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Ben Kenobi

Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He is one of the protagonists in the Star Wars series; along with Anakin Skywalker, R2-D2, and C-3PO, he is one of the few major characters to appear in each of the six Star Wars films. He is portrayed in the original trilogy by Sir Alec Guinness and in the prequel trilogy by Ewan McGregor.

Obi-Wan first appeared in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, seemingly a mysterious hermit known as Ben Kenobi. He is soon revealed to be an exiled Jedi Master, who then tutors Luke Skywalker to use the Force. In the prequel films, he appears as a young Jedi, progressing from apprentice, to knight, to master on the Jedi High Council.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He is one of the protagonists in the Star Wars series; along with Anakin Skywalker, R2-D2, and C-3PO, he is one of the few major characters to appear in each of the six Star Wars films. He is portrayed in the original trilogy by Sir Alec Guinness and in the prequel trilogy by Ewan McGregor.

Obi-Wan first appeared in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, seemingly a mysterious hermit known as Ben Kenobi. He is soon revealed to be an exiled Jedi Master, who then tutors Luke Skywalker to use the Force. In the prequel films, he appears as a young Jedi, progressing from apprentice, to knight, to master on the Jedi High Council.


Original trilogy Edit

A New Hope Edit

Obi-Wan Kenobi is first introduced in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), played by Sir Alec Guinness. He is first seen rescuing Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) from a group of Tusken Raiders, who ambush him during a search for a missing droid, R2-D2 (Kenny Baker). Obi-Wan reveals that he knew Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, and served with him in the Clone Wars as a Jedi Knight. He gives Luke Anakin's lightsaber, and tells him that "a young Jedi named Darth Vader... betrayed and murdered your father." Obi-Wan offers to instruct Luke in the ways of The Force, but Luke initially refuses. He changes his mind after his aunt and uncle are murdered, however, and Obi-Wan takes him along to rescue Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), who has been captured by the Empire.

Obi-Wan and Luke buy passage to Alderaan on the Millennium Falcon, a spaceship owned by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his first mate, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). However, before they can reach Alderaan, it is destroyed by the Death Star on the orders of Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing). The Millennium Falcon is captured by the enormous space station's tractor beam. After their capture, Obi-Wan sneaks into the core of the Death Star and disables the tractor beam so that the Falcon can escape. Obi-Wan then confronts Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel, eventually sacrificing himself so that Luke and the others can escape. His body disappears once struck by Vader's blade, having become a spirit in the Force.

He speaks to Luke via the Force in the film's climatic battle scene, telling him to use the Force to destroy the Death Star. Luke turns off his X-Wing fighter's targeting computer, and, trusting in the Force, he fires his proton torpedoes and destroys the battle station. Luke then hears Obi-Wan's voice telling him, "The Force will be with you, always."

The Empire Strikes Back Edit

In Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), set four years after A New Hope, Obi-Wan appears as a Force ghost and instructs Luke to go to the Dagobah system for further training with Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz). After Luke has been further trained in the teachings of the Jedi, Obi-Wan once again appears in the Dagobah swamp to try and dissuade him from going to Cloud City, where Vader holds Han and Leia hostage. After Luke insists on facing Vader, Obi-Wan warns Luke that he would not be able to interfere, and Luke would have to face him alone.

Return of the Jedi Edit

In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), set one year after The Empire Strikes Back, a dying Yoda confirms to Luke that Vader is indeed his father, a revelation Vader had made to Luke in the previous film. After Yoda's death, Obi-Wan appears as a Force Ghost to explain to a heartbroken Luke why he did not tell him the truth about his father, and to confess that Leia is his sister. Obi-Wan admits that his own pride had been partly to blame for Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace: "I thought I could instruct him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong." He then tries to explain to Luke that killing Vader is the only way to destroy the Empire and save the galaxy.

At the end of the film, Obi-Wan's ghost appears alongside the ghosts of Yoda and a redeemed Anakin Skywalker on the forest moon of Endor, watching over Luke and his comrades as they celebrate the destruction of the second Death Star.

