[ESSAY #7] Obi-wan as a mentor

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ObiWan506, Feb 17, 2006.

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  1. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    This is an essay submitted anonymously through our Star Wars Saga Essay Contest.

    Users are asked to read each essay listed below and send their vote in for the best one. Voting ends on Feb. 24th. Send your votes via PM to <a href="/user.asp?usr=Spike_Spiegel" style="color: black;font-weight: bold;font-style: normal;background-color: peru;text-decoration: none;border-top: 1px solid Black;border-bottom: 1px solid Black;border-right: 1px solid Black;border-left: 1px solid Black;">Spike_Spiegel</a> or <a href="/user.asp?usr=obiwan506" style="color: burlywood;font-weight: bold;font-style: normal;background-color: darkred;text-decoration: none;border-top: 1px solid Black;border-bottom: 1px solid Black;border-right: 1px solid Black;border-left: 1px solid Black;">ObiWan506</a>. Also, you can use these threads to discuss each essay. Discuss each point and share your own point of view on the matter.

    <li>Essay #1
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    Much has been said about Palpatine’s influence on Anakin, but didn’t he spend so much more time with Obi-wan? Above all, this presents the opportunity of comparing his two approaches with his apprentices. Within the context of the saga both his apprentices are of roughly the same age, or he teaches them at roughly the same age in the movies. They are nearly growing out of adolescence, yet the time we see Obi-Wan spend with them is cut short in Luke’s case and prolonged in Anakin’s.
    <br> There are some pivotal scenes that showcase Obi-wan’s teaching style.
    <br>
    <br> <i>The Arrogance of Always Being In The Right </i>
    <br>
    <br> By the time we meet them in AOTC, we know that Obi-wan has already spent 10 years with Anakin (the apprenticeship under his guidance has been established in TPM) in a very personal one-on-one relationship- as is the fashion with the Jedi. At first we see him with Anakin in an elevator trying to reassure him because he is tense.
    <br> Obi-wan gives a subtle hint that he knows Anakin is tensing up because of the upcoming meeting. The scene establishes they know each other well. There is friendship and love between those two.
    <br>
    <br> <blockquote>Obi-wan: <i>You seem a little on edge, Anakin.</i>
    <br>
    <br> Anakin: <i>Not at all.</i>
    <br>
    <br> Obi-wan: <i>I haven't felt you this tense since we fell into
    <br> that nest of gundarks.</i>
    <br>
    <br> Anakin: <i>You fell into that nightmare, Master, and I rescued
    <br> you, remember?</i>
    <br>
    <br> Obi-wan: <i>Oh yeah. (they laugh) You're sweating. Relax. Take
    <br> a deep breath.</i>
    <br>
    <br> Anakin: <i>I haven't seen her in ten years, Master.</i>
    <br>
    <br> Obi-wan: <i>She's not the Queen anymore, Anakin.</i>
    <br>
    <br> Anakin: <i>That's not why I'm nervous.</i> </blockquote>

    <br> The next time we see Anakin, he is in a situation of more political importance. The pa/>
  2. ShaakRider Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2002
    star 2
    While i see Obi-Wan's teaching activity in a slightly different light, so i can't say i wholeheartedly agree with the author, my conclusions are essentially the same.

    One thing i think is worth mentioning, that the only succesful "act of teaching" from Obi-Wan that i can recall was where he was shouting with Anakin after Padme fell from the transport during the Dooku chase. Then he was forced to give up his usual attitude and try different methods to talk some sense in Anakin, and finally he found one that worked. Shame, that in his more 'sane' moments he didn't bother to go through the same process.
  3. i_dont_know Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2005
    star 4
    Interesting read.
    I agree for the most part.

    Obi-Wan has obviously grown wiser by the time it comes to training Luke. Like you've said, he's more "Qui-Gon" in his approach.

    What makes this complicated is that Yoda, on the other hand, is still using some of these criticised techniques in Empire Strikes Back.

    YODA
    A Jedi must use the force for knowledge and defence, never for attack.
    LUKE:
    But tell me why I mustn't...
    YODA:
    No! There is no why.

    Having said that, his response is a little more helpful than AoTC Obi-Wan's:

    ANAKIN:
    Why?
    OBI-WAN:
    What!?!
  4. Darth_Walters Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2006
    star 4
    I could write about this easily! But like most of them this one is dead....
  5. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    Remember, users are asked to vote for their favorites. Don't just read ... vote as well.

