Obi-Wan Kenobi is the saddest character in StarWars

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Old Juan, Jun 23, 1999.

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  1. Old Juan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 1999
    star 4
    I feel bad for him. All the good deeds he's done for the republic and the Jedi order are overshadowed by his student's failure. It's only compounded by the fact that he blames himself. He holds himself accountable for thousands of innocent lives. The original trilogy represents that it was his fault as well. I can only hope that this new trilogy will change this. The saddest part of it all is that he never gets to redeem himself. Anakin/Vader, the one who should really be held accountable for hanus crimes commited against the Jedi and the republic does get redeemed at the end. It's like people dismiss him of anywrong doing because it was Obi-Wan's failure to teach him that made him do all those nasty things. I don't believe that Luke redeeming his father also redeems Obi-Wan at the same time. If anything Luke redeems Yoda. You have Anakin and Yoda redeemed, but Obi-Wan seems to be the one left to bare the scar of it all. He sacrifices his own life so that the others can escape. Utimately he can only look on with a heavy heart as Luke strolls down his path of destiny. We see and kind and noble man who must live in exile. The warm and fatherly smile he gives Luke. That fact that he can still smile at all(with all he's been through) is heartbreaking. I feel his situation is more depressing then anybody elses. With all the noble deeds he's done, with all the sacifices he's made, then only to have his reputation unredeemably shafted is a tragedy. I hope that the new trilogy will show Obi-Wan Kenobi as the greatest Jedi ever. With all that happens to him, I feel he deserves that recognition at least. Actually he deserves more but in the end will not get it. I sympathize this this character the most in the StarWars saga. Does anybody else agree with me or am I alone?
  2. DarthBane93 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 1999
    star 4
    I sympatize with Obi as well. But I disagree with you on one thing...Obi is redeemed through Luke. Yoda needs no redemption. Luke not only redeems Anakin but Obi-Wan as well.
    Thats my 2 cents.
  3. Eirtae Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 1999
    I think Obi-Wan does actually redeem himself in the very first film, A New Hope, by sacrificing himself. This allows him to help Luke in ways he couldn't have, had he survived as "crude matter". I think the character of Obi-Wan has incredible potential, both in terms of being a great Jedi (as Qui-Gon foresaw) and of being a tragic character. After all, Obi-Wan may be a great Jedi, but we already know, by his own admission, that he will fall short of being a great teacher.
  4. Jeda Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 1999
    I do agree with you. He has to take all of that. But it is quite obvious that it is not his fault. Don't anybody get me wrong when I say this, I love him dearly, but if it's anybodies fault, it's Qui-Gon's. He discovered Anakin which is fine. But he made Obi-Wan promise him that he would train Anakin.

    When Obi-Wan talks to Luke about how he took on Anakin as his apprentice, I think think he holds himself way too responsible. After all, the fact that he thought he could train him just as well as Yoda was only a small part of the reason that Anakin turned. He didn't want to blame Qui-Gon. After all not only was he dead, but he cared about Qui-Gon so much, so blindly that he would never think that Qui-Gon could have lead to this horrible insident.

    The fact that Qui-Gon's dying wish was for him to train Anakin was really what started that whole thing. Obi-Wan wouldn't deny him his dying wish. It really only had a small part to do with his arrogance, and failure to see Anakin's turn. He had just become a Jedi when he started to train Anakin, which is also ridiculous. You don't ask Jedi Knight to train "The Chosen One"! What were they thinking!

