20 Things 'Star Wars' Fans Should Know About Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Vote up the coolest things you learned about Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Of all the amazing characters created by George Lucas for Star Wars, the most beloved is arguably Obi-Wan Kenobi. In A New Hope, he offered wisdom and sacrifice as Luke Skywalker embarked on his hero's journey, and he returned for its sequels to continue this role despite being dead. When the prequel trilogy was released, audiences learned a lot more about the Jedi than was previously revealed, and subsequent cartoons, comics, and now a live-action series on Disney+ have expanded his role considerably.

His remark about fighting in the Clone Wars in A New Hope was significantly expanded upon in The Clone Wars animated series. He fought alongside many Jedi, revealed he had a romance with Duchess Satine Kryze, and more. On top of all that, his role as Anakin Skywalker's master came to light as he was seen training his young friend throughout the conflict. Eventually, Obi-Wan went into exile on Tatooine, but he never took his eyes off Luke Skywalker, and with a great deal of work and sacrifice, he helped him fulfill the prophecy told to him by his master Qui-Gon Jinn.

Because many fans don't have time to read hundreds of comics and watch hundreds of hours of cartoons, there are plenty of things Star Wars fans probably don't know about Obi-Wan Kenobi. This list features some of the most important facts about the man Luke mostly knew as "Old Ben." His impact, purpose, place in the grand scope of galactic affairs, and everything else can be found below. Take a look, and if you learn something new about Obi-Wan, be sure to give it an upvote to see which item takes the high ground!

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    247 VOTES

    He Became A Part Of Tatooine Folklore In A Story Called 'The Knight and the Dragon'

    After the Empire rose and the Great Jedi Purge wiped out Jedi across the galaxy, Obi-Wan Kenobi went into exile on Tatooine so he could keep an eye on Luke Skywalker. He lived a secluded life away from others, which made him a folk legend or hero referred to as a "knight" who spent his time avoiding conflict whenever possible. His actions became stories, and those stories became the stuff of legend, including one called "The Knight and the Dragon."

    According to the story, a knight learns that a tribe of nomads is capturing people in raids. The knight investigates and finds that the tribe is being terrorized by a dragon known as Krayt. The knight is discovered and held captive, but that only affords him the opportunity to free the other prisoners. Angered by his actions, the tribe places him in front of the dragon, but he slips from his bonds and ignites a glowing sword. He and the dragon fight for more than an hour, and neither combatant is able to wound the other. 

    Just as the dragon finds an opening, the knight holds up his hand, calming the giant beast. Seeing this, the nomads cheer, but the knight isn't amused. He chastises the nomads, swearing that he and the dragon will return if they continue to terrorize the surrounding settlements and their people. The knight then leads the dragon away and is never seen again. Because of these events, the tribe of nomads never kidnaps settlers or raids their settlements, which makes them different from other nomads living in the sands of Tatooine. 

    247 votes
  • 2
    186 VOTES

    He Was Considered An Older Youngling At 3 Years Old

    If there's one thing that's clear from the films, it's that a person has to begin their Jedi training at an incredibly young age. Luke was said to be too old to begin his training, and Yoda said the same thing of Anakin. That left many wondering what the right age was, and while there were some younglings shown training in the prequel trilogy, they were already well into their training, suggesting they'd been at it for at least a year or two.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi came to the Jedi Order as a youngling, but he was comparatively old compared to his peer group. He was 3 years old when he joined the Order, making him considerably older than most younglings. When the Jedi Order was operating at full strength before the Clone Wars, children with Force-sensitivity were identified and brought to the Order at the age of six months. Despite being "too old to begin the training," Obi-Wan managed to fit in quite well, learning the ways of the Jedi so he could one day become one of the Order's greatest members.

    186 votes
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    134 VOTES

    He Was Almost Played By Someone Else Entirely

    Alec Guinness may have been a great addition to the first Star Wars film, but he wasn't the first actor George Lucas wanted to play Obi-Wan Kenobi. If you're reading this article, there's a good chance you already know that a lot of the themes and elements of the Star Wars franchise take inspiration from Japanese samurai stories. Many of the costumes, including Darth Vader's helmet and much more, take a lot of inspiration from Japanese culture, so Lucas wanted to hire an actor who would portray Obi-Wan along the lines of a wizened old samurai warrior.

