PT Obi Wan Kenobi as Gary Stu (revisited)

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by englishlady, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. englishlady

    englishlady Jedi Youngling

    Oct 13, 2021
    I apologize if this subject has been discussed before, I think it might have been, which is why I put "revisited" in the title.

    There are several reasons why I believe Obi Wan Kenobi, as represented in the Prequel Trilogy (and some of the other material) fits the description of a Gary Stu, but first let me define what I mean by a Gary Stu.
    I mean it strictly as the male version of a "Mary Sue", that is a character who is unrealistically perfect and free of flaws.

    1: His total lack of flaws.

    A character flaw in literature may be defined as any:

    “bias, limitation, imperfection, problem, personality disorders, vices, phobia, prejudice, or deficiency present in a character who may be otherwise very functional. The flaw can be a problem that directly affects the character’s actions and abilities

    Typical examples of character flaws can be arrogance, anger, hotheadedness, selfishness, greed, lust for power, jealously, gullibility, hypocrisy. Basically, anything which causes the character problems or difficulties, or causes them to struggle and fail.

    Obi Wan has none of these. Not one. The literal defining characteristic of Mary Sues is that they have no flaws.

    It is often claimed that Kenobi's "flaw" was that he was "too loving" or "too trusting" of Anakin and didn't think he could ever fall, which made him blind to his faults.

    However, this is what is known in writing circles as a "benevolent flaw", which is actually a virtue that has been exaggerated to make it seem like an imperfection. Its also a fake flaw, because the negative consequences are caused by someone else's actions, not by Kenobi's own. It is not a neagtive trait on Kenobi's own part which causes him problems because of his own actions.

    2: He overcomes flaws, or his flaws are just plain false.

    “Oh..” I hear you cry “but Obi Wan has flaws…. he’s doesn’t let them get the better of him. He masters them!”

    Yeah. That still makes him a Mary Sue. See on the other side, if Mary Sues do have observable flaws, they are able to overcome them very easily, and in a way people would never be able to do so in real life. Sometimes their flaws just disappear.

    Or their flaws cause don’t them problems as such traits would in real life. Obi Wan fulfils all of the above down to a T.

    3: He is a paragon of virtue and a shining example of goodness. Perfection personified.

    Mary Sues don’t have to do anything to be good.

    Goodness and virtue just ooze out of their every pore. They are Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi and Princess Diana rolled into one, ramped up several times with an extra helping of goodness.

    This basically defines Obi Wan. He is often described in superlative terms as “the most loving person who ever lived”, “the perfect Jedi”, thoroughly selfless, utterly altruistic and kind. Even Dave Filoni called him "everything a Jedi should be".

    A paragon of virtue and a shining example of all forms of goodness, decency morality and honour. If fandom is anything to go by, he never breaks the rules (defined as the Jedi Code) even once in his life. He is without sin. Without guile. Without malice. All loving, all forgiving.

    He is incorruptible, unstained, unsullied and beyond reproach.

    He is not just “practically perfect in every way”. He is perfect. He is the definition of perfection. He puts perfection to shame.

    In short, he is too good to be true. Nobody is that perfect. Such people don’t exist- except in fiction as Mary Sues.

    4: Anyone who doesn't like him is bad- bad- bad

    Another common warning sign that a character is a Mary Sue is if anyone who doesn't like them (heaven forfend!) treats them badly, or just calls them out on thier behaviour is shown to be bad. Or comes to a bad end, as a "punishment" for being horrible to Gary or Mary. This again, is very much observable in other characters relationships to Kenobi.

    Owen Lars has been vilified by fandom for years for the henious "crime" of not allowing Kenobi access to his young ward, or for telling him to go away.

    This attitude is now reflected in various canon sources. Yet all Lars was actually doing was protecting his nephew and the child who was like a son to him from the person he believed got his father killed.

    5: He gets away with everything.

    Another common characteristic of Mary Sues is that on the rare occasions that they do exhibit negative behaviours and traits or do something naughty- they get away with it. They always escape without punishment or censure.

    When they display negative characteristics, these are excused, condoned, or explained away- and anyone who does object is shown to be bad. In short, Mary Sues never suffer any negative consequences for their actions.

    This is the case over and over again with Obi Wan. When is is mean to another character, its said that they deserved it. Even when he is complicit in the revenge killing of someone who tortured him (durign the Zygerrian Ac in the Clone Wars) its generally accepted that they deserved it and nobody questions the morality of the act.

    He gets away with defying the Jedi Council, no questions asked. In one Episode of TCW he defies the Council to go to Mandalore, where he goes undercover with a terrorist organization to save his lover, an act that would constitute interference in the poltical affairs of a Neutral State during wartime. Yet this goes entirely without comment in the Jedi Council.

    When he fakes his own death in front of Anakin Skywalker in an Episode of the animated Clone Wars series, fandom frames Anakin as the bad guy for being upset and angry- whilst Obi Wan escapes censure for subjecting his supposed best friend to what amounts to little more than pyschological torture.

    6: He never has to face the consequences of his actions.

    Mary Sues never have any consequences for any actions. Except positive ones of course. Although this is related to the above, it is another characeristic which fits Kenobi like a glove.

    The greatest consequence of his action was the creation of Darth Vader. If he had just taken the trouble to finish off the horribly injured and mutilated Anakin on Mustafar, Darth Vader would have been a footnote in galatic History. The man who killed some Seperatists and Jedi, and then disappeared.

