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SWC Obi-Wan hang out

Discussion in 'The Movies' started by Valairy_Scot, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. obimom Jedi Master

    I've been perusing the last several posts, and the takes on the various views about that last scene on Mustafar as well as Ben's motives are interesting. Much of it I can agree with.

    One thing, (especially concerning those so ready to "condemn" Obi-Wan on that other mercy killing thread,) is that it is so easy to look from the outside and judge the thoughts and motives of a person on the inside of a situation, Whether what they did was morally right, wrong, justified, etc. We see it all the time in news events. It's easy to say what the right thing is to do when one is not in the middle of that circumstance.

    But no one really knows how they will respond in a real circumstance until they are in it.

    I don't see Ben as vengeful at all, though. Now, the rather "unfortunate" thing is we have "A New Hope" before we have "The Return of the Sith", but to me, Ben, although you could see regret and sadness in it, saw the duty that needed to be done. His former apprentice was a monster, coldly murdering anyone who stood in his way, putting fear in the hearts of millions, etc. Maybe Obi-Wan had nearly 20 years to "beat himself up" for his weakness and attachment that prevented him from finishing the job on Mustafar, maybe every time he heard news about a new atrocity performed by Vader it was a slap in his face and a reminder to him about the fact he couldn't outright kill his best friend and brother.

    But I don't see his motivations to Luke as vengeance, but more like "It needs to be done." In a way, "Finish what I couldn't do." I can see Obi-Wan heartbroken words at the end of Mustafar perhaps being a plea for Anakin to turn back to the light...(and the heartbreak in that scene was so palpable), but perhaps over the years he saw Anakin/Vader not only NOT turn back to the light, but instead grow more powerful and evil in the dark so by the time Luke came into the picture, Obi-Wan had pretty much become convinced the only hope for the galaxy was the death of Vader and the Emperor. He likely ceased to even think of Vader as Anakin after a while, that's why he could say that "Darth killed your father," ..because to him, he did.

    Thats my two cents...if it's worth anything. Obi-Wan is still the hero of SW's to me. :D
    FARK2005 likes this.
  2. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    Yes, twenty (all right, nineteen, whatever the Official Chronology dictates) years later, Darth Vader is not merely a person; he is the embodiment of both an oppressive political regime, and the nexus of a vast spiritual imbalance felt acutely by any Force-user. He remains the "Chosen One" in the sense that he is the key and fulcrum to the galaxy's balance, both outward and inward. Honestly, for Ben Kenobi to want anything /other/ than his (this dark avatar's) defeat, or destruction, would be a dereliction of fundamental duty and personal vows of service to the Light.
    Vengeance has to do with perceived personal wrong. That I would hope had long ago been forgiven. But the real and universal harm to the common good... heavens. That just begs to be addressed. Vengeance has nothing to do with it.
    I think focusing on Vader vs Ben as a merely personal battle between two men does great injustice to the entire context, and skews the issue badly. Vader's role and function as SIth Lord par excellence so far outstrip any personal identity he may or may not retain that it is indeed true to say "Vader killed Anakin."
    Ah well, maybe we are beating a dead Sith here.
  3. obimom Jedi Master

    And people try to say Ben's motive for egging Luke to kill him was vengeance? 8-}
  4. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    Well, yes, but in some ways it's not debatable, at least not if we must limit ourselves to a face-value interpretive paradigm. Without author's intent, symbolic meaning, or role/function within a story, it's pretty much just an existentialist heyday - you can impose whatever motives you like upon the bare bones of a story, really. Interpretation and criticsim are possible when you accpet the structural, mythical, psychological, and narrative rules and principles. So ... sure, from a /certain point of view/ I guess you could look at it that way.
    Not that I do. !!!
    I think one of the challenges Ben Kenobi presents , for a modern audience, is that he doesn't display a lot of human emotion or passion. He's kind, certainly, he's determined, he's a little wry, a little cynical. but you don't get the impression of a man driven by human emotion. Luke of course is VERY sympathetic this way, but his mentor-figure is just a tad !! removed from passionate reckless youth. His removal from the immediately understandable probably makes him a bit of a "blank" spot for some viewers... the sagely mentality is just too odd. Zen masters are frequently portrayed as "mad" in the Buddhist tradition, too - their motives are not easy to intuit for a normal, especially young, person. So in the absence of any "handle" by which to grasp character - one which is definitely there for Luke, Leia, Han, the bad guys, etc, - Old Ben invites a palimpsetic over-write... "Old Guy Loking For Revenge" just being one variation.
    /My/ revenge is apparently to talk too much. Can you tell I'm irked, beneath the calm surface????
  5. obimom Jedi Master

