Again the smile or snarl from his Master. “You were a traitor, were you not, Lord Vader?”
Vader’s breathing caught on the hook of sudden anger. “What did you say?”
“To the Jedi. To Padmé. To Obi-Wan. To all those you loved.”
His Master turned to look at him, his eyes reflecting the flames.
Vader didn’t know the answer his Master wanted to hear, so he simply answered the truth. “Yes”.
-Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp
this story happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. it is already over. nothing can be done to change it.
Anakin: Are you suggesting that I occasionally stray away from the rulebook?
Mace Windu: No, I’m suggesting that you do not own a copy of the rulebook and if you do, you have certainly never opened it.
I’ve always had some serious, massive thoughts and feels about this scene where Obi-Wan watches the hologram of Anakin slaughtering the Jedi, kneeling at Palpatine’s feet, and everything else that followed.
To begin with, I don’t think Obi-Wan had any idea of what he was about to see. Yoda said he would only find pain if he watched, but Obi-Wan said he “had to know.” To me, he meant, “I have to know how my son/brother/BFF/lover/whatever died.” Because such was Obi-Wan’s faith in Anakin Skywalker that it never occurred to him that Anakin would commit such atrocities. In his mind, Anakin’s body is lying somewhere in the Temple, surrounded by over a dozen dead clones and the younglings he was seeking to protect. He needed to see Anakin’s fate so that it would be real for him, otherwise he’d always cling to some delusional hope that Anakin was somehow still alive.
Then he sees the truth, watches Anakin slaughter their brethren, but what next catches my attention is the moment he watches Anakin kneel before Palpatine. My headcanon is that Anakin has always had some serious issues about kneeling before anyone, going back to his life on Tatooine. Watto may not have been the type to have Anakin or Shmi kneeling in subservience, but Anakin very likely witnessed other slaves being forced to do so before their owners, and it was something that sickened him. That feeling was likely something he carried over into his life as a Jedi, and he may have actually been able to communicate it to Obi-Wan on some level. Hence why Obi-Wan looks like he’s trying not to vomit as he stares at Anakin on his knees before Palpatine. He knows that Anakin despises that sort of posture and behavior – so what has happened to make Anakin go back on that? How did things change so much since he left for Utapau?
This is quite possibly the origin of Obi-Wan blaming himself for all that happened. Obi-Wan clung so tightly to his faith that everything was hunky-dorey that he didn’t see that something was clearly wrong with Anakin, that he needed help. He knew that there was the problem of asking Anakin to spy on Palpatine (see the novelization where he basically tells the Council off for being morons on the subject), but he had no idea of the other issues that were crushing Anakin under their collective heels (the nightmares of Padmé’s death, etc), in part because Anakin didn’t confide in him but also in part because Obi-Wan did not ask. Fanon likes to think that Obi-Wan figured out a long time ago about Anakin and Padmé (because subtle they are not), but he never came out and said anything about it. Perhaps he came to believe that if he had actually sat Anakin down and talked to him, gotten him to share his burdens, then he would have been able to help Anakin before he drowned. We know Anakin did go to Yoda for help about Padmé but got the singularly unhelpful advice of “someone dies – have a party, you should, for one with the Force they are!”, but one would think that Obi-Wan’s advice might have been a little more practical, say something like “Have Padmé get checked out by a few healers, ones who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth, to head off any potential problems.” And that’s just one example.
To continue: Obi-Wan watches his brother/BFF/lover/whatever systematically slaughter their people, and then is told by Yoda that he must destroy him to save the Republic (never mind the fact that the Republic was dead long before all of this went down, but that’s a rant for another time). Yoda maintains that Anakin is already dead, and all that remains is Darth Vader who is basically possessing Anakin’s corpse. In all honesty, I think Obi-Wan kind of went on autopilot at this point, which is why he sounded so wooden and vacant when he kept telling Padmé what a threat Anakin now was. He couldn’t bring himself to believe it, not then.
