"If you choose to face Vader, you will do it alone. I cannot interfere." Why not?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Crazy_Old_Kermit, Oct 18, 2006.

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  1. Crazy_Old_Kermit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2003
    star 1
    "If you choose to face Vader, you will do it alone. I cannot interfere."

    Thinking about this the other day, why is Obi-Wan unable to interfere when Luke confronts Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back?"

    By this I mean, is he a) literally not able to physically appear at the confrontation to either guide or help , or b) is he trying to scare Luke off from leaving his training?

    If it's "a," that seems like a strange Force rule. I mean he's able to make appearances everywhere. Is it some dark side energy that keeps him from appearing or aiding?

    If it's "b," that seems like he's really throwing a huge opportunity away. To let "our last hope" just run off to quite possibly be captured, die, or worse, be turned to the dark side and one of the things he comes up with is, "hey, I can't help you if you go." As if that's going to convice Luke to stay?

    Any thoughts on what the topic's line means?

    I cannot interfere.
  2. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    Obi Wan doesn't want Vader to know that the Jedi know a way to immortality.

    That's the only thing I can think of right now.
  3. JediStarKiller2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2006
    star 4
    Because he's a force ghost and is powerless in the real world.
  4. Flames Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2006
    star 2
    Exactly. He's just reminding Luke of the facts. Obi-Wan can't hold Vader off like he did in ANH, because he's no longer part of the physical realm. Luke will have to stand on his own legs. That's why he should stay and complete his training before he chooses to face Vader.





    Obi-Wan - he reminds Luke of things
    /Flames
  5. DarthButt Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2003
    star 5
    QFT

    That's the simple, but correct answer.
  6. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    I don't think its meant in a literal, physical sense. This was Luke's test as a Jedi and as a hero--it was his battle, and not one that he could just have Obi Wan do for him. Luke had to do it on his own to prove his worth.

    Of course, speaking in a practical sense, it might be more convenient for Obi Wan to just appear and push Vader off a cliff or something. Its important to note though, that Luke's battle with Vader has no merit on the outcome of the "final battle" between alliance and empire--whether Luke loses or wins, the Empire still goes down, so its entirely a personal battle. Thats why Obi Wan didn't want to interfere.
  7. RocketGirl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2002
    star 4
    Actually, I've always wondered about this one myself. It seems about as pointless as all that "I must face the evil overlord myself," crap that a lot of heroes go through (I'm thinking specifically of Sarah in Labyrinth, here, but even she was doing it because "That's how it's done," meaning it's a very common trope in these kinds of stories).

    I'm disinclined to believe there was anything preventing Obi-wan from helping. I get the impression that the only reason he can't help out is because to do so would be to follow Luke down a path that could lead to the dark side...then again, maybe he was prevented, like participating in something dark-sidish would invalidate his ability to remain a Force-ghost. I d'know. But it never made sense beyond the this-is-how-these-stories-are-told sense.

    Actually, the more I think about it, the more it seems being a Force-ghost would be more dark side than light, since it's the dark siders who can't move on and insist on holding onto things they cherish...like life. But that's off-topic.
  8. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 1998
    star 6
    No one has really addressed the question yet. I think Obi-Wan implies that he 'interfered', or helped Luke in the trench run on the Death Star, by imploring him to use the Force. He is saying "I gave you advice at a crucial moment in the Battle of Yavin, but if you choose to face Vader now, I cannot do the same type of thing."

    I've always wondered this too.

    "Cannot" implies that he would if he could. "Will not" would imply that Obi-Wan was making a choice not to interfere.
  9. DarthButt Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2003
    star 5
    Interesting points, indeed. I especially like the 'interfere as he did in the trench run' analogy. But Scott makes a great point as well in regards to can not vs. will not. Meditate on this, I will. [face_thinking]
  10. DARTHFINGERZ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2004
    star 4
    Lines like this are part of the reason I love SW. This thread isn't even that large (yet) and look at all the different interpretations.

    Anyway, I'll have to think about this one a bit too. [face_thinking]
  11. DarthCarcinus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2006
    star 1
    ObiWan is letting Luke know that his training is not complete enough, and in a round about way also telling him that this is his trial. His Final Jedi trial. Complete this, and you will be a Jedi, Defeat Vader, and you will be a Jedi Master... it was a quick run so that the Jedi system as a whole could survive. Ergo the titles "Return of the Jedi" Facing Vader was his Jedi trials, he passed. Defeating Vader/ the emporer through Vader made him a master. Obi Wan is like any other master in this respect.. A master can not assist the padwan learner in his or her trials. This is why he says... Can not, rather than will not.
  12. Dark_Faith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2004
    star 3
    Well if you take EU into account...

