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If you've seen the premiere episode of Rebels, you will have seen Obi-Wan's warning message that he broadcast to Jedi throughout the galaxy in RotS. In this message he speaks cryptically & warns of a "dark shadow" falling & to avoid the temple & await a "new hope".

Wouldn't it have been useful to inform the Jedi that their mortal enemy the Sith had returned? And specifically that Palpatine himself was a Sith? You'd assume that the majority of the Jedi who were not in the loop of the Council would be unaware of the existence of the Sith. Yoda mentions a few times that they should keep it under wraps. I think now would've been the time to reveal the truth. The more info the surviving Jedi have the better. Who knows if the likes of Kanan knows anything about the Sith's return! I find Obi-Wan's omission of this information bizarre.

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    The only two reasons I can think of are that: a) he was afraid some Jedi might go after Sidious and get themselves killed, and b) that he was pressed for time and had to lay low. Neither are particularly good reasons. – James Sheridan Dec 6 '14 at 9:13
  • Trust in the Force, my friend. According to Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions, Yoda already knew what was going to happen. – Lobo Dec 7 '14 at 4:19
  • Yeah its strange. Order 66 was given simultaneously so i guess most if not all the Jedi knew what was going on, or something was wrong. I'm just wondering with all that technology and the Jedi's that escaped, didn't they have mobile phones to call in to base to get the details or turn the news on to see what was happening. The emperor made an announcement to the senate that he is taking over with the clones and forming an empire so everyone in the Galaxy knew what was going on and must have been broadcast. You make it up as go along with star wars. They are so many gaps – Tasos Dec 8 '14 at 0:40
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    You'd have to ask Mr. Lucas. In the original EU, the various Jedi hiding throughout the galaxy pretty much knew that the Emperor and Vader were the Sith - they just didn't feel that they could do anything about it by that time. – Omegacron Mar 17 '15 at 16:27
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    Is what canon? Rebels the show has been declared so if that's what you mean. – Palp Fiction May 3 '15 at 5:59
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Leveraging the whole of both Star Wars canons (Both Main and Legends), it doesn't make a terrible amount of sense for Obi Wan to tell them about the Sith. As far back as the Great Hyperspace War, the Jedi have been very insistent about the extermination of the Sith. A really good example of this is in Revenge of the Sith where, upon being told that Palpatine is a Sith Lord, Mace Windu and the rest of the council immediately move to execute him.

In the Darth Bane trilogy, it's mentioned repeatedly that any time the Sith show up, the Jedi jump at the opportunity to go to war with them.

So if you are Obi-wan, and you understand

  • How royally outclassed the Jedi have been by Sidious (and there's really no debate there--Sidious gained control of and then turned the entire Republic against an order that had been close to its core for Millennia)
  • That your organization is now the next best thing to extinct, and every member is critical to keeping the Jedi way alive
  • Members of your order have been conditioned since childhood to be ready to drop everything and go to war with the Sith, at all costs up to and including their lives

It's illogical to mention the Sith in a message with a theme of "Buckle down somewhere and fasten your seatbelts, it's going to get bumpy for the forseeable future." Mentioning the Sith is a surefire way of getting every Jedi still alive to do the exact opposite, and likely get themselves killed and hasten the extermination of the Order.

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    The first sentence doesn't match what we find out in the first and second prequel, where Sith popping up killing Jedis is forgotten and Sith Lords hiding in secret is dismissed as absurd. – Oldcat Apr 30 '15 at 21:30
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    It's only dismissed as absurd briefly in TPM, and because the Jedi had good reason to believe that the Sith had been driven to extinction. In AoTC, nobody disbelieves that there are Sith working in the galaxy, it's Dooku's claim that a Sith is in control of the Senate that they take issue with, which is a much more potent claim. You'll also notice that as soon as Qui Gon convinces the council that there even might be a Sith Lord, they tell him to go "confront this "Sith Lord." As soon as they have even a hint that there might be a Sith involved, the Jedi turn to extermination – Thorn May 1 '15 at 12:14
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    Reasonable answer but the issue I have is that surely informing Jedi that the Sith are now in charge of the galaxy is vital to their own safety & security. To survive they now have to hide not just from sight but also from being detected by use of the Dark Side. This information will allow them to take different precautions. Obi-Wan's message merely implied (or didn't refute) that Palpatine is a political schemer who has taken control & defeated the Jedi. If anything omitting the fact that he's a Sith may encourage the Jedi to oppose him. – Palp Fiction May 3 '15 at 6:10
  • They may just see him as a master schemer but a regular guy who can & must be disposed of to restore freedom & order. Secondly, I would've though Obi-Wan would have more confidence in his fellow Jedi to hear & accept the truth & act smartly & responsibly. I can't get past it being a glaring & very strange omission. – Palp Fiction May 3 '15 at 6:10
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    I cannot picture any situation where it'd be best NOT to know you're being hunted by your mortal enemy. This is excusing bad plot writing :/ – Andres F. Sep 2 '15 at 23:45
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What would have been the point?

