By the time Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi were reunited aboard the Death Star, both men had changed. Physically, mentally, time and the occasional dunk in a Mustafarian lava lake had rendered the two mystical warriors old, battered men, and their battle reflected it. This fan film re-interpretation imagines how it could have been, in another time.
We know why Vader and Obi-Wan’s duel in A New Hope is a measured clash of laser swords and not the blade-twirling cinematic acrobatics and swordplay of the battle of heroes seen in Revenge of the Sith—one movie was made in the mid 1970s and pitched a classically trained actor in his 60s against a stuntman in full body suit and mask, the other featured two younger men who had months and months of training and fight choreography, as well as liberal amounts of CGI, on their side. That, and tastes for what Star Wars could do with lightsaber battling had evolved by the time George Lucas began filming his prequel saga.
Times change, that’s okay! We just rationalize it in our heads, fans that we are, that Anakin’s dramatic transformation into more machine than man and Obi-Wan’s two decade desert exile wore the men down from their height of their martial prowess in the Clone Wars. But fan film SC38 Re-Imagined, by FXitinPost, tries to offer an alternative point of view—one that takes the classic duel and injects a bit more of that prequel-era flair into it, as if Anakin and Obi-Wan still had a few more force-enhanced tricks up their older, wiser sleeves.
The short already drew plenty of buzz when it was simply just a teaser trailer back in 2017, but now FXitinPost has released the full thing online, and placed into the context of A New Hope, it’s even more impressive (perhaps even most impressive).
Sure, you could simply appreciate the flair and spectacle of watching Vader and Obi-Wan spin their lightsabers around and fling force pushes at each other, but what makes it really work is how it more closely enmeshes the classic fight with the dramatic heft of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s fateful encounter in the prequels. Evoking their final words together on Mustafar as Vader draws his saber down and through Obi-Wan’s robes to conclude the duel is surprisingly emotional—it’s that prequel influence that works just as strongly as the more elaborate fight choreography, honestly.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.