Warning! SPOILERS for episode 4 of Obi-Wan Kenobi
In episode 4, Obi-Wan Kenobi also had Darth Vader and his Inquisitors, and in the series, the former’s connection to the dark side became even more terrifying than before. The show up to this point had been showing Vader in his most violent form, especially in episode 3. However, there are several things mentioned in episode 4 that make Vader’s connection to the dark side even stronger.
Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi is played by none other than Hayden Christensen, reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker from the prequel trilogy. One of the main reasons Anakin switched to the dark side was explained by Yoda in Episode I – The Hidden Menace. Yoda stated that fear is the path to the dark side, as fear leads to hatred, hatred leads to anger, and anger leads to suffering.
Many of Anakin’s fears were presented in the prequel trilogy, for example, his fears of the death of his mother and wife Padme. These fears, which were the focus of most of the prequels, allowed Anakin to feel much more sympathetic and complex than Vader in the original trilogy. However, episode 4 of Obi-Wan Kenobi explored the hatred, anger, and suffering of the dark side of Vader in several ways, solidifying the villain’s status as the dark lord of the Sith.
Mustafar, being Vader’s base, connects him to the dark side
The first way Obi-Wan Kenobi explored the connection of Vader’s dark side in episode 4 was through the Mustafar system. In the episode, it is established that the entire Mustafar system, not just the central planet Mustafar, is under Vader’s jurisdiction. However, as shown in the films “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and “Rogue One: Star Wars: Stories”, Vader’s main base of operations is located on the planet Mustafar. On this planet, there was a decisive clash between Anakin and Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. During this fight, Anakin was maimed and burned by Obi-Wan’s hands, and both physically and metaphorically completely became Darth Vader on this planet.
Mustafar, being Darth Vader’s home system, both the location of his castle and the place where Vader was “born” is a way to remind the Sith lord of his hatred and suffering, keeping him connected to the dark side, as Yoda said. The hatred comes from Obi-Wan, and Anakin Kenobi’s last words about how much he hates his former master. This hatred of Kenobi, as well as the pain and suffering he experienced being burned and wounded by him, maintain Vader’s extremely strong connection with the dark side. Mustafar was also the site of Anakin’s last meeting with Padme, during which he strangled her with Force, which, according to Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, killed her. As seen in Revenge of the Sith, Vader is clearly heartbroken over Padme’s death, which means that his base on Mustafar constantly reminds him of his suffering over the death of his wife, once again strengthening his connection with the dark side of the Force.
The Jedi Tombs in Episode 4 of Kenobi remind Vader of his hatred and suffering
Where the truly terrifying part of Vader’s connection comes into play is in the Inquisitor Fortress on the oceanic moon Nur in the Mustafar system. While Kenobi is exploring the Fortress to find Leia, he stumbles upon a room that serves as a tomb for countless Jedi. Although many Jedi are unrecognizable, some of the dead bodies include the young Jedi and Jedi Tera Sinube from the Clone Wars. These bodies are another thing that, like Mustafar, increases Vader’s hatred and suffering. One of the main things that turn Anakin to the dark side is his suffering at the hands of the Jedi. Due to the strict Jedi rules prohibiting all attachments, Anakin’s fears of Padme’s death, as well as his mother’s, directly lead to this result, and thus Anakin’s suffering and hatred of the Jedi Order begin.
By keeping all the dead Jedi tracked down by Vader and his inquisitors, Vader will be regularly reminded of his hatred of the Order. Moreover, Vader’s suffering and the fact that he blames the death of Padme and his mother on the Jedi will only strengthen his connection with the dark side. The way Vader reminds himself of this is horrifying, as countless dead Jedi are simply paraded as trophies in the Mustafar system. This not only makes Vader’s connection to the dark side even stronger, but also enhances the power, strength, ruthlessness and evil abilities of the Sith lord, which the main character Obi-Wan Kenobi will no doubt have to overcome in the last two episodes of the Disney+ show.