Haiku Me Friday! I can’t relate to Obi-Wan

The pain sears through me
I’m filled with horror and shock
I thought I knew him

I can’t imagine what Obi-Wan went through when he realized that Anakin was the one who killed the Jedi in the Temple. There are times, even though this is in a galaxy far away, where I can somewhat relate to the characters.

I relate to Luke staring out at the sunset and yearning for something more. I relate to Padmé’s drive to believe the good in her husband. I relate to Leia’s decisive personality. I relate to Rey’s loyalty to her friends. I relate to Finn’s lies to cover up who he really is.

But I cannot relate to Obi-Wan when he finds out that Anakin has turned to the dark side. Not only turned to the dark side, but killed numerous in Jedi in the temple. In fact, when I think about it, there are very few moments that I do relate to Obi-Wan throughout the saga. I can understand why he is some people’s favorite character, but he’s not mine. The only moment I have ever been able to relate to Obi-Wan is when he is arguing with Qui-Gon about training Anakin. I’m a stickler for rules, so I understand his pushback to Qui-Gon’s stubbornness.

Yet, this betrayal of Anakin to Obi-Wan goes deeper than many of us have ever experienced or will experience. When thinking about the feelings he must feel, the only thing that may come close is if I found out my husband was cheating on me with multiple women and then murdered them all. Gruesome, right? I don’t even like thinking about it but it was the closest train of thought I could go down that might possibly provide the same feelings.

Not only is Anakin’s betrayal a betrayal of the Jedi and a way of life, he was also his best friend. He was someone whom he trusted and loved. And this trust is different from a trust that you or I might have with a friend – they were in situations where they constantly trusted each other with their lives.

I always watch their last exchange before Anakin turned with a pang of sadness. Watch it one more time:

When Obi-Wan says, “Goodbye, old friend,” is the Force that speaks through him that gives him a touch of foreshadowing?

And what about Anakin’s looks? He apologizes for his behavior but as Obi-Wan leaves, is that … defiance? Anger simmering below? Resentment? Conflict? There’s something there and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Obi-Wan leaves with kind, wise words of encouragement in their last conversation. This is his last impression of Anakin before Order 66. It’s so painful. He truly, really believes in Anakin, which is what makes this scene of realization hard to watch. Yoda understands right away, but Obi-Wan does not want to. The denial is there. “Who could have done this?” he asks Yoda as they walk through the temple. Yet, as they continue their walk through and recalibrate the code, he knows. How he knows, I’m not entirely sure. The Force, most likely.

And I can’t imagine how he feels when it’s confirmed. I know there are people in this world who have suffered atrocities at the hands of loved ones, and perhaps they can watch this scene with greater understanding. I am lucky enough that I hope to never, ever relate to Obi-Wan in this scene.

 

How have you processed this scene? Can you relate to Obi-Wan (no need to share)? Have you ever had a good friend betray you in an irrevocable way?

 

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15 thoughts on “Haiku Me Friday! I can’t relate to Obi-Wan

  1. I can relate to Obi-Wan in one big way. On the Death Star against Vader he realises that his best form of defeating what Vader stands for at that point is to literally disappear. He knows that he can do more good off the stage than he can by staying. I can relate to this because it’s my main coping method with situations of conflict; generally rather than deal with aggression head on I tend to walk away or simply go my separate way from people. Or simply just leave a given situation of conflict for long enough that absence and time do more good than action. Even silly things like social media; I’ll tend to mute or unfollow and simply stop engaging with people rather than engage in conflict. It’s not always the right answer, and at times I think it’s because I don’t have the diplomatic skills or patience to try and “talk out a situation”. At other times though I’m convinced inaction can be better than action, or that disappearing off the stage at points to let a situation heal can often be better than active engagement. I’m sure a psychology expert would have a field day with these statements and prescribe my personality type but I truly do watch that scene and think – you see, Obi-Wan’s doing my trick – I can relate to how he step away from conflict, find another way, and lets passage of time (and a little Force-ghostery!) do its work.

    • So I agree and disagree. I’m not sure walking away is always the best choice. I see that happen quite often in a relationship I know well, where the man is so non-confrontational that he walks away whenever there is an argument. It bothers me so much. Nothing gets resolved!

      In some ways, I think it’s good to sit there and argue, even if you get angry.

      But there are times an places for everything. Downright aggression is tough. Sometimes walking away infuriates someone more, and it could lead them to attach when your back is turned. I completely agree with social media though. When people get worked up and hateful on social media, I definitely ignore it or mute it.

      I can’t relate much to Obi-Wan. I know I said that already but even with that scene in ANH, I probably would have kept fighting or tried to escape and go with Luke.

  2. Very well written. I think I might have to go and re-watch Episode III to see if I can latch onto how it makes me feel. I don’t think that I DO feel anything there. It all has the sense of inevitability, because we all KNOW Anakin turns to the Dark Side. Even when we know he’s about to kill the younglings, I’m kind of like, “yeah, well what did we expect?” I think if it was something we did not expect, it might make me feel differently. I love Obi-Wan but not for the idea that I identify with him, but I think it’s because I don’t. I don’t know. I think I wish I possessed his grace and his calm, but instead I respond more like Anakin and throw things and talk about how unfair it is.

    • Perhaps not feeling anything shows that you can’t empathize, like me. What I’m trying to point out though is you should try to put yourself in Obi-Wan’s shoes, without the foresight of knowing what Anakin has become.

      And I totally agree – I wish sometimes I was more like Obi-Wan with his calm demeanor and confidence. But like you, I prefer to throw things and whine.

  3. Yeah, I feel like this is a Law and Order episode where the suspect murdered 5 people and the spouse is like “But he/she would never hurt anyone!” It’s hard to imagine a deeper kind of betrayal. It would really mess with your head.

    • Wouldn’t it?? It’s horrifying to think about. I was actually thinking of an Oprah episode I saw once where she had all these wives on whose husbands did horrible things and they never knew. I watched it when I was around 13 and had no idea what love was really like (other than my crushes on Luke Skywalker, obvs haha) but I still sat there horrified and saddened.

  4. Oh yeah, should have said – the exception is my wife and immediate family where we get right into it – I do agree about that. Aside from that though – work, acquaintances, etc. rightly or wrongly (and there I’ll be occasions when it’s wrong) I just walk. And definitely now with social media. Just walk; because these things can easily interfere with your wellbeing I find.

    • Okay yes agree then! Social media is like the Force – there’s a light side and it can be used for good, justice, connecting and uplifting others. But then there’s a dark side full of anger, trolling and bullying. It’s kind of terrifying. Sometimes I’m scared of raising my daughter in a world where the dark side can be more normal than the light side when they’re younger.

      • I dread to think what it will be like when my kids are older. That said there is something around education – I feel like anything put in place to “detox” social media errs too much on the side of censorship or big brother tendencies – such a difficult balance though.

        • I believe in limits. I don’t think you can keep it from them and I don’t think you should. But I do believe in open communication and I will ask for passwords and access. I will be clear about this as soon as it becomes a topic. If I cannot get into their account one day, then it will be blocked. Maybe that’s strict, but I saw what my niece, at age 12, was doing with other kids on social media – it was online bullying and she did not see it that way. She thought it was a game. Her parents tried to get her to take down the posts and she refused and they couldn’t make her see reason or get into her account. There are also a whole bunch load of other problems there, but my husband and I decided from then on that we would be open about being able to go into their accounts. Sure, they can delete stuff before I see it, but at least then they know it shouldn’t be there. 🙂

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