Star Wars' Weirdest Fan Theory Concerned... Obi-Wan's Name?
Nicholas Brooks
Star Wars' Theory about Obi-Wan's Name
Star Wars' Theory about Obi-Wan's Name
The largest contributing factor to Star Wars' overall success is thanks to the unending support of its fanbase, and this comes in many forms, including theories. Thanks to the decades of theories posited by its fans, no idea becomes too outlandish or unrealistic. One of the oldest theories is also an incredibly clever explanation for why Obi-Wan Kenobi's name sounds so uncommon even by Star Wars' standards.
While it was debunked some time ago, the theory brings forth the idea that Ben Kenobi is actually a clone of the original Obi-Wan and goes by the name OB-1. The idea is that following Anakin's fall to the Dark Side, Obi-Wan later dies. This then leads to the creation of OB-1, who becomes Ben and the guardian of Luke Skywalker. The theory was presented before the prequels had released, and for some time, the prequel trilogy even bolstered the theory by giving just enough information to support it.
One of the biggest points of confusion from the prequels to the original trilogy is the sudden forgetfulness Ben has when looking at R2-D2, stating, "I don't seem to remember ever owning a droid." As a clone, it's possible Ben never retained all of Obi-Wan's memories, creating gaps in his history that include any memories of R2-D2. However, Ben still has memories of the Clone Wars and his time with Anakin, who spent the most time with R2. So realistically, it can be explained that Ben wanted to keep things quiet before telling Luke the truth.
In the canon, Obi-Wan changed his name to Ben to keep a low profile. With a name as unique as his, Ben is much more inconspicuous and symbolically separates him from his past life. However, when the theory's involved, changing his name als0 signifies his separation from Obi-Wan into his own identity. Thus, it adds emotional weight to the character without altering the established story.
By the time Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones hit theaters, fans finally had an explanation for the Clone Wars and what it meant. While this should have quelled any more discussions about OB-1, it created an even more tangible storyline to follow. The Kaminoans, at the time of the film, show audiences how advanced their cloning technology is. Logically, it makes far more sense to clone a Jedi than it would to clone Jango Fett, making the existence of OB-1 even more plausible. However, this came at a time before it was understood how difficult it is to clone Force-users, like Palpatine for example.
Ben Kenobi being described as a clone offers a peek into the early years of Star Wars fandom. It shows that the fan's creativity never stopped even with considerably less content to pull from. It also helped fans grasp what the Clone Wars could have meant and why the prequel's Obi-Wan acts so different from Ben. While the OB-1 theory was left defunct following the release of Revenge of the Sith, it shows how anything is possible in Star Wars so long as there is enough material and inspiration to tell the story.