    He didn't the Emperor flew in, and put him in the life support suit that is so iconic, and as a result Vader terrorized the Galaxy for 23 years (yes it was 23, not 25 or 30 as some people posit) as the Emperor's enforcer.

    Kenobi of course, managed to escape even that. He was able to sit it out on Tatooine, being depressed and talking to his Master's ghostie. Yeah, that doesn't count as "consequences of his actions". He was even able to make someone else face Vader.

    7: He has a villain who is obsessed with him (or maybe two)

    Yes, this is also a Mary Sue characteristic. Typically, the villain is secretly in love with a Mary Sue character. In Obi Wan’s case, however, the villain, Count Dooku played by the late great Christopher Lee in the prequels is obsessed with Obi Wan because he secretly wants to recruit him to join the Dark Side as his apprentice.

    8: He's universally adored

    Being popular doesn’t make a character a Mary Sue. What makes “Sue” characters stand out, however, is that they are loved by everyone pretty much instantly. People just can’t help liking them the moment they meet them- and even if they haven’t met them then that Sue’s reputation proceeds her. Or him. Everyone loves them before they meet them.

    What also makes Mary Sues stand out, however, is that people love them without any discernible reason. Even people they have been mean to and mistreated adore them.

    In Star Wars, everyone adores Obi Wan Kenobi. Especially Anakin Skywalker, his young Jedi Padawn in Episode II. However, Anakin’s love for Obi Wan seems quite inexplicable, since Kenobi spends pretty much the entire duration of the first two movies being very unpleasant to his Padawan. In Episode One, he can’t stand the kid, calls him a “pathetic life form” and deems him to be dangerous. He can’t even bring himself to use the kid’s name.

    9: He's a friend to all living things

    This characteristic is an extension of 4. Mary Sues aren’t just loved by all people, they’re also loved by any and all living creatures. A fairy-tale princess dancing through a meadow singing in sync with birds who land all over her arms is a much lampooned trope, but its also a Mary Sue characteristic.

    Mary Sues often have the power to either tame animals or communicate with animals, neither of which is a problem as all animals adore them and come to them.

    In various Star Wars novels, it turns out Obi Wan has a Force power called animal affinity, which allows him to- surprise, surprise- calm and tame animals. In the novel Master and Apprentice, he is so attuned to animals he can tame them within seconds, something which even more experienced Jedi Masters struggle to do.

    In other novels it is said he grows to love and misses even disposable mounts used for battle.

    10: He is an invincible warrior

    A commonly known Mary Sue characteristic is that they are virtually unbeatable. They are often expert warriors who can trounce anyone, even stronger and more skilled opponents.

    Out of all the battles and duels shown in the prequel movies, Obi Wan Kenobi loses only twice and each time to the same opponent. Some have suggested that both Obi Wan's defeats by Dooku are contrived and unrealistic, and I am inclined to agree.

    Even Rey gets defeated more often than that- and she’s usually called a Mary Sue.

    His Mary Sue status is revealed further in the way that in The Phantom Menace he defeats an equally skilled opponent- Darth Maul. Maul has just killed and older and experienced warrior- early in his career. What’s more, Obi Wan beats largely because his opponent stands around doing nothing for more than a minute. Whilst this is often ascribed to Maul's ’s arrogance, its was more likely just a plot contrivance to allow him to win.

    Obi Wan is also considered in various sources to be the “greatest living” practitioner of his form of swordsmanship- and is considered to be the only person qualified to take out certain opponents. Despite there being older, more experienced and just as skilled combatants available, he’s apparently the only the only one competent enough to take on General Grevious in Revenge of the Sith.

    Another point is that older combatants, such as Mace Windu who is a decade or more older than Kenobi, and should have 15 years of training, experience and Mastery under his belt, inexplicably considers Kenobi to be a more skilled combatant than him. There really is no logical reason for this. It can't be accounted for by training or experience.

    11: He overshadows the main character

    Although Mary Sues are usually the main protagonists in their stories, they can be secondary or supporting characters.

    When they are secondary characters, they will very quickly overshadow the main protagonist, and the plot will even bend to accommodate them.

    In the prequel movies, Obi Wan Kenobi overshadows the supposed protagonist Anakin Skywalker in every way. Even though Anakin should, by rights be the more powerful character since he is quite literally the Son of the Force. He was conceived and created by the closest thing Star Wars has to a god.

    Obi Wan Kenobi excels far beyond Anakin in combat, in Force powers and abilities, and in his career.

    He’s also far more successful and progresses in his career more easily. He’s even promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight without passing the usual tests and trials required for killing a Sith, Yet when Anakin later kills a Sith, he’s denied promotion, once again the reasons are vague.

    Obi Wan, quite simply, doesn't have to work for anything. Even his status as a Jedi was handed to him on a plate. Anakin only barely got accepted into the Order by the skin of his teeth (or rather the death of Qui Gon Jinn).

    In Legends, he even has a higher rank than almost every other Jedi in the Grand Army of the Republic, although the reasons for this are also vague. He's only 16 years older than Anakin, and doesn't have that much more military experience, yet his rank is higher than that of even the 900 year old Yoda, or Mace Windu.

    Mary Sues are often the children of prophecy or Chosen Ones, and whilst you might say this makes Anakin a Mary Sue, he has too many demonstrable flaws to fulfill that designation. However, Mary Sues can also bee instumental in helping the Chosen Ones fulfill thier destiny. Obi Wan does with with both Luke and Anakin.

