10 Ways 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' Could Mess Up Star Wars Continuity
'I Am Altering The Deal. Pray I Don't Alter It Any Further.'
It's exciting that Disney+ is revisiting the era between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope with the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi show. There is a lot of potential story to mine. However, it can feel like Disney is treading on hallowed ground.
Reuniting Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader once again can make any Star Wars fan feel giddy. However, there is a great risk. There are plenty of landmines they might step on that would mess with Star Wars continuity. There's an even bigger danger where they can mess up such beloved characters.
Here are 10 ways the Obi-Wan Kenobi show could mess up Star Wars continuity.
1) Darth Vader And/Or The Emperor Can’t Find Out About Luke
This is an obvious situation to avoid, but it still is imperative to clarify. It’s not entirely clear if Anakin even knew what happened to his children based solely on the final events of Revenge of the Sith (there are non-canonical comics that sort of address this). In the special-edition version of The Empire Strikes Back, Vader and Sidious (to some extent, Sidious) are caught off-guard by Luke’s identity. The Emperor even calls Luke “the son of Skywalker.” That entire conversation, and really a lot of narrative points throughout the original trilogy, would make no sense if Vader or the Emperor finds out about Luke’s identity in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
2) C-3PO And R2-D2 Can’t Appear On Tatooine
One of my proudest moments as a Star Wars fan was during the midnight showing of Revenge of the Sith. I wasn’t going to be satisfied with one point in particular unless they addressed the fact that C-3PO did not remember Tatooine when he and R2-D2 use an escape pod to reach the desert planet early in A New Hope. Tatooine, of course, is where he was created back in The Phantom Menace. I told a group of fellow Star Wars fans in the theater with me that C-3PO must have his memory wiped. Sure enough, when Bail Organa passed along the droids to Captain Antilles, he had C-3PO’s mind wiped.
Now, the Obi-Wan Kenobi show runs the risk of undoing that. If C-3PO appears on Tatooine at some point and doesn’t have his mind wiped again, that would contradict the fact that he didn’t recognize Tatooine in A New Hope. I suppose they could wipe his memory again, but even that wouldn’t really make sense because he does remember that Antilles was his last master before Uncle Owen buys him. The best approach to any cameos by the iconic droid duo would be to keep them away from Tatooine entirely. Besides, where would they go? It’s not like cantinas serve their kind, anyway.
3) Obi-Wan Should Lose To Anakin/Darth Vader Again In Their Lightsaber Rematch
There are a lot of risks in reuniting Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. Sure, it would be awesome to watch those two duke it out one more time as an encore to their great duel in Revenge of the Sith, but this easily could render dialogue from A New Hope useless.
In the corridors of the Death Star, Vader tells Obi-Wan, “When I left you, I was but a learner. Now I am the master.” First of all, Vader using the word Master here has become more contentious and significant since the release of the prequels. The Jedi Council never granted Anakin the rank of Master even though he trained Ahsoka as a Padawan (Ahsoka does call him Master, so there’s that, I guess). While Darth is an important title for the Sith, following the Sith’s Rule of Two suggests Vader was always Darth Sidious’ apprentice. So he isn’t really a Master at all.
Putting that aside, that line of Vader’s always felt more like him trying to trash talk. But after Obi-Wan left Anakin for dead on Mustafar, it wouldn’t seem like Vader has much room to talk. And if Obi-Wan beats Anakin again, that line will feel even more hollow and meaningless. It stands to reason that maybe Anakin would get the last laugh this time and at least fight well enough to worry Obi-Wan.
4) Obi-Wan Can’t Reveal His Real Name To Luke
In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker stumbles upon Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi hidden in R2-D2. Luke ponders the message for a moment, then says “Obi-Wan Kenobi. I wonder if she means old Ben Kenobi.” Luke then tells C-3PO he doesn’t know anyone named Obi-Wan, but he knows that old Ben lives out beyond the Dune Sea (we even see Obi-Wan watching Luke from afar in the Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer). Luke recognizes him as Ben Kenobi after his scuffle with the Tusken Raiders, but he was unaware that he was also Obi-Wan Kenobi. This implies that young Luke will see Obi-Wan at some point during the show, but he will not be told his real name. Otherwise, the scene when they meet again in A New Hope would make no sense.
5) Obi-Wan Can’t Know That Other Jedi Live Through The Time Of The Original Trilogy
This has become a bigger issue in general with the Disney+ Star Wars shows. Many key characters who were around during the prequels—such as Ahsoka Tano, Cad Bane, and Grogu—have appeared in The Mandalorian or The Book Of Boba Fett, both of which take place post-Return of the Jedi. In particular, Jedi who are still alive make a lot of what Obi-Wan and Yoda knew during the original trilogy a bit awkward. In The Empire Strikes Back, Obi-Wan tells Yoda “That boy was our last hope” when Luke flies away to save his friends. Then Yoda says, “No. There is another.” Yoda, of course, is referring to Leia, but it should be noted that Yoda said: “another” (singular), and not “others” (plural). Why would Yoda know about Leia, but no one else?
