38

This was inspired by a related question about whether Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru knew that Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader.

Did they know that Obi-Wan "Old Ben" Kenobi was a Jedi?

Or did they think Kenobi was just an eccentric old hermit living out in the desert by himself?

Please provide answers from original sources.

  • 3
    When you say "original sources", do you mean "canon sources"? – Valorum Sep 21 '18 at 10:53
  • They knew that he was a wizard.. – I Love You 3000 Sep 21 '18 at 17:56
  • 1
    @Valorum Not sure what counts as canon any more with Disney in control. – RichS Sep 22 '18 at 3:35
  • 1
    @RichS - Luckily, someone put together a handy guide; scifi.stackexchange.com/a/80098/20774 – Valorum Sep 22 '18 at 6:52
  • 2
    I'm afraid you're incorrect. Both properties were written and published after April 2014 and are hence considered canon ("Broadly speaking, any book or property published after April 2014 is considered to be canon unless explicitly stated not to be"), with the small exception of those stories (like the poem by Sidious) that are very clearly considered tongue-in-cheek. Posting an exhaustive list of all canon properties would be prohibitively time-consuming and largely unnecessary when you can just look at the release date. – Valorum Sep 22 '18 at 16:01
51

Yes, Beru and Owen were aware that Kenobi was a Jedi, at least according to the story told from her perspective in the (canon) anthology book Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View

Still, there’ve been plenty of times I’ve wondered if I’d made a mistake. That day old Ben Kenobi showed up with the baby, my first instinct was to run. I may be a country girl who’s never been offplanet, but even I’m aware that when a Jedi walks up to you and says, “Here, have a baby,” it’s not going to end well. A part of me thought, “Beru, listen to your teacher. Put the baby down and go do what you were born for!”

Beru Whitesun Lars by Meg Cabot

In a later story we also see Kenobi save Luke and Owen from an attack by raiders. Kenobi uses the force and a lightsaber in Owen's presence.

I leap back to my feet, rejoining the fight, which is now ours to win. The tide has turned and the bandits are diminished one by one, decimated by blasterfire and plasma blade. As my last opponent cools at my feet, Luke cries out a warning. A Devaronian has reared up behind Owen, ready to bring the butt of his blaster down on the unsuspecting farmer’s head. I pull back my arm and throw my lightsaber with all my might. The blade pinwheels through the air, finding its mark. The Devaronian drops, his body split in two. I reach out with the Force, extinguishing the lightsaber before drawing the hilt back to my open palm.

Time of Death by Cavan Scott


Owen explicitly refers to Kenobi as a Jedi in the 2015 (canon) Marvel Star Wars comics.

enter image description here
Star Wars #015 - From the Journal of Old Ben Kenobi

  • 22
    That's some pretty bad writing by Cavan Scott. – RonJohn Sep 21 '18 at 11:56
  • @RonJohn - Owen is a plain-spoken man who doesn't mince his words. I think the goal is (with some success) to get that across to younger readers. – Valorum Sep 21 '18 at 12:16
  • 6
    @Valorum isn't that Ben narrating? – Rawling Sep 21 '18 at 14:22
  • 9
    Ben using a lightsaber in Luke's sight rather directly contradicts A New Hope. – Martha Sep 21 '18 at 22:12
  • 6
    @Martha - Luke is apparently 3 years old during the event, so may plausibly have forgotten about it. – Jules Sep 22 '18 at 13:18
15

Since you're asking for "original sources", I want to mention that through the course of the original trilogy, no one ever identifies what Owen or Beru's relationship to Luke actually is. Is Owen related to one of Luke's parents? Is Beru? Neither?* We're only told that they knew Luke's father.

This is particularly important because in the Annotated Screenplays of the OT, they discuss a dropped backstory from Return of the Jedi

The Emperor knew, as Ben did, that the Force is strong in the Skywalker line, and he began to search for Anakin's offspring. Ben reveals to Luke that he has a twin sister and that they were separated; Luke went to stay with Ben's brother, Owen, on Tatooine, while his sister and mother were sent to the protection of friends in a distant system. The mother died shortly thereafter, and Luke's sister was adopted by Ben's friends, the governor of Alderaan and his wife.

In the original conceived story, neither Owen or Beru were related to Anakin at all. Owen was Obi-Wan's brother. Being brothers, it's highly likely that Owen knew Obi-Wan was a Jedi.

*in some families, close friends of families are considered "aunts" or "uncles".

  • 4
    Yes, I know this answer is not technically canon. But I find the development of the story interesting, and until Ep2, there is nothing confirming the canonical relationship between the Lars and the Skywalkers. – phantom42 Sep 21 '18 at 12:44
  • 4
    If you're going to dig into this well of contradictions, you might want to go and look at the original treatment where Owen was Lucas Starkiller's trusted lieutenant, Mace Windu was the bad guy and everyone had the Force of the Whills to guide them :-) – Valorum Sep 21 '18 at 12:52
  • 4
    While that's true, this development has more weight to it, as through the course of the OT, the Ben/Owen backstory still works even if the explicit reference to it was cut out from RotJ. It's not until Ep2 that it's ever contradicted. Owen being Starkiller's lieutenant was drastically changed before anything was ever filmed. – phantom42 Sep 21 '18 at 19:50
14

Implied yes, according to the movie

To supplement Valorum's excellent extended canon answer, we also know from the films that, at least according to Obi-Wan, Owen knew that Obi-Wan had fought in the Clone Wars, and believed that Anakin had followed Obi-Wan offworld on an "idealistic crusade:"

                                LUKE
                    No, my father didn't fight in the 
                    wars. He was a navigator on a spice 
                    freighter.