    I certainly do sympathize with Obi-Wan. Think about it, not only does he feel that he let the people of the galaxy who would die at Darth Vader's hand down, but also: Amidala - who had trusted him to take care of her husband, and see that he become a great Jedi; Qui-Gon - who he felt he had failed; and Luke and Leia - who would have to live in hiding and never grow up knowing about their real parents.
  5. Max_Rebo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 1999
    I understand where you are coming from, but I am forced to argue. I believe that Obi-Wan is a very sympathetic character and I love him a great deal. However, I don't see how or where blame is placed on him for Anakin's betrayal. In all the times that I have watched the trilogy, I never felt that Obi-Wan was in any way responsible for what happened. True, the master has a responsiblity to educate the pupil properly but ultimatly it is the pupil's descion. "He has to take his own path, no one can choose it for him."
  6. Old Juan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 1999
    star 4
    Well, I'm glad that this thread is getting some responses. Although I do feel that Yoda needs to be redeemed as well. It's obvious to me that he would feel guilty about his not taking action with Anakin's training. It's obvious that they should have chosen a Jedi Master or a least a vertran Jedi Knight to take on the job. In his way he tries to make up for it by taking on Luke. Realistically Yoda could have said no. The Emperor or Vader obviousely would never have found him.
  7. Jedi Poet Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    Old Juan, you bring up a point that I've been wondering about since I saw The Phantom Menace. (And forgive if this has already been discussed, but I'm relatively new to this board), but can anyone explain why the Jedi Council (remember, Yoda reluctantly agrees with them regarding Obi-Wan training Anakin) allows someone who was only just recently a padawan to take on the responsibility of training someone like Anakin. I mean, here's this kid, who according to the code is too old to be trained, is supposedly filled with too much anger or fear, and has this astronomical midichlorian (sp?) count. Wouldn't you think that if Yoda and Mace Windu were so concerned about Anakin, one or both of them would have taken on him as an apprentice? Again, I apologize if this has already been discussed, but it's something that's been bothering me.
  8. DarthMatt Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 1999
    First of all, I agree that Obi-Wan is probably the most tragic figure in the saga. My opinion on this did not truly form until I was older and had seen ANH a gazillion times, but I finally realized what it was that made me feel so sorry for Obi-Wan: the "look" he gives when he is fighting Vader! I like to think of that as his realization. Luke notices the two fighting and Obi-Wan instantly glances at Luke, and then with an odd gleam in his eye, back to Vader, and then he allows himself to die. At that moment, Obi-Wan seems to know more about the future than he's ever known. Qui-Gon tells him in TPM to "be mindful of the living Force" and Obi-Wan has already said "but Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future". Regardless of what Qui-Gon says, Obi-Wan HAS remained mindful of the future. If he hadn't, then the turn of events that begins with ANH could not have occurred. That is both tragic and triumphant, which is a paradox that truly enriches Obi-Wan's character. At that point in ANH, he knows that he will not be the catalyst to turn Vader back, but his son will. (A chill runs down my spine.)

    The second reason I see Obi-Wan as a sad character is all that he will go through because of his promise to Qui-Gon. Some of you have asked, and logically so, "why doesn't the Jedi Council take more of an active role in Anakin's training, being that he is probably "the chosen one"?" I guess the answer is that Qui-Gon was a Jedi Master, and if his dying wish was for Obi-Wan to take Anakin as his padawan learner, then the Council will honor that wish. We already know how Qui-Gon feels about Obi-Wan ("You are a much wiser man than I...") and obviously, Yoda sees this in Obi-Wan also.

    Then to take it even further, Obi-Wan's "failure" at teaching Anakin results in the deaths of all Obi-Wan's Jedi brethren. So Obi-Wan HAS to feel guilt just for the fact that he survives the eradication. Then again, Obi-Wan knows he MUST survive so he can set things straight and watch over Anakin's son. I've often sat and wondered what kinds of emotions he must've felt those first few years in hiding on Tatooine. Alone. One of two survivors left in the galaxy (along with Yoda). Knowing he failed. Knowing he is the sole protector of the galaxy's last secret hope, a secret that could also destroy the galaxy if not dealt with carefully. How much more of a tragic figure can he be???