Rumors of the upcoming Disney+ show suggest that Obi-Wan might try to save other Jedi from being hunted down by the Empire. If Obi-Wan actually helps one, or multiple, Jedi survive it would make no sense why he wouldn’t think they are still around. To me, this suggests any other Jedi with whom Obi-Wan crosses paths does not survive past the show’s timeline. At the very least, Obi-Wan should be convincingly led to believe they didn’t survive.
6) Obi-Wan Shouldn’t Know Of Leia’s Force Sensitivity
Speaking of Yoda’s “There is another” line, there may be a continuity error with it already (it’s open to interpretation), but it could be made far worse.
It’s interesting that Yoda knows about Leia’s potential, but Obi-Wan doesn’t think so (he thinks Luke is their last hope). Both of them knew about the twins at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and Obi-Wan knew Bail Organa took Leia to Alderaan. In Return of the Jedi, Obi-Wan tells Luke, “The Empire knew as I did. If Anakin were to have any offspring, they would be a threat to him.” This implies that, during the original trilogy, Obi-Wan knew that Leia was capable of threatening Anakin. It would be hard to believe that Obi-Wan would feel that Leia is a threat without having any Force abilities whatsoever, but I suppose it’s possible (again, open to interpretation). However, during the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, if Obi-Wan does learn that Leia is Force-sensitive, there is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t think she could be useful, too, which would render quite a bit of the original trilogy's narrative defunct.
7) The Inquisitors’ Live-Action Debut
While Obi-Wan Kenobi seemingly will focus primarily on its titular character, there’s a small chance the Inquisitors steal the show to a certain extent. While that won’t break continuity, mishandling their story would.
Many Inquisitors were Jedi who turned to the dark side after surviving Order 66. The Inquisitors were first introduced to the Star Wars timeline in Rebels, which took place about five years before A New Hope. Based on the trailer, it seems both the Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother both will appear in the show, which will be their earliest appearance in the canon story. Surely they won’t make their live-action debut peacefully, right?
While it likely wouldn’t happen, these two Inquisitors obviously can’t be killed by Obi-Wan or anyone else since they are around a few years later. This becomes a problem, however, when you consider the fact that the Inquisitors report directly to Darth Vader. If the Inquisitors successfully track down Obi-Wan to Tatooine as the trailer implies, it wouldn’t make sense for Obi-Wan to stay there for so many years because the Inquisitors would tell Vader where to find him. How I think the story can circumvent this problem is if Obi-Wan realizes he’s being tracked by the Inquisitors before they find him, and he leaves Tatooine to throw them (and, by extension, Darth Vader) off of his and Luke’s scents.
8) They Can’t Make Vader Go Too Soft
This is more about narrative and character arcs than actual canon events, but it’s still just as important. Ever since Disney has taken over Star Wars, there has been a threat to recalibrate or straight up undermine character growth with the franchise’s iconic characters. Whether it was Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi or Boba Fett in The Book of Boba Fett, stories have taken unpredictable turns for better or, in most cases, for worse.
This cannot happen in Obi-Wan Kenobi, particularly with Darth Vader. One likely way Vader can get ruined is if they make us sympathize with him too much. Whether it’s because he’s still sad about losing Padme or he feels betrayed by Obi-Wan, if the goal is to make us feel sorry for Vader more than we may already feel, then not only would it ruin his character arc in the rest of the saga, but it would also cheapen Vader’s conversion back to the light side at the end of Return of the Jedi. That simply cannot happen whatsoever.
9) The Prophecy Is Revised
Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, and Yoda briefly talked about the prophecy of the Chosen One in Revenge of the Sith, including the possibility that it was misread or misunderstood. Obi-Wan definitely took his responsibility of training the Chosen One seriously, and he even yelled at Anakin during their climactic duel, “You were the Chosen One. It was said you would destroy the Sith, not join them.” If anyone would have taken time to reflect on his actions and question the prophecy, it would be Obi-Wan. While there does seem to be a wealth of story ideas to fill in gaps, changing the context of this prophecy would undermine the entire prequel narrative arc. Obi-Wan can’t start thinking the prophecy may have been referencing Luke. There are no rumors that suggest stories anywhere in this ballpark would happen, but hey, with Disney, nothing is safely off the table.
10) Vader Must Never Learn
Okay, this one is more of a goof, but if Vader fights Obi-Wan, Vader must never gain the high ground. Vader clearly never learned his lesson from his loss in Revenge of the Sith, because Luke also has the high ground during his battle with the Sith Lord in Return of the Jedi. A rematch between Vader and Obi-Wan must be awesome after what we got in Revenge of the Sith.
Written By Jeremy Costello
Syndicated From Culture Slate