PT Did Anakin view Obi-Wan as a brother or a father?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by BoromirsFan, Feb 14, 2013.

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  1. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2010
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    I am curious. To me I felt he viewed Qui-Gon as the father, and Obi-Wan as the brother.

    He never really refers to him as like a father at one time, but then he does so on Tatoone, albeit halfheartedly.

    "You're the closest thing I have to a father"

    "He's like my father"

    The distinction between pleasing a father and pleasing a brother is significant I think. This is one of those times where I feel it was really possible that Qui-Gon could have prevented Anakin's fall because Anakin had qui-gon's trust. Obi-Wan had to earn it after the comment, and then Palpatine began to interfere.

    But at the end of the day, Obi-Wan did do his best and the blame lies on Anakin for making the wrong choices.

    I am just curious as to what the true dynamic of the relationship between Obi and Ani were,
  2. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    It's too hard to tell without any real source material between TPM and AOTC depicting their relationship.

    But I'm going with father, at least for the most part; most people don't rebel that badly against an older brother.
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  3. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

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    Nov 12, 2012
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    Anakin viewed him more as a father, which may actually reveal why he went so freakin' $%@& crazy on him, general Sith badness aside. Obi-Wan viewed him more as a brother, which is why it broke his heart so much when Anakin turned (and probably why Obi-Wan couldn't bring himself to finish Anakin off on the shores of Mustafar).
  4. Valairy Scot Chosen One

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    Sep 16, 2005
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    I think Anakin viewed Obi-Wan as an older brother who "inherited his authority" only via seniority - dad died and that left elder son to act as dad. Sure, there may have been elements of father/son but I think it was far more brother/brother.
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  5. Eryndil Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 18, 2012
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    The way I see it, Obi-Wan was more of a father figure in AOTC, when he was responsible for Anakin and in that 'parental' role. But that changed after Anakin was knighted and they were able to be more relaxed with each other. Their interactions during the 'rescue' of Palpatine in ROTS seem like big brother - little brother. So, yeah...both!

    Qui-Gon was 51 years older than Anakin, so it's possible that he was more of a grandfather figure! From my observation, kids are often more respectful to grandparents than to parents. :D
    Last edited by Eryndil, Feb 14, 2013
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  6. Seagoat Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2013
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    By the time of AOTC, it was more of a father-son type relationship. ("Don't say that, Master. You're the closest thing I have to a father.")

    However, by ROTS, it had changed to bro-bro ("He is like my brother, I cannot do it. Send me to kill the emperor instead.")
  7. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Nov 20, 2012
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    Second cousins twice removed.
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  8. thesevegetables Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 11, 2012
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    Didn't Obi-Wan say that he thought of him as a brother?
    Anakin probably similar. Their ages were closer as brothers.
  9. KED12345 Force Ghost

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    Sep 10, 2012
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    I always thought Qui-Gon was something of a fatherish figure to Anakin (certainly to Obi-Wan) for a brief period of time, and when Qui-Gon died, Obi-Wan inherited the role as an older brother character. Certainly in the Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith, they're portrayed as brothers almost.
  10. GGrievous Chosen One

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    Nov 6, 2005
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    Per the micro series and AOTC, I doubt Anakin looked at Obi-Wan as his brother. Anakin: "He's like my father."

    From my perspective, their friendship strengthened and became more like brothers post AOTC.
  11. Seagoat Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2013
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    Let's not forget

    "You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you."
  12. GGrievous Chosen One

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    Nov 6, 2005
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    One of the reasons why the micro series is superior to TCW: Obi-Wan to Anakin: "It's time we become brothers." :p

    When I was younger (and even today), I still see that as good build up to ROTS. Particularly that scene.
    Last edited by GGrievous, Feb 14, 2013
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  13. FARK2005 Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 3, 2012
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    I think it’s clear that in AotC Anakin views Obi-Wan as a father which is very natural: the role of Jedi Master is more a parenting-role than a teacher-role because the Master has a life depend on him/her for guidance, protection, upbringing, teachings, comforting, and even love. So Obi-Wan did not simply teach Anakin about the Force, he was also the one making sure Anakin ate his vegetables, went to bed at the proper time, learned how to behave himself in different situations etc. – everything his mother had done before that. Even if Anakin may initially have viewed Qui-Gon as a father-figure in TPM I think Obi-Wan quickly took that place when he became Anakin’s master.

    By the time of RotS it’s difficult to say if Anakin still thought of Obi-Wan as a father or if Obi-Wan had become more like a brother to him. We know Obi-Wan thought of Anakin as a brother, but we don’t know Anakin’s feelings on the matter.
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  14. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

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    Jan 5, 2011
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    Both, more "like" a father in AOTC, more "like" a brother in ROTS. "Like" is an important distinction, imo.

    Anakin was 9 when he became Obi-Wan's apprentice, he was still very much a kid in need of the things FARK mentioned,"eat up, go to bed, wash your ears, do your homework", etc. Obi-Wan was what, 24, 25, 26? That's a grown man, old enough to be a father, and even old enough to be a father of a 9 year old.

