Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Yondu vs. Obi-Wan (Major Spoilers)

So, saw Guardians 2 last night, and I gotta say. As a franchise, people who like pulp SF should maybe start looking to Guardians of the Galaxy instead of Star Wars. Star Wars has averaged out to be trash, coasting more on the theoretical potential of the property as it has been explored by other creative types rather than the films themselves. But more importantly, Guardians of the Galaxy has a much stronger moral core than Star Wars.

Let’s take a look at Obi Wan vs Yondu for a second. Yondu is superior by far as the older father figure mentor character.

This isn’t something I’m going to put a lot of energy into explaining or even defending, but I just want to toss it out there. Let’s even completely forget my theory that Obi-Wan is the main villain of Star Wars for a sec.

In Star Wars, Obi-Wan has been secretly watching out for Luke, and eventually he takes him under his wing. He tries to explain the situation in a way that will not hurt the young Skywalker, because while he believes in him, he does not believe in him enough to trust him with the truth. And ultimately, that’s his bad. Only when it comes down to it, he doesn’t really accept responsibility for what he has done and tries to justify rather than coming fully clean and apologizing, even when it wouldn’t have cost him anything to do so. And when knowledge that Leia is Luke’s sister would jeopardize the fate of the Rebel strike on Endor, Obi-Wan’s ghost rather casually confirms it.

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Yondu pretty much raises Star Lord after his mom dies. He’s a tough father figure, and does a lot wrong by the kid growing up, but he genuinely does care about him. Yondu is also protecting Star Lord from his father with a lie, but when the chips are down, Yondu comes clean and is honest about his reasons “I knew your daddy was bad and killed those kids, and I couldn’t stand to see that happen to you.” After all is laid bare, Yondu makes the ultimate sacrifice so that his “son” will live.

Both franchise are owned by Disney, and both are cogs in multi-billion-dollar merchandising apparatuses, so I’m not going to factor that in when comparing the two. Even with all of its flaws and cringe-points, I’m gonna have to give this one to Guardians.

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12 responses to “Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Yondu vs. Obi-Wan (Major Spoilers)

  1. Pingback: Yondu > Obi-Wan? | Miller's Tales

  2. Meh. You’re not wrong if you compare Obi-Wan and Yandu as father figures. But Obi-Wan wasn’t a father figure. He was a mentor, yes. And he, too, sacrificed himself, presumably to help/save Luke.

    • Obi-Wan really was the closest thing Luke has to a father figure in the movies. Both Obi-Wan and Yandu have acted as the mentor figures, though much of Yandu’s mentoring is implied, and probably as flawed as he is.

      But Yandu comes through in the end, and I think Star Lord learns far more from Yandu than Luke does from Obi-Wan.

      Yandu – appreciate your family, be honest with them; it was wrong to lie even if it was to protect someone you cared about

      Obi-Wan – it’s okay to lie, and if you don’t think someone can handle the truth, you don’t have to say you’re sorry when they find out.

      • In retrospect the Obi-Wan lying thing was poorly done. But I don’t really see that as a problem with the character so much as a problem with the writing. They got lazy.

        My impression was that Yandu wasn’t that honest with Star Lord, either. He knew the guy was looking for his dad, but he didn’t feel like he could handle the truth. Like Obi-Wan with Luke. Was withholding the information really *that* much better?

        It’s also not really apples and apples. Luke was with Obi-Wan for, what? A couple days? Not a lot of time for quality mentoring and father-standing-in.

      • “My impression was that Yandu wasn’t that honest with Star Lord, either. He knew the guy was looking for his dad, but he didn’t feel like he could handle the truth. ”

        Yeah, and unlike Obi-Wan, Yandu comes clean with a pretty heartfelt explanation and apology. Not “Well, I didn’t REALLY lie, if you squint your eyes and consider these important mitigating factors” but “Yer daddy was bad news, I cared about you, and I didn’t want to see you killed.”

      • True enough. I’ll grant that, then – Yandu was ultimately more honest than Obi-Wan. I still don’t think the mentor/father comparison is fair, though, given the different lengths of time together.

      • It’s strongly implied that Ben had been on Tatooine since Luke was a baby; they were acquainted, but Ben was very hands-off in his approach to taking care of Luke.

      • Yes, but it was also fairly clear that Obi-Wan had very limited influence. He was just that weird old guy who lived out in the desert. Pretty clearly Uncle Owen didn’t care for him and didn’t want Luke hanging out with him.

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