In the wake of the under-performing Han Solo standalone film released last year, fans have been wondering exactly when Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi will be getting his time in the spotlight. A fan favorite and series staple, it would be a great idea for a studio anxious to rebound after their summer flop.
That said, details about the film have been cagey at best. As far as we know, it’s still happening, but very few details have been leaked and a reveal trailer seems to very, very far off. Given that Episode IX is set to debut in theaters in November or December of 2019, it’s unlikely that any solid evidence will surface until the fanfare surrounding that release has petered down a bit.
When exactly during Obi-Wan’s lifetime would such a piece be set, though? There are so many things about the beloved Jedi of which we aren’t quite sure, and Disney could help to fill in tons of gaps both before and after the Clone Wars. Was Obi-Wan really hiding out on Tatooine all that time? What was he up to canonically before he became a Jedi?
Though Disney has axed most of the expanded universe canon, there are some things we know about Obi Wan’s pre-Clone Wars history, and there is plenty of EU lore out there from which to draw inspiration. It’s hard to say precisely what fans should expect, but here are 25 facts about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life before Phantom Menace we should all be keeping in mind.
25 He Was Very Young When He Started His Training
Though Luke was around seventeen or eighteen when he took his first steps into a larger world, Obi-Wan was much younger. In fact, he was taken from his home planet of Stewjon as little more than a newborn. The Jedi discovered him and took him to Coruscant when he was just six months old. Fans often considered it odd that the Council initially refused to train Anakin on the grounds that he was too old, but it makes sense when one considers just how young they prefer their initiates to be.
24 How Aged Is Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Time is a strange concept in the Star Wars universe. That said, fans have determined the Star Wars timeframe to revolve around the Battle of Yavin, with events preceding that being referred to as BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) and those following it as ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). Obi-Wan Kenobi was born in 57 BBY, and, given that he was defeated by Darth Vader moments before the first Death Star was destroyed, that means he would have been 57 at the time.
23 Who Trained Obi-Wan?
Everyone knows that the renegade Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn trained Obi-Wan in the years leading up to the Battle of Theed, but few know that he actually had several different masters before Jinn took him under his wing. This will vary depending on Disney or Legends canon, but Obi-Wan spent some time as a Jedi initiate training under Master Yoda. This makes sense because, as fans will be quick to point out, Obi-Wan tells Luke in The Empire Strikes Back that he was trained under Yoda. While it is true that Yoda oversaw Jedi initiate training in a general sense, he is known to have worked with Kenobi directly until he reached the age of thirteen.
22 He Learned The Most Important Lesson Of All—Patience
A small part of the lopsided dynamic between Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker stemmed from the fact that, while his Master was mindful and patient, Anakin was young and hot-headed. He often found himself in trouble as a result of his rash actions, and it may have had something to do with the fact that he was nearly ten years old when his training began. However, Obi-Wan was once much the same in that he too struggled to control himself. Qui-Gon was able to instill a sense of calm within him, and this ultimately allowed him to prevail over Darth Vader in their famous duel on Mustafar.
21 He Protected Duchess Satine Kryze During The Mandalorian Civil War
In the years leading up to the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan and his master Qui-Gon Jinn were sent to keep the peace on many strife-torn planets. One of their most notable adventures took place on the planet of Mandalore on which they were instructed to protect the Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze during a rebel uprising. The Duchess was a proponent of a new line of Mandalorian thought which encouraged the planet’s inhabitants to grow beyond their barbaric history, while a faction of rebel traditionalists wanted to maintain the status-quo. Needless to say, things got pretty dicey for the two Jedi during their stay.
20 He Fought Plenty Of Bounty Hunters Before Attack Of The Clones
Casual fans of the Star Wars films may believe Episode II to have been Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first run-in with bounty hunters, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Though his dealings with Jango Fett and his son/clone Boba were interesting to watch, his battles against various bounty hunters in service of Satine Kryze on Mandalore were much more entertaining and every bit as explosive. As seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series, Obi-Wan and his master were constantly on the run from mercenaries eager to eliminate the Mandalorian Duchess, and their successful protection of Kryze was perhaps the most noble and notable thing the pair accomplished during their time together.
