The Duel on Mustafar was a confrontation during the Great Jedi Purge in 19 BBY, where the recently-apprenticed Sith Lord, Darth Vader, fought his former best friend, and Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, on the Outer Rim planet of Mustafar. After gaining knowledge of Skywalker's downfall from Grand Master Yoda at the Jedi Temple, Kenobi arrived on Mustafar, where he attempted to reason with Vader, not believing that Emperor Palpatine, also known as the Sith Master, Darth Sidious, had taken control of his mind. However, Vader no longer cared for their friendship, and quickly claimed that Kenobi was his enemy; the pair then ignited their lightsabers and locked blades, fighting through the murder scene in the Klegger Corp Mining Facility, where Vader had recently slaughtered the members of the Separatist Council, the legislative branch of the now-defunct Confederacy of Independent Systems.
The fight progressed on the structures of the massive facility that hovered over the deadly lava of Mustafar. Kenobi and Vader soon found themselves trapped on a structure collection arm connected on the facility when it was separated from the facility by the lava and descended onto a hot stream. Kenobi managed to fall onto a lava skiff that was heading in the opposite direction of the fallen collection arm in the stream. Vader soon followed and jumped onto a droid collector where the two continued to fight. Kenobi managed to jump onto a high lava bend slope, and claimed that the duel was over due to his advantage. The Sith attempted to follow, but Vader, in his hubris, failed to block Kenobi's final attack, a mou kei maneuver, which severed Vader's remaining organic limbs, and Vader rolled down to the edge of the lava bend, bringing the duel to an end.
Then, Kenobi—overcome with remorse over his friend's transformation—cried out that he had believed that Vader was the Chosen One and his destiny was to destroy the Sith, but instead he joined them. Unable, but most likely unwilling, to connect with his former best friend, the Sith was consumed by the fires of the lava that leaked onto the lava bend; leaving Vader to die, Kenobi retreated and took his fallen apprentice's lightsaber. Afterwards, Vader's new master, Darth Sidious, found his injured apprentice and took him back to the galactic capital of Coruscant to be rebuilt; the suit that Vader donned there would be one that the Dark Lord would wear for the rest of his life.
- "Don't make me kill you."
"I will do what I must."
"You will try.'"
- ―Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, before the beginning of their duel
The Great Jedi Purge had began after three years of fighting between the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Republic, which reorganized into the Galactic Empire soon after Supreme Chancellor Palpatine revealed himself to be Darth Sidious, and battled Jedi Master Mace Windu. Anakin Skywalker approached Sidious and Windu in the rising climax of their duel in Palpatine's Chancellor office. Skywalker severed Windu's lightsaber hand as Windu attempted to kill Sidious to end the corruption of the Sith.
Sidious, who had fallen after Windu kicked him on the edge of the window in his office, unleashed Force lightning upon Windu and pushed him out the window, and Windu fell to his death. Overcome by emotion, Skywalker accepted Sidious' offer to turn to the dark side and become his new apprentice. Sidious then gave Skywalker the Sith moniker Darth Vader; it was a successful conclusion to Sidious' decade-long plan to turn Skywalker to the dark side with the fear of losing his wife, Padmé Amidala.
Vader wanted to learn of the mysterious Sith power which Sidious had told him of, a few days before, in the Galaxies Opera House on Coruscant, that could ultimately save Amidala from her apparently-upcoming death in childbirth, according to dreams Vader had the night after the crucial Battle of Coruscant.
Sidious told his new apprentice that in order to become strong enough in the dark side to save his wife, he must return to the Jedi Temple with the 501st Legion (which usually accompanied Skywalker during the Clone Wars) and kill everyone there, younglings and all. This would end the "Jedi Rebellion" which began with the attempt on the Chancellor's life by Windu.
In the aftermath of the Mission to Mustafar, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda watched security holograms of Anakin taking part in the slaughter at the Temple. Kenobi offered to go after Palpatine; he could not bring himself to strike down his former Padawan and friend. However, Yoda told Kenobi that he would never be strong enough to fight the Emperor head-on. He also told Kenobi that the Anakin he knew no longer existed, and had to be put out of his misery.
Kenobi then went to Padmé to find out more knowledge of Vader's whereabouts. Amidala told him that the last time she had seen Vader was the previous day, but didn't tell Kenobi that he had left for Mustafar. Kenobi revealed to Amidala that her husband had turned to the dark side. Amidala didn't believe Kenobi at first, but soon she acquired knowledge of the Raid of the Jedi Temple from Kenobi. However, Amidala still could not tell Kenobi that Vader was on Mustafar.
