In the first Star Wars film (retroactively retitled A New Hope), Vader says to Obi-Wan Kenobi "When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master."

Yet, Vader and Kenobi duke it out in episode 3 of Obi-Wan Kenobi ten years after their duel on Mustafar (during which Obi-Wan made schnitzel out of Anakin). During their encounter in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vader has the upper hand throughout, and Kenobi only escapes through someone else's intervention. This occurs chronologically seven or eight years before the original Star Wars film.

Is this a retcon of the original Star Wars movie, since Vader clearly masters Kenobi almost a decade before episode IV?

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    So many retcons in the Star Wars universe right now, what’s one more? Jun 13, 2022 at 4:30
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    Holding off on posting an answer until the show finishes, but it seems like he's specifically talking about when he parted ways with Obi-Wan, right? Not when he last saw him?
    – Milo P
    Jun 13, 2022 at 5:24
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    It is not a retcon IMO, it is bending continuity a bit. The whole interaction with Leia as well... "General Kenobi, you served my father in the clone wars" ... why not "General Kenobi you saved me once before".
    – Skooba
    Jun 13, 2022 at 12:28
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    Presumably Vader thinks he left Kenobi before the duel on Mustafar, as he didn't really "leave" Kenobi then — he laid on the ground, without enough functioning limbs to go anywhere unassisted, as Kenobi walked off. The encounter in episode 3 of Obi-wan Kenobi is similar — Vader is blocked from approaching Kenobi when the fire is re-ignited by Tara Durith, who then helps Kenobi escape, presumably unseen. Jun 13, 2022 at 15:04
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    @tilley31 Dum dum duuuuuuuuum Jun 13, 2022 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


Is Kenobi retconning episode IV A New Hope?

Not for this scene.

In the final Kenobi episode, Kenobi clearly defeats Vader so it definitely satisfies the "I was but the learner" line.

However, once again Kenobi leaves Vader so the "When I left you" line is still retconned. But keep in mind that Revenge of the Sith had already retconned this line because Kenobi left Vader after their fight on Mustafar.

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    I don't think there's any need to get stuffy over who left who in the sense of "who literally walked away while the other person watched them go". You wouldn't call me a liar if I said that I left my employer just because I work remote and did not literally leave the building. Anakin certainly left the master-padawan relationship.
    – Harabeck
    Jun 23, 2022 at 19:26
  • +1 So you are saying the Kenobi folks nerd-sniped me? (I will likely accept your answer when I see the final episodes.)
    – Lexible
    Jun 23, 2022 at 21:59

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