Obi-Wan’s Rogue One Parallels Reveal A Lot About Darth Vader’s Return


Star Wars has released a first image of Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the similarity to Rogue One says much about his role in the Disney+ series.

A first look at Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi carries notable echoes of Rogue One – a promising sign for Disney+’s upcoming Star Wars TV series. Though your mileage may vary, Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One is probably the last Star Wars movie fans can broadly appreciate was a quality addition to the franchise. From the wartime aesthetic to the bloody ending, Rogue One has plenty going for it, but part of that appeal undoubtedly derives from the perfectly-executed return of Darth Vader, making his first live-action appearance since Revenge of the Sith in 2005.

Darth Vader’s next comeback comes via Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series, where he’ll be played once again by Hayden Christensen. Though the Sith Lord was conspicuous by his absence in both the initial wave of Obi-Wan Kenobi images, and Disney’s subsequent trailer, Vader has now made his presence known… in a fashion. A first image depicting Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi has released, and although the figure remains clad is shadow, the outline and chest panel prove more than adequate. Curiously, this first look at Darth Vader continues a pattern of parallels between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rogue One, potentially confirming the Disney+ series will utilize the villain in a similar way.


Related: Every Actor’s Character Confirmed By Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Trailer

At the end of Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s trailer, Darth Vader’s iconic breathing can be heard behind the musical strains of John Williams’ “Dark Deeds.” It’s a cool detail that hints toward the villain’s presence without actually giving anything away, maintaining that all-important aura of sinister mystique. However, Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s trailer isn’t the first to use this trick. When the Rogue One trailer dropped in 2016, the footage, once again, concluded with the sound of Darth Vader breathing (albeit accompanied by a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of a dark shiny helmet). It’s a chilling, effective marketing ploy, and Star Wars fans perhaps shouldn’t be surprised to see Obi-Wan Kenobi wheel out the same idea. But while one Rogue One-ism in Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s marketing could be mere coincidence, always two there are…

Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader

Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s first Vader image presents the Sith Lord in exactly the same light as Rogue One. Vader stands tall and ominous in his castle on Mustafar, looming large in a cavernous throne room, with only his silhouette piercing through the grim black. The picture is almost identical to Vader’s first scene in Rogue One – the meeting with Ben Mendelsohn’s Krennic – where he strode through the same castle while casting a large shadow on the rear wall. An hour or so later when that iconic hallway sequence begins, Vader is once again an almost boogeyman-like presence hiding in the darkness… before finally emerging and decimating the halls of Rebel troopers standing in his path.

The way Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s marketing falling so close to Rogue One suggests the Disney+ series is taking cues from Garth Edwards’ 2016 movie in terms of how Darth Vader should be presented. That would mean Vader spending most of the series as an unseen, overbearing enemy lingering in the background – a semi-mythical force of nature that only turns up when things get really serious. And just as Rogue One ultimately let Vader cut loose in its final moments, Obi-Wan Kenobi is said to feature an epic duel between master and apprentice. Could this rematch for the ages be Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s equivalent of Rogue One‘s hallway scene?

Most would agree Rogue One couldn’t have handled Darth Vader much better. Star Wars‘ most famous villain felt intimidating, elusive, and menacing in equal measure – the reputation as big as the man himself. Making high-ranking Imperials come to him signified Vader’s importance, and gave his eventual arrival on the front lines of battle all the more impact. That’s exactly what Darth Vader should be in a pre-Yavin live-action Star Wars story. Obi-Wan Kenobi seemingly heading down that same path bodes well for Hayden Christensen’s Star Wars return.

More: Obi-Wan Kenobi Trailer Secretly Reveals Why More Jedi Didn’t Survive

  • Rogue Squadron (2023)Release date: Dec 22, 2023

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