Star Wars

Star Wars Summary and Analysis of Part 2


At dinner, Luke tells Owen and his aunt, Beru, about the holographic message he found, and mentions Obi-Wan Kenobi. The mention of Kenobi's name makes his aunt and uncle anxious, but they will not tell Luke what they are thinking. Luke asks them if Obi-Wan could be related to Ben Kenobi, a hermit who lives nearby in the "Dune Sea" region, but Owen tries to tell his nephew that Obi-Wan is dead and Ben is just a "crazy old man."

When Owen suggests that Kenobi knew Luke's father, Anakin, who died many years ago, Luke's interest is piqued and he wants to know more. However, Owen quickly tells him to stop thinking about it and erase the data from the droids, so that they can help with the work on the farm.

Luke tells his aunt and uncle that he wants to go away to the Imperial Military Academy in the next semester because he wants to start studying to be a pilot. Owen protests that he needs Luke's help for the upcoming harvest, and Luke leaves the room angrily. Left alone, Beru tells Owen that most of Luke's friends have gone away and that Luke is not a farmer, perhaps because he has too much of his father in him. "That's what I'm afraid of," Owen says.

Luke looks out at the two suns setting over the horizon of Tatooine, as lilting music plays. When he goes back to his workroom, he is surprised to find C-3PO in the back, who begs Luke not to deactivate him, and reveals that R2 has run off to find Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke runs outside and scans the desert with his binoculars, but R2 is nowhere to be found. He tells 3PO that it's too dangerous to go out at night with all the Sand People (aka the Tusken Raiders) and decides they'll have to find him the next day.

The next morning, as Beru cooks, Owen asks where Luke went, and she tells him that he left early with the droids in tow. We see Luke and 3PO riding in a landspeeder, a small automobile that hovers just above the ground, in search of R2. From a nearby cliff, some Sand People climb aboard some large animals and prepare to attack Luke and the droids. R2 tells Luke that he's picked up the Sand People on his radar. Luke, worried that they have been apprehended, grabs a weapon and goes in search of them.

As Luke looks through binoculars at some Sand People in the distance, a bunch of them pop up from behind a rock and attack the group, nearly killing Luke. R2 sits in a cave watching as they begin to dismantle the landspeeder. Suddenly, a hooded figure approaches, making an intimidating sound that scares off the Sand People.

The figure is an old man who examines Luke. When Luke wakes up, he recognizes the man as Ben Kenobi, and tells him that the droid has a message for Obi-Wan. The name startles Ben, who tells him that that is his name, but that he hasn't heard it in years. Together, they rescue 3PO, whose arm has been ripped off, and go to Obi-Wan's home.

At home, Obi-Wan tells Luke that his father was not a navigator on a spice trader as his uncle told him, but a Jedi Knight who fought in the Clone Wars. Kenobi tells Luke that he fought alongside his father, Anakin, and that Anakin was the best starpilot in the galaxy and a good friend. Going to a chest, Obi-Wan pulls out an object that Owen did not want him to give Luke—his father's lightsaber. Luke turns on the lightsaber, which is a sword made of a pale blue light.

"How did my father die?" Luke asks, and Obi-Wan tells him that he was killed by Darth Vader, who was a pupil of Obi-Wan's until he betrayed the Jedi cause and murdered Anakin. "Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force," Obi-Wan says, explaining that the Force is an energy field created by all living things that gives a Jedi his power.

Obi-Wan turns on the message contained in R2, and the hologram of Princess Leia appears. She mentions that Obi-Wan once helped her father and that she has placed vital information about the rebellion in the R2 unit and her ship has been taken hostage. She also asks him to bring the droid to her father on Alderaan. As the holographic image disappears, Obi-Wan tells Luke he must learn the ways of the Force if he's going to accompany him to Alderaan, Princess Leia's home planet, but Luke insists that he is doing nothing of the kind. "I can't get involved, I've got work to do," Luke says, discouraged, before offering to take Obi-Wan as far as Anchorhead.

