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. forever_jedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2002
    star 5
    What a wonderful thread! I am relatively new here, otherwise I would have added my thoughts long ago. So much wisdom has been expressed by everyone - I really don't have more to add. Obi-Wan is an exemplerary Padawan, who becomes a powerful Knight, and is then fated to suffer years of betrayal and heartache. Finally, in his twilight years, Luke comes along and Obi-Wan sets in motion wheels that will make the world right again. He achieves peace in the Force and remains a true Jedi to the end.

    When I think of him on Tatooine, I feel quite sad, and then I have to remind myself of this wonderful ode that is so very applicable to Obi-Wan on Tatooine.

    "We are the music-makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams.
    Wandering by lonely sea-breakers,
    And sitting by desolate streams;
    World losers and world foresakers,
    On whom the pale moon gleams:
    Yet, we are the movers and shakers
    Of the world forever it seems."


    Substitute Jundland wastes for lonely sea-breakers and desolate streams and you get the picture. But, let's remember, if it hadn't been for Obi-Wan's moving and shaking, the world would not have seen the return of the Jedi.
  2. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    forever_jedi, what is that ode from? It's lovely. I'm going to have to save it somewhere.

    It's always great to see this thread move it's way up again and great that some interesting insights can still be posted in it.
  3. Ewanfan51 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 2
    forever jedi

    That was very apt for our Obi Wan. Nice to see some new posts on this thread. I am relatively new also, we can't all have been here from the beginning.
  4. Melord Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Obi-Wan in essence is the noblest character in the starwars universe. Anakin's fate was completely out of obi-wans control, he had to bring balance to the force the way the force dictated it. Obi-wan trained anakin the best he could and anakin himself turned away. Also not only is obi-wan redeemed when he begins Lukes training, but he's redeemed by vader. This might sound odd, but have you ever heard of the saying "live by the sword, die by the sword?" This could be why Obi-wan becomes one with the force, completing the circle.....perhaps this is why the lightsaber battle on naboo was called the "duel of fates".
  5. forever_jedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2002
    star 5
    naw-ibo It is a piece by Arthur O'Shaughnessy. It's a personal favorite. I have always felt it to be particularly applicable to the Obi-Wan of the OT, and now after seeing the PT, I feel it is so very apt for the great Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan, spending his lonely days on Tatooine. Glad you guys agree. It is as Vader says, "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant compared to the power of the Force", i.e., do not underestimate Obi-Wan, who always has the Force with him, no matter where he is.
  6. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    Thanks for the info, forever_jedi. I actually posted it somewhere(with credit to you :) ) and everyone there agreed it reminded them of Obi-Wan as well.
  7. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    I just read through this entire thread and wrote a response to the various opinions expressed within. I understand that it?s been three years since the thread was started and everyone?s opinions may have changed, or they are simply not around at the JC anymore, so please forgive me if I do mention some very old points, or if I make references to AotC. Thank you! :)

    Before beginning this long post (many apologies for its length!), I would just like to say that this is just my humble opinion, and I am open to criticism. I admit that Obi-Wan is my favourite character in the Star Wars saga; thus I may be prone to defending him at times. In writing this post, I found that I actually could exclude a lot of the events that happened in AotC; sometimes I even did it involuntarily! This is probably the effect of having spent more than two years here at the JC discussing Star Wars without knowing what was going to happen in AotC. :)

    Firstly I?d like to quote a line that Old Juan mentioned in his opening post:

    That fact that he can still smile at all(with all he's been through) is heartbreaking.


    This led me to think of a fictional hero in Chinese history. The story is set during the Song Dynasty in China, about 1000 years ago. This hero basically comes from the Great Plains, where he has roamed for many years, and he gives up all that freedom to become the bodyguard of an honest judge who has the integrity not to accept bribes and to sentence criminals fairly. In the story, a lot of people say that he was silly to give up his freedom and to become restricted by rules of the Court, but he is happy because he knows he is serving a cause that is just and good, for the sake of the commoners.

