At the end of RotS, Obi-Wan believes that he is leaving Anakin for dead on Mustafar, disappearing to Tatooine. While he knows that Anakin is not entirely dead at the end of their battle, he leaves Anakin's death to the Force. However, when Obi-Wan faces Vader in ANH, it is established that he knows exactly who he is facing. In RotJ, he explicitly tells Luke that he lied about Vader killing Anakin.

It is established that Obi-Wan knew that Anakin had become "Lord Vader." But when did he discover that Vader was still alive? He thought he killed him on Mustafar.


2 Answers 2


According to the Legends novel Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Obi-Wan learned from the HoloNet that Vader was still very much alive, a few months after settling on Tatooine.

When Obi-Wan lifted his gaze, the intermittently garbled HoloNet was displaying an image of someone outfitted in what almost seemed a costume of head-to-toe black. Human or humanoid-the being’s species wasn’t mentioned-the masked Imperial had apparently played a role in tracking down and executing the “insurrectionist” Jedi, and enslaving their Wookiee confederates.

He gets additional confirmation from Wuher, the Cantina Owner

The man adopted a conspiratorial voice. “You want to remain all right, you’ll keep your voice down about Vader, understand? You’ll keep from asking questions about him, too. Even in this Force-forsaken place.”

Obi-Wan studied him. “What do you know about him?”

“Just this: I have a friend, a trader in hardwoods, who was on Kashyyyk when the Imperials launched their attack on a place called Kachirho. I guess he was lucky to get his ship raised and jumped. But he claims he got a glimpse of this guy Vader, ripping into Wookiees like they were stuffed toys, and going to lightsabers with the Jedi who were onworld. ” The spaceport worker glanced furtively around the cantina. “This Vader, he toasted Kashyyyk, friend. From what my friend says, it’ll be years before a piece of wroshyr goes up the well.”

“And the Wookiees?” Obi-Wan said.

The stranger shrugged forlornly. “Anyone’s guess.” Placing a few credits on the table, he stood up. “Take care of yourself. These desert wastes aren’t as remote as you may think they are.”

When the water arrived, Obi-Wan downed it in a gulp, shouldered his rucksack, and left the cool shade of the veranda for the harsh light of Anchorhead’s principal street. He moved in a daze that had little to do with the glare or the heat.

As impossible as it seemed, Anakin had survived Mustafar and had resumed the Sith title of Darth Vader. How could Obi-Wan have been so foolish as to bring Luke here, of all worlds? Anakin’s homeworld, the grave of his mother, the home of his only family members…

Shortly afterwards he gets confirmation from Qui-Gon's ghost that Anakin = Darth Vader (noting that this somewhat conflicts with the canon where he learns Anakin's new name before confronting him on Mustafar. Presumably he means this Darth Vader)

“Master, is Darth Vader Anakin?” he asked after a moment.

Yes. Although the Anakin you and I knew is imprisoned by the dark side.


In canon, he finds out Vader is still alive (and that Anakin is still Vader) from the Inquisitor Reva in the second episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, set ten years after Revenge of the Sith:

REVA: You don't have to worry. You're not going to die... today. I'm just going to take you to him. Lord Vader will be pleased. You didn't know. He's alive, Obi-Wan. Anakin Skywalker is alive. And he's been looking for you for a long time.

This causes Obi-Wan to look shocked and, after having escaped, to stare into the distance and mutter "Anakin" to himself:

Screenshot from Obi-Wan Kenobi, showing Ben Kenobi looking shocked

This is apparently the first time he's learned that Vader is still around since going into exile. Contrary to the Legends continuity, it can be inferred that Vader is less of a public figure in this interpretation of events.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.