The Origins of Obi-Wan Kenobi



The Origins of Obi-Wan Kenobi

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Timothy MacAusland
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fascinating "Star Wars" character with more to his origins than many may know. For this video, we'll be going in-depth with the expanded universe to show how this legendary Jedi master came to be. We'll take you from his birth planet that he doesn't even remember leaving all the way up to his hermit days as Ben Kenobi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fascinating "Star Wars" character with more to his origins than many may know. For this video, we’ll be going in-depth with the expanded universe to show how this legendary Jedi master came to be. We'll take you from his birth planet that he doesn't even remember leaving all the way up to his hermit days as Ben Kenobi. What’s your favorite Obi-Wan moment? Let us know in the comments!

The Origins of Obi-Wan Kenobi

By and large, Obi-Wan’s character arc can be broken down into three periods: the first, when he’s whisked away to train as a Padawan under Qui-Gon Jinn; the second, when he operates as a Jedi Master and takes on a Padawan of his own; and finally, when he exiles himself to Tatooine to watch over Luke Skywalker and eventually introduce him to the Jedi ways. Okay, four periods if you count his time as a wise, old Force ghost, but there’s not quite as much to go off of there. To fully understand each period, one must first grasp what came before.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was born on the planet Stewjon, which, no, was not named after a guy named John who makes a mean broth. Hardly anything is known about the planet, as even Obi-Wan doesn’t remember leaving it. Funnily enough, the name “Stewjon” was coined offhand by George Lucas at a convention upon being asked by the comedian Jon Stewart. Lucas was clearly just having some fun, but you know how “Star Wars” fans are with canon. All of which is to say that Obi-Wan was Force sensitive from an early age and thus taken to Coruscant to train as a Jedi.

Antithetical to his later reputation, Obi-Wan began his training as a rebellious little youngling. It wasn’t until he came under the direct tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn that he gained a deeper respect for the Force and the Jedi ways. During his early adventures with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan spent time on the planet Mandalore, where he protected and ultimately fell in love with Duchess Satine Kryze. Though they soon went their separate ways, their relationship would eventually prove to be a watershed moment for the young Jedi.

One can’t speak of Obi-Wan’s life-changing relationships, however, without mentioning Anakin Skywalker. While stranded on Tatooine, Qui-Gon discovered the young slave, sensing his strong connection to the Force. After confirming this, Qui-Gon came to the conclusion that the boy was the prophesized Chosen One. The Jedi Council was staunchly against his training, sensing his fear. However, Qui-Gon persisted, with Obi-Wan willing to take his Jedi Trials to free up space for Qui-Gon to take on another apprentice.

Sadly for all those involved, life had different plans for the prospective Jedis when they were sent back to Naboo to protect Queen Amidala from Darth Maul. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were confronted by the Sith Apprentice, but upon being separated from the duel, Obi-Wan was forced to watch his Master be struck down. Obi-Wan heatedly reentered the battle, only to find himself at the mercy of Maul. Thankfully, he was able to center himself and catch his opponent off guard, severely wounding him and sending him to his supposed death. What really changed the trajectory of Obi-Wan’s life, however, was when he subsequently promised a dying Qui-Gon to train the young Anakin.

Years passed, and Obi-Wan was promoted to Jedi Knight and underwent a series of adventures with a growing Skywalker. However, his past eventually came back to haunt him when a cybernetically enhanced Maul was revealed to be alive. Not only that, but the former Sith Apprentice soon after took over Mandalore, the homeworld of Duchess Satine. Obi-Wan made his way to the planet in a bid to rescue his former flame, only to again watch in horror as his rival killed someone he loved. Through this, Maul tried to goad the Jedi into turning to the Dark Side, but Obi-Wan held firm in his beliefs, staving off his intense feelings of anger and grief.

Despite Obi-Wan’s staunch dedication to the Jedi ways, it wouldn’t be long before his life was again marred in tragedy. His Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, became increasingly tempted by the Dark Side of the Force. Coupled with the death of Anakin’s mother and fear of the loss of Padmé Amidala, Chancellor Palpatine, the secret Sith Lord, managed to manipulate Anakin into abandoning the Jedi and aligning with him.

Obi-Wan, meanwhile, managed to track down and defeat Droid Army leader General Grievous, seemingly ending the Clone Wars. However, his woes were just beginning when Palpatine executed Order 66, activating the hardwiring in every Clone Trooper into turning on all the Jedi. Thankfully, Obi-Wan was one of the few Jedi to survive the initial onslaught, but with the Republic on the verge of becoming a Galactic Empire, he knew he had to act fast.

After stowing away on a pregnant Padmé’s ship, Obi-Wan got her to reunite him with his former apprentice when she went to meet him on the fiery planet Mustafar. Obi-Wan pleaded with the newly christened Darth Vader after he hurt Padmé, but the boy who used to be Anakin Skywalker was virtually gone. The two delivered a duel for the ages, filled with rage and heated passion. Despite Obi-Wan gaining a geographical advantage, Vader’s hatred forced him to overcompensate, allowing Obi-Wan to sever his remaining human limbs and render him helpless. More heartbroken than ever, Obi-Wan left his former pupil to burn to death on the hillside.

While Vader was being rescued and restored by Palpatine, Obi-Wan watched as a dying Padmé gave birth to twins. For fear of the twins’ safety, Obi-Wan and Jedi Master Yoda devised a plan whereby they be separated and raised in secret. After sending Leia off with Senator Organa to live on Alderaan, Obi-Wan took Luke to Anakin’s homeworld of Tatooine to live with his stepbrother Owen Lars. With the rest of the Jedi forced into hiding, Obi-Wan resorted to watching over the boy from afar to ensure the Empire wouldn’t find him before he was ready.

Obi-Wan lived this life of a hermit for many years, going under the name “Ben Kenobi.” Though he mostly lived a life of quiet solitude, another ghost did manage to find him again in the form of Maul. Maul managed to use Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger into luring Obi-Wan out for one final confrontation. Despite Maul taking two of the three people he loved most in the galaxy, Obi-Wan was able to hold firm and resolutely put the former Sith out of his misery. Maul erroneously suspecting the person Obi-Wan was protecting was the Chosen One, Obi-Wan was able to comfort his old rival in his final moments.

Whether they occur before or after Maul’s death, the events of the upcoming Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will further elucidate his time spent on Tatooine, further shaping him into the version we originally meet in “A New Hope.”