Why Did Obi-Wan Wait So Long To Start Training Luke?

Star Wars is such a huge franchise that it is filled with many questions. Some questions are meant to be there and get answered one way or another, and other questions are perceived by audiences as something like "plot holes," whether they know what that means or not. An interesting question posed by CBR, however, is why Obi-Wan Kenobi waited so long to start training Luke.

Within the context of just that original film, we get a bit of dialogue from Ben Kenobi about how Luke's uncle, Owen Lars, was worried about him going on crusades with Ben, and Owen is afraid of Luke being like his father. If we only had the original film to go off of, it would seem as if Ben could have trained Luke a little earlier, and that Luke was perhaps around or a bit after the right age to start training as a Jedi. However, we learned in the prequel trilogy and its related content that Jedi are taken in pretty much as toddlers. In The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker, who is nine years old, perhaps even going on ten years old, is said to be too old to begin the training. Yoda says this to 22-year-old Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, which may, in a vacuum, suggest that he should have started training perhaps as a teen. But the prequels gave us a vastly different idea. And on that note, it might seem odd that Kenobi did not direct Luke to Yoda until three years after Luke saw Kenobi alive.

The canonical stories from Marvel Comics over the last five (almost six) years have filled in some gaps. In the 2015 series simply titled Star Wars, Luke Skywalker finds journal entries at Ben Kenobi's home. We got to see flashbacks play out in each of these entries, where a younger Ben Kenobi sees a kid Luke Skywalker being good at different skills, including piloting a T-16. At one point, Owen Lars confronts Ben and is angry at him for gifting Luke some parts that he wanted. He then scolds Kenobi for what happened to Anakin. Whether or not Owen knows Anakin's final fate and how things went down exactly, it is clear that Owen sees Kenobi as bad news and wants him to stay far away from Luke. He is very protective of his nephew. Kenobi, being the Jedi that he is and showing visible guilt over what happened with Anakin, has to respect these wishes, and probably wants Luke to come to him on his own terms. The Jedi before the fall of the Republic sometimes forced their ideas, and perhaps Kenobi wanted to try a different approach whilst feeling guilty about how things have played out up until this point.

There is also some speculation that perhaps Kenobi did not train Luke earlier because it would have attracted dark side users earlier. However, Kenobi himself appears to have hidden his presence pretty well in the 19 years that he was on Tatooine. It was very difficult for Maul to eventually find him in the Star Wars Rebels episode "Twin Suns," which is set two years before Kenobi's death. Surely Luke could have been trained without any cover being blown. So it must have been Kenobi wanting to respect Luke's family and also feeling guilty about what happened. And while it is a bit odd that Kenobi did not guide Luke to Yoda for three years, Luke did try looking for places and artifacts pertaining to the Jedi Order in the time between movies, whenever he was not too busy with the Rebel Alliance. So perhaps Kenobi wanted to wait until Luke surpassed certain trials so that he would be ready for what looks like grueling training under Yoda. There may not be a concrete answer, but this is all the evidence that we have, and it may point to a truth that works for the story.

Source(s): CBR