Say ‘Hello There!’ to Star Wars’ Most Famous Meme
If you’ve ever been on Beyoncé’s internet, you’ve seen it. Say “Hello there” to the first influential pop culture moments became a meme.
If you’ve existed as a Star Wars fan- or even just as a user of the internet- for the last few years, you’ve probably encountered the “Hello There” meme. In fact, there’s a good chance you can hear this gif.
But where’s it from? What does it mean? And how did it come to take on a life of its own?
Before the Memeing of “Hello There”
Way back in 2005 when Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was freshly in theaters, we all watched Ewan McGregor reprise his role as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. And young Obi-Wan was great. Wise and helpful with a healthy dollop of snarky that played very well as a mentor character against Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker.
Plus, he would just drop his Jedi robes anywhere, leaving us all to wonder just how many he had and if he ever had to pay the Jedi Temple a fee to replace them on literally every single mission.
In Revenge of the Sith, he jumps onto the scene, surprises the film’s cyborg antagonist General Grievous, and greets him with a “hello there!” To which Grievous responds, “General Kenobi” and then the scene continues.
What happens after? It’s honestly not important for the purposes of this meme. What does matter is that, for some reason, the fandom latched onto this seconds-long interaction as the peak of Kenobi humor.
Okay, the scene following is actually great. Grievous reveals his four helicoptering arms and four stolen lightsabers. Then the two battle.
“General Kenobi”Advertisement– Obi-Wan Kenobi and General Grievous, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
But this isn’t the first time–nor the last time–that Kenobi says his famous line. In 1977’s Episode I: A New Hope, an older Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness) first says, “hello there,” to Luke.
The line is uttered by him multiple times throughout the animated Clone Wars series as well as being available as an emote in 2017’s video game Star Wars Battlefront II. And of course, you can see this same line written out in novels and comics throughout Star Wars publication.
Since Revenge of the Sith, this line has become a signature and meme of Kenobi’s. But it’s hard to know if this is because he says it a lot, or why he says it so much.
Most recently, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s standalone and self-titled streaming series ended on this note, when his final line is a “Hello there” to a ten-year-old Luke Skywalker.
“Hello There” Proper Meme Use
So how do you properly send out a “Hello There” meme or gif? There almost isn’t a wrong option. This is a great way to open up a conversation or greet a friend. It’s also well used when popping into a group conversation after being mentioned in an off-hand way.
And of course, Kenobi is a great ice-breaker if it’s your first time messaging somebody, ever. If they respond with “General Kenobi,” you know you’re in store for a beautiful friendship.
The “Hello There” Origin and Rise to Popularity
Revenge of the Sith was released on May 19th, 2005, and the infamous scene was revealed to the world for the first time. But it wouldn’t become a thing for another couple of years.
According to Knowyourmeme.com, two years later in August 2007, Youtuber Thereisnospoon303 posted a musical remix of the scene called, “Obi-Wan Says ‘Hell’ While I Play Unfitting Music.” And wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly what it is.
But even with this genius, the meme wouldn’t see its full potential for another couple of years. Enter Tumblr in 2014, where numerous silly Star Wars memes were uploaded for public use, including “hello there.” Later Imgur saw the same gif, and eventually the Star Wars meme subreddit, /r/prequelmemes.
From there the meme took off, becoming one of the movie’s most reference moments between direct gifs and references and jokes riffing on the scene. Of course, these eventually got a little more abstract and silly over time.
Do The Kenobi Actors “Hello There”?
In a 2022 interview promoting the Obi-Wan Kenobi streaming series, Ewan McGregor was asked how he felt about the popularity of his infamous line. And more importantly, he was asked if he ever used the line out in the real world.
According to him, he is very aware of the quote’s status as a meme. And he has said it himself as a joke from time to time. But he also noted that he doesn’t love when strangers try to coerce the quote out of him. Additionally, he claimed that Alec Guinness said the line far more.
Other Top Tier Star Wars Memes
“Hello there” isn’t the only meme to come from the galaxy far, far away. This huge franchise has spawned a large number of jokes, references, and reaction gifs. But the prequels especially are known for their memeable moments.
This one has been especially popular as of late. It’s used when the Anakin-box has news to reveal and the Padme-box acts as the audience, assuming this will have good implications. Instead, a knowing silence from Anakin reveals that it will actually be something awful.
Another featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi. This one may be best used in person while standing on something slightly taller than your friend and yelling at them about it.
Hello there, adventurers!