50 reasons Star Wars is better than Lord of The Rings

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47. Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Gandalf

Who Was Obi-wan? Jedi knight in hiding, mentor of Luke Skywalker, ghost

Who Was Gandalf? Wizard, grandfather-figure to Frodo, reincarnated demi-god

Verdict: Just in terms of characterization, you have to give this to Obi-wan Kenobi. We know a lot more of his backstory, for one, and even if we didn’t there’s no denying the poetic nature of his plight at the beginning of Star Wars. He’s a hermit living on a desert planet, tasked only with watching over and protecting a teenage brat. That’s a thankless task that he nonetheless takes on with aplomb. Credit for Obi-wan, right from the start.

That he goes on to lead Luke to the Rebellion, thereby both directly and indirectly setting of a course of events that will end with the Empire’s fall is beyond awesome. In life, he was a hero and a saint. In death, he was a guiding light and invaluable instrument of the Force.

We know virtually nothing about Gandalf. He’s a wizard, which is a rare thing in Middle-earth, and seems plenty powerful. He appears to be immortal. He befriends the tiny hobbits. He has a vested interest in making sure the ring stays out of Sauron’s hands. He dies, he comes back with the thinnest of explanation. That’s about it.

And within the context of that story, Gandalf doesn’t need to be much more than all that. It’s fine and he’s a great character.

Obi-wan wins it if only because his story has a great deal more substance and tragedy. He’s simply the better written character.

Star Wars wins

Next: 46. Ewoks vs Ents