With Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi coming to and end, we were taken to a dark and barren foggy moon, where a huge emotional battle took place between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. The former Master apprentice battled it like they hadn’t done since Mustafar, and then something shocking happened. Obi-Wan broke the mask of Vader and revealed Anakin Skywalker inside… Or so he thought… But this is actually much more important than many of us realize. Not only was this a Parallel to Ahsoka Tano doing the same thing in Rebels: Twilight of the Apprentice, but also to Luke in Return of the Jedi. Ahsoka broke the left side of Vader’s mask, but couldn’t break Anakin out, Obi-Wan broke the right of Vader’s mask and couldn’t break him out, but Luke Skywalker managed to take the whole mask off and finally return his father to the light… So let’s break down the three strikes of Vader’s mask and how these three people led to his redemption.
So first up, let’s start with Ahsoka’s Strike. ****In Star Wars Rebels: Twilight of the Apprentice, Ahsoka Tano is led to the dark and gloomy Sith world of Malachor, where she and Ezra Bridger came across an ancient battle site from a time long gone. A struggle between the light and dark that was as old as time. Eventually they came across a Sith Temple and superweapon, and soon after Darth Vader arrives on his Tie Fighter to investigate the matter.
Soon after the two engage is a massive lightsaber battle, with both of them unleashing all of their emotion and passion. **Then, Ahsoka uses the force to swoop in and strike a huge gash into Vader’s mask, revealing his left eye and the man still inside. Anakin Skywalker.** **(Ahsoka Breaking the Mask and Vader saying then you will die)** It is at this point Ahsoka realizes that Anakin is still alive and she promises that she won’t leave him this time, like she did with the Jedi Order all of those years ago. **Anakin felt heartbroken and betrayed that Ahsoka left after Barriss Offee framed her for attacking the Jedi temple, and the Council expelled her. (Ahsoka Leaving Jedi Temple)** Even though she was probably right to do so, Anakin felt horribly betrayed. He actually even felt betrayed twice, with the second time being at the Siege of Mandalore. Ahsoka went off to fight with the Mandalorians, and he never got to see her again as Anakin Skywalker.
It is because of these two betrayals the Vader believes she is lying to him again, and cannot accept her promise. And we know that this scene is a direct and intentional parallel to the fight in Obi-Wan Kenobi because Vader uses the exact same line with Obi-Wan, **“Then you will die”. (Vader saying it)**
This connects to the Obi-Wan fight in the same way because Kenobi makes a similar promise, and Vader again cannot believe him. He is literally standing there with the horrid burns and cybernetic parts holidng him together. There is no way he can accept the apology as the Man that Obi-Wan literally created. Vader even says in a previous episode that “I am what you made me”. Clearly that day on Mustafar is still seared into the mind of Vader and is something he just can’t let go. Kenobi then tries to apologise for putting him in the suit, for leaving him to die on Mustafar and most importantly for failing him as a teacher. This is a promise to do better and that Obi-Wan still sees good him. But in the same way he can’t trust Ahsoka’s promise, Darth Vader simply cannot trust this one after everything Kenobi has done to him.
Ahsoka can reach one side of Anakin’s heart, and Obi-Wan can reach the other, but neither can reach both, which is what it would take to bring him back to the light. Obi-Wan tried to pull Darth Vader back from above, the Teacher’s perspective, offering to guide Vader back onto the right path, and Ahsoka tried to pull him back from below, the apprentice’s perspective. She offered to stay by his side, but neither worked. The metaphor here is that Ahsoka and Obi-Wan each break half Anakin’s shell, which is the persona of Darth Vader, but neither can break it completely… This is where Luke Skywalker comes in. Luke attempts to reach Anakin not from the perspective of a Master above him or a Padawan Below him, but as his son who still sees good in him. A son that despite all of his countless atrocities, still loves him. Although the two did fight it out with their green and red sabers clashing, Luke Did not need a lightsaber or violence to bring Vader back to the lightside. Vader was redeemed through his love of family and his desperation to save Luke from the emperor.