When Darth Vader defeated and killed Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan simply disappeared into thin air, from Vader's point of view (we know Obi-Wan trained in exile to live on after death as a Force ghost, but the existence of such an ability remains unknown to the Sith). This is a most peculiar occurrence that has certainly not happened to any other Jedi that Vader has slain in the past two decades.

Such an anomaly happening when Darth Vader slays one of the only two Jedi in the fallen Order to have challenged the Sith in that final showdown 19 years ago and survived, will undoubtedly be reported to Emperor Palpatine. As the master of the dark side, is there any canon (any level) evidence about how Palpatine reacted to and perceived this probably unexpected turn of events?

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    Since pretty much every Sith is a fallen Jedi, it is unlikely that any of the Jedi secrets remain unknown to them. Plus Jedi tend to blab a lot. Anakin was yammering about his annoyance with Obiwan within 5 minutes to literally the first woman he met.
    – Oldcat
    Dec 16, 2015 at 17:25
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    @Oldcat Palpatine was never a Jedi, and Qui-Gon rediscovered the power to be a Force Ghost without Vader's knowledge, so they would not have known.
    – Nate
    Dec 16, 2015 at 17:40
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    @Oldcat What Nate said isn't EU. The Sith are not all fallen Jedi, such as Darth Bane, his apprentice, and Palpatine. Recruiting notable fallen Jedi (who would know more stuff) may actually be dangerous, since they are already known to the Jedi and perhaps already being hunted. It compromises the Sith's need to remain hidden from the Jedi's attention as well as the reliance on a single unbroken line of succession. Palpatine isn't a fallen Jedi - or the Jedi would know he's a Force user decades ago. Palpatine himself accepted Dooku and Anakin only because the time has come to come into the open Dec 16, 2015 at 18:04
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    @Oldcat The Force ghost ability is unknown even to the Jedi Order. It was discovered by Qui-Gonn prior to his death, which occurred before his training completed, so he could retain consciousness but not manifest visually. During the Clone Wars he contacted Yoda, revealing the ability & beginning Yoda's training. After the final battle with the Sith, Qui-Gonn also trained Obi-Wan in it as well, who then passed it on to a redeemed and dead Anakin right before he fully becomes one with the Force. Besides them, no one else but Luke knew such a thing is even possible. Dec 16, 2015 at 18:06
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    You are making stuff up here.
    – Oldcat
    Dec 16, 2015 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


The official novelisation of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi gives us a pretty clear impression of the Emperor's feelings on the subject of Kenobi's death

  • He was pleased that an enemy was dead
  • He was pleased that his apprentice (Vader) had done the dirty deed
  • He was pleased that Luke was no longer receiving training from a Jedi

Basically he was just really quite cheerful about the whole thing, bordering on smug

“Tell me, young Skywalker,” the Emperor said when he saw Luke’s first struggle had taken its course. “Who has been involved in your training until now?” The smile was thin, open-mouthed, hollow.
Luke was silent. He would reveal nothing.
“Oh, I know it was Obi-Wan Kenobi at first,” the wicked ruler continued, rubbing his fingers together as if trying to remember. Then pausing, his lips creased into a sneer. “Of course, we are familiar with the talent Obi-Wan Kenobi had, when it came to training Jedi.” He nodded politely in Vader’s direction, indicating Obi-Wan’s previous star pupil. Vader stood without responding, without moving.
Luke tensed with fury at the Emperor’s defamation of Ben — though, of course, to the Emperor it was praise. And he bridled even more, knowing the Emperor was so nearly right. He tried to bring his anger under control, though, for it seemed to please the malevolent dictator greatly.
Palpatine noted the emotions on Luke’s face and chuckled. “So, in your early training you have followed your father’s path, it would seem. But alas, Obi-Wan is now dead, I believe; his elder student, here, saw to that—” Again, he made a hand motion toward Vader. “So tell me, young Skywalker—who continued your training?”
That smile, again, like a knife. Luke held silent, struggling to regain his composure.

The Emperor tapped his fingers on the arm of the throne, recalling. “There was one called … Yoda. An aged Master Jed … Ah, I see by your countenance I have hit a chord, a resonant chord indeed. Yoda, then.”
Luke flashed with anger at himself, now, to have revealed so much, unwillingly, unwittingly. Anger and self-doubt. He strove to calm himself—to see all, to show nothing; only to be.
“This Yoda,” the Emperor mused. “Lives he still?”
Luke focused on the emptiness of space beyond the window behind the Emperor’s chair. The deep void, where nothing was. Nothing. He filled his mind with this black nothing. Opaque, save for the occasional flickering of starlight that filtered through the ether.
“Ah,” cried Emperor Palpatine. “He lives not. Very good, young Skywalker, you almost hid this from me. But you could not. And you can not. Your deepest flickerings are to me apparent. Your nakedest soul. That is my first lesson to you.” He beamed.

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    “This Yoda,” the Emperor mused. “Lives he still?” Is the Emperor deliberately mocking Yoda's style of speaking?
    – Wad Cheber
    Dec 16, 2015 at 18:58
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    @WadCheber - Oh I think we can be reasonably certain he was. At this point in the book, it's quite clear that the Emperor can actually read Luke's mind and he was definitely trying to p*ss him off.
    – Valorum
    Dec 16, 2015 at 19:00
  • You're not mentioning Sidious's original plans for OB1? Dec 16, 2015 at 21:22
  • @Richard hmm it seems to me that the significance of the absence of Obi-Wan's body upon his death had been lost on the Sith, or Vader hid it and Palpatine did not perceive of it. Most strange indeed. I would've anticipated what Palpatine makes of this newfound ability of the Jedi to seemingly disappear... Dec 17, 2015 at 0:02
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    @WadCheber I'd say definitely no. “This Yoda—lives he still?” is not something Yoda would have said. Yoda tends to employ OSV word order (OVS with inversion), with the finite verb moved towards the end of the sentence, and he uses do-support even more extensively than is common in English in order to accomplish this. The example here is the exact opposite: it uses the older pattern of subject-verb inversion with no do-support and makes no attempt to shift the verb to the end. Yoda would more likely have said, “Live still does he?” or “Still live does he?” Mar 3, 2016 at 13:55

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