The main and only thing would be to tell them to flee and hide.

In the main holocomm center of the Jedi Temple, high atop the central spire, Obi-Wan used the Force to reach deep within the shell of the recall beacon’s mechanism, subtly altering the pulse calibration to flip the signal from come home to run and hide. Done without any visible alteration, it would take the troopers quite a while to detect the recalibration, and longer still to reset it.

This was all that could be done for any surviving Jedi: a warning, to give them a fighting chance. (Matthew Stover, ROTS novelization)

Later canon ("The New Dawn" by Miller) elaborated on the exact message:

THIS IS OBI-WAN KENOBI
REPUBLIC FORCES HAVE BEEN TURNED AGAINST THE JEDI
AVOID CORUSCANT, AVOID DETECTION
STAY STRONG
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU

  1. Telling Jedi about the Sith wouldn't help in any way in the main goal, to get them to escape and hide.

    Why exactly would Kanan need to know about the Sith? Is he trained/equipped to fight the Sith specifically? (Answer: "NO!!!", as per ROTS novelization and Yoda's lightbulb moment.) Would his actions/behavior change or need to chance in any way by knowing that the Emperor is a Sith?

    Remember, the ONLY way to fight the Sith, as Yoda realized at the end of RotS is "New Model Jedi", namely Luke and Leia.

  2. Also, telling them about "the Sith" would be dangerous - if they assume that just 1 Sith is the enemy, it could introduce more complacency than "the whole Republic is out to get you"

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    Ok you've made a good effort here in providing a logical answer. Here are some issues I have with it. Firstly, the earlier works such as the novelization aren't really relevant. Rebels is canon & therefore we now know that Obi-Wan DID have time to record quite a long & detailed message. He didn't seem to be in a particular hurry or overly pressed for time either. He waxes lyrical about "trusting in each other" & the bonds of friendship. – Palp Fiction Dec 7 '14 at 7:09
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    Why should he have told them about the Sith? It's more a question of why not. It's arguably the most important & relevant piece of information the Jedi should be made aware of. They should know that they're not just facing a conventional enemy who has staged a military coup. They have powerful Dark Side users to contend with. Therefore the Jedi are in even greater danger both in terms of safety & in being detected. This info may lead them to take even greater care as well as different measures to remain safe & hidden. – Palp Fiction Dec 7 '14 at 7:09
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    This practical & safety issue is the main thing. The secondary matter is that the rest of the Jedi arguably have a RIGHT to know what happened to their order, & who's responsible for the death of so many of their Jedi comrades. I just think it's a very strange omission from an in universe pov. – Palp Fiction Dec 7 '14 at 7:11
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    That's true. The retcon after ANH is that "Darth" is a Sith title rather than the character's first name. It's hard to know how well known Vader was to the wider population however. He's yet to get a single mention in Rebels so far by anyone other than the Inquisitor. Also we don't know how well informed "lesser Jedi" including Padawans were of Sith lore & history. Of course all of this could easily have been solved with a few helpful words from Obi-Wan in his message ;-) – Palp Fiction Dec 7 '14 at 12:29
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    @PalpFiction - novelizations are G canon. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 8 '14 at 0:04
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     Only valid reason no to mention Sith would be if remaining Jedi knew that "dark shadow" are actually Sith. This is not impossible, members of Jedi Council certainly knew about Sith, and were actively searching for mysterious Sidious. That knowledge probably trickled down to rank&file Jedi, Ashoka certainly knew or figured out who was Palpatine.

     Obi-Wan's message clearly states that both Republic and Jedi Order have fallen, Jedi should not return to Temple (that time has passed) and they need to trust the Force and wait for New Hope. In non-poetic terms this means that they have basically screwed the pooch :D , people sitting in Coruscant are not simply anti-Jedi clique that could be beaten back. Instead, Jedi would need to hide because they cannot win in outright combat, like they used to do.

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