    Irked by that debate you mean? Not so much...but now that you mention it...:D
  6. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    When feeling aggravated, it's time to indulge in a bit of innocent downtime between missions:

    Kenobiwan, chosen_Oby and obimom like this.
  7. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    @ruth baulding, what a spout of words! [face_rofl]

    Similar to what you espoused, a reserved personality is all too often accused of cold dispassion and can be considered an unsympathetic figure by many. Neither Obi-Wan or Ben reacts with any hint of chest-thumping anguish (with the one exception the ROTS "You were my brother" anguish which shows the depths of his pain since it's never been so outwardly displayed) - pain is inward, joy is inward, satisfaction is inward. I've often noticed extroverted, emotional folks are the most likely to dislike Obi-Wan/Ben and gravitate to Anakin although this is far from a given. (Myself, I'm an introvert with extrovert tendencies in certain situations).

    Combine a naturally reserved personality with a Jedi upbringing and you get - Obi-Wan. I like Bail's description in Wild Space: "...and that startling streak of ruthlessness." I wanted to object then found myself agreeing - Obi-Wan can focus on need/purpose (heck,he's a general, in war I should hope so) if the situation demands it, although that doesn't mean he's not sympathetic (this is a scene post the space station where he's trying to get information from Bail's dying contact about the Sith). He can just deliver the goods (and if necessary, beat himself up on the inside).

    So unless a viewer/reader is able to see the SUBTLE signs of emotion, one assumes there is no emotion there - whatever the emotion.
  8. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    Well put, Val, and your mention of Wild Space reminds me how close to /disliking/ Obi Wan Bail is inthe beginning of that story. He references "Jedi hauteur" more than once and he. too, mistakes outward dispassion for lack of com-passion. I thought it was on the whole an insightful character study, and there /is/ a startling streak of ruthlessness - ruthless quashing of personal feelings for duty. I've always found the scene in which Obi Wan stows away on board Padme's ship in order to find Anakin/Vader to be another fine example of "ruthless" behavior. That's taking no prisoners at an emotional level, to be sure.
    I find it... admirable. Frightening, but in a good way. And that makes the tears on Mustafar all the more gut-wrenching.
    Wish we could take some kind of survey (extrovert, introvert, linear vs associative thinker, age, occupation, upbringing, all of it, and get the STATS on Obi Wan fandom and hater-dom. Somebody needs to take that on in the name of Science, you know?
    TreborSabreon and obimom like this.
  9. obimom Jedi Master

    LOved all that stuff in Wild Space, Loved how Bail at first disliked Obi-Wan but then as they spent that time together they became very good friends....Makes me want to read them again, but first I'm getting ready to read the second "Hunger Games' book (we finally got that from the Library).

    almost finished with Rogue Planet..there's one part I forgot about..and love..it's a bit of insight into Obi-Wan...I'll try to post more later. Gotta go right now.
  10. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    Volunteering? It'd be hard to get an kind of accurate sample from just an online comunity, though, I think, unless one could set up a double-blind thread or something.

    As for frightening - in a way it is. In someone less noble, less gentle-hearted, more arrogant, such ruthlessness could lead to abuse of a situation - the "someone who will make others obey to make things right" type of absolutist thinking Anakin somewhat references in the picnic scene in AOTC. In this, the Jedi Order's saving grace is that duty is based on the will of the Force, not will of a man, although when the Force is clouded...