Prequel trilogy Edit

The Phantom Menace Edit

In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), set 32 years before A New Hope, Obi-Wan, now played by Ewan McGregor, is seen as a young Jedi Padawan[1]. At the start of the film, Obi-Wan accompanies his master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) on a mission to Naboo to discuss negotiations with the Trade Federation, who are blockading Naboo, ruled by Queen Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). However, upon their arrival on the Federation flagship, they are attacked by battle droids and are forced to retreat down to the planet. In the swampy forests of Naboo, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan meet a clumsy Gungan named Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), who assists the Jedi in reaching the Queen. After making an unscheduled landing on Tatooine, Qui-Gon meets Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a young slave who shows such tremendous potential in the Force that Qui-Gon believes him to be the "Chosen One" of Jedi prophecy, destined to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. Obi-Wan initially believes the boy is too old and has too many emotional attachments to become a Jedi. The Jedi Council agrees with Obi-Wan, and forbids Anakin's training, sensing that the boy's future is clouded by the fear he exhibits.

During the film's climactic battle scene, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle the Sith Lord Darth Maul (Ray Park). After Maul fatally wounds Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan attempts to vanquish Maul by himself. After being disarmed and nearly falling to his death, Obi-Wan uses the Force to pull his Master's abandoned lightsaber into his hand and cuts Maul in half. Obi-Wan then runs to his Master's side, and the dying Qui-Gon pleads with him to train Anakin in the ways of the Jedi. Obi-Wan promises that he will.

For his heroics in defeating a Sith (making him the first Jedi in 1,000 years to do so), Yoda personally bestows to him the rank of Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan then states that he will train Anakin with or without the Council's permission. Yoda reluctantly agrees, but warns Obi-Wan to be careful with the troubled boy.[2]

Attack of the Clones Edit

Obiwan1

Obi-Wan Kenobi in his prime.

In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), set 10 years after The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan has become an experienced Jedi Knight. However, his relationship with his Padawan, Anakin (now played by Hayden Christensen) is strained; the Chosen One has grown powerful but arrogant, and believes that Obi-Wan is trying to hold him back.

He and Anakin are tasked with protecting Padmé, now a Senator, after an attempt is made on her life. Obi-Wan tracks the mysterious assassin to the planet Kamino, and learns about a massive clone army that the planet's inhabitants are building for the Galactic Republic. He then meets with the bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison), the template for the clones, and figures out that he is the one responsible for the assassination attempts on Padmé. Obi-Wan attempts to apprehend Fett, who escapes to Geonosis with his unaltered clone Boba (Daniel Logan). Obi-Wan follows them by placing a homing beacon on Fett's ship, Slave I.

On Geonosis, Obi-Wan learns of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, also known as the Separatists, a conspiracy of star systems that wants to secede from the Republic. The renegades are led by former Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), who was once Qui-Gon's master. Obi-Wan is captured shortly after sending a message to Anakin. While Obi-Wan is in captivity, Dooku reveals that the Galactic Senate is under the control of a Sith Lord named Darth Sidious.

Later, Anakin and Padmé arrive on Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan. They are themselves captured, however, and all three are sentenced to death by the Geonosians. The executions are prevented by the timely arrival of Jedi and clone reinforcements, led by Jedi Masters Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Yoda. Obi-Wan and Anakin confront Dooku and they engage in a lightsaber duel. Dooku strikes Anakin with Force lightning, then turns the deadly barrage onto Obi-Wan, who blocks the attack with his lightsaber. The two duel and Dooku outmanoeuvres Obi-Wan, wounding him on both his left arm and leg. Dooku is about to deliver a killing blow when Anakin recovers from the lightning and blocks Dooku's attack. Obi-Wan gives Anakin his lightsaber to help him in the duel. Dooku and Anakin fight a short duel, and Dooku cuts off Anakin's right lower arm (which is later replaced by a robotic prosthetic). Yoda arrives and fights Dooku as well, but the Sith Lord puts Anakin and Obi-Wan in mortal danger in order to create a distraction, and escapes.[3]

Revenge of the Sith Edit

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), set three years after Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan is now a Jedi Master on the High Jedi Council and a general in the Army of the Republic. Anakin Skywalker, now a full-fledged Jedi Knight, remains his partner, and the two have become war heroes and best friends.

Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent on a mission to rescue Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who has been kidnapped by Dooku and Separatist leader General Grievous (Matthew Wood). When they find the captive Palpatine, Count Dooku engages them both in a duel. Obi-Wan is rendered unconscious by Dooku, but Anakin defeats the Sith Lord by slicing off both his hands. At Palpatine's urging, Anakin kills the defenseless Count in cold blood, a violation of the Jedi Code.