    12: He has unexplained skills and abilities

    Mary Sues literally have whatever skill, talent or ability the plot requires, and there is usually little to no explanation as to how or why they acquired this abilities.

    This is certainly the case with Obi Wan. In one Episode of the Clone Wars series, he is an expert marksman, despite having never been shown to have undertaken any training in the use of firearms. In the movies, its said he hates guns, and he seems clumsy when he picks on up in Revenge of the Sith.

    Obi Wan also, very conveniently, knows any and every language he needs and seems to be able to understand anyone he meets of any species. He seems to speak dozens of languages in total, and is shown speaking more diverse tongues than the translation droid C-3P0.

    13: His conflicts exist only for sympathy.

    It is often stated that Obi Wan cannot be a Mary Sue because he loses so many people that he loves or is close to.

    This is based on the popular misconception that Mary Sue characters get everything they want and live happily ever after. Whilst this is often the case, tragedy is also the bread and butter of Mary Sue characters.

    Mary Sues frequently have terribly tragic backgrounds. They’re often orphans. Or they may be plagued with continual tragedy throughout their lives.

    With Mary Sues, tragedy and misfortune serves a very limited purpose.

    Since Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters don't have any flaws, something else must be used to create conflict, or to illicit sympathy for them. As a result of this, writers will often throw one misfortune or obstacle after another at Gary Stus. The more bad things happen to them, the better, because it get them more sympathy.

    Mary Sues don’t allow adversity to overcome them. Instead, they overcome IT, with their heads held high.They grow stronger in the midst of suffering, and emerge from tragedy as an even better person then they were before.

    This is absolutely the case with Obi Wan Kenobi, who is frequently lauded for having suffered more than any person who ever lived, any yet stayed true to his convictions and “never fell to to the Dark Side”.

    Obi Wan can survive anything, and I mean anything, including what is alleged to be the worst case of PTSD in human history, with his morality intact. Nothing phases him. He never cracks under the pressure and never gives in. He just gets better and better as a person.

    Since he’s a Mary Sue any and all conflict and tragedy is used purely to make him look good.

    14: He is excessively humble to the point it feels contrived,

    Mary Sues aren't just humble. They are so humble that they constantly go around reminding everyone.
    The problem is in the writing.
    Mary Sues are so obviously extraordinary and utterly awesome that their constantly reminding you of how painfully ordinary and inadequate they are comes over as fake.

    Again, this invariably applies to Obi Wan Kenobi. He is “the perfect Jedi” and the “greatest living Master” of his form of lightsaber combat, but “inside he still feels like a Padawan. Even though everyone knows and tells him how awesome he is, he’ll never admit it, because he’s so very modest.

    He’s also constantly taking the blame for things which aren’t his fault, because he’s so excessively humble he has to whip himself (metaphorically).


    All of the above is based on my own research from writer's sites and guides. I have tried to keep to away from "fan" sources and stuck to literature and writing based sources because the term was invented by and for writers originally.

    I hope this isn't too long. Feel free to disagree, or just comment at will. Sorry about any editing and formatting issues. I am new to this site.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  2. -NaTaLie-

    -NaTaLie- Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 5, 2001
    You're a bold one! =D=
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  3. englishlady

    englishlady Jedi Youngling

    Oct 13, 2021
    Thanks, I think. You're my first ever comment, so yeah. Thanks.
  4. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Dec 7, 2014
    I find this definition incredibly broad for defining a 'mary sue'. In any case, I find that Obi-Wan does have flaws. He's rule-obsessed to a fault at times, which blinds him to the more unorthodox. His duty often leads him to lie to people, such as Luke. I think he is in many ways someone who follows the Jedi Code to the book, which isn't always a good thing. As for loss, the deaths of everyone he ever cared for is a pretty major one, as is living 20 years in exile in the desert.

    Anyway, tons of characters fulfil many of those tropes listed. Not all characters have to be drivers of emotional arcs or dynamic change, they can be allowed to just exist. Tropes are tools, after all, not inherent flaws.

    A lot of them are very subjective too. Most hero characters fit category 4 for instance. Number 9 isn't even true in the films, Obi-Wan is very disdainful of Jar-Jar and Anakin in TPM for instance. Dooku isn't obsessed with him outside of one conversation. His abilities come from literal decades of training. You're applying a very flat paradigm onto a character, one that could probably be used on practically every character given how stretched it is. A lot of these are very standard concepts for hero characters to be honest.

    For example, take Gandalf in the LOTR books/movies. He fits the vast majority of those tropes too, with arguably even fewer flaws, and is a beloved character nonetheless.
  5. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 25, 2014
    I don't think you've seen AOTC....or the first 20 mins of ROTS.

    Welcome to the mad house BTW :p
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  6. englishlady

    englishlady Jedi Youngling

    Oct 13, 2021

    First of all, I did mention his training, but its notable that he is said or believed in canon and the movies to be MORE skilled than people who have had more training than him.

    Mace Windu, for example is what, in his 50s? He's got at least 15 years if not two decades of Jedi training and experience on Obi Wan. Yet even HE calls Obi Wan the best swordsman who ever lived, or some such in the ROTS novel.

    Experience alone also can't account for why he's the only person deemed competent enough to take on Grevious. Other Jedi have fought him, Windu nearly killed him, Windu as stated, had more experience and training than Kenobi. Any Jedi ObI Wan's age can probably be said to have had as much training as him, so why is he the only one competent?

    His behaviour in the Phantom Menace is an example of a disappearing flaw. A flaw which he overcomes a little too easily, or just goes away.

