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Star Wars: A New Hope's Obi-Wan Kenobi Death Was Almost Much Grosser

The death of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness, an actor who was never the same after his "Star Wars" role) in "A New Hope" is a landmark moment in "Star Wars" lore. It marks the end of one of the most powerful Jedi of all time, a hero of the Clone Wars, and the man partially responsible for the creation of Darth Vader (David Prowse, James Earl Jones). All in all, it's not a very visually-involved scene, with Vader limply swiping his lightsaber at Kenobi as the Jedi Master's physical form disappears into thin air. As it turns out, though, this moment could've been far more gruesome.

According to the "A New Hope" novelization by George Lucas and Alan Dean Foster, the end of Vader and Kenobi's Death Star duel looked a bit different. Instead of disappearing as soon as Vader's lightsaber makes contact with his body, Kenobi would've endured a pretty sickening wound. The book describes that Vader "lunged forward, feinting, and then slashing in a deadly downward arc with the saber. It struck home, cutting Kenobi cleanly in half." Not only would such a vertical split be difficult to present using 1977 filmmaking technology, but it surely would've bumped "A New Hope" up from its PG rating.

Still, that's not to say that this version of Kenobi's demise would've been out of place in the overall "Star Wars" saga. Subsequent productions have showcased some truly stomach-turning deaths over the years.

This take on Kenobi's death would've been at home with other brutal Star Wars deaths

It's not controversial to say that "Star Wars" is a family-friendly franchise. It's not very vulgar, the most shown in terms of physical intimacy is hugs and kisses, and there isn't an amount of bloodshed that would have most parents covering their children's eyes. Every so often, however, the series will toss in a death that's pretty graphic — so graphic that the initial concept for Obi-Wan Kenobi's "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" death suddenly doesn't seem so out of place for the "Star Wars" brand.

One of the most infamous examples is the demise of Count Dooku (Sir Christopher Lee) in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith." After a duel with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), the Sith's hands are chopped off by his Jedi adversary's blade. Skywalker then uses his and Dooku's lightsabers to decapitate the Separatist leader. Just a film before in "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones," Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison, who has an interesting vision for his "Star Wars" future) is also decapitated by Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson). Let's not forget that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is torn apart layer by layer by his own deflected lightning before dying in "Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker."

One can list brutal "Star Wars" deaths for ages, as the list truly goes on and on. All of that is to say that had Kenobi's "A New Hope" death gone down in the film like the novelization described, it would've been absolutely gross, but merely a sign of things to come in the franchise's future.