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I saw the entire Star Wars series as it was released, starting back in 1977 when I had to ride my bike about 8 miles to the theater where it was showing in my city for the first showing on the first day it played there. After the release of Revenge of the Sith I watched the original trilogy again, on VHS. Then I set it aside. While I had it all on DVD, I wanted to wait until I had a HDTV to see it all on the big screen, but I never had time to watch all 6 episodes in a week or so, and kept putting it off.

So now that the blu-ray just came out, this week I've been watching the movies for the first time in about 8 years. I've been watching them in chronological order and it's interesting to see how that can affect how I see lots of little gestures and reactions, especially in the original trilogy.

This gives me an entirely different point of view. This time I'm watching as they meet Anakin and Qui-Gon believes he's the Chosen One, but Obi-Wan has doubts and is even hesitant when Qui-Gon, as he's dying, makes him promise to train Anakin. I also see the concern that Anakin, at about 9, is too old to be trained.

It means I also see, in sequence, all the pain, suffering, and death that Anakin causes when he goes over to the dark side.

So after witnessing all of that and having been in exile for about 19-20 years, Obi-Wan sees Luke, about 19 years old, even older than Anakin was when he started training, and almost from the start there's no hesitation. Without batting an eye, he says, "You must come with me to Aldaraan and learn the ways of the Force like your Father."

And this time, as I watch that scene, which was always exciting to me before, in my head, I start thinking, "Obi Wan, are you crazy?!? Do you remember what happened when you started his Father's training so late? And you think he has a lot of his Father in him?"

So why was Obi Wan so eager to train Luke instead of being wary that he didn't repeat the same mistake he made with Anakin? Why doesn't he give any consideration, like Yoda does later, to the dangers he could be creating by training Anakin/Vader's son?

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After I read the title, all I could think of was Family Guy. –  Sam Oct 26 '11 at 6:00
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@Sam: Mmmmmmmmm. –  gnovice Oct 26 '11 at 15:19
    
@TangoOversway Whoops, just upvoted without reading the question. What's that? It put you over 10k rep? Congratulations! –  Kalamane Jan 6 '12 at 15:40
    
@Kalamane: Thanks! –  Tango Jan 6 '12 at 17:17
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First paragraph: cool story bro. –  Paul D. Waite Jul 22 at 10:49

7 Answers 7

up vote 29 down vote accepted

I think he saw in Luke last chances. It was his last chance to try and make up for the failure of training Anakin. He saw in Luke the opportunity to find success where before he had failed. It was a means of redemption for himself as a Jedi and redemption for the line of Skywalker.

But I think the larger driving force was that he saw in Luke the last chance to restore the Jedi order to the galaxy and the only remaining chance to defeat the Emperor and Vader. While he knew of the existence of Leia, he did not maintain contact with Bail Organa and did not know whether or not she was alive or whether or not she had the force abilities that Luke did. He also did not know whether any other Jedi, even Yoda, remained yet alive.

While it kind of glossed over this in the movies, I think it can be inferred that the plan from the beginning was to train Luke to be a Jedi when he was old enough to try and defeat his father and the Emperor. ObiWan's line about the light saber that: "Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it." was likely another ObiWan skewed truth that would seem to indicate that he was watching Luke progress and develop and that he had wanted to train Luke.

It's impossible to say what might have transpired between ObiWan and Owen/Beru and what attempts ObiWan might have made to involve himself in Luke's life and how much Owen/Beru allowed it, and thus how much of that statement was based in truth. I'm not aware of any work that touches on it, though with so many Star Wars books it seems likely at least one of them might have.

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"Anakin's line about the light saber that" shouldn't it be "Kenobi's line"? –  Loïc Wolff Oct 26 '11 at 14:15
    
Whoops. Fixed, thanks.. :) –  BBlake Oct 26 '11 at 17:48
    
Recall Dead Kenobi and Yoda's conversion: "That boy is our last hope", "No. There is another.". –  anthony-arnold Oct 28 '11 at 0:59
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At that point Kenobi is dead and Yoda is frail. Who's going to train Leia? –  dsas Nov 4 '11 at 0:23
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@Jeff: Could be misogyny, or could be her attachment. Luke's a farmboy with no real ambitions except a vague teenage desire to "become a great warrior" - easily trained. Leia's a trained diplomatic and executive, already hip-deep in running the Rebel Alliance. She's not likely to respond well to "you should drop everything for a few months and train in a swamp", and her passionate commitment to her cause is the antithesis of Jedi training. (Plus, she has even worse Vader issues than Luke; it's a big risk.) –  Tynam Feb 18 '13 at 0:04

Because he have almost nothing to lose.

Worst case scenario, Luke turns to the dark side and slays Vader or the emperor. So? It is just the same with new bad guys. But, if he succeeds, it's a completely new game. It's a big gamble, but it worth the risk.

The message from Leia delivered by R2D2 also seems to play a part.

General Kenobi. Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to convey my father's request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack, and I'm afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

So, he has to leave Tatooine and ends his exile on the Request of Bail Organa, not on his own initiative. The message also states that the survival of the Rebellion is in jeopardy. It's only after he sees this message that he decides it's time to take action and bring his secret weapon against the empire with him. Anyway, he cannot leave him behind, as he is almost the only one to know how important Luke is. The plan was probably to go to Alderaan and then to decide on the next step, and maybe train both Skywalker siblings in the way of the Jedi, but he never meets with senator Organa.


As for any prior attempts of Obi-Wan to involve himself in Luke's life, Obi-Wan's wookipedia article only cites Adventure in Beggar's Canyon.

The reason for Owen's anger was that Kenobi had attempted to give Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber to Luke, feeling that Luke was old enough and should be allowed to have it. Owen refused to allow it because he believed the Jedi path was a destructive one. He told Kenobi that he didn't want Luke to make the same mistakes Anakin Skywalker did, saying that he felt Anakin should have never left his mother and gotten involved with the "damn foolish idealistic Jedi crusaders" in the first place. He vehemently told Kenobi to leave and to stay away.

So it may be as simple as his inability to do it before.

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The Jedi believe in fate and prophecy. So when Luke shows up at Ben's home with 2 droids that he knew from his days as a Jedi, conveying a message from the other child of Anakin, he felt the force guided Luke to him.

Obi-Wan also several times, disagreed with how the masters were handling Anakin, and may have believed that he could prevent Luke from turning the way his father did. And after 19 years in the desert Old Ben was probably going a little stir crazy.

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The fact that Obi Wan felt that Anakin wasn't the chosen one and he was reluctant at first, but then after he struck Anakin down in Revenge of the sith he felt that his doubts about Anakin had real base and he really wasn't the chosen one. After Luke was born Obi Wan felt that Luke was the chosen one and that he would bring balance to the force.

There was no one else in the galaxy that could possible be the chosen one except for Luke, which is why he felt that Luke had to be the chosen one.

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Arrogance?

Maybe he figured he had learned from the mistakes of the past and was now ready to do it right this time.

Besides, it's just another Skywalker. What could possibly go wrong? ;)

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He couldn't kill Vader, he CERTAINLY couldn't kill the Emperor. He believed Luke to be the only hope left for the galaxy.

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Anakin WAS the chosen one. Obi wan believed that Luke was the last hope to change Vader back into Anakin. Technically Vader did bring balance to the force because he killed the emperor and himself!

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A source would be appreciated. –  iliveunderawesomerock Jul 22 at 5:16

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