Was Obi-Wan Kenobi the worst military tactician in Star Wars history?

Deputy Entertainment Editor
09.01.15

Lucasfilm

When Disney shuttered Star Wars” Expanded Universe, we lost a lot of good things (like Thrawn and Mara Jade). But we also lost a lot of convoluted gobbledygook. In place of that vast and contradictory lore, Disney began to introduce new canon to officially fill in the gaps.

But they still haven”t explained what in the Force”s good name Obi-Wan Kenobi was thinking when he returned to Tatooine after the end of “Revenge of the Sith”!! Nothing about that idea is a good tactical move. This man was a General and a Jedi Knight. And yet? Obi-Wan took the only son of his fallen apprentice and placed the infant with his only remaining paternal family.

…what?

Recently STAR WARS #7 – the comic written by Jason Aaron, with art by Simone Bianchi – dove into the minutia of how Obi-Wan spent his days on Tatooine. It involved a lot of trying not to be a Jedi and watching over Luke from a distance to keep him safe. Oh, and kicking sand in the face of the most powerful crime lord on the planet. You know, the one he negotiated trade routes with and who could out him should they ever meet face-to-face again? The one who would have no qualms about turning in a rogue Jedi for a reward?


Image Credit: Marvel Entertainment/Simone Bianchi

Obi-Wan Kenobi consistently makes terrible life choices. From believing the prophecy about bringing “balance” to the Force in a galaxy with two villains to innumerable heroes was a good thing to ignoring the behavioral changes that indicated Anakin was becoming evil, the signs were all there. But it”s only with his arrival on Tatooine that it becomes clear: Obi-Wan Kenobi has no idea what he”s doing.

Think about it. By the time “A New Hope” begins, Obi-Wan has been on Tatooine for almost two decades. In that time he has managed to keep a high enough profile to be “local color.” We know this as Luke knows who he is and exactly where he lives. When R2-D2 says he belongs to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke immediately assumes the droid owner must be related to Old Ben Kenobi. Luke even queries the Jedi by name after the incident with the Tuskan Raiders.

“Ben? Ben Kenobi? Boy, am I glad to see you.”

So, to recap: Obi-Wan Kenobi took the only son of Darth Vader back to the Sith Lord”s home planet. He then placed the infant in the keeping of Vader”s stepbrother – who still lives on the same farm Anakin visited in “The Clone Wars” – and let the boy keep the infamous Skywalker name. Kenobi then retreated to the hills when Owen refused to let Luke be trained. However, Obi-Wan kept his well-known last name and continued to dress in the robes of a Jedi. On top of that, he used just enough of his powers that Owen refers to him as a “wizard.”

Remember, Jedi are extinct and any that survived the purge are being actively hunted by Inquisitors sent by Emperor Palpatine. Yet here is Obi-Wan, bold as brass, effectively shouting his existence from the rooftops.

Unless…was the goal to use Luke as bait? Consider this: Despite never using her powers in the films, Obi-Wan”s ghost makes it clear that Leia is capable of using the Force to save the galaxy should Luke screw it up. Everything Obi-Wan and Yoda did put Luke in danger; almost as if they were trying to draw out Palpatine and/or Darth Vader. Yet Leia is kept hidden, subsumed completely into the Organa royal household. There she was not taught the ways of the Jedi, but equally important skills. Skills like how to rule a planet, how to navigate the byzantine labyrinth of politics, how to engender loyalty. Sure, Leia was being groomed to take her mother”s place as the leader of Alderaan, but what if her training had a dual purpose?

Perhaps Luke was the weapon and Leia was the end goal, the new Queen of the Republic.

Or perhaps it”s just a huge and terrible plot hole. Either/or.

 

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