Obi-Wan Kenobi never expected to be a legend. Raised by the Jedi, his only ambition was to become a Jedi Knight and be the best padawan he could along the way. It turned out harder than he thought. His unorthodox journey would make him a hero of the Clone Wars and the Master the other Masters encouraged the young to look up to. Obi-Wan Kenobi was the one Jedi who most stood between the Sith and their goal of domination. It was Kenobi who would guide the Chosen One on his path to Knighthood and manhood. It was Kenobi who would protect his children and through them, the legacy of the Jedi and the ideals of the Republic.
As most Jedi of the era he was accepted as an infant and remembers little. To him, the Jedi were his family. He believed he had a brother named Owen and a vague memory of grass and a woman. Obi-Wan had a vague memory of visiting them. While unlikely, it isn’t impossible. The Jedi make such exceptions. Ki-Adi-Mundi was allowed wives due to the low Cerean male birthrate. Mace Windu was allowed to return to Haruun Kal to learn the of his Korunnai kin). Later, he wondered if this memory was a vision of a future. Kenobi considered Anakin a brother. In taking Luke to Anakin’s step brother, he was essentially a member of the family.
Obi-Wan’s closest friends growing up were Bant, Garen Muln and Reeft. He re-encountered Garen several times in his missions with young Anakin. He rarely saw Bant. All three would become Knights.
He was also very close to Siri Tachi. The code forbade them continuing the relationship.
Accomplishes and Challenges – Character Growth
Padawan to Knight.
Obi-Wan failed to find a Jedi Master to train him. He aged out of the temple training. The young Jedi was shipped off to the agricorp. He finds himself partnered with the unwilling Qui-Gon Jinn and only after unexpected adventures does Qui-Gon accept that Obi-Wan is meant by the Force to be his apprentice. Obi-Wan had a dry sense of humor and developed a strong connection to the unifying Force. Kenobi’s connection was more to the unifying Force and it’s far seeing aspects than the living Force of the present moment.
Kenobi was not the perfect padawan. He left the Order once. Young friends were in danger and Qui-Gon ordered him to leave. After a rocky return where his re-acceptance was not guaranteed, he returned to his apprenticeship under Qui-Gon Jinn. Possibly these events are why he was impatient with the “pathetic life forms” Qui-Gon often picked up. He was intensely focused on the mission and the greater picture. These others, to him, were a distraction and not one the Council would approve of.
It was a shock that after the challenges he faced to gain Qui-Gon’s acceptance that the man would instantly take to Anakin. The Jedi Master’s death became a bond between them.
With the death of Darth Maul who had just killed his master, Obi-Wan was granted the title of full Jedi Knight. Most of the Council believed he should train Anakin as he had promised Qui-Gon. Yoda had grave concerns. “Grave danger I fear in his training!” This may have been as much too do with Obi-Wan as it did Anakin. Anakin was bound to be a challenging apprentice for any Master. He wasn’t raised in the order and had much to unlearn. Obi-Wan had never trained even an apprentice raised within it.
Knight to Master
Kenobi did teach Anakin his craft. Anakin taught him in turn. “He will teach you wisdom”! Mace Windu told him. Anakin did that. The young man taught him to relax. He set aside some of his more inflexible ways. He learned to see the best in people.
Unfortunately, his training of Anakin was secretly being undermined by Anakin’s ‘friend’ the Chancellor, who was secretly a Sith. Obi-Wan taught humility, patience and compassion to hear both sides of an issue before rushing to judgement, Palpatine encouraged his pride, impatience with his training and arrogance. Anakin was the rope and prize in a tug of war that Obi-Wan didn’t even realize was being waged.
The Clone Wars
Obi-Wan did suspect the Sith were testing Anakin after the Clone Wars broke out. This led in part to his intense pursuit of Asaaj Ventress who he knew had targeted Anakin on the Sith’s command. Obi-Wan and Anakin became famous. Kenobi was the Knight and Master the young padawans were pointed to emulate. He was one of the two bold heroes that younglings played as being after hearing of their adventures in the war. Kenobi’s diplomatic talents had him known as “the Negotiator”.
Obi-Wan was promoted to Jedi Master when Anakin became a Knight, and soon after the Jedi Council. He and Anakin spent weeks chasing the trail of Darth Sidious after finding a major clue on Cato Neimoida. They almost succeeded, until the Chancellor had to be informed of the mission.
Jedi Master, Jedi Council
After Anakin was knighted, Obi-Wan was granted a seat on the Jedi Council. This would cause friction with his friend. Obi-Wan was wise when it came to his friend. But he was also somewhat blinded somewhat by his love for him. He did realize Anakin did not hold quite the same values as the Order. For the Order, self sacrifice for the abstract greater good was the goal. Anakin was all for self sacrifice. It was not quite the same thing. To the Jedi it was the greater good. To Anakin, it was for individual people. He was quite aware that by pitting Anakin against the Chancellor they were undermining his confidence in the Jedi. Obi-Wan grieved for this.