    The "he loses everyone he loved" thing does count as a flaw either. I mean it seriously. Not being contentious. It is not a flaw, because it was not caused by any trait or behaviour on his own part. It was caused by someone else.

    Something that happens to you (as a result of someone else's action) is not a flaw on your part. Nor was his exile on Tatooine a consequence of his own actions, so also cannot be considered a flaw.
  7. englishlady

    englishlady Jedi Youngling

    Oct 13, 2021

    Yeah, I've seen them both! As I said though, being a Gary Stu is more about a lack of flaws, its not really defined by how many times a character is (or is not) beaten in combat.

    I would also say that neither of those defeats was caused by any flaw or lack of skill on Kenobi's part. Some people speculate its done to make Dooku and Anakin look more competent.

    Surely its not a mad house here? What have I got myself into?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  8. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Dec 7, 2014
    I don't really know what you're getting at with the latter point. Characters can suffer losses due to circumstances outside of their own actions. Yoda also goes through the same thing through even less fault of his own. Is he also a Mary Sue, as the wisest oldest of the Jedi? I would argue that a lot of Obi-Wan's internal loss comes directly from his perceived handling of Anakin's training, regardless of whether the text makes it clear that Anakin did what he did for his own motivations. Obi-Wan still thinks he failed, and that makes him suffer.

    Characters can sometimes be 'the best' at something without that being a storytelling problem. Maybe Obi-Wan is just really good at swordfighting, he's had a lot of training and experience. I will note that nothing in the movies gives him the 'best ever' description, that's purely a novel addition. Yoda even states explicitly that he's not skilled enough to fight Sidious one-to-one. Even if he was considered the best at combat, that wouldn't make him the best ever at everything. People are allowed to have skills, that's what builds character.

    And yes, it's all subjective, but there are hundreds of other characters with lots of competent abilities in fiction. It's just natural in storytelling. Side characters are very often sketched in broad strokes, and don't all go through complete focused narratives of their own.
  9. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 25, 2014
    needless to say though, he lost both times. To the same dude. So isn't virtually unbeatable,

  10. englishlady

    englishlady Jedi Youngling

    Oct 13, 2021
    Yes, a character may suffer losses due to circumstances outside their actions, but the point is that does not consitute a FLAW. You very specifically stated his losses as a character flaw.

    I'm arguing they are not. If they were due to circumstances beyond his control, and unrelated to his own actions, then they cannot be considered a character flaw, nor a consquence of his own actions. Ergo, they don't count to prove he is flawed.

    Again, being super competent alone doesn't make a person a Mary Sue, it may be an aspect, but its not the whole. Whilst there may be some characters, even a lot who fulfill one or more of these characteristics, there aren't many who fulfill almost all of them. Not that I can see anyway.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  11. englishlady

    englishlady Jedi Youngling

    Oct 13, 2021

    Yes, a character may suffer losses due to circumstances outside their actions, but the point is that does not consitute a FLAW. You very specifically stated his losses as a character flaw.

    I'm arguing they are not. If they were due to circumstances beyond his control, and unrelated to his own actions, then they cannot be considered a character flaw, nor a consquence of his own actions. Ergo, they don't count to prove he is flawed.

    Again, being super competent alone doesn't make a person a Mary Sue, it may be an aspect, but its not the whole. Whilst there may be some characters, even a lot who fulfill one or more of these characteristics, there aren't many who fulfill almost all of them. Not that I can see anyway.
  12. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 25, 2014
    Alright...Obi-Wan's flaws

    - "why do I get the feeling we've picked up another pathetic life-form" not very nice was it?
    - "Master what's a Bongo?" a Gary Stu would know what one was, right?
    - "I will train him without the approval if I must" Peter Perfect the perfect Jedi wouldn't
    - gets kicked in the head and falls a great height in his fight with Maul - Gary Stu would've caught his leg and sliced it off, and then reattached said leg.

    - Lets Jango escape "oh not good"
    - gets captured by the Geonisians
    - Loses to Dooku

    - looses to Dooku again
    - does not land the ship (Anakin does that)
  13. Erkan12

    Erkan12 Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    -Can't save his master Qui-Gon from dying.
    -Can't protect his own lightsaber from Maul, which he said that's a ''Jedi's life'' in AotC.
    -Only survives against Maul because there happens to be a metal rung below the lip of the pit, where he could hold on to.
    -Couldn't catch Maul off-guard without using dying Qui-Gon's lightsaber, which is a luck that's even happen to be there for him to use.
  14. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    I will start out by saying that I don't find "Mary Sue" or "Gary Stu" to be particularly helpful terms since they are ultimately quite imprecise and subjective. What does it mean to be unrealistically perfect? People are going to differ about what constitutes "unrealistic" and "perfect." Especially since a lot of times characters that are called "unrealistic" or "perfect" do in fact have flaws or are quite realistic to some members of the audience. So, basically, all the term ends up amounting to is an inflammatory way of saying, "I don't like this character because I think he/she is too perfect." That's fine to have that belief but it is ultimately subjective opinion, not objective truth and shouldn't be conflated with objective truth.

    Apart from that, I would offer the following observations related to your points:

    1. I would disagree that Obi-Wan has a total lack of flaws.

    In the course of the Prequel Trilogy, I would say that Obi-Wan shows multiple flaws, including some of the ones that you mentioned as common flaws.

