The saga of the Skywalker family might finally be coming to an end in this year’s Star Wars: Episode IX, but Disney still have plans to continue telling stories in that universe. In addition to the highly anticipated The Mandalorian on Disney+, Marvel boss Kevin Feige will be producing a new movie. And, of course, there was the announcement earlier this year that Ewan McGregor will be reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in his own spinoff series.
This news prompted fans to revisit his performance in the prequel trilogy, and Reddit user wesskwalker has come up with a new interpretation of the character due to a key scene in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. From the very beginning of the franchise, viewers have been told that negative emotions are a gateway to the dark side: fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and so on. But as wesskwalker points out, when Darth Maul kills Obi-Wan’s mentor and friend Qui-Gon Jinn in front of him, Obi-Wan fights back out of pain and rage. And while we’ve seen those emotions corrupt other characters (most notably Anakin, whose transformation into Darth Vader and back again is the backbone of the first six movies), Obi-Wan is able to harness them and defeat Darth Maul.
“Anger gets the best of Force users (Jedi included) time and time again in the saga, but Kenobi mastered the Force and the Jedi teaching of suppressing his emotions, even as a Padawan,” they write, which enabled him to “not take a dark turn after seeing his master die before his very eyes.”
Anakin is hailed as the “chosen one” throughout the prequels due to his innate Force-related abilities (and abundance of midichlorians), and Rey fulfils a similar role in the newer installments. And while Obi-Wan might not necessarily be the most powerful of the Jedi, this new reading suggests that even as an apprentice, he had the reserves of control and sheer personal strength needed to pull him back from the dark side and allow him to channel his anger without it consuming him.
This would also lend credence to the fan theory that Rey is not a secret Skywalker, as previously believed, but actually a descendant of Obi-Wan. It would explain how she is so strong in the Force, and also perhaps why she was abandoned as a child — to protect her identity from the Empire and then later the First Order.
Whether any of this ends up coming true in The Rise of Skywalker or the new TV show remains to be seen, but it’s hard to imagine Ewan McGregor finally agreeing to return to the character of Obi-Wan unless the writers had something truly epic planned for him.