While we often look at Darth Vader as an enemy that had no equal, one of the things we know is that the only Jedi to ever beat him multiple times was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Of course, this relationship goes all the way back to Vader’s childhood when he was still just Anakin Skywalker as Kenobi took him in and taught him the ways of the Force as the Jedi’s apprentice. And they were like brothers before Anakin fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader.
Consumed by his anger and hatred, Vader did not even care if he had to kill his former master and best friend. This led to multiple confrontations between the two former friends and allies, as Darth Vader hated Obi-Wan so much that he was willing to do anything to find and kill him. So, with that said, let us look at all of the times that Darth Vader fought Obi-Wan Kenobi and rank all of the fights accordingly.
Darth Vader and Obi-Wan fought 4 times
One of the greatest rivalries in the history of Star Wars is the one involving Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. The beauty of this rivalry lies in the fact that Kenobi used to be Vader’s master when he was still just Anakin Skywalker. And they were as close as brothers when Anakin was still Obi-Wan’s Jedi Order apprentice.
However, we know that Anakin fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader. This led to him and Obi-Wan being on opposite sides. As such, it was inevitable that they ended up fighting each other a few times.
In all nine mainline Star Wars movies, Kenobi and Vader fought only twice, with nearly 20 years separating the two fights. However, the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ series added two more fights to the card.
As such, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi fought four times. This doesn’t even include their many sparring matches when they were still with the Jedi Order. So, when we are talking about fights to the death between Vader and Kenobi, there have only been two of them.
And more may be added, depending on whether more stories involve the two characters.
Every time Vader fought Kenobi, ranked
4. The Mapuzo fight
The Mapuzo Fight happened during the events of the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ series. Ten years after Order 66, Kenobi lived a miserable life on Tatooine while doing the same old job every single day.
He also watched over Luke Skywalker from afar, but he mostly spent boring days blaming himself for what he believed was Anakin Skywalker’s death on Mustafar a decade ago. After all, after defeating Anakin on Mustafar, Kenobi spent the entire time on Tatooine, which was an Outer Rim planet that was far from the affairs of the galaxy.
But Bail Organa suddenly contacted Obi-Wan for a mission involving a kidnapped Leia. He saved Leia but found out from an Inquisitor named Reva that Anakin Skywalker was alive the entire time.
As such, Obi-Wan’s past started to haunt him once more as he was still trying to re-establish his broken connection with the Force after an entire decade of self-loathing and self-blaming.
After escaping with Leia, Obi-Wan, and the young girl got stranded on a mining planet called Mapuzo, where they met an Imperial officer named Tala, who was secretly smuggling Force-sensitive people from the Empire. Tala was a member of a group called the Hidden Path, which was why she decided to help Obi-Wan. However, Vader tracked them to Mapuzo.
Wanting to lead Vader and the Inquisitors away from Leia, Obi-Wan went to an isolated area because he understood Vader was after him. They fought in that isolated area, but it was clear that Obi-Wan was out of shape and was yet to re-establish his connection with the Force.
This one-sided battle allowed Vader to use the Force to pin Kenobi on the flames he ignited to make him feel the pain he felt on Mustafar. Luckily, Kenobi was able to escape with the help of Tala.
3. The true rematch
Even though Obi-Wan was clearly weak in his fight with Vader on Mapuzo, he steadily re-established his connection with the Force through his different experiences with Leia and the Hidden Path.
Obi-Wan had escaped with Leia and some Hidden Path refugees after the Empire could track them down. But Kenobi understood they wouldn’t get far away from the Imperial enforcer.
That was when Kenobi boarded a separate ship to pull Vader’s focus away from the Hidden Path. He went to a nearby rocky moon, as Darth Vader bit the bait and followed him there instead of going after Leia and the refugees. Vader’s fixation on Kenobi forced him to follow his former master to that moon, which became the site of their first true rematch since Mustafar.
The two dueled on this barren moon, and Vader quickly noticed that Kenobi had gotten his strength back. However, Vader could still overwhelm his former master in that duel. He used the Force to bury Kenobi under a pile of rocks as he thought that this was the end of the former Jedi Master.
