A Jedi does not cling to the past. And Obi-Wan Kenobi knows, too, that to have lived his life without being Master to Anakin Skywalker would have left him a different man. A lesser man.–Matthew Stover’s Revenge of the Sith
As I contemplate this tiny insert by Matthew Stover, I’m left to wonder how impactful Anakin’s training really was on Obi-Wan’s life. How often did he recall certain scenarios, wishing he would’ve acted instead of reacted? Did he fully come to terms with the death of his own Master, Qui-Gon Jinn? A Jedi does not cling to the past… or does he?
“Obi-Wan, promise….promise me you will train the boy. He is the chosen one. He will bring balance. Train him.”-Qui-Gon Jinn
With his dying words, Qui-Gon had sealed his pupils’ fate and all of the Jedi as well. My question to this is, was he ready? Apparently, Qui-Gon thought so, or was it something else that placed these two together? As a wise Jedi once said, “Nothing happens by accident.” The force does work in mysterious ways.
Placing them together did seem rather brash and well, hasty in fashion. Given the circumstances of the situation at the time, I guess what else was there to do, but to grant a well respected Jedi’s last hopeful request. And so, it was done.
What’s intriguing over this pairing, is the distinct mirroring of the newly founded padawan to the old Jedi Master. If you have never noticed this, then your previous point of view has blinded you. Anakin tends to have panache for the dramatics and an issue with authority or directive, sound familiar? Even more interesting, that after ten years being the mentor, Obi-Wan had learned to relax. The “Negotiator” loosened his unyielding ways on absolute correctness. Anakin unlocked the one flaw that kept him from becoming the great Jedi his Master, Qui-Gon always said he would be. He was, to some degree, the Ultimate Jedi.
“A great leap forward often requires taking two steps back.” This reminds me so much of the scene in ROTS, where Obi-Wan hands the infant Luke to his adoptive family; Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. As he does this, he relinquishes his role as teacher and resumes his former place as the learner. After all, this is what he prefers, is it not? He’s an impeccable warrior, who’d rather not fight. A mediator that has remained unrivaled throughout the war and quite frankly, would be more inclined to sit alone in a quiet cave and meditate. Ironically enough, that is exactly what he does over the next twenty years of his life, hence the name; Jedi Hermit.
Ben in Hebrew means son, how befitting of the tutor returning to his place as a student. Even more coincidental, Obi in African means heart. Better yet, in Swahili it refers to the soul. Oddly enough, Wan is an Old English word representing or defining, “unnaturally pale from grief.” What am I implying with all of these origins? That once again, Mr. Lucas knew exactly what he was doing when crafting his characters for the GFFA.
To exist is to endure…
Throughout those years of solitude on Tatooine, I can’t imagine him not replaying those last moments on Mustafar and Polis Massa. The guilt, the defeat, both personal and unprejudiced had to be far greater than anything we can comprehend. Not saying I haven’t encountered either myself, but something on Obi-Wan’s magnitude of such galactic proportions, is highly unlikely.
Watching Luke, from a distance had to be disjointedly painful. No contact with the son of your best friend, the man you left dismembered and maimed to burn in his own idiosyncratic Hell. Yeah, how does one go on living….if you can call that living?
Honestly, I believe his soul died alongside Anakin’s. His spirit was broken, like Padme’s heart, he too slipped away. What remnants of his tattered life force survived took on the persona of Ben Kenobi, who Uncle Owen refers to as, “That wizard is just a crazy old man.”
Only Ben wasn’t crazy, a little rusted like the Tin Man, but that happens over time, especially on a sand planet like Tatooine. He found the inner strength to go on and complete one final mission, to come full circle. After two decades of separation Obi-Wan, unites the galaxy’s biggest and brightest secret; Luke and Leia. Talk about irony, what Anakin kept hidden and was forbidden to obtain, had become the very thing that would save the entire universe from darkness; Love.
“Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool that follows him?”-Obi-Wan
I wonder if young Luke or Han ever really thought this through while boarding the dreaded Death Star? Never the less, they did as instructed and rescued Princess Leia before she could be terminated. Upon doing so, set the stage for a prophecy to be fulfilled. Obi-Wan lets go of Ben and takes his rightful place within the force, allowing Vader to come head to head with his destiny. Yes, once again “The Negotiator” shows up unexpectedly and allows the old wounds to surface. “I sense something, a presence I’ve not felt since…”-Vader
He is modest, centered, and always kind. He is the ultimate Jedi. And he is proud to be Anakin Skywalker’s best friend. –Matthew Stover
As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read my musings on Star Wars. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly at email@example.com
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