ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Warning - the following contains major SPOILERS related to the recently released Star Wars #15. If you haven't yet read the comic book, but intend to do so, then proceed with whatever level of caution this warning suggests to you is wise...)

Now, for fans of the Star Wars prequels, the idea that anyone (Anakin Skywalker aside) could hate Obi-Wan Kenobi is kind of difficult to comprehend. After all, not only was Kenobi one of the most daring, caring and entertainingly glaring Jedi around, he was also - especially as played by Ewan McGregor - ridiculously cool. Hating him would be a little bit like hating The Fonz, Big Bird or Tom Hanks - you can imagine hypothetically wanting to out of envy, but you'd never actually be able to pull it off.

And yet, back in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke's uncle Owen sure did seem to dislike 'Old Ben', describing him as a "crazy old man" in a tone that didn't suggest a whole lot of fondness.

As it turns out, though, Owen might just have had a damn good reason. Y'see:

We Finally Know Why Uncle Owen Hated Obi-Wan

Y'see, in the most recent issue of Jason Aaron, Mike Mayhew, and Chris Eliopoulos's (distinctly excellent) Star Wars comic book, #15, we got the chance to see a middle-aged Obi-Wan watching over and protecting the young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine.

The thing is, though, Obi-Wan's increasingly active protection of Luke isn't something that his uncle Owen is all too pleased about, leading to a confrontation between the two older men:

One which, initially, seems to center on an ungrateful Owen rejecting Obi-Wan's kindness, but which gradually reveals something pretty hugely important:

While from Obi-Wan's perspective, his protection of Luke is simply the right thing to do, Owen has a very different - and not inaccurate - perspective. To him, Obi-Wan's proximity to Luke is essentially drawing a giant target on the boy's back - one which Owen clearly believes Obi-Wan also painted on Anakin's.

In other words:

Owen Hates Obi-Wan Because the Jedi's Very Presence Puts His Nephew's Life at Risk

And, as it turns out, that makes a surprising amount of sense. After all, Obi-Wan's apparent plan - protect Luke at all costs, even if it risks exposing himself - is noble enough, but it's also not a great long-term strategy when it comes to avoiding the attention of the Empire.

Owen, then - as A New Hope always hinted - is simply trying to watch out for his nephew in the best way he knows how: by keeping the boy's head down, and away from the eyes of the Empire. In that context, both Owen's dislike of the comparatively indiscreet Obi-Wan and his refusal to let Luke join the Imperial Academy are less the disgruntled actions of an elderly curmudgeon, and more the sensible behavior of a man desperately trying to keep a boy (who he wasn't even technically related to) alive.

All of which makes that whole 'getting horribly murdered early on in A New Hope' thing all the more utterly depressing.

He was - along with his wife Beru - arguably the only person genuinely trying to look out for Luke, without any ulterior motives. Which, in its own way, makes him just as much of a hero as any Jedi...

What do you reckon?

via Gizmodo


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