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The Most Confusing Moments In Obi-Wan Kenobi Explained

The Disney+ limited series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" had fans and critics divided on what makes good nostalgic "Star Wars." Regardless of how you feel about it overall, it's safe to say there are things "Obi-Wan Kenobi" does well, while other choices are a bit more confusing. After digesting the show and giving it some thought, we've seen there are still a lot of people out there with questions about the events of "Obi-Wan Kenobi." 

On a quest to rescue a young Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) and return her hone, a reclusive Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) encounters the Empire and reunites with his old apprentice. The impending conflicts between Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones) and Kenobi loom large over the series, but it also introduces new characters, most notably the conflicted Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram). The series contains more than its share of questionable logic and iconic characters behaving in a manner that's not exactly consistent with what we've seen in prior "Star Wars" films and TV shows. Let's look into the dozen most confusing moments in "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Why doesn't Obi-Wan know Anakin is alive?

One of the early plot developments in "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is when the wizened Jedi master learns from Inquisitor Reva that his former pupil Anakin Skywalker is still alive. By extension, this is the moment when he realizes Anakin is the Jedi who became Darth Vader. But wouldn't any "Star Wars" fan tell you that Obi-Wan should already know this? Well, yes and no.

Ever since Anakin and Obi-Wan's duel on Mustafar in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" hit the big screen, fans have assumed Vader's line, "We meet again at last," from "Star Wars" — aka "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" — to mean their final faceoff is the first time these characters have crossed paths since that fateful day on Mustafar. By this logic, the "reveal" in "Obi-Wan" didn't even need to exist since it was previously assumed Obi-Wan just knew Anakin was still alive. However, that turns out to not be the case.

The limited series justifies this possible retcon by emphasizing in the first episode that Obi-Wan has become extremely disconnected from the Force. The immediate retreat into hiding he had to make after the events of "Episode III" explains how quickly and severely he had to cut off his connection to the Force, and why he doesn't have access to the semi-omniscience we see highly skilled Jedis, including Obi-Wan, utilize throughout "Star Wars." Obi-Wan isn't sensing Anakin through the Force because Obi-Wan isn't sensing anything through the Force at this point. 

A 10-year-old Leia outruns a professional bounty hunter

During her kidnapping in the first episode of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," we see Princess Leia perform an unbelievable feat. While frolicking in the woods, Leia is tracked down by bounty hunter Vect Nokru (played by Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea) who spots her and immediately gives chase. From there, we watch a 10-year-old outrun and outmaneuver a professional grown man bounty hunter for multiple minutes. On the surface, it seems like a pretty silly moment that exists to manufacture tension.

While it may very well be a pointless scene, it is also worth watching again to note how Leia uses her size to her advantage. There actually is thought put into how she would use her stature to escape. Being the princess of Alderaan, Leia likely has some training in this type of evasive action. Most importantly, let us remember that Leia is strong with the Force through her blood relation to her evil secret papa Anakin. Even without training, this gives her a natural leg up on anyone in a physical competition. Plus, despite all her incredible evasive moves, ultimately Leia gets captured; she can't outrun a whole group of bounty hunters. She can definitely outrun Vect Nokru, though.

Obi-Wan's trench coat plan

In the fourth episode of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Obi-Wan and Tala (Indira Varma) orchestrate and execute a plan to rescue Leia from an Imperial ship. Keeping in mind that considering Obi-Wan is a Jedi master who trained under the great Qui-Gon Jinn and lived through the Clone Wars, he could not have come up with a dumber plan. He decides to smuggle Leia out under his coat, like some kind of cartoon character. But some critics argue that the silliness is the point (via Gizmodo). 

In this instance, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is carrying on a "Star Wars" tradition of heroes hatching up really bad plans. We can explain Obi-Wan's idiotic plan by pointing to his rustiness as a cause for his lack of forethought; nonsense like this isn't his style, especially during his "Clone Wars" days where his practicality contrasts Anakin's recklessness, but Obi-Wan is out of practice. 

However, it might be more accurate to say Obi-Wan sneaking Leia around under a trench coat is just the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" answer to Luke and Han awkwardly lumbering down Death Star corridors in stolen stormtrooper outfits, or Han and Leia recruiting a bunch of literal teddy bears to fight the Empire for them. Like it or not, Obi-Wan's dumb plan in this episode is pure "Star Wars" through and through. 

Where is Vader's trademark ruthlessness?