                                BEN
                    That's what your uncle told you. He 
                    didn't hold with your father's ideals. 
                    Thought he should have stayed here 
                    and not gotten involved.

                                LUKE
                    You fought in the Clone Wars?

                                BEN
                    Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight the 
                    same as your father.

                              [...]

                               BEN
                    I have something here for you. Your 
                    father wanted you to have this when 
                    you were old enough, but your uncle 
                    wouldn't allow it. He feared you 
                    might follow old Obi-Wan on some 
                    damned-fool idealistic crusade like 
                    your father did.

From this, here's what we can infer that Owen knew:

  • Obi-Wan wanted to give Luke a lightsaber
  • Obi-Wan fought in the Clone Wars, with Anakin
  • Obi-Wan led Anakin on an "idealistic crusade" (with the word choice of "crusade" having religious connotations)

Also, here's what it's implied Luke knew as common knowledge before this scene:

  • The Jedi Knights fought in the Clone Wars (otherwise, "Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight" would be a non sequitur response)

This means that, unless Owen thought that non-Jedi recruited Jedi, fought in the Clone Wars alongside the clones, and would want to give Luke a lightsaber, he probably knew the truth.

Additionally:

                                 OWEN
                    That old man's just a crazy old 
                    wizard. Tomorrow I want you to take 
                    that R2 unit into Anchorhead and 
                    have its memory flushed. That'll be 
                    the end of it. It belongs to us now.

Owen himself calls Obi-Wan a "wizard", which is certainly an odd choice of words if he doesn't think he actually has any powers.

  • A lot of this seems like a big reach – Valorum Sep 21 '18 at 16:11
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    @Valorum I disagree. I really doubt George Lucas chose to have Owen say wizard without thinking the audience would assume something mystical about Ben. And I always understood Obi-Wan's conversation with Luke to mean that Owen knew about Anakin and Obi-Wan's past and didn't want Luke to get wrapped up in it. – BlackThorn Sep 21 '18 at 16:25
  • That bit is fine. The section above seems tenuous. Non-Jedi also fought in the Clone Wars and we don't really know if Owen forbade Luke from getting the lightsaber or whether this is just one of Kenobi's lies – Valorum Sep 21 '18 at 16:38
  • 3
    @Valorum How many non-Jedi fought in the Clone Wars with light-sabers? – Acccumulation Sep 21 '18 at 17:20
  • Again, this assumes that Kenobi explicitly offered Luke the lightsaber (via Owen). – Valorum Sep 21 '18 at 18:16
2

  If you count only movies, 99% yes

I don't know what you mean by "original sources" but there is lot of reason to believe they did know.

First, in Episode 2 they meet Anakin & Padme. Anakin is clearly Jedi Padawan at this time. He goes to rescue his mother and in the process fights Sand People. They know he is powerful.

Next, in episode 3 at the end they meet Kenobi. It is unclear did they knew him beforehand, but I doubt Beru would just accept baby from the stranger. Also, they knew that Luke is Anakin's son , and Kenobi his friend. Considering Kenobi's clothes in this scene, it would be hard not to recognize him as Jedi.

Finally, in Episode 4 Uncle Owen calls Ben Kenobi "wizard" and "crazy old man". Obviously, "wizard" implies he is Force user, i.e. Jedi .

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/537c1338-0327-4020-9549-d0932ce5ff28

  • For a moment, I began to wonder if the word "wizard" was getting made up, as the quote is "crazy old man". Indeed, "wizard" shows up in the sentence, but the quote (in the current version of the answer) of "crazy old wizard" is not an accurate quote. (The word "wizard" shows up before the words "crazy old".) – TOOGAM Sep 22 '18 at 18:02
  • @TOOGAM Well, you are right, I edited answer a bit. – rs.29 Sep 22 '18 at 18:05
  • 1
    @rs.29 - Hoodies aren't unique to Jedi though. i.imgur.com/algQiEY.jpg. Unless you think the Jawas are all Jedi? – Valorum Sep 23 '18 at 6:35
  • 1
    @rs.29 - There are literally dozens of people in the original trilogy who wear hooded tops. Some are seen in the Cantina, some in Jabba's entourage. It was only over time that the whole "jedi wear hooded robes" thing became a thing, and even then it's a myth. – Valorum Sep 23 '18 at 7:11
  • 1
    @rs.29 - Sure, but that's a retcon; scifi.stackexchange.com/a/111368/20774. Kenobi was just wearing "hermit clothes" to begin with, clothes that are almost identical to Owen Lars' apart from the kicky brown hoodie robe. – Valorum Sep 23 '18 at 22:39

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