    What I've realized recently though (after seeing TPM) is that he DIDN'T fail. The course of events leading up to ROTJ were set in motion with Anakin's birth, by whatever means he was conceived. Obi-Wan's role in the course of events was integral. I think we will see in Episodes II and III that when Anakin turns to the dark side, it will be because of some catalyst and not a desire to control the galaxy (a la Palpatine). Something will happen that will spurn him toward revenge (Shmi in bondage? The death of Amidala?). I don't think Anakin desires power, but once he uses the Force to bring his vengeance on those who have wronged him, the dark path will be more easily followed, and Palpatine will have a ready made apprentice (he will probably also play on Anakin's vengeance).

    But as we all know George Lucas has said, Anakin IS the chosen one, and he DOES bring balance in ROTJ. So Obi-Wan's "failure"? It's really no failure at all. It's all part of the necessary process. It has to happen, and that part in ANH when he "looks" to Luke and Vader...he knows then that it was necessary that Anakin turn to the dark side.

    Which brings me to my last point, the title "Return of the Jedi" to me, now, has more than just the meaning it has always had (Luke returns from his training to emerge a Jedi, also he returns to save his friends and his father). Now to me, it carries also the meaning that the Vader=>Anakin transformation at the end is also a "return of the Jedi". Vader is the only one who has the potential of restoring order to the galaxy (by killing Palpatine), and that is victory.

    Obi-Wan doesn't fail, rather he succeeds, and that's a h
  9. Old Juan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 1999
    star 4
    Thanks DarthMatt! Reading your post has made me feel better. Although I still feel sorry for Obi-Wan. I want more peoples opinions about this matter. I usually don't get a lot of responses to my threads. This is one that is personal for me so I wan't to keep it going as long as possible.
  10. Padawan Learner Kenobi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 1
    Yeah, if you think about it, Obi-Wan is a sad character. With all the good he did, how do you think he feels about having trained the ultimate evil. Even though it is not really his fault, he can't help but feel that if he had sensed that Anakin was dabbling in the dark side, he could've prevented the rise of the Empire.
  11. Gillian Keady Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 1999
    star 1
    Wow, great discussion here...I wish I had something truly significant to add, but all my thoughts on the subject have really already been voiced above.

    The only elements I would mention in addition to the above analysis have to do with Vader. I think at least twice (maybe three times) in the original series Darth Vader mentions Obi-Wan's 'failure.' ["Obi-Wan's failure is now complete," or something like that] Vader seems to have a mild fixation with this notion. However, as many above have noted, Ben actually didn't fail - I believe Vader felt this, maybe even subconsciously. When they duel on the Death Star, Vader boasts while Obi-Wan seems quietly in control, serene with the knowledge that he is about to pass into a plane of existance that will allow him to aid Luke in the coming trials. Perhaps Vader is confused by Obi-Wan's serenity, his calm confidence. In this case, his statements labeling Ben as a 'failure' may be more reassurance than anything else.
    There is also the issue of guilt - there is some 'good' in Anakin after he becomes Vader. It is possible that the goodness left in him betrays Vader with guilt - guilt of the brutals acts he has commited, guilt of his weakness in his succombing to the Dark Side. Perhaps it is easier for him to account for his transformation as Obi-Wan's failure, rather than accept the reality that he himself had been manipulated.

    Well, I've probably gotten off topic here - my apologies. Great thread, though - Darth Matt said it best:

    "What a wonderfully complex character."
  12. DarthMatt Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 1999
    But PLK, like I said, I think we're going to see in Episodes II and III that Anakin is not "dabbling" in the dark side. Rather, I think his turn will be quite a bit like that turn Luke almost takes in ROTJ when he nearly kills the Emperor. The Emperor and Vader are both playing on Luke's emotions ("Fear is the path to the Dark Side...Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to suffering"), and that is the same thing that almost causes Luke to turn. To me, that would stand to reason, because if Anakin is truly power hungry along with Palpatine, then why would there still be a reason for there to be any good in him? I think whatever the stimulus is that will cause him to seek vengeance, it will be a valid stimulus (like I was saying, his mother or Amidala suffering) and not a desire to control the galaxy.

    That's why I say that Obi-Wan "realizes" what could occur in the future at that point in ANH. Even in ROTJ, he still thinks he failed with Anakin, but ultimately what we are calling failure was not that at all.

