Obi Wan in TPM-Amped or Hindered

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LordOfTheLight
So, it is pretty commonly believed that Obi Wan was amped due to his rage in TPM in the duel against Maul. However, on re reading the sources during Obi Wan's apprentice stages some pretty interesting facts about Obi Wan's character come to light. Namely, his anger and other negative emotions are only described to be hindering him, not empowering or amping him.

Before TPM





It is important to note that the Jedi Apprentice series was released right after TPM( this novel in fact was released before the movie) and Dave Wolverton has pretty clearly emphasized that his anger and negative emotions only hinder him. It seems logical to conclude that Obi Wan being hindered due to his anger is a theme in SW that they were going for especially when you consider the words of Wolverton himself here:



As we can see, while Dave did have flexibility, Lucasfilm edited and scanned the novel pretty thoroughly, to the point where they were able to make subjective judgments on the coldness of a character to other character. Obviously since the novel released before the movie, the editing would have to be pretty strict( not in the usual sense, but strict in the sense that they would stay true to the character) here. Dave also states that he read the novel and had access to the screenplay, and so Obi Wan's anger hindering him is indeed a theme that they would have been going for particularly when you consider the main novel where his emotions have outright been stated to hinder him, seen later here.







The later books in the Jedi Apprentice series too emphasize that Obi Wan's anger only hinders him and diminishes his connection to the force.

In the Duel with Maul



This clearly states that he "tried" to use his grief to fuel his attack. The remaining statements make it clear that not only was he unsuccessful, his negative emotions only hindered him.



Yoda too states that his own anger nearly defeated him, a statement Obi Wan does not disagree with.



Probably one of the biggest pieces of evidence here, his hindrance is made explicit in the novel itself when it states that his emotions were "bearing him down". More interesting however, is the statement that his emotions were "warring" within. This indicates that there was inner conflict and turmoil within him, a pretty sure indicator of an impeded performance.

This is not surprising because we see four emotions that he struggles with in the duel:

Fear

Anger

Grief

Frustration

He is experiencing all of these emotions at once. I am pretty sure that most people, especially Jedi, will be hindered due to experiencing just one of these emotions( with the possible exception of anger, but we know that even just anger hinders Obi Wan here), let alone a huge turmoil of all four inside at once.

After TPM

Let us see what happens in his next encounter with Maul:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufGInoX0mzw

At 3:38. After Obi Wan gives in to his rage, he is pretty soundly beaten by Maul to the point where you can almost call it a stomp. But why? After all, before that he was doing pretty well against Maul, to the point where you could say that he was winning.

The answer is given by Maul himself here:



What is more interesting however, is what Maul says to make him unbalanced:



In other words Obi Wan is feeling the same emotions here that he felt on Naboo.

We can clearly contrast his performance here, since he is obviously hindered to a great deal after Maul unbalances him, almost getting stomped by Maul.

Likewise, the very same emotions should hinder him on Naboo as well.

We have the Jedi Apprentice series pretty clearly establishing that Obi Wan is hindered when he gives in to his anger. We have the main novel, and the comic stating that his anger hindered him and we have a source from 2013 also stating that he was hindered in TPM. We then have Obi Wan's encounter with Maul when he is a Jedi Master and him being hindered again when he gives in to his rage.

So, we have a series of consistent sources, spanning decades in Obi Wan's career stating that he is hindered before, during and after TPM whenever he gives in to his rage. I think that that provides sufficient grounds to declare him hindered during TPM.

Lastly, the argument that since Vader and Luke gave in to their anger and were empowered( and the usual stuff about anger being a quick way to power) so it must mean that Obi Wan too was empowered does not fly at all. Obi Wan was experiencing a turmoil of emotions within, not just anger so there are really no parallels between him and other Jedi who were indeed empowered by their anger alone. This is letting aside the fact that different people have different temperaments and are empowered and hindered by different things.

Also, it is not uncommon for Jedi to be hindered by their distress or grief as seen with Mace here:

https://comicvine.gamespot.com/profile/emperordmb/blog/mace-windus-lightsaber-duels-analysis-thread/127977/

The mental condition of Obi Wan was in a much bigger turmoil than that of Mace here, again, because he was experiencing a wide variety of emotions which were all "warring" within him.

Thoughts on this one?

Zentrex
Can't think of any counters, but...wouldn't this make him more powerful than Qui-Gon? And he couldn't defeat Maul back when both him and his master were going at it, but when he was alone, he started to do much better.

Darth Thor
^ Bingo.

Whether it was an anger amp or not, he clearly performed far better in his final fight.

Either way he still lost the Saber duel, and required Qui-Gons weapon (I.e. his presence) to defeat Maul.

LordOfTheLight
There are several reasons why he would perform "better" than Qui Gon, while still remaining solidly inferior to Maul:

1. He is younger and has significantly better stamina, a key advantage, because Qui Gon's flagging stamina was one of his most major problems against Maul

2. He is faster than Qui Gon, again, another key advantage

3. He was fighting aggressively against Maul, far more aggressively than Qui Gon. This is pertinent, because Ataru has the worst defense of all the 7 forms and works best for offensive styles. Because Obi Wan gave in to his anger and started fighting aggressively it benefited him pretty highly, more than it would for normal Jedi.

