In honor of the original grumpy old Jedi
For those of us who grew up with *only* the Original Star Wars Trilogy, no character more epitomized the Jedi Order that was then Obi-Wan Kenobi as played by Sir Alec Guiness. He was nearly the sole connective thread between the era of Luke Skywalker and the Clone Wars, offering a handful of tantalizing hints about what happened before the rise of the Galactic Empire.
All of that was expanded in the Prequel Trilogy, when Ewan McGregor took on the role of a much younger Obi-Wan who evolves over the three films from confident but still obedient Padawan to seasoned Jedi Master.
Now, in honor of the release of the trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” that takes place between Episodes III and IV, here are some of my personal favorite Kenobi moments from the movies. (For the purpose of conciseness, I’m not delving into the “Clone Wars” series, but it has a great number of outstanding Obi-Wan moments.)
It’s also worth noting that Guiness was 63 when Star Wars came out, and McGregor is currently 50. “Kenobi” takes place ~12 years before the events of A New Hope so…the timing kind of works out.
Ben’s Not Telling Us Something
From: Star Wars
Guinness leaning back and stroking his beard in the middle of telling Luke about his father and the Clone Wars hints at there being a *lot* that’s on his mind but which he’s choosing to omit from the story. But why?
Sassy Obi-Wan is Sassy
From: Revenge of the Sith
There are a number of moments, particularly from RotS, that could have fit in this category, but this is one of the first in the movie and sets the tone for how the character has grown more comfortable with himself and his partner Anakin over the course of the Clone Wars.
Amused at the Subterfuge
From: Phantom Menace
First let’s stipulate that the most amusing part of TPM is tracking which shots were part of principle photography and which were pickups based on McGregor’s hair. That being said, the look he gives after Padme reveals herself is fantastic, a counter to the continued stoicism of Qui-Gon Jinn, who doesn’t do much more than raise an eyebrow.
From: A New Hope
“These guys are idiots.”
Also, even with his hood down he still out-acts everyone else who appeared in any movie that year.
One With the Force
From: Revenge of the Sith
This moment perfectly epitomizes how skilled Obi-Wan has become as he leaps into a situation with impossible odds stacked against him, fully knowing he has the abilities to win the day.
There are more, of course, but these are the ones that jump out as being representative of just what kind of character Obi-Wan is and how, over the course of six movies, he both grows and remains the same.