In the Star Wars universe, a young General Leia, then-Princess Leia, implored Obi-Wan Kenobi for his help, insisting that he was "our only hope." It was quoted nearly as often, and much more accurately, than the infamous quote about she and Luke's father, but was it really true?
In some ways, Obi-Wan Kenobi was indeed the Jedi the galaxy needed, but in others he was kind of the worst. In the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus TV series, he will surely continue to to be both, and hopefully answer some fan questions about why he behaved the way he did during the original Star Wars trilogy and its prequels.
10 Best Hope: He Took Out Darth Maul... Twice
Fans know that Obi-Wan Kenobi took out Darth Maul in the 1999 prequel, Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. But those who haven't seen The Clone Wars may not realize that he did it again! Maul was gone, but not permanently, in the film, which is how his story is being revisited for more sequel material.
Maul's destruction wasn't just important the first time. During his second departure from the universe, he revealed that he knew Kenobi was protecting the last hope for the universe. When he guessed that it was the "Chosen One," he predicted, "He will avenge us," and Vader did just that. Still, Kenobi chalked up the first Sith demise-notch by a Jedi in a thousand years, earning him the title of Jedi Knight minus the traditional trials.
9 Hopeless: He Left Anakin Alive
Not only was Obi-Wan leaving the entire galaxy vulnerable by leaving Darth Vader alive, but he also was deliberately not following orders. Given how conflicted he felt about the assignment and that he is a supposedly honorable Jedi, Obi-Wan should never have left Anakin legless and missing an arm. It was a cruel fate to bestow on his protege, especially if he expected him to succumb to his injuries.
It was also a cruel fate for the rest of the universe if he expected Ani to live. He knew how dangerous Anakin was and it was irresponsible to not cleanly finish him off and prevent the carnage to come.
8 Best Hope: He Didn't Get Married
Obi-Wan once nearly abandoned the Order for a woman he loved. When he admonished Anakin for his feelings for Padme, he knew from experience how difficult it was to choose duty over love. He told Duchess Satine Kryze, the object of his affection, had she "said the word, I would have left the Jedi Order."
As romantic as that sounds, many are glad that he decided to remain a Jedi and take on the challenge of keeping the universe safe. While he made plenty of errors along the way, he also did get Luke where he needed to be... eventually.
7 Hopeless: He Abandoned The Galaxy
For a guy who was the galaxy's best hope against the very monster he'd helped to make, Obi-Wan sure gave up easily. He had to know that he was the only person who could stop Darth Vader. He very well could have had he simply taken him out in the first place instead of leaving him dismembered and raging.
Obi-Wan pretty much went into hiding, but he also allowed his former student and "brother" to slay him when he finally did join back in the fight in his late fifties. Sure, it was to become a ghost and therefore more powerful, but at the time it sure seemed like he was just giving up again.
6 Best Hope: He Trained Young Anakin
Had Qui-Gon Jinn remained Anakin's teacher, he may have become a different Jedi than he did beneath the tutelage of a skeptical Obi-Wan, who never wanted him to become a Jedi in the first place. Still, Obi-Wan's careful guidance may have kept Anakin from joining the dark side sooner, and even if he wasn't the best teacher, he did fulfill his promise to his master and teach Anakin the ways of the Force that eventually did help him save the universe alongside Luke Skywalker.
Obi-Wan and Anakin did manage to perform some heroic feats before Anakin chose the dark side, too, from saving Padmé from an assassination attempt to numerous battle that made them heroes among the Army of the Republic.
5 Hopeless: He Made Luke Fall Behind
It's one thing for Obi-Wan to choose to abandon the entire universe on his own, but he owed Luke at least a bit of a head start. He could have trained the young man as a Jedi from the start, and indeed could have done the same for his twin sister, causing them to be a much bigger force to be reckoned with than they were as adults.
Obi-Wan is such a hypocrite here because he had already told Vader, as Anakin, that he was too old for training by age nine! This means that he knows that Luke is already at a disadvantage when he begins his training.
4 Best Hope: He Saved People Over And Over Again
Obi-Wan proved that he could have been incredibly helpful long before the events of A New Hope. From the time he saved Luke and C-3PO from Tuskan Raiders to his Jedi mind tricks that allow them all safe passage, he's only a bit rusty, if anything. He's like the Gandalf of the Star Wars universe, and like Princess Leia had said, he really was their only hope, so he did the universe a disservice by hiding and not doing anything all those years.
Still, he did save lots of people in the end, and he also kept watch over Luke while biding his time.
3 Hopeless: He Was Kind Of A Terrible Teacher
Had Obi-Wan been a better teacher, Anakin may not have been as tempted by the dark side. He felt like the Jedi were the evil people, and he had some good reasons to back up his theory--not to mention some heavy coercion from the dark side itself. It was Obi-Wan's job to guide Ani away from that and toward the leader he could have become, but he failed, acting like a judgmental, condescending old man rather than the support system Ani needed.
Obi-Wan even had a last chance to save Ani before he dismembered him, and instead he just used it as a last chance to lecture him again, causing even more distress and rage. Ani's actions are all his own, but Obi-Wan could have dealt with it better.
2 Best Hope: He Trained Luke Skywalker
While he took his time about it, Obi-Wan did do what was needed to get Luke Skywalker on his journey to save the galaxy from his father, who ultimately was as instrumental in saving it and fulfilling his "Chosen One" role. He gave Luke his father's lightsaber and even made the ultimate sacrifice, becoming a Force ghost in order to continue to assist Luke on his journey.
Of course, the balance has yet to be fully restored, as we have witnessed in the last two Star Wars films. Fans will have to wait and see what Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker brings this winter.
1 Hopeless: He Failed To Explain Luke's Heritage To Him
How much pain and suffering could have been prevented had Obi-Wan Kenobi explained Luke's parentage to him? He wasn't lying, per se, but he sure didn't tell Luke the whole truth when he gave him the story about how his father bit the dust. Luke went in empty-handed in that fight.
Even worse, Obi-Wan used Luke's attraction to Leia to "inspire" him to train for battle rather than tell him the truth about her, which wasn't fair to either of the siblings. Leia could have been an asset as a sister, too, but Obi-Wan didn't seem to think so when he withheld that information.