Soon after returning to Coruscant, Obi-Wan is called away to Utapau to confront General Grievous. Meanwhile, Anakin is angry at the Jedi Council for not granting him the rank of Master, and is also troubled by visions of Padmé, whom he married in the previous film, dying in childbirth. With Obi-Wan on the opposite end of the galaxy, Palpatine — who is in reality Darth Sidious — eventually corrupts Anakin to the dark side and takes him as his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader.

After finding the Separatist encampment, Obi-Wan engages Grievous in combat and engages him in battle, eventually killing him with a blaster. At the same time, Palpatine issues Order 66, directing clone troopers to turn on their Jedi generals. Obi-Wan survives the attempt on his life and escapes by stealing Grievous' star fighter and rendezvousing with Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and Yoda aboard Organa's ship, the Tantive IV.

Along with Yoda and Organa, Obi-Wan returns to Coruscant, where he and Yoda discover that every Jedi in the Jedi Temple has been murdered, even the younglings. Obi-Wan sends a beacon to all surviving Jedi, instructing them to scatter across the galaxy and remain in hiding. A heartbroken Obi-Wan then watches a security video revealing Anakin as the assassin. Subsequently, Obi-Wan and Yoda split up to confront the two Sith Lords: Obi-Wan to fight Darth Vader and Yoda to battle Darth Sidious. Obi-Wan wishes to fight Sidious to avoid having to kill his friend, but Yoda insists that Obi-Wan is not strong enough to fight Sidious, and would have to accept that Anakin had been "consumed by Darth Vader."

Unaware of his former Padawan's location, Obi-Wan visits Padmé and explains to her what Anakin has done. Padmé refuses to believe him, and will not reveal Anakin's whereabouts, knowing that Obi-Wan will attempt to kill him. Before departing, Obi-Wan tells Padmé that he knows Anakin is the father of her unborn child. Padmé sets out to the Mustafar system to confront Anakin herself, and Obi-Wan secretly stows away in her ship.

Arriving on Mustafar, Padmé confronts Anakin and realizes with horror that Obi-Wan had been telling the truth. When Obi-Wan emerges from Padmé's ship, an enraged Vader immediately suspects that Padmé has betrayed him and uses the dark side to choke her into unconsciousness. Obi-Wan and Vader then fight a furious lightsaber duel, which ends with Obi-Wan severing Vader's legs and left arm midair. Obi-Wan then retrieves Anakin's lightsaber and returns to the shuttle. Vader, meanwhile, lingers on long enough to be rescued by Palpatine, who rebuilds him as the black armor-clad cyborg first seen in the original trilogy.

Obi-Wan watches helplessly as Padmé dies after bearing twins. Luke is put on Tatooine with Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) and Obi-Wan agrees to look after him in secret; Luke's twin sister Leia, meanwhile, is adopted by Bail Organa of Alderaan. Yoda, unsuccessful in his confrontation with Sidious, then tells Obi-Wan that he has more training for him: Qui-Gon's spirit would teach him how to retain his identity through the Force and commune with the living after death. The film ends as Obi-Wan gives the infant Luke to Lars and his wife Beru (Bonnie Piesse), and disappears into the distance.

Expanded universe Edit

Obi-Wan Kenobi appears extensively in the Star Wars "Expanded Universe" of comic books, novels, and video games. This material portrays the events in the character's life not portrayed on film.

Clone Wars series Edit

Obi-Wan is a major character in the animated microseries, Star Wars: Clone Wars and its sequel series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which both cover the period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. He is voiced by James Arnold Taylor.

Among Obi-Wan's adventures in the series are a battle with the Intergalactic Banking Clan and an air strike on the planet Rattatak. In the series' final episode, he and Anakin are sent to the Outer Rim of the galaxy, a journey that climaxes in a quest to save the planet Nelvaan from the Techno Union. It is also revealed that he is granted a seat on the Jedi Council during this time.

Novels Edit

Obi-Wan's exploits before, during, and after both the prequel and original trilogies are detailed in many Expanded Universe novels.

Pre-Phantom Menace Edit

Obi-Wan's life prior to The Phantom Menace is portrayed mostly in Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice series, which follow his adventures as Qui-Gon's Padawan. Notable events in the series include battling the Dark Jedi Xanatos, falling in love with fellow Padawan Siri Tachi, and going on his first independent mission.