Amidala left Coruscant in her personal yacht with C-3PO, her personal protocol droid built by Vader, to find her husband and learn the truth behind all of this. Shortly before Amidala took off, Kenobi secretly went aboard the yacht and hid inside one of the cargo hold storage rooms. Arriving on Mustafar, Vader noticed Amidala's ship and ran to her. The couple had a brief meeting where Amidala revealed that Kenobi knew that she was pregnant with Vader's child.
Heartbroken, Amidala wanted Vader to stop and come back to the light because she loved him, believing there was still good in him. Vader, mad with power, refused, instead trying to get Padmé to join in his plan to kill Palpatine and take over the galaxy himself. Upon seeing Kenobi emerge onto the boarding ramp of Amidala's ship, Vader incorrectly deduced that Amidala had sent Kenobi to kill him. The Sith apprentice Force choked his wife, while Kenobi demanded that he release her. Enraged, Vader believed that Kenobi had turned Amdiala against him. Kenobi could not believe that his former apprentice let Palpatine mess with his mind. Unable to see eye-to-eye with his former best friend, Kenobi drew his lightsaber. Vader followed suit and leaped at his former master with his own saber ignited.
- "My duel with Vader was awful in its savagery."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
Using the jump as a fulcrum for a vicious overhand, Vader unleashed a flurry of attacks and rapidly gained ground on Kenobi, driving him to the edge of the platform. Kenobi attempted to rally, working his way around Vader and away from the brink, though the Sith Lord easily held off his attacks and kicked him soundly in the chest, sending the Jedi flying. Kenobi managed to recover and land on his feet, though he was again driven back by Vader's vicious frenzy. Kenobi relied on his staunch Soresu defense to hold off Vader's brutal barrage of Djem So attacks.
Fighting along the catwalks and corridors within the mining facility, the two combatants entered the small antechamber outside the control room. Here, Kenobi attempted to take advantage of an opening in Vader's offense, seizing the Sith Lord's left hand and pulling him into an arm-lock before slashing at the back of his neck. Vader managed to bring his blade up to defend himself, and quickly wrestled free, renewing his attack. Kenobi retreated into the control room, attempting to distract him by triggering the blasters held by the mangled battle droids in the room and redirecting some of the shots at Vader, though Vader made short work of them. Kenobi managed to disarm Vader by using the Force to momentarily reverse the polarity of the electrodrivers in Vader's prosthetic hand, causing him to drop his lightsaber. Kenobi then used the Force to summon Vader's lightsaber to his hand. However, Vader was unfazed, and he grabbed Obi-Wan's wrists, squeezing with his prosthesis on the hand that held his lightsaber until Kenobi was forced to drop it. Within the adjacent conference room, their duel degenerated into a brawl.
Vader kept hold of Kenobi's lightsaber hand with his left while clamping down on the Jedi's throat with his prosthetic and began bending him back, simultaneously throttling him and forcing Kenobi's lightsaber closer to his face. Kenobi narrowly managed to kick Vader off of him, though Vader quickly retaliated in kind, disarming Kenobi. Vader charged again, though Kenobi responded by sidestepping and kicking Vader in the chest. Vader flipped over and landed heavily on his back, and Kenobi telekinetically reclaimed his lightsaber and moved to finish his prone enemy, though Vader managed to retrieve his own weapon and defend himself.
The duel progressed back into the control room, where Kenobi attempted to rally, remaining toe-to-toe with Vader as they engaged in a swift flurry of swordplay. The bout ended with the two engaged in a blade-lock, which Kenobi attempted to break with a Force push, though Vader managed to counter with one of his own, beginning a vicious power-struggle. Eventually the air-pocket compressed by the combined Force pushes ruptured and exploded, flinging both duelists against opposite walls. Vader recovered first, leaping across the control room at Kenobi, who narrowly managed to evade the attack and pin Vader's blade against a console. However, their misdirected weapons accidentally destroyed the power controls for the facility's shields, exposing the exterior of the facility to both the intense heat of Mustafar's lava flows. Because of the shields being deactivated and the facility becoming vulnerable to the heat and flying lava, alarms were also activated both in the interior and exterior of the facility.
