The story of the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of love and trust but also betrayal. The two Jedi had formed a brotherly bond early in life at a time when neither character had any other family to turn to. It is often the closest relationships that have the potential to bring out the worst in each person eventually. This may be exactly what happened between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
What are the five reasons why Anakin hated Obi-Wan? From Anakin Skywalker’s point of view, he had every reason to dislike his former friend. However, the answer is not as simple as pointing fingers directly at Obi-Wan Kenobi, but the five reasons are:
- A Loss of Trust The Battle for Padme
- The Duel on Mustafar
- The Dark Side Consumes Anakin
- Anakin Really Only Hated Himself
There are two sides (or more) to every story, after all, which is why the answer to this question requires a further look into each reason listed above. The Star Wars franchise has a whole galaxy of information and backstories. Enough to answer many, if not all, of the questions fans and critics may come up with. The question of why Anakin hated Obi-Wan is a loaded question in its nature. A question I will dive deep into now.
5 Reasons Why Anakin Hated Obi-Wan
Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s story begins at a time when both characters essentially felt alone in the world. Anakin had just left his mother, and Obi-Wan had just lost a father figure. In a way, they were both looking for that connection again and found it in each other. They both swore into the Jedi Order, and their brotherly relationship flourished.
Despite the fact that Jedi aren’t supposed to form any personal attachments once sworn into the Jedi Order, Anakin and Obi-Wan seemed to only get closer throughout the years. In many ways, Anakin even looked to Obi-Wan as more of a father to him because not only were they close friends, but Obi-Wan Kenobi was his mentor.
Obi-Wan knew more about Anakin than Anakin knew about himself. It was evident that Obi-Wan always wanted the best for his protégé, even when Anakin seemed to fall to the Dark Side.
Sheev Palpatine saw this connection begin to flourish early on and set out to see its demise. It was clear that Obi-Wan’s morality and service to the Jedi Order were deeply engrained in his being. However, Anakin was driven by personal ambition, desire, and even revenge. These feelings allowed the Dark Side Force to overcome him and tore their bond apart eventually.
As it played out though, the five reasons why Anakin seemingly hated Obi-Wan are:
1. A Loss of Trust
Anakin began to feel as low he couldn’t trust Obi-Wan before Revenge of the Sith. It was in the Obi-Wan & Anakin comic book that the trust issues first began to arise. Anakin was a troubled youngling that grew up with issues of abandonment and trust, so it was hard for him to trust anyone. The fact that he trusted his friend and mentor, Obi-Wan so much speaks volumes to how he felt when that trust began to waver.
It was during this comic (before Revenge of the Sith) that Anakin first considered leaving the Jedi Order. He felt the Republic was hypocritical and didn’t want to be apart of it any longer. It’s not like this would have changed his desire to help people, though. He wanted to solve the galaxy’s biggest problems. Obi-Wan was more concerned about the well-being of individual people, while Anakin focused more on grand reform.
During this time is when we can first see Anakin’s ambition affecting the way he sees the world because he immediately focused on the bigger picture rather than how he could help at that moment. Anakin begins to struggle with a sense of wanderlust for adventure and also struggling with the decision to leave his mother. He begins to feel selfish but ultimately decided to stay in the Jedi Order.
This indecisive inaction opened him up to Palpatine’s influence once more. That is when Anakin undergoes another trauma. Obi-Wan faked his death in order to save the Chancellor. Anakin was not made aware of this, and when he comes to find out that Obi-Wan is actually alive, he feels as though Obi-Wan lied and abandoned him. That is when Anakin turns his efforts towards saving the Chancellor instead.
2. The Battle for Padme
Anakin had a fear of abandonment and truly didn’t want to lose Padme. He was having dreams of her death and was looking for a way to stop this. This was when he turned to trust in Palpatine for guidance because he felt betrayed by Obi-Wan. When in reality, Obi-Wan knew about Anakin’s marriage to Padme and that they had a baby (possibly twins) on the way. Anakin didn’t trust that he could trust Obi-Wan.
