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Why did Obi-Wan choose to yield his life?

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Moral Hazard, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    After all these years I still don't see a satisfactory explanation.

    Cantina, you're my only hope...
     
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  2. Darth Sidious

    Darth Sidious Rebel Official

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    In order to become a Force Ghost, allowing him to guide Luke 24/7.
     
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  3. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    I believe the reply is easy but come to think about it I re-examined previous events on the Death Star.

    In the hangar Vader feels a presence but rather than to stay and watch the the Falcon being taken apart he chooses to leave instead (theory: he has a vague idea what's going on but realizes that instead of just getting back the Death Star plans he can bug the ship which will probably lead them to the Rebels' hidden base - and therefore "plays along").

    In the hangar control room Ben has a premonition that he is not going to make it and essentially says farewell to Luke.

    To some extent Vader must have been monitoring Kenobi's moves or had clearer visions of the future. He arrives at the corridor where he expects the arrival of Ben Kenobi who looks rather surprised bud hadn't it seen coming like Vader.

    During their lightsaber duel Luke and the others arrive and all board the Falcon, except for Luke. Luke will not leave the Death Star without Ben!

    Of course, Ben realizes that the only way Luke will go would be for Ben to be dead. Then, there'd be no more reason for Luke to postpone the departure and Ben acts accordingly, i.e. waits for Vader's blow and disappears.

    Another interesting thing is Vader's reaction, who apparently has never seen a Jedi vanish and uses his feet to determine whether there are some physical remains of Ben left or not.

    Another theory: IIRC Imperial stormtroopers got a really bad reputation regarding their firing precision because of what we saw on the Death Star.
    But since Vader wanted the Falcon crew to suceeed and escape, it's possible he saw to it that only stormtrooper rookies would stand between the Falcon crew and their ship...
     
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  4. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    I Think he's done what he set out to do, and that is to see the Jedi and the Force become ascendant once again. Obi-wan well knows that Luke and Leia ( we forget that he knows exactly who she is, as well) have grown up and have the power of their father and the wisdom of their mother. furthermore, they have found each other. I'm sure he felt that they could handle Darth Vader- or perhaps he knew that Vader couldn't, wouldn't kill them.

    Obi-wan has trained hard, served well, and suffered much in his lifetime. I'm certain he blames himself for what happened to Anakin, and when he takes that sidelong glance and sees Luke and Leia escaping, he knows that he has corrected his own mistake. He's ensured that Luke will survive, which has been his sole task for the previous twenty years. He's entitled to let go, and let them take over. And he stays just long enough to be certain that will happen.
     
    #4 HAL'sgal, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
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  5. AstromechRecords

    AstromechRecords Jedi General

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    I'm serious (partially) when I say this, but Obi-Wan also did it to mess with Vader's head, after taunting him.
     
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  6. Jimba Fett

    Jimba Fett Rebelscum

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    The Jedi vanishing from existence when they die is something I'll never understand. Can someone please explain it to me?

    Incidentally it is something that only happens to Kenobi and Yoda. Why is that?
    --- Double Post Merged, Nov 7, 2015, Original Post Date: Nov 7, 2015 ---
    With regards to Obi Wan it didn't seem like a difficult decision to make. I think anyone who is that wise and spiritual and has such a deep understanding of the force knows that the material aspect of their being isn't that important. The essence of any life is the force which is by it's nature immaterial. When he says "I will be become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" is that he won't have the constraints of his physical being to hold him back... I think?!

    I loved the little smile when he looked at Luke and realised the best course of action. I think his sacrifice was important for Luke to see. Obi Wan I think knowingly wanted to show Luke the power of his belief in the force and that a passive act can be be more beneficial and powerful than a violent act - or something along those lines...

    It was a valuable lesson for Luke to see and the knowledge after when Obi Wan communicates to him after physical death. It all combined to give Luke the confidence and belief in the lightside of the force to throw his lightsaber down at the end of Return of the Jedi.

    It could almost be seen as a lesson to Vader too. It could be argued the first seed of Anakin's redemption was planted in his mind when Obi Wan allowed Vader to end his life. Like saying to Vader "you might have been seduced by the darkside and have belief in the darkside but that is insignificant to the power and belief I have in the lightside". The statement "I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" makes this theory ring true.
     
    #6 Jimba Fett, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
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  7. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    Hmm...That's a good question. I can only rationalize that Vader / Anakin wasn't yet truly dead on the boarding ramp of the shuttle in ROJ but eventually also vanished into thin air (from an exclusive OT point of view).