    Arrogance: Yoda implies in AOTC that Obi-Wan may be overconfident, observing in his conversation with Obi-Wan that overconfidence is a flaw more and more common among young Jedi (like Obi-Wan is) when Obi-Wan complains to him about how Anakin's great abilities have made him arrogant. Yoda's observation has a very "look in the mirror" type vibe to me in that scene.

    Anger: In TPM, Obi-Wan struggles with anger and a desire for revenge when he first charges at Maul after he sees Maul stab Qui-Gon and Qui-Gon fall. Obi-Wan is pretty clearly wrestling with the Dark Side--with his fear, anger, and hatred--here and it almost defeats him along with Maul. It is only when he has literally fallen into the pit and trusts in the Light Side of the Force that he is able to rise from the abyss to vanquish Maul. We also see how his anger can get the best of him in his arguments with Qui-Gon and with Anakin throughout the PT. His anger can sometimes make him disrespectful/defiant with Qui-Gon, and there are times when he raises his voice with Anakin because he is angry at Anakin. This anger is a consistent flaw of his that humanizes him, even if we do see his ability to control his temper and find calm increase as he matures and grows as a Jedi.

    Jealousy: In the Council scene in TPM, Obi-Wan definitely comes across as jealous to me with some of the glares that he shoots Anakin. I get the impression that he is jealous of both Anakin's natural strength in the Force and how Qui-Gon is willing to basically (in Obi-Wan's view) throw Obi-Wan aside and train Anakin. In other words, he is jealous not only of Anakin's innate Force abilities but also of the threat he believes Anakin represents to his relationship with Qui-Gon. His jealousy is understandable, but that doesn't mean it isn't jealousy, and jealousy against a nine-year-old boy who was just freed from slavery (so kind of petty when phrased like that and considered in that light). Like who would be jealous of a little boy who just escaped slavery? Obi-Wan Kenobi apparently because Obi-Wan is a character with some flaws like jealousy.

    We also get Qui-Gon saying of Obi-Wan (in what is meant to be a statement that Obi-Wan is ready to be a Jedi Knight) that Obi-Wan is "headstrong and has much to learn of the Living Force." So those are two flaws that someone who has trained Obi-Wan personally for years sees in him. Likewise, we have Yoda at the end of TPM telling Obi-Wan that he senses Qui-Gon's defiance in Obi-Wan and that Obi-Wan doesn't need that defiance. Characters in universe are definitely acknowledging that Obi-Wan has flaws and telling Obi-Wan so and warning Obi-Wan about them. And these characters are good, wise, and heroic characters in their own right. Characters that Obi-Wan respects and looks up to who are telling him that he isn't a perfect person or Jedi.

    There are also times that Obi-Wan is too fixated on following the rules of the Jedi Order and what the Council decides (even when he is on the Council, he is arguably too quick to submit to its will in a passive way rather than really advocate actively or assertively for what he believes to be right, and that does have big consequences in terms of his relationship with Anakin and Anakin's trust in him in ROTS). In fact, I'd say that if Obi-Wan were a logical fallacy it would be appeal to authority since he so often defaults to what the Code says or the Council teaches, and sometimes without any real evidence of critical consideration or questioning. It is understandable how this trait can sometimes irk both Qui-Gon and Anakin in their dealings with Obi-Wan. Who can be as Qui-Gon says "headstrong" or stubborn in this adherence to what the Code and the Council says. Obi-Wan is very dogmatic in that way, and that is not always a good thing. This strict adherence to Jedi teaching is both a strength and a weakness that defines Obi-Wan, shaping his character and his relationships with other characters, especially Anakin and Qui-Gon.

    2. I don't see Obi-Wan's flaws as false, and I don't think it is a problem that he is able to overcome his flaws to some degree.

    I don't see Obi-Wan's flaws as false because some of the major ones are repeated throughout the PT and have consequences for him in his relationships with Anakin and with Qui-Gon. They also have some negative impacts on how he acts as a Jedi. We do see him making mistakes and misjudgments as a Jedi, and many of those mistakes and misjudgments are rooted in his flaws. That to me makes them real flaws.

    I would agree that we see Obi-Wan overcoming some of his flaws like his anger throughout the course of the PT, but that can be realistic since many people are able to work to overcome their flaws like anger. Also, the PT would be pretty depressing if both Anakin and Obi-Wan were shown to be unable to overcome their anger and Dark Side emotions. So, I think Obi-Wan works as an example in the PT of how it is possible to overcome Dark Side emotions like anger, while Anakin shows how tragically it is possible to be consumed by Dark Side emotions like anger.

    The challenges Obi-Wan's flaws cause him aren't focused on to the degree they would be if he was the main protagonist and hero, but we can still see how they effect him as a character and the consequences they have for him and for others.

    3. You mainly just seem to be taking issue with how fandom and some Star Wars creatives interpret Obi-Wan's character rather than with what Obi-Wan's character in the PT actually is.

    Nobody in the PT calls Obi-Wan the "most loving person who ever lived", and the Obi-Wan of the PT doesn't act like the "most loving person who ever lived." There are times he is impatient with Jar Jar and when he implies that Jar Jar is a "pathetic lifeform." It is unlikely that the "most loving person who ever lived" would refer to another living being as "a pathetic lifeform." But Obi-Wan does because he is human, which sometimes means being impatient, having a negative attitude, and being sarcastic in speaking. Anakin is also on the record as complaining that Obi-Wan never listens and doesn't understand, and Qui-Gon talks about how Obi-Wan needs to grow in his connection to and understanding of the Living Force. Obi-Wan doesn't always display a capacity or knack for empathizing with others, and to me, is shown to really need to grow in how he empathizes and communicates with others throughout the PT. He needs to become a more patient, gentler communicator, and that does not necessarily come naturally to him. Obi-Wan might be some people's favorite character and they might put him on a pedestal as a result, but the PT itself doesn't present a perfect Obi-Wan Kenobi. I would say it presents a flawed Obi-Wan Kenobi who tries to overcome those flaws but still at times can suffer for those flaws and be a victim to those flaws.