19 He Helped To End The Mandalorian Civil War
As Mace Windu so eloquently put it in Attack of the Clones, the Jedi are keepers of the peace, not soldiers. That, of course, feels like a hollow statement considering his actions during the Battle of Geonosis, but that is beside the point. That said, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan lived up to that ideal during their time protecting Satine Kryze in the Mandalorian Civil War. They ultimately had a major hand in bringing the conflict to an end as they helped to quell the insurgency and reinstate the Duchess as the ruler of the planet. Their pre-Clone Wars actions were exemplary for the Jedi Order, and, had the rest of the Council followed Jinn’s example, they may have not been so easily labeled as anti-Republic insurgents by Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith.
18 Obi-Wan May Have Had A Brother
Some Star Wars fans may have felt that this was a bit of a stretch, and it has since been relegated to the Legends canon, but Obi-Wan claimed to have had vague visions of his brief childhood on Stewjon. He believed he could remember playing with his brother, though he didn’t know exactly who that may have been. It was later revealed that Obi-Wan’s long lost brother might have been Owen Lars, the man who would become Luke Skywalker’s adoptive father. This would provide a reason for Kenobi to hide Luke on Tatooine, but it feels a bit too much like a fanfiction theory. Plus, were this really the case, that would mean that Obi-Wan and Anakin may have actually been distant relatives.
17 Kenobi Had A Love Interest
Another piece of information relegated to the Legends continuity, Obi-Wan was once romantically involved with a fellow Jedi Padawan by the name of Siri Tachi. A human female, Tachi was said to have been a gifted pilot who participated in the First Battle of Geonosis and eventually met her end during the Clone Wars. The extent to which they were involved isn’t well-known, but the two were childhood friends who knew each other since their formative days as Jedi initiates. As Anakin Skywalker infamously demonstrated during his downward spiral to the Dark Side of the Force, Jedi aren’t allowed to show any sort of romantic compassion, and it’s hard to say what may have come of Kenobi had their illicit relationship continued.
16 Obi-Wan Almost Didn’t Become A Jedi
Unfortunately, not every youngling the Council takes under its wing goes on to become a Jedi Master. In reality, a good amount of those who aren’t assigned to a master are shipped to a mining colony on Bandomeer where they indirectly assist both the Jedi Council and the Republic. This was very nearly Obi-Wan’s fate, and he actually spent some time in the colony before he was given a second chance by Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Kenobi wasn’t considered to be naturally gifted and often had to work twice as hard to achieve what other initiates could easily pull off. That said, his determination and skill eventually landed him a role as a Jedi Knight.
15 Siri Tachi Wasn’t His Only Love Interest
Though George Lucas’ prequel trilogy was for years lambasted by a fanbase unhappy with his controversial decisions, it at the very least cemented the idea that Jedi are probably better off without romantic attachments. That said, Obi-Wan didn’t seem to follow that doctrine all that well, as he developed feelings for Satine Kryze, his royal charge during the Mandalorian Civil War. The two enjoyed something of a relationship during their time together, but Kenobi ultimately chose to sacrifice their connection to uphold his dedication to the Jedi Order. This proved to be the right move in the long run, as Kenobi went on to be one of the most respected and important Jedi Knights of his time.
14 He Was A Skilled Pilot And Mechanic
If there’s one thing Star Wars fans know for sure about prequel-era Obi-Wan Kenobi, it’s that he strongly disliked flying. He makes mention of it several times throughout the trilogy, and Anakin occasionally mocks him for it. The strange thing is that this wasn’t always the case; when Obi-Wan as young, he was extraordinarily skilled with machinery and harbored dreams of becoming a pilot. His extreme prowess in these fields lead him to become arrogant, something that Qui-Gon would eventually snuff out. Perhaps his old dreams of being a pilot lead him to refer to Anakin as “the best star pilot in the galaxy” when speaking to Luke, even though that’s a relatively nonsensical way to describe his former apprentice.
