10 Things That Don't Make Sense About Obi-Wan Kenobi
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has been a fan favorite character since Sir Alec Guinness first portrayed the crazy old wizard in 1977. Love for this character only grew with the prequels and the casting of Ewan McGregor as the wise Jedi general. Kenobi served the Republic during the Clone War, leading the 7th Star Corps to multiple victories alongside Clone Commander Cody. After Order 66 and the fall of the Jedi Order, the Ronin-like hermit was charged with guarding the hidden son of his fallen apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, eventually giving up his life to allow young Luke to escape the Death Star. While Kenobi is one of the strongest characters in Star Wars, there are still things about his character and his actions that leave us scratching our heads. Here are ten of the strangest things that just don't make sense about Old Ben Kenobi.
Jon Stewart makes no attempts to hide his love for Star Wars. This even extends to interviews with the Maker, George Lucas himself. While hosting Lucas on his show, Stewart couldn't resist asking about Kenobi's homeworld, where he came from, and details about his people. Lucas, tongue firmly in cheek, responded that Obi-Wan hails from the world of Stewjon. While this was a good, off the cuff joke for late night TV, the eventual canonization of Stewjon as an actual planet seems a bit over the top. The complete background of every character in the Star Wars universe is unnecessary, especially when they are said to hail from a planet named for a TV host.
9. Grievous Tried Spinning, That's A Good Trick
One of Kenobi's long time rivals during the Clone Wars is the cyborg general, Grievous. The cybernetically modified Kaleesh was the ruthless, if cowardly, leader of the Separatist forces. Over decades of combat and a near fatal shuttle crash, Grievous' entire body was eventually replaced with cybernetics with the exception of his brain, vital organs, and parts of the head. Grievous would do battle with Kenobi multiple times over the course of the Clone Wars, both as commanding officers, and face to face. However, when Kenobi confronts the cyborg for the final time during the Battle of Utapau, he seems caught off guard by Grievous' unrelenting advance, behind a pair of spinning lightsabers. Kenobi recovers quickly, however, and defeats the Separatist leader, leading to an all too brief Republic victory.
8. Moisturize, Moisturize
Now we come to the dead horse of the list, which we will beat quickly then move on. Obviously, there is a certain level of suspension of disbelief that goes into any recasting (looking at you, The Dark Knight), and this can be especially true when recasting a legendary actor such as Sir Alec Guinness. While only 20 years pass in-universe between the prequels and the original trilogy, Kenobi has aged like gas station wine. Under the constant beratement of twin suns and with little skincare available on Tatooine, Kenobi has gone from a auburn haired warrior to a greyed old man. While many fans have speculated that the highly anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi show will explain this jump in age and appearance, there is no real need for this as Ewan McGregor's performance matches near flawlessly with Guinness' interpretation of the character.
7. Lightsaber Lost
Even though Kenobi berates young Anakin Skywalker that his lightsaber "is his life," Obi-Wan loses his fair share of sabers during the prequel trilogy. The Battle of Naboo and the slaying of his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, at the hands of Darth Maul was a serious changing point in the path of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Thrust into Knighthood without the guidance of his Master and long time friend, Kenobi also was suddenly responsible for young Anakin Skywalker. Kenobi also changed his lightsaber style as a result, seeing how the acrobatics and sudden, unpredictable movements of Form IV were unsustainable by the older Qui-Gon during their duel with Maul. Kenobi switched to the defensive Form III, which he practiced with his new lightsaber. His original saber, modeled after his Master's, was lost down the Theed reactor shaft after he was disarmed by Maul.
During Attack of the Clones, Kenobi wielded his second saber that was a more slimmed down version of his original hilt, with the "pommel" and controls more recessed into the grip than its predecessor. This saber was taken by the Seperatists when he was captured on Geonosis, leading him to construct his third and final saber that he would wield up until his sacrifice on the first Death Star. This saber was starkly different than the other two to accommodate his mastery of Form III, with a grip toward the bottom of the hilt, a pronounced emitter lip, and a larger pommel for counter weight.
