[S1E6] The Master
Emperor Palpatine declares that if Luke cannot be turned to the dark side, he should be killed, thus Palpatine uses Force lightning against Luke. Luke tries to recall his lightsaber to his hand, but is struck before he accomplishes it. Palpatine sends streams of lightning at Luke, and it gets so bad that parts of his clothes catch fire, which Palpatine represses with the force to allow himself to kill Luke 'properly'. The sight of seeing Luke dying causes Vader's heart to melt, thus beginning the touching and dramatic redemption of Anakin Skywalker. Vader finally ceases to exist as Anakin lifts the Emperor off his feet, and despite the deadly Force lightning now surging on Anakin, he drops his former master into a chasm, "killing" the Emperor.
[S1E6] The Master
However, given their lopsided fight, with the Sith Lord overpowering the Jedi, it became clear that a final, more intense rematch was still to come. Lucasfilm delivered that in the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale. Unlike their first bout in Obi-Wan Kenobi, the titular Jedi master was simply more prepared and better equipped during the epic Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader fight in the series finale - but instead of going for the kill, Ob-Wan decided to let his ex-Padawan live for a number of reasons. While this is partly due to how established Star Wars canon dictates that Darth Vader survives the fight, there's also a more profound significance to Obi-Wan's decision to spare the Sith Lord's life. Here's everything viewers need to know about why Obi-Wan didn't just kill Darth Vader when he had the chance.
During the fight, Obi-Wan slashes Darth Vader's helmet, revealing Anakin Skywalker's burned face. This stops Obi-Wan in his tracks as he is overcome with sadness and guilt about what happened to his friend. The Jedi master apologizes for what happened between them, but the Sith Lord insists that his fall to the Dark Side isn't his old master's fault. Racked with remorse, Obi-Wan decides to walk away from the fight. Darth Vader's dark path made it clear to Obi-Wan that it was pointless to appeal to Anakin's humanity - the master has finally accepted the cold truth about what happened to his former apprentice.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, after all, is still a Jedi master, and his decision to spare Anakin is informed by the threads of the Force, including the political implications of killing Darth Sidious' apprentice. In fact, this also explains why Obi-Wan let Darth Vader slay him in A New Hope. If Obi-Wan killed Darth Vader in A New Hope or years prior in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sidious would've just handpicked another apprentice with no prior connection to the Jedi and groomed them to reach Anakin's potential. Meanwhile, Vader's spirit could potentially become even more dangerous than his physical form. As new Star Wars shows continue to dig into events that happened before canonical franchise history, it will be interesting to see how else showrunners can work around the known outcomes and their limitations on plot twists. If Obi-Wan Kenobi is any indication, Star Wars will continue to find new and more compelling ways of dealing with established characters and developing genuine surprises amid shared histories. 041b061a72