Vader renewed his attack, though Kenobi managed to direct one of his blows into the door controls behind him, kicking Vader back to give himself a moment to regain his composure as he retreated through the open portal. Vader came on again, driving Kenobi out onto the exterior balcony, loosing a flurry of attacks before kicking the Jedi Master hard in the face. As Kenobi gave ground, Vader started slicing shards of metal out of the walls, telekinetically blasting them at Obi-Wan. Driven to the end of the balcony, Kenobi leaped backward onto a steam pipe; retreating along it with Vader in close pursuit. Attempting to gain the offensive, Kenobi attacked first, only to be driven back by Vader's relentless assault. Leaping off the pipe onto one of the collection arms below them, Kenobi again attacked, though Vader easily fended off his blows before knocking Kenobi aside with a heavy backhand. Vader again seized the offense, viciously driving Kenobi back along the arm, despite Kenobi's staunch resistance.
As the duel continued, a massive spurt of lava erupted onto the unshielded collection arm, and began to melt the metal. Retreating to the relative safety of the structure at the end of the arm, the two watched as the heat and weight of the lava melted the arm's superstructure. As it became clear that the arm was going to break off of the complex, the combatants fled up along its length as the arm plummeted into the river of lava below. As the collection arm was dragged along the river, Vader kept up his onslaught, driving Kenobi further up the arm. As the river flowed with the collection arm toward a lava fall, Kenobi leaped onto one of the severed support cables with Vader in pursuit. After a quick bout of swinging attacks, Kenobi swung out away from the arm to the utmost limit of the cable and let go, landing on a large repulsorlift platform.
As the arm began to topple over the lava fall, Vader swung back onto it and charged along its length before leaping onto a droid lava collector. Directing the collector toward Kenobi's platform, Vader resumed his attack.
- "You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!"
"I hate you!"
"You were my brother, Anakin; I loved you."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader
Kenobi was cut off from the shore by the nimble lava collector droid Vader was perched on. Slashing at Vader, Kenobi began another bout of bladework with the Sith Lord before breaking off. Kenobi tried again to reason with Vader one last time, only to receive more threats and pro-dark side rhetoric. Vader leaped above Kenobi onto the platform, landing awkwardly and almost losing his balance. Kenobi attempted to take advantage of this and attacked, but Vader managed to recover and countered, beginning another flurry of swordplay. As they locked blades, the platform neared the shore, allowing Kenobi to disengage and leap to the higher ground.
Perched on a rise above the lava river, Kenobi warned Vader that he had the high ground and attacking him would be useless. Vader accused Kenobi of underestimating him, who replied for him not to jump. Blinded by arrogance and rage, Vader leaped at Kenobi, blade angled for the kill. However, he left himself open, allowing Kenobi to sever Vader's left arm and both of his legs with a swift mou kei strike. Dropping his lightsaber, Vader rolled to the brink of the lava river. Attempting to scramble up the shore with only his mechanical arm, Vader only slid closer to the lava.
Kenobi took Vader's lightsaber while expressing his regrets, shame, and disappointment. Vader screamed his hatred for Kenobi before he burst into flame, leaving him horribly burned and disfigured. Despite Vader's obvious pain, Kenobi refused to kill the Sith Lord, believing that his ultimate fate would be decided by the Force, and doing so, even to put the Sith Lord out of his misery, would only cause the Jedi Master himself to start down the path of the dark side. Kenobi left Vader to whatever end he was destined for as the flames slowly calmed down from the immolation.
- "Your majesty, this way!"
"There he is—he's still alive. Get a medical capsule, immediately."
"Yes, sir. Right away."
- ―A Clone shock trooper and Emperor Palpatine, upon discovering Vader's immolated body.
After his duel against Grand Master Yoda, Darth Sidious, sensing that his new apprentice Vader was in danger, had left Coruscant. The Dark Lord was accompanied by a squad of Clone shock troopers. Journeying to Mustafar in a Theta shuttle, they landed in the Klegger Corp Mining Facility and found Vader, still alive and trying to claw his way up the shore, with severe third-degree burns over nearly all of the remainder of his body. Vader was taken to the Emperor Palpatine Surgical Reconstruction Center on Coruscant for treatment; Vader would wear a respirator and full body suit for the rest of his life. The newly self-appointed Emperor initially considered leaving Vader to die for his failure. However, he decided against it when he realized that, failure or not, it would be a waste to just abandon Vader after spending more than a decade corrupting him into becoming his Sith apprentice.
Padmé died of a broken heart soon after being rescued, but not before giving birth to two twins, Luke and Leia, on Polis Massa, an Outer Rim territory that was dedicated to medical purposes. After helping to deliver Amidala's children, Kenobi and Yoda went into exile. Kenobi took Luke to the desert planet of Tatooine to be raised by Skywalker's stepbrother and stepsister-in-law, while Bail Organa raised Leia on Alderaan with his wife. Kenobi hid on Tatooine, and waited for the day when Luke could be trained as a Jedi.
