Saga "In my experience there's no such thing as luck."

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by EHT, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. EHT

    EHT Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 13, 2007
    So says Obi-Wan to Han in ANH. But in ROTS, we see that the only reason Obi-Wan survived Order 66 was because the clone troopers who fired on him per Cody's orders missed him and Boga (the lizard he was riding). They knocked them off the wall, but didn't kill them. Contrast this with Yoda, who survived Order 66 due to his sense of something being wrong and his quick move to defend himself and kill the clones.

    There are probably other examples of this too, but do you think that Obi-Wan attributes the fact that a) the clones missed him and b) that he fell into water instead of onto the ground, to the Will of the Force? It couldn't be his own skill, and as noted he says he doesn't believe in luck. And if it was the Will of the Force that he survived the attack, why did no other Jedi besides Yoda survive their attacks (that we see in the film)?

    I like Obi-Wan, but this has jumped out at me for a while and I thought it would make for interesting discussion. Try to keep the discussion in-universe, please.
  2. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    I think the sentiment behind this phrase is more that "everything happens for a reason" -- Obi-Wan might believe that he survived because he was likely the only person who would have known about Anakin and Padmé. Without this crucial information, he wouldn't have been able to find and confront Anakin or rescue Padmé and bring Luke and Leia to safety.

    So it's possible that Obi-Wan saw his survival as the Will of the Force.
  3. EHT

    EHT Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 13, 2007
    PiettsHat : Thanks. Yeah, I can see that, especially the "everything happens for a reason" part. I guess it just seems like Obi-Wan is making a convenient distinction between luck and fate if he is taking the Order 66 situation into consideration. And I guess the "everything happens for a reason" angle would also explain why the Force needed him to be spared... but it still seems like a pretty cold thing to say about all the other Jedi. He has to know that unlike himself, Yoda survived due to his own Force attunement and actions.
  4. Samnz

    Samnz Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 4, 2012
    I think it would be reasonable to assume Obi-Wan doesn't believe in luck considering how many Jedi died, wouldn't it?
    Two survivors out of thousands of Jedi is quite bad.
    Probably Obi-Wan assumed that with the existence of luck, they wouldn't have fallen in Palpatine's trap and many more Jedi would have survied. So without luck, it all comes down to destiny and the will of the Force.

    Apart from that I agree about the "everything happens for a reason" reading. Qui-Gon's similar words from TPM suggest that it's part of the Jedi philosophy:
    Our meeting was not a coincidence. Nothing happens by accident.
  5. Eryndil

    Eryndil Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 18, 2012
    I agree that Obi-Wan would believe that everything happens for a reason and that it is the will of the Force. It may seem harsh to suggest that the Force didn't intend the rest of the Jedi to survive, but Obi-Wan has been taught since infancy to *accept* its will without question. That would be the same whether it meant his own death (or survival), the loss of those he loves or even the destruction of the entire Jedi Order. By the time he makes that statement to Han, I'm pretty sure that he is beyond questioning the Force. Viewed in this way, even Yoda's survival can be attributed to the will of the Force, rather than his own merit, since the Force gave him the abilities (and warning) that he needed in order to survive. It's a Jedi thing!
  6. EHT

    EHT Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 13, 2007
    Yes, those are good points too (the two posts above this). I had meant to mention that Qui-Gon quote too.
  7. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    "Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet."

    A quote exploited by many across the ages (including Abraham Lincoln, Robert Evans, Jesse Jackson & Oprah Winfrey), often attributed (perhaps incorrectly) to Seneca the Younger, a Roman philosopher who lived from 5BC to 65AD.

    And the Force did it.
  8. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012
    In the ROTS novel his mount (that lizard creature) gives its life to protect him - because of the bond that he forms with it. Far fetched perhaps. But I, personally, put his survival down - at least in part - to his bond with Cody. There appears, to me, to be a delay between his reception of Order 66 and his carrying it out. I put this down to a (very) momentary reluctance to carry out his orders. In the same way Yoda escapes Kashyk because of his bond with the wookies.

    As for the line itself, I think one can extend the meaning too far. In context it is similar to "do or do not, there is no try". In other words, it is a lesson on focus. Of course not everything is in one's own hands, and the choices each of us make affect others. Was it the 'will of the Force' that was responsible for the death of the other Jedi? No, we know it was the result of the actions of individuals using the tools at their disposal (in the most part a group of creatures shorn of independent choice).