6. Love Life
While this is admittedly not a "flaw" in the character of Obi-Wan, it is a part of his backstory that we would love to see expanded upon. During the Mandalorian Civil War, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were assigned to protect the Duchess of Mandlore, Satine Kryze. While on the run from vicious bounty hunters sent by insurgents, Kenobi and the Duchess spent a year in close proximity and eventually fell for each other. While they never discussed their feelings at the time, Kenobi and Satine later rekindled their relationship during the Clone War and admitted to each other that they were in love. The story of them living in hiding would not only enrich Kenobi and Satine's character, it could provide a backdrop for some stellar Jedi vs. Bounty Hunter action.
5. Mercy on Mustafar
The Battle of the Heroes is an iconic moment of the prequel trilogy. Set against the hellish backdrop of Mustafar, Obi-Wan and the newly anointed Darth Vader engage in a saber duel for the ages. Kenobi is eventually victorious, leaving his former friend maimed and burning on the banks of a lava flow. As Kenobi leaves, however, Vader's master arrives and is able to resurrect his broken apprentice, leading to 20 long years of terror and bloodshed at Vader's hands. This could all have been avoided if Kenobi had simply delivered a coup de grace at the end of the duel. While it would not have been the Jedi way, could Kenobi not have compromised his morals just a tad for the benefit of the galaxy? Or even just given Vader's disabled torso a slight toe tap into the lava, just to finish the job?
4. Don't Listen To Dooku
The arrogance of the Sith has been a weakness that the Jedi have been infuriatingly bad at exploiting. Constantly flaunting their plans and machinations in the faces of their enemies, it's nothing short of a miracle that the Sith were able to remain in hiding for a thousand years. This especially holds true for Count Dooku, who managed to spill the beans on his Master's decades long scheme during an "interrogation" of Obi-Wan. Dooku is attempting to seduce Kenobi to the Dark Side and assist in his ascension to Dark Lord of the Sith, but it is an ill made attempt at best. However, after this interaction, little is made about this revelation, and the Jedi continue to support the Senate. While it's not hard to believe that the Jedi would chalk up Dooku's words to lies, it is surprising that they didn't take more steps to confirm it. Especially given the clone army that appeared out of nowhere and the later revelation that Dooku was the man who recruited Jango Fett for his role as the clone template.
3. No Interference
After Luke's friends are captured by Darth Vader on Bespin, Yoda and the ghost of Obi-Wan strongly caution Luke against rushing to their rescue. Yoda warns Luke that Vader is extremely strong and Obi-Wan cautions that Luke must face Vader alone and that he can't interfere. But why? Kenobi already reached out to Luke to assist him in his destruction of the Death Star. Would it really be so difficult for Obi-Wan to speak to Luke and give him some pointers during his duel with Vader? At the very least, Kenobi could have told him what a valuable asset the high ground was.
2. Reluctant Master?
After Anakin's fall to the Dark Side, and the death of Padme Amidala, their children were split up and hidden away form the Emporor. Leia was taken by Bail Organa to the beautiful and bountiful planet of Alderaan while Luke was given to his aunt and uncle on Tatooine to be raised as a farmer. While Luke turned out all right, it is hard to imagine that his childhood of farming was much help to the Rebellion or during his Jedi training. While it did lead to him being a talented bush pilot, it seems like more good could have been done if Obi-Wan had taken him under his wing and raised him as a Jedi. By the time of the Battle of Yavin, Luke could have been a certifiable badass, instead of a plucky, occasionally whiny, youngster who made a one in a million shot.
1. Nightclub Namesake
While Obi-Wan is a well-traveled Jedi Knight, it is hard to believe that he was in Shanghai prior to 1935. However, this appears to be the case as we see in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. As Indie escapes the notorious crime boss Lao Che (who has a long way to go to be the same caliber as Jabba the Hutt), we see that the club Indie is fleeing is called "Club Obi Wan." Seeing as the film is a collaborative effort between good friends Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, it is clear where they got the inspiration for the night club. Seeing how Obi-Wan immediately headed for the bar during the chase of Zam Wessel in Attack of the Clones, and his willingness to drink with pirates such as Hondo Ohnaka, we can't help but think he would approve of a Shanghai nightclub bearing his name.
Written By Weston Erickson
Syndicated From Culture Slate