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Club Obi Wan was a restaurant and nightclub in Shanghai, China in the 1930s. Housed in a multi-story building, the club featured fine dining and lavish entertainment productions for both Chinese and foreign patrons. The business was controlled by Lao Che.[3]


Club Obi Wan, the central headquarters of the underworld gang of Lao Che, was a combination of night club (with full scale Western-style floor show), brothel, and gaming establishment.[4] It was located in 505-30 Honan Road[1] about two blocks north of Nanking Road, just a few blocks west of the Bund and a few blocks south of Soochow Creek. One of the most spectacular nightclubs in Shanghai's International Settlement. It featured fine dining, a full-scale Broadway-style floor show, and a very private after-hours casino below. The club occupied the two top floors of a five-story building and its exterior was garishly decorated with brightly colored canvas balconies.[4]

Although meeting with marginal success, Willie Scott did catch the eye of one of Lao Che's enforcers, and soon became the featured performer in Club Obi Wan's revue-and Lao Che's personal main squeeze. As such, a large billboard marquee advertised in both English and Chinese its popular floor show, starring "world famous songstress Willie Scott."[4]

In 1935, Willie Scott was a lead singer at the club, performing in a large cast of singers, showgirls, and dancers. The club was also a hangout for its owner, the crime lord Lao Che and his men. One evening at the club, Lao Che met with Indiana Jones to trade Nurhachi's ashes for a large diamond. Lao attempted to double cross Jones with poison, but Jones escaped, taking Scott with him. During the violent confrontation, Jones' friend Wu Han and Che's son Chen were both killed.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

The club's name is a reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi, a character from George Lucas' film Star Wars. The Chinese characters used in its name, which can be seen on its marquee, phonetically spells out "Obi Wan" with the addition of the word "Nightclub". In early versions of the film's script, written by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, Club Obi Wan was originally called The Dragon.[5] Other versions had the club's name being Shanghai Paradise.[6]

The Star Wars influence was later given a nod in the Shanghai level of Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures with the appearance of C'boath Bar. While mispelled, it was named after Star Wars Legends character Joruus C'baoth from The Thrawn Trilogy, who was originally conceived of as a clone of Obi-Wan Kenobi before author Timothy Zahn was asked to change it.[7]

When Indiana Jones runs out of the window with Willie Scott, the former can be seen running behind the gong and collecting Willie. However, in the next shot, it can be seen that Indiana is from behind the gong and Willie is now running ahead of him before they jump out of the club's window.[2]

A 2006 episode of MythBusters attempted to show the plausibility of surviving a multi-story fall by breaking through a series of awnings, similar to Indiana Jones' and Willie Scott's escape from Club Obi Wan. Ultimately, it was determined to be plausible to survive, but with a high likelihood of serious injury.[8]


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