obi-wan

Obi-Wan Kenobi might be one of the most prominent and most popular characters in the Star Wars original trilogy, but I’ve long harbored a grudge against him for lying to Luke about his parentage. No, that’s not entirely accurate — it’s not the lying I despise so much as his nonsense excuse when Luke calls him out on it, which is “What I told you was true… from a certain point of view.” I don’t know about you guys on Tatooine, Obi-Wan, but here on Earth that’s still called lying.

Such dishonesty hardly seems like appropriate behavior for a Jedi knight, and I’m not the only fan to have noticed. Fortunately for Obi-Wan, though, the Star Wars canon is huge and expanding every day, and that means there’s room to retcon his “certain point of view” bullcrap so it’s no longer “fake news” or an “alternative fact,” but actually a religious reference.

As noticed by io9, Chuck Wendig’s new book Star Wars: Aftermath – Empire’s End includes this prayer from the Journal of the Whills:

The truth in our soul
Is that nothing is true.
The question of life
Is what then do we do?
The burden is ours
To penance, we hew.
The Force binds us all
From a certain point of view.

So you see, Obi-Wan wasn’t just trying to cover his own ass when Luke got mad at him for withholding the truth about his parentage! He was just alluding to an ancient religion! If anything, Luke was the rude one for not realizing that sometimes, people might tell you stuff that isn’t true in any actual, practical sense, but might be true “from a certain point of view“!

While I can’t honestly say this changes my opinion of the character, I’ve got to give Wendig a begrudging “well played” for his clever reframing of Obi-Wan’s deceit. Now let’s see if Wendig ever manages to turn Obi-Wan’s nonsensical “a more civilized age” line into anything other than the Star Wars equivalent of a Boomer grumbling about Millennials. We know you’re talking about the prequels, Obi-Wan! Maybe don’t be so smug about how great things were back in the day.

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