View Poll Results: Did Obi-Wan Lie to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

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  • No, Obi-Wan was not lying.

    288 70.76%
  • Yes, Obi-Wan was lying.

    119 29.24%
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  1. #11

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    Obi was indeed lying. Not to be jerk but to safeguard the galaxy from yet another hot-head Skywalker. In ANH Luke is all about joining "the Academy" whose graduating classes no doubt head straight for service in the Empire. Why? Because his dad was a pilot. If Luke was told at that time that Vader was his father, he would have made a beeline right to him. He either wouldn't believe his father was an evil overlord or couldn't grasp the concept as a farmboy in the middle of nowhere. Either way he would be knocking on daddy's door and in a much better position to turn to the darkside. Obi wan knew this to be true.

  2. #12

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    I believe that he did lie but I believe that it is a lie he has forced himself to believe. Here is a guy who fails to train Anakin properly. Anakin not only grows up and falls to the dark side but supposedly hunts down and kills the rest of the jedi. At this point Obi-Wan has to feel responsible for all of his friends deaths and the destuction of the Jedi Order. Also I'm sure he can't help but feel like a fool for helping Palpatine come to power. Ultimately Obi-Wan could blame himself for everything bad in the original trilogy so maybe he lies to himself to not go completely insane with guilt.
    More is more. Less is less, Twice as much is good too,
    Too much is never enough except when it's just about right.
    People who have helped me out: DarthChuckMc, msjedi, bobafett07728, jjreason, dr_evazan22

  3. #13

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    Misleading to protect Luke, yes, but not lying.

  4. #14

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    The original trilogy leads us to believe that Obi-wan did not do a good job training Anakin, but like so many things, I do not believe the prequels back that up. Anakin is the problem, not Obi-wan. Indeed, as I have said in another thread, Obi-wan warns Yoda and Windu in Episode II that Anakin should be on a tighter leash and it is YODA (who we were lead to believe in the original trilogy would have done a better job training Anakin than Obi-wan) that tells Obi-wan he is wrong about Anakin.

  5. #15

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    lie
    n.
    A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
    Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

    He knew his statement was misunderstood. He knew the truth. It was technically a lie. A necessary lie but a lie none the less.
    More is more. Less is less, Twice as much is good too,
    Too much is never enough except when it's just about right.
    People who have helped me out: DarthChuckMc, msjedi, bobafett07728, jjreason, dr_evazan22

  6. #16

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    Quote Originally Posted by dindae
    lie
    n.
    A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
    Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

    He knew his statement was misunderstood. He knew the truth. It was technically a lie. A necessary lie but a lie none the less.

    No, that's not true. You say, "he knew the truth." Yeah, the truth from his (Ben's) Point of View was that Darth Vader murdered Anakin Skywalker. So, ergo, true. He wasn't lying. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?


    Quote Originally Posted by JarJarBinks
    Obi-Wan never claims to find Anakin. He says "When I first knew him...". He also never once said he decided to train Anakin. He says "I took it upon myself...", as if it was some sort of quest or burden. So everything Obi-Wan says is pretty much double talk to avoid telling the full truth. And wether or not he's a good man is also open to interpretation. Every man has faults, but until he fell to the Dark Side he could have been considered a 'Good Man', at least by comparison.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    Not this again.

    But okay, for the kids who just joined us. Yeah, Obi Wan's statements in the OT are not backed up by what we see in the Prequels. Let's take each statement one at a time.

    "When I first knew him..." Anakin was about 10 years old or so. They met after the Podrace and everything else that happened on Tatooine. The first thing Obi knew about Anakin was that he had a Midichlorian count that was off the charts. The only other thing he knew was that Anakin could've played Opie on the Andy Griffith show.

    "...your father was already a great pilot..." Obi had no way to know this. He might have heard about the Podrace later on, but that's hearsay as far as he's concerned. The only other way Obi would have come to this conclusion was from Anakin's Naboo Starfighter escapade. But that was entirely by accident and the autopilot. Hardly an example of Anakin being a "great pilot."

    "...but I was amazed at how strongly the Force was with him..." Really? How so, Obi Wan? What exactly did lil' Ani ever do at 10 years old that would show you how strongly the Force was with him? The Podrace? Why, old man, you never saw it. Did he move anything around? No. What about mind control? Not that either. Oh, the Midichlorian thing, you say. Does that show "how strongly the Force" is with someone? Well, no, not really. Apparently it is an indicator of someone's potential, but to say that the Force is with someone, and strongly at that, just because of a high Midichlorian count is a lie.

    "I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi." Really? You took it upon yourself? Seems to me that Qui Gon did that. See, he was the one who found the boy, saw what he could do, had the inclination that the boy might have potential, and decided to train him. Not only that, but Obi Wan continually questioned this decision throughout the story. He never supported it, especially for the reasons that Qui Gon gave. But he does eventually push to train Anakin, you say. Yes, he does. Why? Because Qui Gon asked him to. Not because Obi Wan wanted to do it because he "was amazed at how strongly the Force was with him." Obi did it, and stood firm against the Council, because of the promise he made to Qui Gon. Further, Obi Wan remains skeptical of this training throughout the whole of AOTC. He never wanted to do this save for keeping a promise. That's a far cry from taking it upon himself to train the boy as a Jedi.

