The rebel resistance is in its infancy, for now simply an emblem carved into the side of a wall. Across the galaxy, the Empire continues to root out the Jedi, slaughter them, crush all opposition. Obi-Wan Kenobi, once sheltered from the fight, now finds himself at the heart of the resistance’s strategy: protect the remaining Jedi—and gather force.
In Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3, Obi-Wan meets Tala, a member of the resistance. She is undercover as an Imperial Officer, helping smuggle Jedi out of Mapuzo. She leads Leia and Obi-Wan to an underground bunker and escape system—safe houses located across the galaxy to harbor Jedi—reminiscent of so many historical safe-havens for vulnerable peoples. (The prevailing analogy across the recent Star Wars franchises seems to be the Third Reich of Nazi Germany; the Jedis are here the population chosen to be exterminated.)
In the safe house, Obi-Wan sees writing on the wall—a name he recognizes.
“Quinlan was here?” he asks.
“You’re not the first Jedi to come through here,” Tala says, explaining that Quinlan has been helping smuggle out the younger Jedi.
Keen fans will know “Quinlan” as Quinlan Vos, a Jedi master with a distinctive yellow stripe that runs under his eyes.
Here’s what to know about the character who may be appearing soon in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Who Is Quinlan Vos?
Born on the planet Kiffu in the Inner Rim, Quinlan Vos later became a member of the Jedi Order. He is known for his expert tracking abilities—and a particular Jedi power of tracing memories in the objects others have touched.
During the Clone Wars, Quinlan worked with Obi-Wan to recapture a prisoner, explaining how Obi-Wan recognizes Quin’s name; the two appear to be close. Quin at one time also tried to assassinate Count Dooku. After Order 66, Quin went into hiding, working with the resistance to resettle and protect young Jedis and Force-sensitive kids.
Quinlan can be seen very briefly in a moment during The Phantom Menace—as a man with a yellow-striped face sitting in the back of an outdoor cantina in Tatooine. This is his first appearance in the Star Wars universe; the cameo inspired later development of the character.
“Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see.”
The description written beside Quin’s name reads: “Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see.” When Leia asks what one sees, Obi-Wan replies, “the Way.”
It’s another cryptic Jedi aphorism, but one consistent with what we know about the Force. (In a literal sense, the saying previews Luke’s crowing moment in A New Hope, when he closes his eyes before firing the shot that will destroy the Death Star—he closes his eyes so that he can use the Force. Who tells him at that moment to “use the Force”? Obi-Wan.)
“The way” is also how Tao (also, spelled “Dao”) is commonly translated. Taoism is an eastern monistic philosophy that inspired the Force in the original Star Wars. The philosophy’s central concept is Tao—what it is, how one lives with it, follows it, etc. The Jedi Knights are often likened to a religious order, with the Force playing a similar role as Tao.
Hopefully this inscription foreshadows more insight into the Force later this season. The Force is still a kind of nebulous concept in the Star Wars cinematic properties. And not always on purpose.
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