Inspired by this question: Why did Obi Wan tell Luke his father wanted him to have his lightsaber?

I wondered why they didn't retcon the dialog between Vader and Obi Wan in A New Hope:

When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master.

In mind of the prequels I think "When I left you" is a bit awkward. "When you left me" would be a bit more natural, I think. Perhaps even "When you left me burnt and in agony to die a terrible death" would be more what I would expect.

In ESB they retcon the whole dialog between Vader and the emperor (in the German dub with a completely different voice). Why didn't they "correct" this dialog, too?

Yes I know. It could be true from a certain point of view.

  • 1
    To be fair, Obi-Wan only left one leg, a head, and part of a torso.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 1:54

2 Answers 2


Because it would open a gaping plot hole.

Having Darth Vader point out that he left Obi-Wan's tutelage seems like it would be reasonable for his character. The viewers (and Luke onlooking) would assume that the sequence of events happened as Obi-Wan said they did, that Vader was seduced/corrupted by the dark side and abandoned Obi-Wan's training to become a Sith (which is exactly what happened... from a certain point of view).

But if he stated that Obi-Wan left him, it would raise far too many questions for Luke. He would know that Obi-Wan had lied to him, and would question his entire character. Why would Obi-Wan abandon his student, his friend, who was clearly in a bad situation? Luke would doubt everything that Obi-Wan had told him, as would the viewer (if they weren't aware of the events in ROTS).

It's also possible that it was the way that Darth Vader remembered things. By the time Anikin and Obi-Wan fought, he was already clearly following the dark side. He had murdered dozens of Jedi, apprenticed himself to Darth Sidious, and attempted to kill Obi-Wan. I'd say that constitutes leaving him, at least figuratively.

  • 6
    Did Luke hear that conversation? If I remember correctly, Luke was running across the docking bay when he saw Vader and Obi-Wan from a distance. As soon as Obi-Wan noticed Luke, he lowered his weapon and allowed Vader to kill him.
    – Era
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 19:18
  • @Era Luke did not hear the conversation.
    – TylerH
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 1:19
  • 1
    "When we parted company" would be the best of both worlds. Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 5:36
  • That's why I said it from both Luke's and the viewer's point of view. Luke probably didn't hear. It's also probably assumed the viewer has watched ROTS, but on the off-chance they didn't it would leave many unanswered questions. Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 9:51
  • Ok. Thats the OOU explanation. But they could've made it neutral, as Peregrine Rook suggested.
    – Hothie
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 10:32

I guess they felt it did not need ret-conning.

Technically Vader left Obi-Wan's tutelage when he became apprentice to Darth Sidious?

Vader may also not want to bring up when Obi-Wan seperated him from two legs and an arm.

  • 6
    “I guess they felt it did not need ret-conning.” Lucas has been admirably restrained in his edits to the original Star Wars trilogy. Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 13:44
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    @PaulD.Waite surely the fact he didn't change this but made so many other (small and of pointless) changes does show that it's not significant of ret-conning Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 13:46
  • 1
    This was my thinking as well. I think when you go murder a bunch of children, you're effectively giving the Jedi Order notice. Anakin left Obi to become Palpatine's apprentice, so the statement is correct.
    – joshbirk
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 21:25
  • Anakin lost one arm and two legs at the end of his duel with Obi-Wan. The other arm had already been cut off (by Count Dooku) and replaced with a cybernetic one. It's what he used to climb away from the lava stream.
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 22:25
  • 4
    Seems similar to.. "I dumped you". "No, I dumped you". Gives Vader the upper hand if he was the leaver.
    – Rincewind
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 17:56

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