    I just finished 4 days of reading a 3 part story over on ff.n where the AU premise is how the Order has gone astray - and how it and the gov't will be reformed. It's taking a more extreme view of the Order as actually presented in the movies & canon - in other words, just a tiny step aside from canon and it IS plausible (I'll PM you unless others are interested in the possible discussion).

    So Ben COULD have set Luke up as an instrument for the Sith's destruction - but I don't believe that it could be reduced to that. An instrument of the Force - well, possibly, but even that's a stretch. Yes, he sees Luke as the next generation of Jedi and a Jedi's duty is to destroy the Sith per the will of the Force; I would not dispute that. But he does see Luke as more, as a human being, with his own conscience and sense of duty as well, although he probably has little compunction in helping to shape that - all humans help shape others just via contact.
  11. earlybird Jedi Master

    Yup loved 'wild space' to and the great friendship that became between Obi-Wan and Bail. And 'Rogue planet' ; I based an entire fanfic on that book.
  12. FARK2005 Jedi Master

    @Valairy_Scot that's a very interesting observation about introvert-extrovert inclination towards specific characters. I'm also an introvert and of all the characters in the saga it's Obi-Wan I feel drawn to, while I find characters like Anakin to be far to boisterous for my taste (not that I dislike them or anything). It really would be an interesting survey, even if it was only done on a small scale in this community, because there is a tendency for extroverts to misunderstand introverts.

    And I would like to have the link for the story please.
  13. obimom Jedi Master

    I'm also an introvert, much more so when I was younger, but I still have those tendencies. I'm not confrontational or argumentative, and Obi-Wan is my all time favorite SW character.

    The funny, ironic, interesting thing is, I don't think Ewan McGregor is an introvert at all, or maybe he is in some ways when I think about it.

    I would also like the link so I can check it out..it sounds interesting, and sort of like shades of "Betrayal" ? At least thats the story I thought of when you mentioned this.

    Earlybird, which fanfic?
  14. earlybird Jedi Master

    "Temple of Doom" but I don't know the link on the IGN-boards You have to wait for the new boards to read it.
  15. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    Ewan McGregor an introvert? [face_rofl] He's just such a darn good actor, he makes such seem possible.

    Okay, but warning for the graphic slash: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8438412/1/Thwarting_the_Revenge_of_the_Sith_Book_I
    You can easily skim through or ignore the mature scenes (for one thing, they're far too repetitious and just get boring) - the bigger problem is the wall of text in many chapters (but I slogged through when normally I would cut and run). I didnt realize it was even slash until a number of chapters in and I was committed.

    In short, the Code has been far too stifling and in Anakin's (author, too, supposedly) POV, forced Obi-Wan to devalue himself. I phrase it like that because Obi-Wan is the same, humble, deprecating Jedi we're used to in canon, only the author is explaining his humble nature as lack of self-worth foisted on him by an uncaring Order. The Order has been growing afraid of Obi-Wan and Anakin's closeness, even from the very beginning of their master/padawan relationship (which begs the question why they elevated Obi-Wan to the Council if they mistrusted him) - that's all background stuff, though.

    Because Padme dies things go different than in canon and "good triumphs." Obi-Wan and Anakin, along with two unexpected ex-Jedi :)D) plan to reform the Order into a Force-based Order, rather than hierarchal organzation. It's an interesting read if one likes a twist on the known.

    Only if wanted will I go further (probably via PM not to dethread this), but I found this small twist in POV to be compelling, chilly and possible - but not one I subscribe to. We've all read of the posters who believe the Order ignores crying babies to prevent attachment and all that, haven't we? I can't believe that - it is too far of a stretch and in this world we know infants deprived of nurturing grow up terribly affected.

    We also know that many believe the Order forces its members to eschew emotions entirely, not just control and release them, but demands that there be no emotions. Even in the 1st part of Wild Space, we can see this in profic - how Obi-Wan feels less than a Jedi for his emotions that he struggles not to have, and Yoda is, I fear in that 1st section, not a very comforting or sympathetic Yoda. Had this characterization continued, I would not be a fan of KM's books but luckily she backs off.

