Ol’ Obi-Wan Kenobi was always good for a line. The legendary Star Wars hero, introduced in George Lucas’s original 1977 Star Wars (subtitled A New Hope in later editions), has some of the most memorable lines in the franchise. Only Darth Vader and Yoda can rival the Jedi Master in terms of quotable zingers.
Here, we look at the top 10 of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s most famous lines and rank them (movies only. Kenobi’s Clone Wars quotes could fill a top ten list of its own):
10) “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”
Said shortly before Vader kills him on the Death Star, this one is a sign that Obi-Wan keeps his promises. The fact it accompanies the franchise’s first-ever lightsaber duel is one thing. But the fact it turns out that, in death, Obi-Wan is more powerful, makes it even more poignant. After death, Kenobi manages to guide Luke towards being a Jedi and, eventually, destroying the evil Empire for good.
9) “Use the Force, Luke”
While I certainly don’t think this is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s best movie line, it’d be criminal to leave it out given how famous it is. It’s not just an iconic line for the character – it’s an iconic movie line, period. And what’s more, it accompanies Luke’s flight through the Death Star trench and ultimately inspires Luke to save the day. Indeed, it proves that Obi-Wan becomes even more powerful after death.
8) “So what I told you was true… from a certain point of view.”
This iconic line from Return of the Jedi is controversial. Obi-Wan defends his claim that Vader killed Luke’s father as true, at least from a metaphorical standpoint. From one perspective, Anakin Skywalker really did die, with Vader taking his place. However, one can’t help but sympathize with Luke, the truth hidden from him via Obi-Wan’s politician-esque metaphors. Then again, from another point of view, Obi-Wan can’t be blamed. After all, even George Lucas didn’t know Vader was Anakin Skywalker until The Empire Strikes Back…
7) “Hello There!”
Obi-Wan actually utters this line twice in the movies. It is originally said by Alec Guinness’s Old Ben when he meets R2-D2 for the first time in years. Lucas later repurposed the line for Ewan McGregor’s younger Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith when he finds himself surrounded by droids on Utapau. It’s as simple a line as you could imagine, but it’s memorable and humorous because its everyday simplicity understates Obi-Wan’s awkward situations. It’s amazing how Lucas made such run-of-the-mill phrases into pop-culture phenomenons.
6) “These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For”
Ah, what a classic. George Lucas’s A New Hope script may be a bit awkward dialogue-wise, but there’s no denying it has some truly memorable zingers. Part of this line’s appeal comes down to the deadpan delivery of Alex Guinness (it is a Jedi mind trick, after all). It’s also memorable because of the context that surrounds it. It’s the first time Luke – and, by extension, us, the audience – see what a Jedi is capable of.
5) “You Want to Go Home and Rethink Your Life”
While pursuing an assassin in a crowded Coruscant bar, Obi-Wan is approached by a slimy salesman wishing to sell him ‘Death Sticks’. In the Star Wars universe, Death Sticks is a highly-addictive illicit substance comparable to real-life cocaine. The line is funny because it’s a mind trick that hypnotizes the offending salesman into doing exactly what it says. That, and the dismissive nature in which Obi-Wan applies it.
4) “Only a Sith deals in absolutes”
Many theorize that this line reflects the political views of George Lucas, who disagreed with then-President George Bush’s decision to get involved in the Iraq War. Bush famously said, “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”. Evidently, Lucas thought this to be absolutist black-and-white rhetoric. Anakin makes a similar statement in Revenge of the Sith regarding his new Empire, which prompts Obi-Wan to respond with this line. Tragically, it’s the line that convinces Obi-Wan that Anakin is too far-gone to help.
3) “In my experience, there is no such thing as luck”
This famous line, uttered by Alec Guinness’s older Obi-Wan, is not just emblematic of old Ben’s philosophy, but rather, the Jedi’s philosophy as a whole. They believe that everything that occurs is the will of the Force, much like some real-life religious people believe everything that occurs is God’s will. Aside from the line’s contextual history, we can also take it out of context and apply it to our own lives. Instead of betting on luck to guide us through situations, we should make things happen through our own efforts.
2) “So uncivilized”
There’s nothing quite like the immediate post-victory one-liner. Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are full of them (“You need to let off some steam!” – Commando, 1985). In fact, you can’t call yourself an action hero without them. In Obi-Wan’s case, after taking out Grievous with a blaster, he dismissively tosses it away, quipping “So uncivilized.” No doubt he was partly referencing the weapon – but he was also referencing Grievous himself. Ewan McGregor’s ability to portray the Jedi’s humorous side is an aid to his character.
1) “I have the high ground!”
In a recent interview for his upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi show, Ewan McGregor joked he’d be a rich man if he had a dollar for every time someone referenced this line to him. Indeed, we all would be rich if we had a dollar for every time somebody reposted this meme on the internet. But for now, we’ll have to settle with how cool the line is – and how right Obi-Wan was. Victory was his, and nothing Anakin could do would rob him of it.
But this is just our take on what constitutes Obi-Wan Kenobi’s best movie quotes. What do you think are the best of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s most famous lines? Be sure to catch Obi-Wan Kenobi when it streams on May 27th, 2022, on Disney Plus!