    The reason why I thought of this story is because this hero often had to break the unwritten ?laws? of the Great Plains (which human nature may dictate to be correct, but laws dictate to be incorrect) to follow the rules of the Court, and in doing so, a lot of his old comrades felt betrayed. And I am sure that it hurt him a lot to go against what he once followed himself, but at the end of the day he is able to smile, albeit a sad smile at times, because he knows he that he is serving a good cause. And similarly with Obi-Wan, although he sacrificed his life for Han and Luke to escape, although he must live in exile, although what he fights for what he may have felt was a lost cause, he knew that there was a good reason behind in, and he didn?t regret it. So all the more I feel, that smile is to be cherished, for us to hold within our hearts with joy, not with tears.

    I would just like to say that I agree with coreopsis on this:

    I see the smile before Vader kills Obi-wan is the revelation that whatever he has experienced was wothwhile. That is the glimpse that bridges the past (prequils) with the future.


    And to Darth_Em?s reference from AotC:

    I'll really never be able to look at ANH again without thinking of Obi-Wan as the man with that wide smile in Dex's diner.


    Strangely, I ended up crying after AotC. A lot because of the way Obi-Wan smiled so radiantly, blissfully unaware of the way his Padawan would turn out?

    And now, with regards to the points mentioned within this thread, firstly Obi-Wan?s jealousy that Qui-Gon had so much regard for Anakin, as mentioned by Sabé. No doubt Obi-Wan was jealous and upset ? it was a natural response, and it would be a surprise if he were not! But I feel that Obi-Wan?s jealousy towards Anakin would have subsided by the time of Qui-Gon?s death. Experience in real life has taught me that metta (a Buddhist term for loving kindness) is very possible indeed, towards people you may dislike at first. If you dislike (not hate ? note the difference) a person, I find that a month or two in contact with that person will make you be able to accept the person, and if somebody is mean towards the person, you will actually defend that person you had once disliked! Esp
  8. Obi-wan_fan1978 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2002
    YES! I TOTALLY agree with you!! I felt that in the original trilogy, along with what you said, that they kind of just dismiss Obi as an old Jedi that doesn't really have much of a significant part of the story. He was there then he was gone.
  9. AERYN_SUN Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 5
  10. DarthVegas Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 4
    This thread is the original making the appreciation thread a moot point.

    Sowwy.
  11. Tupolov Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
  12. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    Wow, this thread's been around a while, eh? Nice to see that it's still going strong, and some good points, above. Not too terribly much that I could add to it that hasn't already been said, really.
  13. Padawan915 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah I've only been around for 2 weeks now, but a thread still around from 1999, damn. Well, it is my opinion that Obi-Wan is indeed a tragic hero, not as much as Anakin is. Obi-Wan is sad because he feels responsible for his students fall from grace and for the deaths of his friends and millions of others. Had he kept better control of Anakin and tried not to hold him back, this would never have happened. Of course, Palapatine was corrupted Anakin like there was no tomorrow. Therefore, Obi-Wan feels directly responsible for the loss of his student and the countless lives he destroyed. However, in my opinion, Obi-Wan is ultimately redeemed when he accepts his destiny and helps Luke redeem his father. Sure, Obi-Wan believed Anakin was beyond redemption, but by planting the seeds in Luke to become a Jedi, he helped redeem himself in the end.

    A sad life it must be, losing your master to the hands of a Sith weapon (Maul), losing your student and son-like figure to the dark side and ultimately having to fight him and seperate his children from him. Then having to accept the fact that in order to help his son fight against the dark side, you have sacrifice your own life. Sad indeed. And I wish someone would respond for once to my posts, I know I'm new, but my responses read represent something and can provoke some response.
  14. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    I agree with DarthBane. Obi-Wan was redeemed along with Anakin through the triumph of Luke.
  15. Ewanfan51 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 2
    Padawan915
    Had he kept better control of Anakin and tried not to hold him back, this would never have happened.

    Perhaps you truly belong in the Anakin or Vader threads. This is a red flag for Obi Wan fans. At least this Obi Wan fan. Anakin made his own choices, they were all disasterous. If you ask me Anakin needed a lot of holding back. The fiasco on Tatooine proved his lack of readiness for the trials or a solo mission.
    Is this the response you were looking for? Did you enter here to bait Obi Wan fans. I have to say I never even visit to read the Skywalker threads, be they Anakins or Vaders, let alone to inject any of my own negative opinions.
    If I read you wrong and this is just my misconception of your post please accept my apology.

