How Darth Vader Can Return In Obi-Wan Without Breaking Star Wars Continuity

Image via Lucasfilm

Disney’s Investor Day was basically heaven for Star Wars fans. A live-action Ahsoka Tano series! A Mandalorian spinoff titled Rangers of the New Republic! A Lando Calrissian show! Heck, we’re even getting a freakin’ Rogue Squadron movie directed by Patty Jenkins! The future looks bright for the franchise, no doubt, but the announcement that’s really gotten tongues wagging is Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader in Obi-Wan.

This doesn’t sound like it’ll be a simple cameo, either. In pre-production footage screened exclusively for investors, we saw Ewan McGregor enthusing about heading back to Star Wars. He said it was “beautiful” to be working with Christensen again and that the pair are going to take “another swing at each other.” Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy then underlined this by hyping up the show as “the rematch of the century.”

Fans have long been eager for Christensen to return as Anakin/Vader, with many disappointed that he was apparently cut from The Rise of Skywalker. However, if Vader is set to throw down with Obi-Wan in the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, doesn’t that break continuity? After all, in A New Hope, the villain says: “I sense something. A presence I’ve not felt since…” He trails off there, with the natural assumption being that he was remembering their epic tussle on Mustafar.

But could it be the case that he’s referring to an as yet unseen bout that we haven’t witnessed yet? We know that Vader continued to hunt the Jedi that escaped Order 66 and surely Obi-Wan (and Yoda) would be at the top of his list. Perhaps the only way he’d give up his search was if he thought Kenobi was definitely dead. So, the hero faking his death in the wake of this duel and assuming the name Ben could well be the subject of the Disney+ series.

In any case, Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to begin shooting early in 2021, so let’s hope we hear more details very soon.