In all honesty, I don’t think Obi-Wan really believed that this was all happening until he saw Padmé be Force-choked on Mustafar. Because the real Anakin would have sooner gnawed off his remaining flesh arm than do anything to harm Padmé, and Obi-Wan knew that. That’s why he looked so utterly horrified when he stared down at Padmé’s crumpled form (besides the fact that, you know, she had just been choked and that could very well kill her and her baby). That’s when it finally hit home that this was Darth Fucking Vader and not Anakin Skywalker. And I’m pretty sure what was left of Obi-Wan’s heart just shattered.
there’s all these aus about vader finding luke and smuggling him away to the empire in a clever moment of mental clarity, but please consider this crack au: after being faced with slavery, his mother’s death, tusken raiders, sand, obi-wan kenobi, seeing the larses, and tatooine in general, vader lays eyes on toddler luke skywalker – his son, which meant palpatine lied, holy fuck i’m a father, oh god padme i’m so sorry – and flips.
this is the straw that breaks the semi-rational sith lord’s back. in true anakin skywalker fashion, vader panics, scoops his son into his arms, charges into mos espa and turns it upside down, steals a shuttle from his own fleet, slams random hyperspace coordinates, and is thrown into space with no real idea where he’s going or when he’s going to get there. with a toddler.
to make things more interesting, obi-wan snuck aboard the ship, but dropped his lightsaber in the ruckus of sneaking into imperial ranks. and poor, poor firmus piett, a lowly officer who just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, runs smack into him.
and they’re all stuck on a ship, indefinitely. with a toddler.
sweet baby jesus i love this idea
just vader, picking up toddler luke under his arm like a football, and RUNNING LIKE FUCKING HELL
[darth vader voice] I HAVE YOU NOW
*toddler Luke SCREAMING the whole time*
obiwan just having a nervous breakdown
“what what why are you doing this you’re evil but but what what is this someone shut that child up”
i love that people are contributing this is AMAZING
vader hefts the child into his arms – YOU CAN’T HAVE HIM – and literally turns away from everyone else like a kid with a new mcdonald’s toy. you can’t have him, YOU CAN’T EVEN LOOK AT HIM. luke quiets down because he’s up so high and he can see EVERYTHING and it’s fascinating. luke’s an easily impressed kid, after all. (and there are vents up here that he can nearly reach to crawl through!)
obi-wan: you can’t take luke from me, darth.
vader, probably: LIKE YOU TOOK MY LIMBS???? HUH OBI-WAN????? HUH?????
What if at one point Obi-wan and Vader get all huffy and refuse to speak to each other and Piett has to act as the go between.
vader: tell that washed up old man that i know exactly what i’m doing
piett: yes, lord vader
piett: excuse me, master jedi, but lord vader has everything under control
obi-wan: [huffs] That walking disaster hasn’t had anything under control since he was nine, and you can tell him i said that. In fact, i insist
piett: [looks into the camera like on the office]
oh god i have to write this now. you’ve convinced me, I AM SOLD. THERE IS ALMOST NOTHING BETTER THAN THIS IMAGE.
imagine it gets to the point where vader and obi-wan are screaming at each other with piett stuck in the middle, and luke, his attention torn away from the pretty lights on vader’s chest, clambers up and pats vader right over the respirator. “stop,” luke, a 2 year old, orders, patting sith lord darth vader gently on the face. “is mean,” announces luke.
vader re-settles luke in his arms. “say sowwy,” luke demands. vader, reluctantly, apologizes. he’s not taken with this child at all, obviously he’s just trying to earn luke’s respect, clearly. duh.
luke clambers off vader and toddles to piett to give him the biggest hug. “i sowwy,” says luke, solemnly. piett is about to faint. first lord vader, now the lordling? this is Too Much. vader’s probably giving piett the most terrifying death glare from behind his mask.
with the blessing of the Great and Powerful Luke Skywalker, piett can DEMAND THESE TWO STOP BEING CHILDREN but quietly, with a lot of respect.
obi-wan, meanwhile: i need a drink. i need a whole liquor bottle
I need to draw this
I said I would.
I THINK I’VE DIED AND ASCENDED TO HEAVEN