The world of Star Wars is full of different rivalries born out of one person’s hatred for another, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is one character that has attracted plenty of hatred from opposing figures in this fictional universe. Other than the fact that Darth Maul hated Kenobi, we also know that the most iconic villain in Star Wars also hated Obi-Wan. Yes, we are talking about Darth Vader. So, why and when did Darth Vader start hating Obi-Wan?
Darth Vader hated Obi-Wan Kenobi because he hated himself. This started when he thought that Kenobi was the one that poisoned Padmé into turning against Anakin when he turned to the dark side. But the truth was that Anakin was merely projecting his own self-hatred toward Obi-Wan.
The prequel trilogy allowed us to see that Darth Vader was the classic case of a character who failed to internalize his own failures and wrong decisions. Instead, he decided to project his failures toward other people who he thought were the ones that caused so much misery in his life. Of course, Obi-Wan was the first person he projected his hatred onto. So, let’s talk more about why Vader hated his old master so much.
Darth Vader’s hatred for Obi-Wan explained
Arguably the greatest rivalry in Star Wars involves Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. That’s because this rivalry was decades in the making and started from something so innocent and special but turned into a one-sided bitter relationship.
We know that Kenobi was the one that took Anakin Skywalker in and trained him to become a Jedi, and that was the reason why Anakin grew up looking up to Obi-Wan like the brother that he never had.
But when Sheev Palpatine convinced Anakin to turn to the dark side to prevent his beloved Padmé Amidala’s death, he had no choice but to betray the Jedi Order. He had seen visions of Padmé’s death, and that kept him restless. And Palpatine planted the seeds that eventually blossomed into Anakin’s fall to the dark side and eventual transformation into Darth Vader.
Throughout his time as Darth Vader, one of Anakin’s main goals was to find and kill Obi-Wan Kenobi. We saw in the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ series that he was willing to let everything go as long as he could get his hands on Obi-Wan.
From an outsider’s perspective, it seems as if Vader wants to kill Obi-Wan to prevent a future uprising from the Jedi. But the truth was that he simply hated Obi-Wan and wanted nothing more than to kill him.
Of course, there’s a good reason for Vader to hate Obi-Wan. After all, in their duel on Mustafar, Kenobi defeated him by cutting off all of his limbs. After that, he allowed the fires of Mustafar to burn Anakin alive without even dealing the final blow himself. As such, Vader had to have his limbs replaced by cybernetic prosthetics and was forced to wear a life-support suit his entire life.
But the thing is that, while we do know that this might be a good reason for hating Obi-Wan, there is something deeper in Darth Vader’s hatred for his former master. And it goes back to what happened between Anakin and Padmé.
After Anakin fell to the dark side and caused the deaths of countless Jedi in the Jedi Temple, Obi-Wan told Padmé the truth. That was when Padmé refused to believe what Anakin had done.
They rendezvoused in Mustafar as Anakin confirmed his betrayal. And when Anakin tried to tell Padmé that he did all of this for her so that they could rule the galaxy together, Padmé told him that her heart was breaking and that she couldn’t walk the same path that he wanted to walk.
But Obi-Wan actually snuck onboard Padmé’s ship to get to Anakin. When Kenobi appeared, Anakin thought that Padmé took the Jedi Master with her to kill him. And he blamed Kenobi for poisoning Padmé against him.
So, in that regard, some might think that Anakin hated Obi-Wan because he believed that he was the one that poisoned Padmé against him. But we all know that Anakin was always smarter than that.
He understood that it was his actions that broke Padmé’s heart. However, he just failed to accept that he was responsible for all of the miserable things that happened to him afterward, including Padmé’s death.
Essentially, Anakin was aware that his actions were wrong and evil and that he hated himself for everything he did. But he just couldn’t become accountable for his actions because his pride prevented him from accepting that he was responsible for Padmé’s death and the miserable things that happened to him after that.
And that was why he projected all of his anger toward one man—Obi-Wan Kenobi—because it was a convenient way for him to absolve himself from all of the mistakes he had committed.
Darth Vader became the epitome of a man that could never hold himself accountable for his mistakes, and that was why he projected all of them onto Obi-Wan, even though we all know that Kenobi was never responsible for Anakin’s downfall and all of the evil things that he committed.
Vader simply wanted to find a person to hate more than himself, and the man that was the most convenient to hate was his old master.
When did Darth Vader start hating Obi-Wan?
While some people would say that Darth Vader only started hating Obi-Wan during their duel on Mustafar when they fought to the death after Anakin thought that Kenobi poisoned Padmé against him, the thing that needs to be understood is that there was already some sort of animosity between them.
Even when Anakin was still just a Padawan, he thought Obi-Wan was holding him back. He said so during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ when he told Padmé that he thought that the reason why he wasn’t able to reach his full potential was because his master was trying to keep his power on a leash.
There were also disagreements between the two during the entire Clone Wars because they never saw eye-to-eye in everything that they did, including Anakin’s belief that the Jedi Order wasn’t effective in handling the situation with the Separatists.
Of course, in ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,’ Anakin felt bitter about the fact that Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Jedi Council didn’t promote him to the rank of Jedi Master when he was allowed to sit on the council due to the endorsement of Chancellor Palpatine. He felt that Kenobi and the other Jedi Masters were simply jealous of him and his power.
Only during their duel on Mustafar, Anakin finally allowed his feelings to take control of him. He finally let out all of his frustration, and that was why he had the guts to tell Obi-Wan that he hated him. But the truth was that he hated himself more than he hated other people.
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