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In Episode V, what did Vader mean when he told the Emperor:

Obi-Wan can no longer help him?

Help him in what way? Obi-Wan's Force ghost 'had been' helping Luke since the Battle of Yavin which happend 3 years earlier. Were Vader and Palpatine just ignorant of the fact that living Force-sensitives could commune with the dead?

marked as duplicate by Valorum star-wars Jul 22 '18 at 20:36

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  • Help him learn stuff. Because he's dead. And yes, the Emperor and Vader were unaware that Force Ghosts exist, at least if we go by what we saw in the original films – Valorum Jul 22 '18 at 17:51
  • Obi-Wan is obviously helping him learn stuff, even as a Force ghost. – Frank Rendar Jul 22 '18 at 17:52
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    Is this obvious because you see it from Luke's perspective? Remember Vader and the Emperor don't have all the information we do. – Edlothiad Jul 22 '18 at 18:01
  • @Edlothiad - Sure, but Force Ghosts and other forms of post-death Force presences have been seen in The Clone Wars and Rebels by Vader and Palpatine – Valorum Jul 22 '18 at 20:36
  • @Valorum — I did not ask a duplicate question. It just seemed that way to you. Again, when Vader tells the Emperor that Obi-Wan can no longer help Luke, this is indicative of both Sith lords’ ignorance of Force ghosts (at least in the Original Trilogy films). – Frank Rendar Aug 18 '18 at 16:12
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The ability to return as a Force Ghost, especially one capable of maintaining a form and actively helping younger Jedi as a mentor is one that was only (re?)discovered by the Jedi extremely recently and put into practice by its last two remaining devotees, Masters Obi-Wan and Yoda.

YODA: An old friend has learned the path to immortality.

OBI-WAN: Who?

YODA: One who has returned from the netherworld of the Force to train me . . . your old Master, Qui-Gon Jinn.

OBI-WAN: Qui-Gon? But, how could he accomplish this?

YODA: The secret of the Ancient Order of the Whills, he studied. How to commune with him. I will teach you.

OBI-WAN: I will be able to talk with him?

YODA: How to join the Force, he will train you. Your consciousness you will retain, when one with the Force. Even your physical self, perhaps.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

As such, Vader knows with certainty that Obi-Wan is dead and hence can no longer help Luke by providing him with ongoing training. Obviously we know otherwise, but that's because we're the audience.

  • Actually, this made me wonder why Vader even assumed Obi-Wan was dead. Even though he was unaware of Force Ghosts, maybe he should have been smart enough to consider other options. Vader knew Kenobi was strong with the Force and most likely had learned some more during his long exile. Sure, did he come all the way to the Death Star just to surrender and die? And where was the body? Maybe it's also possible Vader wasn't sure about Obi-Wan's death, but he didn't want to say it to the Emperor. – Essen Jul 23 '18 at 7:23
  • @Essen Arrogance is a common theme and side effect of evil-doers – Conrad Bennish Jr Aug 2 '18 at 1:49

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