15 greatest Star Wars rivalries of all time

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Obi-Wan Kenobi faces Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope. Photo credit: Lucasfilm /

2. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader

While we’re at it, we may as well talk about the second most famous rivalry in Star Wars: the battle between Jedi Master and Padawan Learner. Obi-Wan and Darth Vader’s rivalry, much like Luke and Vader’s, is riddled with themes of love and family.

While Episode IV depicts Obi-Wan and Vader as long-time enemies, Obi-Wan going so far as to tell Luke that it was Vader who killed his father Anakin, Obi-Wan and Vader obviously have a much more familial relationship. Obi-Wan was the Jedi who promised to take in the young Skywalker and train him after Qui-Gon Jinn is killed by Darth Maul. Despite Anakin proving to be a bit of a hot-head, anxious to surpass all other Jedi Knights, Obi-Wan views Anakin as a younger brother.

It could be argued that Obi-Wan is even more like the father that Anakin never had, having been conceived by The Force, since Obi-Wan tends to scold and reprimand much like a father would do. But their bond is much closer than that, like two siblings who hung together after the loss of their mutual father-figure Qui-Gon.

Anakin and Obi-Wan’s battle in Episode IV is much more cold-hearted and emotionless than their teary-eyed feud over pools of lava in Episode III, but that’s likely due to them having been bitter rivals for decades and Obi-Wan viewing his friend as having died in lava and Vader being the one who stole Obi-Wan’s brother away. The prequel films may not be the most adored by Star Wars fandom, but they’re crucial to understanding why the rivalry between Obi-Wan and Vader is one of the best.