    I just read your post, Gillian, which must've come up while I was typing this one, and I couldn't agree more with the possibility that Vader is confused and finds it easier to blame Obi-Wan than to take responsibility himself. Great post!

    Don't you guys just adore intelligent conversation?

    [This message has been edited by DarthMatt (edited 06-23-99).]
  13. Zephir Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 1999
    star 1
    DarthMatt:
    That is both tragic and triumphant, which is a paradox that truly enriches Obi-Wan's character
    That was incredible. I very much agree. And that's precisely why he's the character I love the most out of the movies....
    The Qui-Gon commercial text refers more to Obi-Wan's future than Anakin's, IMO.
    It will be a hard life. One without reward, without remorse, without regret. A path will be placed before you--the choice is yours alone. Do what you think you cannot do. It will be a hard life, but you will find out who you are.
    It still gives me chills.
  14. Old Juan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 1999
    star 4
    Great posts everyone. I've changed my mind on one matter. I now believe that Obi-Wan did redeem himself by letting Vader strike him down. It's a disappointing way to go(in my opinion at least) considering the fact that originally he was to survive his bout with Vader and appear throughout the rest of the saga. It was about half through the shoot that GL decided to kill him. Bringing up Vader's comments about Obi-Wan in the rest of the saga reminded me of something else. "Obi-Wan has taught you well" Maybe this adds insite to Vaders feelings about his turn. It's sounds like, "Hey! he can teach my kid kid without problems..what's up with that?" Or possibly might say that Vader knew about the disappearing trick and wants to kick himself in the pants because Obi-Wan could still help Luke. It boggles the mind. Must..keep..thread..going.
  15. elbow Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 1999
    whatever happened to people taking responsibility for their own actions? yes obi-wan failed in training anakin, but ultimatley anakin/vader must be held responsible/accountable for his own actions, right? it doesnt matter why anakin/vader did the things he did, it only matters that he did them....out the window with the twinkie defense and temporary insanity...ben isnt responsible for anakin's actions.....
  16. Camie_4 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    Great thread guys! This is the kind of stuff I log on to the JC for. As Gillian said, I too wish I had something constructive to add. But you have said it all. Old Juan brings up a point that I've mulled over for some time myself. Was it Obi-Wan's failure or Qui-Gon's? IMHO it was neither's. It was Anakin's failure. Someone here already used this quote so I'll just paraphrase, it was his own path and no one could choose but him. Blaming Obi or Qui is like blaming your parents or your 12th grade teacher for the mistakes you make throughout life. You might be able to point a finger or two at them, but the blame still resides squarely on your shoulders.

    By the way, Zephir mentioned the Episode One commercials, so I'll take this oppurtunity to comment on them. They were excellent! All of them were chills-down-your-spine, tears-in-your-eyes sort of stuff. They were better than the movie in some ways.
  17. Old Juan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 1999
    star 4
    Back to the top you go.
  18. Renaissance Guy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    I really think that you guys have nailed it on the head why Obi-Wan is simply one of the coolest characters in the Star Wars saga. I especially noticed this when I watched ANH after seeing Episode One. Watching that fight with Vader, I think you can really get a sense of how much Ben has suffered and kind of fallen from greatness. Makes you wonder at the specifics of what kind of awful stuff is gonna have to happen between TPM and ANH. Just knowing that he has been hidden away on Tatooine for so long, and probably without practice with his lightsaber, that his skills have degraded so much. Watch the final duel in TPM, and then watch the duel in ANH. At one point, he does a little spin, and I was struck with a sense of him trying to recapture his old glory from the time of the prequels. That little spin sums up the way I seem to look at Ben from the original trilogy now.
  19. legacyAccount Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2012
    And to the top...
    I like this thread.
  20. BloodStripe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 1999
    star 1
    Great discussion, folks...incidentally, I have yet to see the Obi-Wan TPM commercial.
    Would anyone be kind enough to post the text?
    Thanks...
  21. Lady Obi-Wan Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 1999
    This is a great discussion! I agree with alot of what has been said - very well thought out by the respective posters.

