4

In Revenge of the Sith, it's a plot point that Obi-Wan and Yoda are changing the Jedi Temple beacon's message at the same time that Padme and Bail are learning about the formation of the Empire:

The PILOT pushes some buttons. MAS AMEDDA appears on screen.

MAS AMEDDA: Senator Organa . . . the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic requests your presence at a special session of Congress.

BAIL ORGANA: Tell the Chancellor I will be there.

MAS AMEDDA: Very well. He will be expecting you.

MAS AMEDDA's image disappears from the screen.

BAIL ORGANA: It could be a trap.

OBI-WAN: No, I don't think so. The Chancellor will not be able to control the thousands of star systems without keeping the Senate intact.

YODA: If a special session of Congress there is, easier for us to enter the Jedi Temple it will be.

Based on this exchange and the cuts seen in the film itself, the Emperor is declaring his intention to create the Empire to the Senate roughly concurrently with Obi-Wan and Yoda's trip to the Jedi Temple. Later, Rebels shows a holocron containing Obi-Wan's overwritten version of the Temple's warning message:

OBI-WAN: This is Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. I regret to report that both our Jedi Order and the Republic have fallen, with the dark shadow of the Empire rising to take their place. [...]

How did Obi-Wan know about the Empire if he was recording the message at the same time everyone else was finding out about it elsewhere?

EDIT: According to issue 2 of the Kanan: The Last Padawan comic, it looks like it is indeed the same message--that is, the one we see in Rebels is the same one recorded during the events of RotS.

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    It might simply be that he realised where things were headed based on what he'd seen. – PointlessSpike May 11 '15 at 8:23
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    is 'midichlorians' the answer? – LepelLeLama May 11 '15 at 12:12
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As far as I know, there is no clear answer to this.

In the A New Dawn novel, it is written that Obi-Wan's message is:

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

Both A New Dawn and Star Wars Rebels are canon but they are opposing. We can imagine that Rebels message was recorded later...

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    I never assumed that the message found in Rebels was the message Obi-Wan overwrote in EpIII – David May 11 '15 at 13:01
  • What context is it in in the novel? The latest issue of the comic series shows Kanan/Caleb receiving the transmission in real-time during RotS, and it seems to be the version seen in the show. – Milo P May 19 '15 at 3:58
  • Got some more information on this one this weekend, if you'd like to update your answer: twitter.com/pablohidalgo/status/843534277606170624 – Milo P Mar 22 '17 at 4:39
5

I don't think the two things are the same.

The Beacon seems to be a small text based message, it was originally intended to get Jedi to come to Coruscant.

The object in Rebels is a holocron with a holographic recording of Obi-Wan. There is very little in the Disney cannon for Obi-Wan between Episode III and IV, so we don't know even when it could have been recorded and how Kanan got hold of it.

  • This. I don't think it was the same message. – tilley31 May 11 '15 at 17:58
  • Confirmed as the same message in issue 2 of Kanan: The Last Padawan. – Milo P May 20 '15 at 15:56
2

If you're willing to accept parts of Legends as "Relevant until overwritten," which I feel personally is fair--particularly for the Old Republic era--the emergence of the Sith is almost inevitably followed by the establishment of an Empire.

Notice his message doesn't say that the Empire has already replaced the Republic, but that it is "Rising to take its place," which I see as an important distinction.

Unopposed by the Jedi and in control of the whole of the Republic, it is a completely reasonable for Yoda and Obi Wan to conclude that Sidious is going to try to raise an Empire--it's just what extraordinarily powerful Sith with no other driving ambition do. So while I may be reading a bit too much into the phrasing, it seems that the holocron message is saying "Brace yourself, an Empire is coming," and it is decidedly not saying "I have just discovered that The Galactic Empire exists."

  • Nope. None of the legends properties are considered canon. – Valorum May 12 '15 at 15:42
  • No, but they remain valuable for drawing conclusions until other evidence overwrites them. If new material is published tomorrow that says "Palpatine was the first Sith to make an Empire and the Sith Code is actually some unrelated garbage," then of course that takes precedent. Until then, however, Legends is the best resource we have to answer predictive or expository questions, especially historical ones where there's no guarantee new information will ever be established. So functionally, "Canon in-all-but-name until overwritten." – Thorn May 12 '15 at 15:46
  • The official proclamation from Disney/Lucasfilm is that legends is non-canon, not canon-until-anything. They don't preclude pinching stuff from it but that's not the same thing/ – Valorum May 12 '15 at 15:58
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    Edited the answer to read "Relevant until overwritten," which is more in line with what I'm trying to say and avoids the hangup over canon – Thorn May 12 '15 at 17:01

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