Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 6 Cameo Explains Major Original Trilogy Mystery
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The big Obi-Wan Kenobi finale cameo explains an original Star Wars trilogy plot hole. Lucasfilm’s Disney+ series starring Ewan Mcgregor as the fan-favorite Jedi master has finally wrapped up after six episodes and it didn’t disappoint. While it maintained its focus on Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s primary characters, it also featured strategic guest appearances, and one of them was integral in finally addressing a major lingering question in the space opera.
Set 10 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi follows the titular Jedi master as he tries to survive hidden from the Galactic Empire. Disillusioned and disconnected from the Force, he is forced to go on a mission after young Leia Organa is kidnapped. Obi-Wan goes through a series of dangerous situations, including two interactions with Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) — the last of which ended with the Jedi master defeating the Sith Lord.
With the Lucasfilm Disney+ series firmly establishing the titular Jedi’s survival and Darth Vader’s knowledge of it, it was initially curious why the Sith Lord never bothered to hunt his old master down before their reunion in A New Hope. Emperor Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) Obi-Wan Kenobi finale cameo explains the reason why the Jedi was never found on Tatooine. On the heels of his defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan, Lord Vader is keen to continue his pursuit. His conversation with Darth Sidious dissuades him though, as his Sith master cautions him that his emotional encounter with Obi-Wan has left him weakened. Darth Vader knows full well that despite his icy demeanor, he remains vulnerable as he continues to be haunted by his falling out with Obi-Wan and the death of Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman). So instead of risking letting his emotions get the better of him, Darth Vader opts to let Obi-Wan go with the assumption that he is no threat to him or the Empire.
Since Lucasfilm confirmed that Obi-Wan and Darth Vader would face each other in Obi-Wan Kenobi, questions about how this would affect the established timeline started popping up. Bringing Emperor Palpatine into the equation was a great way to justify the Sith Lord uncharacteristically giving up on his hunt for his old Jedi Master. Even at the start of their conversation, Darth Vader was adamant that he would use the full might of the Galactic Empire to locate Obi-Wan. That being said, it’s also worth noting that Emperor Palpatine had an ulterior motive for discouraging Darth Vader from seeking out the Jedi. He suspected that interacting longer with Obi-Wan could still bring back Anakin Skywalker, which would very likely spell the end of his reign and the Galactic Empire. Similar to how gradually turned Anakin against the Jedi, he continued to do so by manipulating him long after he had become Darth Vader.
Emperor Palpatine assumed that letting Obi-Wan go in Obi-Wan Kenobi shouldn’t be a problem for him. After all, the Jedi doesn’t have the fire or manpower of Darth Vader and the Empire. Unfortunately, underestimating the Jedi master is one of his biggest mistakes as Obi-Wan’s existence paved the way for Luke and Leia’s reunion which led to his ultimate defeat in the original Star Wars trilogy.