For Star Wars fans who want a better understanding of various topics, there can be a lot of material to wade through. In The Playlist, we’ll curate select installments of Star Wars that will give you that greater understanding of a specific topic. Consider it your own Jedi Archives — or cheat sheet for your Jedi midterms.
When audiences first met Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977, he was largely a mystery. Why was this mystical Jedi Knight and veteran of the Clone Wars living in a hovel on a desert planet? How had he fallen so much from grace? More than anything, we felt his pain when he spoke of his lost friend, Anakin Skywalker. Then when we discovered he’d lied and had even more questions. He was an enigma, but over the years we’ve slowly peeled back the layers on a complicated, rich character. This playlist covers his appearances in movies, TV, and comics, and shows the amazing journey he had.
1. Star Wars: Phantom Menace – It’s fitting that when we first meet Obi-Wan chronologically, he begins as a Padawan learner being trained under Qui-Gon Jinn. But the events of this film will forever alter the course of his life.
2. Marvel’s Obi-Wan and Anakin – Set not long after the events of The Phantom Menace, this comic book series illustrates the challenges Obi-Wan has in training Anakin in all of the unusual circumstances that came to be. And it’s all wrapped up in a pretty thrilling story.
3. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones – Here we see how complicated Obi-Wan and Anakin’s relationship could be, but no matter how much they clashed, there was a real bond beneath the surface. Still, darker things were afoot for the galaxy and the Jedi, and Obi-Wan was at the forefront, including a memorable clash with Jango Fett.
4. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “The Mandalore Plot” (Seasons 2, Episode 12), “Voyage of Temptation” (Season 2, Episode 13), “Duchess of Mandalore” (Season 2, Episode 14) – Obi-Wan has a history of keeping things from his past secret, and when he and Anakin are assigned to uncover a plot on Mandalore, some of Obi-Wan’s secrets come to light. He and Anakin might be more alike than we thought.
5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Deception” (Season 4, Episode 15), “Friends and Enemies,” (Season 4, Episode 16),“The Box,” (Season 4, Episode 17), “Crisis on Naboo” (Season 4, Episode 18) – When the Jedi learn of a plot to kidnap the Chancellor, Obi-Wan signs up for the most dangerous mission of his career: going undercover as Rako Hardeen, bounty hunter.
6. Star Wars The Clone Wars – “Shades of Reason” (Season 5, Episode 15), “The Lawless” (Season 5, Episode 16) – Darth Maul, the Sith Lord Obi-Wan thought he’d killed on Naboo, seeks revenge against our favorite Jedi Knight. And he gets it in the most horrible way possible…
7. Dark Disciple by Christie Golden – Though Obi-Wan Kenobi is a minor character in this book, it goes a long way to illustrate the difficulties he had in navigating the moral quandaries of being a Jedi during the war.
8. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith – This is where the unthinkable happens. Obi-Wan’s life — and the galaxy — is changed forever.
9. Marvel’s Star Wars – From the Journals of old Ben Kenobi (Star Wars #7, #15, #20) – During Obi-Wan’s exile, he kept a journal chronicling his encounters and experiences. Through these journals in Marvel’s Star Wars series, we’re given these glimpses of what his life was like on the dusty planet of Tatooine, watching over the son of Skywalker.
10. Star Wars Rebels – “Spark of Rebellion” – Though his appearance is brief, it adds extra context to some of Obi-Wan’s actions from Revenge of the Sith and shows just how bad things have become in the galaxy. But still, he offers a message of hope.
11. Star Wars: A New Hope – After years of exile, Obi-Wan is dragged back into the fight and must train the son of the man he once called brother. But he has one last confrontation to make…
12. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Obi-Wan has become one with the Force, but still connects with Luke.
13. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Obi-Wan sheds more light on his relationship with Anakin and the nature of the Force, while offering Luke another shocking revelation and some words of wisdom for the coming clash with the Emperor.
14. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Though we only hear him whisper, Obi-Wan’s words to Rey speak volumes..
Bonus: Legends: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller – Author John Jackson Miller crafted an excellent Western in the now Legends timeline starring Obi-Wan Kenobi. It sheds light on his exile on Tatooine and is just a great book overall.
And now that you’ve been through the high points of Obi-Wan’s life, you see how much more complicated and deep he was than you might have realized. And there’s nothing so exhilarating as watching a character through the sweep of their life. What’s your favorite Obi-Wan moment? Let us know in the comments below!