In fact, he felt as though Obi-Wan was trying to take Padme from him. In Star Wars Episode III, before the battle on Mustafar, Anakin went to Padme’s ship to talk with her. Anakin wanted to convince her of what Palpatine had convinced him. He was more powerful now. He felt as though he had it all figured out. They wouldn’t have to be in hiding anymore, saying he was more powerful than the Chancellor, and he could overthrow the Chancellor.
Padme responds by telling Anakin he has changed and that Obi-Wan was right. That is when Anakin notices Obi-Wan standing in the doorway. Anakin feels betrayed by Obi-Wan again and screams at Padme that she is a liar and that she is with Obi-Wan. It is during this frenzied emotional state that Anakin ends up Force choking Padme.
Anakin becomes what he feared in his dreams. All this time, he was trying to protect the person he loved most. He was doing everything for her, so they didn’t have to live in hiding, even if it meant working with the Dark Side. In the end, though, without even realizing what he was doing, he took this feeling that Obi-Wan betrayed him again and unleashed it on her instead.
3. The Duel on Mustafar
In the eyes of Anakin Skywalker, the ultimate betrayal from his friend and mentor came during the duel on Mustafar. Obi-Wan Kenobi could see the dark Force raging through Anakin’s veins and knew he must be stopped. Anakin felt as though he had just lost the woman he loved more than anyone, to his best friend. This was enough reason for Anakin to want to battle Obi-Wan while Obi-Wan felt as though he had others to protect, like Padme, for instance.
During the duel, Obi-Wan Kenobi yells to Anakin that he was the Chosen One. A title Anakin seemed to be fond of at one point in time, but no longer felt attached to. In Anakin’s eyes, he was no longer a Jedi. He did not feel as though he could trust his Jedi mentor, and that crumbled his honor and loyalty toward the Jedi Order.
During the duel on Mustafar, Anakin doesn’t know that he has just killed Padme. He believes she will be okay. Obi-Wan he perhaps thinking about her well-being the entire battle, and this is what fuels him to defeat Anakin and the Dark Force. Anakin receives the ultimate feeling of betrayal and abandonment when Obi-Wan defeats him. Anakin is left terribly dismembered and crippled, left alone to burn on Mustafar.
This is when Obi-Wan Kenobi leaves Anakin to go find Padme and make sure she is alright. To Anakin, the only two people in the world he trusted had turned against him. He falls into a pit of self-pity, and Palpatine feels the energy pull. Palpatine comes to rescue Anakin from his lonely pit of despair and fits him to his infamous Darth Vader suit. In return, this saves Anakin/Darth Vader’s life and grants him stronger control over his Dark Force powers than ever before.
Darth Vader realizes, courtesy of Palpatine, that he killed Padme in a fit of rage. Vader says that it was her own fault because she turned Obi-Wan against him and sent him to kill Vader. Obi-Wan dismembering him and leaving him for dead only solidified this feeling. With nowhere to turn, he looked to his savior, Palpatine. The only one that was there to lift him from the ashes.
Vader was proud at this point to serve Palpatine because everyone else he loved only betrayed him. He doesn’t realize that he is under Palpatine’s manipulation and continues to believe in him and the Dark Side for many years to come.
4. The Dark Side Consumes Anakin
It isn’t apparent at first, but Palpatine exploited Anakin’s weaknesses from a young age. Palpatine is pure evil, and from the moment he saw Anakin confiding in Obi-Wan Kenobi, he wanted to destroy that bond. Palpatine knew that Anakin was able to fall to the Dark Side so long as he played his cards right. Palpatine also knew that Anakin would be a great asset and strong Force to have on the Dark Side.
Anakin is unable to see himself succumbing to the Dark Side. All he can see is that he is trying his best for the woman he loves most, and neither she nor Obi-Wan will see it his way. All the while, Obi-Wan Kenobi can spot this darkness in Anakin pretty much from the beginning. After all, they shared a bond, and Obi-Wan was Anakin’s mentor, so it was his job to watch Anakin very closely.
Even after Anakin/Darth Vader is told by Palpatine that he killed Padme, Vader doesn’t see his wrongdoings. Darth Vader continues to feel the power of the Dark Side consume him, and in a sense, he loves it. It makes him feel more powerful than he has ever felt. He begins to feel in control of himself and his life again, ironically enough. Still oblivious to Palpatine’s control over him.
