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"General Kenobi. Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire."
Princess Leia
Obi-Wan Kenobi 001
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Aliases: Ben Kenobi
Continuity: Star Wars
Notability: Main character
Type: Military personnel
Occupation: Jedi
Gender: Male
Race: Human
Location: Coruscant
Tatooine
Known relatives: None [1]
Status: Deceased
Born: 57 BBY
Died: 0 BBY
First: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Actor: Alec Guinness
Ewan McGregor

Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the central figures featured in the Star Wars franchise. He first appeared in the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope where he was played by British actor Sir Alec Guinness. Although the character was killed off through the course of the film, his spirit returned for the film's two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (again played by Guinness). A younger version of Obi-Wan played a more prominent role in the prequel trilogy beginning with 1999's The Phantom Menace where he was played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. McGregor reprised the role of Obi-Wan for the following films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. For the 1981 Star Wars audio drama, Bernard Behrens provided the voice for Kenobi. Tracks of Alec Guinness' voice were used for scenes from the 1983 Star Wars arcade video game. In the Star Wars: Clone Wars television serial, Obi-Wan was voiced by James Arnold Taylor. Taylor also provided the voice for Obi-Wan in the half-hour computer animated series version of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Other actors who have provided their voice talents to the role of Kenobi in the various Star Wars video games include David Davies, Tim Omundson, Scott Cleverdon, Lewis Macleod, Jonathan Love, Nick Jameson and Stephen Stanton.

Biography Edit

Early adventures Edit

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

In exile Edit

A New Hope

"That wizard's just a crazy old man."
Owen Lars

Obi-Wan Kenobi encountered Luke in the middle of the Jundland Wastes. Witnessing Luke fall prey to an attack by Sandpeople, Obi-Wan mimicked the howling cry of a Krayt dragon to drive the Sandpeople from the area. Once Luke recovered, he told Ben that he had come out to see him because of two droids that had only recently come under his family's ownership, C-3P0 and R2-D2. R2 claimed to be Obi-Wan's property, though the venerated Jedi Master had no recollection of ever "owning" a droid. Bringing them back to his hovel, he watched as R2 played a holo-recording from Princess Leia Organa. Invoking the name of her father, Bail Organa, she pleaded with Obi-Wan to aid her in her struggle against the Empire. She indicated how R2's memory circuits had been updated to include strategic blueprints of the Empire's greatest weapon, the Death Star and wanted him to bring the droid safely to her father on Alderaan.

Armed with this knowledge, Obi-Wan felt it was time to bring Luke up to speed on his birthright. He presented him with the lightsaber that once belonged to his father. [2] Luke didn't understand the meaning behind the gift, and Obi-Wan revealed how his father had once been a Knight of the Jedi Order of the Galactic Republic. Thanks to his uncle Owen, Luke had always believed that his father was nothing more than a pilot on a space freighter. Obi-Wan told him that it was now Luke's turn to learn the ways of the Force and come with him to Alderaan. Luke initially turned down the offer and explained that he was needed on his uncle's farm.

As they took Luke's landspeeder back towards the Lars' homestead, they came upon the burning wreckage of a Jawa sandcrawler. Although it appeared as if they had been killed by Sandpeople, Obi-Wan recognized the distinctive markings of Imperial blaster fire. They determined that the Stormtroopers were looking for the droids and may have traced them back to Luke's home. They raced to the Lars' homestead, but were too late. The house was in smoldering ruins and the burned, skeletal remains of his aunt and uncle were found laying upon the ground. With little recourse, Luke agreed to accompany Kenobi and learn the ways of the Force.

They stopped at a cantina in the space port known as Mos Eisley in search of a pilot willing to take them to Alderaan. A squad of Stormtroopers stopped them and began asking questions about the droids. Obi-Wan used a Jedi mind trick to befuddle the troopers and convince them to let them on their way. Once inside the cantina, Luke became embroiled in a scuffle between two ruffians named Ponda Baba and Doctor Evazan. To save Luke, Kenobi ignited his lightsaber and cut the two assailants down, causing everyone in the room to take note of them. Kenobi then found a rakish pilot named Han Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca. After a bit of negotiation, Solo agreed to take Obi-Wan, Luke and the droids to Alderaan.

Leaving Tatooine had not been as easy as they had hoped. The Imperials were alerted to their presence and tried to prevent the group from leaving aboard Solo's ship The Millennium Falcon. After an exchange of gunfire, they succeeded in breaking free of the planet's orbit, but Imperial TIE fighters pursued them, forcing Han to take the ship through hyperspace.

Once in hyperspace and away from immediate danger, the crew were able to relax. Obi-Wan began giving Luke instructions on how to understand and perceive the Force as well as how to wield a lightsaber. During the training, Obi-Wan felt a great disturbance in the Force, which he described as "if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced". As they came out of hyperspace, Kenobi realized what the disturbance meant; their destination, the planet Alderaan had been destroyed.

