Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of Star Wars’ most beloved characters, and even before we catch up with Ewan McGregor’s exiled Jedi Master in May, the galaxy far, far away has long been fascinated with his life before the events of A New Hope. If you want to get in the mood beyond just rewatching Revenge of the Sith, here’s some must-read (and must-watch) tales that make for the definitive Obi-Wan oeuvre.
Star Wars: Master & Apprentice
Claudia Grey’s canon novel dives into the early days of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s partnership, and offers a fascinating spin on coming into that relationship at a time of great turmoil, when Obi-Wan is seriously reconsidering if he has what it takes to be both a Jedi and the apprentice of someone so unorthodox as Qui-Gon Jinn. A rare look in the current Star Wars canon at the pre-Phantom Menace era, it’s a masterful (sorry) examination of these two heroes.
Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 2, Episodes 13, 14, and 15: “The Mandalore Plot,” Voyage of Temptation,” and “Duchess of Mandalore”
Obi-Wan is often more the sarcastic, knowing foil to Anakin and Ahsoka’s antics in The Clone Wars, the Dad of the Jedi Order to push doctrine and disapprove when his former apprentice and their new youngling ignore him anyway. But this trio of episodes — also known, originally controversially, for their radical overhaul of Mandalorian culture — put a fascinating emphasis on the personal life of Obi-Wan by introducing Duchess Satine Kryze, the pacifist leader of Mandalore… and a former paramour from Obi-Wan’s youth.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin
This five-issue miniseries set during the decade between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones sees writer Charles Soule and artists Marco Chechetto and Andres Mossa dispatch the Jedi duo to a remote ice world to mediate a dispute between two warring factions. Eventually, it becomes a mediation on Obi-Wan and Anakin’s testy relationship together, thrust into each other’s lives by fate and the will of Qui-Gon, giving a window into their developing connection with each other.
Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 4, Episodes 15, 16, 17, and 18: “Deception,” “Friends and Enemies,” “The Box,” and “Crisis on Naboo”
Another rare Obi-Wan-centric plotline for Clone Wars, this actually starts with Obi-Wan seemingly being killed off. Of course, he’s alive — and the assassination attempt becomes part of an undercover operation by the Jedi to have Obi-Wan, masquerading as the bounty hunter Rako Hardeen, uncover an assassination attempt on the Chancellor. A chance to see Obi-Wan navigate a dangerous mission without the backing of the Jedi or his strength in the Force!
Star Wars Republic: “The Battle of Jabiim,” “Hate and Fear,” and “No Man’s Land”
The now non-canonical Republic series from Dark Horse gave us a definitive accounting of the Clone Wars before the 3DCG animated series came along, and this trio of stories — all of which can be found in the Marvel Comics collection of the series, Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Clone Wars Vol. 2 — are some of the highlights in a very good series.
“The Battle of Jabiim” is actually a multi-issue arc that Obi-Wan is not in a lot… because he goes MIA early on in the titular, horrifying battle, leaving Anakin to join a similarly orphaned set of Padawans who have to hold out against an overwhelming enemy force. The other two stories follow up with the reveal that, of course, Obi-Wan was actually captured, and has to plan his escape with the clone ARC commando Alpha — and cross paths with Asajj Ventress.
Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 5, Episode 16: “The Lawless”
As a returned Darth Maul (it’s a long story) makes his move in a coup on Mandalore, Obi-Wan works to stop the world from falling into chaos… only to witness a tragic loss at the hands of one of his most enduring foes. If you like an emotionally tortured Obi-Wan Kenobi, then this is a good 20-ish minutes of that.
Star Wars Legends: Kenobi
Now another non-canonical entry from the old Expanded Universe, John Jackson Miller’s recounting of the early months of Obi-Wan’s exile on Tatooine is sure to prove a fascinating contrast to the upcoming show. It’s a novel where Obi-Wan really isn’t the main character, and more about how his arrival in the life of Tatooine oasis store owner Annileen Calwell changes her life forever — and the push and pull between Obi-Wan’s inherent desire to do good in the world while keeping himself secreted away from watchful eyes. A fascinatingly small-stakes and intimate story that the upcoming series would do well to take a few ideas from.
Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Episode 20: “Twin Suns”
This iconic Rebels episode recently turned five years old, and it remains as stunning and poignant now as it did at release. Obi-Wan himself may not be in it all that much, but his presence is felt, as Darth Maul manoeuvres the young Jedi-in-training Ezra Bridger into a trap to draw Obi-Wan out of his exile… and seek an end his quest for revenge against the Jedi that dismembered him, once and for all.
Star Wars: From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi
This very convenient Marvel collection gathers multiple stand-alone issues of the first volume of Marvel’s revived canon Star Wars comic by Jason Aaron in 2015. Framed around Luke discovering a journal of Obi-Wan’s shortly after the events of A New Hope, the issues flash back to periods throughout Obi-Wan’s exile on Tatooine, giving us glimpses at his attempts to stay hidden while still doing good in the world, from protecting the young Luke to having a… less than amicable relationship with the young boy’s new guardian, Owen Lars. Expect the show to perhaps touch on some of these ideas too!
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View: “Master and Apprentice”
Not to be confused with the first entry on this list, despite also being by Claudia Grey! This short story comes from the A New Hope 40th anniversary anthology From a Certain Point of View, and catches up on a moment with Obi-Wan as he communicates with the Force Ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn. It was actually written several years before Master & Apprentice, and not only offers a sweet look at Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s evolved relationship after the latter’s death, but a profound and fascinating development of what we know about Force Ghosts.