4. He has comparable technical skill and comparable raw power as Qui Gon, even at this stage. Easily understood, when he is capable of being loosely comparable to the Jedi Master at the age of 17. That and his superiority to Plo Koon as of TPM.

Which is why he was able to, in a loose sense, match Maul in the more raw aspects of combat, but was pretty thoroughly outclassed when it came to technical refinement or skill.

LordOfTheLight
Originally posted by Zentrex
Can't think of any counters, but...wouldn't this make him more powerful than Qui-Gon? And he couldn't defeat Maul back when both him and his master were going at it, but when he was alone, he started to do much better.

Already addressed the Qui Gon part.

The team collectively was fighting as a near equal to Maul, and Obi Wan lost to Maul in less than 50 seconds so I don't really get your second point.

LordOfTheLight
That aside, Obi Wan actually lost to Maul quicker than Qui Gon did, so really, there is nothing contradictory here at all.

Freedon Nadd
Given that Force rage makes one to lose their mind(as Dark Side novice) It is obvious why is that. Having no experience with the Dark Side, of course it would hinder his abilities in the Light Side.

Galan007
In the TPM novelization, a point is made of how Kenobi is actually calming down and re-centering himself while he was hanging in the melting pit. Prior to that he was filled with anger/rage, which made him sloppy and allowed Maul to gain the upperhand. Only when Kenobi regrouped/realigned with the Force was he able to finish Maul:



With that in mind, I don't think Kenobi's abilities were necessarily 'hindered' by the dark sided emotions he was experiencing -- I think they just made him careless. In that moment the emotions were controlling him... He was not controlling the emotions.

One Big Mob
Upped his offense, downed his defense

LordOfTheLight
Originally posted by Galan007
In the TPM novelization, a point is made of how Kenobi is actually calming down and re-centering himself while he was hanging in the melting pit. Prior to that he was filled with anger/rage, which made him sloppy and allowed Maul to gain the upperhand. Only when Kenobi regrouped/realigned with the Force was he able to finish Maul:



With that in mind, I don't think Kenobi's abilities were necessarily 'hindered' by the dark sided emotions he was experiencing -- I think they just made him careless. In that moment the emotions were controlling him... He was not controlling the emotions.

Yeah, but what about the several quotes directly stating that his anger reduces his connection to the force?

Darth Thor
Originally posted by LordOfTheLight
Yeah, but what about the several quotes directly stating that his anger reduces his connection to the force?


Generally that may be true. But in that case it Clearly and Visibly improved his performance. We literally see an improved performance.

However 10+ years later when he faces Maul again right after his resurrection, Maul induced anger in him which Clearly and Visibly hindered his performance.

LordOfTheLight
Again, how did it clearly and visibly improve his performance?

I have already given the reasons why he should perform "better" than Qui Gon, and the fact of the matter is that he performed worse, lasting for a significantly lesser amount of time. Despite the fact that base Obi Wan is nearly equal to base Qui Gon.

That aside, the novel already states that his emotions were hindering him. His both future and past version are hindered by their anger. That and he actually performs considerably worse than Qui Gon( the only reprieve that he slashes Maul's saberstaff in two can easily be explained by his extremely aggressive Ataru which naturally benefits the form).

Not really seeing any contradiction here.

TheNuisanceBird
Originally posted by Darth Thor
Generally that may be true. But in that case it Clearly and Visibly improved his performance. We literally see an improved performance.

However 10+ years later when he faces Maul again right after his resurrection, Maul induced anger in him which Clearly and Visibly hindered his performance.

Were you on Battlefront 2 the other day? Cause yesterday I gunned down a Darth Thor.

Freedon Nadd
Originally posted by Galan007
In the TPM novelization, a point is made of how Kenobi is actually calming down and re-centering himself while he was hanging in the melting pit. Prior to that he was filled with anger/rage, which made him sloppy and allowed Maul to gain the upperhand. Only when Kenobi regrouped/realigned with the Force was he able to finish Maul:



With that in mind, I don't think Kenobi's abilities were necessarily 'hindered' by the dark sided emotions he was experiencing -- I think they just made him careless. In that moment the emotions were controlling him... He was not controlling the emotions.

So, we agree?

Galan007
Originally posted by LordOfTheLight
Yeah, but what about the several quotes directly stating that his anger reduces his connection to the force? I don't think the intent of TPM itself was to have Kenobi neutered/weakened as a corollary of tapping-into those dark sided emotions... Quite the contrary, actually:



This is also worth mentioning:
" fights with inhuman intensity, fueled by the hateful energy of the dark side of the Force Obi-Wan faces the temptation to draw on the same terrible strength in order to defeat his enemy.":
https://i.imgur.com/0EpFcmX.jpg
-Episode I: Visual Dictionary


As mentioned, I do not believe the implication of that particular scene was for Kenobi's powers to necessarily be 'hindered' by said emotions -- I think they just made him careless/sloppy.

LordOfTheLight
Is it possible to get authorial confirmation for this?

