verbal tricks and traps, rather than direct requests or confrontations. This isn’t just true of dishonest or manipulative characters: even nice guys should use tricks and traps to pursue their nice guy goals. As I said in my original post on this topic:
- Don’t assume that only unsympathetic or devious characters do this. Anyone who is clever and persuasive knows that they must pepper their conversation with tricks and traps. Take a look at the knife scene in Twelve Angry Men. As a lone holdout juror in a murder trial, Henry Fonda pretty much plays the ultimate living embodiment of human decency. He’s one of the most humble and noble heroes in the history of movies. And he does it all with tricks and traps.
- He tries to trap his Uncle Owen by talking up the usefulness of the new droids before slyly segueing to the idea they could take his place on the farm. (“I think those new droids are going to work out fine. In fact, I, uh, was also thinking about our agreement…”)
- He goads Han into accepting a lower offer in the Cantina (“We could buy our ship for that!”) and pushes him to work harder on the broken lightspeed (“I thought you said this thing was fast?”)
- He hammers away at Han when he won’t help in rescuing Leia, circling around him looking for weak spots, until he finally figures it out (“She’s rich!”)
- Once he wins Han over, he’s the one who comes up with the trick where they pretend Chewy is their captive.
Obi Wan isn’t the only one who knows how to play mind tricks!