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Star Wars mystery about Darth Vader's scar solved by Obi-Wan Kenobi

Digital Spy (UK) logo Digital Spy (UK) 26/06/2022 Tom Chapman

The Obi-Wan Kenobi finale sure was something as Star Wars fans were given an epic clash between Ewan McGregor's Jedi and Hayden Christensen's Darth Vader – and it also solved a long-running mystery in the process.

With the series set in a blind spot of the Skywalker Saga, Obi-Wan Kenobi had to be careful not to retcon the carefully placed canon of George Lucas's original trilogy. The finale laid some major seeds for the future of the galaxy and Vader's own redemptive arc in Return of the Jedi.

One key moment even connected to Return of the Jedi more than you might have noticed on first viewing. Going full Joker in The Dark Knight, do you want to hear how he got those scars?

Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi © Lucas Film Ltd - Disney+ Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi

Related: Obi-Wan Kenobi's biggest problem highlights a wider issue for Star Wars

Aside from a certain long-haired Jedi going full Ghost and appearing to Obi-Wan, the big talking point of the finale was the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Vader.

Although it wasn't quite their fiery fight on Mustafar, this one was arguably more emotive as they duked it out on an abandoned planet. Even though Vader finally cutting down his former master in A New Hope means we knew neither would die here, the former friends both limped away with some emotional and physical scars.

Eagle-eyed fans have noticed that the consequences of Obi-Wan's winning blow against Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale can be seen in Return of the Jedi.

Jump forward (or backward) to 1983 and you'll remember a reformed Vader saved Luke from Palpatine, tossing the waxy-faced Emperor down a reactor shaft but taking a fatal blast from his Force lightning.

Anakin and Luke finally got their father-and-son moment, and when Luke helped Vader take his helmet off, he had a number of unusual scars. It's only taken 39 years to find out how he got them.

In the finale, the exiled Jedi sliced open his Padawan's helmet and saw the full extent of Anakin's injuries after he was left to fry on the surface of Mustafar.

Brilliantly flicking between the vocals of Christensen and James Earl Jones, Obi-Wan got a harrowing look at this new form. Despite his old face poking through, Vader said he'd killed Anakin (in a metaphorical sense) which, if you wanted, could justify Obi-Wan telling Luke in A New Hope that Vader killed Anakin.

Others have noted how the image of Vader's sliced helmet mirrors the Star Wars Rebels season-two finale. The lauded 'Twilight of the Apprentice' had Ahsoka Tano take on Vader and deal a similar blow that busted open his mask.

The problem is that Obi-Wan's blow could create a potentially Death Star-sized hole in the usually watertight canon of Star Wars.

Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6 © Lucas Film Ltd - Disney+ Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6

Most were convinced that the burns Anakin suffered on Mustafar would be consistent with his Return of the Jedi scars, meaning this was what we've accepted for the past 20 years. Critics have also argued that a close-up of Obi-Wan hurling rocks at Anakin suggests this is what gave him his scars instead of a nasty brush with a lightsaber.

We know that Ahsoka isn't responsible for Anakin's scars because she only managed to break the right-hand side of his helmet. (Vader should really have invested in some better armour.)

The way that the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale lingered on Anakin's face after Obi-Wan's blow suggests that we were meant to think this was where Vader's head scar came from. Of course, you could just take it as a dramatic moment and nothing more if this scar explanation doesn't hold weight for you.

Obi-Wan Kenobi promised to fill in the gaps between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope to reveal what turned Ewan McGregor's once sprightly Jedi into Alec Guinness putting the old in Old Ben.

And as it turns out, there was a lot to give Obi-Wan grey hairs, with that big duel being one for the ages that's left everyone with a few scars to carry around.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is available to watch in full on Disney+, where you can also watch the entire Skywalker Saga.

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