    He turned to Toshiro Mifune, the longtime collaborator of famed Japanese director Akira Kurasawa. To say that Mifune was one of the greatest actors of his generation is putting it lightly, and Lucas wanted that talent and gravitas for his movie, so he offered him the role. Mifune turned him down, and while it wasn't public knowledge why he did so at the time, his daughter, Mika, explained his reasoning in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:

    I heard from my father that he was offered the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he was concerned about how the film would look and that it would cheapen the image of samurai, on which George Lucas had based a lot of the character and fighting style.

    Undeterred, Lucas offered to cast Mifune in the role of Darth Vader since this would have let him hide his face throughout the whole movie, but he again turned him down. His daughter explained, "At the time, sci-fi movies still looked quite cheap as the effects were not advanced, and he had a lot of samurai pride. So then, there was talk about him taking the Darth Vader role as his face would be covered, but in the end, he turned that down too."

    134 votes
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    149 VOTES

    Kenobi Fought Black Krrsantan And Survived

    Luke Skywalker was much more like his father than his Uncle Owen wanted to admit, which caused tension on the Lars farm. In one notable event, Luke managed to trash his T-16 skyhopper after a joyride through Beggar's Canyon when he was around 8 or 9 years old. Owen grounded him, and when Luke offered to pay to fix the skyhopper by flying in a race at Anchorhead, Owen refused, standing his ground.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi, always the watchful protector, managed to have some spare parts delivered via some Jawas. Still, Owen angrily returned them to the old hermit, demanding (not for the first time) that he leave his family alone. Eventually, Owen came around and wanted to repair the skyhopper with Luke, but before he could do this, he was captured by Black Krrsantan.

    At the same time, Luke was running away from home (a common practice for the young man), but he sensed something was wrong on the farm. When he returned, he learned what had happened, and Beru had him hide in the maintenance bay. Inside, he found the skyhopper and spare parts, so he repaired the craft and headed out to find his uncle. When he found him, the bounty hunter was fighting Obi-Wan, and Owen was thrown off a cliff.

    Seeing this, Luke sprang into action, and he managed to fly down and catch Owen before he hit the ground, saving his life. Luke was always a great pilot, but his ability to catch his uncle in this way showed his connection to the Force, and it further demonstrated how much he was like his father. Despite this, Owen relented and allowed his nephew to fly his skyhopper again.

    As far as the fight between Obi-Wan and Krrsantan, it was brutal. Krrsantan took advantage of the peril he inflicted upon Owen several times, gaining the advantage against the old Jedi. Eventually, Luke's saving of his Uncle Owen gave Obi-Wan the space he needed to deal with the bounty hunter. He quickly deflected his attacks, then wounded and temporarily blinded him. The Wookiee then fell from a cliff, seemingly to his demise, leaving Obi-Wan to sort things out with Owen and Luke.

    149 votes
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    127 VOTES

    On Tatooine, Kenobi Rescued Luke From Jabba The Hutt

    Luke's meeting with Ben Kenobi following his kerfuffle with some Tusken Raiders in A New Hope makes it seem like they had met previously. As it happens, they both did and didn't. Obi-Wan handed an infant Luke to his aunt and uncle at the end of Revenge of the Sith, but he didn't interact with the boy again in any direct way until their fateful meeting when Luke was 19 years old.

    Before that happened, Obi-Wan spent nearly two decades protecting Luke, but mainly from the shadows. Luke knew of Ben, and he knew his uncle wanted him to avoid him at all costs, but beyond that, he had no idea how important Obi-Wan was in his life. In one instance, Jabba sent some thugs to collect a water tax from the Lars farm, and Luke was knocked unconscious.

    Obi-Wan rescued him and returned him to his family, but they never spoke and Luke had no idea about that meeting. He learned of it after acquiring and reading the Journals of Ben Kenobi, which detailed the numerous interactions that occurred over the course of Luke's life. 

    127 votes
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    133 VOTES

    Alec Guinness Is The Only Actor To Be Nominated For Any 'Star Wars' Film

    Since the Star Wars franchise first hit theaters in 1977, the films have racked up quite a lot of awards. As of March 2022, there have been 11 live-action films, which have been nominated for 37 Academy Awards, winning seven. Most of those nominations were for sound, makeup, costume design, writing, special effects, or other technical achievements; only one of them was for acting. A New Hope received 10 nominations in 1978, and of those, it won six.

    Alec Guinness was the only actor nominated for the film, earning a best supporting actor nomination for his work. While he didn't win, he still holds a distinction over every other actor who's appeared in a Star Wars film since. He's the only actor to be honored with a nomination. It's actually quite fitting, given the man's career. He brought a great deal of gravitas to the productions, leaving the rest of the cast, all of whom were largely unknown, to learn from a master performer.

    133 votes