    4. I don't agree that everyone who calls Obi-Wan out on anything is shown to be bad or evil.

    Qui-Gon mentions Obi-Wan is headstrong and has much to learn of the Living Force. He also basically calls out Obi-Wan for being disrespectful during their argument when they are about to leave Coruscant for Naboo. Qui-Gon is not portrayed as bad or evil but as a wise, kind Jedi who ultimately finds a way to transcend death. TPM also has Obi-Wan acknowledge verbally to Qui-Gon that he was in the wrong and apologize for the disrespect he showed Qui-Gon. TPM has Obi-Wan humble himself to Qui-Gon and be quite vulnerable with Obi-Wan. Honestly, I think it is one of the most effective and memorable scenes in TPM if not the PT. And it really turns on Obi-Wan admitting that he was wrong and apologizing to Qui-Gon.

    We also see Yoda call Obi-Wan out at times. For example, when he tells Obi-Wan that he senses Qui-Gon's defiance in him. Yet, Yoda is not a villain, but a wise, gentle, and powerful Jedi that Obi-Wan obviously holds in high esteem, valuing his opinions.

    Owen Lars might be vilified by some in the fandom but there are also people like myself in the fandom who will respect Owen and Beru Lars for raising Luke to be a brave, honest, and idealistic person with the strength and hope to fight for what he believes is right. The PT itself doesn't vilify Owen Lars. It shows him as someone who mourns the death of Shmi and as someone who takes Luke into his home. Someone who stands beside Beru as she holds a baby Luke and they watch the sunset together.

    It's possible to like Obi-Wan as a character and not vilify Owen Lars. I know because I like Obi-Wan as a character but still respect Owen and Beru Lars for how they raised Luke. It doesn't have to be an either/or, Obi-Wan against Owen Lars situation, so I would suggest not getting consumed by that mindset. It's possible to be able to understand and empathize with both characters. I do.

    5. This mainly seems to be about fandom interpretations of Obi-Wan and about the Clone Wars show.

    I haven't really seen enough of the Clone Wars show to comment on it in detail, but I would just say that I wouldn't let fandom interpretations of Obi-Wan color your view of him too much. It's okay to see Obi-Wan in a different, more flawed light than some in the fandom do, and that doesn't mean that you have to hate his character or think he is a bad character. You could just appreciate him in other ways than some in the fandom do. I'd also say that it is possible to take the Clone Wars as a separate entity than the PT, so if you like Obi-Wan's portrayal in the PT but not the Clone Wars, you can just focus on his portrayal in the PT and ignore how he is depicted in the Clone Wars. You don't have to take a sort of "all or nothing" approach to canon. You can have a more nuanced, "pick and choose" approach to canon if that makes you happier. Whatever brings you more joy as a fan, since that is ultimately what fandom should be about in my opinion. Joy. So if you don't get joy out of Obi-Wan's portrayal in the Clone Wars, I'd suggest just not including it in your head canon if that makes you happier.

    6. I disagree that Obi-Wan doesn't suffer the consequences of his actions.

    With the example that you give, Obi-Wan lives a life of isolation (basically as a hermit in exile) while guarding Luke (son of the best friend he maimed) for over a decade. That is not an easy life. It is a hard life of repentance and grief.

    He also ultimately does face Vader in ANH and Vader kills him.

    He only gets Luke to face Vader once he himself is dead. Prior to his death, he faces Vader so that Luke and the others can escape the Death Star.

    Anakin himself only faces the "consequences" of death, losing Padme (whom he Force-choked), and being maimed for all the crimes he committed as Darth Vader, which is not that much steeper than the consequences Obi-Wan experiences for the crime you describe. So really the consequences they suffer narratively are pretty consistent with one another.

    Self-sacrificing death and remorse are treated as redemptive for both Obi-Wan and Anakin. So, I don't think Obi-Wan is being held to some sort of separate, more lenient standard. He is just being held to a Star Wars standard of redemption.

    7. Dooku doesn't seem that obsessed with Obi-Wan in the PT.

    Vader is more obsessed with Luke in the OT. Palpation is more obsessed with Anakin in the PT. Dooku and Obi-Wan share like one private conversation in the PT, and their main connection is just Qui-Gon because Dooku was Qui-Gon's mentor the way Qui-Gon was Obi-Wan's. It's more like Obi-Wan and Dooku both share a connection to Qui-Gon than that Dooku is obsessed with Obi-Wan.

    8. I don't see the characters in the PT showing this level of adoration for Obi-Wan that you describe.

    Anakin's feelings for Obi-Wan are complicated. He describes Obi-Wan as like a father to him and as someone he sees as being wise and powerful, but at the same time, he communicates feelings of frustration about Obi-Wan not listening to him and not understanding him. That's not what I would consider to be adoration.

