Crazy Old Wizard

I posit that Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Star Wars saga, went insane toward the end of his life, leading him away from the moral and ethical foundations of the Jedi Order.

We see evidence of Obi-Wan’s psychosis in Star Wars: A New Hope. There is a great deal of consternation and debate among fans over Obi-Wan’s comment that Darth Vader killed Luke’s father. Most accept his explanation in Return of the Jedi, that what he told Luke was correct from a “certain point of view”. However, I would like to suggest that the old Jedi may have been completely mad by the time he told Luke about Anakin’s fate. It’s possible that in the throes of dementia he actually believed what he was telling Luke, and then later, in spirit form, offered a flimsy justification, embarrassed to admit his former deficiencies.

It’s also not totally unreasonable to suggest that Obi-Wan may have orchestrated the murder of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru as a way to guarantee Luke would go with him to Alderaan. He could have led the Stormtroopers to the Lars’ home with an anonymous transmission, or perhaps used the Force to plant a suggestion in their minds. Even more plausible is that he enlisted mercenaries to do the deed, perhaps knowing of Stormtroopers’ incompetence and poor marksmanship. He even mentions that “only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise,” which of course we know isn’t true.

It is quite clear that Obi-Wan believed Luke was the galaxy’s only hope for toppling the Empire. He was old, desperate, and running out of time. Maybe he believed that sacrificing two lives to save the entire galaxy was a fair bargain, at least from a certain point of view.

If you require further proof of Obi-Wan’s mental state, witness his brutal dismemberment of Ponda Baba in the cantina. I view this act as a blatant example of excessive, unnecessary force. We’ve seen this man fight armies of droids, vicious cyborgs, ruthless alien bounty hunters, and deadly Sith Lords. We observed his use of mind control on Imperial troops and drug dealers. There’s absolutely no reason to believe he couldn’t have subdued a common thug by less violent means.

To get your head around this theory, think about the trauma Obi-Wan has experienced. Even putting aside the tragic events which gave rise to the Empire, he’s fought in many battles, witnessed death on a daily basis for years, experienced imprisonment and torture, and faced the most horrifying villains imaginable. And throughout all of it his mind is tapped into a powerful cosmic force that he can never truly control.

Add to this the fall of the Jedi Order, the slaying of his most trusted friend, and the Rise of an indomitable evil Empire, and you end up with one messed up old hermit.

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Crazy Old Wizard