There were three founders and secret holders of the grand plan established in the end of Return of the Sith: Bail Organa, Master Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

When Obi-Wan Kenobi confronted Darth Vader on Death Star, Bail Organa was already dead by then. And, it left only him knowing the location of Yoda who was out of direct contact with Rebellions (R2-D2's memories were also screwed). What made Obi-Wan think that his being Force Ghost would work or he as a force ghost would be able to interact with an untrained force sensitive?

  • I think it partly had to with giving Luke the motivation he needed to push on and face Vader.
    – Nomkins
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 22:15
  • 5
    It is implied that he had been studying with a Force ghost for ~20 years, so he probably had a good idea of how to become one, and of how to communicate with people as one.
    – KSmarts
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 22:22
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    The end of the Clone Wars animated series (new cannon), Yoda is instructed in how to maintain full consciousness after death (force ghost style) under the premise that he will teach Obi-Wan.
    – Firebat
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 22:28

3 Answers 3


Well, what Obi-Wan did makes perfect sense... from a certain point of view.

At the time of Episode IV, Obi-Wan is getting up there in years. He isn't quite as fast or mobile as he used to be, so his primary asset these days is his knowledge & experience. Also, he is now responsible for training the plan's target - a hot-headed young man who has a tendency to rush off into danger. Under the circumstances, it's only a matter of time before the two get separated, or things otherwise go sideways and south fast.

By allowing himself to be struck down by Vader, Obi-Wan has accomplished three things:

  • He has provided further motivation for Luke to focus on his training and stay on "the path" Obi-Wan has laid out for him
  • He has overcome any physical limitations he had, and is now (theoretically) able to communicate with Luke at any time or place
  • By returning as a Force ghost, he has provided Luke with concrete evidence of the Force's true potential. No longer is it just lightsabers and feelings. Now it's something real.
  • Obi-Wan and Yoda both didn't die a violent death (Obi-Wan vanished before Vader could kill him and Yoda died sleeping). Yet, they both returned as force ghost.
    – user931
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 22:47
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    The final 3 episodes of Clones Wars the animated series go into the details of how Yoda is taught to return as a force ghost, and that he is needed to teach Obi-Wan the same.
    – Firebat
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 22:50
  • @SachinShekhar - Obi-Wan is supposed to have vanished AS Vader struck him down. You got me on Yoda, though. But AFAIK Yoda is the only example of someone doing it when they died naturally and weren't stabbed, shot, or blown-up. I'll have to find it, but either a book or comic I read posited that it took two elements - knowing how and dying a violent(ish) death. Worst case, I'll just take that part off if I can't find it.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 22:56
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    First time I've ever seen someone use ghosts as proof positive something real and physical objects as examples of a lack thereof.
    – TylerH
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 6:21
  • If Obi-Wan had the Jedi powers shown in Episode V, he could have demonstrated the real powers of the force by levitating large objects and so on.
    – Dronz
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 21:09

He chose the lessor of two evils. Might screw the grand plan, next to, millions more people will die daily if the rest of them don't escape with the plans, find a weakness and destroy the DS. Also, you can kiss that plan goodbye if they all die, then and there.

Amidst dueling with Vader, Ben turns to see the rest of his party (which, knowingly includes his honorary niece and nephew) a mere five feet from their ship, all but waiting on him. Between them all, are five storm troopers and roughly 150 feet of ground or so to cover.

He'd have to dispatch Vader (and as we know, he is incapable of that task anyway), help kill the five guys, plus whomever else had showed up in the interim, risk the docking bay doors being closed, run half a football field and any number of other considerations too lengthy to contemplate: Standing at the ramp of the ship, their best option of escaping is the one where Ben is no longer a factor.

(Obi-Wan is struck down. All hell breaks lose)

Everyone yelling at Luke: Common!

Leia: Luke, it's too late!

Luke would have stood his ground until it was too late for all of them. As far as he knew, Obi-Wan was his last surviving family member. Force ghost or no, this is the only available tactical solution with an acceptable success margin.

That he sacrifices himself so willingly either means he's a better man then I, or he knew what he was doing. I think both.

  • Come on, you can do better than that. I can't correct it because your error is less than 6 characters, which seems a stupid restriction.
    – Rich
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 20:55

I do agree with omacron, Obi wan Benjamin kenobi was a very old master. When vader struck him, he let him do it. As seen if you watch the duel between them. He wanted to be more powerful so he was able to teach Luke better, showing him that the force is very powerful in many ways and that he still could achieve more knowledge of the force even through death.

  • 3
    Is that really Obi-Wan's full name?
    – user931
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 5:38

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