Star Wars: Why Obi-Wan Really Calls Vader “Darth” In A New Hope

Among the many mysteries that a chronological watch of the
Star Wars saga brings is the question of why Obi-Wan refers to Vader as “Darth” in
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Despite being the original
Star Wars,
A New Hope is chronologically the fourth movie in the saga, meaning that, theoretically, it should be in line with everything established in the prequel trilogy. Despite the 19 in-universe years that separate
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and 
A New Hope, the latter is supposed to work as a continuation of the stories of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and the Skywalker twins.,After
Star Wars: Episode VII – Return of the Jedi concluded what is now known as the original trilogy, George Lucas decided to take the story back 30 years and show the early life of Anakin Skywalker. A sequel to the stories of Luke, Leia, and Han would then only be made in 2015, now under the Disney umbrella. Such an odd approach to the chronology of a franchise is bound to create canon inconsistencies such as Obi-Way saying
“only a master of evil, Darth” when, in theory, the Jedi master knew very well that “Darth” was a Sith title and not the villain’s first name.,Related: Why Does Yoda Call Luke The Last Jedi (When Ahsoka & Ezra Exist)?,The real reason for it is that, at that time, “Darth” wasn’t supposed to be a title that would be used by other villains in the saga, but rather just a first name. Essentially, what the name “Darth” meant in
Star Wars only had to do with the Darth Vader character himself and didn’t have any connections to any others. As the saga progressed and George Lucas introduced the concept of the Sith religion, the
Star Wars creator brought the term Darth back, but now retconned as a title given to dark side warriors such as Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Sidious. Just like many of the
Star Wars plot holes and inconsistencies, such as Leia stating she remembers her biological mother, Obi-Wan referring to Vader as “Darth” can be simply explained by the fact
Star Wars wasn’t conceived or produced chronologically.,With the production timeline considered, it is still possible to try finding an in-universe explanation for the
“only a master of evil, Darth” line. After everything that the former master and apprentice went through together, Obi-Wan could’ve been simply mocking Anakin for having fallen to the dark side and taken over a Sith name. Obi-Wan saw the recording of everything that happened on the day Anakin became Vader, meaning he is aware that it was the Emperor who chose to give Anakin that name. The upcoming
Obi-Wan Kenobi series can even add an extra layer of meaning to that
New Hope line by showing how Darth Vader doesn’t accept being called “Anakin” anymore despite Obi-Wan’s efforts. It is known that, at some point, Obi-Wan stops believing in his apprentice’s redemption, as he started perceiving Darth Vader and Anakin as two different persons – from a certain point of view.,One can choose to perceive Obi-Wan calling Vader “Darth” as either a canon inconsistency created by
Star Wars‘ unusual chronology or as an in-universe mockery made by Kenobi. Either way, the
“only a master of evil, Darth” line will always sound odd to those who watched the entire saga, especially in chronological order. That said, those small bits of trivia are also part of what makes
Star Wars special, and it proves how far the saga has come despite the non-linear path.,Next: How Star Wars: A New Hope’s Special Edition Actually Improved The Movie