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Obi_Wan's Reaction in Star Wars IV

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Don’t know if this has been discussed before, but it’s always intrigued me. In Star Wars IV when Obi wan is talking to Luke, right after Obi-Wan gives him the lightsaber, Alec Guiness has this “hesitant” look about him when Luke asked him how his father was killed. It’s @ 31:53.

I’ve always wondered if:

  1. Alec Guiness was told by Lucas to do this and didn’t tell him why.
  2. Alec Guiness was told by Lucas that Obi-wan killed Luke’s dad, but no other cast member knew.
  3. Alec Guiness did this subtle hesitation out of pure acting skill.

However it was accomplished, I’ve always thought, WOW…when you look back & pay attention to that micro second, that look on Alec Guiness’s face…it’s like he knkew something no one else did?

I don’t know all the lore, so I don’t know if Lucas had “fleshed” out the whole story when it came time to shoot this scene. I recently saw an episode of the Graham Norton Show with the cast of the Last Jedi & Mark Hamill told the story of shooting the Empire scene where Vaders tells Luke he is his father…that on Set the line actually said was…“Obi-Wan Killed your father”. it wasn’t until after that scene he was told by Director Kershner what the line was really going to be (post production and that only Mark, Lucas & Kershner knew this.

Here’s the Link, it’s @ :50 sec…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsSKFlk8oEo

So this got me thinking about the Obi_Wan scene in Star Wars IV.

Thoughts??

Remember, short controlled bursts.

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crpl_hicks said:

Don’t know if this has been discussed before, but it’s always intrigued me. In Star Wars IV when Obi wan is talking to Luke, right after Obi-Wan gives him the lightsaber, Alec Guiness has this “hesitant” look about him when Luke asked him how his father was killed. It’s @ 31:53.

I’ve always wondered if:

  1. Alec Guiness was told by Lucas to do this and didn’t tell him why.
  2. Alec Guiness was told by Lucas that Obi-wan killed Luke’s dad, but no other cast member knew.
  3. Alec Guiness did this subtle hesitation out of pure acting skill.

However it was accomplished, I’ve always thought, WOW…when you look back & pay attention to that micro second, that look on Alec Guiness’s face…it’s like he knkew something no one else did?

I don’t know all the lore, so I don’t know if Lucas had “fleshed” out the whole story when it came time to shoot this scene. I recently saw an episode of the Graham Norton Show with the cast of the Last Jedi & Mark Hamill told the story of shooting the Empire scene where Vaders tells Luke he is his father…that on Set the line actually said was…“Obi-Wan Killed your father”. it wasn’t until after that scene he was told by Director Kershner what the line was really going to be (post production and that only Mark, Lucas & Kershner knew this.

Here’s the Link, it’s @ :50 sec…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsSKFlk8oEo

So this got me thinking about the Obi_Wan scene in Star Wars IV.

Thoughts??

If what Mark says is accurate then it was your third choice as Guiness would not been privy to the added dialogue later.

Is there any evidence Mark is mistaken?

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It might not have been luck. Alec may have sensed that the lines didn’t ring true. Lucas may have shared his desire to film more with him. There is a lot we don’t know and we unfortunately can’t ask Alec. But I would say that whatever he did there was likely his own take on it. As a stand alone film you can either take it as hesitation from apprehension in telling Luke about it or hesitation from coming close to the truth but not exactly. Not matter how it happened, it really makes the scene resonate with the “certain point of view” we later find out it is.

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I think even looking at Star Wars in a vacuum, if what Ben said was true, anyone would be hesitant to tell a kid that his father was betrayed and murdered by a friend turned evil. Sure, you can look with hindsight and think that’s also an almost-imperceptible sign that he’s not telling the whole truth, but I think his acting in that scene is operating on the belief that he’s being honest to Luke, telling him how his father really died.

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It’s easy to read into that moment the later retcon, but it was just a good bit of acting at the time. He’s telling this kid his father was murdered by someone he trained. Of course he’s going to take a moment to collect himself before he gets into it.

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Nice thread crpl_hicks 😃

For me it is No. 3 - ‘Alec Guinness did this subtle hesitation out of pure acting skill.’
 

His acting ability in the Trilogy and many other quality films he often lifts the scenes he is in, or the film itself - where conveying emotions, strength or resonance of character, or bringing innovation to his craft he was a step or 3 ahead of many actors around him.
 

Youtube videos with snippets of scenes set to music are ten a penny these days - though some still, like Mr Guinness himself, stand out from the crowd…

Obi-Wan Remembers The Truth - by Shahan

‘What Obi Wan told you was true, from a certain point of view…’

 

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oojason said:

His acting ability in the Trilogy and many other quality films he often lifts the scenes he is in, or the film itself - where conveying emotions, strength or resonance of character, or bringing innovation to his craft he was a step or 3 ahead of many actors around him.

Except in ROTJ, where he appears to convey no emotion at all and could only be bothered to show up if he was allowed to sit through all of his dialogue. Actually if you compare his sitting exposition scene in Star Wars to his sitting exposition scene in Jedi, it’s a great example of the gravitas that great acting can lend to otherwise mundane exposition contrasted with mundane exposition that’s just being phoned in.

His performance in Star Wars is remarkable though. He almost does make you believe in the Force. He definitely tempers Mark Hammil’s performance, which would probably be a little grating without the wizened Obi-Wan as a foil of sorts. He kind of sells that movie for me.

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I noticed that to and I think it’s just pure acting’s which he is very good at

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It’s obvious that the father twist was made up for ESB. And yet, that little moment when Obi-Wan hesitates to tell Luke how his father died, makes it seem like it the story was all planned.

A lucky moment indeed.
Obi-wan was great in that scene.

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Unfortunately the plot twist of ESB casts Ben’s motives and statements in ANH into an entirely different light than what was originally said, shot and intended.

But if you look at the original film without any connection to the sequels it is merely that there is some sort of story there that Ben harbors some guilt or emotional weight over and this must have either been a direction given, or something Guinness picked up on and either did on his own or very likely asked George. I’d say that originally it would be like any child asking how a parent died who had done so unjustly-and your response would have to be carefully crafted and spoken whilst bringing up painful memories.

It is unfortunate that the sequels have undone parts of Obi-wan’s characterization and thus became the standard lore.

I do think that Alec’s performance is so full of delicate intricacies and is agonizingly underappreciated. He later regretted the sheer amount of attention he got over this one role but it’s really a masterful performance-even in a career peppered with ones that define the craft itself. As a huge Guinness fan, I always find myself remarking at just how developed his role is past what is on the script page. It really is one of his truly great roles and is the one thing that really carries the film in terms of being the central strength for everything to work from. The inspired part in casting was not simply finding a name star but to approaching a master well known for finding character intricacies and then making each part feel as if it were lived in.
My only regret is that Tarkin is not given more screentime and that we didn’t get a confrontation with Alec and Peter Cushing getting to work together.

That said, I do think Alec would have likely done a few things a bit differently had Obi-Wan’s fate been decided earlier on.

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