    Valiowk
    Wow that was some post.

    -_-_-_-_-_-

    I can't agree that Obi Wan needed anyone to redeem him. He made his own mistakes and through his own actions did he redeem himself. To equate his need for redemption with Vader's is to not only slight Obi Wan but to lessen the depths of Anakin's fall.
  16. Ewanfan51 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 2
    Replying to my own post. I want to apologise to all on the thread for my last post. It was inflammatory and rude.
    I tried to edit it and of course was too late.
    Again please ignore or accept my apology.
    No excuse but poor taste as Darth Real Life isn't a good enough excuse.
  17. Padawan915 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 6
    Don't worry Ewanfan51, it's cool. Everyone has their own opinion, and I accept that, so no need to apologize. Incidently, when re-reading my post, I actually got myself in a Catch-22. What I said wasn't how I felt. Obi-Wan did what was right for Anakin most of the time, however I stated that he didn't allow him to progress fast enough. Obi-Wan however had to rein in the emotional instability and impulsivness of Anakin. That is why he didn't let him take the trials and progree. I realize that now and I kinda want to retract that original part of my argument. I didn't mean to bash on Obi-Wan fans at all, so here's my final opinion...

    Obi-Wan had to control Anakin and teach him the correct ways of the Jedi: control, self-discipline, patience and emotional stability. This was his ultimate penalty however, because Anakin's rush for power drove Anakin to become impatient with the correct ways of training taught by Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan paid for Anakin's thirst for power with years of desolation, seclusion and saddness.

    I hope this satisfies all the Obi-Wan marks who are probably out for my blood now. Trust me, Obi-Wan is my fave character and I didn't mean to single him out.
  18. forever_jedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2002
    star 5
    OK, nice to see that both Ewanfan51 and Padawan915 have released their anger to the Force and are calm and serene now - one cannot expect anything less in a thread discussing Obi-Wan, after all!

    The rise of the Emperor was not entirely due to Anakin's turn, though he helped it along. And probably, at some point in EIII, as part of his destiny, he gets a chance to destroy the Emperor, but doesn't. Anakin's Fall is due to his own bad choices compounded by his circumstances. In the latter, it is not just Obi-Wan, but a whole host of people, including Qui-Gon, Padme, Yoda, not to mention Palpatine, who participated. Anakin has tons of ambition and anger - traits which Obi-Wan tries to weed out, but unsuccessfully, in the PT. But the lessons are there, in Anakin/Vader, all the same. In the OT, Luke is the mirror that Obi-Wan sends to Vader. In observing Luke's choices and actions, Vader is constantly reminded of those lessons taught to him by Obi-Wan - "Obi-Wan has taught you well - you have control over your fear"; etc. Otherwise, these Obi-Wan references are out-of-context, given that Luke was mostly taught by Yoda. These reminders start to break Vader down, so that Anakin starts to re-emerge by ESB. So, ultimately, Obi-Wan's teachings did have an effect - only Anakin is a slow learner and took his time!

    About Obi-Wan needing "redemption" - I have a problem with this one. One needs redemption only if one has sinned. Yoda, Obi-Wan, Padme, all make mistakes, big and small, but do not actually sin. Thus, they don't need redemption; only Anakin does. Luke does not "redeem" Obi-Wan. Rather, Luke becomes Obi-Wan's legacy to the NJO. Obi-Wan himself becomes part of this NJO, by being Luke's protector from the Sith (in life and beyond) and his first Master in his Jedi training. As does Yoda. So, even if Obi-Wan is the saddest character in life, he is triumphant in the afterlife.
  19. Obi_Wan_Pedobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Obi-Wan's life has been tragic for a long time. Losing his master to a mad Sith Lord, almost dying to another Sith Lord, losing his pupil to the Darkside of the Force, having to almost kill his pupil, watching his pupil kill millions, having to duck from his pupil, and then dying his hands. This man has no luck with anything. He is blessed with great force powers and is a great Jedi Knight. All his hardships overshadow all his accomplishments for the Republic. He tries to make up for his mistakes thought Luke to defeat Vader. Luke come though for Obi and the Jedi Order was reformed. Having failed being a teacher for the Old Republic he becomes the first teacher for the New Republic.
  20. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    In observing Luke's choices and actions, Vader is constantly reminded of those lessons taught to him by Obi-Wan - "Obi-Wan has taught you well - you have control over your fear"; etc. Otherwise, these Obi-Wan references are out-of-context, given that Luke was mostly taught by Yoda. These reminders start to break Vader down, so that Anakin starts to re-emerge by ESB. So, ultimately, Obi-Wan's teachings did have an effect - only Anakin is a slow learner and took his time!


