What You Actually Need to Remember About Obi-Wan Kenobi Before His Show Starts

What You Actually Need to Remember About Obi-Wan Kenobi Before His Show Starts
Obi-Wan's been surprisingly busy for an exiled hermit. (Image: Lucasfilm)

For a man who spent a few decades hanging out in a small house in the desert, Obi-Wan Kenobi actually had a pretty busy life in the Star Wars canon even before A New Hope — and even before his upcoming, self-titled Disney+ series. Here’s a few tidbits from Obi-Wan’s life on Tatooine that are fun to know about in the run up to the show, whether they end up mattering or not.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, due to hit Disney+ at the end of May, will take place roughly 10 years after Revenge of the Sith in around 9BBY — that’s “Before the Battle of Yavin” in Star Wars chronology, or, for ease of purpose, the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. We know from the very end of Revenge of the Sith that Obi-Wan has already decided to exile himself to Tatooine, dropping the newborn Luke off to Owen and Beru Lars, before riding his Eopie off into the desert.

But what kind of headspace is he in up to that point, beyond the whole “well, I just lopped most of my best friend’s remaining limbs off and my entire workplace just got exterminated by an evil mad wizard who was kind of sort of my boss before the whole evil mad wizard reveal” thing? What does he get up to on Tatooine in those years? What won’t we see in Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let us provide a few hints…

He’s Probably Still Very Miserable About Satine Kryze

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

OK so we know Obi-Wan is already very miserable by the time he’s on Tatooine — he left Anakin for dead on Mustafar, most of his friends have been wiped out, and the Republic has been transformed into a horrifying galactic Empire. He’s going through it! But it’s probably worth noting that Obi-Wan has a little extra grief you might not be familiar with if you haven’t watched Clone Wars coming into the new show.

In the final days of the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan participated in the defence of the neutral planet Mandalore, after a returned Darth Maul (that’s a long, different story, and more on that later!) and his burgeoning crime syndicate staged a coup to overthrow the planet with the help of the rogue Mandalorian traditionalist faction, the Death Watch. Maul, being Maul, double-crossed the Death Watch to take the planet for himself, deposing, and ultimately executing in front of a horrified Obi-Wan, Mandalore’s ruler, Duchess Satine Kryze.

Obi-Wan and Satine knew each other when they were younger, when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were tasked with protecting Satine during the Mandalorian Civil War. They had fallen in love, and Obi-Wan very nearly left the Jedi Order to be with her before they ultimately parted ways. They reunited during the Clone Wars after Satine became the leader of a group of neutral systems advocating for peace, but Obi-Wan’s love died in his arms thanks to Maul’s desire for revenge. We know, thanks to this week’s release of the novel Star Wars: Brotherhood, that it’s Satine who gave Obi-Wan the nickname “Ben” some time in the past — so the fact that he adopts that name on Tatooine again means that she and her absence are likely not far from his thoughts.

He’s Started Meditating With Qui-Gon’s Force Ghost

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

One small thing we know Obi-Wan starts doing almost immediately is meditating deeply into the Force — and pretty soon after, he starts re-encountering his old Jedi Master, Qui-Gon, who has mastered the rare Jedi ability to return from the dead as a spirit. Qui-Gon, over the years, speaks to Obi-Wan and counsels him about his exile and his many (many) regrets about the past, not just honing his own ability to exist as a Force Ghost, but also teaching that technique to Obi-Wan along the way. We don’t know if Liam Neeson will make an appearance in Obi-Wan Kenobi, ghostly cameo or disembodied voice, or otherwise, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if he did.

He’s Actually Crossed Paths With Luke Already

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

We’ve seen in the trailers that Obi-Wan is watching over the young Luke from afar, yes, but we’ve already had several tales of Obi-Wan encountering Luke in the current Star Wars canon at this point in time, thanks to both A New Hope anthology collection From a Certain Point of View, and the Marvel Star Wars comic’s initial volume, which included several tales from Obi-Wan’s journal that recounted such details.

When Luke was just three, Obi-Wan rushed to the aid of the Lars homestead when it was attacked by roaming bandits — only to be chased off by Owen Lars for interfering. A few years later, Obi-Wan found himself coming to the aid of Luke once again, even if the young boy didn’t know it, protecting him from the thugs of Jabba the Hutt during a water drought.