The scene shifts to the Devastator, a large imperial vessel, as it arrives at the Death Star, a giant spherical space station. There, Vader meets with a governor, Grand Moff Tarkin, and also with the station's triumvirate of leaders. Tarkin announces that the grand Emperor Palpatine has decided to disband the Senate and give control of the star systems to regional governors. He wants the Death Star to become known as an intimidating weapon, capable of destroying whole star systems. The generals argue about the invincibility of the Death Star, and Vader tells them that the Force is even stronger than the power that the Death Star carries. When Motti, one of the generals, mocks Vader's reliance on the Force, Vader begins to strangle him, but Tarkin tells him to stop. The group decides that they must question Leia about the whereabouts of the Rebel headquarters and then use the Death Star to destroy it.

On Tatooine, Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids, find the Jawa sandcrawler completely destroyed. While Luke thinks it must be the work of the Sand People, Obi-Wan corrects him that though it is meant to look that way, it was more likely done by Imperial stormtroopers, likely looking for the droids. Anxious, Luke runs home to warn his aunt and uncle, despite Obi-Wan's insistence that he is endangering his own life. Luke arrives at his aunt and uncle's home to find it burned and them murdered by the Imperial troops.

Defeated, and with nowhere else to go, Luke agrees to travel with Obi-Wan to Alderaan and become a Jedi. As they arrive in Mos Eisley, the spaceport and capital of Tatooine, Obi-Wan warns them that the city is a hotbed of "scum and villainy" and that they must be cautious.

When they arrive in Mos Eisley, a group of stormtroopers surround the landspeeder and ask to see Luke's identification. Using Jedi mind tricks, Obi-Wan convinces the stormtrooper not to look at his identification and that the two droids are not the ones the Imperial forces are looking for.

Obi-Wan warns them that they are going into a rough bar, but that it is a pitstop for many of the best pilots in the galaxy. Inside, they see a number of strange creatures enjoying some leisure at the bar. As Luke and the droids enter, the bartender tells them they don't serve droids, so Luke sends R2 and 3PO to wait outside, before ordering a drink.

Nearby, Obi-Wan speaks to a large Wookiee, when two creatures try to pick a fight with Luke, telling him they don't like him. When one of the men pushes Luke, Obi-Wan cuts off his arm with his lightsaber, and tells Luke that he met a first mate from a ship who likes them.


In the beginning of this section, we learn a little more about Luke Skywalker's backstory. He lives with his aunt and uncle on a farm, and knows almost nothing of his father, who they tell him died years ago. Luke's father's story is shrouded in mystery, and a bit of danger. When Beru tells Owen that Luke is not a farmer, and perhaps takes after his father more than they suspected, Owen says, "That's what I'm afraid of," suggesting that something bad happened to Luke's father, Anakin.

In addition to being a visually impressive and creative film, filled with strange creatures and unexpected fantastical imagery, Star Wars is also a very aesthetically beautiful film. The shots of Luke's Tatooine hut against the backdrop of a pink desert sky are arresting, and the location almost looks like an ordinary architectural compound from the 1970s. The two suns setting in the distance, however, firmly orient the film in another galaxy altogether. The beauty lies in the juxtaposition of the familiar with the unfamiliar, the ways that George Lucas takes the ordinary image and tweaks it just enough to make it uncanny.

When Luke goes out searching for R2-D2, he accidentally meets Ben Kenobi, and soon enough learns that Ben is, in fact, Obi-Wan, the adressee of the secret message that R2 is carrying. While Owen described "Ben" Kenobi as a crazy old man, it appears that Kenobi is actually perfectly sane and hiding out in the desert after years of being a Jedi Knight of the Old Republic with Luke's father, Anakin. Kenobi opens Luke's eyes to a whole new world, one that is much larger than the moisture farm and even his aspirations of going to the military academy.

In this section, we also learn more about the world of the Jedis and the Force. The Force sounds more like a philosophical idea than a concrete one—"an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together"—but in the world of Star Wars it is a consequential and very real entity, something like magic or enchantment. It is here that we learn about the stakes of the civil war taking place, and the ways that the unassuming Luke might begin to live the adventurous life he so dreams of living.

The impressive visual effects of the film become more playful in Mos Eisley, the notoriously rough capital of Tatooine. The bar that Obi-Wan takes Luke and the droids to is packed to the gills with absurd space creatures, with oversized appendages and alien visages, as bouncy, unusual space music plays. While the audience recognizes the bar setting and the general atmosphere, the actual characters peopling the world are completely bizarre, and everything has a slightly off-kilter feel.