Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lame explanation to Luke Skywalker about why he didn’t reveal Darth Vader’s true identity has troubled Star Wars fans for decades, but now a new novel may shed light on the Jedi’s words.
Chuck Wendig’s new book Aftermath: Empire’s End has been approved by Lucasfilm’s story group, which means it is considered canon. In it, we finally get some background on that infamous quote: “So what I told you was true – from a certain point of view.”
To backtrack. After Luke makes the discovery in The Empire Strikes Back that Darth Vader is his father (if you wanted a spoiler warning for that you’re many years too late, sorry), he meets Obi-Wan’s Force ghost in Return of the Jedi and demands to know why he lied to him.
Obi-Wan’s dubious explanation is that Luke’s father Anakin Skywalker was seduced by the dark side and became Vader, therefore destroying his previous identity as Anakin. Technically, he says, it was the truth “from a certain point of view.” Hmmmm.
So what new information can redeem Obi-Wan’s odd logic?
The novel includes a selection from the Journal of the Whills, which is a book within the Star Wars universe that explains the light and dark side of the Force. There is also a religious element to the Whills: Rogue One’s Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) was part of a religious order called the Guardians of the Whills.
So that infamous quote appears to be drawn from this passage quoted by io9, which states that “nothing is true” (now there’s an excuse for lying!).
“The truth in our soul
Is that nothing is true.
The question of life
Is what then do we do?
The burden is ours
To penance, we hew.
The Force binds us all
From a certain point of view.”
So was Obi-Wan quoting from religious scripture when he tried to explain his lie? It seems a bit after-the-fact to give him a spiritual basis for that speech – but hey, it’s canon.