    By the time AOTC comes around, Anakin has gotten too big for his breeches, he's that kid who's gotten strong and thinks he can beat up his dad, he's done being told what to do. Once he gets out of the adolescent apprentice role, they become brothers.

    There's a reason Anakin saw Obi-Wan as a father, he never had one and desperately wanted one.
  15. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

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    Sep 3, 2012
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    well in AOTC, he says to Obi-Wan before they enter the club that Obi-Wan is like his father
  16. 16AndPregnant Jedi Knight

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    Jan 19, 2013
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    How could an older brother have more authority than a father?

    In the original Clone Wars cartoon (the good one), Anakin says to Obi-Wan "and you're not no Qui-Gon Jinn" or something like that. He probably had more trust in Qui-Gon's guidance than Obi-Wan's. Anakin probably viewed Obi-Wan as inferior and inexperienced compared to Qui-Gon, and relied less on his teachings. I think he probably looked at Obi-Wan as more of a brother or adopted father. Maybe even an uncle.
    Last edited by 16AndPregnant, Feb 15, 2013
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  17. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    I think he wanted Obi-Wan to be some kind of father figure. But Obi-Wan has always regarded both himself and Anakin as brothers. I suspect the two were at cross purposes.
  18. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

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    Jun 22, 2006
    star 2
    Upping this because I just found this thread and am very surprised that no one has mentioned Fernwithy's essay on this topic, which was on Saga Journal (I can only find the full text via wayback machine now). I think anyone interested in Obi-Wan and Anakin's relationship has to read it.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20060208232843/http://sagajournal.com/fwbrothersandsons.html
    That disparity (brother or father?) was one of the first things that jumped out at me at the end of RotS. When Obi-Wan said 'I cannot kill Anakin. He is like my brother,' my first reaction was Hang on, that's not quite right; that's not what Anakin thinks. And Obi-Wan's heartbroken final words to Vader on Mustafar confirmed that this wasn't simply a slip on GL's part.

    We knew from the beginning that the father-figure was crucial to Anakin's life, from the moment Qui-Gon asks Shmi 'Who was his father?' and Shmi says there was no one (Why would a big male Jedi Master ask such an intrusive question of the slave woman who is offering him hospitality, if it wasn't necessary for signposting some crucial element in the story?). And given the importance of the father-son relationship in the OT, not to mention that Anakin's 'dark self', alter ego, is Darth Vader (try putting that in Google Translate, but the phonetic allusion should be obvious), the difference in terminology between AotC and RotS is not merely a slip; it's crucial. Fernwithy explains quite well why the argument that their relationship had really changed all that much, in the three years between AotC and RotS, doesn't work. Maybe it had for Obi-Wan, but not for Anakin. The different metaphors used is not reflecting a change in their relationship, but a difference of perception.

    I think Fernwithy more than adequately backs up her conclusion that whatever Obi-Wan thought, Anakin still saw the man as his father-figure. But I'll just point out a couple of things she didn't mention.

    Anakin carrying Obi-Wan mirroring Aeneas carrying Anchises. This isn't just coincidental because we know how much GL is influenced by classical Greek drama. The most obvious reason why Obi-Wan had to be knocked unconscious in the fight was so that we could get a foreshadow-y taste of Anakin killing in cold blood on Palpatine's encouragement; which would never have happened if Obi-Wan was conscious. After that there was no real plot reason why he couldn't have just woken up when Anakin went to check on him. He remained out of it so that we could absorb that Aeneas&Anchises image. And it's interesting to look at the script. For other action bits, the directions in the script usually aren't hugely detailed (presumably because the specific choreography would be worked out elsewhere). But the script repeats three times that Anakin is carrying Obi-Wan on his shoulders and another time says on his back. Which is how Aeneas and Anchises are always depicted in artwork. And this repeated direction was not really even necessary; it's obvious that across the back/shoulders (ie fireman's lift) is the most efficient way to carry someone through an enemy ship when you may very suddenly need to fight. Hayden and Ewan could've figured that out on their own without the script telling them how Obi-Wan was to be carried. I think it's clear that GL specifically intended that image, to indicate symbolically via classical allusion that for Anakin, Obi-Wan was his father figure.

    The crash-landing on Coruscant. Anakin's just killed the Separatist leader (moral concerns about that aside) and forced his top general to retreat, and (with Obi-Wan) rescued the Chancellor from the enemy flagship (which they also effectively have captured) in the middle of a battle with their own side firing on them. And he manages to land half a massive burning ship in an industrial rather than residential area. Even for Jedi, that's got to be pretty good. But he doesn't go into a twenty-three year old's equivalent of his 'yippee!' in TPM. At first, he seems a little stunned by his own luck. And then, crucially, he looks round, to his left, at Obi-Wan. He seems to need Obi-Wan's approval (he doesn't look to Palpatine, even though he's right there on his other side - symbolism, anyone), Obi-Wan's 'attaboy, Anakin!', to reassure himself that the mission's been a success (which he gets when Obi-Wan grins and calls Anakin's impossible feat 'another happy landing'). This certainly indicates that he doesn't see their relationship as one of equals, and it seems to very strongly suggest that Anakin sees Obi-Wan as a father-figure. A twenty-three year old of Anakin's abilities probably wouldn't be that dependent on an older sibling's reaction to validate his self-confidence...but his dad, maybe. I found that moment to a great example of how Hayden's much-ridiculed acting can subtly convey quite a lot of character.

