Obi-Wan Kenobi Got Its Plot Twists Backward

Note: This article is filled with spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi, particularly “Part V.” Read on at your own risk.

There was a point during the early episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi that it really seemed like the show might be poised to address some deep, painful aspects of the Jedi mentor’s character. We know that Obi-Wan spent some 19 years hanging out on Tatooine, ostensibly watching over a young Luke, planning for the day when the children of Anakin Skywalker might be ready to take on the emperor who corrupted their father. In the intervening time, however, it makes sense that Obi-Wan would have some stuff to work through, thanks to the fact that his failure as a Jedi and teacher allowed fascist monsters to rise to power in the galaxy. The show started with a very interesting twist, however: Obi-Wan didn’t know that Anakin was still alive.

The idea that Obi-Wan thought he’d killed his best friend back in Revenge of the Sith, only to discover that, no, not only did Anakin live, but he’d become a twisted authoritarian monster, is a great one for developing Obi-Wan as a person. By the time we meet him in the original Star Wars trilogy, his attitude has adjusted to beleaguered acceptance. But Obi-Wan Kenobi had an opportunity to explore his journey to that point, the feelings he wrestled with along the way, and his actual mental state upon confronting his friend that last time in A New Hope. There’s a whole lot you can read into Obi-Wan’s decision to sacrifice himself to Darth Vader’s lightsaber aboard the Death Star, and Obi-Wan Kenobi could have helped to explore those nuances.

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