Obi-Wan Kenobi's biography on starwars.com states that he chose to live on Tatooine specifically to watch Luke as if he had always intended to train Luke and not Leia. It seems that Luke had the advantage as he lived only miles away from Obi-Wan while Leia lived in an entirely different star system.

Like some say, it could just be a coincidence that Obi-Wan happened to live on the same planet as Luke, but Yoda got an entire planet to himself. Surely, Obi-Wan could find a better planet to hide out than Tatooine. Preferably, a planet between Tatooine and Alderaan, so Luke and Leia could have an equal chance of crossing paths with him.

All signs point to the fact that Obi-Wan must have preferred Luke in some way when he decided to live on Tatooine and not bother with Leia on Alderaan. Maybe Obi-Wan could sense the Force was stronger with Luke at birth (they were fraternal twins and not identical twins), and that is why he did not care as much about Leia. The fact that he allowed Leia to be adopted by such a high-profile family as the Organas but took Luke to a remote planet such as Tatooine where he would be under the protection of a Jedi Knight further proves my point.

To me it seems like Luke was chosen to become a Jedi from the start, but what do you think? Was the fact that Obi-Wan chose to live on Tatooine and watch over Luke as opposed to Leia on Alderaan proof that he preferred Luke for some reason, or is it just a painful coincidence?

EDIT: Was Luke really only trained to go with Obi-Wan to Alderaan, or was that just an excuse to commence Luke's training because it is really hard to believe that Luke needed the Force just to travel in a space ship to Alderaan.

  • 1
    "Did not care" is a bit strong, also wasn't yoda the one who decided who went where?
    – user46509
    Jun 14, 2015 at 20:05
  • 1
    Semi-dupe of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/76987/…
    – Valorum
    Jun 14, 2015 at 20:10
  • 2
    Dupe of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/32730/…?
    – Valorum
    Jun 14, 2015 at 20:12
  • 4
    @ChristopherHenderson When he places her with a loving family who also happen to be one of the richest in the universe. Thus giving her the best possible start in life.
    – user46509
    Jun 14, 2015 at 20:53
  • 2
    @ChristopherHenderson - She was "hiding in plain sight", as the saying goes. The closer you are to danger, the farther you are from harm. The Emperor was reluctant to start killing off royalty left and right, at least until his Death Star was finished.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 14, 2015 at 21:48

4 Answers 4


I believe this is yet another artifact from the development of story over years.

Based on the annotated screenplays, Luke and Leia were not originally entirely intended to be brother and sister, mentioning that early drafts of Empire played up the possible romance angle between the two, and as discussed here, they didn't originally necessarily intend Leia to be a possible "other hope".

But more importantly, is a dropped origin mentioned in the annotated screenplays. Back during development, Uncle Owen and Aunt Lars were not related to Anakin Skywalker, much less Luke - they were related to Ben Kenobi.

Discussing the second draft of Return of the Jedi:

The Emperor knew, as Ben did, that the Force is strong in the Skywalker line, and he began to search for Anakin's offspring. Ben reveals to Luke that he has a twin sister and that they were separated; Luke went to stay with Ben's brother, Owen, on Tatooine, while his sister and mother were sent to the protection of friends in a distant system. The mother died shortly thereafter, and Luke's sister was adopted by Ben's friends, the governor of Alderaan and his wife.

While this discusses the development of Jedi, it stands to reason that the idea was likely ruminating in Lucas' head back in the A New Hope days, if it was such an early idea during Jedi. Following this, Ben had multiple reasons to be on Tatooine. Being able to monitor Luke was certainly one, but it seems Tatooine was also likely intended as his original home.

From the notes, it's also a little unclear whether or not the "friends" Leia and Padme were sent to were the Governor and his wife, or if they simply adopted Leia after Padme's death.

Unfortunately, the screenplays do not provide any reason in particular why Luke was chosen to go with Ben to Tatooine over Leia. Quite honestly, it's likely just an obvious fact that most heroes in Hollywood movies, and in the sort of stories Lucas grew up with (and wrote) are male. While many details such as names, and relationships certainly changed over the course of the development of the movies, and even just A New Hope, the fact that the primary hero was a male never seemed to be a question or possible change to be made.