    The conversation in the Temple, after Anakin's appointment to the Council. I actually think this is one of the most tragic moments in the Saga because it was such a missed opportunity for Obi-Wan. After Obi-Wan tells him to spy on Palpatine, Anakin snaps, 'Why are you asking this of me?'. Obi-Wan's reply is an awful cop-out: 'The Council is asking you.' When I hear this conversation, knowing that Anakin still sees Obi-Wan as a father-figure, much more than he sees Palpatine (as the escape sequence above Coruscant demonstrates), what I hear in Anakin's question is really, 'Please don't make me choose between my father and a mentor I respect; but if you must, explain it better so I can justify this to myself.' And instead, Obi-Wan tries, with the best intentions, to de-escalate the emotion in that exchange by deflecting it. He sees Anakin's duty as having to choose between loyalty to the Republic/democracy and loyalty to Palpatine. He doesn't seem to understand that Anakin can't see the choice as being anything but one between loyalty to him (Obi-Wan) or Palpatine.

    Yet there are also hints that Obi-Wan does understand Anakin's perception of their relationship. Fernwithy gives Obi-Wan's departure for Utapau as an example. Another example is the scene immediately following the conversation above. Obi-Wan tells Mace and Yoda Anakin's reaction, and says 'He will not let me down. He never has.' To my ears, letting someone down is what happens in a parent-child/teacher/student kind of relationship. You hurt your friends/siblings, or you fail to be there for them; but disappointing someone is what you do to a person who had legitimate expectations that you'll perform to a certain standard. And note Obi-Wan doesn't say He will not let us / the Jedi / the Council down. He knows that the only relationship which matters here and which can sway Anakin's loyalty to Palpatine is with himself, Obi-Wan, not with the Jedi Order/Council or the Republic/democracy.

    The sad thing is that though Obi-Wan appears aware of Anakin's continued perception (and perhaps his need) of him as a father-figure, he doesn't leverage on that. Maybe he feels it's not right to use Anakin's emotions that way. Maybe he's just too self-effacing after a lifetime of being taught humility and surrender of self/ego. This was most obvious to me just before the duel on Mustafar. It was clear from the Temple holo-recording scene that Obi-Wan was personally shattered by Anakin's betrayal. Yet he doesn't mention or even hint at that until the end of the duel. Instead, he's all 'Your new Empire?! My allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy!' --- Again with the appeal to abstract ideals, just like in the conversation in the Temple. He surely knows that it won't work like that with Anakin, who sees things in terms of personal loyalty.
  19. TX-20 Force Ghost

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    Jun 21, 2013
    star 4
    They were Facebook friends at most.
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  20. HevyDevy Force Ghost

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    I haven't read this whole thread, but if it hasn't been said, Obi-Wan and Anakin can be seen as kind of surrogate children of Qui-Gon who were orphaned when Qui-Gon died. Hence there was always a kind of brotherly rivalry between the two IMO.

    Sidious filled the father-figure role were Qui-Gon left a hole, and I think it is probably implied that Palpatine had the upper hand on Obi-Wan here, Obi-Wan was already kind of out of place as the father and Sidious took advantage of this abscence.

    There are several dialogue links that can re-enforce this, Obi-Wan's mentoring contrasts that of Qui-Gon's, Palpatine's (and even Obi-Wan with Luke in ANH), such as "Patience. Use the force. Think." inverting "Feel, don't think." and "Stretch out with your feelings!"
    Qui-gon and Palpatine also seem wiser than Obi-Wan in the prequels, and both offer a way out of Anakin's regimented life (Qui-Gon turns Anakin from a slave into a Jedi, and Sidious offers Anakin a false promise of liberation in joining the Sith) where Obi-Wan seems more of a stickler for the rules. He just doesn't seem the right mentor for Anakin.
  21. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    They followed each other's Twitters. Nothing more.
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  22. Anakin Solo Revanchist Force Ghost

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    Dec 9, 2011
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    THIS. Best answer. This actually explains so much.
    I don't think I can respect the GFFA if they have Twitter there. :p
  23. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Oh the GFFA has stupid things. I'm certain of it.
  24. Anakin Solo Revanchist Force Ghost

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    Dec 9, 2011
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    Like, you know, this all-pervasive power known only as the Force :p
  25. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
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    When there is no father in the picture and said brother takes his place.
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