    I don't really find the fact that Anakin feels some love for Obi-Wan to be inexplicable, however. After Qui-Gon's death, Obi-Wan does make an effort to reach out to Anakin and comfort Anakin at Qui-Gon's funeral. He tells Anakin that Qui-Gon is one with the Force and Anakin must let go. He also assures Anakin, who is worried about what will happen to him, that he will train him. He even promises Anakin that Anakin will become a Jedi. I think there is quite a bit of tenderness and compassion on Obi-Wan's part in that scene. So, moments like that, I'm sure build Anakin's trust in Obi-Wan and affection for Obi-Wan.

    Even in Episode II, we also see some moments of levity and banter between Obi-Wan and Anakin such as in the lift up to Padme's apartment and Obi-Wan does show some concern about Anakin looking tired.

    We also know that Obi-Wan is the one training Anakin between Episode 1 and Episode II, which is like a decade, so I don't really have a hard time imagining that they would share some positive memories and bonding experiences during that time. I can understand how Anakin would come to see Obi-Wan as a father figure, and I don't think that equates to adoration.

    Certainly, I don't see a universal adoration for Obi-Wan in the PT, and the character you specifically cite as adoring Obi-Wan in the PT to me doesn't actually adore Obi-Wan at all but have feelings that are much more complicated and nuanced.

    9. I don't think the PT portrays Obi-Wan as a friend to all living things.

    Qui-Gon says Obi-Wan has much to learn of the "Living Force," implying it doesn't come naturally to him. We also see Obi-Wan display impatience with Jar Jar Binks, a living being. If Obi-Wan were friends with all living beings, he would be more patient with Jar Jar in TPM. So, again, I don't think the PT portrays Obi-Wan in the manner that you are describing.

    10. Obi-Wan is not an invincible warrior.

    Obi-Wan is nearly defeated by Maul. It is really only by an act of trust in the Force rather than by warrior skill that Obi-Wan is able to defeat Maul in TPM. So that is not the characteristic of an invincible warrior.

    Obi-Wan is defeated by Dooku in AOTC and ROTS, so he is not invincible as a warrior when it comes to fighting Dooku.

    Obi-Wan has been saved multiple times by Anakin (he and Anakin even joke about it) so that does not sound like an invincible warrior.

    Obi-Wan is beaten by Jango Fett in AOTC, so he is not an invincible warrior there.

    He gets arrested by battle droids in ROTS and taken to Grevious, so he is not an invincible warrior there either.

    For someone who is "invincible," Obi-Wan gets beaten a lot in the PT.

    11. I disagree that Obi-Wan overshadows Anakin.

    Anakin is portrayed as the better pilot in both AOTC and ROTS. He is also the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy with a midichlorian count higher even than Master Yoda's (as Obi-Wan himself says when Qui-Gon sends him the blood sample to analyze). Anakin is also the one who defeats Dooku in ROTS and is able to fend off Dooku longer in AOTC.

    Anakin is made a Knight at a younger age than Obi-Wan and is given the chance to sit on the Jedi Council (even without the title of Master) in his early twenties, a time when Obi-Wan was still a Padawan, and in their final conversation before Anakin turns to the Dark Side, when they are saying farewell before Obi-Wan goes off to fight Grevious, Obi-Wan tells Anakin that if he is patient, he will be made a Master soon. So Anakin is really progressing quite quickly through his Jedi career given that he started training at nine-years-old. Later than other Jedi, including Obi-Wan. Remember that he is a Knight sitting on the Council, a hero of the Clone Wars, at an age when Obi-Wan was only a Padawan. ROTS Anakin is younger than TPM Obi-Wan. ROTS Anakin is also much further along in his Jedi career than TPM Obi-Wan.

    Anakin is the central character of the PT. He is the Othello or Macbeth in the tragedy of the PT.

    Obi-Wan does not fulfill this role. He is only the best friend and mentor.

    We don't see as much of his struggles precisely because the focus is on Anakin, Anakin's internal conflicts, and Anakin's tragic flaws. The story is not really about Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan's primary importance in the PT is ultimately about his role in Anakin's life and how he relates to Anakin.

    12. All Jedi have unexplained skills and abilities.

    It's kind of a consequence of the Force that the Jedi have unexplained skills and abilities. It's not really a trait unique to Obi-Wan so I think it is a bit disingenuous to act as if Obi-Wan is the only character with unexplained skills and abilities.

    13. Tragedy isn't really unique to Obi-Wan. It's what the PT is all about.

    Obi-Wan suffers tragedy and loss in the PT, but that is not unique to his character. It is down to the structure of the PT, which is really a modern, space opera take on tragedy. The Jedi Order as a whole falls. The Republic collapses into an Empire. Padme dies. Anakin is maimed and falls to the Dark Side. Obi-Wan sees his friend fall to the Dark Side and ends the PT in exile. Obi-Wan's tragedy is moving and important, but it's not more important than the story and tragedy of Anakin, of Padme, of the Jedi Order, or the Republic as a whole.The entire PT is a tragedy, and all its major players are effected by that tragedy. We can feel sympathy for Obi-Wan, but we can also feel sympathy for characters like Anakin and Padme. I certainly do when I watch ROTS.

    In relation to tragic backgrounds with "Mary Sues/Gary Stus," that normally refers to the background before the story starts. By that standard, Obi-Wan doesn't have a particularly tragic background. All we really know is that he probably started training with the Jedi at a young age and that he was Qui-Gon's Padawan by the time of TPM. That is all the PT really gives us for Obi-Wan's backstory. So, it doesn't seem tragic. Especially not compared to Anakin's backstory as a slave growing up on Tatooine. That is more tragic.

