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Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

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The first time ever, that Star Wars viewers see the ‘’Jedi mind trick’’ in action - 1977, A New Hope! And future sci-fi fans are introduced to Obi-Wan’s other-worldly powers, there’s more to his grey beard than he lets on. There a reason why he’ll be called Master Obi-Wan.

The scene is simple enough. Skywalker, R2-D2 and C-3PO are being shepherded by Obi-Wan through desert country in a bid to escape being found out by the Empire.

Seconds before Obi-Wan looks down on the stretch they’re about to enter and says ‘’you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy’’.

There a reason why he’ll be called Master Obi-Wan.

The trick is meant to get the trooper to believe precisely the opposite of reality. The visitors are indeed the ones he’s supposed to take into custody on orders of the Empire but he ends up believing they aren’t.

As they whisk themselves out of the trap, Skywalker wonders aloud ‘’I can’t understand how we got by those troops, I thought we were dead’’ and Obi-Wan utters those powerful lines ‘’The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded’’ - lines that will go on to reassure and warn Skywalker in years to follow.

Ironic that half the passengers in the pod were robots.

Through that very brief episode, Obi-Wan demonstrated to Skywalker just how easy it was for weak-minded humans to become mere robots in the service of a higher, more intelligent command.

The troopers outnumbered them and were armed to the teeth, yet they were overpowered by Obi-Wan’s ‘’mind’’ trick. A lesson Skywalker would sometimes forget and sometimes remember - later, the fate of millions would hang irrevocably on how well he remembered.

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