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A New Hope Questions That Were Finally Answered By Obi-Wan Kenobi

"Star Wars" has become one of the biggest franchises in film history, smashing box office records left and right and developing one of the largest fanbases in pop culture. None of it would have been possible without the film that started it all, "A New Hope." While it's now considered "Episode IV," "A New Hope" was the first produced "Star Wars" film and introduced everything, from characters to storyline, that fans love about the franchise. From Luke Skywalker and the Jedi to Darth Vader and the Death Star, "A New Hope" kicked off all the lore that fans have become obsessed with. But even after three film trilogies, there are questions and mysteries surrounding "A New Hope" that fans still wonder about to this day. The latest entry to the "Star Wars" canon, the Disney+ limited series "Obi-Wan Kenobi," has provided some long-awaited answers.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" takes place after "Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" and follows Obi-Wan on the run from his past as Darth Vader and his Inquisitors are on the hunt for Jedi. The series takes viewers into one of the darkest eras of "Star Wars" and delves into Obi-Wan's past before he trains Luke in "A New Hope." The series has already shown some interesting, previously unseen connections between the prequels and original trilogy, with Obi-Wan protecting a young Leia and learning that Anakin (Hayden Christensen) has become Vader, while also crushing viewership records. But it's also answered some burning questions about "A New Hope."

How were the Jedi wiped out?

By the time that Luke (Mark Hamill) figures out that his friend Ben is actually former Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) in "A New Hope," the Jedi are a thing of the past and Obi-Wan is basically the last of his kind. When Luke asks about Obi-Wan's time as a Jedi, Obi-Wan brings up references to events that fans would see in the prequel trilogy, including the Clone Wars and working alongside Anakin. There is also a mention of "dark times," referencing Order 66 – where the Empire hunted down and killed nearly every remaining Jedi in the galaxy — that's always caught fans' attention. While "Revenge of the Sith" had some shades of it, fans always wondered if we would ever really see Order 66 to gain a better understanding of what happened to the Jedi.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" answers that question immediately by taking fans into the horrors of Order 66 right in the first episode. Along with the Inquisitors, Vader (Hayden Christensen) goes on an absolutely cold-hearted manhunt to decimate every Jedi he can find and searches the entire galaxy to find his old master Obi-Wan. No youngling is spared and as we eventually find out in Episode 4, those that aren't killed are frozen and displayed in the Inquisitor base as horrifying trophies. Order 66 is the start of the Empire's rise in "Star Wars" lore and now fans clearly understand why the Jedi are no more.

Why didn't Obi-Wan train Luke from the start?

In "Obi-Wan Kenobi," we see that after the events of "Revenge of the Sith" Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) retreats to Tatooine where a young Luke Skywalker is living with his adoptive parents, Owen (Joel Edgerton) and Beru (Bonnie Piesse). Although Luke doesn't meet Obi-Wan until much later in life, Obi-Wan watches him from a distance and even tries to give him a miniature spacecraft toy, like the one he has in "A New Hope." But one question remains, why didn't Obi-Wan just teach Luke from the start?

Well, with Order 66 in place, Obi-Wan is forced into hiding and outwardly teaching Luke the ways of the Force and how to wield a lightsaber could make him and Luke a target for the Inquisitors. Frankly, Obi-Wan isn't really in the mindset to be helping or training anyone either, since he believes that the Jedi have lost and will never come back. Plus Owen isn't exactly Obi-Wan's biggest fan, with him returning the toy and telling Obi-Wan to stay away for good. As a result, Owen lying to Luke about Obi-Wan's fate in "A New Hope" now makes more sense. 

Why does Leia trust droids and entrust R2-D2 with Death Star plans?

One of the most pivotal early moments of "A New Hope" is when Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) entrusts the plans of the Death Star to R2-D2. Without this moment — and the recorded message she also embeds in the little droid, which Luke watches — Luke would never think to search for Obi-Wan and kick off his journey to become a Jedi and stop the Empire. For such an important task, however, some have wondered why Leia would entrust a small droid like R2-D2 to get the job done alongside a timid droid like C-3PO. "Obi-Wan Kenobi" shows why.

Right from her introduction in the first episode, Leia is shown to be quite a rebel as she typically goes against the aristocratic world she's brought into on Alderaan. She would much rather explore the forest than wave to the people or attend ritzy parties. The most noteworthy aspect of seeing a young Leia in "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is her clear love of droids. Not only does she carry around a ladybug-like companion droid, but she chastises those who demean droids or treats them poorly, like her obnoxious cousin. Leia's love for droids has clearly started at an early age and leads to her make one of the smartest and most impactful decisions in the entire franchise.

Why did Obi-Wan become a hermit on Tatooine?

Before finding out that he is legendary Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke thinks Ben is just a simple hermit living in the Tatooine desert. But if Obi-Wan still retains all his skills with a lightsaber and training with the Force, why does he just become a recluse?

Since the activation of Order 66 — the command by the Chancellor to kill all Jedis — a decade earlier, Obi-Wan has been forced to stay in hiding. "Obi-Wan Kenobi" shows that the titular Jedi has to strip himself of all the grace and respect of being a Jedi to survive. He takes up a crummy job as a factory worker, lives in a cave getting ripped off for scrap parts, and finds himself as an outcast on Tatooine. Obi-Wan becoming a hermit is his only chance at survival and ends up being the perfect cover to observe Luke from afar and wait for the day that he can teach him the ways of the Force.

Why didn't Obi-Wan save other Jedi?

