Every Star Wars fan has wondered at one point or the other- why didn’t the Empire find Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine? Till now, we didn’t have an answer to this. But finally, we do, thanks to a Star Wars comic.
When Palpatine won in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, the surviving were left scrambling for their lives. There were only two people who knew that Anakin Skywalker had become Darth Vader, and that was Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. However, they believed that there was still hope for him to return. Anakin’s wife Padmé gave birth to twins before she died. Kenobi and Yoda held hope that the infants inherited the potential of the Chosen One.
Leia was adopted by Senator Bail Organa, while her brother was taken to Tatooine by Kenobi. There he retired to watch over the boy. Despite the tragedy of Obi-Wan’s mission, the decision to take Luke to the desert planet was undoubtedly an interesting one. Kenobi knew that Darth Vader would never willingly head to Tatooine because the planet was full of bad memories for him. Now, his logic was sound, but the success of his hideaway has often been seen as very unlikely.
This is especially because Vader created a team of Inquisitors, who were Force-sensitives and were tasked to hunt down Order 66 survivors in the galaxy. Now, Obi-Wan Kenobi didn’t quite exactly live a quiet life once he came to Tatooine. He is known to have been quite troublesome for Jabba the Hutt. As such, it’s surprising that he was indeed able to stay in hiding for long. But a new Star Wars comic explains why.
The opening arc of John Cassaday and Jason Aaron’s Star Wars, launched in 2015, explained that the Empire didn’t know that Kenobi was on Tatooine. It seems like Jabba the Hutt’s criminal Empire expanded without any limit during the Dark Times. This earned him the title of Warlord of the Outer Rim. However, Jabba understood that Palpatine’s Empire was, in fact, more significant than his own. And he was wary of drawing attention to himself.
Ironically and quite amusingly, this ensured that Jabba had good reason to keep a lid on any rumors of a Jedi Master on Tatooine. The destruction of the very first Death Star, accompanied by Rebel attacks, disrupted the Empire’s supply chains. This, later on, forced the Empire to seek assistance from Jabba the Hutt. Darth Vader himself was sent to Tattoine, and by now, he had figured out that Kenobi was hiding there for several years.
In Star Wars issue 24, Vader took the opportunity to quiz Jabba on Obi-Wan’s activities. Thus, attempting to find out where the boy who destroyed the Death Star had come from. Now, the scene is undoubtedly an entertaining one. The Dark Lord wanted to be on Tattoine because he realized that Kenobi took advantage of his weakness by hiding in his homeworld.
This raises a funny possibility- that there were other survivors of Order 66 who could successfully hide on the Outer Rim worlds. They took advantage of the locals’ fear of drawing the Empire’s attention. Now, it will certainly be interesting to see whether this idea is developing in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Tv show. After all, it is the first Star Wars live-action show set during the Dark Times.
Now, whether that’s the case or not, it’s undoubtedly a fantastic narrative decision to have Kenobi’s hiding on Tattoine utterly dependent on the competing evils of the Emperor and Jabba. Obi-Wan did make an intelligent decision hiding from Darth Vader in a place he would never want to set foot on. Star Wars also made it clear that it was indeed his lust for power that kept him safe.
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