“Only When the Eyes Are Closed Can You Truly See”: Quote Meaning in Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 3 (& Who Said It?)

"Only When the Eyes Are Closed Can You Truly See": Quote Meaning in Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 3 (& Who Said It?)

Obi-Wan Kenobi is slowly becoming a vital addition to the lore of George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise. Now, while most of the story simply fills in the holes between Episodes III and IV, the story has also introduced us to some new characters and new concepts. Among the latter, an enigmatic quote was seen and read by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode III of the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries. In this article, we are going to tell you the meaning of that quote and the identity of its author.

“Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see,” is a quote by Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, written inside the sanctuary on the planet Mapuzo. It is a reference to the Force and the Way of the Force. Quinlan Vos was a wise and experienced Jedi Master who knew a lot about the Force, which is why the depth of his quote makes sense.

In this article, we are going to bring you all the information we have on the quote written by Master Quinlan Vos. Although it is not much, we are going to do our best to provide you with the information we have. We are also going to answer some related questions about its author and his role in the history of the franchise.

“Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see.” – Meaning of the quote

If you’ve seen the third episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, you probably remember this scene:

Now, this wasn’t an overly important scene for the plot of the episode, but it was good world-building on the side of the writers. The quote itself, as you could hear from Obi-Wan Kenobi, goes as follows: “Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see.” So, what does it mean?

Now, the exact meaning of the quote hasn’t been explained in detail, but from what we know about the Force and its philosophy, the quote is completely consistent with the philosophy of the Jedi. When Leia asked Obi-Wan what one saw, he replied that it was the Way. The Way of the Force is a philosophical idea inherent to the Jedi, that also serves as the main principle of how to use and live with the Force.

Quinlan Vos, as a Jedi who has studied both the Light and Dark Sides of the Force, knew the true depth of this quote and the importance of letting oneself go and trusting in the Force and the Way of the Jedi. If you’re a true Jedi, the Force will never abandon you.

Who is the author of the “Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see.” quote?

Now, “Only when the eyes are closed can you truly see” is not one of the more famous quotes from the franchise, so you probably don’t know the author without some further information. Obi-Wan Kenobi recognized the quote immediately, probably because he had heard its author say it a while ago, and he identified the author as Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, which made him quite happy.

Who was Quinlan Vos?

Quinlan Vos was a Kiffu who was born on Kiffar. Vos was discovered by the Jedi Order and became the Padawan of Tholme. Vos grew up to be a Jedi Knight, but he wasn’t always too strict about rules and order. For example, it was known that Vos regularly took a nap in the Jedi Archives. Vos was known for a special Force trait: Psychometry. He was able to derive information via the Force from objects that had been touched by people.

This made him an excellent tracker and often found himself on missions in the Fringe world. During one of those missions, he met Aayla Secura. Vos rescued Secura on Ryloth during that mission and took her on as his Padawan. Vos had a close relationship with Secura, and after becoming a Jedi, she had to learn to let go of her master.

In 32 BBY, Vos was on Tatooine for such a mission. He noticed Qui-Gon Jinn in Mos Espa, but remained undercover. During the Clone Wars, Quinlan was paired up with Obi-Wan Kenobi in a specific mission. Although Obi-Wan liked Quinlan, he didn’t like his lack of rules and order at all. Quinlan and Obi-Wan had to track down Ziro the Hutt who had been freed by Cad Bane at the behest of the Hutt Grand Council.

The trail effectively led them to Nal Hutta where he could deduce through a drinking cup that Ziro had been inside the Council palace. Fox led Kenobi through the swamps to Mama the Hutt’s residence, and then they went to Teth where Ziro had flown. However, Quinlan and Kenobi discovered that Ziro was already dead and that it was not Cad Bane who was the culprit.

However, Bane had also followed the Jedi and the confrontation with the Duros bounty hunter did not go as planned. Quinlan lost his Lightsaber in that duel, so he had to rely on his other fighting skills for a while. Quinlan eventually knocked Bane to the ground but the Duros managed to escape in the Xanadu Blood.

RELATED: Jedi Master Quinlan Vos: Origin, Powers, Appearances & More

At the end of the Clone Wars, Vos came into contact with Asajj Ventress who operated as a bounty hunter for a while. Vos was sent incognito by the Jedi Order to use Ventress to kill Dooku, as the Jedi saw Dooku through as the ultimate solution to ending the Clone Wars. Vos met Ventress on Pantora posing as another bounty hunter.

Ventress agreed to further train Vos in the craft. During a mission on Mustafar where they had to free a Pyke family from Black Sun, Fox admitted he was a Jedi. However, Ventress already noticed that, and then they developed feelings for each other and became lovers. Ventress persuaded Vos to gain knowledge about the Dark Side on Dathomir, lest he otherwise be able to defeat Dooku.

Vos killed a primeval beast called the Sleeper and thereby opened himself up to the Dark Side. They then went to Raxus where they wanted to trap Dooku. That plan failed and Dooku was able to separate Vos and Ventress, taking Vos to Serenno where he was tortured. Ventress called on other bounty hunters to rescue Vos, but much to her surprise, Vos just wanted to stay by Dooku’s side.

Desperate, Ventress enlisted the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Vos was freed, but doubts remained about his true nature and loyalty. In another attempt to kill Dooku, Fox convinced Ventress to let him confront Dooku alone. Vos wanted to get to the mysterious Darth Sidious via Dooku.

On Christophsis, the Jedi captured Dooku and Vos, but they managed to escape and were assisted by Ventress in doing so. Dooku then tried to kill Vos, but Ventress intervened and was mortally wounded by Force Lightning. Vos was furious and was able to defeat Dooku thanks to the Dark Side, but the moment he was able to kill him, he held back.

Dooku was rescued by Grievous, but Vos had unleashed the Dark Side. Vos took Ventress’ body to Dathomir where he buried her in the traditional way. After his severe ordeal, Vos was allowed to re-join the Jedi Order, but under supervision. Obi-Wan, among others, argued for Vos’s situation because he felt that the Jedi’s plan was not ethical according to their code. Quinlan led troops on Boz Pity and on Kashyyyk at the end of the Clone Wars, along with Yoda and Luminara Unduli. His fate after Order 66 was unknown until Obi-Wan Kenobi confirmed he was alive.

  • Arthur S. Poe has been fascinated by fiction ever since he saw Digimon and read Harry Potter as a child. Since then, he has seen several thousand movies and anime, read several hundred books and comics, and played several hundred games of all genres.