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Invisible Wounds: An Obi-Wan Kenobi Devotional by Michael Manacci

Michael J Manacci
Writer

Perhaps just as, if not more crucial than the heroes themselves, are the characters that guide the hero through not only mentoring them and bestowing the sage advice and age-old wisdom upon the main hero. Additionally, this wisdom on its own seems to guide the hero through the ages, even long after the mentor has left this world and can no longer physically be there to aid in the hero’s quest. In the same proud and noble tradition of characters such as Gandalf, Rafiki, and Professor Charles Xavier, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi carries the tradition beyond the bounds of Earth and into the galaxy, far, far away.

About a decade after Episode III’s events, the great Jedi purge has started to come to a conclusion. Nevertheless, Darth Vader and The Order of Inquisitors will not cease in the quest to extinguish the ever-fading light of hope that The Jedi Order was once and for all. While the majority of the order has become extinct, there still exists in the far reaches of the galaxy Jedi that have barely evaded the horrors of Order 66. One such person is a strange old hermit living in the dune sea cave named Ben Kenobi. 

Obi-Wan has thus far successfully evaded capture by the Empire by fully and absolutely forsaking his identity, upbringing, and former life as the Jedi. Having buried his lightsaber deep within the sands of Tatooine. Kenobi now lives in constant paranoia, night terrors, and near poverty. It truly is an extreme distance from his former life of Jedi council meetings. Then, he was charging headfirst into battle against separatist forces with the clones of the 212th Attack Battalion loyally at his side and fighting all sorts of scum and villainy across the galaxy with his best friend and former Padawan, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. 

Granted, Kenobi’s life is slightly brightened by watching Skywalker’s son Luke grow up, even though he must do this in secret. However, upon being confronted and outright denied training Luke in the Jedi ways by Owen Lars, Kenobi’s mind falls even further into a massive depressive state, only to be plagued by night terrors of the events of the last ten years. After waking up hysterically gasping for air in a cold sweat, Kenobi tries to contact the force ghost of his former master, Qui Gon Jinn, seeking guidance and wisdom from The Force but to no avail. However, due to him turning his back on the Jedi’s ways, it appeared that his force abilities had been either severely severed or wing clipped.

The next day, Kenobi receives a transmission from a voice of long ago: Imperial Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan. He informs Kenobi that their ten-year-old daughter, Leia, has been kidnapped by what seems to be underworld thugs in a ransom heist. Kenobi is the only man the Organa family completely trusts to bring their daughter home. Initially, Kenobi outright refuses, repeatedly telling the Organas, “I’m not the man you once  knew.” Finally, having been reluctantly persuaded by the senator and feeling obliged to help the senator, Kenobi digs up his lightsaber, buys a ticket off-world, and travels to the last known location of Leia, the criminal underworld of Nar Shaddaa. 

Sleuthing through this neon-colored yet still appearing dark underworld, Kenobi finds Leia with the assistance of a scam artist who poses as a Jedi. When Kenobi rescues Leia, he discovers the kidnapping caper is the work of the Third Sister, as she puts out a planet-wide bounty on the two of them. During the pursuit, Obi-Wan discovers the horrible truth: Anakin, who was widely believed to be dead, is alive and well under the mantle of Darth Vader. Once aboard their automated shuttle, Obi-wan appears totally shaken to the core; yet again, he vainly attempts to reach out to Qui-Gon Jinn through the force. 

Upon reaching the distant mining planet, our two heroes come within a hair’s inch several times of being found by the Empire. Thankfully, our heroes are found by an underground network of Jedi Sympathizers at the last second. This network has established an underground railroad of sorts to assist fugitive Jedi in escaping capture safely. Then, almost out of nowhere, Obi-wan feels another specter from days long ago through the force: Darth Vader. Using himself as a distraction so that Leia can escape with the collective 

However, things go south super quick as Leia is abruptly captured by The Third Sister and taken into custody within the Inquisitor Fortress on the moon of Mustafar; although the collective advises strongly against it, Obi-Wan decides to break into the fortress and rescue Leia. Narrowly avoiding countless imperial forces within the fortress, Obi-Wan encounters perhaps the most bone-chilling discovery: a hallway of the victims of the Great Jedi Purge, with the corpses mounted into the walls like hunting trophies. Some of them were his friends; others weren’t even Jedi but force-sensitive people. There were even younglings with looks of terror still on their faces. 

Just when he feels he is on the verge of a mental breakdown, Obi-wan collects himself, rescues Leia, and takes the princess back into the protection of the collective to safely get her back to Alderaan, with Vader in hot pursuit. Obi-Wan selflessly enters an escape pod and decides to finally quit running and face not only Vader but his past trauma of everything he had been through. 

After a vicious but short duel, Vader, through his shattered mask, tells Kenobi that he is in no way responsible for the death of Anakin and that Vader is the real culprit. After hearing this revelation, Obi-wan finally comes to terms with the death of his friend” and abandons Vader, a beaten and broken mess. 

With Leia safely returning home to Alderaan, Obi-wan returns to Tatooine, then tells Owen he is right about training Luke and buries the hatchet with the Lars family. In the final scene, the force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn at long last appears. He tells Obi-Wan he was always with the two of them through all the hardships, anxieties, and fears even though he couldn’t reach out to him.

South African bishop and Civil Rights leader Desmond Tutu once said: “Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.” Trauma may be prevalent these days, but it is, more often than not, ran from and seldom confronted. However, the shedding of Christ’s blood was an atonement for all the pain, the guilt, and suffering caused by past trauma. So the Bible says in Galatians 2:19-20:

“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Obi-wan going through the trauma of the prequels was undeniably gruesome. But once he stopped running and faced the trauma, he was finally healed from the trauma and regained his force sensibilities to begin anew living the life he once knew: The way of the Jedi. It is you, Dear Reader, and you alone that can choose to look your past in the eyes and dare say to it: “You no longer define me and what I do! I choose to follow Jesus of Nazareth!”

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