“Star Wars” Finally Explained Anakin’s Fatal Decision at Altitude

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Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Chapter V”.

Anakin’s fateful decision to challenge his master for the high ground on Mustafar during the finale of Revenge of the Sith has always been a mysterious plot point, but Obi-Wan Kenobi finally explained why he took such a risk. Anakin Skywalker is known for his short temper and even arrogance. However Obi-Wan Kenobi “Chapter V” proved that there is more to his decisions than pure selfishness.

In a flashback shot interspersed with the episode, viewers finally saw actors Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen reunited as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, respectively. The scene revolved around training in lightsaber combat, in which Anakin demonstrated his skill and excellent swordsmanship, repeatedly coming close to victory, even as a padawan student. However, despite all his obvious skills and abilities, it was Obi-Wan who eventually emerged victorious in this fight.

Related: Kenobi Better Explains Obi-Wan’s 2 Main Points in “A New Hope”

Obi-Wan’s victory is important not only in the context of the episode, but also in the fact that it foreshadows the tragic events of the “Return of the Sith”. After defeating his student, Obi-Wan reproaches: “You’re a great warrior, Anakin, but you need to prove yourself if you’re dead.” This not only provides a valuable lesson for the padawan, but also explains why he felt he could successfully challenge Obi-Wan on Mustafar, despite his clear advantage, and why it was always doomed to fail. Where another fighter might have weighed his options before pursuing a different strategy, Obi-Wan’s taunt that “it’s over” because of a topographical advantage evokes the same need to prove himself. In the end, Obi-Wan’s prediction came true.

While it would be easy to dismiss this aspect of Anakin’s character as arrogant, it actually reveals a tragic insecurity at his core. This is the same inclination that caused him to rush into battle against Count Dooku in “Attack of the Clones”, which led to his partial dismemberment. Despite channeling all the rage and hatred of the dark side in the battle against Obi-Wan, it is his determination to look like someone other than small and powerless that ultimately leads to his downfall. While his fate in Revenge of the Sith is the most striking example of this, the scene in Obi-Wan Kenobi acutely foreshadows what is to come.

Many of the additional “Star Wars” projects were justly criticized for providing backstories of characters and stories that did not need additional explanations. However , with this exchange in The Obi-Wan Kenobi show proved the value of revisiting the past. Implicitly explaining the character trait that underlies many of the most tragic moments of Anakin’s life, the series not only adds more depth to his character, but also gives more emotional weight to what has already been one of the most significant moments in the entire saga. The climax of the Sith revenge was already heartbreaking, explained by lust for power and vanity. Now, thanks to Obi-Wan Kenobi, it becomes clear that there was actually something much deeper behind Anakin’s decision.