There was a lot of hype around Hayden Christensen's return as Darth Vader. Bringing back such an iconic character for a large role can be a risky move, and at first glance the Vader of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is not quite who we remember from the original trilogy. And that's the point. Darth Vader is a ruthless, unforgiving villain. He is willing to give up anything and anyone to serve his master. He is 99% pure darkness. But at the time of the events of the series, that ruthlessness is still developing. Vader still has a large part of Anakin in him — a part that is all but destroyed by the end of the Disney+ show.

Between his naiveté about Reva's true intentions and power and sparing Obi-Wan's life in the third episode, Vader shows his soft side a lot in "Obi-Wan Kenobi." Upon revealing that he was aware of Reva's desire to take him down, he even admits he should have killed her when he had the chance ... and then proceeds to not kill her for a second time.

These choices speak to the bit of Anakin that Darth Vader is still holding on to. When he is defeated by Obi-Wan in the series finale, the rest of Anakin goes with him. Well, almost. There is still a small nugget of humanity within Vader that Luke eventually finds in order to redeem his father.

How does Reva survive Vader's killing blow?

In one of two times a character survives a lethal lightsaber blow in "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Reva manages to suffer the wrath of Darth Vader and live to tell the tale with relative ease. After she tries to kill Vader, the sith lord admits he saw her true intentions the whole time and stabs her in the stomach. Yet, without any satisfactory explanation as to how, Reva returns to complete her redemptive arc in the final episode of the show. How does she do it?

Well, some fans on Reddit have suggested this scene is a parallel to Reva's flashback to Order 66. While there's not much evidence to support this theory, it's possible Vader stabs Reva in the same exact spot he previously stabbed her when she was a child. This, at least, would be a sound explanation for how she can survive a lightsaber wound to gut, much less two of them — any vital organs in that area have already been replaced by machinery.

How did the Grand Inquisitor survive Reva's lightsaber strike?

While it's not too hard to come up with an explanation for Reva surviving Vader's attack, the show gives virtually no justification for its other big lightsaber fake out. In Reva's quest to climb the ranks and become the Grand Inquisitor, she resorts to killing the dark Jedi who acted as leader of Vader's loyal legion. In a spiteful blow, Reva stabs the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) straight through his chest. She leaves him to collapse and presumably die. 

Three episodes later, however, in Part V of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," the Grand Inquisitor returns after Reva's failed betrayal of Darth Vader. After Vader stabs Reva, the Grand Inquisitor makes his grand re-entrance. To justify this return from the dead, he says, "Revenge does wonders for the will to live.Perhaps he's kept alive by pure hatred for Reva. It's equally likely that this hatred let him to tap into some kind of dark side power that allowed him to cling to life. 

Why doesn't Obi-Wan kill Vader?

Why doesn't Obi-Wan kill Vader when he has the chance? Well, the most obvious answer to that question is because if he does, pretty much the entire "Star Wars" saga that follows the events of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" on Disney+ gets erased from the timeline. But that answer isn't any fun. In the show's climactic duel between Obi-Wan and Vader, the light side Jedi gets the high ground and has an opportunity to end things once and for all, but he doesn't. There are plenty of reasons that are central to who Obi-Wan is and what he's been through that justify his reluctance to murder his old pupil.

For starters, Obi-Wan is haunted by his past. The first time he left Anakin for dead — which he thought was the right choice at the time — it led directly to the creation of a monster. But at the end of the "Obi-Wan" series, even if he realizes in the moment that killing Vader is the right thing to do, Obi-Wan can't bring himself to stop seeing Anakin in Vader. In the moment, Obi-Wan pulled a classic Jedi move and let his feelings cloud his judgment. This speaks to Obi-Wan's accurate conviction that even though Anakin is fallen, he's not completely lost. And in the end, he was right. This sets the stage of the downfall of Emperor Palpatine later in the series. 

In the flashback, why didn't Anakin kill Reva?

The entire "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series revolves around a pivotal decision a younger Anakin Skywalker may not even realize he made. In Reva's flashbacks to Order 66, we see Anakin approach her as a youngling and move to stab her. He doesn't finish the job, though, which is a confusingly sloppy move considering his overall dedication to the slaughter of the Jedi. So why doesn't Anakin kill Reva?

