Obi-Wan Kenobi Is The Dumbest Jedi In The Galaxy, Here’s The Evidence

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

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Added context, after the fact, is both a blessing and a curse in the Star Wars fandom. Sometimes, it adds a cool little bit of backstory, like discovering that when Vader tells Boba Fett, “No disintegrations,” in The Empire Strikes Back, it’s because the bounty hunter previously burnt three rebel spies to ash instead of bringing them to Vader alive.

But sometimes, the added context forces Star Wars fans to acknowledge some hard truths, like the fact that Obi-Wan Kenobi is the dumbest Jedi in the galaxy.

How Obi-Wan Survived To Become An Old Man Is Beyond Us

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As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I’m well aware that Obi-Wan is largely considered the best part of the prequels. I witnessed the fandom at large come for those films with torches and pitchforks. Through it all Ewan McGregor was the only one who made it out unscathed. So trust me when I say that I know how controversial it is to call Obi-Wan Kenobi the dumbest Jedi to ever live.

Obi-Wan Whips Out A Lightsaber Without A Thought

C’mon, the guy walks around Tatooine with his lightsaber hanging from his belt. Almost nothing was known about Jedi lore when A New Hope first came out, so nobody questioned it. Later films like Revenge of the Sith and shows like Rebels showed fans that any Jedi who survived Order 66 were being hunted down and murdered. This makes Obi-Wan’s choice to pull out his laser sword in the Cantina completely baffling.

Everyone knows at that point that only Jedi carry lightsabers. What could have possibly possessed Obi-Wan Kenobi to pull out his saber in a crowded bar and start lopping off limbs all willy-nilly like the galaxy’s dumbest surgeon? The only thing more conspicuous would have been wearing a neon sign that repeatedly flashes “Jedi” on and off.

Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of “Keep A Low Profile”

On top of that, Obi-Wan, “I’m the dumbest Jedi alive,” Kenobi has the audacity to tell Han, “We’d like to avoid any imperial entanglements.” You just amputated a dude’s arm with a weapon only carried by the Empire’s Most Wanted. He knew there were Stormtroopers sniffing around, too, as he ran into them outside the bar.

Never Changed His Last Name

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Meanwhile, even the most cautious lightsaber handling won’t save an outlaw too stupid to change his whole name. Is Kenobi like “Smith” in the Star Wars universe? “Ben” survives a whole Jedi purge only to walk around in public using the same name as one of the biggest heroes of the Clone Wars. If Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t the dumbest Jedi around, he would have changed his entire identity, not just his first name.

I can just picture the Empire sniffing around Tatooine, saying, “We’re looking for the fugitive known as Obi-Wan Kenobi,” only to have a shopkeeper or bartender answer, “All we have around these parts is a Ben Kenobi.” “Oh shoot, Ben Kenobi? Can’t be our guy then.”

Delayed Luke’s Training To The Last Minute

Of course, then, you have his odd decision not to train Luke until he’s an adult. I’ve never understood that one. I get that he’s honoring Uncle Owen’s wishes, but…why? If push came to shove, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi—albeit possibly the dumbest—and Owen Lars is a farmer. Is there any Earthly way that Owen could physically stop Obi-Wan from training Luke?

Obi-Wan Is Only Truly Wrong In Retrospect

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Again, thanks to all that added context from other sources, we know that Jedi usually begin training as early as possible. “Hmmm, this kid’s father started training at nine and became an asthmatic child killer. Better not train the boy until he’s twice that age…” I’m sorry, but Obi-Wan Kenobi is canonically one of the dumbest characters in Star Wars.

And look, I’m not stupid. I know that most of this wasn’t on Lucas’s mind when he made the first Star Wars movie. But it was on his mind when he made the prequels. In fact, all of the Star Wars media made after 1977 has made a conscious effort to make Obi-Wan look like the dumbest character in sci-fi.

Technically Never Lied To Luke

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Even the original trilogy did this. George decides somewhere between A New Hope and Empire that Vader is now Luke’s father. Cool. There’s just one problem: Obi-Wan had already told Luke that Vader had killed his dad.

And that’s exactly what happens in Return of the Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke he lied and then tries to justify it in the dumbest way possible. “Well, you see, uh, Anakin became Darth Vader, which means technically he killed the Jedi he once was, so in a way, I never actually lied to you. Now go kill your Dad.”

Believe it or not, I love Obi-Wan Kenobi. When Phantom Menace fever was in full swing back in ’99, I went all in on the Obi-Wan merch. So understand that I say, with no malice in my heart whatsoever: Obi-Wan Kenobi is the dumbest Jedi in Star Wars history.

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