    SPOILERS






    In Splinter of the Minds eye, when Luke is facing Vader on Mimban, the spirit of Obi Wan enters Luke body and guides his actions.

    So maybe Obi Wan meant he can no longer do this kind of thing.
  13. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Correct. The original line in ESB was "I cannot interfere. The restraining order you took out on me forbids it"
  14. Dark_Faith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2004
    star 3
  15. Jamiebacca Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
    star 4
    "You can't win Darth. If you strike me down I'll become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."


    What an empty threat!
  16. morpha2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2005
    star 3
    Maybe Obi-Wan didn't want to be around in case Vader dropped the bomb about being Luke's father. Can you imagine how embarrassed he'd be?
  17. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    [face_laugh]
  18. Jamiebacca Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
    star 4
    Thank you, smoking avatar person.
  19. Darthgordon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2005
    star 3
    I 2nd that [face_laugh]

    Obi-wan: ...by more I mean less... much, much less... but hey, less is more right? So from a certain point of view I'm correct.

    To keep from derailing this topic, my opinion, Obi-wan was lying... everything Obi-wan said was a lie.
  20. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 6
    Really?

    Kenobi's speech about Anakin in Jedi

    "When I first knew him, your father was the best star pilot in the galaxy, I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I thought I could train him as well as Yoda...I was wrong."

    Now let's disect that

    "When I first knew him, your father was the best star pilot in the galaxy,
    Anakin was the best pilot in the Galaxy when Obi-Wan first met him.

    "...I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him..."
    Obi-Wan was amazed how strongly the Force was in him as shown in his amazement that Anakin had more midis than Yoda.

    "...I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi..."
    Obi-Wan did take it upon himself, he just did it to honor Qui-Gon.

    "...I thought I could train him as well as Yoda..."

    Entirely possible.

    "...I was wrong..."

    Opinion and thus not a lie.

    So as we see none of that speech was a lie.

    "This place can get a little rough." - Obi-Wan about the Cantina

    He's right, as shown by the fact that he has to cut off Ponda's arm when Ponda and Dr. Evanzen threaten Luke.

    Not a lie.

    "The Jedi Knights were the Guardians of Peace and Justice in the Old Republic."

    We see this in the Prequels and the opening scroll of The Phantom Menace uses this exact turn of phrase.

    Not a lie.

    "A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights."

    We see this is in RotS.

    Not a lie.

    "He betrayed and murdered your Father."

    A lie, though one that Obi-Wan later admits and I'd add it's likely partially a coping mechanism for Kenobi.

    "He was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force."

    Not a lie, RotS shows that.

    "The Force is an energy field created by all living things, it surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the Galaxy together."

    Not a lie.

    "If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

    Not a lie, immoratality would be a greater power than Vader could imagine. It's not in the destructive sense, but it would be in the Jedi line of thought.

    "If you choose to face Vader, you will do it alone. I cannot interfere."

    Because he likely is incapable of interfering. Someone brought up Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and if we're bringing EU into it, Obi-Wan's ghost was likely able to do less and less overtime given that the boundries between the Jedi afterlife and the galaxy were so large by the time of the Thrawn trilogy that Obi-Wan could no longer appear.
  21. Darthgordon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2005
    star 3
  22. Whiteley79 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2006
    star 3
    I think it kind of hints back to luke's past. When he was in a bind, kenobi would show up and lend him a hand. In the trench when luke realizes he must trust the force to guide his actions rather then his targeting computer; that was obi-wan. When luke is face down ready to die on hoth, feeling lost and without direction, kenobi shows up, gives luke direction, hope that he is going to live on and get out of here. Ever notice han comes right before kenobi's ghost? I've often wondered if that were an accident. Could han have seen something? Did he come right at the moment by sheer luck? Well, in my experince there is no such thing as luck. But when obi tells him he cant help agaisnt vader, its to show luke that this time, hes going on alone. I think it was a way of seeing just how ready luke was, and how much he believed in himself, no matter how rash he came off as.
  23. DarthCarcinus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2006
    star 1
    [face_coffee] Like I said... He was placing luke through his trials. You said the same thing, however in a different way.
  24. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    No prob..
  25. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I really don't think Anakin was the best pilot in the galaxy when Obi first met him [face_plain]
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