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‘Star Wars’ fans debate if Jedi robes are really a plot hole or not

They're basically galactic casualwear.

obi-wan kenobi
Image via Lucasfilm

The premise of Obi-Wan Kenobi is that the former Jedi General has spent so long hiding out from the Empire that his connection to the Force and Jedi skills have weakened. Ben knows that igniting his lightsaber or assisting the people of Tatooine will attract attention and potentially endanger the young Luke, so he must stay isolated

But some fans have called foul on his undercover tactics, namely that Obi-Wan’s incognito outfit appears to be just Jedi robes. This looked particularly silly in the third episode, where the Stormtroopers hunting him weren’t initially suspicious of this bearded guy in the middle of nowhere dressed exactly like a Jedi.

Fortunately, longtime fans know the real origin of the Jedi robes, and are explaining it on r/StarWars. In 1977, Obi-Wan’s costume was intended to be simply a practical desert outfit, though as soon as Return of the Jedi Anakin’s Force ghost was seen wearing a similar outfit, and when The Phantom Menace arrived, the loose tan outfit became a signature of the Jedi order.

The posters note that these robes aren’t a uniform, just generic humble clothing in a galaxy far, far away. For example, we see Owen in A New Hope in an outfit like Kenobi’s, and throughout the Star Wars story farmers, desert dwellers, and isolated outposts have dressed similarly.

Perhaps the best comparison might be to say that Jedi robes are the Earth equivalent of blue jeans and a plain shirt – just simple work clothes anyone could wear.

This also reinforces the concept of the Jedi as humble servants of the people rather than rulers of them, especially when contrasted with the ornate outfits we see politicians and galactic royalty wearing across the franchise.

Obi-Wan Kenobi airs Wednesdays on Disney Plus.

David James
About the author

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.