    "I thought I could teach him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong." (ROTJ)
    "You will go to Dagobah and learn from the Jedi Master who instructed me." (ESB)

    Per ESB, Yoda was Obi Wan's master. Per ROTJ, Obi Wan was young, rash, and perhaps slightly arrogant thinking that he could train Anakin just fine. It was Obi Wan's ego and lack of training skill that allows Anakin to be seduced by Palpatine.

    However, per the Prequels, Yoda is NOT Obi Wan's master. Qui Gon is. Also, per the Prequels, Anakin does NOT succumb to the dark side because of a failing of Obi Wan or from seducing by Palpatine. Instead, Anakin turns from squeaky clean yippeeee kid in TPM to bi-polar arrogant brat in AOTC all on his own.

    Anakin's turn to the darkside had nothing to do with Obi Wan or Palpatine. Anakin was going to be a menace no matter what. Therefore, pretty much nothing that Obi Wan says in the OT is backed up by what we see in the Prequels. Ah hah! you say. So Obi Wan is a rat-fink liar. If we use the Prequels in conjunction with the OT, yes. However, not one shred of character development anywhere else in the saga supports the notion that Obi Wan Kenobi is a liar. Nowhere does he mislead, lie, or otherwise distort in order to manipulate anyone or anything. To say that Obi Wan lied in a mean-spirited manner to Luke implies that Obi Wan is capable and willing to do that in every situation where it might serve him best. That just isn't so. Now, he does have a slight "moment" in Kamino where he goes along with the story to find out what's happening there. But again, it isn't enough to establish a manipulative precedent, at least not on the level that so many mistaken fans think.

    But back to the core issue. Did Obi Wan LIE to Luke? No. Why? Because Obi Wan believed Anakin to be dead. His statements in ESB and ROTJ back this up. From Obi Wan's point of view, Anakin was dead. That's what he told Luke. Ergo, not a lie. Simple as that.

    With that in mind, why didn't Ben just tell Luke the story that same way that he does in ROTJ? The whole "seduction" thing? Well, as many others have pointed out, Luke as a naive farmboy with a pretty limited understanding of the world, not unlike a few people I know. His mind didn't yet carry the capacity to truly understand the complexity of one personality dying while another takes it's place, as happened to Anakin. Had Old Ben told Luke, "Look, here's what happened..." Luke might have irrationally (or so Ben thought) thought that A)his father was really still alive, B)that his father might be happy to see him, C)that Luke could "get his dad back", and D)that Ben was the real murderer of his daddy. Well, Luke possessed none of the necessary skills, lightsaber and mental, that would be required to face Vader. Old Ben knew that. Telling Luke all the details at that point would have meant suicide for Luke or worse...Luke might be seduced to the Dark side before he even knew what it was. And being that Obi Wan had deposited the boy with his brother, Owen (yeah, his brother), and watched over him all these years, it is easy to conclude that Obi and Yoda had always hoped that Luke would someday be strong enough to become a Jedi and try to take on the Emperor and Vader. Of course, Old Ben thought that Anakin was really dead, so part of Luke's mission would be to kill the man in black. As we know, along the way, Luke got this crazy idea that "there is still good in him." Obi never believed it til the end. So telling Luke on Tatooine about Anakin's body being inside the Vader suit would have been too soon. Luke wasn't ready for it. And besides, again, Obi didn't believe that "the good man" who was Anakin was really there anyway. He had to wait until Luke truly understood how the Dark Side could take someone's soul away.
    Last edited by stillakid; 01-04-2005 at 10:02 AM.

  7. #17

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    No, that's not true. You say, "he knew the truth." Yeah, the truth from his (Ben's) Point of View was that Darth Vader murdered Anakin Skywalker. So, ergo, true. He wasn't lying. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?

    The most important part of the definition that I gave was "Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression. " You can't tell me that Obi-Wan was not trying to give the wrong impression just like you can't tell me that Luke should have been able to figure out what he was truly saying. Otherwise when Vader said "I am your father" Luke would have just said "Yeah I know" and the audience would have known as well and this pivotal scene in the movie would just be a delay in an otherwise cool lightsaber fight. As far as Ben's point of veiw he knows that Anakin became Darth Vader. Now you can say murder can mean "to put an end to" and so you can say that Obi-Wan is factually correct in his statement, but his intention is to decieve and that is why it is a lie.
    More is more. Less is less, Twice as much is good too,
    Too much is never enough except when it's just about right.
    People who have helped me out: DarthChuckMc, msjedi, bobafett07728, jjreason, dr_evazan22

