Darth Vader's return to action in Obi-Wan Kenobi was a point of high anticipation for over a year, and when he arrived in "Part III" it made for a day that will be long remembered. Following the last-second reveal of Anakin Skywalker's charred remains in a bacta tank in the previous episode, Hayden Christensen's Sith Lord entered the series as the primary villain. What happened when Vader became fully involved made for some of the darkest sequences in all of Star Wars.
Between the snapped necks of villagers, sneak attack on Obi-Wan, and attempting to burn his former master alive, the Darth Vader shown in Kenobi is as terrifying as ever. Writer Joby Harold admitted what transpired initially was even more brutal, but the final product effectively made the point of Vader's drive and rage. With three episodes to go, fans haven't seen the last of what lengths Vader is willing to go to in order to destroy his old friend, an attempt to snuff out a reminder of his past.
At this point in the timeline, the only other friend of Anakin's that still remains is Ahsoka Tano. Star Wars Rebels told the story of the confrontation on Malachor between Vader and Ahsoka in two pieces, leaving fans on a cliffhanger for two seasons until it was revealed the heroine survived the battle via the World Between Worlds. Tano's story is set to continue in 2023's Ahsoka, currently in production, and a rumor indicates Vader may have a role to play in her journey.
The Vader Crew Returns, Likely For Ahsoka
Making Star Wars reported that the team responsible for bringing Darth Vader to life in Obi-Wan Kenobi has been reassembled for another live-action Star Wars project. The rumor hasn't been 100% confirmed, but MSW strongly believes the Vader group - including voice performer James Earl Jones - are preparing for work on Ahsoka, though the possibility remains that Vader could be used for a different project.
Vader vs. Ahsoka in Live-Action?
Ahsoka is by far and away the most likely project Darth Vader will be involved in, given the history between the characters and the show's current production status. It's always possible he could have a brief cameo in Skeleton Crew as MSW briefly suggested, which is scheduled to begin filming in the summer. The only other shows set to shoot soon are The Acolyte, which would be impossible for a Vader appearance, and Andor Season 2 later in the year, something that could happen but seems unlikely.
Hayden Christensen was reported to be involved in Ahsoka last year, and lead actress Rosario Dawson had to remove her celebratory social media posts due to the unofficial announcement. The nature of his role is likely to be as the Force Ghost of Anakin Skywalker, given the series' placement in the timeline. As Ahsoka's former master, the bond Anakin shared with her was strong, and a project that allows the two to make amends following their duel on Malachor makes for fascinating storytelling opportunities.
For the Anakin and Ahsoka moments to really hit, though, audiences will have to be reminded of what Vader tried to do on Malachor. The best way to do that is show it - and in Ahsoka's case, that would mean a live-action recreation of the fight that happened in Rebels. The Vader team assembled for Kenobi has all the pieces in place to bring every facet of the character to life again for that conflict, as Dmitrious Bistrevsky stands for wide shots, Tom O'Connell can perform the fight itself, and Hayden Christensen appears for the emotional moment after the mask has been cut open.
It may be tedious to recreate the fight in its entirety, but there are several key moments leading up to the duel; the moment the lightsabers first clash, and Anakin's brief reemergence before Vader takes over again and tries to kill Ahsoka that need to be shown. The series opening with such a traumatic experience for Ahsoka before showing how she got off Malachor, transitioning the story to the present day would be a gut punch, but one that could set the tone for the emotional journeys being established for both Anakin and the titular character.
Ahsoka debuts in 2023 on Disney+.