Who is Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars? Among the plethora of heroes and villains in the galaxy, very few have established quite the legendary status of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Ever since he saved Luke from the Tusken Raider at the beginning of Star Wars, fans have loved the mysterious, wise, and powerful Jedi master. He’s unarguably one of the best Star Wars characters, brought to life by Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor in the brilliant Star Wars cast.
If you’re watching the Star Wars movies in order chronologically, you’ll start with McGregor’s younger version of the Jedi under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn. That’s just the start, and he plays a vital role in the remainder for the prequel trilogy, his own Star Wars series on Disney Plus, and the original trilogy. To celebrate Obi-Wan Kenobi, we’ve put together this full explainer of his backstory, role in the Jedi order, powers, and more.
Who is Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Obi-Wan Kenobi was a Jedi Master who sat on the High Council during the Republic Era and also served in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars.
He was a force-sensitive human from the planet Stewjon, who was taken into the Jedi Order and trained by Qui-Gon Jinn. When his Master was killed by the Sith Darth Maul, Kenobi avenged him and became a Master himself.
Kenobi would then go on to train his own Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, the prophesised ‘chosen one’. After Order 66 eradicated most of the Jedi, Kenobi went into hiding on Tattooine, but many years later, he would emerge from the shadows to train Anakin’s estranged son, Luke Skywalker.
What role did Obi-Wan Kenobi play in the Jedi Order?
Obi-Wan Kenobi was an integral part of the Jedi’s fight against evil in the galaxy, saving many lives along the way, but he also held himself personally responsible for the fall of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force.
Of course, we know that Anakin Skywaker was seduced to the dark side of the Force by Emperor Palpatine, but Kenobi felt he should have protected his Padawan more closely during his formative years training to be a Jedi Master. Anakin even tells Kenobi he feels betrayed by his Master, and the pair would ultimately face off against one another, with the latter being severely injured leading to his transformation into Darth Vader.
Subsequently, Kenobi played a big role in helping keep both Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker safe from their father in the years after the Clone Wars. He helped rescue Leia as a child when Bail Organa urged him to take on the mission, and he would later help Yoda train Luke in the ways of the Force.
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s powers and abilities
Obi-Wan Kenobi ranked among the most powerful Jedi, with a mastery of the Force and lightsaber combat. Through the Force, Kenobi could use powerful mind tricks to manipulate others, commune with his former masters Qui-Gon and Yoda, and change the world around him through telekinesis.
In terms of physical combat, Kenobi was a master of Form III, Soresu, which specialized in defense. He trained in this form throughout his time as a Jedi, becoming one of the greatest lightsaber duellists in Jedi history. With his combat skill, Obi-Wan Kenobi was able to battle the deadliest Star Wars villains including Darth Maul, Asajj Ventress, Darth Vader, and General Grevious, while defeating them all.
A complete list of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s powers:
- Mastery of lightsaber combat
- Force mind tricks
- Force speed and jump
- Force telekinesis
- Speaking with and becoming a Force ghost
Which Star Wars movies and Star Wars series does Obi-Wan Kenobi appear in?
You can find Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy and the prequel trilogy, as well as leading his own show on Disney Plus.
The character is played by Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars cast. He appears in the first ever Star Wars movie, A New Hope, where he dies at the hands of the Star Wars villain Darth Vader. He later appears as a Force ghost in the ’80s movies The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Ewan McGregor then takes on the role of a younger Obi-Wan for the prequel movies The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. The actor also returned to lead the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast for his very own Star Wars series in 2022. It remains to be seen whether we will get an Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2.
Obi-Wan Kenobi also takes on a leading role in The Clone Wars animated series, and the follow-up series Rebels.
That’s it on Obi-Wan Kenobi for now. If you want more from Star Wars, check out our guide to the new Star Wars movies, as well as the Ahsoka release date, The Mandalorian season 4 release date, and the Andor season 2 release date.
You can also see our ranking of the Star Wars movies, as well as our guide to the best Star Wars movie you’ve never seen. If you want more character explainers, you can find full breakdowns on Darth Vader and Cassian Andor.