    That's an interesting interpretation that you have there, forever_jedi! I must admit that if Anakin is actually reminded of the lessons taught to him by Obi-Wan, this can only mean that he has not abandoned the Light Side completely; otherwise he would have forgotten them all, or not have said "Obi-Wan has taught you well" - it's a sign of admiration!

    About Obi-Wan needing "redemption" - I have a problem with this one. One needs redemption only if one has sinned.


    I'm rather divided about this. While your argument does make sense, I feel that the word "sinned" is rather subjective. Just because one does not take action does not mean that one is free from all wrong; if one hid the truth, I would think that it's also a mistake. To Obi-Wan, he may have done something wrong, even if the rest of us feel otherwise.

    For me, I interpret "redemption" as the final feeling that one has that the wrongs that one committed have been righted at last. When Obi-Wan can finally forgive himself, whether by realising that Anakin's choices are in no way related to Obi-Wan's choices, or by training Luke, I feel that he will then truly be "redeemed".
  21. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
  22. forever_jedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2002
    star 5
    Hi Valiowk

    that he has not abandoned the Light Side completely
    Well, isn't that what Lucas is telling us now? That the OT is about Anakin's redemption? If he is completely evil, then where does Luke sense the good in him?

    For your other point, I think the mistake that Obi-Wan committed was in agreeing to train Anakin in the first place, against his own initial better judgement and against the wishes of Yoda. My take on Anakin (and EIII may prove me wrong) is that Anakin was not meant to be trained as a Jedi. The Chosen One had to bring balance, but the Chosen One need not have been a Jedi. The Force is part of all life, right? Anakin was not meant for the rigorous, disciplined Jedi life, and though Obi-Wan tries his best, he does not succeed in molding Anakin to the Jedi mentality/life. Instead, by training him, he hands him even more powers than he would have had, and which enable him to become the feared Darth Vader. So, Obi-Wan is at fault, even though this fault apparently came from his promise to the dying Qui-Gon. OK, with that, I can agree to your definition of "redemption" - that of righting a wrong that Obi-Wan committed, that of pushing Anakin towards a life for which he was not suited. My earlier beef about redemption has to do with the fact that the word is normally associated with "sin", something that I do not think QUi-Gon, Obi-Wan, Yoda or Padme committed, though they made mistakes with respect to Anakin.

    When Obi-Wan can finally forgive himself, whether by realising that Anakin's choices are in no way related to Obi-Wan's choices, or by training Luke, I feel that he will then truly be "redeemed".

    I think by the time ANH rolls around, Obi-Wan HAS forgiven himself. I see no bitterness in him, and he is so ready to sacrifice himself aboard the Death Star so that both Luke and Anakin can go onto fulfil their respective destinies. There is no desrire to hold onto life to "correct" his mistakes. He knows he can trust the Force to do the rest - he simply knows that he has done all he could and calmly accepts death. In ROTJ, when he tells Luke that he was wrong wrt Anakin, he says it calmly, giving Luke the bare facts and their history, so that Luke can make his own judgement about it all.
  23. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    ah, forever jedi. You have hit on one of the brain twisters for me with SW. One which prolly won't be answered until Ep. III.

    What would have happened if Anakin had never be trained?

    My answer is nothing - the Emperor would have ruled over the galaxy with an iron fist, and there would be no one who could stop him.

