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Why Obi-Wan Kenobi Disappears When Darth Vader Kills Him

Despite his death and his body’s sudden disappearance, Obi-Wan Kenobi remains a constant in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. In both “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” he reemerges as a Force ghost to help guide Luke Skywalker on his path to becoming a Jedi Knight. Ultimately, though, he doesn’t dominate much of the runtime in either film. However, had “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas not made some major story alterations, Kenobi’s fandom debate-spawning death would’ve never happened.

“Obi-Wan went to the very end of the film, ‘Episode IV,’ I realized that when I came to the end battle, Obi-Wan had nothing to do but sit around and watch the battle,” Lucas recalled. Continuing, he says that in “The Empire Strikes Back,” Kenobi again had little to do as he educated Luke on the ways of the Force. Thus, Lucas came to the realization that he had to do something different with the character. “The character had become so strong the way Alec Guinness had presented it that I really couldn’t do that. He was too noble. So I had to kill him off,” the director shared (via @FindingTheForce on YouTube).

In the end, George Lucas made the right call killing off Obi-Wan Kenobi instead of keeping him alive. Not only is this one of many changes that made the “Star Wars” franchise better, but the disappearance of Kenobi’s body has given fans something to think over and discuss for decades.

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