Oh my goodness, where to start with this one? Okay, admittedly, this is the lamest fight in Star Wars when compared to many of the others. Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi should have been one of the most epic fights in the history of the franchise, but in truth it turned out to be two enemies prodding at one another and then eventually Obi-Wan becoming one with the force as he dissipated before Vader could cut him down. And more to the point, once Vader’s lightsaber cut into Kenobi’s robes, nothing happened. The saber should have at least set the clothing ablaze or cut it in two. But nothing.
Now, getting back to a bit of objectivity and rationality, let’s really look at this. The technology back then was just good enough to do so much and acrobatics and flips that were created by CGI were just not the thing. Plus, did you really expect to see Alec Guinness doing all that much onscreen when it came to fighting? The guy was a seasoned actor but he wasn’t an acrobat or even a reasonable choice if all they were going for was someone that could make his way through a swordfight as though it were a dance. He was the cool, wizened old Jedi Master that could do many things, but Lord Vader was an evil, powerful Sith lord that could just as many and had been active the entire time that the Jedi had been gone, not hiding away on Tattooine looking after a farmboy.
This is where the prequels definitely let us down even as they get us excited. The fight between Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, the newly anointed Darth Vader, was simply epic. They were evenly matched in power but Kenobi obviously had the experience and the mastery to overcome his former apprentice. Back then he could have easily killed Anakin but did not as he simply walked away. He couldn’t have known that Anakin would survive and allow that hatred of his former master and friend to fester and boil as he went through his hellish transformation into the force-wielding demon that Vader would eventually become.
But now think of this. Star Wars came out in the late 1970’s, and like I said the technology was not nearly up to where it is now. Back then CGI was still a thing that might have been talked about over bong hits and a few dozen beers but never actually realized. The fight between Kenobi and Vader had so little significance to the millions of people that would eventually become fans that it was really more of a footnote in the story than anything. But now that we have the prequels we see that at one point Kenobi and Skywalker were two of the most powerful and skilled Jedi to ever be inducted into the order. They had the kind of power that should have made their final confrontation a lot more destructive than it actually was.
But that’s what happens when you try to reinvent the wheel and then compare it to what came before. It makes sense, just think about it.