Kenobi, who had believed that Vader had died on Mustafar, was shocked to learn that he was still alive after watching a HoloNet news report in a cantina on Tatooine about Vader's victory at Kashyyyk. The Force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn, Kenobi's former master, however, told Kenobi that Vader would never return to Tatooine, as the planet held the remnants of his former persona of Anakin Skywalker, which would be too painful for Vader to face.
Despite Vader eventually making a mostly successful recovery, the physical and emotional trauma caused by Vader's transformation diminished his Force potential. Due to Vader's injuries, Sidious would always keep half an eye out for a potential replacement for his apprentice. However, Sidious realized that finding another apprentice as powerful as Vader was extraordinarily unlikely, and, despite Sidious's sociopathic tendencies, he had actually developed a small degree of affection for Vader. Oddly enough, it appears that, despite his disappointment with Vader's condition, Sidious may have deliberately sabotaged Vader's recovery and training to keep him from rebelling. In 3 BBY, Sidious discovered that Vader was training a secret apprentice and attempted to replace Vader with the apprentice. However, his potential replacement rejected the dark side and sacrificed himself to save the fledgling Rebel Alliance.
Nineteen years after the duel, Kenobi gave Luke Skywalker his father's fallen lightsaber. Kenobi had recovered the lightsaber after their duel on the high lava bend slope on Mustafar. However, Kenobi chose not to reveal to Luke what his father had become. Instead, he told Luke a deliberately deceptive story, using wordplay to make it appear that Vader and Anakin had been two physically separate individuals, and that Vader had killed Anakin. Later on, he encountered Vader again. This time, he was struck down, and became a Force ghost.
Four years later, Vader brought Luke to his master aboard the second Death Star over the forest moon of Endor. Skywalker and Vader fought in front of Sidious, and the young Skywalker tried to use high ground to his advantage by Force Jumping onto a ceiling walkway. However, Vader had apparently learned from his mistake at Mustafar, and did not leap up after his son, instead opting to dislodge him from his perch using a throw of his lightsaber. Vader shifted the advantage to himself, but Skywalker soon defeated his father after Vader's Dun Möch attempt failed. Sidious responded to Luke's refusal to kill his father and embrace the dark side with a barrage of Force lightning. What was left of Anakin, unable to bear the thought of his son being killed, overcame the dark side's hold on him. Anakin redeemed himself and fulfilled the Prophecy of the Chosen One by grabbing the Emperor and throwing him to his death. However, Anakin was mortally wounded by his master's lightning.
In 35 ABY, Luke sent his astromech droid, R2-D2, to the outer rim planet of Ossus to undergo repairs. Zakarisz Ghent, a slicer and Crypt Chief of the New Republic, was able to unlock a recording of a lightsaber battle from R2 while he was repairing the droid. Luke was shown holographic images of the climatic duel on Mustafar from the droid. Luke saw, for the first time, his father fighting his old mentor, and his and Leia's birth mother injured from his father's Force choke before the duel.
Behind the scenes
The duel was a highly anticipated event in Star Wars fandom. It was already established in creator George Lucas's notes and canon that Master and Apprentice had a semi-final duel, and that Vader owed his severe injuries to lava. Mentions of that duel and Vader's fall had been mentioned in A New Hope, where Kenobi dueled Vader aboard the first Death Star. Origins of the duel could be traced to the Original trilogy, during which Vader had numerous visible scars on his pale white head, seen after Luke removed Vader's mask in Return of the Jedi, as well as early versions of The Star Wars in the early 1970s.
The duel itself took Lucas nearly two weeks to complete, and only took up half of a paper. During the animatics stage, Steven Spielberg, a filmmaker in Hollywood and a friend of Lucas, participated in the production of the duel. Ewan McGregor, who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy and Hayden Christensen, who portrayed Anakin Skywalker in Episode II and Episode III, practiced the duel constantly for several months. As a result of their practice, the speed in which Kenobi and Vader engage the duel (in the completed film) is the speed in which it was filmed, and was not digitally accelerated. George Lucas named the duel "The Duel on Mustafar" in an interview in the documentary Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III. This battle is the third of only three times in the whole Star Wars series that people wielding the same-colored lightsabers fight each other; the first was Kenobi's fight with General Grievous, and the second was Vader dueling Jedi shown on a security hologram.
