Why didn't Obi-Wan remember R2-D2 and C-3PO in A New Hope?

  • How is it that, per Jedi Grrrl

    As for Obi-Wan, he forgot all about R2-D2 and C-3PO after spending three whole movies with them

    I know people might say "well, would you remember a toaster you had 20 years ago" but really these robots have a personality, and C-3PO is probably fairly unique having been hand-built by Anakin. How many people do remember cars, computers, TVs, and so on they used and interacted with throughout their life, or even closer, pets and work animals? I'd say most.

    So, other than OB-1 being a clone, what possible in-universe reason could be given for him totally not showing any sign of remembering these droids?

    (It's a teensy bit easier to believe that Darth Vader doesn't show recognition of them given him being possessed by the dark side and being so busy terrorizing the galaxy and all)

    It's because George Lucas is not good at continuity, or storytelling, or directing, or (this list goes on for a while)

    The party line response is that he never says he doesn't know or remember them. His response is "I don't seem to remember ever owning a droid." So what he said is true - from a certain point of view.

    Anakin may have built C-3PO, but based on his similarity to other protocol droids I'm guessing he built him from a kit or from spare protocol droid parts, not as an original creation.

    @PeterLeppert Anakin rebuilt him from discarded parts.

    Did Obi-Wan ever actually meet C-3PO in I-II-III? Were they introduced on screen to each other? Should I make this a separate question?

    Just off the top of my head, I know they were both there at the birth of the twins - when he and Bail Organa split up and send 3PO off to get his memory wiped.

    @phantom42 thanks for the edits. In other news, I *cannot* believe this is not a duplicate! Amazing.

    I felt like it was, but I couldn't find another question either.

    In old age, people start to loose memory...

    @sarge_smith Maybe, but the guy is good at making money...

    Re-watching the prequels this weekend, I was struck by 3PO's line halfway through Episode 2: *"C-3PO: It seems that he is carrying a message from an Obi-Wan Kenobi. Master Annie, does that name mean anything to you?"*. I started thinking about it and realized that the first time 3PO and Obi-Wan even *might* see each other is on Geonosis. They don't actually share a scene until Episode 3. So, saying that they spent "three whole movies together" is inaccurate.

    This is one of the many reasons why I dislike how the droids were handled in the prequels. Those movies would have been better with totally unrelated droids.

    guys. I think if "Ben" Kenobi can forget his own name, he could also forget about r2 and c3po.

    Also why does Owen Lars don't seem to remember C3PO who lived for a good amount of time. Also Chewbacca, he knew Yoda and Jedis but it appeared that Obi-Wan doesn't even knew Chewbacca, considering that he was one of the lead fighters of the Wookies.

    This is the reason I got off the bus after _The Phantom HotMess_.....

  • Obi-Wan never explicitly stated in the 3 Star Wars movies that he didn't remember R2D2 and C3PO. He merely told Luke he never remembered "owning" a droid, which was indeed the case with these two - Anakin and Padme owned both of them, and later Bail Organa (UPDATE: he did apparently own a droid in Episode II, but personally, I didn't even remember it thus failing to include in this answer originally; so he can certainly forget in 20 years).

    Considering that he lied told from a "certain-point-of-view" about "Vader betrayed and murdered your father" (to prevent Luke from prematurely learning the truth he couldn't handle yet), it seems very plausible that he ALSO was pretending to not recognize the droids, for the same reason.

    This seems like the most plausible in light of Obi-Wan's character in ANH. Particularly when you consider the almost mischievous gleam in Alec Guinness's eyes, it's a very believable explanation.

    Not to mention it was R2D2 who constantly insisted he belonged to Obi-Wan. That sly look may be him recognizing that the droid knows far more than it's letting on.

    As for C3P0, I believe Lucas attempted to address this with 1) the C3P0-esque droid in the opening scene of TPM (which implies this droid model is common) and 2) wiping C3P0's memory at the end of RotS. C3P0 wouldn't recognize Obi-Wan, and to Obi-Wan, C3P0 was just another protocol droid.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi lies. He changes his name, goes into hiding to keep an eye on Luke, and keeps Luke from learning anything significant about his only history. He manipulates Luke for his own purposes, much like Dumbledore does to Harry.

    Also, Alec Guiness acts a lot more subtly than most people do under the direction of George Lucas. That makes it easy to miss stuff like this. The same goes for the whole "12 parsecs" thing, which was originally just supposed to be Han BSing.

    His recognition of R2 might be what's behind his remark: "I don't recall ever owning a droid. **Very interesting!**" He gives himself away a bit there by finding it "very interesting" rather than "odd," I think. Just my idea though :)

    Are we sure he actually owned the astromech droids attached to his fighter? The Jedi temple could be like a school or a library and loan out droids to members and thus he wouldn't really own the droid.

  • TL;DR: He does.

    From the new canonical novelization of A New Hope:

    Han was about to turn back to lock up the circuit panel when he saw the fossil wave the droid over. Luke had a look of intense concentration on his face as he pivoted around and around in a circle, lifting his lightsaber this way, that way, clearly lost in his own world.