    I asked the question awhile back about why the council (with the exception of Yoda) agreed to let Obi-Wan train Anakin after refusing to let Qui-Gon - didn't get alot of answers then so I'm happy to see some thoughts being bandied about on that now. After all, Obi-Wan himself had about 11-12 years of training with Yoda and others at the Jedi Temple before being assigned to a Master. This appears to be the norm for all Jedi. All of a sudden, they skip all the preliminary training and send Anakin straight into Padawan status with Obi-Wan!?!? Poor Obi-Wan - no wonder Anakin was a challenge. Also, remember Ben in ANH, says to Luke something to the effect of "I was once a Jedi Knight along with your father", so perhaps OB1 does get Anakin thru his training BEFORE he turns to the dark side?? If Anakin had "Knight" status already - unless it's just a figure of speech - then perhaps his training was not complete. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

    I also tend to think that Obi-Wan places too much blame on himself for Anakin's failure. If the Council had refused to let Anakin be trained..... perhaps they should take more blame.
    Obi-Wan is a wonderful and complex man, hopefully the next 2 Episodes will show us more of his character.

    DarthMatt put it well:
    "That is both tragic and triumphant, which is a paradox that truly enriches Obi-Wan's character."

  22. Kell T Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 1999
    Wow, I've stumbled upon intelligent conversation. All of this gives a lot more wieght to Owen's comment that Obi-Wan died about the same time as Luke's father. When Anakin "died" and became Vader, Obi-wan as a result of his guilt, also "died" and became Ben.... From a certain point of view.
  23. Sith Acolyte Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 1999
    star 2
    Interesting thread here.

    I agree that Obi-Wan is very much the Galahad of the Saga--the upright, unfailingly honorable knight, who's goodness does not spare him the pain of evil's near triumph. In many ways, he is undone by forces not within his control. Although he first thinks Anakin is dangerous, he agrees to train him because it is Qui-Gon's dying wish. Yoda thinks it is a bad idea, but the Council goes along with Obi-Wan, possibly out of respect for Qui-Gon. Apparently it was a bad idea, because Obi-Wan does have a harder time training Anakin than say, Yoda would have (although I agree that Anakin becoming a Sith isn't entirely Obi-Wan's fault).

    So, anyone else think that TPM makes the classic trilogy more interesting?
  24. rogue9 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 27, 1999
    star 1
    Qestion: does Obi-wan fail in training Annakin OR does Annakin fail Obi-wan by turning?? We all suspect that something monumental (i.e. the death of shmi) will push annakin to do the Dark Side. I tend to believe Obi-wan places the guilt on himself, instead of Annakin's turn just being a matter of Circumstance....

    maybe annakin sees a future in which the only way to stop Palpy is to join him and eventually get the opportunity to kill him?
  25. Old Juan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 1999
    star 4
    Kenobi's statement to Luke in RToJ, "Your going to find that the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view". This shows Kenobi's wisdom at it's best. Utimately the absolute truth for Anakins turn is going to be from George Lucas's point of view. There's a possiblility that Kenobi was in fact a great teacher. The reason I say this is because Anakin played a big part in culling out the Jedi. He used his skills in the force and fighting to do this. Anakin aquired those skills from Kenobi. Because Anakin did turn, Kenobi obviously holds himself responsible for not being able to lure him back to the lightside. Kenobi feels he was not a good teacher, from his point of view. The other reason is that nobody else confirms that point. Neither Yoda nor Vader vocally agrees with Kenobi's words. In fact the Vader quote I used earlier has new meaning. "Obi-Wan has taught you well". Vader was impressed with Luke. I just watched that scene where he says that line. The context in which he speaks it says, "You are skilled and you were obviously trained by Obi-Wan to display such talents". Vader seems to hold a grudging respect for Obi-Wan. It's interesting to speculate. It's going to be a long and hard wait for EP2 and EP3. To the top.
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