Actually we have one from Filoni where he does say that this stuff is not empowering for Obi Wan. Not sure if he has the authority for making such statements though.



That is Obi Wan's initial aggressiveness working to his benefit. Both because Maul was caught off guard and because Ataru is optimized by more aggressiveness here.



Isn't this addressed by the first quote I posted for TPM , which also states that he only "tried" to do the same thing, use his grief to fuel his own attack? Evidently, as per the quote, he wasn't successful.

And then there's his emotions "bearing him down" which can't be referring to him being careless more so when we consider the context.

The way I see it-Obi Wan's ultra aggressiveness is particularly effective against Maul in the starting portions of the duel, especially when he slashes Maul's saberstaff in half, giving the impression that he Is indeed empowered. In a sense that is true, given the way Ataru works, being more aggressive will indeed benefit him more.

For me, 4 things clearly indicate that it is the intent that Obi Wan was hindered in even TPM:

1. The quote from the main novel which can't be referring to him being careless

2. The fact that as an influence, his emotions are stated to be a hindering influence, not an empowering one, even for TPM.

3. The fact that the "exact same" emotions and mental state clearly drawn out by Maul, hindered him 10 years later

4. The fact that Dave Wolverton, reading only the main novel and the screenplay as a secondary source, concluded that Obi Wan's anger hindered him and reduced his connection to the force. Something he emphasized and since it eventually came out, is canonical.

With that, I will very promptly point out that the only place in TPM that it is directly stated that Obi Wan's emotions hinder him, is the quote I posted.

So, "bearing him down" cannot possibly be referring to anything other than him being hindered. That is the conclusion we have to come to anyways, because the context of the quote also makes it evident that it is not referring to carelessness but him actually weakening gradually. His emotions actually playing a part in weakening him, aside from him getting physically tired.

LordOfTheLight
With that I conclude my argumentation here. You guys make of it what you will. If you are still not convinced, no issues here.

Darth Thor
Originally posted by LordOfTheLight
Again, how did it clearly and visibly improve his performance?




Did you like, miss the whole fight earlier where he was fighting alongside Qui-Gon but got left behind?


Originally posted by LordOfTheLight


I have already given the reasons why he should perform "better" than Qui Gon, and the fact of the matter is that he performed worse, lasting for a significantly lesser amount of time. Despite the fact that base Obi Wan is nearly equal to base Qui Gon.




Again did you miss the whole rest of the fight. Qui-Gon wa performing far better earlier, given Obi-Wan got completely knocked out of the fight. He simply couldnt keep up earlier.


Originally posted by TheNuisanceBird
Were you on Battlefront 2 the other day? Cause yesterday I gunned down a Darth Thor.


Nah. Not me.

LordOfTheLight
Originally posted by Darth Thor
Did you like, miss the whole fight earlier where he was fighting alongside Qui-Gon but got left behind?





Again did you miss the whole rest of the fight. Qui-Gon wa performing far better earlier, given Obi-Wan got completely knocked out of the fight. He simply couldnt keep up earlier.





Nah. Not me.

Maul landing a singular kick on him, from a catwalk at that, that knocked him off the platform entirely which is why he was knocked out of the fight, is on a completely different universe than Obi Wan actually not being able to "keep up" at all.

As per that logic, had the fight started on the catwalk, Qui Gon would have been stomped, since he would be knocked off the platform within the first few seconds of the fight.

Per the movie, he was keeping up just fine. In fact, check out the first section of the fight, before they move to the catwalk entirely. "Obi Wan was doing at least just as well as Qui Gon" there( both in terms of visible fighting, and in terms of the number of times Maul threw either of them off). And even on the catwalk, we don't know anything, other than Maul landing a kick on Obi Wan since the scene shifts directly to the fight there.

If Obi Wan getting kicked off the platform=your definition of not being able to keep up and evidence that he was performing "far worse" than Qui Gon even now, then we will simply have to agree to disagree.

I know I said I wouldn't comment but this was an obvious loose end I had to tie up.

Darth Thor
Yeah he was keeping up just fine before he was sent flying uncontrollably off the catwalk.

Stop making excuses. There was a reason he was kicked off and not Qui-Gon.

Galan007
Originally posted by LordOfTheLight
That is Obi Wan's initial aggressiveness working to his benefit. Indeed, and this is my point.

Initially Kenobi's dark sided emotions did work to his benefit. If they had drastically hindered his overall powers, he wouldn't have been taxing Maul in that moment of anger/rage/frustration.

But as I mentioned: it was clear that said emotions were controlling Kenobi; he was not controlling them. They ultimately made him sloppy/careless, and Maul was able to capitalize on that.

And the Visual Dictionary excerpt I posted confirms that Kenobi wanted to tap into those dark sided emotions because they would allow him to defeat Maul. If said emotions were meant to hinder Kenobi's overall powers in that moment, he likely wouldn't have even considered giving into them(why would you willingly embrace something in a battle if you know it weakens you..?) Hence why it was worth mentioning here.

Freedon Nadd
This is contradicted by TOTJ where dark nexi hinder lightsided users.
I don't see how anger helped Kenobi defeating Maul? He just performed a Force jump and ambush-lightsabred his foe.

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