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Kenobi’s Episode 5 Trick Explains His Advice To Han Solo In A New Hope

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Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Han Solo that “there are alternatives to fighting” in A New Hope, advice that episode 5 of the Obi-Wan series foreshadows.

Warning: Spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series bridges the gap between the prequel and original Star Wars trilogies and fittingly explains one piece of advice Ben Kenobi gives Han Solo in A New Hope. Kenobi warns Solo that he’ll be no match for the Imperial forces aboard the Death Star, but they can still escape the Empire’s clutches through indirect tactics. Just as Ben Kenobi’s plans aboard the Death Star ensured his allies’ escape, a similar ploy allows him to flee Darth Vader himself in the Obi-Wan series.

As the Millennium Falcon is pulled toward the Death Star in A New Hope, Ben Kenobi tells Han Solo, who’s ready to make a last stand against his soon-to-be captors, “You can’t win, but there are alternatives to fighting.” Indeed, Kenobi and his allies sneak through the battle station, with the former using the Force to remain undetected and the latter wearing stolen Imperial stormtrooper armor. Kenobi only draws his lightsaber when confronted by Darth Vader, but he uses the fight to keep the Star Wars Sith Lord distracted, allowing Princess Leia and the rest of the heroes to escape.

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Related: Kenobi Better Explains 2 Major Obi-Wan Moments In A New Hope

Ben Kenobi employs similar tactics in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5 when confronted by Imperial forces on Jabiim. Kenobi first tries to stall the Third Sister, buying time for The Path to reopen their hangar bay, but later uses a decoy ship to distract Vader while the real one makes it off the planet. The second instance succeeds, showing that Kenobi understands his former pupil all too well, using Vader’s foibles against him. He even drops a line that echoes his advice to Han in A New Hope when questioned by Roken how he expects to fight without his lightsaber. “There are other ways to fight,” Obi-Wan says. Kenobi’s ability to recognize when he’s facing a fight he can not win and his willingness to use subterfuge and distraction instead are traits hardwired in him long before the events of A New Hope.



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This is far from the first time Kenobi has used such tactics in the Star Wars franchise. In the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, General Kenobi distracts the Separatist General Whorm Loathsom while Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano destroy his shield generator. During the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan gained the nickname “The Negotiator” for such tactics as well as a genuine talent at preventing bloodshed with his uncanny talent for negotiation and (in some cases) deception.

Ben Kenobi had lost a significant degree of his connection to the Force and skill with a lightsaber due to a lack of practice by the events of the Kenobi series and would not have won a direct confrontation with Darth Vader. Kenobi instead found another way to escape by remembering how blinded Vader is by his need for victory and lack of patience, setting him up to go after the wrong escape craft. In the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Ben found an alternative to fighting when faced with an unwinnable fight, perfectly tying into his A New Hope advice to Han Solo.


Next: Obi-Wan Explains Why Darth Vader Couldn’t Interrogate Leia In A New Hope

New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi release Wednesdays on Disney+.

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