New Star Wars Theory Explains The Rapid Aging Of Obi-Wan Kenobi


The Star Wars prequels famously contain a few issues of continuity when it comes to their connections with the Original Trilogy. The most well-known example is perhaps the presence of the R2-D2 and C-3PO in Episodes I-III, with the pair evidently having long-standing associations with series regulars like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, yet fail to ever bring this up throughout the various reunions and revelations of Episodes IV-VI. But the seeming inconsistency that this new Reddit post seeks to rebuke has a lot more to do with the duo’s warm-blooded and rapidly aging peers.

Reddit user Vendo_23 opens their theory by observing how the change in actor between the thirty-something Ewan McGregor in the prequels, and the sixty-something Alec Guinness of the original films creates a potential error.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi looks around ~35 yrs of age in Episode III. But of course he gets to be ~80 yrs old in Episode IV when only ~20 years have actually passed during that time.”

The user then goes on to reference a couple of previous explanations for how the Jedi has aged so quickly, but concludes that neither completely hold up.

“Many have come up with theories, such as: because of how stressed he was on Tatooine taking care of Luke, he aged very quickly. But I would argue that what he faced during the Clone Wars probably would have taxed him to a greater extent than whatever he did to protect Luke on Tatooine. Another theory is he had to constantly use the Force to shield Luke’s location from Vader and the Emperor. While interesting, it doesn’t explain how Vader’s own daughter was able to stand right next to him and neither of them could sense anything about who the other was.”

​For Vendo_23’s own theory, the user draws on the journey of Master Yoda, who evidently has the same issue as his former apprentice.

“Yoda dies in Episode VI after reaching the ripe old age of at least 900 years old. Most people say there is ~10 years between Episodes IV and VI, probably a little less. And there is ~20 years between Episode III + IV. Which would mean Yoda dies roughly 30, maybe 40 years MAX after he fought Dooku during the Clone Wars. During the Clone Wars, Yoda walked around with a cane. But when push came to shove, Yoda could let loose, performing complex acrobatics and lightsaber movements, bouncing off walls, etc.”

“My point is, ~870 years old is not that different than ~900 years old. If Yoda’s species normally lives to be around ~900 years old, then I submit he shouldn’t have been able to sustainably fight like he did in the Clone Wars without his teeth falling out and his ankles breaking. It just doesn’t make total sense why he would suddenly age according to human timelines during the OT.”

Having now pointed out two inconsistencies in the Star Wars saga, the Redditor then attempts to address them both in a single explanation, which connects the characters’ aging to their lives after death.

“This led me to an interesting thought…Both Yoda and Obi-Wan were selected to participate in special training to retain their consciousness after death.

What if there is something about that training that causes one to advance towards death far more quickly than they normally would have? What if, in the SW universe, this training involves connecting a part of yourself to the “afterlife” (or the Cosmic Force)?Wouldn’t that naturally cause one to approach death quicker, as it seems in the SW universe death is just a transition? Isn’t it possible?”

While it seems a lot more plausible that the team behind the Star Wars prequels simply wanted a marketable young star like McGregor in the lead – while giving Yoda an unusually acrobatic fight scene for the sake of amusing spectacle – there’s certainly nothing stopping you from buying into this theory if it prevents these issues in the timeline from distracting your viewing experience.

Still, if it is the case that knowing how to become a Force Ghost ages you quickly, then you have to wonder how the theory can account for the relatively young-looking Luke Skywalker, who’s said to be making a postmortem appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX, which comes out December 20th, 2019.