He Still Can’t Help Being a Hero

Image: Mike Mayhew and Chris Eliopoulos/Marvel ComicsImage: Mike Mayhew and Chris Eliopoulos/Marvel Comics

One line in the Obi-Wan Kenobi trailers that’s really stood out is the Grand Inquisitor discussing the inherent nobility of the Jedi: “Jedi cannot help what they are. Their compassion leaves a trail… the Jedi Code is like an itch, he cannot help it!” And lord, if that isn’t true of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

That aforementioned water drought, and the conflict with the henchmen of Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire, is just one of several times Obi-Wan has been unable to do anything but intervene out of his sense of duty before the events of the show. He fought Jabba’s goons multiple times, whether to save Luke in the aforementioned encounter, or to protect local moisture farmers, the Lars family included, from an extortionate water tax the Hutt’s syndicate demanded. Some bandits here, a few Tusken Raiders there, Obi-Wan wasn’t above putting himself on the line to protect someone during his exile… even if, more often than not, it made him regret reaching out to other people over staying hidden.

Uncle Owen *Really* Hates Him at This Point

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

The most recent Obi-Wan trailer gave us a biting taste of Owen Lars’ relationship with Obi-Wan by the time the new show begins. But all those encounters, and the occasional brush with Luke as a young boy, mean that actually at this point Owen basically despises Obi-Wan. Several stories across From a Certain Point of View and that first volume of Marvel’s Star Wars comic touch on Owen often resorting to anger and violence to keep Obi-Wan as far away from Luke as possible — so if anything the glimpses we’ve seen of their relationship in trailers so far is downright amicable compared to some of the arguments we’ve seen in the books and comics. Suffice to say, even then, don’t expect anything too buddy-buddy.

He’s Beaten Up Krrsantan the Bounty Hunter, Too

Image: Mike Mayhew and Chris Eliopoulos/Marvel ComicsImage: Mike Mayhew and Chris Eliopoulos/Marvel Comics

One of those arguments between Owen and Obi-Wan actually leads to the duo encountering another familiar face from Marvel’s comics and now The Book of Boba Fett: the Wookiee bounty hunter Krssantan. After Obi-Wan’s brushes with Jabba’s henchmen, the Hutt hired Krssantan to intimidate Owen Lars, believing that he was the figurehead farmers were rallying around due to the repeated incidents near his homestead. Krrsantan kidnapped Owen and proceeded to rough him up, only for Obi-Wan to catch up and engage in a duel with the bounty hunter for Owen’s life. Obi-Wan ultimately succeed, blinding Krrsantan in one eye and forcing the Wookiee off Tatooine to avoid Jabba’s wrath — and earning a begrudging acknowledgement from Owen for saving his life in the process.

He’s Not Re-Encountered Darth Maul… Yet

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

One question that has repeatedly surfaced in the run-up to Obi-Wan Kenobi, to the point that it had to be flatly refuted, was whether or not the show would see Ben face off with his mortal nemesis Darth Maul again, who is still very much alive at this point after the events of Clone Wars. But, as we’ve been told by series director Deborah Chow, Maul was never going to be in the series, mostly because the end of his tale with Obi-Wan has already been told in Star Wars canon — and it occurs well after the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Obi-Wan and Maul reunite on Tatooine in the events of the Star Wars Rebels episode “Twin Suns,” which takes place chronologically speaking about seven years after the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi — and two before A New Hope. It’s implied there, at least, that Maul and Kenobi haven’t seen each other since Mandalore at the end of the Clone Wars, so it would undercut some of the pathos of “Twin Suns” if Maul had shown up on the upcoming live-action show. Due to its timing it doesn’t really matter to Obi-Wan Kenobi, but you should watch “Twin Suns” if you haven’t anyway — it’s a pretty incredible little piece of Star Wars storytelling.

Make sure you check out our article on every major sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, horror and adventure TV shows and movies hitting streaming services this month. Oh, and we’ve also ranked ALL of the lightsabers from Star Wars for you. You’re welcome.