Concerning "The Box", episode 17 of season four of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars": Obi-Wan Kenobi (working undercover, posing as the assassin Rako Hardeen) reached Count Dooku's palace on Serenno, and was treated as normal bounty hunter. Count Dooku was even happy with him because he was the smartest one among all bounty hunters. Maybe those hyper skills wouldn't create suspicion, but why didn't Dooku find him suspicious due to a disturbance in the Force?

4 Answers 4


I imagine that Kenobi used a technique known as force stealth to hide his presence from Dooku, just like how Dooku and Palpatine hid their dark-side presence from the Jedi.

From Wookieepedia's entry on Force stealth:

Force stealth also referred to as Force Concealment or Buried Presence was a power that was used by highly skilled Force-sensitives to mask their Force alignment (Light or Dark), their ability to use the Force, or even their entire presence from other Force sensitives.

Palpatine was the most powerful and notorious user of this power, having hid his dark nature for over three decades from the Jedi Council, even when in the same room.

Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda both used a form of Force concealment to shield themselves from Palpatine and Vader in their exile.

This isn't a fool proof way to hide force presence, as in the episode, even Anakin at first didn't sense Kenobi as the disguised bounty hunter when fighting face-to-tace. But he eventually did, which I would attribute to his close relationship to Kenobi.

Kenobi doesn't have a close relationship to Dooku, so it shouldn't be expected for Dooku to immediately recognize Kenobi's force presence, even when in the same room.

For a canon reference, Kenobi was able to spy on Dooku in Episode II on Geonosis, when Kenobi followed Jango Fett there. Kenobi was in the same room as Dooku, and Dooku didn't sense his presence.

  • Is there a canon example explicitly stating that Light side users can use this to hide presence (as opposed to alighnment) at close contact? Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 17:58
  • 6
    Not that I can think of. But then that brings up, is there an absolute canon that states that even detection of force sensitives is accurate? Qui-gon didn't detect Anakin's high force sensitivity. Vader didn't sense Princess Leia's force presence in Episode IV, when he standing right next to her, his own daughter! In fact the Jedi had to measure Midi-chlorian count in children for some kind of accuracy.
    – spong
    Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 18:49
  • 4
    I suppose I should mention that in Episode VI, the Emperor didn't seem to sense that Vader would turn against him to save Luke, despite Luke saying out loud he could feel the good and conflict within his father.
    – spong
    Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 18:54
  • I have added what I think is canon reference as to when Kenobi hid his force presence from Dooku.
    – spong
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 19:18

Since Vader could feel the disturbance in the Force from Obi-Wan from across the Death Star, and in the episode 17 Dooku was standing less than 10-20 feet from Kenobi when they met, I can only think that it was a plot hole. The episode is only 1 week old, so there are no retcons yet.

  • Because of Vader's close relationship to Kenobi, was Vader able to feel Kenobi's presence on the Death Star. They were initially master/apprentice, then like brothers when Anakin became a Jedi Knight. They went through a lot together. I don't see why Dooku would be able to sense Kenobi 10-20 feet from him anymore than Yoda sensing that Chancellor Palpatine being a Sith lord sitting across a desk.
    – spong
    Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 13:20
  • 1
    @sunpech - 1. Them being friends only helped Vader recognize Kenobi. The sensitivity to the Force presence would be the same. 2. Yoda vs. Sidious was covered extensively elsewhere. Dark Side helps mask Force presence, somehow. Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 13:59
  • 1
    Maybe it's like a fly in a spider's web - if the fly is very still and doesn't thrash around, the spider is oblivious. Kenobi probably gave himself away on the Death Star when he used the Force to distract the guards.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 20:56
  • 1
    And don't forget Vader senses a disturbance in the force and assumes it can only be from his former master (as he and Tarkin - who outright says so - believe all Jedi have been hunted to extinction). So maybe Vader senses the fact that THREE strong force sensitive beings apart from himself are on board! He could have been sensing either Obi-Wan OR Luke OR Leia OR the fact they were all in close proximity together, or his kids were both near him...
    – BMWurm
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 19:45
  • 2
    Did Kenobi want to conceal his presence from Vadar? Part of his mission on the Death Star involved stealth, but part involved giving Luke a chance to escape.
    – Wayne
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 13:50

Thr bounty hunter plot was a way for Dooku to betray Sidious, as is the way of the Sith. It is obvious in the episodes that Dooku knows he is Kenobi and that’s why Dooku is gone when the plan fails: so Sidious doesn’t know. Kenobi was who Dooku wanted as an apprentice, so he would not out and kill Kenobi.

  • 1
    How is it obvious? Could you edit in some quotes to back this up? Also he seems pretty content in the films with potentially killing Kenobi so do you have any evidence to back this up again?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 6:58

Well, it is obvious that Force Users ability to use the force was in decline, given the abilities shown in other places, it is obvious that during this time the Force was fading away, given the Jedi's inability to sense even the slightest deception or trap (but maybe that was just arrogance) and the Sith have the same issue. But since we've seen in the recent movies, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, the Force has seen an emergence in strength so that even novice force users are able to overpower and stand against trained and powerful practitioners... for all their flaws the new movies has started to make the Force as awesome as we all believed when we were children.

  • 3
    While it may be obvious to you, I never felt this was the case, nor was I a child when you seem to claim the Force was "awesome". I was a mere twinkle in my father's pubescent eye. If you could provide some evidence that the force was indeed "fading" it would go a long way to strengthen your answer!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 20:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.