In the XBox and PS2 versions of the video game adaptation of Revenge of the Sith, an alternate dark side ending has Vader avoid Kenobi's Mou Kei strike and impale him from behind, before contemptuously kicking the fallen Kenobi's corpse down the slope. Vader then meets the newly arrived Darth Sidious, receiving a new red lightsaber from the Sith Lord. Momentarily inspecting his new weapon, Vader then turns on Sidious, plunging the weapon into the Emperor's chest, declaring that he now ruled the galaxy. In addition, Padmé Amidala's role was omitted, but Vader mentions Kenobi turned her against him during the duel. Instead of Vader and Kenobi jumping onto a structure pole, Kenobi jumps down to a new section of the facility that was shown in the movie. Chasing after Kenobi, Vader follows him and the two continue their brawl on the lower section platform. Another difference is that Vader can also conjure Force lightning, a Force power that Vader did not use in the movie. The scene where Vader and Kenobi fight on the fallen structure arm was only shown as a video clip of the movie and is not playable. The video clip cuts into Vader jumping onto the lava barge with Kenobi, instead of the droid collector. After Vader jumps and is defeated Kenobi picks up Vader's fallen lightsaber and then leaves the scene without talking to Vader.
In the DS and GBA versions, the duel was closer to the film version, although the dialogue was shortened near the beginning. The duel itself also had them jump down from the platform they were on onto another platform, and midway through the battle land on a raft over a lava flow. Also, the "Ultimate Revenge of the Sith Ending" is omitted, and likewise the ending of the duel has Anakin being cut down by Obi-Wan, regardless of who the player was playing as, although the ending will vary between showing Padme's death from childbirth to Vader being reconstructed depending on whether the player was playing as Obi-Wan or Anakin, respectively. Another difference is that Anakin does not utilize Force lightning in the GBA and DS versions. The background music (specifically, which version of Duel of the Fates is used) for the battle is different between the GBA and DS versions: In the GBA version, it used a synthesized version of the version used in Revenge of the Sith and The Phantom Menace; in the DS version, it utilized the brief version from Attack of the Clones, complete with lyrics.
The novelization of Revenge of the Sith slightly alters the duel. Scenes in which Vader and Kenobi fight inside the facility are longer. Omitting the sequences where Kenobi and Vader fight on the Separatist council table in another room, the duel continues onwards in the control room. They exit when Kenobi uses a parry to redirect both his and Vader's blades into the wall, cutting it open. Vader then kicks Kenobi through the hole onto the exterior balcony, and the two make their way towards the structure arm, which was cut by lava. After the structure arm falls onto the lava, Kenobi jumps out and lands on a lava barge and Vader follows. The two exchange words as it appeared in the movie, with alternate dialogue. Obi-Wan's finishing move on Anakin is described as a defensive maneuver rather than an offensive one; his attempt to parry Vader's blade accidentally cut off his legs, and he cut off Vader's remaining organic arm while spinning around to guard.
The Revenge of the Sith comic and the junior novelization featured the duel, but these were shorter encounters than the film dispiction as the scenes where Kenobi and Vader fought inside the facility were removed. These were replaced with the two fighting outside on the platform until they progress to the structure arm. Star Wars: Complete Locations appears to map the battle incorrectly, showing the combatants abandoning the arm almost immediately, never even making it to the falls, and traveling downriver on the droid and repulsor platform.
In the LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game and the duel consisted of differences such as reorganizing certain parts of the duel inside the facility, which also differed in appearance from that of the film, to allow hidden easter eggs to be found. There is a sequence during the duel in which the two assist each other to save themselves from the planet's lava. There is also a LEGO brick set released in 2005 that depicts their fight on the arm and allows players to mock the duel by manipulating the figurines with poles.
In the video game Star Wars: Battlefront II, the duel isn't shown as the game follows only the battles of 501st Legion. However, in Instant Action mode, if Mustafar is played with heros during the Galactic Civil War, the Rebel hero will be Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Imperial army will be lead by Anakin Skywalker, not the separate Darth Vader. This is non-canon, as neither forces were involved in the duel.
In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series episode "Ghosts of Mortis", Anakin Skywalker was shown visions of his future by the Son that included portions of the events of Revenge of the Sith. These visions included his strangling of Padmé Amidala with the Force and his defeat during the duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PSP version)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS2, PSP, Wii versions' historic mission)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- ↑ Star Wars: Purge
- ↑ Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:24
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi
- ↑ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novelization
- ↑ Darth Vader: A 3-D Reconstruction Log
- ↑ Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed novel
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- ↑ Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith audio commentary
- ↑ Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith video game
- ↑ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith comic
- ↑ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novelization
- ↑ Star Wars: Complete Locations
- ↑ LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- ↑ LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- ↑ 7257-1: Ultimate Lightsaber Duel. Brickset. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
- ↑ Star Wars: Battlefront II