It is one of the most iconic-heroic moments in both Star Wars and cinematic history. Obi-Wan Kenobi drops his guard and allows Darth Vader to strike him down so that he can better train Luke in the ways of the Force…
I can still remember the first time I watched Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, thinking that Obi-Wan Kenobi was going to totally beat the evil Darth Vader — because when you’re a kid, the white hats always win, right? — and then it happened, Kenobi dropped his guard on purpose and allowed Vader to strike him down. My world was temporarily crushed. Little did I know that Obi-Wan knew that by dying, he would become one with the Force, and therefore, he would be able to train and guide Luke through his journey, all through the Original Trilogy.
Well, now thanks to legendary actor Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) — who has been sharing his original A New Hope script on Twitter — it seems as if George Lucas did not originally intend for Obi-Wan to die at the hands of his former apprentice, after all…well, not in the beginning, anyway. Check it out:
"“Threepio looks up and sees Ben emerging from the hallway.”“Luke struggles to help the old man to the ship…”"
From reading these pages, it appears as if Old Ben was more than capable of handling himself in a fire fight aboard the Death Star. It also seems as if he was still more than a match for a younger and cybernetically enhanced Darth Vader.
I wonder if Obi-Wan had lived past that first encounter with Vader, what Lucas would have had in store for him? Would he have become the beacon for the rebellion? The Jedi Master to rebuild the Jedi Order, starting with Luke and Leia? What kind of story would Star Wars have been then? I guess — unless Mr. Mayhew has more secrets locked away in those yellowed pages — we’ll never know.