Ever since Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney in 2012 and announced that both a new starwars sequel trilogy and spinoff projects were in development, fans have been clamoring for the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. While appreciation for george lucas‘s starwars prequel trilogy is just as divided as ever, both ardent prequel defenders and haters have come to agree that McGregor more than lived up to expectations. McGregor didn’t only honor the iconic Academy Award nominated performance by alec guinness; he added a new level of emotional depth to the three films that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
After years of speculation and hints over the years, McGregor is finally coming back. The upcoming Disney+ show, simply titled Obi-Wan Kenobi, is set for release at the end of May. Details about the plot are scarce, but the limited event series will chronicle Obi-Wan’s exploits between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the beginning of A New Hope. During this period, Obi-Wan hides in exile on Tatooine as he watches over Luke Skywalker.
Expectations are high for Obi-Wan’s new adventure, and the starwars Expanded Universe has helped to flesh out the beloved character beyond what we see in the films and animated shows. Here are seven great Obi-Wan Kenobi-centric comic adventures that you’ll definitely want to read.
Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon: Last Stand on Ord Mantell
One of the more underrated dynamics in the starwars prequel trilogy is the relationship between Obi-Wan and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) in The Phantom Menace. Despite his wisdom from him, Qui-Gon is more brash than his apprentice from him, who is a strict rule follower. Neeson wasn’t able to appear as a Jedi spirit in Revenge of the Sith and only briefly appeared in Clone Wars.
The Phantom Menace takes place at the end of Obi-Wan’s training, but the three-part comic series Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon: Last Stand on Ord Mantell focuses on a critical mission five years prior. Obi-Wan and his master of him are dispatched by the Jedi Council to the lawless planet of Ord Mantell as they investigate a missing Republic ship. They encounter both bounty hunters and angry natives. The series was written by author Ryder Windhamwho also explored Obi-Wan and Qui-Gons’ relationship in the young adult series Jedi Apprentice.
“Clone Wars Adventures”
Although the 2D animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars was initially intended to be little more than a toy commercial, the brilliant supervising director Genndy Tartakovsky ended up creating one of the most essential pieces of starwars Canyon. Utilizing the same groundbreaking animation techniques he’d commercialized with samurai jackTartakovsky crafted exciting adventures centering on the period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It marked the first appearance of James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan; Taylor later played him in both Clone Wars and Rebels.
Just as the show had exceeded expectations, the tie-in Clone Wars Adventures series was more than just an adaptation. The junior graphic novels helped to shed further insights on Obi-Wan’s relationship with Anakin Skywalker. Throughout the ten issues, the tension between the two decreases, and they develop into close friends. The comic also shows how Obi-Wan trains his apprentice from him as he prepares for the Jedi Trials.
“Defense of Kamino,” Republic
The Dark Horse comic book series Republic is one of the longest running continued series in the franchise’s history. The comic began in 1998 previewing the characters in The Phantom Menace and continued to bridge the gap between each prequel film until 2006. After the release of Attack of the Clonesthe Republic series began chronicling the events of the Clone Wars. It followed the Jedi’s struggle to maintain their values as they’re forced to become generals.
The early issue “Defense of Kamino” tells a critical story set only months after the war begins. After the Separatist droid forces launch a massive assault on the cloning facility on Kamino, Obi-Wan and Anakin are called in to defend the planet. The series showed a more tense time between Obi-Wan and his apprentice; they had n’t quite developed as brothers, and Anakin views his master of him as strict and critical. It also showed Obi-Wan’s empathy for the clone soldiers that he leads into battle.
“Slaves of the Republic,” The Clone Wars
Similar to earlier clone wars series, Dave Philoni‘s beloved show Clone Wars also inspired a recurring comic series. Obi-Wan and Anakins’ relationship is offset as Anakin trains his own apprentice, Ashoka Tano. Obi-Wan gives his former Padawan advice on the training process, but he also enjoys laughing at him. He finds it particularly amusing that Anakin is now dealing with a lot of the same struggles that he had experienced during their time together.
The “Slaves of the Republic” storyline shows all three characters working together on an ambitious mission to free the Torgutan people from enslavement. It’s a particularly emotional mission for both Anakin and Ashoka; Ashoka’s home planet is being threatened, and Anakin knows first hand about the horrors of slavery. Obi-Wan shows empathy for them both as they encounter ghosts of their pasts. If this storyline sounds familiar, it’s because it was later adapted into the animated series itself in the Season Four episodes “Kidnapped,” “Slaves of the Republic,” and “Escape from Kadavo.”
Obi-Wan’s relationship with the Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress is one of the most complex dynamics in the saga. Ventress is a dark side force user who is trained in the ways of the Sith by Count Dooku. Although Ventress is capable of being incredibly cruel, she’s a tragic character who she is taken advantage of. Obi-Wan attempts many times to redeem her. She only rejects his earnest efforts from him, predating Obi-Wan’s failure to stop Anakin from turning to the dark side.
Amidst the run of RepublicDark Horse launched a limited five-part series called obsession, which gave a definitive ending to Ventress’s story. Obi-Wan desperately searches for Ventress, but he also begins to suspect that Anakin may have a secret relationship with the Naboo senator Padme Amidala. obsession ends on a heartbreaking note only months before the beginning of Revenge of the Sith. The comic ran from 2004 to 2005, so it contradicts Ventress’s fate on Filoni’s The Clone Wars.
“Claws of the Dragon,” Legacy
Legacy is one of the most ambitious starwars comic series ever. Set over 130 years after the events of the original trilogy, Legacy introduced a new galactic conflict between the Jedi and Sith. The Sith have reformed under the “One Sith” legion lead by the overlord Darth Krayat. Krayat attacks and destroys the Jedi Temple on Ossus, forcing the surviving Jedi to go into hiding. Luke’s descendant Cade Skywalker gives up his training from him to become a bounty hunter.
Krayat ends up capturing Cade and bringing him to the new Sith Temple on Coruscant in the “Claws of the Dragon” storyline. Krayat reveals that he was once the Jedi Knight A’Sharad Hett, a tusken raider who was among Anakin’s closest friends in Republic. After the Jedi purge in Revenge of the Sith, A’Sharad turns to the dark side and adopts his Sith moniker. He attempts to kill Anakin’s son, but Obi-Wan thwarts his plans for him in one of the greatest lightsaber duels in the saga’s comic history.
“Old Wounds,” Star Wars Tales
In 2012, Clone Wars revealed that Darth Maul had survived his presumed death in The Phantom Menace. Maul and his brother, Savage Opress, begin their own criminal empire, and plan to destroy both Darth Sidious and the Jedi Order. Maul’s priority is getting vengeance on Obi-Wan. The reveal puts Obi-Wan in a challenging position. He’s matured since his youthful days of him, but the loss of Qui-Gon at Maul’s blade continues to torment him.
Prior to Clone Warsthe non-canon Star Wars Tales anthology series first introduced the concept of Maul’s survival. In the issue “Old Wounds,” a resurrected Maul travels to Tatooine to kill both Obi-Wan and Luke. Their lightsaber duel is just as intense as their battle in The Phantom Menace. “Old Wounds” heavily inspired similar events on Rebels.
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