Obi-Wan Kenobi: former Jedi Master, defender of the Skywalker family’s greatest secret, Knight of the Republic… fashion icon? No matter what the Jedi say about dress codes, Ben Kenobi has never been one to shy away from accessorizing himself as one of the Jedi Order’s most stylish knights. As Obi-Wan Kenobi draws to a close, let’s take a look back at some of his finest finery.
10) The Phantom Menace’s Rat-Tail Padawan
Look, this is a perfectly good look for a youngling — although the robes themselves are a bit mono-coloured, cream on cream on cream, a mistake Obi-Wan will correct with age and experience, as we’ll see. But god, it’s just… the hair and the braid is a lot. Yes, it’s Jedi-mandated, at least for the braid, but this weird tiny pony tail with closely cropped hair at the sides? Oh, Obi-Wan, no no no.
9) The Clone Wars’ Jedi General Armour, Phase 2
Flashing forward over 20 years, there’s a lot to this look that’s great — in fact, iterative elements it borrows from will appear higher in this list, in some ways significantly so. Why so low for this one? Well, it feels kind of just weird that midway through the most devastating conflict the galaxy had seen in centuries, Obi-Wan simply decides “you know what I need less of on the front lines of bloody interstellar combat? Armour. Let’s go with less armour.” Sure the Jedi are good, but at this point in the Clone War we know they’re not invincible. I guess Obi-Wan is though — at least plot armour is invisible.
8) Attack of the Clones’ Jedi Jesus
Obi-Wan has learned two very important things in the decade since he was thrust into the surprising role of being the master to a prophecy-designated chosen one. First, how to break up those layers of temple robes with some lovely, subtle colour changes. Second: that he looks very good with a beard. The mullet is a little much, but honestly, if you were spending a decade training Anakin Skywalker? If you weren’t pulling your hair out, you wouldn’t have time to cut it often, either.
7) The Clone Wars’ Jedi General Armour, Phase 1
The first iteration of the animated series’ take on an armoured Jedi look, this is much stronger because, well, there’s actually more armour to it. Is there a lot more armour? Not really. But more armour is better than less armour when you’re regularly running face-first into a sea of battle droids because Anakin has decided to be brave and reckless again.
6) Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Wandering Jedi
OK, this is something of a low point for Obi-Wan emotionally, but sartorially? I really love this as a sort of “deconstructed Jedi” aesthetic. The loose cloak, the extra material around the neck era evoking his old robes, even the wraps around his boots — this feels like an attempt to look Jedi without it being obviously so, and it’s great as a way to speak to his mood in this moment, as he takes his first steps in the show back into that Jedi mindset.
5) Revenge of the Sith’s Master Robes
A wonderful transitionary look, metatextually, between the robes Obi-Wan wears in A New Hope and his look as a Jedi Knight in Attack of the Clones. It’s also a good evolution of his aesthetic across the prequel trilogy, iterating on what worked growing from The Phantom Menace to Attack of the Clones by adding more delineated colours to break up the robes, a lovely pair of statement boots, and, above all: finally, interstellar war was the time to get a nice haircut!
4) Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Tibidon Station Gear
Reader, I don’t actually know where or what Tibidon Station is, other than it’s presumably on Tatooine, because that’s where we see this look — it’s just the name of the action figure we’re getting of it, according to Hasbro. But like the “Wandering Jedi” look before it, this is an even better deconstruction of the Jedi aesthetic that keeps Obi-Wan looking visually identifiable, while doing enough to break up the look that it works for a man in hiding, both from the Empire and his past. The blue robes, the poncho as a stand in for his old robe… this is about as perfect a Jedi-in-exile look you can get.
3) A New Hope’s Tatooine Exile
Well, maybe. OK yes, Star Wars’ backwards storytelling structure means that the Jedi look of the prequels was heavily inspired by Obi-Wan’s look in the original Star Wars, but given the chronological complications, this just essentially means Obi-Wan goes into hiding still dressing mostly like he did as a Jedi, which is a little silly. But hey, it’s a good look! Big fan of the dressier elements here.
2) Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jabiim Robes
Obi-Wan’s back-in-business gear for when he meets the rest of Tala’s friends in the Path on Jabiim in the Disney+ show are meant to speak to just how much he’s drawn himself back into the ideals of being a Jedi — which means back to robes. These are very evocative of his Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith looks, but the smart colour change on the outer robes to grey is a simple, effective way to create a distinct, distinguished look.
1) Clone Wars’ Jedi General Armour
Is it sort of cheating, as Genndy Tartakovsky’s sublime animated miniseries is no longer canon, to include this? Maybe. I really don’t care though, as this is a fantastic take on a Jedi warrior that, as good as the 3DCG Clone Wars is, could never really top it with its own riffs. The hybrid of Jedi and Clone gear is both a compelling combination and distinctly wrong — we should be in some kind of awe and concern when we see a fully-armoured up Jedi like this. Admittedly, though: it’s mostly awe, because this is awesome.