Favorite Obi-Wan Quotation
Two of my all-time favorite quotations come from Obi-Wan (seen here), so I’m really working to avoid redundancy. I really love both of those lines.
Well, that’s a nice face for inspiration. When I first saw this question in the challenge, I had a brief but dim hope I might find an OT quot of his I like. But after realizing just how much I dislike old Ben, I knew that was never going to happen. Since I gave him a quot from E2 and E3 already, fairness should have me pick one from E1 — but surprisingly, one line did pop into my head here and keeps going around.
Dreams pass in time.
There’s something vaguely annoying about this line. Like the serenity is forced. Or it’s a brush off. But at the same time, I’ve always been drawn to this line.
Ewan said in an interview that George Lucas told him he was very Alec Guinness with that line. And there is a certain depth to it, where Obi-Wan is trying to offer his Padawan something, but Anakin’s problem is so far beyond the league of anything Obi-Wan has ever had to deal with that he can only offer this bit of Jedi insight. Anakin prefers to change the subject. And really, that’s the best his master can give him? The tautology that eventually he won’t have the dream because he’ll stop having the dream?
But there’s more to this fraction of a haiku than initially meets the ear. Ignoring the fact that these guys are tuned into an energy field connecting all life in the galaxy into a single organism, which means they should have trotted out to Tatooine as soon as Anakin started having extremely detailed visions about his mother’s death. Skipping that mumbo jumbo entirely and focusing on the truth of it — it’s one of those statements like This too shall pass, a statement that can’t be wrong.
You could also start thinking of dreams in their metaphorical sense, not the merely literal — Anakin told Qui-Gon he dreamed of being a Jedi who came back to free all the slaves. We all have aspirations of one sort or another, toward greatness of one definition or another. (Even the humblest life’s dream can be great to the one dreaming it.)
I know the kneejerk response when someone says “you’ll stop wanting it eventually” is to be defensive or depressed. After all, the only acceptable way to stop wanting something is to get it, so you don’t need to want it anymore. But this is myopic.
A New Hope focuses a lot on dreams, I came to notice as I listened to the radio drama. “You can’t begrudge him his dreams!” Aunt Beru flares at Owen. Luke’s dream was to go to the Imperial Academy and become a pilot — that dream was replaced by the dream to see his father avenged by killing Darth Vader, and that dream also passed when he began to dream of seeing his father, Vader, redeemed. At the end of the trilogy looking back, do you think even the slightest part of Luke wishes he hadn’t given up becoming an Academy-certified pilot? Of course not.
My own dreams have been on a roller coaster for the better part of a decade. And for awhile there, I was getting fairly apathetic about wanting anything, about dreaming anything at all because the more I wanted something, the more likely I was not to get it. First I wanted to be a novelist; then I wanted to be an English professor; then I wanted to go to school in Scotland; then I wanted to not be alive anymore; then I wanted to be a library director. Now I’m a cataloger. I’m dreaming of going to Washington DC now; although I feel I have only a slim chance, my sister observed to me that it’s not a one shot deal. If I don’t get it this time, I try again. Dreams pass in time, but they don’t leave a void behind them. They’re like hermit crab shells — as you grow, you get new dreams that better accommodate your maturing self.
Except if your dream is that your mother is getting tortured to death by a savage tribe on a remote desert planet — maybe don’t wait for that dream to pass. Maybe go ahead and call her right now and make sure she’s all right.