    So, context is important in the case of such Jedi wisdom, and one could also point to the structure of 'shock' within Zen Buddhism, where a statement is made in order to engender the right way to look at something. Take for example "There is no why" from Yoda. In terms of the films being about choices, and in terms of what Luke is asking this makes little sense taken at face value. But it is not meant as an absolute statement, it is meant as a jolt to understand why the question you ask is the wrong one.First you must understand what why means, what are you actually asking? So, one is not given a working thesis, a doctrine of thought, but rather a refining of your own questions.
  9. PapiNacho

    PapiNacho Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 14, 2015
    The existence of the dark side is supposed to be a perversion of the force (pre-Mortis). So in essence each Jedi death was a perversion of the will of the force. That Obi-Wan survived just means that Sidious was not complete control.
  10. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jan 23, 2011
    No, that's not true. The Dark Side is natural...
  11. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001

    It begins with Qui-gon Jinn.

    QUI-GON: "Our meeting was not a coincidence. Nothing happens by accident."

    Obi-wan believes that his survival may have to do with the will of the Force, but it isn't the genesis of that belief.
    SateleNovelist11 likes this.
  12. EHT

    EHT Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 13, 2007
    Wow... this old thread got bumped. :p
  13. Jo B1 Kenobi

    Jo B1 Kenobi Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 3, 2014
    I like the explaination in the novel...

    " He remembered . . .
    Boga's wrenching leap, twisting in the air, the shock of impacts, multiple detonations blasting both of them farther and farther out from the sinkhole wall . . .
    Using her massive body to shield Obi-Wan from his own troops. Boga had known, somehow ... the dragonmount had known what Obi-Wan had been incapable of even suspecting, and without hesitation she'd given her life to save her rider. I suppose that makes me more than her rider, Obi-Wan thought as he discarded the canister and got his rebreather snugged into place. I suppose that makes me her friend.
    It certainly made her mine.
    He let grief take him for a moment; grief not for the death of a noble beast, but for how little time Obi-Wan had had to appreciate the gift of his friend's service.
    But even grief is an attachment, and Obi-Wan let it flow out of his life. Good-bye, my friend.

    He didn't try to swim; he seemed to be hanging motionless, suspended in infinite night. He relaxed, regulated his breathing, and let the water take him whither it would."

    The way I see this is that because Obi-wan serves the light and lives in the light his motivations and relationships are of the light-side too. So he has a warm relationship with his mount. Boga is not a slave, she is not an unwilling victim, she is a friend. So when the moment comes to face an awful test she acts out of the love which gives rise to friendship and protects Obi-Wan, giving her life. In this way it is the will of the light-side of the Force which overcomes the dark-side plot of order 66. I don't think it's luck. I think it's love (as in unattached love / compassion / friendship) in action which makes the difference.
    only one kenobi and Sarge like this.
  14. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    Obi-Wan's experience has been noted.

    I know, I know. I just couldn't resist.
  15. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    May 27, 1999
    Or, maybe the troopers just missed him. It happens.
    SateleNovelist11 likes this.
  16. rumsmuggler

    rumsmuggler Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 31, 2000
    Especially at the range he was from the troopers when they shot at him.
  17. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    The more I practice the luckier I get. Maybe Obiwan was a Gary Player fan.
    Joanne2108 and only one kenobi like this.
  18. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2011
    It's intriguing that the two surviving Jedi from the originals bookend the Order 66 six-person Montague. And that they survive it in very different ways - Obi-Wan perhaps by sheer luck or possibly the force's will, Yoda through experience senses the death of his Jedi bretheren across the galaxy and is ready for the attack, surprising the Clones instead.
  19. thejeditraitor

    thejeditraitor Chosen One star 6

    Aug 19, 2003
  20. Anakin's Daddy

    Anakin's Daddy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 13, 2002
    Obi-wan simply believes in the force, like believing in God. "Luck" implies that the force, or God, is not in control.
  21. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012

    Thank you for posting this - makes me like Boga even more. I did not read the PT novelizations and I always thought Obi and Boga shared a bond. Animals can often sense things long before people do (storms etc.)

    And your last line there is so well said.

    Nice thread.
  22. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    There's no such thing as luck, because it is the will of the Force.

    A lot.
  23. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jan 10, 2015
    Much of Obi-Wan's statement is connected to his banter with Han. Han has an odd relationship with Obi-Wan, which, for Han, is not that different from his relationship with C-3PO. He's been indoctrinated, like many young people in the galaxy, not to believe in the Force. He's been beaten down by the world, whereas Obi-Wan isn't just a realist, as he has some idealism in him. I think ROTJ Han would have respected Obi-Wan a bit more, but ANH and early TESB Han? Not so much.
  24. Straudenbecker

    Straudenbecker Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 22, 2015
    I have always contributed it to the force, rather then luck. Yes the force was looking out for both Obi-Wan and Yoda.
  25. LZM65

    LZM65 Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 24, 2015
    The problem is that Obi-Wan may have been thinking in absolutist terms. In fact, I think that was a problem with the Jedi. I believe there is no clear answer.