Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi (57 BBY – 0 BBY) was a legendary Jedi Master who taught both Anakin and Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force, and an important general for the Galactic Republic in the Clone Wars.
Despite having been apprenticed to the radical Qui-Gon Jinn, Kenobi himself was relatively orthodox in his views.
Kenobi was born in 57 BBY, and brought into Jedi training shortly thereafter. His homeworld was a unknown world of plains and grasslands, where Kenobi had vague memories of playing with his brother Owen. Regardless of his birthplace, for his entire life Kenobi spoke with a Coruscanti accent, pointing to the capital world as his true home.
As a youngling, he trained alongside other Jedi hopefuls of his age, many of which he became friends with: Siri Tachi, Bant Eerin, Garen Muln and Quinlan Vos. Others would become rivals, and even enemies - such as Bruck Chun.
At the age of twelve, it seemed all hopes had gone for him to become a Jedi Knight, until one day, when Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn visited the Jedi Temple, in the hopes of finding an apprentice. Obi-Wan duelled one of his competitors, Bruck, to draw the attention of the maverick Jedi Master. Obi-Wan fought valiantly until exhaustion. The final offensive against Bruck was carried out so fiercely that Qui-Gon Jinn found him too dangerous to be trained. So Obi-Wan was sent to Bandomeer, a mining colony to work as a ploughman for the AgriCorps. Strangely enough, Qui-Gon happened to be sent on a mission to the same place. The youngling and the Jedi Master had to work together if they wanted to survive. Obi-Wan showed Qui-Gon that he was worthy to be taken as a Padawan learner.
During his time with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan temporarily left the Jedi Order. Caught up in the civil war on Melida/Daan, Obi-Wan elected to stay and help the children who were fighting against their tradition-obsessed elders. However, Obi-Wan soon felt that his place was with the Jedi and was taken back by Qui-Gon, though it took a long time for them to fully trust each other again.
Obi-Wan fought along side his master in the Stark Hyperspace War - one of the many small-scale conflicts that plagued the Republic in its last days. It was during the Battle of Troiken where Obi-Wan's enduring friendship with fellow padawan Quinlan Vos truly began. Obi-Wan would later recall fondly a training mission the two padawans undertook on Ragoon VI and missions the both of them would undertake with Dexter Jettster on the Outer Rim.
Together, Obi-Wan and his master would foil the schemes of Qui-Gon's second padawan, Xanatos, catching up with the Dark Jedi on Telos, and then watching as, rather than surrender, Xanatos killed himself in a pool of acid.
In 33 BBY, Kenobi would assist his master in missions on Yinchorr and Dorvalla. After the Incident at Dorvalla, Kenobi, with his master, was also involved in the attempt to mediate relations between the Trade Federation and the Nebula Front, an attempt that would sadly fail with the disaster at the Eriadu Trade Summit.
He would later investigate this mysterious disappearance of a fellow padawan, Darsha Assant. He found a few tantalising clues to her fate, but galactic events soon caught up with Kenobi, and soon he and Qui-Gon were dispatched by Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum to resolve the Blockade of Naboo.
In 32 BBY, on the mission to resolve the trade dispute on Naboo, Kenobi and his master were betrayed by Nute Gunray and the Trade Federation, who, on the orders of the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, attempted to have the two Jedi killed.
Qui-Gon and Kenobi escaped, however, and managed to rescue the Queen and her entourage. Their attempt to find a safe haven where the Federation would not follow led them to the isolated Outer Rim world of Tatooine.
Here, Kenobi's master stumbled upon Anakin Skywalker, a young boy who showed tremendous Force potential. Jinn decided that the boy should be trained. Kenobi disagreed, believing the boy was already too old and had acquired too many emotional attachments to become a Jedi. The Jedi Council agreed with Kenobi, and forbade Qui-Gon from taking Anakin as an apprentice.
During the ensuing battle with Darth Maul, Qui-Gon was killed by the Sith Lord. Kenobi narrowly escaped death himself after being disarmed. He called his fallen master's lightsaber into his hand and cut Maul in two as the Sith gloated over what seemed to be his imminent victory. Kenobi was drawn into calling on the Dark Side during this battle, but it would not consume him as it would his Padawan.
Qui-Gon's dying request to his apprentice was to train Anakin. Kenobi felt he could not refuse. The Jedi Council was similarly moved by the plea, and fatefully reversed its decision. In fact, Anakin was placed under the tuition of Kenobi himself, which was remarkable given that Kenobi was still a Padawan at the time of his duel with Maul. The Jedi Council had been impressed that Kenobi bested a Sith - an enemy that had not surfaced in a millennium - without any previous training, and he was made a full Jedi Knight.
With Anakin as his Padawan, Obi-wan travlled to the mysterious planet Zonama Sekot to find the missing Jedi Vergere. They were present when Vergere was taken by the Far Outsiders and the planet jumped into Hyperspace to hide for the next fifty years.
