Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi intended to bring the droids into the cantina with them until the bartender said, "We don't allow their kind in here." C3PO and R2D2 were forced to wait outside while Kenobi negotiated for a ride to Alderaan.

Kenobi knew that Imperial Stormtroopers were searching for the droids. The droids had no weapons to protect themselves. Nor could they use Jedi mind tricks to deter any Stormtroopers that asked too many questions.

Why did Kenobi leave the droids at risk of getting captured?

This is a high risk situation since Stormtroopers are searching all over Mos Eisley. You'd think he would insist on staying with the droids. Or take the droids with him to a different cantina. Or mind-trick the bartender into allowing just these droids to stay in the cantina. Of several possible options, leaving the droids unguarded seems riskiest. Did he foresee that the droids would be safe?

Please use canon sources when you answer.

  • 5
    And then you'd need to mind-trick everyone in the cantina into not wondering why the barman's well known policy wasn't being adhered to
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 17:40
  • 10
    he had literally just told the stormtroopers that these weren't the droids they were looking for. Problem solved.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 18:33
  • 2
    Kenobi probably should have told Luke to go outside to watch over the two droids. Kenobi really didn't need to have Luke sitting with him when he was negotiating with Han Solo for a ride on the Millennium Falcon to Alderaan.
    – user126715
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 18:36
  • 3
    @user255577 So instead of two unsupervised droids, you have an unsupervised teenager with two droids. This to me feels like a lateral move at best.
    – Cadence
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 19:58
  • Ben was never particularly good outside of the Jedi Council. Mixing with the common plebs ain't for him: It’s Weird How Bad Ben Kenobi Screwed Up Everything At Mos Eisley. But then again, HIS teacher, Qui-Gon Jinn was even worse the first time they were on Tatooine, a planet as central as Foundation's Terminus. (Did anyone mention Gin? Who has been drinking in the morning??) Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


Why did Obi-Wan Kenobi leave the droids unguarded while stormtroopers were looking for them?

He didn't, it was Luke.

If you watch the scene, Obi-Wan had entered the cantina before Luke and the droids. Obi-Wan was already at the bar, alone, speaking to potential pilots when Luke was standing at the entrance of the cantina with the droids. After the bartender told Luke ( and only Luke ) that they don't serve their kind, it is Luke who instructs the droids to wait outside.

Obi-Wan, engaged in whatever conversations he was having at the bar, likely did not know that Luke had sent the droids outside alone. Even if he heard the bartender yell at Luke, maybe he thought that Luke would accompany the droids outside.

Cantina Scene

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    Going into that bar patronized by rejects and deplorables from the hive of villany and not having all the feelers up to a degree that he exactly knows where that stupid adolescent (which he already had to save once) is at any moment? That's Ben, all right. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 21:02
  • 2
    I always wondered what the droids would have ordered from the bartender if they had been allowed to come into the Cantina, perhaps a shot of grease or maybe a shot of liquid that would speed up their positronic brain for a short time.
    – user126715
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 21:21
  • 1
    @user255577 A Hydrazine Chaser. Nasty stuff. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 22:01
  • 2
    Maybe Ben should have warned Luke that this place was a hive of scum and villainy. Oh ... wait ... nevermind.
    – user89104
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 22:16

The official novelisation gives us a nice overview of the thought process that led to them going outside. There's a small amount of additional dialogue, but basically this agrees with the film.

Wuher (the bartender) was the one who suggested they leave.

“We don’t serve their kind in here,” the glaring form growled.

“What?” Luke replied dumbly. He still hadn’t recovered from his sudden submergence into the cultures of several dozen races. It was rather different from the poolroom behind the Anchorhead power station. “Your ’droids,” the bartender explained impatiently, gesturing with a thick thumb. Luke peered in the indicated direction, to see Artoo and Threepio standing quietly nearby. “They’ll have to wait outside. We don’t serve them in here. I only carry stuff for organics, not,” he concluded with an expression of distaste, “mechanicals.”

Ben was otherwise occupied and played no part in the discussion.

Luke didn’t like the idea of kicking Threepio and Artoo out, but he didn’t know how else to deal with the problem. The bartender didn’t appear to be the sort who would readily respond to reason, and when he looked around for old Ben, Luke saw that he was locked in deep conversation with one of the Corellians.

Meanwhile, the discussion had attracted the attention of several especially gruesome-looking types who happened to be clustered within hearing range. All were regarding Luke and the two ’droids in a decidedly unfriendly fashion.

Luke didn't feel he had any other choice and his leaving with the droids might have attracted more attention, not less, as he'd be singled out as a 'droids rights activist.

“Yes, of course,” Luke said, realizing this wasn’t the time or place to force the issue of ’droid rights. “I’m sorry.” He looked over at Threepio. “You’d better stay outside with the speeder. We don’t want any trouble in here.”

“I heartily agree with you, sir,” Threepio said, his gaze traveling past Luke and the bartender to take in the unfriendly stares at the bar. “I don’t feel the need for lubrication at the moment anyway.” With Artoo waddling in his wake, the tall robot hastily headed for the exit.

That finished things as far as the bartender was concerned, but Luke now found himself the subject of some unwanted attention. He abruptly became aware of his isolation and felt as if at one time or another every eye in the place rested a moment on him, that things human and otherwise were smirking and making comments about him behind his back.

  • "he'd be singled out as a 'droids rights activist." Droids rights activist? Is that a thing in the Star Wars galaxy?
    – user89104
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 20:56
  • @LincolnMan - Evidently so; starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Droid_rights_(movement)
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 0:05

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