Luke was clearly attracted towards Leia's beauty since the first time he saw her in the holo-recording stored in R2-D2. Given how Luke was so zoned out gazing into the full holo-recording at Obi-Wan's home, it seems highly unlikely that Obi-Wan would not pick up on the emotions betraying Luke's mind.

Obi-Wan clearly knows the kinship between Luke and Leia, so why didn't he do anything about Luke's infatuation for his twin sister?

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    Because even Yoda acknowledges that the whole "sexless monks with no attachments" thing didn't work out so well for the Jedi.
    – Valorum
    Nov 23, 2016 at 11:46
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    I guess he thought he'd be around a bit longer and could stop them if things got serious. In the meantime, he used the affection to motivate L. Anything to get him off...planet. jedi kinda-celibacy /no attachment policy is a bit knotty and not very inspirational for recruitment purposes.
    – user68762
    Nov 23, 2016 at 12:41
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    Do we have any evidence that relationships among siblings are problematic in the Star Wars civilization? Already here on Earth, views may differ significantly by culture - case in point, I regularly see U.S. Americans (?) express downright revulsion at the mere thought of a brother and a sister kissing, whereas based on my own cultural background from Europe (at least in my perception), a sexual relationship among siblings would count as extremely unusual, formally illegal in some jurisdictions, but ultimately other people's private consensual matters and not necessarily morally problematic. Nov 23, 2016 at 12:45
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    @O.R.Mapper at the end of ep. VI, Leia says to Han that Luke is her brother to make it clear there is nothing between the two of them. I think this is a clear sign that incest is not considered as an option in the SW universe.
    – PatJ
    Nov 23, 2016 at 14:14
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    Because, statistically speaking, nothing is more likely to fan the flames of an infatuation than being told, vaguely, that "that other person isn't for you. Give it up." Especially by an older person.
    – gowenfawr
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:41

5 Answers 5


out of universe: Leia was not written to be Luke sister until ROTJ.

Before the prequels were released it seems that Obi-Wan is not clued up on the existence of Leia, at least not when he was alive.

In Empire Strikes Back

Obi-Wan: That boy is our last hope

Yoda: There is another

Yoda seems to know at this point but not Obi-Wan (See this question)

When the prequels were released. the fact that Obi-Wan was present at the birth, and knew the name and location of Leia is a bit of a major continuity blunder. He should be more clued up as to who she is but is not.

The only explanation I can think of is that his memory is going "I don't remember owning a droid before?"

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    I always took Obi-Wan's remark about Luke being their last hope to be a reference to his Force aptitude and potential to keep the Light Side teachings alive, since there are no other Jedi aside from Yoda and Obi-Wan at that point. He wasn't aware that Leia was also potentially capable of carrying this torch, but he obviously (thanks prequels) knew that she was Luke's sister.
    – Steve-O
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:22
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    @Steve-O the daughter of "the one" should always be a strong consideration, until otherwise examined and ruled out. I mean even if they weren't sure the force was hereditary, the fact Luke was so proficient was way beyond coincidental, and only lent reason to examine his twin sister.
    – CyberClaw
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:32
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    FYI, the spelling is Leia Nov 23, 2016 at 16:52
  • @JasonHutchinson To be fair, a few of the actors say it like "Princess Leah" in their lines. There's even one part where Billy Dee Williams says "Han" like "Ham with an n" for idkwhy. Accent continuity was not a strong point of the original trilogy.
    – DariM
    Nov 23, 2016 at 22:29
  • @DariM: Leah is pronounced by some people the same as Leia is normally pronounced. You should probably write Lia is you mean the other pronunciation. Apr 4, 2017 at 17:48

Despite all out of universe things, there are also some in universe things to consider.

1.) Obi wan had some bad prior existence (Anakin->Vader) when he tried to council someone about attraction and feelings.

2.) He thought that he would be there when the two siblings met. And could help sorting out all missfeelings.

3.) He didn't think he would die.

4.) It was at that moment not sure if Luke and Leia would ever meet with her having been captured by an Empire that was not known for NOT killing their enemies while in prison.

5.) He knew that at least THIS time around he had to trust the force and let things play out without trying to control them.

So all in all: He thought he had time (which he hadn't) to correct the situation if things got too strange. Furthermore he was reluctant to make the same errors as with the twins father. Additionally he had learned the lession that sometimes one has to trust in the force instead of trying to control it.

So MAYBE he would have said something if he had known he was going to die, but we can't know for sure.


Another possible in-universe explanation: everything was at risk, personal attachment could bring a lot of harm (as it did in Revenge of the Sith).

Obi-Wan did not disclose to Luke the identity of his sister, as his attachment to her could betray them both to the enemy (as it did in RotJ). He did not disclose the identity of his father to him also, for a slightly different reason, but still the same - to avoid personal attachment.

Possibility of incest.. perhaps when a war is raging, it is a less significant thing to consider. Also, Luke figured out Leia's identity himself, with a subtle hint of Yoda, in RotJ.


What could he say? He can't tell him at this point that they are siblings. Also, forbidden fruit is always the sweetest, so trying to keep him away might only serve to drive him towards her.

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    He also wasn't terribly forthcoming about recognizing R2D2 the first time they met in ANH. And there was that famous bit about "what I said was true, from a certain point of view." Clearly, Obi-Wan likes to be cryptic and not point out everything he knows about the past.
    – Steve-O
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:25
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    Forbidden fruit is one thing, incest completely another......
    – Skooba
    Nov 23, 2016 at 16:35
  • @Skooba My point was if you try to deny someone something, they will want it more. He wasn't going to divulge they were related, and Luke wouldn't knowingly try to commit incest. But whatever reasons Obi gives him might only make him more interested.
    – Trenin
    Nov 23, 2016 at 19:01
  • @Skooba Perhaps I wasn't clear in my answer, but my point was that Obi wasn't going to tell Luke to stay away because they were related. He'd have to come up with a lie or some other reason. And whatever reason that was wasn't likely to dissuade Luke from pursuing her. "We want what we can't have" is an adage that I think would be true in this case. I am by no means suggesting that Luke would still want her if he knew it was his sister. But he might still want her if given more mundane reasons to stay away.
    – Trenin
    Nov 23, 2016 at 19:06

Likely at this point he did not anticipate dying himself, and no expectation of going to the Death Star to rescue Leia.

Remember, the plan was to go to Alderaan and take the Death Star schematics; a fairly simple job, and not one that was likely to take them into Leia's presence. Obi-Wan's plan was presumably take the plans to the Alliance, then train Luke as a Jedi while fighting with the Alliance. There would be plenty of time to deal with emotional connections at that point.

Obi-Wan also had little reason to think that Luke was ever likely to meet Leia at that point. They were going to Alderaan, not to rescue the Princess; why break the boy's brain with knowledge he couldn't use? If Leia was already dead, which was the most likely outcome, what good would it do for Luke to know she was his sister?

When the plan changed and they ended up on the Death Star, things would've been rather weird of Obi-Wan had suddenly started telling Luke not to get attached to the beautiful woman they were going to rescue. It would've drawn attention to them, attention that neither of them needed. But then things went pear shaped, he ran into Vader, and the rest is (somewhat icky) history.

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