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Published date: August 14, 2019
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One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious Crumb have swtor credits for sale the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In this installment, two writers take a stand on whether or not Obi-Wan was right to tell Luke that Darth Vader murdered his father.

We can all agree that lying is a bad thing. It erodes the trust that people place in us, and it damages the trust we’re able to place in others. After all, once you set the standard for lying in a relationship, you can’t really blame anyone for following your example. And yet — and yet — maybe there are certain times when manipulating the truth isn’t such a bad thing?

Look, I can’t say Obi-Wan was totally right in the way he omitted certain…facts about Luke Skywalker’s father. But, at the same time, it’s hard to say Obi-Wan was wrong.

Obi-Wan Kenboi and Beru Lars in Revenge of the Sith

Imagine you’re Obi-Wan. You’ve been living on this desert rock furthest from the bright center of the universe for years, with one singular purpose governing your existence: protect the son of your best friend — the best friend who, by the way, you struck down and left for dead in a lava pit. That’s it. That’s all you live for, alone, with little to occupy your time other than being haunted by your past.

Palpatine and the Empire rose to power on the Jedi’s watch; Anakin was seduced by the dark side right under Obi-Wan’s nose. To say the stakes were high for Obi-Wan would be a vast understatement.

And this young boy not only needs your protection; you’ve been watching and waiting knowing that one day he would also need your guidance. And by helping him understand the best aspects of his family history, he’s your one chance to set right what you got so terribly wrong.

Obi-Wan could not fail. He needed Luke for his own redemption. The galaxy needed Luke if it was ever going to win back its freedom — Luke, not Obi-Wan, was really the hope Leia spoke of, and the old wizard knew it.

Obi-Wan Kenboi in Revenge of the Sith

As Obi-Wan once said,“I will do what I must.” He exists for duty, to uphold the Jedi way and its principles, to fulfill his mission to shepherd Luke. I’m sure Obi-Wan would have relished educating Luke on both his and his father’s lives in a way that no one else possibly could. But he didn’t. Instead, he once again protected Luke, just as he’d been protecting him his entire life, knowing full well that the revelation that Luke’s father was the most evil, reviled, and feared man in the galaxy may well have stopped Luke right in his tracks. The impact of that unimaginably grim truth — as Obi-Wan knows better than anyone — could have stymied any hope of Luke reaching his potential and doing what he must: Helping save the galaxy from the clutches of the evil Empire.

Was Obi-Wan right for hiding the truth from Luke? Like the Jedi Knight himself says, from a certain point of view, what he told Luke was true. When Darth Vader was born, more machine than man, the good man who was Anakin Skywalker was destroyed. Obi-Wan’s point of view is nothing if not experienced. No one knows better what the trauma of learning the truth about Anakin Skywalker can do to a person. Obi-Wan, ever dutiful, ever vigilant, did what he had to do. And he wasn’t wrong.
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