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.

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