There are a lot of new mysteries that have come as part of the new canon. For a review of some of the more interesting mysteries, check out this recent article from StarWarsPost. However, from the original Saga, perhaps the most intriguing is what Obi Wan Kenobi meant when he said to Vader “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”. Let’s take a look at what this could mean, and how it will play into the sequel trilogy.
A lot of this post was inspired by a recent Reddit post from NeckbeardW1zard. Although I don’t go as far as him to say that Obi Wan is the chosen one, I still have to take a second look at his importance. Nevertheless, I love ideas from this post such as “Obi-Wan started this, he orchestrated in his time in isolation, the balancing of the force”. The idea of Obi Wan, one of the greatest Jedi ever to live, had decades on Tatooine to commune with Yoda and Qui-gon through the Force, and plan how they would bring help bring balance to the Force is no doubt intriguing.
There are two recent pieces of evidence that support the notion of Kenobi playing a bigger role in the saga.
The first piece about Kenobi comes from a recent podcast from Rebel Force Radio, that was picked up by Star Wars News Net. RFR did an interview with Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican, who tells us:
Anthony Breznican: Um, I have heard rumors that the one reason they haven’t moved sooner on Obi-Wan is that they’re not done with Obi-Wan quite yet…
A lot of people have interpreted that Obi Wan will play a role in the Saga to come, particularly in Episode VIII and IX. Why would this happen? There is certainly the possibility that Obi Wan will return as a Force ghost. After all, Obi Wan can be heard in Rey’s Force-back in The Force Awakens. The even got Ewan McGregor to record some new audio for the scene. At minimum, Obi Wan seems to be invested in Rey’s path. But wait, there’s more.
The second piece about Kenobi comes form Collider Movie Talk (found via this Reddit post). Yeah, the guys that were convinced until right before TFA that they had sound evidence from people at Disney that Snoke was a Muun. OK, so they’re not perfect, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt on this one. They claim that tomorrow night’s episode of Star Wars Rebels strongly supports the Rey Kenobi theory. I’ll play the waiting game until tonight, and I’m sure all of you will be watching closely to this one. Something in this episode gives strong support to the notion that Kenobi would have children. Could these potential connections to the sequel trilogy shed any light on why Obi Wan became so powerful at the end of A New Hope?
I don’t dismiss this quote from Obi Wan as something as simple as being able to talk to Luke from the Netherworld. “More powerful than you can possibly imagine” is a bit of a strong statement. I can imagine a lot of things more powerful than giving advice to Luke. The NeckbeardW1zard post suggests that Obi Wan may have had a hand in Luke’s proton torpedo hitting the mark. Let’s think about this for a minute. Could many of Luke’s powers early on actually be Obi Wan’s Force powers from the Netherworld? Can a Force ghost influence the world through a Force-push or throw? Think about it for a second. Luke blowing up the Death Star, Luke pulling his saber from the ice on Hoth…all these things could be the actions of an Obi Wan Force-power from the other side.
Many people have struggled with how quickly Rey picks up Force-powers in The Force Awakens. For example, when she pulls the saber out of the snow at the end, and it flies across past Kylo Ren. This is a powerful Force move from someone that has absolutely no training (that we know of), and is strikingly similar to what Luke did. Sure, we see Luke pick up some stones after he works with Yoda, but this line of thinking makes me wonder how much of his and Rey’s powers early on were actually assisted by Obi Wan’s Force ghost.
Whether or not Obi-wan has any role in Rey’s development or not, there is something to the idea of a Force ghost doing more than just hanging out. While Obi-wan dispensed advice that was more than useful none of it was something he couldn’t have done a better job of alive, so he wasn’t really more powerful. There must either be something we don’t know about his transition. The only other recourse is he was just talking smack to Vader.
One thing is for sure. If you look at the saga as a whole, we see a gradual increase in interest and focus on the idea of Force ghosts and the Netherworld of the Force.
Episode I – Jedi believe there is no afterlife
Episode II – Qui-gon’s voice can be heard when Anakin slaughters Jedi
Episode III – Qui-gon speaks to Yoda, tells him you can retain consciousness after death
Episode IV – Obi Wan disappears, becomes disembodied voice
Episode V – Obi Wan’s Force ghost appears
Episode VI – Yoda vanishes. Yoda, Obi Wan, and Anakin Force ghosts appear, communicate with Luke
Episode VII – Obi Wan’s voice heard again along with other voices including Yoda in the Force-back
I think it would be exciting to expand the role of this side of the Force in the movies to come. Parallel to this could be an expanded role of Obi Wan in the saga, in terms of connections with other main characters if the rumors above are true. Could it be that we have yet to see on screen what makes Obi Wan more powerful than Vader could imagine? I’ve always thought it would be cool if the sequel trilogy has a Force-ghost battle in some parallel reality, maybe occurring at the same time as a battle in the real
world galaxy. How they would represent such a thing on screen is beyond me. How this will exactly play out is anyone’s guess, but speculation is half the fun. Until next time!