In the original Star Wars film — Episode IV: A New Hope — Uncle Owen refers to Ben Kenobi disparagingly as a “wizard” and tells Luke Skywalker that “Obi-Wan” didn’t “exist anymore.” In short, Owen was vehemently against Luke having any kind of contact with the former Jedi. But one question has nagged at Star Wars fans for 45 years, and now, the new Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer reveals we might finally get an answer.
Because Owen is so dismissive of Obi-Wan in A New Hope, the question is why wouldn’t Owen and Beru want the protection of a Jedi Knight in the rough and tumble world of Tatooine? What is the origin of Obi-Wan’s beef with the Lars family? At the end of Revenge of the Sith, the Lars family wordlessly accepted the infant Luke and seemed to be pretty okay with that decision. So, what changed?
The new trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi — coming to Disney+ on May 27 — begins to shed some light on all of this.
Owen blames Obi-Wan for what happened to Anakin
In one of the most emotionally charged moments of the new trailer, Uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton) shuts down Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) by saying “leave us alone.” Obi-Wan responds with, “When the time comes, he must be trained.” And then Owen drops the perfect comeback, “Like you trained his father?”
On Twitter, fans are already having a field day with this moment, and it’s easy to see why. From Owen’s point of view, Obi-Wan is part of something that he never wanted for his family: Complicated space politics that are also connected to a pseudo-religious war between the Jedi and the Sith. In Attack of the Clones, you certainly get the sense that the entire Lars clan is kind of indifferent to the ways of the Jedi, and it’s not like Anakin made a great impression on anyone at the moment, either.
So, if Owen views Luke as his son — and honestly, why shouldn’t he? — then it makes sense that he’s protective of Luke and wants to shield him from the complicated life that Obi-Wan represents. But maybe there’s more to it than that?
Is Owen keeping a Darth Vader secret?
In Legends canon, one comic book story called “Old Wounds” explains why Uncle Owen didn’t want Obi-Wan around; Darth Maul had come to the homestead and tried to get Luke. Meanwhile, in Marvel Comics Star Wars canon, Obi-Wan’s journals reveal that Owen was annoyed with Obi-Wan for similar reasons. Things seemed to just be more dangerous when Obi-Wan was around. So, it seems likely that Obi-Wan Kenobi will give us some kind of flashpoint moment, where we see exactly why Owen (and probably Beru) are pissed about Obi-Wan hanging around.
However, what’s interesting is considering how much Owen knows about Darth Vader. In A New Hope, when Beru says, “Luke’s just not a farmer, Owen. He’s got too much of his father in him.” Owen responds with, “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
Beru’s casual and jovial recollection of Anakin can be chalked up to George Lucas not really having the backstory figured out at the time, and yet, Owen’s grim response now sends an opposite message. Based on the new Obi-Wan trailer, we could surmise only Owen is aware of the details about Anakin’s transformation into Vader. And he has not shared those grisly stories with Beru or anyone else.
If that’s the case, then Uncle Owen is about to become a much more complex character than anyone previously knew. In Entertainment Weekly’s early Obi-Wan coverage, director Deborah Chow said, “Thank you, George, for casting Joel Edgerton as Uncle Owen. That's all I can say.” This combined with the intense scene between Owen and Obi-Wan in the trailer could suggest something nobody saw coming. This series could be as much about Owen as it is Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan Kenobi hits Disney+ on May 27, 2022.