In 28 BBY, they were involved in the events surrounding the departure of the Outbound Flight Project from Yaga Minor, though they did not join the expedition itself. They would later foil the plots of Granta Omega, the son of Xanatos, on the planet Korriban.
Ten years after the Invasion of Naboo, shortly before the Battle of Geonosis, Kenobi and Skywalker were tasked with protecting Padmé Amidala after an attempt on her life. Kenobi tracked a mysterious assassin to Kamino and learned about a massive clone army that the Kaminoans were raising for the Republic. He attempted to apprehend bounty hunter Jango Fett, but Fett escaped to Geonosis with his son Boba. Kenobi followed them.
On Geonosis, Kenobi uncovered a conspiracy of star systems that wanted to secede from the Republic, led by Count Dooku. Kenobi was captured shortly after sending a message to Anakin. Anakin and Padmé arrived on Geonosis, but they too were captured, and all three were sentenced to death by the Geonosians. The timely arrival of Jedi and clone reinforcements, led by Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Yoda prevented the executions. Kenobi and Skywalker confronted Count Dooku and fought him, but were defeated by the Sith Lord, who later escaped after a fierce duel with Yoda.
It was Kenobi who crushed the forces of San Hill and the Confederacy in the Battle of Muunilinst - an early victory that would do much to build the warrior's reputation. His later skill at resolving disputes without a single battle would earn him the sobriquet The Negotiator.
Obi-Wan was partnered with fellow Jedi Kit Fisto on his mission to Ord Cestus. Kenobi and Fisto successfully ended the production of Jedi Killer droids on the planet, as well as stopping the planet from falling to the Confederacy.
He led troops on Jabiim, and was believed dead after being caught inside an exploding walker. In reality, Kenobi and the Arc trooper Alpha had been captured by Asajj Ventress and taken to her fortress on Rattatak. The pair escaped after many days of torture, and flew a stolen Fanblade fighter to Riflor, where they were reunited with Skywalker.
Towards the end of the Clone Wars, Kenobi, Skywalker and Commander Cody took part in a number of successful and high profile missions, including the Battle of Cato Neimoidia.
Despite his preference for diplomacy, within the order Master Kenobi was known as one of the greatest swordsmen the order had ever seen, and the definitive master of Form III (Soresu) lightsaber combat. His legend grew considerably during the wars, as he and his partner Anakin became household names from their daring exploits. This earned the attention of the Separatist general, Grievous, who wanted to add both Anakin's and Kenobi's lightsabers to his belt as trophies. After a previous engagement with the cunning alien-droid general, he found him on Utapau. With a bit of a struggle - having lost his lightsaber in the pursuit of Grievous - Kenobi eventually killed Grievous with a blaster, citing it as an uncivilized weapon. He then slipped away from the scene as Order 66 was executed. Even his longtime friend Commander Cody was now killing his Jedi peers.
As Anakin became increasingly enchanted with the Dark Side (with thanks, in no small part, to Palpatine), Kenobi was forced to face his former apprentice. The two dueled on the planet Mustafar, eventually leading to Kenobi defeating his ex-pupil. As Anakin lay cursing his former master, Kenobi replied, "You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you." Leaving Vader to die, Kenobi left the planet as Palpatine and his clone escorts arrived. Despite his Jedi detachment and strength of will, this would weigh on Kenobi for the rest of his life.
During the Imperial era, Kenobi was forced into hiding on the remote desert planet Tatooine, where he went by the name of Ben. He hid one of Anakin's children, Luke, on that arid world with Owen and Beru Lars. Leia, the other child, was taken to Alderaan with Bail Organa. There, through a technique passed down to him by Yoda, he spoke with his departed master, Qui-Gon Jinn.
Roughly a year into his exile, Kenobi overheard spacers discussing events on Bellassa, where an ex-Jedi named Ferus Olin was on the run from Imperial forces. With the spirit of Qui-Gon temporarily looking after Luke, Kenobi went to Bellassa, where he helped Ferus escape the ruthless Inquisitor Malorum. Pursued by Boba Fett, Kenobi and Olin escaped to the Red Twins.
Some thirty-two years after the Battle of Naboo, Kenobi rescued Anakin's son, Luke Skywalker, from Tusken Raiders, while Luke tracked the errant R2-D2, who insisted he had a message for an “Obi-Wan Kenobi”. Kenobi eventually heard R2-D2's message from Princess Leia Organa asking for his assistance in delivering the schematics of the Death Star to Alderaan. Kenobi was willing to help, and took young Luke Skywalker under his wing in order to teach him the ways of the Force with the intention of fully training the boy later, on Alderaan.
Kenobi, Luke, and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 found passage to Alderaan on smuggler Han Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon. Before they could reach their destination, Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star. The Millennium Falcon was captured by the Death Star, but Kenobi managed to deactivate the tractor beam to allow the ship to escape.
