The movie “Star Wars”, re-release as “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”, written and directed by George Lucas. Seen here from left, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Alec Guinness as Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. Both observe a recorded transmission featuring Princess Leia Organa. Initial theatrical release May 25, 1977. Screen capture. © 1997 Lucasfilm Ltd. Credit: ©
Star Wars: A New Hope
Nineteen years following Obi-Wan’s defeat over his former apprentice, the two meet again aboard the Death Star, although very different results follow. Throughout the fight, Vader taunts Obi-Wan, pointing out his weakened powers and old age on multiple occasions, resulting in the entirety of the fight appears to be in Vader’s favor.
Although Vader ultimately kills Obi-Wan, many bring up the simple point that Obi-Wan allowed Vader to strike him down. Regardless, it is highly likely Vader would have ended up on top had Obi-Wan not purposefully given his life.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
The second film of the original trilogy features one of the more beloved lightsaber duels of the entire franchise of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, who is revealed to be his father during the same fight.
Darth Vader tells Luke he is his father to sway Luke to the Dark Side by manipulating his emotions, yet Luke pushes away these emotions and stays true to the Light Side. Vader ultimately defeated Luke, cutting off his hand in the process and chalking up an easy victory for the Dark Side yet again.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – The final duel of the original trilogy includes another classic fight between Darth Vader and Luke, yet this one includes many more emotions and temptations towards the Dark Side. The entirety of ROTJ includes Luke being tempted to join his father and join the Dark Side, a theme which is most prominent while in the presence of Vader and the Emperor.
As Luke and Vader fight, Vader is given the slight advantage until Vader and the Emperor continue to toy with Luke’s emotions. Luke eventually becomes angry, channeling a small part of the Dark Side and unleashing his full power.
In doing so, he strikes down Vader and cuts of his hand, in turn realizing he is no better than Darth Vader so he returns to the Jedi mindset, leaving his father further unharmed. Without Luke’s small glimpse of the Dark Side’s true potential power, it is possible he would not have been able to defeat Vader, who in turn defeats the Emperor and brings balance to the Force.