Following the wrong Path: How Obi-Wan Kenobi causes Hondo’s downfall

HONDO OHNAKA in Star Wars. Photo:
HONDO OHNAKA in Star Wars. Photo: /

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4.

Episode 4 of Obi-Wan Kenobi shows the titular Jedi and Tala breaking into Fortress Inquisitorius in order to rescue Leia. During their rescue, Tala distracts the Third Sister by revealing that she is a spy for the Empire, and she knows where the Path leads. Tala bluffs that the Path leads to Florrum, a name drop to a planet most Star Wars fans will recognize.

This Easter egg means a lot more than just a name drop, and it explains an element of canon that has long been left unaddressed.

The planet Florrum has made several appearances during Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with its Pirate king, Hondo Ohnaka, using it as his base of operations for him and his gang. Hondo had many run-ins with Obi Wan, with their first meeting resulting in Obi-Wan’s capture, along with Anakin and Count Dooku. Across the Clone Wars, the Ohnaka gang prospered, not only surviving an encounter with General Grievous but Maul and Savage Opress too.

However, during the reign of the Empire, Hondo’s luck ran out. Fandom explains that at some point the Empire broke up Hondo’s gang, leading to Hondo going solo. However, it doesn’t explain when or why this happens. Star Wars: Rebels shows some of Hondo’s time alone, culminating in him helping the Ghost crew liberate Lothal.

Obi Wan Kenobi may have revealed the reason why Hondo’s gang was broken up. The Third Sister admits to Leia that the Empire is searching for the Path, already finding two of their safe houses. Tala lies to her, claiming the Path ends on Florrum.

Even though the Third Sister finds out Tala is a spy, the Empire would still check the planet, sending soldiers and possibly even an Inquisitor, to check the authenticity of what she is saying. While Tala might have said Florrum on a whim, thinking of any planet whilst she was under pressure, it has huge consequences for Hondo.

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Hondo is not one for taking to authority, regularly thumbing his nose up at anyone that stood in his way of making a profit. He happily kidnapped Jedi younglings to make money by selling their kyber crystals, and he also kidnapped Count Dooku with no fear. When the Empire arrives on Florrum, they will have no respect for Hondo and his gang, nor would Hondo and his gang will have any respect for the Imperials. The Empire is always looking for reasons to crush criminal elements, especially ones which they believe are hiding force sensitives.

The Empire wouldn’t investigate Hondo’s gang with any care and Hondo and his gang wouldn’t take this lying down either. Blasters would inevitably be drawn, though because Hondo’s gang are no match for the Empire, it would force Hondo to escape by himself. In this way, Obi Wan is part of the reason why Hondo is alone in Star Wars Rebels.

This theory explains why and when the Empire broke up the Ohnaka gang, under false information made up to save Leia. While it is certainly a tragic end to the Ohnaka gang, audiences can take comfort in the fact that Hondo makes it to the planet Batuu. Establishing the company Ohnaka Transport Solutions, Hondo is able to continue his work as a pirate, completely unbothered by the Empire, or any other Galactic authority.

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