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In Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), after been attacked by Sand People, we see Luke Skywalker laying inert in the ground, then, we hear a great howling moan echoing throughout the canyon which sends the Sand People flees in terror. After that, a shabby Kenobi leans over Luke and touches his head for few seconds. Why?

It looks to me that he was evaluating Luke's temporal pulse but also could have been that he tried to read Luke's mind or used the Force to heal/awake him.

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Regarding the alleged duplicate question:

It asks for a description of the action about doing/touching; but instead, my 'why does Kenobi touch...? differs from it because it asks for an explanation about touching.

The chosen answer to the other question, besides showing other characters' similar actions/behaviors, was rightly: Kenobi was possibly checking for a sign of life by using a technique.

Regarding my question, as you surely have noticed, it has arisen interesting potential responses which include, for example, one of the first uses of the Force in the Star Wars film saga.

In view of the above, I believe that there is no duplication of posts here.

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  • I disagree with your argument that this isn't a duplicate question and I voted to keep it closed. The most telling evidence that this is a duplicate is that @Valorum quoted the same text in his answer to both this question and the duplicate (and both answers have been well received).
    – Null
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:47

2 Answers 2

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The absymal Classic Star Wars: A New Hope has this to say on the subject;

Strange! An old man had frightened them off. He bent down beside the fallen boy. Then he touched him. It was a gentle touch. Yet it seemed to have the power to open Luke’s eyes. Luke found himself gazing up at the kind face of the hermit, Ben Kenobi.

The implication is that Ben is using some kind of Force power to awaken him.

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According to the film's junior novelization, Kenobi took Luke's pulse then touched his head. It's not said why he touched his head, but since he tells R2D2 a few moments later that Luke will be healed soon, one can infer that he used some abilities from the Force to help him recover from the blow.

The hooded figure stopped beside Luke’s unconscious form, then bent down and checked his pulse. R2-D2 beeped, and the figured paused. Then he raised a hand to pull back the hood, revealing a bearded old man with thinning white hair. The man turned to face the R2 unit, then smiled and said, “Hello there! Come here, my little friend. Don’t be afraid.”

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  • Is this the passage you're referring to "Walking over, the old man bent beside Luke and reached out to touch his forehead, then his temple. Shortly, the unconscious youth was stirring and mumbling like a dreaming sleeper. “Don’t worry,” the human told Artoo, “he’ll be all right.”"?
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 18:19
  • Assuming it is, it doesn't say why he touched his temple, nor make any claims about healing
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 18:19
  • Did the translators betrayed me once again? French translation says that Kenobi checked Luke's pulse before touching his forehead.
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 18:21
  • You might be mistaking it for the original junior novelisation "The hooded figure stopped beside Luke’s unconscious form, then bent down and checked his pulse. R2-D2 beeped, and the figured paused. Then he raised a hand to pull back the hood, revealing a bearded old man with thinning white hair. The man turned to face the R2 unit, then smiled and said, “Hello there! Come here, my little friend. Don’t be afraid.”"
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 18:40
  • It wasn't sold as a 'junior novelization' here... They sold it as a sort of compilation with two books: first one with the original trilogy and a hundred pages of info on the saga, and the second book containing the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn. Sighs. I'm disappointed by this betrayal but not surprised, France is notoriously bad when it comes to translation, and even worst when it's sci-fi.
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 19:06