Here's the Star Wars Plot Hole Everyone's Going Nuts Over
AND YES, IT'S FROM THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY.
At this point, every detail in the Star Wars universe has been so thoroughly prodded by fans that you would think that there'd be nothing left to dissect. But in a thread that has now gone viral, writer Dennis DiClaudio pointed out one small detail about Obi-Wan Kenobi's fashion choices in the original trilogy, and it has Star Wars fans everywhere reeling.
When we first meet Ben Kenobi in the 1977 film A New Hope, we learn that he is wearing a brown robe so as to blend in on Tatooine, so that no one would suspect he was a Jedi.
But then all of the other Jedis later wear the same robe. DiClaudio wrote that "basing all Jedi fashion on that one everyday-Tatooine costume" was kind of ridiculous. Futhermore, since the prequels take place before the events of the original trilogy, it retroactively means that Obi-Wan Kenobi spent 20 years hiding out on Tatooine while dressed like a Jedi.
People's minds were blown.
But illustrator Kevin Tong had a different take, arguing that the "the apparent visual blandness of the Jedi fashion choices serve the film, both in terms of story and visuals."
"First off, the Jedi don't really have a specific set of clothes. They do wear mostly Earth tones, but so do most people in the Star Wars galaxy. Luke and Rey dress very similar to Jedi when we first meet them," he writes, using a series of photos to illustrate his point.
"So Obi Wan isn't in danger of being discovered on Tattoine for dressing like a Jedi, bc Jedi dress more or less like everyone else. The only real Jedi uniform is his lightsaber & belt, which he hid under his non descript robe until it was time for Ponda Baba to get got!"
"Yoda, Qiu Gon Jinn, Obi Wan, Anakin, and Luke all dress very similarly, but not the same, because they all trained under each other, starting with Yoda. It makes sense that a pupil would emulate the master."
"Further note, many of the costumes in Star Wars (especially the Jedi) are based on traditional Japanese clothing. The Jedi wear what samurai would wear under their armor, but they don't wear armor because the Force is their armor in concept."
"Most of the galaxy in Star Wars dresses in drab colors because most of the individuals we see are from the lower class. The wealthy upper class in SW dress more elaborately and in brighter colors (trade federation, Queen Amidala, Lando)."
"The difference in color palette between the rich and the poor is very intentional, so you instantly know from the visuals what kind of place and people you're dealing with as the story takes us to many worlds and civilizations."
"The farther people live from the core planets, like in Tatooine or Jakku, the more drab they dress, bc they're people who live in isolation on desert worlds and are largely isolated from galactic commerce."
"Although the Jedi as an organization have power and resources, they live an ascetic live, eschewing indulgences like fashion and displays of wealth. Their garment choice, the Earth tone garment of the people, implies humility & that they are of the people."
"The dull Earth tone color palette serves a cinematic function to contrast the light sabers as much as possible, highlighting them. It is visually striking to see an unassuming person suddenly produce and swing a blindingly bright sparking laser sword."
While Tong's explanation of the way in which the Jedi robe serves the story both in terms of visuals and class symbolism is on-point, the fact remains that Obi-Wan Kenobi spent 20 years on Tatooine trying to conceal the fact that he was a Jedi by dressing like a Jedi.
It's an issue that's been raised previously, most notably in a 2017 Medium article by David Nett, who writes, "[Obi-Wan] been in hiding for nineteen years from the forces of the Empire, who, with Vader's help, have been hunting and killing all the remaining Jedi who managed to escape the Clone Wars and Order 66. Why would Obi-Wan continue to wear his Jedi robes on a daily basis? Even on Tatooine, on the planet farthest from the bright center of the galaxy, he'd want to stay hidden, to blend in. He's got an important mission: protect young Luke Skywalker."
Nett's position is that Obi-Wan isn't wearing the "Jedi Robe" in the original trilogy so much as local Tatooine clothing. Nonetheless, he concedes that the fact that the Jedis wear a very similar-looking robe in The Phantom Menace comes across as a bit of a boo-boo on the part of George Lucas and the art department.
If this point is going to torture you all day, don't worry, you're not alone. You've got 11 Celebrity Star Wars "Geeks" with you.
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