    So we can talk about if/how/does the Order force conformity on its members and at what personal cost, and to keep with the thread, keep the emphasis on Obi-Wan (what would he be like if not raised a Jedi).

    As for personalities gravitating to which fictional characters, I admire Obi-Wan and "noble" folks like him. I'm a lot like Anakin (impetuous, quick to anger, quick to take offense, defensive, volatile, moody, broody, and not afraid to express grumpiness - exasperation - etc [or just unable to control the expression of]). But, like Obi-Wan, I'm also pretty reserved (most of the time) and don't easily display the softer emotions; I'm wry, dry-humored, sarcastic, etc. I'm very expressive in my fics because I'm writing them in isolation, not in public where I'd have to "own the emotion."

    So, I understand where both characters are coming from, but I'm more emotionally sympathetic to Obi-Wan. He's far more prone to being misunderstood, with those misunderstanding not really interested in understanding. They see him hurting Anakin and/or others by a lack of warmth, a sense of duty that stifles his humanity, and a man willing to stifle other's (Anakin's) humanity in the name of some nebulous duty/responsibility. I can SEE their viewpoint without agreeing. I can see why they think his personality doesn't emotionally support Anakin - but what about the reverse? Just because he doesn't complain or show his own inner hurts, doesn't mean he has no internalized emotions.
    obimom likes this.
  16. obimom Jedi Master

    Thanks for the synopsis, Val.

    Hurt my right hand this morning, so having a harder time typing (at work, it hurt so much I used my left hand for most of my typing and my right hand to mainly move the mouse)..

    Anyway, Yeah, Ewan's not introverted. At all. :)

    And maybe it's the fact that he plays many introverted characters (and so well, too) that I thought it for a moment.
  17. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease...
    And tragically, the only two times in the prequel trilogy when you see Obi Wan display open emotion, there is nobody (alive) around to see or respond. The short scene after the Mustafar battle where he drags hsi hand over his face in the cockpit is heartbreaking, but there's nobody present but C3PO.
    Still, I think either demonizing the character or even indulging in excessive pathos (making /him/ into a victim) is a bit of an overreaction.
    And - randowm thought - why is there no Force Choke smilie face? I think it would come in very useful in posts. Somebody needs to speak to The Management.
  18. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    Ah, choke who, @ruth baulding? ;) And yes, that hand-drag is so very telling because of all the times we don't see Obi-Wan emotionally reacting other than with his eyes and/or body posture (fantastic acting, Ewan!). When he does, we KNOW he's feeling more than he restrain. I'd also add that slap/clasp to Threepio's shoulder when reboarding the ship - almost as if he's feeling a kinship with a droid, or wanting the touch of something, anything, even if programmed artificiality.

    I'm afraid a lot of Obi-Wan fans do tend to make him into a victim, something I'm careful to try to avoid (overdoing). Fate does work on him (Qui-Gon's distance due to Xanatos, etc.) but he forges ahead regardless. He lives, not suffers - but we see the scars. Healed wounds, but scars and I hope I get that across in my stories. Just like others have their own wounds and their own scars, but don't wallow.

    @obimom: hope your hand is better soon. And before you PM me eventually, still nothing on the job front. Didn't get any of the jobs I interviewed for, and haven't interviewed in over a month. Even finding jobs I'm qualified for (that aren't minimum wage) are difficult and the state requires only 3 contacts a week. 3 is tough!!!!!!

    And I may have to take my cat to the vet - he's been breathing hard and gurgling a bit for a day. Not choking, and he's drinking and moving - but I'm watching the old guy. At 18...and he was lathargic enough he let me snuggle him in my lap - he's never allowed that, this morning. He seems - okay, now, though.
  19. earlybird Jedi Master

    obimom: hope you will get better soon. I love to read your stories.

    Valairy: success with finding a job. And 18 years WOW that's really old.
  20. chosen_Oby Jedi Master

    I just saw a picture of Ewan with his family, they look good.

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