Disney’s ‘Kenobi’ Finally Shows off Vader’s Strength
Although Vader is supposed to be one of the strongest force users of all time, we actually haven’t had a chance to see him using his full strength very often. In fact, the times we have seen him in action, he’s been relatively controlled. As when he was fighting Kenobi in Episode 4, he was cautious, not willing to give his old master an inch. When he faces Luke in Episode 5, he is much stronger. Yet, his goal is not to destroy his son, but instead to slowly guide him to the dark side.
But what about the Darth Vader that subdued the Galaxy and became the most feared Sith Lord perhaps ever?
Well, that Vader existed sometime between The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. We finally get to see that Vader in action.
Warning – spoilers ahead for “Obi-Wan Kenobi”.
Vader is Much Stronger than Kenobi When they Face in the Show
In The Revenge of the Sith, we witness Kenobi at his peak strength. He is able to take on the Chose One toe to toe. When given the high ground, it is enough of an advantage to finally destroy his former pupil.
However, things have changed in the ten years that have passed between their epic duel and when they meet in the Disney+ show, “Obi-Kenobi”. When they face this time, Vader is the overwhelmingly more powerful force user.
There are a few reasons for this.
First, as is most easily seen, Kenobi has not been practicing the force. His connection to the force has gotten weaker, and undoubtedly so has his ability with a lightsaber. This is not the self confident master we see face down the Dark Lord in Episode Four.
But Kenobi being out of shape is not enough to explain Vader’s overwhelming strength.
Vader Has Reached his Prime In the Ten Years Since Revenge of the Sith
When Anakin faces Kenobi on Mustafar, he is not yet in his prime. At least, he is not in his prime as a Sith Lord. Tapping into the Dark Side has given Vader much greater power than he ever experienced as a Jedi. Not only that, but his incredible rage and pain since the death of his family has fueled his dark power.
Additionally, Vader’s newfound weakness has actually increased and honed his power. The younger Anakin was a prodigy. Wielding the force and using his lightsaber came easily to him. He never really had to push himself to overcome a challenge. He could simply do it.
Living without limbs and needing a machine to enable you to breathe, however, gives you a significant challenge to overcome. Needing to overcome this challenge has forced Vader to tab into his true force potential.
Why Are Obi-Wan Kenobi and Vader Evenly Matched in “A New Hope”?
By the time A New Hope has arrived, Vader’s power has actually diminished. With the Galaxy brought to heel, Vader has gone somewhat to seed, no longer needing to push himself to such great extents. Additionally, his commitment to the dark side has somewhat ebbed. In fact, Vader has failed to push himself to such an extent that Darth Sidious even begins to seriously consider taking on a new apprentice i.e. Luke.
However, even with his slow down in power since the time of “Kenobi”, and Obi-Wan’s own increase in power, it seems that Vader is still in control for the battle in A New Hope. And, of course, he does not even tap into direct force attacks, relying simply on a lightsaber duel to defeat his old master.
It seems that with Vader no longer pushing himself as hard as he did during his prime, and the power Obi-Wan has ascertained since becoming a true master, they have once again reached a sort of equilibrium.
Still, in Disney+’s “Kenobi”, we finally get to see Vader at the full extent of his power, enraged and enthralled by the Dark Side of the force.