  • 2
    Thank you so much! I personally do not consider the prequels canon as they contradict the original trilogy too much, so the backstory provided in the second draft of Return of the Jedi is so helpful! You probably saved me months of confusion and frustration as I hate when I find a flaw in my favorite movie franchise. Jun 14, 2015 at 21:35
  • The friends part seems unambiguous.
    – user16696
    Jun 15, 2015 at 1:47
  • 1
    @ChristopherHenderson +1 for not considering the prequels canon :P
    – Wolfie Inu
    Oct 1, 2015 at 6:44
  • 2
    I think that should be Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (Lars was their surname). Feb 23, 2016 at 0:52

I think Obi Wan always hoped to teach Luke the ways of the Force eventually, but that wasn't especially important at the time they were deciding what to do with the twins. The priority at the time Luke and Leia were born was not to rebuild the Jedi Order - the much more important issue was to protect them and prevent the Emperor from discovering that they were alive.

It was also useful, in pursuing the goal of anonymity for the twins, to keep them far apart from one another. That way, if the Emperor found one of them, there would still be a chance to keep the other one hidden.

The secondary concern was to make sure the kids had good homes and loving families. Owen and Beru were decent people, regardless of Owen's feelings about Anakin, the Jedi, etc., so Luke would be safe and cared for with them.

And the Organas were already thinking about adopting a child (I can't remember if he said that they were unable to conceive a child on their own, but it is certainly possible). They were a respected and loving couple, and were obviously very friendly with the Jedi and the cause of restoring the Republic, so there was no reason not to let them raise Leia, and every reason in the world to entrust them with Leia's upbringing.

Leia was relatively safe with the Organas because they were very high-profile people, royalty in fact, and even the Emperor was wary of the negative publicity that would result from any attempt to kill the ruling monarchs of an important planetary system (at least until he had an operational Death Star which made it less important to maintain popular support). In a way, the visibility of the Organas made it possible for the remaining Jedi to keep an eye on Leia from afar.

Owen Lars was a simple man living in a remote area on a desert planet in the middle of nowhere. He was very low profile and not visible at all. That meant that someone would have to stay close by in order to keep an eye on Luke. Obi Wan volunteered for the job, presumably because of a combination of factors- his close relationship with Padme and Anakin, the guilt he felt for the way Anakin went astray under his tutelage, the fact that he (presumably) thought he had killed Anakin, and on a more practical level, because he had very little else to do with the rest of his life.

I never got the impression that Obi Wan didn't care about Leia, or cared more about Luke - it was a pragmatic decision, as I see it. Leia was safe and secure with the Organas. Luke was less safe and secure, because he was on Vader's/Anakin's home planet and living with Vader's/Anakin's half brother.

It was not really about which kid Obi Wan liked more, it was about what would be best for the kids themselves.

Of course, it was also fairly important to make sure that at least some of the Jedi survived. This is why Yoda went to a remote swamp planet in the middle of nowhere. If the babies hadn't survived childbirth, Obi Wan probably would have gone somewhere as remote as Tatooine anyway, just to stay out of sight.

It was fortunate, therefore, that Obi Wan could kill two (or three) birds with one stone, so to speak: He needed a loving family for Luke. He needed to keep an eye on Luke. And he needed to live somewhere out of the way, somewhere remote and far away from "Imperial entanglements". All of these goals would be achieved by bringing Luke to his aunt and uncle on Tatooine, and living somewhere nearby.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but Leia was already taken care of. Since that left only Luke to worry about, Obi Wan stepped up and took responsibility for his safety.

As for your sub-question, I don't think Obi Wan began training Luke solely for the purpose of going to Alderaan. Even if the trip had gone as expected, and Alderaan was still there, and they got there and discovered that Leia had escaped from the Death Star herself, and everything was just fine, Luke had no reason to go back to Tatooine. He was going to become a Jedi no matter what else happened. Since the trip to Alderaan took a few days, and there was little to do on the Millennium Falcon (aside from playing that weird holographic chess game with Chewbacca, which might cost you an arm if you beat him), it made sense to start the training then and there.


The answer is in Episode III when Bail Organa mentions to Yoda and Obi-Wan that he will "take the baby girl" because he and his wife had been considering adopting a baby girl. Bail says this before Obi-Wan mentions that he will take Luke to Tatooine and watch over him. As a practical matter, Luke may have been the more suitable choice to take to Owen and Beru Lars, as Owen probably needed a good, loyal man to help him maintain his farm and livelihood. At the same time, Leia ended up being worthy ambassador of Alderaan, and a fine leader within the Rebel Alliance.


Whether Obi-Wan "preferred" Luke or Leia is irrelevant because he was "kept away from Luke" by the grumpy Owen Lars. By the time Obi-Wan finally had any meaningful interaction with Luke, the latter was 19, and "way too old to learn the ways of the Force" (according to traditional Jedi doctrine).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.