Everyone has a favorite Jedi. Some people like the strength and badass-ness of Mace Windu. Others are drawn to the wisdom and acrobatic lightsaber skills of Yoda. I am here to argue that regardless of who your favorite is, the best — nay, the perfect Jedi — is Obi-Wan Kenobi. I’m an expert in my field. I might as well have a Ph.D. in Lucasology.
So fight me if you want, hate him or love him — I will argue that Obi-Wan single-handedly saved the entire galaxy.
OK, so let’s zoom out for a second. The Jedi Order follows a very strict code that governs every fiber of every being. This code is all levels of wrong, but we won’t get into that. Let’s just discuss the first line.
“There is no emotion, there is peace.” Have you ever noticed all the main protagonists in the films have all kinds of emotion? Mace Windu is always angry, Yoda is seen feeling love and sadness and Luke and Anakin are both angsty bitches for the most part. And then we have the curious case of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
This man is literally described on Wookieepedia as “a legendary Jedi Master.”
Now, let’s explore why.
Obi-Wan was taught by Qui-Gon Jinn, aka Liam Neeson. Qui-Gon taught Obi-Wan to trust in the Living Force and to be defiant when needed. Many Jedi fall short because they don’t do what needs to be done in the moment because those actions go against the code.
Now you could go to the other end of the spectrum and you’ll find yourself listening to Anakin bitch about sand as he breaks every rule in the book. And we all know how that turned out.
Obi-Wan found that elusive, perfect balance of emotion and restraint. He fed off pure emotions as he dueled Darth Maul and became the first Jedi to defeat a Sith in battle in over a thousand years. This came after witnessing Maul kill Qui-Gon just moments before. His master’s dying request was for Obi-Wan to train Anakin, reiterating his unwavering belief that Anakin is the chosen one and will bring balance to the Force.
Now that’s funny. Anakin turned to the dark side and killed hundreds of Jedi. After the start of the Jedi Purge and Anakin’s tenure as Darth Vader, Yoda, the Grand Master of the Order, determined that Anakin needed to be killed. Obi-Wan had a different plan in mind.
Many fans will argue that Obi-Wan was weak and could not bring himself to kill his pupil or that he was a failure of a mentor. But what these plebes do not understand is that Obi-Wan simply had so much faith in his master’s final words that he decided to leave Anakin to the will of the Force.
After de-limbing him, Obi-Wan easily could have ended Anakin’s life on the spot — but deep down, he knew Anakin would eventually bring balance even though it seemed impossible in the moment. Obi-Wan made an emotion-based decision while the logical move would have been to kill Anakin. If that had happened, then who knows what would have happened to the galaxy.
Let’s not forget that the Emperor was wrecking Luke with force lightning before Vader stepped in. It was Anakin that technically killed three of the four traditional Sith Lords we meet in the films (Dooku, Sidious and Vader).
If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider that Obi-Wan stayed in exile on Tatooine for nearly two decades to watch over Luke as he grew up. By allowing himself to be struck down by Vader in Episode IV, he showed Luke that death is not the end and to not fear it. He started Luke’s training, then continued post-mortem as the Force ghost who guided Luke through his journey. And it was only because he was dead that he was able to speak to Luke in the cockpit of his X-Wing moving through the trench on the Death Star.
It was only because he was dead that he was able to appear to Luke on Hoth and guide him to Yoda.
Obi-Wan was instrumental in the teaching of both Skywalkers, and, without him, Luke would have ended up as just another pilot in the rebellion. And, for the sake of keeping this from becoming a novel, I’ll just list a few more notable things that Obi-Wan did to literally change the fate of the galaxy. He: helped rescue Queen Amidala from the forces of the Trade Federation; defeated General Grievous; served as a lead general in the Clone Wars; recruited Han and Chewbacca as pilots, which led to them joining the rebellion; and lowered the shields on the death star so Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia, R2D2 and C3PO could escape.