One of the most iconic scenes in the entire Star Wars franchise is when Luke Skywalker, victorious in his hand in bringing down the Empire, looks on to see Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and his redeemed father Anakin looking on at him from beyond the grave with pride. The concept of force ghosts was introduced in A New Hope when Obi-Wan came to Luke as voice, aiding him in the destruction of the first Death Star. This concept took shape, literally, when Obi-Wan appeared to Luke in a physical form, instructing him to seek out Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.
Force Ghosts have since been a large part of Star Wars lore, although, like many things in the iconic series, there are more than a few Bantha sized holes that appear in the plot as a result of these spirits.
10 Anakin Appeared As His Younger Self
In 1997, series creator George Lucas re-released the Star Wars trilogy with updated special effects and added scenes. These Special Editions received further edits with each release, and a big one was present in the 2004 DVD release. At the end of Return Of The Jedi, Anakin’s force Ghost was originally Sebastian Shaw, who played unmasked Anakin in the movie.
In this release, however, he was replaced with Hayden Christensen who played Anakin in the prequels. It is odd how Yoda and Obi-Wan appear as they were when they died, but Anakan is not. George Lucas has stated this is Anakin’s true form and how he appeared before he turned evil, but it would make more sense to just appear as Luke knew him.
9 Obi-Wan Didn’t Continue Training Luke
When Obi-Wan perished at the hands of Darth Vader on the first Death Star, he speaks to Luke through the force and later appears to him to speak with him. He sends Luke to continue his training with Yoda, but this begs the question as to why he doesn’t just do it himself.
While on Dagobah, Obi-Wan communicates with Luke at various times, but never to actually aid in the training. When Yoda also passes into the Force, he takes a page from Obi-Wan’s book and leaves Luke to fend for himself. Luke is a skilled force user, but a little extra guidance from the one who introduced him to the Force in the first place would have been useful.
8 Force Ghosts Don’t Aid In Battle
In the sequel trilogy, both Yoda and Luke demonstrate their abilities to use the Force to manipulate objects as ghosts. This brings up the question as to why Force ghosts haven’t aided in battle. When Luke decides to cut his training short to go confront Darth Vader, Yoda and Obi-Wan beg him not to.
If they were so worried, why didn’t Obi-Wan tag along? Luke was very inexperienced, and a fan may argue the only reason he didn’t die is because Darth Vader allowed it. Obi-Wan could have aided Luke in some way, if not at the very least distracted Vader long enough for Luke to strike a blow.
7 Only Light Side Users Can Master The Ability
Jedi limit themselves on what they can do with the Force. Sith on the other hand fully embraces the Force to gain as much power as they can. According to Palpatine, Sith can even use the Force to prevent others from dying. It would stand to reason then, that the Sith could benefit greatly from being able to return from death to gain even more power.
Only light side users can master this ability, although it is never fully explained why. It may have something to do with Jedi being pure of heart and using the Force to benefit others, while Sith manipulates it for their own personal gain. If this is the case, it is curious how Anakin Skywalker is able to do it given the atrocities he committed.
6 Anakin Never Trained To Return
In order to be able to return after death, a Jedi must not only be powerful enough, but they must also go through extensive training. Obi-Wan and Yoda were trained by Qui-Gon during their exile, meaning they had about years to master it. Anakin Skywalker, on the other hand, appeared to his son mere hours after his death.
Anakin is one of the most powerful Force users who have ever lived, but that still doesn’t explain how he can use this difficult ability that has taken even the great Yoda years to master. Some fans may argue he taught it to himself during his time as Darth Vader, but Sith can not learn this ability and he was more interested in immortality.
5 Anakin’s Body Didn’t Perish
When Obi-Wan sacrificed himself to save Luke, his body disappeared, leaving only his robes. Luke and Yoda both vanished in a similar fashion when they gave their bodies to the Force. However, Anakin’s body did not vanish and even stayed long enough for Luke to give him a funeral.
Qui-Gon didn’t either, but it was stated he had yet to master the ability at the time of his death, so it makes sense why he stuck around. If Anakin truly did teach himself the ability, he would have vanished right after he died. This means he likely didn’t know how to do it and somehow received a crash course after dying.
4 Anakin Skywalker Could Have Saved Ben Solo
Ben Solo’s fall into Kylo Ren was mostly due to his misguided faith in his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker. He didn’t look up to the legendary Republic hero, but rather to Darth Vader and his reign in the Empire. He felt he would finish what Vader started, and bring the galaxy to its knees.
Anakin could have easily shown himself to Ben, and let him know the path he is on will only lead to misery. Instead, he follows Obi-Wan’s method of leaving poor Luke to deal with matters on his own, which leads to Luke’s academy being destroyed and the First Order rising to power.
3 The Fallen Jedi Didn’t Step In To Help Rey
When Rey confronts Palpatine during the climax of The Rise Of Skywalker, the voices of Jedi from the past come to her to offer encouragement, and nothing more. Rey is a severely undertrained Jedi Knight about to go up against one of the deadliest Sith to ever exist, and not one Force Ghost thinks to help her.
While not able to do much, Force Ghosts have been shown to be able to still use the Force in this spiritual state, and they could have helped Rey by simply holding the fallen Emperor at bay, or helping her deflect his lightning. Instead, they give her the encouragement to keep fighting and watch the fight from a safe distance.
2 No Fallen Jedi Trained Rey
Luke wasn’t much help in Rey’s Jedi Training. It wasn’t until she had already left the planet he was exiled on did Yoda appear to him and gave him the confidence he needed to help her. By the time Rey was able to go back to Luke, he was a Force Ghost himself.
Rey was the last Jedi and had no one to help her train except Leia, who wasn’t exactly trained by an expert in the ways of Jedi combat either. Any of the fallen Jedi could have helped Rey in her journey. As helpful as encouraging words are, actual one-on-one training with Luke or really any ghost would have benefitted her much much more.
1 “More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine”
Before Obi-Wan gave his life to save Luke, he warned Vader about killing him, saying “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” This warning insinuates that in death, Obi-Wan will become a force to be reckoned with.
It is strange then that when Obi-Wan does enter this new plane of existence, all he does is give advice. Obi-Wan could easily give Luke a huge upper hand against the Empire by helping him as an unseen specter, but instead, he makes this an empty threat by barely doing anything in Jedi retirement.
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