  8. #18

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    Quote Originally Posted by dindae
    The most important part of the definition that I gave was "Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression. " You can't tell me that Obi-Wan was not trying to give the wrong impression
    Well, yeah, I can. He told Luke that Anakin was killed by Darth Vader. From Obi Wan's point of view, that was entirely accurate. A little odd perhaps, to separate the personalities like that, but true nonetheless. Look at it this way, from the OT, we get the very distinct impression that Obi and Ani were really good friends. Now I know that the Prequels failed miserably to illustrate this, but from the OT, that is what we are meant to believe. So imagine if you will that your very best friend in the whole wide world came under the influence of some kind of cult or the like. That buddy you once roamed the woods with and shared all your best secrets suddenly became, in personality, someone else entirely. That "person" that you once knew was, for all intents and purposes, gone. And replaced by someone else, vile, evil. This isn't just a stranger that Obi Wan saw this happen to. Supposedly it was his "good friend." That's bound to be rather traumatic, so to ...compensate, if you will, for this alteration in his best friend, Obi's point of view tells him that Anakin is dead and gone...murdered by this other evil personality. To an outsider, this might seem like a manipulative lie, but to Old Ben, it was 100% truth. So, therefore, Ben was not lying. An outsider like you might look superficially at it and say he was, but there's alot going on there to take into consideration.


    Quote Originally Posted by dindae
    just like you can't tell me that Luke should have been able to figure out what he was truly saying.
    Well, ...no. Luke had no reason to suspect that there was any other way to look at it at the time. With no historical context, all Luke knew was what Old Ben told him. So when Ben tells him that Vader murdered Anakin, what justification is there for Luke to dig any deeper for another point of view?

    Quote Originally Posted by dindae
    Otherwise when Vader said "I am your father" Luke would have just said "Yeah I know"
    Again, until Vader tells him that in ESB, Luke as no reason to ever look at Old Ben's story from another point of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by dindae
    and the audience would have known as well
    Well, the audience DOES know now because the Prequels are giving it away rendering this pivotal dramatic surprise entirely pointless. And I'm talking about fresh audiences who have never seen any of the movies, not the current ones who already obviously know. This is yet another huge failure of the so-called Prequels...giving away vital information before it is time.

    But as to your point, you're right. If Old Ben had told Luke the whole story on Tatooine, then yeah, the surprise in ESB would have fallen flat (just like it will now because of the Prequels). But this is case in point for why the writers (Huyck, Katz, Kasdan) wrote these scenes the way they did. Fiction isn't just throwing a camera out there and capturing events the way they happen. That's a documentary. Fiction...good fiction...sets up dramatic plot points and pays them off in (hopefully) dramatic and entertaining fashion. Ben's point of view conveniently (for the story) left out some cool surprise details which sets up one of the best cliffhangers ever (since "who killed JR?"). And Ben's lack of complete information in ANH was justified by his relationship with Anakin (as described by the OT, not by the Prequels) and by Spirit Ben's explanation that it was the truth from his own point of view (as described in ROTJ). It all makes complete sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by dindae
    and this pivotal scene in the movie would just be a delay in an otherwise cool lightsaber fight. As far as Ben's point of veiw he knows that Anakin became Darth Vader. Now you can say murder can mean "to put an end to" and so you can say that Obi-Wan is factually correct in his statement, but his intention is to decieve and that is why it is a lie.
    No, his intention wasn't to deceive. It was to give Luke the information he needed and could handle at that specific time. Later on, after he knew Luke could handle it, he told Luke the rest of the details, but it was in Luke's best interest to not know the specific events before he was mentally prepared to hear about it. It wasn't deception, therefore it wasn't a lie.

  9. #19

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    No, his intention wasn't to deceive. It was to give Luke the information he needed and could handle at that specific time. Later on, after he knew Luke could handle it, he told Luke the rest of the details, but it was in Luke's best interest to not know the specific events before he was mentally prepared to hear about it. It wasn't deception, therefore it wasn't a lie.
    How is it not deception? Here's another example that might prove my point. A guy goes to a strip club with some friends. His girlfriend asks him later what he did the night before. He says "I went out with a few freinds and had some drinks." This is technically not a lie but it is a deception because he knows his girlfriend would flip out if she knew the truth. But by leaving out the strip club detail she would think he just went to the local bar and hung out. Now I would never change the fact that Obi-Wan said what he did for any reason. But as noble as his reason are Luke took away the wrong image of what happened and Obi-Wan knew and more importantly he planned on it.
    More is more. Less is less, Twice as much is good too,
    Too much is never enough except when it's just about right.
    People who have helped me out: DarthChuckMc, msjedi, bobafett07728, jjreason, dr_evazan22

  10. #20

    Re: Was Obi-Wan Lying to Luke about Anakin/Vader?

    My best friend's wife went from normal kind considerate person to selfish bar & bed hopping tramp within a matter of months. When people ask me what happened to her, I don't tell them she's dead. That would be lying.

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