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Star Wars: Obi-Wan Was More Powerful Than Yoda - and Palpatine Knew It

It’s nigh impossible to quantify the Force in Star Wars. The prequel trilogy tried desperately to give the mysterious, metaphysical energy from which the Jedi and the Sith draw their power a unit of measurement (enter: midi-chlorians). Naturally, fans rejected the points-based system of measurement for the Force, and with good reason. The quantification of any spiritual ideology is pretty much ridiculous, especially when it’s predicated upon a predetermined level of microbe organisms living in one's body. At least, that was how The Phantom Menace explained it.

However, figuring out which Force-user, be they Sith or Jedi, happens to be more powerful than their peers is far easier to navigate, as Reddit user wesskywalker lays out in a rather convincing fan theory.

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This theory posits that Obi-Wan Kenobi might be the most powerful Jedi audiences have encountered in the entire saga thus far. More powerful than Yoda, Luke or even the one prophesied to bring balance to the Force, Anakin Skywalker. Now, keep in mind this theory isn’t saying Obi-Wan is packed to the gills with midi-chlorians, hence he is number one. Its evidence is on the screen. There’s no conjecture or wild extrapolations. It’s pretty much black and white, and from the get-go, it's compelling. The crux of the argument lies in the battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul in the third act of The Phantom Menace.

In previously released films, the idea of anger being a path to the Dark Side was frequently exposed. Yoda spoke of it. Even Obi-Wan acknowledged fear and anger being pillars of the Dark Side. But the young Jedi Padawan defeated Maul in the heat of the moment after tapping into anger, and possibly fear, from watching his master, Qui Gon Jin, cut down. That means one of two things is true: Either Kenobi was able to suppress his feeling in order to take down Maul, or it he was able use his fear and anger as a strength.

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Palpatine may have seen Obi-Wan’s power. That might be why he never hunted down Luke on Tatooine (or if he tried, he was unsuccessful). Master Kenobi was in control of his fear, anger, jealously, and any other negative emotion that could dim the connection to the Force. Palpatine doesn’t want any of that. We’ve seen Sith Lords test their apprentices time and time again, and the more you examine the relationship between Palpatine and Darth Vader, it quickly become apparent that the former had little faith in the latter. After all, who defeated Anakin? Who tracked down and dispatched General Grevious, a literal Jedi killing machine? And who (aside from Yoda) did we see escape Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith, despite the overwhelming odds? Either Obi-Wan Kenobi is the Forest Gump of Star Wars or else he’s simply just that good.

After reading wesskwalker’s theory, the latter seems to be the more likely of the two. Now, we won’t get into rehashing every point; you really should read it for yourself to determine whether it makes sense. But for fans who have been paying attention to the films, and all of the surrounding media, this theory is right on the money, despite a few nitpicky holes in its logic (which are addressed within the theory). But hey, this is Star Wars we’re talking about; it’s an engine that runs on nitpicky holes in logic. After all, this is an inter-generational story about space wizards and laser swords that occurred a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.(…)

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What's most striking about the theory is the implications it holds. Has Obi-Wan been the backbone of the Star Wars universe for the past 40-some-odd years, and we were too busy worrying about that troublesome Skywalker clan the entire time? Perhaps Obi-Wan has always been there as something of an usher to make sure Anakin brings balance to the Force (the theory even states as much), but the subsequent rise of the Dark Side in the sequel trilogy proves that establishing balance doesn’t rest on the shoulders of one prophesied person. Or, if it does, it may not rest on those of a Skywalker. That leads into another theory that's been floating around since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

As much as a faction of fans will probably hate to admit it, the whole space opera may hinge on Rey’s fate. Several fans have floated the idea that Rey isn’t related to the Solos or the Skywalkers or even Palpatine, as previously hypothesized. Instead, she might be a Kenobi. The most frequently reported theory is that Rey is actually Obi-Wan’s granddaughter.

This theory, if proven true, would add some context as to why Emperor Palpatine is making a return in some capacity in the forthcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Snoke spoke of the balance between light and dark. And if bloodlines have any direct correlations with the level of power gained from tapping into the Force, then Rey would be the greatest threat to whatever form the Sith has taken. At the end of the day, the epic space opera may be the fears of an old man trying to snuff out any notion of freedom and hope.

Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Matt Smith and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives on Dec. 20.

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