No, Obi-Wan Kenobi Saying He Wished He Were Leia’s Father Does Not Make Anakin Right
Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series is a fantastic new addition to the Star Wars galaxy, and with that comes a lot of fair-weather fans of Star Wars trying to find plot holes that don’t exist just to complain about something. And that’s not me talking about this from a perspective of someone who likes it. I’m just saying that the show has not contradicted the source material at all, and the constant claim that it has is not a fair assessment. But this most recent “criticism” may take the cake.
There’s an idea going around that a line delivered by Obi-Wan has significant ramifications for the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and makes Anakin right, despite that you really have to infer those ramifications yourself, skipping right over the obvious meaning of the line. The line in question? Ben Kenobi’s response to Leia when she asks if he’s her father.
What it actually means, when Leia asks if Obi-Wan is her biological father, and Obi-Wan replies, “I wish I could say I was,” is that Obi-Wan is comforting a child who wants to know more about her parents, who knows that Ben knew her mother, and has a hope that this Jedi in hiding might be her connection to the past she doesn’t know. She has that wishful thinking, that so many of us can relate to, that she may have finally found answers she’s looking for. The reality is that he probably really does wish he were her father, because then (as at least one person pointed out) she would never have to find out that Darth Vader, a man Obi-Wan thought was dead when he said this, is her biological father and turned to the dark side under some false pretense.
Instead, Obi-Wan protects her with his answer, and that line shows the pain that Ben still has about everything and also how much he wishes he could be the person Leia wants him to be. It doesn’t negate what happened in Revenge of the Sith, and it’s not some subtle message about Obi-Wan’s desire to be with Padmé romantically. What it does is show that Ben has compassion for this child and wants to answer her question gently, leaving her some sort of hope that her parents are who she dreamed them to be.
He would later, famously, lie to Luke Skywalker about what happened to his father, so this evasive response seems more than believable for him.
It wouldn’t prove Anakin right even if Obi-Wan wanted to be with Padmé
I even don’t mind the idea of Obi-Wan and Padmé. I’m always Team “What If Everyone Made Out?” But even if this were Obi-Wan speaking from a place of lost love and an unrequited feeling he had for Padmé, it wouldn’t prove Anakin right because NOTHING HAPPENED. What Anakin yells about Padmé and Obi-Wan during the battle on Mustafar is “liar” after he sees Obi-Wan on a ship with Padmé. His “liar” could be seen as him calling Padmé one for saying she loves him despite going behind his back to get Obi-Wan’s help, or it could be to Obi-Wan, who is clearly ready to stop Anakin at whatever cost, despite their friendship.
If anything, Anakin’s speech had nothing to do with a relationship between Padmé and Obi-Wan and everything to do with Anakin feeling as if Padmé was being turned against him—not in a romantic way. So “proving Anakin right” makes no sense given that Anakin’s thinking was that Obi-Wan was turning Padmé against him for his own selfish desires, which is clearly not the case.
So even if those who ship Obi-Wan and Padmé choose to read this as Ben admitting his desires to have started a relationship with Padmé, it doesn’t mean that it proves Anakin right. Anakin was wrong. The dark side and Palpatine warped his mind into believing that anyone who tried to change his mind was turning against him, and so no matter what, he would have thought that Padmé was being tricked into hating him when she knew the truth of what he did.
Even if Ani had said something about Obi-Wan being in love with Padmé or something along those lines, this development would have just further proved that Anakin was the master in his own demise, and everything he was trying to avoid happened because of his choices. So, it would have reinforced what happened in Revenge of the Sith, not ruined it. So these bad faith complaints about Obi-Wan Kenobi just continue to be proof that there are “fans” who just want to find something to hate, and this is not it.
(featured image: Lucasfilm)
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