Circa Clone Wars Edit

His heroism just before and during the Clone Wars is portrayed in novels such as Outbound Flight, The Approaching Storm, and The Cestus Deception.

Post-Revenge of the SithEdit

Obi-Wan's life between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is, so far, portrayed mostly in Jude Watson's The Last of the Jedi series. Set roughly a year after the fall of the Republic, the series follows Obi-Wan as he seeks out possible survivors of the Great Jedi Purge, most notably Anakin's former rival, Ferus Olin. The books also portray Obi-Wan adjusting to life as a hermit on Tatooine, and quietly watching over the infant Luke Skywalker.

Post-Return of the Jedi Edit

Obi-Wan appears in spirit form in many novels set after the destruction of the Empire in Return of the Jedi. In The Truce at Bakura, he appears to Luke to warn him about the threat presented by the Sri-ruuk; in Heir to the Empire, meanwhile, he bids farewell to Luke, explaining that he must abandon his spiritual form to "move on" to a new, higher plane of consciousness. Before parting, Luke tells him that Obi-Wan was like a father to him, to which Obi-Wan replies that he loved Luke like a son.

Video games Edit

He appears in many video games, particularly as a playable character in all three Lego Star Wars, The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith video games, Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Battlefront II and Renegade Squadron of the Battlefront series. The older version, Ben Kenobi, is only playable in Lego Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith, Renegade Squadron and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed in multiplayer mode. He will also appear in the new Clone Wars video game series as a playable character.

Comic books Edit

Star Wars: Republic Edit

In this series, Obi-Wan faces many grave threats while fighting against the Separatists. Among other notable storylines, he is kidnapped and tortured by Dooku's minion Asajj Ventress before being rescued by Anakin ("Hate & Fear"), and apprehends corrupted Jedi Master Quinlan Vos ("The Dreadnaughts of Rendili"). Throughout the series, he grows increasingly wary of Palpatine's designs on the Republic — and his influence on Anakin.

Star Wars: Visionaries Edit

In the non-canon story "Old Wounds", set a few years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan confronts a resurrected Darth Maul on Tatooine to protect Luke Skywalker. The duel ends when Owen Lars shoots and kills Maul; he then warns Obi-Wan to stay away from his nephew. Through the Force, Obi-Wan reassures Luke that he will be there for him when needed.

Inspirations and parodies Edit

The character is loosely inspired by General Makabe Rokuruta, a character from The Hidden Fortress played by Toshiro Mifune, whom series creator George Lucas also considered casting as Obi-Wan.[4]

Mad magazine parodied the original film under the title Star Roars and included a character named "Oldie Von Moldie"; a grizzled 97-year-old whose lightsaber runs on an extension cord.

The registry on the plane Indiana Jones escapes in during the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark is "OBCPO," a reference to both Obi-Wan Kenobi and C-3PO.

The nightclub shown in the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is called "Club Obi-Wan."

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode "Star Koopa", being a spoof of Star Wars (which had the original trilogy, comprised with episodes IV, V and VI, complete at the time), also had its own parody of Obi-Wan Kenobi called Obi-Wan Toadi.

The 1998 Animaniacs episode "Star Warners", which spoofed Star Wars, featured Slappy Squirrel portraying a parody of Obi-Wan Kenobi as "Slappy Wanna Nappy".

In the Family Guy episode "Blue Harvest", Obi-Wan is parodied by the character Herbert.

In the short film Thumb Wars Obi-Wan is parodied by the character Oobedoob Benubi. In the film his full name is Oobedoob Scooby-Doobi Benubi, "the silliest name in the galaxy".

In the 1977 Star Wars parody Hardware Wars, Obi-Wan is parodied by the character "Augie Ben Doggie".

In French Internet subculture, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" became an expression meaning "your question does not make sense", and is said when one does not know what to answer but wants to respond in an amusing way. It was popularised by Les Guignols de l'info, which made a parody of the French version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in which for every question, the fourth choice was invariably "Obi-Wan Kenobi" (and the question invariably nonsense). Humorous multiple choice questionnaires made on the internet since often featured an "Obi-Wan Kenobi" option.

See also Edit


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