By the time we first meet Obi-Wan Kenobi in "A New Hope," he's one of the few Jedi remaining in the galaxy because of Order 66. With there being few Jedi left and Obi-Wan resigned to just watching Luke on Tatooine until he's old enough and ready to train, there is no one to stop the Empire from ruling the galaxy with an iron fist. But did Obi-Wan ever attempt to save any of the other Jedi? "Obi-Wan Kenobi" shows why he never even tried.

In the first episode of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," another Jedi named Nari (Benny Safdie) is shown to be on Tatooine and is the main target of the Inquisitors. Eventually, Nari comes across Obi-Wan and begs him for help, but Obi-Wan outright refuses. Obi-Wan's belief that the Jedi have flat-out lost makes him turn a cold shoulder to Nari, while his desperation to survive in secrecy has made him hide while his fellow Jedi are slaughtered across the galaxy. For Nari, this ultimately leads to his death, as he's hanged in the middle of town by the Inquisitors. It's one of Obi-Wan's many actions, or rather inactions, that haunts him and adds to his personal demons.

How did Leia know who Obi-Wan was?

While Luke didn't know who Obi-Wan was until later in life, we see from the start of "A New Hope" that Leia knows exactly who Obi-Wan is and that he's still alive. Along with the Death Star plans, Leia also puts a message to Obi-Wan in R2-D2 that Luke first receives, spurring him to go and talk to Ben. However, if Luke didn't know who Obi-Wan was, how did Leia?

In "Obi-Wan Kenobi," we learn that Obi-Wan was sent on a mission by Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) to rescue Leia after she is taken by mercenaries recruited by Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) to draw Obi-Wan out. Obi-Wan reluctantly goes and rescues Leia and the two develop a strong connection talking about Leia's parents and why Obi-Wan's become so detached from everything. Just from some of the fun banter they have in the series and all the troubling events they go through, it's clear that Obi-Wan becomes a pivotal figure for Leia. So now it not only makes sense why she knows who Obi-Wan is, but why he's the first person she thinks of contacting.

How did Leia already have experience fighting the Empire?

Although Leia is known for being a princess on Alderaan, she's developed a legacy for being a pivotal leader in the Rebellion and in fighting against the Empire and later the First Order. Just from her first interaction with Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) in "A New Hope," Leia shows immense strength and an admirable fearlessness in facing the Empire's minions, and surely fans want to know how she got such tough skin.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" shows that she's really had a rebellious personality from the start, trying to hide from her aristocratic roles and not being afraid to vocally disagree with those around her. But it's on a mission with Obi-Wan that she gains experience in fighting against the Empire, as she holds her own against Reva's crude interrogation tactics and is far from scared in facing danger head on. This early experience in fighting against the Empire has only driven her forward in becoming a key part in the Rebellion's battle to restore goodness and decency to the galaxy.

Why was Alderaan targeted in A New Hope?

One of the more brutal parts of "A New Hope" is seeing Alderaan, the home planet of Princess Leia, destroyed by the Death Star. It's a moment that's only become darker with time, and it can be quite chilling to think about all the people wiped out in a single blast. The attack defines the Empire as a towering evil that needs to be stopped, but many wonder why Alderaan needed to be destroyed. "Obi-Wan Kenobi" gives some more clarity on this choice.

Given that Grand Moff Tarkin says that Leia "determined the choice" of the planet the Death Star destroys back in "A New Hope," the answer feels obvious. Because Leia refuses to divulge the location of the rebel base, Tarkin destroys her homeworld instead. But "Obi-Wan Kenobi" gives more depth to this choice. With Leia and Obi-Wan constantly giving the Inquisitors trouble and slipping through the grasp of the Empire, Alderaan's destruction might also be driven by revenge. It probably doesn't help that the Organa family isn't on board with helping the Empire. Looking back, it now makes sense why Tarkin appears so pleased to destroy Alderaan and why it seems like Leia is already on the Empire's bad side.

Why doesn't Obi-Wan tell Luke his father is Darth Vader?

When Luke finally understands that Ben is Obi-Wan, he asks him what happened to his father. Obi-Wan lies and says that Luke's father died at the hands of Darth Vader, when in actuality he knows that Vader is Luke's father Anakin. Although this lie would lead to the iconic moment of Vader telling Luke, "I am your father," in "Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back," many still wonder why Obi-Wan lied to Luke about his father since the knowledge might have prepared him better for facing Vader.

Perhaps, as shown in "Obi-Wan Kenobi," the lie stems from Obi-Wan's fear of Luke learning about his connection to Anakin becoming Vader. Throughout the series, Obi-Wan constantly struggles with his past and the reality that Anakin has become Vader after their confrontation on Mustafar. Even though he knows that Anakin is alive, Obi-Wan chooses not to tell Leia and his probable reasoning for doing so is likely the same for Luke: Obi-Wan might suspect his partial complicity in Anakin's final transformation into Darth Vader could turn Luke and Leia against him. That's why Obi-Wan chooses to keep the truth from Luke, hoping to focus on making him a Jedi.

Why was Luke so naive in A New Hope?

Based on what we know now about the vast history of "Star Wars," it's kind of crazy how Luke was so clueless about everything in "A New Hope." Sure, when "A New Hope" first came out, there weren't other movies and books and TV shows that have since expanded the lore. But the fact that Luke knows little to nothing about the Jedi or how the Empire came to be is pretty wild. Why does he come across as so naïve?

The main reason is that Owen keeps Luke in the dark so much about the world around him, especially Obi-Wan and the Jedi. As shown in "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Owen doesn't like Obi-Wan, to the point that he scolds him for giving a gift to Luke and taunts him for what happened with Anakin. With Obi-Wan simply watching him from afar and Owen keeping him closed off, Luke is essentially left oblivious about his family history, his destiny as a Jedi, and who Obi-Wan really is.