    The R2 unit moved to Ben’s side as if it were his faithful pet — an image that was further reinforced by the old man’s stroking a hand over its domed head.

    “It’s good to fly with you again, my old friend,” the old man said, so softly Han wasn’t sure he had heard him right.
    - Star Wars - New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy

  • I think because there's alot of astro droids n like c3po said human relation droids to. I mean look at tc-14. She was jus a different color but pretty sure thats not a dramatic difference

    I'm not sure why this got downvoted as it's factually correct. There *are* a lot of both astro and protocol droids. As for the names - there are only so many combinations of letters and numbers. If you saw a "Renault 4", then some years later saw another, even if it was the same colour as the first, would you have reason to suspect they were the same car?

    @DarthSatan If I had an apprentice who built a Renault 4 as a kid and this car served him for years. And then this kid betrayed me and murdered innocent people. And later I encountered a Renault 4 that claimed I'm his owner, I would certainly consider them being the same car. Especially if the car played a hologram SOS message from the kid's daughter.

    @Kevin, that's one hell of a car

    @ArturoTorresSánchez: Obviously the Renault 4 in question was originally a custom job, built for Knight Industries.

  • Obi-Wan did meet C3PO in episode III. Remember that he stowed away on Padme's spacecraft on the flight to Mustafa the lava planet. It was C-3PO who carried Padme back onto the craft after Aniken choked her. He was also present at the birth of Luke and Leia. I think Obi-Wan just didn't want to impart too much information to Luke, and remember that R2-D2 did recognize Obi-Wan. Otherwise, he would not have shown the recording of princess Leia.

    I also believe that Obi-Wan didn't want C-3P0 to have too much information lest he fall into the clutches of Vader. It may very well be that Vader did know about the droids, which is why he sent a search party out to find them. Unfortunately, in both books and movies, you just can't include a lot of details. Otherwise, you lose the reader. Best example of this is Tolstoy's War and Peace. Every tried slogging your way through that oversized novel?

    I've read even longer novels than that!

    I wouldn't say that it was obvious clear that R2-D2 recognized Obi-Wan. R2 only showed the recording after Ben said he was Obi-Wan, and had proven so by the accounts he gave and also by giving Luke his father's Lightsaber.

  • Obi-Wan did actually own a droid, remember? He had an R4 unit which he used in his personal ship. He never took it with them anywhere except when he flew his ship, but he did in fact own one. So it was more of a little white lie to make Luke stop asking question about where R2 came from, I think.

    The droid was with him when he landed on Kamino. He told it to stay with the ship, and it was with him when he traveled to Geonosis.

    I am sure that he did remember the droids, but did not want Luke to start asking questions about them that could lead to the truth about Vader coming out. He was scared Luke would be unable to do what was needed. So he simply lied and said he did not remember owning a droid.

    If you have a reference on where that droid was mentioned in canon, please include it

    Obi-Wan could very well have been implying, "I do not currently own any droids."

    @DVK, R4-P17 appears in Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and The Clone Wars tv show, all of which are canon. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/R4-P17

    Pretty sure that would have belonged to the Jedi temple or the Grand Army of the Republic, Jedi own very few things, their robes and lightsabers about it.

  • Obi-Wan was extremely familiar with R2 in episode 3 and was the butt of at least a few inside jokes between Anakin and himself as they boarded Grievous's ship to rescue Palpatine. It's obvious that all three were very familiar with eachother so the only excuse could really be selective memory or terrible continuity.

  • When C-3P0 was passed on to Bail Organa, his memory was erased. It was not stated that the same had been done to R2-D2, so if he were to remember Obi-Wan (which he did), it would make perfect sense. The reason Obi-Wan claimed he had no memory of owning a droid was not because of his fear of Luke knowing to much, it was simply George Lucas's mistake. He admitted this at a Star Wars convention years ago, but he then excused it with a perfectly logical explanation. George said that Obi-Wan was just using lies of omission to his advantage, and that the astromech knew too much information that was key for Luke to discover in time. Similar to the way Obi-Wan said that Darth Vader had murdered Luke's father, as technically correct as that is, it is still a lie of omission and one can only hope that Disney is more careful than George was.

  • Obi-Wan did in fact remember R2D2 after the little smirk he gave after seeing him in ANH when he rescued Luke from the sand people. C3PO had his memory erased so he doesn't remember at all.

    And I agree with the above statement about Obi-Wan and R2 having an off set agreement about there friendship. Also Obi-Wan and C3PO had plenty of meetings in the first 3 movies. In the end Obi-Wan cannot reveal anything about the past and Vader because it's Luke's destiny to find out who Vader is and determine whether he is good or bad. As opposed to being forced to thinking he is bad.

  • Well, actually he remembers them....In episode 4 when he saves Luke from thw tusken he talks to r2 and calls him "my little friend". C3PO does not remember him, because he.got formatted in episode 3.

  • i think everyone is forgetting that right after Padme gave birth to Luke an Leia and then died Bail Organa had C3PO's memory erased. Thus he forgot he ever belonged to Anakin and Obi never mentioned ever being acquainted with him prior to the Empire taking over. As far as the R2D2 mystery goes, I think Obi-Wan told him to keep that a secret and hide their acquaintance

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