Reeling from this realization, the crew of the Millennium Falcon came upon a more pressing threat - the Death Star. Trailing after a rogue TIE fighter, the Falcon came within the Death Star battle station's area of influence. They were caught in a tractor beam, that magnetically drew the ship onto the station. To avoid detection, Han had Kenobi and the others hide inside secret smuggling compartments beneath the deck plating of the ship.

Final duel Edit

"The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but a learner, now I am the master."
Darth Vader

Aboard the Death Star, Obi-Wan Kenobi knew that they only way they could possibly escape was by deactivating the tractor beam controls. He sent Luke and the others on their way to rescue Princess Leia, enabling him the time he required to access the controls to the tractor beam. After shutting down the tractor beam, Obi-Wan had one final task to accomplish: he had to face his old pupil, Darth Vader, one final time.

Vader sensed Obi-Wan's presence on the Death Star and encountered him in the hangar bay near the Falcon. Igniting their lightsabers, they fought one another, with Vader clearly demonstrating superior power. Obi-Wan taunted Vader, telling him "... if you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." Vader did not understand or seem to care about the meaning behind Kenobi's cryptic warning. Obi-Wan bided his time until Luke and the others had returned to the ship with the princess. Exchanging one final glance in Luke's direction, Obi-Wan stood solemnly as Vader's lightsaber cleaved through him. His body disappeared instantly and his Jedi robes dropped to the floor. [3]

With the Force Edit

Although Kenobi was dead, his spirit lived on. During the Battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker heard Kenobi's disembodied voice urging him to "Use the Force" as he piloted his X-wing fighter down the Death Star trench. Luke was comforted by this and knew that Ben would always be with him.

Three years following the Battle of Yavin, Obi-Wan appeared before Luke in the form of a Force Spirit. Luke, having narrowly survived being mauled by a Wampa on the frigid world of Hoth, saw Ben's ghostly image appear before his eyes. Obi-Wan instructed Luke to journey to the Dagobah system where he would continue his Jedi training under the tutelage of one of the last surviving Jedi masters - Yoda.

When Luke eventually arrived on Dagobah, Yoda showed no interest in training him. He was wary of Luke's advanced age and inherent anger, and feared that he was too much like his father, Anakin. Obi-Wan urged Yoda to take him on as his apprentice and the diminutive Jedi master reluctantly agreed. When Luke saw a vision of his friends in danger, he told Yoda and Obi-Wan that he needed to go to them. Obi-Wan pleaded with Luke to stay on Dagobah and finish his training, even at the expense of his friends' lives, but Luke refused to do so. Watching Luke's X-wing taking off, Obi-Wan felt that he was watching their last hope dwindle away. Yoda reminded him that should even Luke fail, there was another. [4]

Luke returned to Dagobah two years later. Although he was ready to complete his training, he was startled to find Master Yoda on his deathbed. Before dying, Yoda told him that the only test he needed to pass was to defeat Darth Vader. When Yoda passed away, Obi-Wan appeared before Luke and finally laid some harsh truths before him. He confirmed Luke's fears that Darth Vader was actually his father Anakin Skywalker. Luke was upset that Ben had lied to him about his father's true identity, but Obi-Wan defended his position, citing "...many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view". He also revealed that he had a twin sister, Leia. He explained that in order to protect them both from the Emperor, it was necessary to separate the two at birth and keep raise them in secret locations. After their conversation, Luke left Dagobah to confront Darth Vader. [5]

Luke did not commune with Obi-Wan again for another five years. Following the collapse of the Galactic Empire and the death of the Emperor, Luke encountered Ben's spirit one final time on Coruscant. Obi-Wan explained that this would be their last meeting and he told Luke that he loved him like a son. Afterward, Obi-Wan Kenobi disappeared forever and fully became one with the Force. [6]

Notes & Trivia Edit

Parodies Edit

  • The first commercial parody of Star Wars was the 1977 farcical mini-film Hardware Wars. The laid back Jedi master Augie Ben Doggie was a pastiche of Obi-Wan Kenobi played by animator Jeff Hale. During Augie's lightsaber duel with Vader, the character commented about how he could not understand anything Vader was saying.
  • Obi-Wan was featured in the Family Guy: Blue Harvest series of episodes, which chronicled the first Star Wars film. In the special, Obi-Wan is played by Family Guy character Herbert, an aging pedophile who takes an express interest in Chris Griffin's version of Luke Skywalker. During his lightsaber battle with Darth "Stewie" Vader, he breaks out into a dance routine to the tune of "Time of My Life" (a parody of the Patrick Swayze film Dirty Dancing). "Herbert" Kenobi made a brief appearance in the sequel Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Dark Side, guiding Luke's character to the planet Dagobah where he reunites with him as a Force spirit.

See also Edit

Media

The World of Star Wars

Star Wars miscellaneous

Internal Links Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Early script drafts for Return of the Jedi established Obi-Was as the brother of Owen Lars, but this was later removed from the final project; Revenge of the Sith reveals that Owen Lars is actually Anakin's stepbrother.
  2. In truth, Anakin possessed several lightsabers throughout his career; the one that Obi-Wan gives to Luke is the saber that Anakin used during his fight against Obi-Wan on Mustafar in Episode III.
  3. Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  4. Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  5. Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  6. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire


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