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 New Films Manager

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    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 Force Ghost

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    Jan 1, 2011
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    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.
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  3. EHT New Films Manager

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    @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 Force Ghost

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    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 Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 18, 2012
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    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 New Films Manager

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    Yes, those are good points too (the two posts above this). I had meant to mention that Qui-Gon quote too.
  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    "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.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jan 26, 2013
  8. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 18, 2012
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    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.
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