13 He Wasn’t An Infallible Protector
It may seem like a relatively small detail, but it’s important to recognize that Obi-Wan wasn’t totally without flaw in his younger years. Though his defence of the Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze was perhaps the most important undertaking in which he would participate prior to his defeat of Darth Maul during the Battle of Theed, he did manage to bungle that up somewhat. While on Draboon, Kenobi and Kryze encountered a swarm of hostile insects called venom-mites, and they very nearly didn’t escape. During their retreat, Kenobi dropped Kryze, which gave her a permanent scar. The two escaped with their lives and would later laugh about the incident, but it shows that Kenobi wasn’t always as sure of himself as he seemed to be in the prequels.
12 He Saw Yoda’s Dark Side
As explained to Luke during his training on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, everyone has a dark side which they must face. The same is true of Master Yoda, though he often comes across as the most balanced and learned of all the Jedi. In 32 BBY, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan encountered the Jedi Master on an unknown planet. To their surprise, he had dispatched an entire hoard of Flesh Mongrels—a notorious pirate syndicate in the Star Wars universe—and was in pursuit of a young child whom he had identified as being sensitive to the Force. This seems relatively out-of-character for Yoda, and the ordeal must have been surprising for both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan alike.
11 Civil War On Bri’n
In the recently released Marvel comic book Age of Republic - Qui-Gon Jinn 1 which takes place a decade before the onset of the Clone Wars, Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi were sent to the planet Bri’n to quell a brewing Civil War between the nature-loving people of Bri’n and a technology-focused insurgent group known as the Metal Clan. Once there, the pair of Jedi rescued a Bri’n priestess named Th’er from a Metal Clan attack and later forged peace between the planet’s rival factions. Th’er would criticise the Jedi’s self-appointed warrior status, which would foreshadow Emperor Palpatine’s excuse to enact Order 66 during the end of the Clone Wars.
10 Obi-Wan Was Prepared For The Jedi Trials
Before earning a place among the Jedi Knights, each Padawan must complete a series of trials to prove their worth and experience. Having been partnered with Qui-Gon for around a decade before encountering Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine, Obi-Wan was more than ready for these challenges. Though he said so to encourage the Jedi Council to allow him to train the young Skywalker, Qui-Gon really did believe that Obi-Wan was ready for the trials, and he nearly embarked on them before the invasion of Naboo derailed things. Of course, he more than proved his worth in his defeat of Darth Maul during the Battle of Theed, and he become a full-on Jedi Knight shortly after.
9 He Was Saved From Bandomeer By Qui-Gon
Obi-Wan had been relegated to life on Bandomeer for some time before Qui-Gon Jinn arrived. Though it isn’t discussed in the prequels, Kenobi wasn’t Jinn’s first padawan learner; he once trained a young boy named Xanatos who eventually defected from the Order. His vengeful ex-apprentice tricked him into coming to Bandomeer and would have successfully dispatched him were it not for the help of a young Obi-Wan. After bearing direct witness to Kenobi’s courage and tenacity, Qui-Gon agreed to take the boy on as a learner, though he was initially hesitant and doubted Obi-Wan’s abilities in the past. In the end, it proved to be a legendary relationship.
8 He Saved The Planet Gala
In the young adult novel titled Jedi Apprentice: The Mark of the Crown, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were sent to oversee an election on the planet Gala amid rumors of corruption. This was a bit ironic given what the Jedi allowed to happen right under their noses on Coruscant, but that is beside the point. There they uncovered and prevented a plot formulated by one of the election candidates to deprive the planet of bacta—a miraculous healing material used by almost every lifeform in the galaxy—and subsequently restore it, making him appear to be the hero to an ailing population. This is yet another instance in which the two Jedi upheld their oath to maintain peace in the galaxy.
7 He Temporarily Renounced The Jedi Order
Though he spent much of his time with Qui-Gon Jinn, he temporarily abandoned him and the Jedi Order to devote himself to a rebellion taking place on the planet Melida/Dann. The populace of this oddly named planet were so thoroughly divided that they couldn’t even reach an agreement on what to name the planet, hence the split title. Eventually, a faction of insurgents consisting of mostly children would rebel in an effort to finally end the fighting. These child warriors were sometimes referred to as The Young, and Kenobi found their cause so compelling that he gave up his Jedi training for a time in order to see the Young complete their goals.
