Warning! There are spoilers ahead for Obi-Wan Kenobi Series 6!
The last two cameos from “Star Wars” in the season finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi carry incredibly deep meaning for both Kenobi and Darth Vader himself. After their second lightsaber duel, Obi-Wan and Vader evolved more into the versions they would become in A New Hope. Thus, both episodes serve to further develop Kenobi and his spoiled disciple in this direction, which is of great importance in relation to their shared past and future in the “Star Wars” canon.
In the 6th episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kenobi decides to leave the young Leia and the resistance cell known as the Path, hoping to lure the pursuing Vader and the Empire to give them a chance of survival. Of course, Darth Vader’s obsession with destroying his former master forces him to take the bait, veering off course to pursue Kenobi. This leads to their second lightsaber duel, which is much more epic than their first duel featured in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3, especially after Obi-Wan decides to come to terms with his past and self-image with Anakin Skywalker, restoring balance in the Force as the Jedi he once was was. Seeing that his disciple and brother are really dead, and Vader is standing in his place, Kenobi leaves Vader and returns to Tatooine.
After the duel, Obi-Wan and Darth Vader respectively meet their masters in the final scenes of the new Star Wars series. Obi-Wan finally communicates with the ghost of his master Qui-Gon Jinn’s Power, while Darth Vader reports to Emperor Palpatine from his fortress of Mustafar. However, both cameos are much more important and deeper than just a fan service, influencing the trajectories of Kenobi and Vader in the future on the Star Wars timeline.
The Ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn’s Power Meets Obi-Wan on Tatooine
After his return to Tatooine and helping former Inquisitor Revea overcome her harrowing past with Vader, Obi-Wan emerges from his cave, presumably to move into his more recognizable home shown in “A New Hope.” However, he also stops at the Lars homestead and is allowed to meet young Luke before heading to the region known as the Jundland Wastelands. It is here that the Ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn’s Power appears before Obi-Wan, punishing his disciple for taking so long. After telling Kenobi that it has always been with him, he notes that only now Obi-Wan was “ready to see.”
Although the return of Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon justified the hopes of many Star Wars fans that he would appear as Obi-Wan Kenobi, the fact that it happened at the very end of the series is extremely important. Obi-Wan called his master and hoped for an answer throughout the series. After all, Yoda told Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith that he would be able to communicate with his old teacher during his exile. However, Qui-Gon confirms that Obi-Wan had to change the balance in the Force and let go of his past in order to do so. Having achieved this after meeting Darth Vader and rescuing Princess Leia, Kenobi finally sees Qui-Gon and confirms that Obi-Wan has revived his Jedi path in the future.
Darth Vader reports to Emperor Palpatine on Mustafar
Similarly, the holocall of Darth Vader with Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is of great importance. Returning to his fortress on Mustafar, Vader reports his inability to destroy Obi-Wan, as well as his desire to scour the galaxy until he finds Obi-Wan again. However, Palpatine is the reason why Darth Vader doesn’t do exactly that and why Vader and Obi-Wan probably won’t meet until their final duel on the Death Star featured in A New Hope. Seeing Vader’s rage and imbalance in the Force, Palpatine hints that if Vader cannot part with his past Anakin and his connection with his former master, the Emperor will no longer need him. In response, Darth Vader confirms his service to Palpatine as his true master.
Despite the brevity, the Emperor’s cameo role in Obi-Wan Kenobi gives him a very logical role in the new Star Wars series. Why wasn’t Palpatine informed about his student’s hunt? In addition, it is quite logical that Emperor Palpatine would be unhappy with Vader’s decision to pursue a single Jedi, while ignoring an entire resistance cell that could be destroyed at once. The action takes place in an era when the Emperor’s power was almost absolute, and he would naturally want any growing seeds of rebellion to be destroyed. Thus, the veiled threat from Emperor Palpatine explains why Vader did not ruthlessly hunt Obi-Wan after discovering that he was alive in Obi-Wan Kenobi.