    Anakin was destined to "restore balance" to the galaxy by defeating the Emperor.

    Just had a thought.

    There's an interesting difference between Obi-Wan and Luke. We all know that Luke was right to trust his feelings (in the end), even know it sure seemed like Ben (and Yoda) was being more sensible, telling Luke not to try to turn his father back to the Light.

    Luke was disobedient, and it turned out to be the right thing to do.

    But Obi-Wan was obedient to Qui-Gon in the end, by promising to train Anakin, even though it went against his better judgment. This turned out to be the right thing to do, even though a lot of suffering resulted from it. In the end, Obi-Wan's training of Anakin paid off.

    Obi-Wan was obedient, and it turned out to be the right thing to do.

    Conflicting messages here from Lucas?

    Perhaps the theme is that "fate" or what have you works WITH our choices to shape the future, rather than forcing us into certain choices.

    -dust
  24. forever_jedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2002
    star 5
    Garth Maul I think if Anakin had not been trained, he would still have played some major role in killing the Emperor in EIII. Does everyone need to be a Jedi to do important and great deeds? Let's think about Han for a second. Never a Jedi, rather, a seedy ex-smuggler. He plays a crucial role in ANH, since without him, Luke would have been history and Vader would not be turned (and gasp, balance would NOT be restored!) In ROTJ, he again plays a crucial role, by turning off the shield generator, which enables DSII to be destroyed. It's just that Han is at the right place at the right moment, and his sense of duty is in the right place. My view of Anakin is that he should have been freed in TPM, sent off to Naboo where he would grow up to be the galaxy's greatest pilot, marry Padme, have children, live happily ever after and somehow, do off with the Emperor, perhaps through his great piloting skills during the Clone Wars. Just an alternate scenario and happy times all around for everyone. Anyway, I agree, we do have to wait for EIII to find out more about this.

    Obi-Wan keeping his promise to Qui-Gon by training Anakin is doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Not really listening to the Force (which is screaming NO to all the jedi except Qui-Gon regarding Anakin's training) at that point. Luke, on the other hand, listens to what his inner self tells him, listens to the Force and actually also does obey both Yoda and Obi-Wan - that is, he confronts Vader. Obi-Wan/Yoda did not explicitly tell him that Luke would have to kill his father, rather to confront and destroy Vader so that Anakin could come back. GL has said that Obi-Wan is waiting in the OT for Anakin's redemption. It wouldn't make sense that he would actually want to kill Vader. He could have done that in ANH, instead of sacrificing himself. If he did, who would bring balance? Obi-Wan was trying to make Luke redeem Anakin, but plan it such that it was Luke's own inner decision rather than a directive to be obeyed.
  25. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Hmmm....nice post, forever.

    For the 1st part: I understand what you're saying, and that definitely would have been an interesting plot twist (although I really can't see exactly how Anakin would get involved with the Emperor enough in your scenario).

    Imagine if Anakin WAS simply a great pilot (and husband, whatever else), but Palpatine looked at just HOW good he was at piloting, figured out he was probably pretty strong in the Force, found some pretext to test him, and slowly turn him to the DS, while training him.

    *Whew* Anakin wouldn't know that what Palpatine is teaching him is wrong ("It will help you with your flying skills"), and perhaps "Why not learn how to use a lightsaber? You'll have to learn how to defend yourself. There are many evil beings out there." In fact, he could even get someone nice and loyal and skilled like Obi-Wan to teach Anakin, with Palpatine perhaps throwing in a few "pointers" here and there.

    And, gradually intertwined with his Force training is "Sith training", twisting Anakin.

    Of course, this totally contradicts the OT, I know, but it would have been interesting. Then Obi-Wan could have been watching Luke, figuring he too might be strong in the Force.

    BTW, I thought the 2nd part of your post was one of the best things I've ever read on this board. I never even considered that Obi-Wan KNEW what was going on and let Luke choose his own path. I thought that since Vader said "Obi-Wan once thought as you did" that Ben would think an attempt at redemption hopeless, and so the best Luke could do was simply destroy Vader and Palpatine.

    Excellent.


    -dust
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