Ultimately, it is this dark Force consuming Anakin that makes him feel as though he hates Obi-Wan Kenobi. There is no other feeling inside him other than this. He even yells it to Obi-Wan during their battle on Mustafar. It is this hatred that fuels him for many years to come.
5. Anakin Really Only Hated Himself
Anakin Skywalker was never able to take a good look at himself. The closest he got is when he started having second thoughts about leaving his mother, feeling selfish in his decision. That feeling was short-lived though when he eventually decided the greater good was more important than his sheepish feelings. No matter how many people he hurt along the way, he always seemed to feel like the victim.
Anakin reached his all-time low when he killed Padme. Although he didn’t directly see it this way, he had officially broken what he swore to in the Jedi Order. He murdered another person. Rather than owning up to what he had done and repenting, he pointed fingers to those around him. Palpatine saw this as a weakness to further exploit within Anakin. All the while, Anakin never realized he was being tricked and played with.
Of course, to Palpatine, it really wasn’t a weakness at all. It only brought Anakin further into the Dark Side. His entire being became fully encompassed with the Dark Force when Palpatine rescued him from Mustafar, and he was transformed into Darth Vader. Darth Vader was given a chance at life again, but at what cost?
It is evident that Vader is in a deep pit of despair, but he isn’t able to see a way out. The only person he can seem to trust is Palpatine, the one keeping him in the depression. When Anakin becomes Darth Vader, it symbolizes him losing everything he tried so desperately to hold on to. It symbolizes him giving in to the self-deprecating nature he was slipping into for most of his life. Although he felt this way, he still couldn’t listen to anyone besides Palpatine.
Luke Skywalker to the rescue:
In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker has a moment with his father. A moment that sure enough ends with Darth Vader rescuing look and (supposedly) killing Palpatine. It is presumed that Luke, in a sense, saved his father in this scene. When Darth Vader sacrifices his own life for Luke’s, it is as if it redeems his Force. Vader’s Dark Force disappears, and he returns to the Light Force as Anakin.
We are then given a scene where Anakin, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are standing together as Force Ghosts. It may not be that simple, though. Just moments before he saved Luke’s life, Vader was talking about turning Luke to the Dark Side, as well as turning Leia.
Darth Vader wanted world domination, and this included getting rid of Palpatine, who he discovered was manipulating him all those years ago. Vader was harboring aggressive feelings towards Palpatine, and this was the perfect moment for Vader to finish him off once and for all.
But does he? In The Rise of Skywalker, we hope to see a real conclusive answer to these final questions regarding Darth Vader… I mean, Anakin.
Why Didn’t Obi-Wan Kenobi Kill Anakin?
One of the main reasons Obi-Wan couldn’t kill Anakin during the battle on Mustafar is simply because of the Jedi Code. Obi-Wan Kenobi was a wise and loyal Jedi. He followed the code better than almost any other Jedi. That said, no matter the fact that Anakin was slipping to the Dark Side and he could see that plain as day, Anakin was still Obi-Wan’s protégé.
Because of this, Obi-Wan couldn’t find the heart to kill Anakin. To him, Anakin was still a Jedi, after all. However, Obi-Wan does only leave Anakin with one limb to burn, alone on Mustafar. In a sense, you can say that Obi-Wan killed him without actually breaking any Jedi Code. This was his loophole if you will. For all intents and purposes, it can be assumed that Obi-Wan knew there was little chance Anakin would make it out alive.
As you can see, the question of why Anakin Skywalker hated Obi-Wan Kenobi is a bit of a loaded question. Not unlike most other answers to questions involving this franchise. That is one of the reasons the public has been so engulfed in the storyline for the last forty years. These feel like real lives of people we actually know. Just as complicated and intricate as any other human’s life here on Earth.
Yes, Anakin did say the words, “I hate you” to Obi-Wan, but at that moment, lying crippled on Mustafar, he probably did feel that way. He was being consumed by the evil forces, and with blood boiling, he spoke from passion rather than reason. Something Anakin often did. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he actually hated Obi-Wan. Anakin’s deep-rooted feelings of self-pity are most likely what confused this for him.