    According to another member here at the Cantina an early ROJ screenplay draft had Ben and Yoda somehow help Anakin to appear as a Force ghost (in which case he would have died like anybody else but still get Force ghost capabilities).
     
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  8. JeffG.

    JeffG. Ewok Hunter
    1030th General **** (Mod)

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    There was no other way out. His whole purpose on the DS was to allow the others to escape and once he knew they were able to there was nothing left of him to do. He knew if he died he would "live" on and be able to train Luke from beyond. If he were captured I'm sure Vader would have tortured him and then he would've killed him and I'm guessing he didn't want that.
    Anyway, that's how I've always thought of it.
     
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  9. AstromechRecords

    AstromechRecords Jedi General

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    The reason as to why Obi-Wan and Yoda only vanish when they die is because Qui-Gon Jinn personally taught them. Jinn was the first Jedi to master the force and reach to the living through the will of the force. Naturally, he would teach his master and his apprentice. As for Anakin, it's widely believed that he was taught within the time he became Anakin Skywalker once again and when he first appears to Luke as Anakin Skywalker...or maybe Anakin Skywalker is JUST THAT POWERFUL.
     
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  10. Cole

    Cole Force Sensitive

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    Maybe as atonement for his failure to: (a.) train Anakin properly (b.) kill Vader when he had the chance all those years before leading to countless deaths and the rise of the Empire.
     
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  11. Grand Master Galen Marek

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    IMO it was seeing Leia again when Artoo played that recording, he knew like Yoda did it wasn't their fight to finish.
     
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  12. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    Thanks Cantina, it all sounds good to me.

    I guess Ob1-wan's calm smile was also good lesson in not fearing death - likely an easy path to the dark side for any aspiring Jedi.
     
    #12 Moral Hazard, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
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  13. Clayman515

    Clayman515 Rebel Commander

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    Ok, that's fine and all, but why didn't Qui-Gon vanish as well?

    I don't think there is any real explanation. I think they're just inconsistencies in the writing, unfortunately.
     
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  14. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    ^^ The the end of RotS woul informed us that Qui-Gonn had returned from the netherworld to communicate with the living and apparently teach them a thing or two.

    At first sight it does look like retcon shoehorned into the last minutes of the PT, but it makes some sense.

    If it had been common Jedi knowledge that a Jedi would vanish upon his death, why was Vader in ANH still trying to find some remains of Kenobi with his boots?
     
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  15. AstromechRecords

    AstromechRecords Jedi General

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    That's why blanks need to be filled in. Qui-Gon didn't vanish because he wasn't ready. He ended merging with the force in soul-only but taught Kenobi and Yoda how to come back "physically" so to speak.
     
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  16. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    I watched ROTJ with this humorous but brutal commentary yesterday.

    They really berated Force Ghost Kenobi for interacting with logs yet not picking up a light saber!
     
    #16 Moral Hazard, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  17. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    I really love the RedLetter Media movie rants, but being myself too aware of some ROJ "deficiencies" I'll give this one a pass and - for once - cling to "ignorance is bliss". ;-)
     
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  18. RedDog

    RedDog Rebel Trooper

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    I always wonder if at the start of the duel, Obi Wan knows how it will turn out and it is part of a grander plan. Does he even try to kill Vader? Is his initial intention to win the duel, or does he plan all along to lose? Surely a better plan would be to kill Vader (doing what he thinks he should have done 20 years earlier,) escape and be in a much better position to train Luke? Or, does he fear he is not a good enough teacher and will fail and Luke will also fall to the dark side? Obi Wan's intentions are quite vague, but in a good way, as it keeps us debating it 40 years later! Also - it again shows the depth of characters in the OT, which take these movies to another level compared to most blockbusters.
     
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  19. AstromechRecords

    AstromechRecords Jedi General

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    It sure looks like Obi-Wan Kenobi is out for a death wish...
     
  20. RedDog

    RedDog Rebel Trooper

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    But why is he? He says "I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine", but what does that mean? All he does as a ghost is speak to Luke a few times and appear in physical form now and then. He doesn't seem to do anything he couldn't do if he was alive... Or, as a "voice" is he able to be "present" when Luke attacks the Death Star and is able to guide him (to switch off the targeting computer etc)? Is that how he was powerful, by assisting Luke to destroy the Death Star?
     
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