    :)
  6. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    well, i didn't even go there in the essay.. i think it's a whole new debate about duty and there has been a nice attempt at putting this scene into context by the lard biscuit. he's saying it's a first dissonance in their professional jedi relationship.

    but i see duty as something that is akin to obedience. therefore i reject the idea that obi-wan did a good job teaching in this scene.
    it's funny. i don't see it that way. i see that yoda has become a zen teacher. he is much less overt and explicit.

    i saw he was more playful with luke. and he hasn't got much chance to be playful in the prequels. he has that elusiveness down to a tee, for me. he is stern, yes, but he is also less set on lecturing. something which obi-wan is an expert at.
  7. i_dont_know Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2005
    star 4
    it's funny. i don't see it that way. i see that yoda has become a zen teacher. he is much less overt and explicit.
    [/quote]

    I see that, Obi-Wan and Yoda both are. But it isn't like Yoda has completely unlearned all of his old methods, he just adapted them. That's why I think it is complicated, he has grown wiser, but they suceed in training Luke with some of the same methods they used on Anakin.
  8. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    generally maybe it's because luke is more stable so he doesn't accept everything. he is much less desperate.

    so, while i don't think i personally would teach this way, you might succeed with the same methods with a person who can respond to them more as an adult. or is more resourceful and sure of him/herself.
  9. anakin_luver Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 5

    Not only that, but he is willing to learn these things because his father was once a Jedi. He is willing to accpet most of their guidance because he knows he is the only other person that has the potential of becoming a Jedi. He wants this power to avenge his father's "death" more than for himself. That's what I've always gotten out of Luke's personality as a Jedi.

  10. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    yeah, it comes down to him having someone to look up to, something which ben keeps up for as long as possible.
  11. Jedi_872 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2005
    star 1
    And one reason Luke is more stable may be because he's older and has gotten to know himself.
  12. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    and no one pushes him into doing anything. i wouldn't say he is overly mature but he sure has idea of belonging. there has never been much of a threat to his life.
  13. leia_naberrie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2002
    star 4
  14. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
  15. M1911_fan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2006
    star 2
    Two completely different situations here. One the one hand we have Luke questioning the reason behind a teaching, trying to understand what Yoda is trying to teach him. On the other hand we have Anakin chafing against yet another order by Obi-Wan that he doesn't agree with. Notice how Anakin tries to backpeddle when Obi-Wan says, "what?" It's not unlike a parent coming down on a teenager that has stepped out of line.
  16. Winston_Sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2004
    star 4
    Now that you think about it, Anakin, as a Jedi in training, wanted to avenge his mother's (actual) death, and did so.

    I dunno... it looks like Obi-Wan and Yoda were kind of playing with fire when it comes to Luke; How could they not see that?

    If Luke succeeded in avenging his father's death by killing his own father, where would that leave him?

    If he won on Cloud City, and killed Darth Vader, would they had even have told him what he had just done?

    But then, I guess Old Ben had a reverse-Palpatine relationship with Luke, feeding him bits of useful information, over the course of his life on Tatooine, that would enable him to be to 'fulfil his destiny' some day.

    I don't know... Jedi morality is screwey.
  17. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    but they aren't any longer the jedi who simply fight their way through a crowd. yoda doesn't train him in martial arts, he teaches wisdom. they trust luke because he has a mind he can use. whereas with the likes of anakin, they emphasized a collective and uniform opinion, not individual thought.
  18. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    generally maybe it's because luke is more stable so he doesn't accept everything. he is much less desperate.

    I disagree. I don't consider Luke more stable and less desperate than Anakin. His actions in ROTJ disprove that . . . at least to me. I think that Luke was VERY LUCKY that Palpatine had developed a big mouth and an even bigger ego. If the latter had not interrupted Luke's brutal attack upon Vader with his own comments, Luke very well could have ended up as his next apprentice.

    Also, I think that Luke managed to be successful . . . despite Yoda and Obi-Wan's refusal to give up some of their more dogmatic beliefs.
  19. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    but luke can decide for something (rescue his friends, that his dad is worth rescuing) without ending up infinitely remorseful. while i cannot say he *knows* what he's doing, his choices look way more informed than his dad's. of course he's also lucky, but there never seems to be that despair about him. he just seems to decide things and do them then.
  20. Master_Shaitan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2004
    star 5
    I'd like to start by saying that I do agree with the basis of your essay that Kenobi wasn't as strong as mentor for Anakin as was needed. His inexperience and inability to cope with a situation he was too close to was telling.

