If the word had been said with Obi-Wan’s usual irreverence, Anakin wouldn’t have stopped. The day had been long, and he was tired down to his bones. And somewhere under the exhaustion, there was the fear that the darkness stretching out before him would swallow him, would devour the best of him.
So he stayed.
Obi-Wan was afraid. Anakin could feel the fear coming off of him in palpable waves, rolling and roiling over him the nearer he walked to where Obi-Wan was seated in the shadows.
“Can’t you feel it?” Obi-Wan asked. His voice was trembling, and when Anakin stood in front of him and gripped his shoulder, he found that his body was shivering, too.
“Feel what?” Anakin asked. But he knew. Of course he did.
The end. Of everything. Of the Republic, of the Jedi.
His fingers dug down into Obi-Wan’s shoulder, and when Obi-Wan pressed his face against his stomach, Anakin closed his eyes and moved his fingers to the nape of Obi-Wan’s neck.
“The dark,” Obi-Wan whispered, arms wrapping around Anakin’s waist and breath hot and fast against his stomach.
Yes, he felt it.
Nothing had ever been more intimate with him than the dark.
Not even Obi-Wan, when his lips pressed where his breath had touched.
And in that moment, Obi-Wan knew that Anakin loved him.
Not as a brother loved his brother, or a friend loved his friend, no – Anakin loved him as he loved Padme, deeply and wildly and passionately. It scared Obi-Wan, not because of its intensity or its heat, but because of how immensely he enjoyed the way Anakin cared for him. It should have been a burden, it should have made him recoil, should have made him warn his former Padawan to tread lightly where attachment and affection and want were concerned.
But instead, it only made Obi-Wan warm, to look into Anakin’s eyes, to look into the eyes of the boy he had trained and the man that he called friend and brother, and to know that he loved him enough to throw aside his entire future in the Order. That Anakin would die for him was not surprising – Obi-Wan had witnessed his short-sightedness before, and on more than one occasion had been on the receiving end of his misguided heroism – but what was surprising was that Anakin had chosen to live for him too.
Leaving was for the best, Obi-Wan knew that. Ending the war was far more important than whatever painful, beautiful love existed in Anakin’s eyes when they watched him. It would do both of them good to be apart from one another, to let the stars separate them and know that they were strong enough to survive without one another. Attachment was forbidden for a reason, it clouded the senses and confused the mind, and the sooner Anakin realized that, the better.
He stopped, sure that when he turned around Anakin would have that same damnable look in his eyes, that cut him to the quick and made Obi-Wan feel that he could never survive so far from him. Stars, Anakin would look half-starved for him, and Obi-Wan wasn’t sure if he was strong enough to not sate his hunger.
His eyes, while needing, weren’t at all primal with hunger when Obi-Wan faced him. They were soft, pained, and Obi-Wan had to keep himself from reaching out to him.
“May the Force be with you, Master,” Anakin said.
There was a goodbye in his voice. Not only because Obi-Wan was leaving. He felt it, and there was nothing he could do but nod and smile, to wish him the same.
There was something else, hidden under his words, buried beneath his farewell.
Something like ‘I love you.’
prequel trilogy + text posts
The storm is coming, the storm is coming in
when obi wan tells anakin ‘i loved you’ its delivered not in anger but…in sorrow. this is obi wan. master jedi. paragon of the jedi code. and he’s telling anakin a secret. i loved you. i failed. i couldnt follow the rules either. i care too much about you. i loved you. i loved everything. all our time together. i said don’t get attached. don’t fall in love. jedis don’t need them. jedis are outside of emotion. but you. oh you. you, i loved. i loved you so much. so much so that even when you became a sith, i couldn’t kill you. so much so that even when you told me you hated me, i still loved you. so much so that i cared about you so deeply, so longingly, that i dedicated the rest of my life to watching over your son. that i never told him what you became. that i wanted to keep the memory of you as the powerful, strong, jedi, the one your son believed, true. i loved you.
My first reaction to this was pretty much to scream, “WELL, GOODBYE” because, holy shit, canon confirmation that Obi-Wan would leave the Jedi Order for Anakin, I’m going to revel in these feelings about my ship, go on without me.
But even beyond that I think it’s really spot-on characterization because Obi-Wan really and truly fully dedicated himself to Anakin, by this point he is 100% going to devote his life to guiding Anakin, wherever that takes him. He would never force Anakin into a choice that wasn’t truly his own, he thinks Anakin belongs with the Jedi (he’s too young, he’s not ready, being part of the Jedi means being part of something bigger/stronger–in other words, Anakin needs that structure in his life), but if Anakin truly wants to go, then Obi-Wan will go with him.
At the same time, one of the central points about Obi-Wan’s character is that one of his greatest flaws (if you want to call it that) is the same as Anakin’s: attachment.
Yoda began to pace the small chamber, the tapping of his gimer stick loud in its silence. "Know do you, Obi-Wan, why reluctant I was for Skywalker to become your apprentice?“
he know? Not for certain. And once he and Qui-Gon had prevailed over
the Council, and Anakin had been made his Padawan, Yoda’s objections had
no longer mattered.
“Ah … no, Master,” he said cautiously.Yoda
flicked him a skeptical glance.
“Hmmm. Then tell you I will. Reluctant I
was because the same flaw you share, Obi-Wan. The flaw of attachment.”
–Wild Space, by Karen Miller
The above moment is about Obi-Wan’s dedication to his vow to see Anakin trained, but that moment doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it exists alongside Obi-Wan’s tendency to become attached to that which he loves–and loves Anakin he does. (Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan directly tells Anakin that he loved him.)
This is why I say that Anakin Skywalker is the great love of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life. It doesn’t matter if I mean it romantically or platonically or in a more familial sense, because he’s attached to Anakin, he loves Anakin, he’s chosen to dedicate his life to Anakin, he would leave the Jedi Order for Anakin, he spends the last 20 years of his life watching over Anakin’s child.
He’s not the only person Obi-Wan has loved, there have been many, in various forms. Qui-Gon Jinn, Siri Tachi, Satine Kryze, the Jedi Order as a whole. But his dedication to and love for Anakin are greater than all of them.
consider this: Obi Wan’s been in love with Anakin for years, hopelessly pining. he’s fought side by side with him throughout the clone wars, they’ve saved each other countless times, and, in his eyes, they have an unshakeable bond. they’re each other’s closest friends. he sees Anakin struggling, and sees his anger and sadness, but when he reaches out he gets pushed away. Anakin goes to the chancellor instead of Obi Wan, and it hurts, but he understands: Obi Wan is a jedi, after all, and Anakin is angry with the council. Anakin slips farther and farther from him, and obi wan can’t be there for him, even though he wants to be, too wrapped up in the war.
then, his troops turn against him, try to kill him. he survives, and his first thought is Anakin: if the clones are turning against the jedi, then he must be in danger. Anakin’s alive thank god, but Obi Wan then has to watch as the man he loves casts aside the jedi order (and therefore him) and falls to the dark side. then, he watches as Anakin kills defenseless younglings. he’s anguished and horrified: the man he loved is gone forever. he goes to Padme, because he’s desperate to find Anakin, and that’s when his heart is truly and utterly broken beyond repair. this man he loved, the man he’d always loved, had never been his at all, and never could have been.
“anakin is the father, isn’t he?”