    I would disagree that nothing phases Obi-Wan and that he never cracks. He weeps when Qui-Gon dies. He has tears in his eyes when he shouts to Anakin, "You were my brother. I loved you." He has emotions and feels grief when tragedy and death strike.

    14. What is excessive humility is subjective.

    I don't really see Obi-Wan in the PT constantly reminding others that he is humble. There are times he shows his humility (such as when he apologizes to Qui-Gon) but there are also moments where he shows his pride and his anger.

    I also don't really remember Obi-Wan constantly taking the blame for things that aren't his fault in the PT nor do I really remember characters in the PT constantly praising how good he is. He gets some praise from Qui-Gon when he apologizes to Qui-Gon, but there is a mirror of that scene where Anakin gets the same amount of praise from Obi-Wan when Anakin apologizes to Obi-Wan.

    So I don't really consider that excessive, and honestly, it seems like Obi-Wan can't win in terms of your criticisms of him. It's like if he has flaws and acknowledges them and works to overcome them, then that makes him a Gary Stu, but also you claim at the same time that he doesn't actually have flaws. So which is it? Does he have flaws or not? And if he has flaws, why can't he acknowledge them and work to overcome then?

    Frankly, a lot of your issues with Obi-Wan just seem to be with fandom interpretations of Obi-Wan (or even just your perspective on fandom interpretations of Obi-Wan) rather than Obi-Wan as he is written and portrayed in the PT.
    G-FETT, Samuel Vimes, Samnz and 6 others like this.
  15. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 11, 2019
    I thought that Obi-Wan Kenobi was always a very flawed individual in the Original Trilogy and especially in the Prequel Trilogy. It's not I believe Obi-Wan was a Gary Stu in the movies. The problem is that I believe many Star Wars fans tend to put him on a pedestal in the first place. An Obi-Wan who is "ideal" is a Gary Stu and boring to me. And I have never regarded Obi-Wan Kenobi as boring.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  16. IHeartKenobi89

    IHeartKenobi89 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 17, 2019
    Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fictional character in a made up world. He's allowed to be Gary Stu if he wants to be.
  17. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 16, 2005
    And to "harp" on another point, Mace (in the novel) said Obi-Wan was "the" master of Soresu - one style of fighting, not "the master" of every style ever and thus better than Yoda, Mace, or possibly many others.

    And HIS style was deemed most suitable to take on the good general, not that Obi-Wan "was the best" swordsman "ever."
    Iron_lord likes this.
  18. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 7, 2009
    That's objectively false. The flaws of Obi-Wan are displayed in the movies. His arrogance towards "lesser" life forms, his anger at the loss of his master which Maul takes advantage of, his hypocrisy which Yoda calls out in AOTC when he criticizes Anakin's arrogance when he suffers from the same flaw, etc...

    No, he doesn't. For starters, you are already moving the goal posts. And second, a character overcoming flaws is not a Mary Sue.

    Obi-Wan does grow to have the qualities that define a Jedi. Again, nothing to do with Mary Sue.


    What I see is that you are conflating fan reactions and comments and using them as evidence when that has nothing to do with a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is portrayed as one in the original works. It doesn't rely on baseless generalizations of how people react or on what fans say. The work is the evidence. And the work never portrayed Obi-Wan as a Mary Sue. You go out of your way to accuse the character of being one by ignoring the content of the movies where the character is portrayed. Content that directly refutes your false premises.

    Obi-Wan never revenge-killed anyone.

    No, he doesn't.

    That didn't happen. What Obi-Wan couldn't do is to go to Mandalore with the Republic army. And he didn't. He went there by himself.

    Again with the fandom and not the work.

    Obi-Wan didn't create Darth Vader. Why should Obi-Wan assume that Vader would survive the state he was left in? And how is he responsible for the evil actions of another?

    That is not a Mary Sue characteristic and Dooku is not obsessed with Obi-Wan.

    A character being instantly loved doesn't make it a Mary Sue. Going by the rest if your post, you are using Mary Sue as an umbrella term for all your pet peeves against the character and respective fandom, but the reality of the works and how the character is portrayed doesn't change. And the portrayal doesn't fit the definition of Mary Sue in any way, shape or form. It doesn't even fit most of the accusations you make against the character.
  19. FightoftheForgotten

    FightoftheForgotten Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2020
  20. paradigmes

    paradigmes Jedi Knight star 3

    Jun 9, 2021
  21. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 9

    May 18, 2017
    Obi Wan with no flaws? Just off the top of my head.
    1. His first and only student turns out to murder half the galaxy. Come to think of it I really don't need to list any more. He also nearly turns Luke to the dark side by not telling him the truth.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
    FightoftheForgotten likes this.
  22. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview-Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Feb 18, 2014
    Spoiler alert no one in Star Wars is a Mary or Gary sue
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  23. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 11, 2019
    Which leads me to ask . . . why did he leave Anakin on that lava bed to slowly burn to death? It would have been wiser and less cruel to simply give Anakin a mercy kill. And more convenient. Many have claimed that he didn't want to kill his "brother". How on earth is leaving someone to slowly burn to death on a lava bank not killing someone?o_O
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  24. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    May 27, 1999
    I prefer to think he was just so devastated by events that he, literally, couldn't stand being there another second. He just had to get the blazes away from there, immediately.
    anakinfansince1983 and Alexrd like this.
  25. FightoftheForgotten

    FightoftheForgotten Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2020