This is not a duplicate of this: Why did Obi-Wan leave Vader on Mustafar?.


  1. The question I mentioned answers why Obi-Wan didn't kill Vader to make sure he's no longer a threat?.

  2. The answer to that question is

    Anakin was Obi-Wan's best friend, student and a war buddy who saved his life many times. NOT someone you would be terribly interested in offing.

After cutting down his limbs, clearly one of these two would eventually happen:

1) Vader somehow survives and continues to be a dangerous Sith Lord

2) Vader would die a slow, horribly painful death, basically getting burned alive.

In light of no. 2, wouldn't it make more sense for Obi-Wan to do a favour for his old friend and finish him off, thus sparing him of so much pain and horror that would have been his last moments if he had died on the lava?

Clearly one cannot say "it is not the Jedi way" as from that perspective it makes even more sense to kill him right away. And besides, it's not like Jedi should not kill the Sith they fight with.

How do we explain why Obi-Wan left his "best friend, student and war buddy" to die in great pain?

  • 3
    * sigh *. This answer (on the question that you insist isn't a duplicate) covers exactly the point that you've asked: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/47935/20774
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 8:47
  • 2
    You can't look at only the top votes answer and say "its not a duplicate because the answer doesn't provide the specific detail I'm looking for!". You have to read all the answers, because the specific detail you are looking for is in one of the other answers. This should never have been reopened.
    – Beofett
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 10:50
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    I'm not so sure this is a dupe. A dupe should essentially mean that the questions AND the answers it would generate are the same. I do agree that the 3rd answer on the target answers this, but I think they're actually very different questions. This question is, "As a Jedi, why didn't Obi-Wan give Vader a quick merciful death to spare him pain?" The other one is "Why didn't Obi-Wan finish him off to eliminate the danger posed by his potential survival. The answer sets to those questions should be different, despite the fact that they may overlap, as with the 3rd one on the target
    – Jaydles
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 13:40
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    @Jaydles In its current form, this question focuses exclusively on the situation between Obi-Wan and Anakin on Mustafa. The overlap between these two questions, in its current and past forms, is extensive. Both are asking why Obi-Wan made the decision (leaving Anakin). The distinction is very thin. Note that this has been discussed in meta, and none of the suggestions seem to have been taken. The question might be salvageable, but I believe the focus needs to change slightly for that to happen. The chastising edits didn't help his case.
    – Beofett
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 20:12
  • @Beofett - to strengthen you case, my update to the linked duplicate question's answer addresses exactly what you wanted to know (why not finish him off out of mercy) Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


Other than the obvious...movies had to line up...I think Obi was deeply torn. His best friend just personally offed and entire multi-generation of their peers & friends not to mention tried to kill Padme and Obi in the same hour or so (their time). I think he wanted to Anakin to suffer and die but couldn't bear to watch or personally kill him.

EDIT: I think he also didn't want to have to tell Padme that he killed him. Much easier to say "he fell into some lava" than "I forced him into some lava after cutting off his 3 remaining limbs and then I killed him"

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