But Obi-Wan found strength in his new purpose in life when he realized that he needed to live to protect both Luke and Leia. This was when he realized that attachments weren’t necessarily bad for a Jedi as long as these were unselfish attachments.
As such, Obi-Wan reconnected with the Force and became stronger than ever. He fought Vader with his full might and even dominated his former apprentice in that fight.
Obi-Wan targeted Vader’s life-support system and defeated the Sith Lord in that duel. But instead of killing Darth Vader, he realized that Anakin Skywalker was truly dead because the Sith Lord’s personality and anger had fully consumed him. Kenobi left without killing Darth Vader, as the Sith Lord promised to destroy him in the future.
2. The duel at the Death Star
In terms of chronological release, this was the first lightsaber battle in the history of Star Wars. Of course, it was also the first duel between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The battle occurred during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’ when Obi-Wan accompanied Luke Skywalker to rescue Leia Organa on the Death Star.
As Luke, Han, and Chewbacca were rescuing Leia, Kenobi tried to get the attention of Darth Vader as the Sith Lord sensed his presence. The two fought in the first-ever lightsaber duel in history.
Of course, due to the lack of modern CGI and choreography, the duel was simplistic in its approach. But this fight was so iconic because it was the first lightsaber fight ever shown in the cinema and because it allowed Kenobi to become one with the Force.
Luke and the others successfully rescued Leia as they were on their way to board the Millennium Falcon. But instead of allowing Luke to return for him, Obi-Wan allowed Darth Vader to strike him down with his lightsaber.
Kenobi’s body disappeared just before Vader’s blow could land, as it was clear that he had died but had become one with the Force when he freely gave himself up to death. Obi-Wan’s sacrifice allowed Luke and the others to escape the Death Star, as Kenobi became one with the Force and was able to guide Luke from beyond the grave.
1. The duel on Mustafar
The Duel on Mustafar is arguably the most important lightsaber duel in the history of Star Wars because the implications of this fight had resounding effects that affected the entire course of the Star Wars narrative.
This happened during the rise of the Empire and after Anakin had betrayed the Jedi Order to become Palpatine’s newest apprentice. Palpatine sent him to the volcanic planet of Mustafar to kill the remaining leaders of the Separatists. However, Obi-Wan followed Anakin to this planet by sneaking onboard Padmé’s ship.
Anakin and Padmé met in the hangar as Amidala was surprised by the dark turn that her husband took in an attempt to find a way to prevent her from dying. This led to Anakin realizing that Obi-Wan had followed them to that planet as he thought that Padmé brought him there to kill him. In his anger, Anakin used the Force to choke Padmé, only for him to let go after Obi-Wan told him to do so.
This led to a confrontation between Obi-Wan and Anakin, who had already adopted the Sith Lord name of Darth Vader. Kenobi confronted him about his actions when he betrayed the Jedi Order and slaughtered everyone in the Jedi Temple.
But Anakin tried to tell Obi-Wan this was the right path as he saw the Jedi as corrupt and evil. Realizing that his former Padawan had already fallen to the dark side, Obi-Wan had no choice but to try to kill him.
The battle was well-choreographed and had a lot of flairs, as it was clear that Obi-Wan and Anakin knew each other’s movies incredibly well. But it was also clear that Anakin had the upper hand in that fight and that Obi-Wan was merely playing defense the entire time because his combat form required him to stay on the defensive until an opening revealed itself.
Eventually, Obi-Wan and Anakin saw themselves fighting on a river of lava until Kenobi could get back on the ground. He had the high ground and told Anakin that the duel was over because he had the advantage. Out of hubris, Anakin thought that he was powerful enough to negate Obi-Wan’s advantage as he leaped toward his former master, only for Kenobi to slice off his limbs in midair.
Anakin had been defeated and could not pull himself out of his situation when his clothes caught fire in the river of lava. He got burned alive, and the only thing that Obi-Wan could do was watch in horror. Kenobi left Mustafar, thinking that this was enough to kill Anakin. However, he didn’t know that Anakin had survived and was transformed into the cybernetic Darth Vader we are all familiar with.
What is your favorite fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader? Let us know in the comments!