Obi-Wan Kenobi has consistently been one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe. His calm and even demeanor balances Anakin’s temper, making for a dynamic partnership. It’s no surprise that since its confirmation in August 2019, the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney + miniseries has been one of the most anticipated television shows of the year. On May 27, 2022, the premiere did not disappoint, seeing record-breaking numbers and cementing the series as the most-watched premiere globally on the platform.
Although it’s been fifteen years since Ewan McGregor donned Jedi robes, Kenobi’s story has continued to grow. Thanks in part to animated series such as The Clone Wars and Rebels and various printed works such as novels and comics, Kenobi’s story is not simply limited to the films we know and love.
His Relationship With Satine Kryze
In The Clone Wars, viewers learn that although Kenobi (voiced by James Arnold Taylor) discourages Anakin (voiced by Matt Lanter) from forming personal attachments, he is perhaps not so keen on taking the same advice. Satine Kryze (Anna Graves), Duchess of Mandalore, is revealed to be a romantic interest to the Jedi Master. Their history is teased out throughout the series, revealing them first met when Kenobi was a padawan.
While Kenobi seems to present himself as the ideal Jedi, his attachment to Satine is a crack in his metaphorical armor. “Had you said the word, I would have left the Jedi Order,” he tells her in the episode “Voyage of Temptation.” When Satine is murdered at the hands of Kenobi’s arch-rival, Darth Maul (Sam Witwer), Kenobi is devastated. Although we have not yet heard Kenobi mention her in live-action yet, he still carries the weight of her loss with him.
The Resurgence of Maul
In The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul was seemingly defeated when Kenobi sliced him in half with his Master’s lightsaber, sending him down a chute on the planet Naboo. The Clone Wars saw the resurrection of Maul, who returned with new legs and a renewed hatred of the man who ruined his life: Kenobi. The rivalry between the two men extends throughout The Clone Wars, with Maul knowing many of Kenobi’s secrets, including his devotion to the Duchess Satine. Maul lures Kenobi to Mandalore in an attempt to trap him, ending with the death of Kenobi’s lover.
The obsession finally reaches its end in Rebels when Maul tracks Kenobi down on Tattooine. The two men duel for one final time in one of the most brilliant lightsaber duels in Star Wars. Although Maul will not appear in Kenobitheir relationship was an important constant throughout much of Kenobi’s life.
One of the major antagonists of the Kenobi miniseries are the Inquisitors, Force-sensitive agents tasked with hunting down the Jedi who survived Order 66. Heavily featured in Rebels and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Kenobi is the first time the Inquisitors have interacted with the Jedi Master in canon.
Their attire and menacing lightsabers alone make the Inquisitors a formidable opponent. Although Palpatine developed Inquisitors, they worked for Vader, doing his bidding and sometimes even working alongside him. We see this clearly in Kenobiwith the Third Sister Reva eager to prove herself to Vader to capture Kenobi herself.
That Business on Cato Neimoidia
A single line from Revenge of the Sith has gone without context for years. As Obi-Wan and Anakin part, Anakin reminds Kenobi that he owes him for saving him a tenth time. Kenobi replies that it’s only nine times, as “that business on Cato Neimoidia doesn’t count.” With the release of the novel Brotherhood by Mike Chen, we finally know exactly what went down on that planet all those years ago.
The novel takes place shortly after Anakin’s promotion to Jedi Knight and Obi-Wan’s to Master, in the earliest days of the Clone Wars. The two Jedi are sent to investigate a terrorist attack on Cato Neimoidia and come across Asajj Ventress, a character who would later reenter their lives in The Clone Wars. In true Kenobi fashion, the Jedi Master finds himself in hot water, which his former padawan has to help him out of. Brotherhood is a wonderful adaptation of the relationship between the two men at its infancy, a time that is glossed over in the films.
Faking His Own Death
In the Deception Arc in The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan elects to go undercover as a bounty hunter to discover information about a Separatist plot to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine. In order to convincingly pull off the plan, he must fake his own death and lie to most members of the Jedi Order, including Anakin Skywalker.
Kenobi’s devotion to the Jedi cause and pursuit of the truth above all else is exemplified in this story arc. Forced to keep his true plans close to his chest, Kenobi is unaware that this is the moment where Anakin begins to become disillusioned by the Jedi order and feels betrayed by the “death” of his former Master.
The Seige of Mandalore
The final four episodes of The Clone Wars are some of the finest media Star Wars has produced. The culmination of a beloved series, a long war, and the dread of knowing how this will all end make for emotional and dramatic television. Although the weight of the arc rests in the hands of Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker), Obi-Wan Kenobi carries an important message in the story.
Obi-Wan appears only briefly, refusing aid to Mandalore and departing at the alarm that General Grievous has attacked Coruscant. On Mandalore, Ahsoka finds Maul, who is disappointed that Kenobi has not come. With the knowledge of what is to come, the audience can piece together that Maul laid the siege as a way to warn Kenobi of Palpatine’s plan. Sensing Anakin Skywalker’s hand in the Republic’s fall, Maul attempted to reach out to the only Jedi who might believe him. Instead, Ahsoka refused to heed Maul’s warning, and Order 66 continued as planned.
Learning to Trust Anakin
The Battle of First Geonosis was the scene of the final action of Attack of the Clones and the kickoff of the Clone Wars itself. In an attempt to take out a Separatist droid factory in The Clone Wars, Kenobi finds himself on the planet once again. But when his ship crash-lands, he finds himself separated from Anakin and on the battlefield alone.
Once reunited, Obi-Wan, injured and weak from the crash, is forced to hand control over to Anakin. This early-season episode shows Kenobi giving trust to Anakin, who he still views as young and reckless, an opportunity to hand over power.
His Experience With The Zygerrians
Throughout the entire Star Wars series, Kenobi is known for his compassion toward others. On an undercover mission with Anakin to free enslaved colonists in Zygerria, Kenobi finds himself enslaved, working alongside other colonists and Captain Rex, trying not to break under the intense pressure put upon him.
The Zygerrian enslavers make it their mission to push Kenobi to the brink. A Jedi through and through, Kenobi has to grapple with his devotion toward others in need and the fact that sometimes helping can put others in more pain. When another enslaved colonist is punished for Kenobi helping them, they cry out, “Jedi only make things worse.” The episodes are some of the darker episodes in the series but are essential to understanding Kenobi’s character at the opening of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The Impact of Order 66
Although we see Order 66 in action in Revenge of the Sith, it has a different weight when viewed from the context of Kenobi’s life through the Clone Wars. His relationship with Clone Commander Cody, for example, is more fleshed out throughout the series of The Clone Warswith the two men relying on each other in battle.
The relationship between Jedi and Clones was one of mutual respect and trust; a relationship made all the more devastating when Order 66 was executed, causing the army to betray the people they fought alongside for years. Kenobi’s friendship with Cody is explored throughout the series, revealing that the clones fought against the order, making the betrayal even more devastating. When Obi-Wan Kenobi opens ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, we find the Jedi Master completely and utterly alone for perhaps the first time in his life.
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