Star Wars is Poetry – QoTD Obi-Wan Kenobi

This has long been one of my favourite quotes from Star Wars because it is so many things and so much more than just a line from the movie:

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi to Darth Vader – Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope

When Obi-Wan Kenobi says this to Anakin (who has now become Sith lord Darth Vader), he is not antagonising Vader, far from it. He is reaching out to Anakin in this quote because he knows that he is choosing to leave the physical world. He is telling Anakin that he doesn’t have to carry the guilt of killing him. He is leaving this world because he knows what will come. He knows that when he becomes one with the force, he can be so much more to Luke as a mentor and beyond. And he knows that when he reunites with Yoda and his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, they will be unstoppable as a force for good, guiding force users like Luke and Leia and being there when they are needed the most.

I edited the original scene to emphasize how Obi-Wan was happy that he had saved Luke from Vader (if Luke had faced Vader he probably would have killed Luke and the others and that just wouldn’t make a good movie). And if you look carefully, you can see that he has already disappeared just before Vader can even hit him with his lightsaber:

Edited by Darkside Creative – Clip Via YouTube

I suppose to some it might sound like Obi-wan is taunting Darth Vader. But I doubt Obi-wan would ever do something so petty. The way I interpret this quote is that he knows becoming one with the force will make him more powerful than Darth Vader because Vader is still connected to the physical world and all its limitations. When you become one with the force, you are essentially part of the very fabric that holds the universe together. If that isn’t powerful, I don’t know what is.

Here is another piece of art I found which I uploaded to Instagram showing the exact moment when Obi-Wan Kenobi leaves the physical world to become one with the Force. And Qui-Gon Jinn is right there with him! It’s so beautiful:

Art by the talented @mandhos on IG

So what do you think about this scene when Obi-Wan utters the now famous words to Darth Vader? Do you think he is purposefully taunting him? Let me know in the comments, dear friends!

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11 thoughts on “Star Wars is Poetry – QoTD Obi-Wan Kenobi

    1. Yeah because nobody knew what the force was or how it could be used, especially in death. It is actually one of the more fascinating parts of Star Wars Lore and I enjoy reading and learning about it 🙂

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  1. No, I never thought that Obi-Wan was taunting Vader. He was simply informing him of a fact, lol. I like your interpretation though, that he is telling Anakin not to feel guilty about killing him. That never occurred to me, but I like that. I love the artwork, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😊 Yeah I’ve spent some time thinking about that scene. Obi-wan chose his words very carefully. And I love how he smiles at Vader, knowing his last act saved Luke and his friends and that he was hoping somehow he’d see Anakin again. I dunno that’s just how I see it 😄

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  2. I think Kenobi was in control of the whole situation and here’s why I think that. Kenobi was probably feeling guilty that he felt he’d failed Anakin (he said so later in ROTS or earlier depending on the order you watch the films in!) and even at this late stage (on the Death Star) Ben had tried to save Vader but Vader was too strong….but there was another Skywalker (who might persuade him to turn – if that Skywalker was given time to train for that moment). Ben was probably very weakened by the end of the duel and felt his time was coming to an end but he had achieved one part of his goal, to cause a distraction and buy time for Luke, Leia and co to escape.
    Kenobi’s “disappearance” confused Vader as you may recall him prodding the remains of Ben’s cloak with his foot – further distracting him from the fleeing Falcon.
    I do believe there was a slight hint of taunting but not malicious…Ben told Vader “You perceive the Force like a spoon perceives the taste of food!” probably to question Vader’s claims of being all powerful and “The Master”, then the quote you posted “If you strike me down….” all to distract and play mind games to shield Luke’s escape.

    I think Kenobi’s actual disappearance looking like he teleported before being struck by Vader’s blade is down to 1976 era special effects to be honest. In those days the actions would be filmed up to the moment when the blade was swung at Alec Guinness (well his cloak and saber hanging on wires) and then they would call cut and reposition the blade from the left side of the cloak to the right hand side of the cloak. Then as Lucas called action Vader continued his swing and the Effects Guy released the wires holding the cloak and saber so they fell to the ground….edit those two sections of film together and it appears as if the blade “cut through” Kenobi.
    There are also behind the scenes footage of a similar edits when Ben gives Luke his saber and he starts swinging it round. Luke is holding his lightsaber then just as he moves his thumb to activate it he pauses in position. Effects Guy runs into shot and inserts the reflective pole used for the blade and Mark then continues swinging the “ignited” saber. I always laugh at this clip as Mark almost cuts C-3PO in half as he gets a bit close! (The other clip is Ben and Luke’s remote ball training exercise scene on the Falcon).

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    1. I definitely think Obi-Wan was creating a distraction for Vader – that smile on his face kinda confirms it. And the bit where you can see Ben holding his saber upright, he is waiting for the force to take him, he isn’t waiting for Vader to strike him because he knew he would. Obi-Wan knew Anakin’s nature, he knew what would edge him on. I agree that he was ready to leave but I mean that as much a reason for him to smile as any – without defeating Vader he had already won. I doubt Anakin realised this until he could see Luke and the others getting away lol. I can imagine how angry that would have made Anakin…

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