From a certain point of view

The Last Jedi reawakened a Star Wars Renaissance for me. I’ve gone back and started watching the movies in order, as well as tossing in The Clone Wars and Rebels animated shows, too.
Last night was Episode IV. To this day, I’m struck by how fun the movie remains to watch, especially after the slow crawl that remains part and parcel of Episodes I-III. Yet, as I rewatched those films, watching for entertainment only and trying my best to toss aside pre-conceived notions about them, I admit I enjoyed them far more than I used to when they first appeared.
Still, the one nagging story-line part of ANH that becomes glaringly obvious is Obi-Wan’s explanation to Luke about Anakin’s betrayal. Watching the movies like I have, I get why Luke fusses at his mentor in RotJ for not telling him the truth, and am as incredulous as the Jedi-in-training becomes when Obi-Wan shrugs it off as a “certain point of view” explanation.
But what if Luke knew everything we also knew about the whole Anakin Skywalker turned Sith Lord Darth Vader? Who do you think Luke would side with if he knew the entirety of the story? And doesn’t this then make old Ben Kenobi an outright lying bastard?
Look at him here, mere moments after Luke suffers a little blunt-force trauma to his head via the gaffi stick of the Sandperson. Our hero is dazed and confused, and Old Ben is starting in with the whole “I haven’t gone by the name of Obi-Wan since… oh, before you were born…” malarkey.
This, of course, steamrolls right into the Big Lie, “A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights. He betrayed and murdered your father.”
Jump forward to Return of the Jedi. Here’s Obi-Wan trying to explain his lies:

Luke Skywalker: Ben! Why didn’t you tell me? You told me that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered my father.

Obi-Wan: Your father… was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be the Jedi Anakin Skywalker and “became” the Sith Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So, what I told you was true… from a certain point of view.

Luke Skywalker: A certain point of view?

Obi-Wan: Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. Anakin was a good friend. When I first met him, your father was already a great pilot. But I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I thought that I could instruct him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong.

Luke Skywalker: There is still good in him.

Obi-Wan: He’s more machine now than man. Twisted and evil.

Luke Skywalker: I can’t do it, Ben.

Obi-Wan: You cannot escape your destiny. You must face Darth Vader again.

Luke Skywalker: I can’t kill my own father.

Obi-Wan: Then the Emperor has already won. You were our only hope.

Luke Skywalker: Yoda spoke of another.

Obi-Wan: The other he spoke of is your twin sister.

Luke Skywalker: But I have no sister.

Obi-Wan: Hmm. To protect you both from the Emperor, you were hidden from your father when you were born. The Emperor knew, as I did, if Anakin were to have any offspring, they would be a threat to him. That is the reason why your sister remains safely anonymous.

Luke Skywalker: Leia! Leia is my sister.

Obi-Wan: Your insight serves you well. Bury your feelings deep down, Luke. They do you credit, but they could be made to serve the Emperor.

And isn’t that what this is really all about, anyway? What if Luke turned to the Dark Side, becoming a tool of the Emperor? Or joined Vader and ruled the galaxy as father and son? Obi-Wan simply lies the entirety of the story away in order to guarantee such never occurs and Luke remains good.

And is it poor writing on Lucas’ side because Luke doesn’t get angrier? What about the way in which the whole story takes less than three minutes to tell and everyone is all buddy-buddy at the end?

Further, how did Lucas manage to completely mangle the visual re-telling of this important and crucial story (Episodes I-III) from a “certain point of view” (while also managing to drag out what should have been one of the most epic lightsaber battles ever filmed)? That was supposed to be the reason the prequels were made, and while I have grown to enjoy them over time, I still remember the frustration of watching each of them as they were released and thinking, with each successive one, “Man, that could have been so much better.”

So, instead, we’re left with the messiness of the Obi-Wan business, never to have the proper story told to us–to ME–the way it should have been.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Star Wars and always will, but that doesn’t mean I have to accept lousy storytelling or incongruent storylines.

Anywho, next up is TESB, the movie which introduced me to cliffhanger endings and my all-time favorite musical piece “The Imperial March” (Darth Vader’s Theme) by John Williams.

May the Force be with you!



Posted on January 28, 2018, in Commentary, Entertainment, Movies, Star Wars. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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