There’s more to Obi-Wan Kenobi than you might think.
We’re all familiar with the wise hermit from the Dune Sea who comes to Luke Skywalker’s rescue. But how much do you know about Obi-Wan’s life before the dark times? Reacquaint yourself — or learn something new! — about the life of the venerable Jedi Master before he takes center stage in the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series on Disney+.
Obi-Wan’s Early Years
When asked by Celebration V stage host Jon Stewart in 2010, George Lucas said Obi-Wan Kenobi was born on the planet Stewjon. But Kenobi had no memories of his life before the Jedi, he said in Age of Republic: Obi-Wan Kenobi #1. “I was very young when I left my homeworld,” he remarked. “I was identified as Force-sensitive and taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.” In Marvel’s Obi-Wan comic, we get a glimpse at his childhood there as a youngling.
He began training under Master Yoda as a youngling until Qui-Gon Jinn chose him as an apprentice when he was 13 years old. By the time Obi-Wan was 17, their clashing personalities made for a rocky relationship — but their bond evolved into a true partnership after a harrowing mission on Pijal.
“I wouldn’t learn nearly as much from someone who always agreed with me,” the Padawan said good-naturedly to Qui-Gon in Star Wars: Master & Apprentice.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan continued to learn from each other over the years. Their last mission together to settle a trade dispute on Naboo set events into motion that would change the galaxy forever. Obi-Wan was 25 years old when he took the rank of Jedi Knight, and with it, Anakin Skywalker as his Padawan.
Major Moments You Might Have Missed
After the significant events in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan and Anakin returned to Coruscant to recover and prepare for their new roles in the coming war. Anakin was promoted to a full-fledged Jedi Knight without much ceremony. Obi-Wan undertook a dangerous solo mission to Cato Neimodia, where he met a mysterious woman named Asajj Ventress for the first time. (Find out what happens next in Star Wars: Brotherhood, available now!)
The galaxy-wide conflict was at its height by the time we caught up with Obi-Wan again in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The second season introduced Mandalore’s Duchess Satine Kryze and her past with Obi-Wan, a hint that there was more to the Jedi Knight than he liked to reveal. The three-episode arc, beginning with “The Mandalore Plot,” highlighted the emotional history between the two. They met when Obi-Wan was 15, but the memories of their time together didn’t fade over the years.
“Had you said the word,” he admitted to Satine in “Voyage of Temptation,” “I would have left the Jedi Order.”
Their story culminated in “The Lawless.” Maul, consumed with hate, relentlessly sought his revenge against the Jedi who had defeated him on Naboo. His plan for vengeance came to fruition in the throne room on Mandalore as he held Satine and Obi-Wan prisoner.
But Obi-Wan’s response to Maul in that moment summed up his philosophy as a Jedi.
“You can kill me, but you will never destroy me,” said Obi-Wan Kenobi. “It takes strength to resist the dark side. Only the weak embrace it.”
The former Sith dealt a mortal wound to Satine with a swing of the Darksaber. She confessed her love for Obi-Wan with her last breath. (Maul and Obi-Wan would have their final confrontation almost twenty years later in Star Wars Rebels’ “Twin Suns.”)
The loss of Satine was one of many hardships Obi-Wan Kenobi endured before the end of the Clone Wars. However, no matter the tragedies he faced, Obi-Wan’s faith in the Force didn’t waver.
Where Is He When Obi-Wan Kenobi Begins?
Anakin’s turn to the dark side in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith ended the war and firmly established the Galactic Empire. Obi-Wan was by Padmé Amidala’s bedside on the planetoid of Polis Massa when she gave birth to Luke and Leia. Then he took baby Luke to the Lars homestead on Tatooine and went into exile. But before he did, Obi-Wan sent one last message as a Jedi Master, recorded at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant during his infiltration with Master Yoda.
In Star Wars Rebels, Kanan Jarrus activated a holocron to reveal that final transmission.
“This is Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. I regret to report that both our Jedi Order and the Republic have fallen, with the dark shadow of the Empire rising to take their place. This message is a warning and a reminder for any surviving Jedi. Trust in the Force. Do not return to the Temple. That time has passed. And our future is uncertain. We will each be challenged. Our trust… our faith… our friendships.
“But we must persevere. And in time, a new hope will emerge. May the Force be with you, always.”
Kelly Knox writes features and DIYs for StarWars.com. Her book Be More Obi-Wan says “hello there” in July 2022. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk Star Wars, pop culture, and bad dad jokes.
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