If you haven’t seen last Saturday’s “Rebels,” this contains spoilers:
Obi-Wan and Maul duke it out one last time in the episode “Twin Suns” and as Maul is dying after the shortest lightsaber duel ever, he asks Obi-Wan about the person he’s obviously protecting, “Is it the Chosen One?” (I’m paraphrasing.) Obi-Wan answers in the affirmative and Maul says, “He will avenge us all” before expiring.
This little bit of dialogue had me pulling my hair out. I still wouldn’t put it past anyone to burrow some tunnels into that “immovable mountain of canon” and if the story group tells the script writers they have to do something, then they have to do it. I started to wonder if this was being done to undermine Lucas’s mythology in Eps I-VI to change it to something else in the sequels.
After complaining about it on Twitter, I got a bunch of reassurances this wasn’t happening at all and it reflects Obi-Wan losing faith in Anakin and pinning his hopes on Luke instead. Pablo Hidalgo had commented (independently) that this was more or less Obi-Wan’s opinion.
Because it’s hard to try to explain my POV with 140 miserable characters, I will try to explain it here. It is obvious from the OT that ol’ Ben Kenobi had given up on Vader/Anakin, which is why he and Yoda were setting up Luke to carry out their patricide mission for them. The thing is, if I were Obi-Wan, I’d do one of two things about the prophecy: abandon it completely as myth or still believe it’s true though I wouldn’t have any idea how it’s supposed to come to pass. The other thing is and people easily overlook this, Obi-Wan was still in touch with Qui-Gon. This would probably nudge Obi-Wan in the latter possibility. What this is here is a third possibility and that is Obi-Wan coming to the conclusion on his own that maybe Luke is supposed to fulfill that prophecy.
Whether you think it’s a reasonable conclusion for Obi-Wan to come to or not is one thing. The problem is how fans and people who casually watch Star Wars perceive stuff like this if you’re not frequently reminding them of the underlying mythology. Not everybody who watches “Rebels” has ever watched “Clone Wars.” Not every Star Wars fan has been following this for 40 years in every media and has considered every character’s motivations and thoughts (or even remembers everything). Lots of people are going to take this to mean that they are changing canon and are fully expecting to discover in TLJ that Luke’s the real chosen one. Even before I watched the episode, people who had seen it on the Disney X D app were talking about how this was a “game changer.” They’re accepting what was said on its face; ergo the gobs of comments I’ve seen saying this is a canon change. They’re not going to waste another 20 minutes of their time watching extraneous online interviews or bother reading a story grouper’s tweets. If Lucasfilm’s intention is to not change anything then they need to make that clearer in its media.