Kenobi was the one who planned settled the argument between Yoda and Windu over who to deal with next: the mystery Sith, Palpatine or Greivous. His goal was to find Grievious. The Sith who was manipulating Palpatine would be forced to make a move. This decision he would regret. As he was battling Grievous, Anakin was forced into a terrible circumstance.
Forced to choose (as he thought) between saving his wife from the death his visions guaranteed and the Jedi, he sided with the Sith. When next they met, it would not be as friends.
Obi-Wan couldn’t save Anakin and was forced to live with the pain of how he’d failed him. Kenobi hadn’t trained him well enough (so he thought) to prevent Anakin’s fall. He had to remember how he’d fought him and left him as Darth Vader, burning, maimed, near death. Obi-Wan tried to save Padme. She believed to her death that Anakin still had good in him. Kenobi could not bring himself to tell her he’d killed her husband.
A New Plan
There was one thing he could do, protect Anakin’s son. Kenobi took the name “Ben”. The Jedi master disguised himself as a crazy desert hermit. This meant he spent the next decades on Tatooine, alone, watching Luke from afar. The Jedi left Luke unguarded only one time. He sensed a former padawan’s destiny was tied to Luke’s in some way, and the Empire was hot on the young man’s trail.
Obi-Wan Kenobi settled into Tatooine after returning to commune with Qui-Gon Jinn’s spirit.
The Return of Kenobi
The fate of Leia collided with Luke in the form of an R2 unit with Death Star plans. Kenobi’s hermitage was over. It was time to begin training Luke. The old Jedi saw Luke reunited with his rescued sister, the Princess, he knew he had to keep Vader from stopping them. He sacrificed himself to his blade after warning him that it would only make him more powerful. Kenobi’s spirit continued to give Luke occasional guidance in the Force.
Anakin Skywalker’s return from the Dark Side surprised Obi-Wan. His friend had fulfilled his destiny. Stepping in even as his friend and student was dying, he taught Anakin how to become one with the Force as he had.
The New Republic claimed Coruscant. At that time, he said goodbye to Luke. He claimed it was time he moved on. Luke would need to create a new Jedi order for a new day. He had what he needed for that, and would not need someone reminiscing about how it was done in the old days to prevent him from adapting.
Obi-Wan left an enduring legacy. At one point, Vader had an actor step into his role to trap Luke. Luke was inexperienced in the Force and hadn’t known Kenobi long and was fooled. The actor turned the tables on Vader. He found ‘being’ Kenobi, the Jedi hero, rewarding. He chose to sacrifice himself, as Kenobi would have, to save Luke.
Luke Skywalker and Mara named their son ‘Ben’ in honor of Kenobi.
Stories starring Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi
- Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Jedi Apprentice (series)
- Jedi Apprentice Special Edition 1
- Jedi Apprentice Special Edition 2
- Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi (comics)
- Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Aurrorient Express (comics)
- Jedi Council: Acts of War (comics)
- Legacy of the Jedi
- Cloak of Deception
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (XBox Game)
- The Phantom Menace novelization and comic adaptation
- Episode 1 Comic Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Jedi Quest (series)
- The Approaching Storm
- Attack of the Clones novelization and comic adaptation
- Legacy of the Jedi
- Secrets of the Jedi
- Republic comics
- Free Comic Book Day : Obi-Wan and Anakin in Clone Wars Action
- Clone Wars Microseries
- Clone Wars Adventures 1, 7, 10 Graphic Novels
- Hasbro Mini comic 1 Full of Surprises
- Obsession (comic arc)
- The Cestus Deception
- The Hive
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Revenge of the Sith novelization and comic adaptation
- Lone Wolf
- The Last One Standing
- Legacy 16 (comic flashback)
- A New Hope (at the time just called “Star Wars”) novelization and comic adaptation *
- A New Hope (at the time just called “Star Wars” ) Radio Drama
- Classic Marvel Comic issue 24: Silent Drifting (story told in flashback) **
- Classic Marvel Comic issue 50: Crimson Forever
- Galaxies Expansion: Trials of Obi-Wan
- Allegiance (voice)
- The Empire Strikes Back novelization and comic adaptation *
- The Empire Strikes Back Radio Drama
- Return of the Jedi novelization and comic adaptation *
- Return of the Jedi Radio Drama
- Gungan Frontier (video game)
- Clone Wars (2002 XBox Game)
- Splinter of the Mind’s Eye
- Heir to the Empire
- Classic Star Wars Rebel Storm
- Junior Jedi Knights, Vader’s Fortress
- Junior Jedi Knights, Kenobi’s Blade
The Clone Wars TV ***
- TCW movie novelization
- Wild Space
- No Prisoners
- TCW comics
* These are based on early scripts that have some changes from the finished movie version.
* This is a story by Leia to Luke as referred to her by Bail Organa. The timing of the story is likely a bit off in the comic. The story was written before anyone knew anything about the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan’s older appearance can be explained by the fact they are ‘imagining’ him as they knew him.
*** The books attempted to bridge The Clone Wars TV show stories with the primary Clone Wars multimedia project. It seems unlikely this would work. The changes to planets and who lived and who died alone are seemingly insurmountable. The books themselves are set in the early seasons of the show.