Warning! Spoilers ahead for Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6!
The last two Star Wars cameos in Obi-Wan Kenobi's season finale carry incredibly deep meaning for both Kenobi and Darth Vader himself. Coming in the aftermath of their second lightsaber duel, Obi-Wan and Vader have evolved more into the versions they'll become in A New Hope. As such, both cameos serve to evolve Kenobi and his corrupted apprentice even further towards that point, carrying major significance concerning their shared past and future in the Star Wars canon.
In Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6, Kenobi decides to leave young Leia and the resistance cell known as the Path, hoping to lure the pursuing Vader and the Empire away to give them a chance at survival. Of course, Darth Vader's obsession with destroying his former master sees him taking the bait, diverting course to go after Kenobi. This results in their second lightsaber duel that's far more epic than their first seen in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3, especially after Obi-Wan decides to reconcile with his past and self-perceived failings with Anakin Skywalker, rebalancing himself in the Force as the Jedi he once was. Seeing his apprentice and brother as truly dead with Vader standing in his place, Kenobi leaves Vader behind and returns to Tatooine.
Following their duel, Obi-Wan and Darth Vader respectively encounter their masters in the final scenes of the new Star Wars series. Obi-Wan finally communes with the Force ghost of his master Qui-Gon Jinn while Darth Vader reports to Emperor Palpatine from his fortress of Mustafar. However, both cameos are far more important and go deeper than simple fan service, affecting the trajectories of Kenobi and Vader going forward in the Star Wars timeline.
Qui-Gon Jinn's Force Ghost Meets With Obi-Wan on Tatooine
Following his return to Tatooine and helping the former Inquisitor Revea overcome her own tortured past with Vader, Obi-Wan is seen moving out of his cave, presumably to move into his more recognizable home seen in A New Hope. However, he also stops by the Lars homestead and is allowed to meet young Luke before heading for the region known as the Jundland Wastes. This is where the Force Ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn appears before Obi-Wan, chastising his apprentice for taking so long. Telling Kenobi that was was always with him, he notes that it's only now that Obi-Wan was "ready to see."
While Liam Neeson's return as Qui-Gon pays off many Star Wars fans' hopes that he'd be in Obi-Wan Kenobi, the fact that it's come at the very end of the series is vastly important. Obi-Wan had been calling for his master and hoping for a response throughout the entire series. After all, Yoda did tell Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode III– Revenge of the Sith that he'd be able to commune with his old master during his exile. However, Qui-Gon confirms that Obi-Wan had to become rebalanced in the Force and let go of his past to do so. Having achieved that after facing Darth Vader and rescuing Princess Leia, Kenobi finally seeing Qui-Gon confirms that Obi-Wan has reignited his Jedi path going forward.
Darth Vader Reports To Emperor Palpatine On Mustafar
Likewise, Darth Vader's holo-call with Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) carries major significance as well. Returning to his Fortress on Mustafar, Vader reports his failure to destroy Obi-Wan as well as his desire to scour the galaxy until he finds Obi-Wan once more. However, Palpatine is the reason why Darth Vader doesn't do exactly that and why Vader and Obi-Wan likely won't meet until their final duel on the Death Star seen in A New Hope. Seeing Vader's rage and unbalance in the Force, Palpatine implies that if Vader can't let go of his past as Anakin and connection to his former master, the Emperor would no longer have a use for him. In response, Darth Vader reaffirms his service to Palpatine as his true master.
While brief, the Emperor's cameo in Obi-Wan Kenobi gives him a very logical role in the new Star Wars series. Why wouldn't Palpatine be informed about his apprentice's hunt? Furthermore, it makes sense that Emperor Palpatine would be displeased with Vader's decision to go after one single Jedi while ignoring an entire resistance cell that could have been taken out all at once. Taking place during an era where the Emperor's power was nearly absolute, he'd naturally want any growing seeds of rebellion wiped out. As such, the veiled threat from Emperor Palpatine explains why Vader didn't relentlessly hunt Obi-Wan after discovering he was alive in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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