6 He Nearly Had His Memories Erased
En route to their adventures on the planet Gala—which would have been their first officially-sanctioned mission together if not for this—Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi were taken and brought to the planet Phindar by a group of people eager to end the tyrannical rule of a criminal organization known as the Syndicat [sic]. The Syndicat had a reputation for erasing the memories of anyone they deemed to be a threat and instituted artificial food shortages on Phindar to keep the population desperate and malleable. A thirteen year old Obi-Wan nearly falls victim to their mind-wiping schemes, but the pair eventually come out on top and proceed to Gala.
5 He Was Good Friends With Many Other Padawans
Jedi aren’t exactly social creatures. In fact, they are more like monks in that they place meditation and learning far above any sort of physical or emotional contact. Though they certainly weren’t outlawing any friendships, it would be hard to name any real friendships which blossomed under the relatively strict Jedi code. However, during a pre-Clone Wars conflict which eventually become known as the Hyperspace Wars, Obi-Wan was able to forge a friendship with fellow padawan Quinlan Vos. Vos, much like Obi-Wan’s master Qui-Gon Jinn, had a reputation for going against the Jedi Code, which may have been grounds for their friendship.
4 He Met Chewbacca Before A New Hope
Obi-Wan seems to have a knack for forgetting things; though R2-D2 clearly recognized him in A New Hope despite his age, Kenobi claimed that he didn’t remember owning any droids (which is technically true… from a certain point of view). He also didn’t seem to remember Chewbacca, though Wookies are probably pretty difficult to differentiate for humans. The two first teamed up when the Jedi joined a Wookie-led rebellion attempting to liberate Altar Prime from the Trade Federation shortly before the events of Episode I. While he didn’t know the face, he should at least have recognized the name. Of course, plenty of crazy things have happened in Obi-Wan’s life, and he’s bound to forget about some of them.
3 He Took A Blaster Bolt To The Shoulder
Not quite as humorous as an arrow to the knee, but Kenobi did receive a major wound when tracking down suspected Sith acolyte Murk Lundi. Lundi was pursuing a powerful Sith artifact when he was driven mad by its power and eventually arrested by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. Of course, he didn’t go quietly, and he managed to hit Qui-Gon’s apprentice in the shoulder before being taken into custody. Years later, Obi-Wan and Anakin would join forces with Lundi to pursue a Sith holocron which the Jedi wanted to prevent from falling into the hands of the newly-resurrected Sith. Of course, their efforts would ultimately prove futile as Darth Sidious would overthrow the Jedi and institute a new Galactic Empire.
2 He Might Have Been Able To Prevent The Clone Wars
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were actually present at what would come to be known as the Dorvalla Incident. Though relatively inconsequential at the time, the event would play a role in the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo and eventually the onset of the Clone Wars. The Nebula Front—a mostly peaceful anti-Trade Federation group—destroyed one of the Federation’s cargo ships, which instigated an open revolt which had devastating large-scale effects. Though Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were present at the incident, they were undercover and didn’t interfere. Had they prevented these events, they may have delayed the Clone Wars, though it would have been pretty difficult to outright prevent them given Emperor Palpatine’s unseen hand.
1 He Nearly Saved The Life Of Jedi Knight Tahl
In 41 BBY, Qui-Gon had visions informing him that Jedi Tahl may have been in danger. Against the wishes of the Council, he and his apprentice went to New Apsolon to come to her aid. Unfortunately, the pair arrived too late as she had been done-in by the Absolutes, a secret police force based on the same planet. This came as a major shock to Kenobi who, at that point, considered the Jedi to be infallible and immune to harm. He struggled with this indirect brush with mortality, and it would factor into how he dealt with the defeat of his master at the hands of Darth Maul years later. It also proves that Kenobi could be a bit foolish in his younger years.