In the age of the internet, being a Star Wars fan is almost synonymous with gratuitously tearing through the same ten films in hopes that you’ll uncover something new, interesting, or in some cases, damming. It’s a fun, noble, and at times, infuriating pursuit, but someone’s gotta do it. But do we have to get into the nitty-gritty about Old Ben Kenobi’s bathrobe? The answer, it seems, is yes. Writer Dennis DiClaudio exposed a potential plot hole stemming from what Obi-Wan wore as a “disguise” versus what all the Jedi wore as there regular clothes.
The question — and heated debate — comes down to this: are the earth tone bath robe-esque clothes of the Jedi their actual “uniform” or just a weird fashion choice?
DiClaudio pointed out that after the events of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi exiled himself on Tatooine in order to protect Luke Skywalker from the Empire. Nothing controversial there. But, as anyone who has seen the prequels will tell you, Kenobi—and countless Jedi for that matter— wore a very similar garb. So, that means Kenobi wasn’t hiding his status at all, he was literally just dressed like a Jedi—the highly distinct group of legendary warriors who were mass murdered and then slandered by the empire just 18 years before A New Hope. Mind, blown.
While that’s a fair assessment that would be part and parcel of the generally lazy writing that plagues the prequels, Twitter user Kevin Tong, who uses the handle @tragicsunshine, came up with a rather convincing explanation for the whole thing. After a Tweetstorm spanning 12 separate posts, people are torn. Get ready.
Tong has a lot of points. But his counter-argument basically boils down to this: the Jedi robes aren’t really Jedi robes. They’re just stylized clothes, and those styles are meant to echo feudal Japan, which, was totally an influence on George Lucas when working on the first film. Tong’s arguments are valid, but George Lucas also ignored more than a few small details while writing the prequels, and some of them require that you just ignore certain things about the originals. Beyond that, In the Star Wars universe, Jedi are just a few thousand people in a galaxy filled with trillions of beings. In that context, you’re as likely to see a Jedi as you are to see Batman jaywalking at 12 PM.
There’s also a good chance that some of the prequel writing was so undercooked that Lucas either didn’t notice or didn’t care at all. He is the same one who wrote the hilariously cheesy line: “…I’m not afraid to die. I’ve been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life,” so what else would you expect?
The real question is this: if you think Obi-Wan’s robe was a like a “Jedi uniform” then this is a plot hole. But, if you think this group of people all just happened to wear robes that looked similar, then you’re good and you can go back to just enjoying the movies without having to be wrecked by the never-ending Twitter wars, happening in a galaxy very close to home.