    However, I feel that in places you put a little too much blame on to Obi Wan when in fact it was a no win situation and/or the fault was with Anakin.

    Firstly, you discuss the situation in ATOC where the Jedi are assigned to protect Amidala. You say that in this scene Obi Wan shows he sticks rigidly to the rules of the Jedi Order and this method of teaching, for Anakin especially, is destrimental.

    I would agree that despite having a more rebellious side than most Jedi due to his own mentor, Kenobi does follow the rules of the Jedi Order closely. The rules themselves have a degree of rigidness about them which can be dangerous when faced with situations that aren't black and white. However, we must remember that if you choose to undertake the life of a Jedi Knight then its going to be a life of discipline opposed to adventure and excitement. Its a life where you must always put others and the greater good first. Therefore, I would say that Kenobi has to enforce this level of discipline on his headstrong apprentice. Anakin quite clearly in AOTC is already interested in a life greater than that of an ordinary Jedi as Sidious would say. He craves excitmenet. He tasted it as a kid. And its something he enjoyed. With that comes a lust for pride and power and with that comes greed. Now, Kenobi and the Jedi were aware of this to a certain extent. They knew that more and more Jedi were becoming arrogant. So more so than ever they needed to ensure that the Jedi remained true to their obligations and with that comes discipline. Being a Jedi is being disciplined.

    Therefore, I would say that Kenobi was right in trying to keep Anakin in line with the Jedi. He had to ensure that Anakin didn't take the quick and easy path to greatness, because if that occurs then Kenobi has a Sith on his hands. But to be honest, I dont think Kenobi went far enough..

    This brings me on to point two and three - how should Obi Wan handle him and why does Anakin turn anyway?

    Your next point refers to how Kenobi doesn't allow Anakin to do his own thing or learn for himself. Well, I strongly disagree with this. On numerous occassions in AOTC Anakin is encouraged to do his own thing - whether it be to search for Zam Wessel in the Outlander Club or have his first solo mission in protecting Padme. The problem was Anakin failed on his missions. He didn't listen to the advice given to him and when he screws up he blames it on Obi Wan. Being closest to Anakin Obi Wan knew this was a lieklyhood, hence why he warns the Jedi (Mace and Yoda) of his reservations. Its unfortunate that he didn't continue to keep this restricting edge to his training of Anakin. Later on, he let things go too much.

    After Obi Wan apprehends Zam, Anakin is quick to anger when interrogating her. When he is sent to look after Padme, firstly he kisses her and then abandons his mission to go after his mother - something which gets him into even more trouble - not with the Jedi, but with himself, or as you like to say, with his shadow. So what could Kenobi have done? Well, in this case - nothing. Anakin goes off by himself and screws up and then slaughters a bunch of women and children. He blames the death of his mother and this slaugghter on Kenobi for holding him back - when in fact, despite that being an exaggeration from Anakin, is exactly what Kenobi should have done. He didn't handle it very well it seems, but its Anakins greed and pride as well as his inability to let go that is at fault here more than Kenobi's inexperience. The only error I see by the Jedi as a whole was not in seeing how conflicted Anakin was and in Kenobi being too lenient.

    Back on subject, your point was that Kenobi doesnt give Anakin enough space to learn for himself. Well, I think the films show otherwise. I just believe, no offence, that you are showing the same frustr
  21. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    why is the fault necessarily with anakin?

    and the other stuff: well, sorry but you don't differentiate between learning and knowing in the first place. maybe you should get your head around the difference in teaching people to be themselves and to mold them into who you like tham to be first.
  22. Master_Shaitan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2004
    star 5
    No need to get all defensive. I was just giving an honest critique Ms...uh...frared is it?

    I don't see for a second in the films Obi Wan moulding Anakin into who he wants him to be - as I showed with EXAMPLES. I see Obi Wan trying to teach Anakin disciplines that will prevent him from doing things like - turning to the dark side, killing children, ruling galaxies etc.

    But with that I see a classic petulant kid. Someone who thinks they know it all and has no patience. Someone who doesnt 'do discipline'. And look what happens!