On his way back to the ship, Kenobi encountered his old student, Darth Vader. Vader had earlier surmised to Tarkin that Kenobi had intended from the beginning to meet him in combat. Kenobi distracted Vader and his stormtroopers, allowing Luke and the rest of the crew to reach the Falcon. During their battle, Kenobi cryptically warned Vader, "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
Sacrificing his hope for escape, Kenobi let down his guard and concentrated for a moment, vanishing to the spiritual plane; his body disappearing entirely just as Vader's lightsaber, instead of severing his body, passed through his empty robe.
Kenobi did not vanish entirely. In accordance with his prediction, he became a spirit that could guide and counsel the young Luke from afar.
On Hoth, Kenobi told Luke to go to the Dagobah system for further training with Yoda. He reappeared after the death of Yoda to explain why he did not tell Luke the truth about his father and confess that Leia was Luke's sister. Kenobi was seen shortly after the Battle of Endor, standing next to the spirits of Anakin and Yoda as they watched Luke.
Kenobi, Yoda, and Anakin again appeared to Luke in spirit form a few months later to warn him of the dangers presented by the Dark Lord of Belderone, Flint, apprentice of Lady Lumiya. Because of their warning, Luke was able to redeem Flint, leaving Lumiya without an apprentice.
In 9 ABY, Kenobi, still a spirit, visited Luke for the last time in a dream. Kenobi told Luke that he must move on from his spirit form to another realm. As Kenobi explained it, from the time of his death until then, Kenobi's spirit had been in an intermediate stage between life and the afterlife. His final words were: "Not the last of the old Jedi, Luke. The first of the new."
As mentor to the first Jedi of the new order and one of the earliest heroes of the Rebel Alliance, Kenobi's legacy would continue long after his death. His name was commemorated with the Obi-Wan, first of the Defender-class Star Destroyers as well as through Ben Skywalker, son of Luke.
Kenobi's lightsabre lay in Lord Vader's quarters during the Battle of Yavin. This fragment of the Death Star was eventually acquired by Ugors and transported to the Paradise Sector. Shortly after the bombardment of Dankayo, the Rebel crew of the Bonderium visited the wreckage and retrieved Kenobi's relic.
In 22 ABY, Uldir, a classmate of Anakin Solo, stole the lightsaber in a belief that it would make him a great Jedi. Solo, along with his associates Tahiri, R2-D2, Tionne and the Jedi Master Ikrit eventually recovered the weapon and returned it to the Jedi Praxeum.
In his youth (circa 32 BBY), the loyal and dedicated Kenobi possessed a dry sense of humor and sarcastic wit. Yoda said that he sensed Qui-Gon's defiance in him, but spoke very highly of him nonetheless. Qui-Gon himself reflected upon Kenobi's considerable knowledge and potential. As a young Jedi Knight, he was cynical, though wise beyond his years. His humble and soft-spoken demeanor belied his warrior prowess. Despite his numerous complaints during flight, he was also a quite skilled pilot. In many ways, he represented the strength of the old Jedi Order: steadfast, selfless, and modest.
Over time, Kenobi lost some of his youthful audacity and assumed the role of a more cautious and conservative mentor to Anakin Skywalker. Kenobi carefully measured his actions in any situation, giving him the nickname "The Negotiator" during the Clone Wars. While hiding in the Jundland Wastes in his later years, he appeared as a kindly and eccentric old hermit (or, in Owen Lars' words, a "crazy old wizard") to those not familiar with the ways of the Jedi. In his final days, Kenobi retained his traits of patience and foresight as well as gaining some of the boldness reminiscent of his youth—perhaps a characteristic acquired from his brash new apprentice, Luke, or his old apprentice, Anakin.
Behind the Scenes
Obi-Wan Kenobi is played by Ewan McGregor in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. In the Clone Wars micro-series, Obi-Wan is voiced by James Arnold Taylor. Obi-Wan also appears in numerous comic books and novels set in the era of the prequel trilogy.
During A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is played by Sir Alec Guinness, who reprised the role as Obi-Wan's ghost in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Obi-Wan's spirit appears occasionally in Expanded Universe material set during and just after the original trilogy, with his final appearance to Luke taking place in Heir to the Empire.
- Jedi Apprentice series
- Life, Death, and the Living Force
- Star Wars Republic: The Stark Hyperspace War
- Cloak of Deception
- Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter (Cameo)
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Jedi Quest series
- Rogue Planet
- Star Wars Republic: Honor and Duty
- The Approaching Storm
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Star Wars Republic: The New Face of War
- Star Wars: Clone Wars
- Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 1
- Storm Fleet Warnings
- Marvel Star Wars 24: Silent Drifting
- The Cestus Deception
- Star Wars Republic: The Battle of Jabiim
- Star Wars Republic 67: Forever Young
- Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
- Star Wars Republic: The Dreadnaughts of Rendili
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Reversal of Fortune
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- The Last of the Jedi series
- Skippy the Jedi Droid (non-canon)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- The Truce at Bakura (ghost)
- Heir to the Empire (ghost)
- The Joiner King (hologram)
- Star Wars Battlefront II