the prequels, the Jedi were using their weapons almost every day during the Clone Wars, training endlessly. After this intensity, switching to not using the weapon for a decade could lead to a hesitance to use it again.

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Also, after 10 years of hiding from the Empire in which something as obvious as a lightsaber would give him away, it may simply be a case of Obi-Wan subconsciously not igniting his lightsaber even though the Empire is already aware of his presence. Another reason could be Obi-Wan’s guilt at what he did to Anakin the last time he used his saber. The last time Kenobi likely used the weapon would be to maim Anakin on Mustafar, meaning he has traumatic memories linked to the weapon. All of this could tie into why Kenobi doesn’t immediately think to use his lightsaber to defend himself from Vader, instead letting his fear take over.

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Why Obi-Wan Tries To Run Away From Darth Vader

One of the reasons why Kenobi tries to flee Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3 links to his reluctance to use his saber. Not only has Kenobi not used a lightsaber in 10 years, but he is much less attuned to the Force as seen in the first two episodes. On top of this, Kenobi has been living on Tatooine meaning he is likely much weaker in the body as well as the mind. Vader is also one of the most powerful Force users to ever live, meaning he vastly outmatches Kenobi who is out of practice.
However, the main reason Kenobi tries to flee from Vader stems from why he is so scared of him despite beating Anakin in combat before. The reasoning comes from, not only his fears that he isn’t strong enough to defeat Vader after 10 years in hiding but the fact that facing Vader means Obi-Wan will have to face up to his greatest failure. The first 3 episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi have heavily focused on Kenobi’s doubt, fear, and even depression that comes from allowing Anakin to fall to the dark side and the ensuing fight on Mustafar. Anakin being alive then, and right in front of him as Darth Vader, means that Obi-Wan has to come to terms with what happened, not only that Anakin turned to the dark side, but that Anakin almost entirely blames Kenobi for him becoming Vader as shown in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3.

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Facing up to something like this, after a decade of believing Anakin was dead and the guilt that comes with believing Kenobi was the one to kill him is evidently not easy. Kenobi’s hesitance to fight Vader, and his fear of this despite beating Anakin before, all comes from Kenobi’s intense guilt that has been building over his 10 years in hiding. This is likely going to come into play again when Kenobi and Vader next meet. However, given that there are 3 episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi left, with hints that an intervention from Qui-Gon Jinn may guide Kenobi to confront his guilt, it is safe to assume the next meeting will be entirely different.
New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi release Wednesdays on Disney+.
Want more Obi-Wan Kenobi articles? Check out our essential content below…
Obi-Wan Kenobi Cast Guide: Every New & Returning Star Wars Character
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2’s Veteran Cameo Explained
Why Obi-Wan Kenobi Is So Weak In His Star Wars Show
Why Obi-Wan Can’t Talk To Qui-Gon Jinn’s Force Ghost
Did THAT Obi-Wan Kenobi Character Really Just Die?
Every Jedi Alive During Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Timeline
How Many Episodes Are In Obi-Wan Kenobi (& When Is The Finale)?

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