    The only mistake Kenobi made was being tot lenient, which is why, if im perfectly honest, I dont think your 'essay' is even close to the mark. The problem with Kenobi, which Lucas demonstrated time and time again, was that he was too close to Anakin. He was seduced by the situation. He let things slide. He built up Anakins ego. He had too much faith in him and let him get away with too much. That was Kenobi's error. Thast why Yoda would have done a better job - he would have kept Anakin on a tighter leash.

    You see, I think you are way off the mark with your Kenobi assessment. His inexpereince didnt mean he was condensending or arrogant. It meant he was too young a person/mentor to be able to train someone like Anakin and reamain 100% detached. Yoda could have done that. Kenobi couldnt. That's the issue. Thats what Lucas wrote.

  23. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    I would agree that despite having a more rebellious side than most Jedi due to his own mentor, Kenobi does follow the rules of the Jedi Order closely. The rules themselves have a degree of rigidness about them which can be dangerous when faced with situations that aren't black and white. However, we must remember that if you choose to undertake the life of a Jedi Knight then its going to be a life of discipline opposed to adventure and excitement. Its a life where you must always put others and the greater good first.

    Obi-Wan didn't put the greater good first. If he had then he would have realized the importance of finding out who was trying to kill Padme. Instead, he put the Jedi Code first - namely, following the rules.

    but luke can decide for something (rescue his friends, that his dad is worth rescuing) without ending up infinitely remorseful.

    Considering how close he came to killing Vader in a fit of rage or endangering his friends with a wild attack upon the stormtroopers following Obi-Wan's death, I would say that Luke has plenty to feel remorseful about. I'm sorry, but I think that Luke is not that different than Anakin. Just luckier.

    The only mistake Kenobi made was being tot lenient

    I disagree. Kenobi's mistakes w being too critical and trying to mold Anakin into some kind of ideal Jedi Knight, while at the same time - lacking in any faith toward Anakin, until it was too late.
  24. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    Anakin is NOT a classic, petulant, disobedient kid. Anakin was perfectly reasonable and obedient in his relationship towards his mother, Qui-Gon, and for the most part even Watto, and he was listening to Palpatine as well as Yoda and in general to Mace. Obi-Wan's being the exception - which tells me that this disobedience problem has at least as much to do with Obi-Wan as with Anakin.

    If you want an example for a classic petulant kid, someone who thinks they know it all and has no patience, meet another "chosen one", Harry Potter. It's an instructive exercise to compare Harry Potter to Anakin, and the audience's response to the two characters. Harry's constantly being disobedient, he's not listening to teachers, he's lazy, neglecting important studies, he is lying, cheating to get around his homework or acquire better marks, he is sniffing out confidential information and even giving it away though he'd promised otherwise, he's even stealing. He is acting reckless and without thinking about consequences, taking affairs in his own hands instead of reporting to the teachers, thereby endangering his own life as well as the lives of others for no better reason than thinking he knows best - when have we ever seen Anakin acting like that? Harry's a lot worse than Anakin. Still, to the majority of the audience Harry's always the great kid, the little angel whose misbehavings are quite the normal chilren's missteps, whereas Anakin is perceived as the petulant brat. And the reason seems to be simply that Harry is supposed to be the hero, contrary to "evil" Anakin.
  25. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    either we'll have to agree to disagree or something else :p

    what i mean is that luke can actually learn from what happens to him and anakin sems to caught up in politics to do so. he seems particularly unlucky in that respect. luke seems to have more of a grip on what it means to be alive and to do one's duty and anakin is just being pushed around without much meaning attached to the causes.
    dunno, i thought maybe you could perhaps *read* my name?
    maybe you bother with reading the essay? it used EXAMPLES from two films to analyze obi-wan's none.xisting reflection in the strategies he used.
    and i see NOWHERE (gotta love capitalization) that he tries to change anything around. he is just increasingly pissed off. and remember, having to be forceful is always a sign of weakness.
    yes, *gasp* anakin indeed throws all the good jedi lessons outta the window!
    yes, i'm being... er, overly critical of the good guy. maybe you should try reading the essay and following its line of thinking. not placing any blame, as you would have, just pointing out glaring shortcomings.
    if obi-wan would even employ a shred of actual wisdom or know the difference between teaching and telling or else could shed a tiny weeny bit of that gigantic ego he carries around, maybe i could follow that bit of your argument. as it is, i can't and i won't.
    i know you think that. and so?
    where does it say you have to be detached to teach?
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