Stuff We Love: A scene in Attack of the Clones changes the way we see the Jedi

Although my esteemed colleagues, and, hell, most fans, don’t agree with me, I genuinely enjoy parts of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. But there’s one scene in Attack of the Clones that resonates with me as much as the original trilogy does.

It’s the scene where Count Dooku has held Obi-Wan Kenobi captive. Why that one? Because it changes the way we see the Jedi.

Beforehand, Obi-Wan had been chasing down Jango Fett, which led him to the planet Geonosis. It turns out that anti-Republic Separatists had gathered to hatch their nefarious plans. Obi-Wan is captured and held in a force field. Count Dooku joins him for a chat. And then he drops some knowledge.

“What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of the dark lord of the Sith?” and “Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith lord called Darth Sidious.”

Here’s the kicker: Dooku has told him the absolute truth.

Of course, Obi-Wan doesn’t believe him. Dooku, who had renounced the Jedi Order, was the known leader of the Separatist movement—a traitor both to the Republic and to the ideals of the Jedi. But he wasn’t lying. (I assume it’s because, as we see in the scene below, Dooku was in fact trying to recruit Obi-Wan, as Dooku knows of the Rule of Two and would need help eliminating Sidious.)

Earlier in the film, a Jedi librarian said, "If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist." The Jedi's beliefs don't allow them to see anything except their unshakeable faith in themselves. The fact that Obi-Wan refuses to believe the truth when it’s in front of him makes him seem as easily bamboozled as the rest of the Jedi order, which makes the subtle Sith takeover of the senate that much more real.

Years later—or before, it’s hard to say in Star Wars continuity—Luke Skywalker asks Obi-Wan what happened to his father. Obi-Wan tells him, “A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil … betrayed and murdered your father.”

Obi-Wan didn’t straight-up lie to Luke. He added a partial truth, about Vader being his pupil. Ultimately, he placed blame on Darth Vader for the death of Anakin. But he left out the important part, that Anakin and Vader are the same person.

Star Wars is a universe of moral absolutes. The Jedi are good and the Sith are evil, and there’s nothing in between. The fact that the Jedi lie and the Sith tell the truth makes this world of space magic even more compelling and complex.

Tell me the truth in the comments: Did you love this scene too?

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