Scene it on Friday – ANH Scene #58

ANH lightsaber battle

I never got the impression that Ben was “under increasing pressure and strain, as if an invisible weight were being placed upon him.” I just rewatched the clip on YouTube, but didn’t see anything to really signify this tension.

I think it would have been interesting to actually see that weird spaz. It would have shown us how Sith and Jedi not just fight with lightsabers and weapons, but with something much more invisible. It would have given us a slightly larger view into how the Force worked…especially this early on, presuming you saw it in 1977.

Also, notice how the script calls for Ben Kenobi taking the offensive stance and Vader taking the defense. Knowing what we now know with the Jedi, Sith, etc., shouldn’t it have been the other way around? According to Yoda, “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack”, which I also briefly touched upon on another Scene it on Friday post. Since this is the first Star Wars movie and maybe Lucas hadn’t fleshed out all the kinks with the Jedi yet, I’ll let it slide.

old ben obi wan vaderCan you imagine what it must be like? For both of them…seeing each other after 19 years? The last time they saw one another, Vader had just taken part of the Jedi Purge and was screaming hateful words at Obi-Wan after a heated (pun!) lightsaber fight. Now Vader is this towering monster of calm, dark energy, which is almost scarier than his tumultuous emotion at the end of ROTS.

Do you think Obi-Wan is nervous in this scene? Frightened? I have always thought that he was, but I’m not sure if I’m projecting my own emotions onto him. When I first saw this, I was frightened by this confrontation of Vader, so maybe I assumed Obi-Wan would also be frightened. He just moves so tentatively toward Vader, as if knowing that this might happen, but hoping it wouldn’t. Maybe he dreaded the confrontation, but when he finally met Vader, he was calm.

Why does Vader say that Obi-Wan’s powers are weak? How can they be weaker? It’s not like a car, which gets rusty after too many years of neglect. (I should really read Kenobi by John Jackson Miller) I’m sure Obi-Wan is just as strong in the Force as he was 19 years ago.

Perhaps, Vader’s strength in the Force is now so completely in tune to the dark side that Obi-Wan’s power feels so much weaker. Though Yoda tells us the dark side is not stronger, I’m sure it seems stronger to those wielding it.

I feel bad for Luke in this scene, as he watches Obi-Wan just disappear. How was he to know that Old Ben would be able to come back and still mentorLuke NO! him through a Force ghost? It’s been a hell of a 48-hour period (I’m guessing, I don’t actually know how long it was) for Luke. His Aunt and Uncle have been viciously burned to their deaths, he’s had to escape Tatooine with an ex-Jedi (that’s a death sentence from the Empire, fo sho), and then gets trapped in the Death Star. Now he’s running around evading stormtroopers and trying to rescue a princess currently scheduled to be terminated. He probably assumed that everything was going to be okay because Obi-Wan will make everything okay.

So I always felt this pang of empathy for him whenever he shouts that “No!” in the docking bay. It’s also a completely stupid thing to do, but I think he’s just in shock. Like…WHAT?! Everything is just changing so fast for him. He’s only known Kenobi a short time, but I feel like he felt like he was going to be with him a long while.

But what I don’t completely understand is WHY would you stay there? Get to the Falcon, kid! I’ll blame it on the shock factor again. Maybe he has some of his father’s anger that consumes him for a small time period and all he wants is revenge…against his father. LOL.

I enjoyed reading the script for this scene. It gave some more in depth insight to the making of this pivotal moment and after reading this, it’s interesting to see what was translated onto the screen.

obi wan duels vader

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — HALLWAY LEADING TO MAIN FORWARD BAY.

Ben hurries along one of the tunnels leading to the hangar where the pirateship waits. Just before he reaches the hangar, Darth Vader steps into view at the end of the tunnel, not ten feet away. Vader lights his saber. Ben also ignites his and steps slowly forward.

VADER: I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete.

Ben Kenobi moves with elegant ease into a classical offensive position. The fearsome Dark Knight takes a defensive stance.

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

BEN: Only a master of evil, Darth.

The two Galactic warriors stand perfectly still for a few moments, sizing each other up and waiting for the right moment. Ben seems to be under increasing pressure and strain, as if an invisible weight were being placed upon him. He shakes his head and, blinking, tries to clear his eyes.

VADER: You should not have come back.

