-2

When in the Attack of the clones (Episode 2) of Star Wars Obi-Wan lands on Kamino and sees the Kaminoans for the first time (upon first contact on Kamino) he has no amusement whatsoever.

Assuming we know that the Kaminoans are familiar with the human race and probably a few others (I don't know what species Master Sifo-Dyas was) but Kenobi had never seen Kaminoans before. They are an absolutely new race for him to encounter.

Yet, he looks at them and speaks to them as though he had seen them before and was familiar with them.

Does this have to do with him being a Jedi? I know that I would be really amused to make first contact with a new race. Why wasn't Kenobi amused to meet a new species?

  • 1
    why is it assumed he has no knowledge of the race? To draw a rather poor analogy, I've never been to Russia, but I know Russian people exist. Just because I can't identify a Russian made military part, doesn't preclude me from knowing Russia exists – NKCampbell Oct 19 '17 at 17:18
  • 1
    The film says so and the books too. He didn't know about them. – SovereignSun Oct 19 '17 at 17:19
  • 1
    I can kinda figure out what you are asking, so I won't flag as unclear. But I recommend you make it more clear what you are asking. – amflare Oct 19 '17 at 17:21
  • 6
    This is a big strange universe, I'm sure Obi has encountered plenty of species he doesn't know... at some point the shock must wear off? He's an extremely well-traveled being, probably one of the most well traveled in the Universe as he's sent on all these trips by the Jedi Council with Qui-Gon and then by himself. He has to be used to strange things happening and still being polite. – Wraith Leader Oct 19 '17 at 17:28
  • 11
    Consider the Mos Eisley cantina scene. If you can see a diverse tableau like that just by walking into a bar on a galactic backwater like Tatooine, incredulity at encountering yet another differently shaped person can't be the normal reaction of a typical citizen. For a member of an elite galactic police force, even a raised eyebrow at such an encounter would be a surprise. – Kyle Jones Oct 19 '17 at 17:45
15

The official novelization suggests that Obi-Wan was more taken aback than the film lets on; it also suggests that he was deliberately concealing his feelings, which would presumably include any consternation about the Kaminoans' appearance (emphasis mine):

Obi-Wan pushed back his hood, which had offered little protection from the driving rain, and brushed the water from his hair. Wiping his face, he turned to face the speaker, and then he paused, caught by the image of the Kaminoan.

[...]

The words finally distracted Obi-Wan from his bemused perusal of her strangely beautiful physique. "I'm expected?" he asked, doing little to hide his incredulity. How in the galaxy could these beings possibly have been expecting him?

[...]

Obi-Wan nodded and tried to play it cool, hiding the million questions buzzing about in his thoughts. After all these years? They were thinking that I wasn't coming?

Attack of the Clones: Official Novelization Chapter 15

Bear in mind that the Kaminoans don't know that Obi-Wan is unfamiliar with them; as far as they know, he's a representative of one of their clients and, even though he may have never visited their planet before, they have every reason to believe that he's at least theoretically familiar with them.

For his part, Obi-Wan doesn't want the Kaminoans to think he's uncomfortable. He's very explicitly playing along with their mistake to pump them for information, and any suspicions he raises in their minds is going to jeopardize his mission. It would rather give the game away if he's openly gawking at them.

Though, all of that being the case, I would deeply question the assumption that he should be unduly shocked by their appearance. As I (and others) have mentioned in various comments: sure, he's meeting an entirely new species, but it's not like there aren't stranger-looking creatures roaming the galaxy. As a well-travelled galactic citizen, we can presume that Obi-Wan has seen his fair share of unusual alien species, and the Kaminoans are a relatively tame design; as noted in a different question on the site, they're not wholly dissimilar from other species he would be familiar with.

What's more, there's some indication that openly gawking at aliens is considered a social faux pas; consider this exchange from the canon novel Thrawn, where three characters discuss the titular alien (who is of a race never before seen in the galaxy at large):

"I've never seen anything like that before," Driller continued. "What is he, some kind of Pantoran with an eye condition?"

"Now, that's just rude," Juahir chided him. But she was staring at the strange being just as hard as he was. "Arihnda? Any ideas?"

"Sure," Arihnda said. "Let's go over and ask."

Juahir's gasp was audible even over the hum of conversation filling the ballroom. "You're kidding."

Thrawn Chapter 10

Although this is admittedly set in the Imperial era, many years after Obi-Wan's encounter with the Kaminoans, this doesn't seem an unreasonable social rule for any period of galactic history, especially in the relatively cosmopolitan years of the Republic.

And if there's anything we know about Obi-Wan, it's that he's unfailingly polite.

  • 4
    What do you know, this is my thousandth answer. Not sure how to feel about that, but hey; milestone – Jason Baker Oct 19 '17 at 17:25
  • 1
    So he had to hide all his amusement to play the role of he-who-was-expected? – SovereignSun Oct 19 '17 at 17:27
  • 1
    @SovereignSun I wouldn't use the term "amusement", but yes; any surprise he'd have felt at meeting the Kaminoans would give away the fact that he wasn't supposed to be there, which would potentially jeopardize his mission. Then again, it also seems reasonable to suspect that he probably wasn't that surprised by them; sure they're a brand new species, but they're far from the strangest-looking aliens in Star Wars – Jason Baker Oct 19 '17 at 17:29
  • I hope you aren't refererring to the Gungangs he and his Master Qui-Gon once came across on Naboo? – SovereignSun Oct 19 '17 at 17:34
  • 1
    @SovereignSun I was actually picturing Dex, Obi-wan's four-armed, beer-bellied line cook friend, when I wrote that. But we could also consider the Dugs (like Sebulba from Phantom Menace), who walk on their hands, or the three-eyed Gran, or the Ithorians, or Sy Snootles' species, or any of a multitude of others – Jason Baker Oct 19 '17 at 17:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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