There is the possibility that he senses her potential strength. If he can sense into the future, maybe he sees her becoming a worthy ally of the dark side. More likely though, this plot beat is probably just a clouded Anakin Skywalker making a mistake that almost cost him dearly. Probably, the explanation here is as simple as Anakin stabs youngling Reva, assumes she will bleed out, and simply moves on. It's not as if Anakin is otherwise thinking clearly and meticulously considering the consequences for his actions at this point. 

Does Leia just forget her adventure with Obi-Wan in 10 years?

In "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Leia Organa goes on a perilous journey full of life-or-death situations alongside the great Jedi Obi-Wan. Yet just about 10 years later, during the events of "A New Hope," she doesn't mention any of this at all. This is quite possibly the biggest headscratcher the plot of the series leaves us with. A mere 10 years down the line, you would think Leia should remember a lot more than she appears to about Ben Kenobi. But — hear us out — she actually remembers him quite well.

If you watch the original "Star Wars" again, you'll notice that Carrie Fisher and Alec Guinness don't have any scenes together. Beyond famously saying, "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope" and mentioning he is an ally of her father's, Leia doesn't say much about the Jedi either way. The chances are high that this isn't a retroactive plot hole. If Leia actually remembers the events of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" she would have wanted to keep the details of that operation a secret and would leave a vague, coded message to Obi-Wan, which is exactly what she does (via Inverse). In "A New Hope," Leia puts a great deal of trust in Obi-Wan, so it only makes sense that she remembers him saving her life.

Vader acts like an idiot to move the plot forward

Sometimes characters do stupid things that move the plot forward. This happens in "Star Wars," but usually it fits the character traits of whoever makes the foolish mistake — it can even be part of the humor. When characters like the intimidating and brooding Darth Vader make stupid mistakes, it can be jarring and take viewers out of the world the show is crafting. Case in point: In the final episode of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Vader takes an entire Star Destroyer to track down Obi-Wan while letting the rebel Path group, which includes Leia, get away. He doesn't need to take an entire ship to chase Obi-Wan. Like, at all. 

This plot hole is really just a strategic error on Vader's part (via Inverse). It's well established that large ships like Star Destroyers are equipped with smaller vessels, and we also know at some point Vader gets his own special Tie Fighter. It seems like he could easily take a smaller ship to chase Obi-Wan while his cronies on the Star Destroyer capture the Path. That would be the tactical thing to do, but Vader is too blinded by his emotions and his connection to his former master. Both he and Obi-Wan are clouded by their feelings. 

How are Luke and Obi-Wan still safe on Tatooine?

It made a lot of sense that Obi-Wan laid low while watching over Luke and Owen for nearly 20 years on Tatooine. After Obi-Wan gets into a skirmish with Darth Vader and his Inquisitors and leads one of them directly to Luke, you might think Luke's secrecy would be in question. But apparently, Obi-Wan and Luke remain undetected and unpursued by the Empire until the events of "A New Hope." Considering that Reva found out where Luke is pretty easily, Obi-Wan doesn't seem overly concerned that the other Inquisitors, especially the ones in no danger of turning to the light side, might do the same.

Given all this, it doesn't seem like Tatooine would keep them hidden from the Empire for the next decade, especially after the many things Obi-Wan does to anger Vader (via IGN). The most likely explanation for why Vader doesn't keep searching for Obi-Wan is shame. Vader is embarrassed by his loss and doesn't want to repeat it. Moreover, he likely fears that Obi-Wan is more powerful than him and that his former master might not let him live the next time. The truth is for all the smack he talks, Darth Vader is well aware of his weaknesses; Obi-Wan Kenobi is the biggest one.

Where is Qui-Gon taking Obi-Wan?

At the end of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," the title character returns to his duties to find his old master waiting. Qui-Gon Jinn's ghost appears to him and leads Obi-Wan into the desert of Tatooine. Yes, we know the Jedi master is going into hiding, but this ending implies an answer to a question fans have been curious about for years. How does Obi-Wan become a Force ghost after his death?

Only certain Jedi can become ghosts after they die. It requires a great connection to the Force as well as years of training and mastery. The best canon example of the arc is when you see Yoda going through the process in Season 6 of "The Clone Wars." Since Obi-Wan comes back to help Luke and Qui-Gon himself is a ghost, we can't help but presume Qui-Gon is taking his apprentice to the desert to teach him this ancient Jedi trick. This would be a perfect explanation for how Obi-Wan became a Force ghost and what exactly he was doing for all those lonely years on Tatooine.