Ben makes a sudden lunge at the huge warrior but is checked by a lightning movement of The Sith. A masterful slash stroke by Vader is blocked by the old Jedi. Another of the Jedi’s blows is blocked, then countered. Ben moves around the Dark

Lord and starts backing into the massive starship hangar. The two powerful warriors stand motionless for a few moments with laser swords locked in mid-air, creating a low buzzing sound.

VADER: Your powers are weak, old man.

BEN: You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

Their lightsabers continue to meet in combat.

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — MAIN FORWARD BAY.

Han Solo and Chewbacca, their weapons in hand, lean back against the wall surveying the forward bay, watching the Imperial stormtroopers make their rounds of the hangar.

HAN: Didn’t we just leave this party?

Chewbacca growls a reply, as Luke and the princess join them.

HAN: What kept you?

LEIA: We ran into some old friends.

LUKE: Is the ship all right?

HAN: Seems okay, if we can get to it. Just hope the old man got the tractor beam out of commission.

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — HALLWAY.

Vader and Ben Kenobi continue their powerful duel. As they hit their lightsabers together, lightning flashes on impact. Troopers look on in interest as the old Jedi and Dark Lord of The Sith fight. Suddenly Luke spots the battle from his group’s vantage point.

LUKE: Look!

Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie look up and see Ben and Vader emerging from the hallways on the far side of the docking bay.

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — DOCKING BAY.

Threepio and Artoo-Detoo are in the center of the Death Star’s Imperial docking bay.

THREEPIO: Come on, Artoo, we’re going!

Threepio ducks out of sight as the seven stormtroopers who were guarding the starship rush past them heading towards Ben and The Sith Knight. He pulls on Artoo.

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — HALLWAY.

Solo, Chewie, Luke, and Leia tensely watch the duel. The troops rush toward the battling knights.

HAN: Now’s our chance! Go!

They start for the Millennium Falcon. Ben sees the troops charging toward him and realizes that he is trapped. Vader takes advantage of Ben’s momentary distraction and brings his mighty lightsaber down on the old man. Ben manages to deflect the blow and swiftly turns around.

The old Jedi Knight looks over his shoulder at Luke, lifts his sword from Vader’s then watches his opponent with a serene look on his face.

Vader brings his sword down, cutting old Ben in half. Ben’s cloak falls to the floor in two parts, but Ben is not in it. Vader is puzzled at Ben’s disappearance and pokes at the empty cloak. As the guards are distracted, the adventurers and the robots reach the starship. Luke sees Ben cut in two and starts for him. Aghast, he yells out.

LUKE: No!

The stormtroopers turn toward Luke and begin firing at him. The robots are already moving up the ramp into the Millennium Falcon, while Luke, transfixed by anger and awe, returns their fire. Solo joins in the laserfire. Vader looks up and advances toward them, as one of his troopers is struck down.

HAN: (to Luke) Come on!

LEIA: Come on! Luke, its too late!

HAN: Blast the door! Kid!

Luke fires his pistol at the door control panel, and it explodes. The door begins to slide shut. Three troopers charge forward firing laser bolts, as the door slides to a close behind them, shutting Vader and the other troops out of the docking bay. A stormtrooper lies dead at the feet of his on rushing compatriots. Luke starts for the advancing troops, as Solo and Leia move up the ramp into the pirateship. He fires, hitting a stormtrooper, who crumbles to the floor.

BEN’S VOICE: Run, Luke! Run!

Luke looks around to see where the voice came from. He turns toward the pirateship, ducking Imperial gunfire from the troopers and races into the ship.

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One thought on “Scene it on Friday – ANH Scene #58

  1. Hahaha I got distracted 3 paragraphs into the script where it calls Vader the “Dark Knight” like Batman! lol

    Anyways…this is a great scene. It doesn’t even need choreography to be powerful. I think Obi-Wan is feeling frightened and sad many other things, but like a good Jedi is able to put all that aside and be calm (and maybe a little resigned) when facing Vader. (I personally think this is what he does in the fight against Maul, too, just maybe with a little more adrenaline involved).

    Vader, on the other hand, is using passion and emotion to fuel his power, so maybe that’s why he says that Obi-Wan is weak. Or maybe it’s because his lightsaber abilities have taken a drastic downward turn since the prequels…

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