Obi-Wan Kenobi

[© 2018]

Explain Dominant Color Explain Auxiliary Color

The Green in this spiritual portrait represents Obi-Wan Kenobi's dominant personality trait, his strong preference for making logical rather than emotional decisions. In Introverts, the dominant trait is directed inwardly, and spiritual portraits use a long horizontal line to represent this. Obi-Wan demonstrates this trait when he remains focused when fighting, refusing to let emotions like fear interfere with his determination to vanquish his opponent.

The Blue in this spiritual portrait represents Obi-Wan Kenobi's auxiliary personality trait, his preference for seeing the world more in terms of ideas than facts. In Introverts, the auxiliary trait is directed outwardly, and spiritual portraits use a vertical line to represent this, because it is more evident than the dominant function. Obi-Wan demonstrates this trait when he performs psychokinesis, using his powers of concentration to get The Force to move objects.

Jedi Master and Mentor of Luke Skywalker

As Anakin Skywalker's mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi does his best to keep his young padawan away from the dark side in the prequel trilogy.

As a Jedi Master who has learned th....

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Obi-Wan Kenobi:
The Story

As Anakin Skywalker's mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi does his best to keep his young padawan away from the dark side in the prequel trilogy.

As a Jedi Master who has learned the secret to immortality, Obi-Wan is able to advise Luke Skywalker from beyond the grave in the original trilogy.

Jedi Are All About the Force

The Blue in Obi-Wan Kenobi's spiritual portrait represents his belief in Jedi ideals — his belief in the Force. He tells Luke his take on what the Force is in Episode IV: A New Hope:

The force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things, it surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.
 — Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, 1977.

In Star Wars, the Force is most visible when a Jedi or Sith uses their powers of psychokinesis, and when a Jedi dies then returns as a force spirit.

Seeing the Force

After having been killed by Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi demonstrates how his force spirit lives on, when he appears to Luke in a snowstorm.

Near the beginning of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke has fallen down face-first in the snow and is lying there, barely conscious. Suddenly Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to him, as if in a dream:

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Luke. Luke!
Luke Skywalker: Ben?
Obi-Wan: You will go to the Dagobah system.
Luke: Dagobah system.
Obi-Wan: There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me.
Luke: Ben!
 — From The Empire Strikes Back, 1980.

Obi-Wan's image quickly fades and the welcome sight of the real live Han Solo, coming to the rescue, replaces it.

Keep Calm and Cut off His Legs

The Green in Obi-Wan Kenobi's spiritual portrait represents his strong preference for logical decisions — and his knowledge of how emotions can cloud a Jedi's thinking, leading to disaster.

Obi-Wan's preference for rationality enables him to keep his cool when confronting an anguished Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar, a volcanic planet. Distraught about losing his wife Padme, Anakin begins making irrational accusations in their climactic duel near the end of Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith:

Anakin Skywalker: You turned her against me!
Obi-Wan Kenobi: You have done that yourself.
Anakin: You will not take her from me!
Obi-Wan: Your anger and your lust for power have already done that.
 — From The Revenge of the Sith, 2005.

Anakin's emotional allegations ring hollow in contrast to Obi-Wan's reasonable responses.

Yoda and Luke, and the Siths

Obi-Wan Kenobi's spiritual portrait looks very similar to the portraits of Yoda and Luke Skywalker. All three have significant amounts of Blue, representing their idealistic belief in the Force, and Green, representing their preference for being logical.

In contrast, Obi-Wan's spiritual portrait looks very different from the portraits of the Sith Lords, Darth Vader and Darth Sidious. The Sith Lords' portraits lack the Blue of the Jedi's — they have lost their idealistic view of the Force, and see it only as a means to personal power.

Good and Evil: Not Just a Point of View

In Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith Darth Sidious tells Anakin Skywalker that Good is a point of view. Using lies like this, Sidious successfully seduces Anakin to the dark side, and Anakin becomes Darth Vader.

Darth Sidious and Darth Vader go on to create a Death Star and use it in Episode IV, A New Hope to destroy Alderaan, a totally peaceful planet — all to serve their lust for power.

In contrast, the Jedi have ideals, such as the principle of non-agression. As Yoda teaches Luke on Dagobah in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:

Luke: How am I to know the good side from the bad?
Yoda: You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never attack.
 — From The Empire Strikes Back, 1980.

It is clear the Sith's death star is not for defense, but for attacking others and even destroying entire planets. In choosing the dark side and destroying a peaceful planet, the Sith Lords show their contempt for Jedi ideals and the Jedi point of view.

Idealism Does Not Imply Virtue

It is important to realize that, while the idealism of the Jedi correlates to respect for others in the Star Wars universe, this is not necessarily true everywhere. Just because someone is idealistic does not mean they are virtuous and treat other people with kindness and respect.

Most importantly, whether someone is good is not a matter of whether they are idealistic, but rather it depends on the nature of their ideals — and even more so on how they actually treat other people.

Moreover, regardless of Anakin's psychological preferences and the content of his spiritual portrait, he proved Luke was right when he killed Sidious at the end of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

In saving Luke from certain death at the hands of Darth Sidious, Anakin proved that he — the feared, monstrous Darth Vader — still had some good in him.

To learn more about morality, virtue, good, and bad in Star Wars, see Star Wars Psychology: The Dark Side of the Mind.

About This Portrait

This spiritual portrait is based on the first six Star Wars movies, both the original trilogy (1977-1980) and the prequel trilogy (1999-2005).

The book Star Wars Psychology: The Dark Side of the Mind, by Travis Langley and with a forward by Carrie Goldman, was also helpful in creating these portraits. This excellent book is a collection of immensely entertaining and enlightening essays and if you are a fan of Star Wars, I recommend it highly!