Many characters help make Star Wars such an adored franchise, but few are as prominent or important to the overall stories as Obi-Wan Kenobi. He is played on screen by two incredible actors and a pair of equally as immense voice actors in the animated shows; he is consistently one of Star Wars’ best characters. A good part of this is down to his dynamics and relationships with others.
Over his life, Obi-Wan cultivated many great friendships, some of the franchise’s best, but also managed to gain a lot of attention from villains, a couple of whom ended up forming arguably the greatest rivalries in Star Wars with the Jedi Master.
Updated on May 13th, 2022, by Rhys McGinley: The upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series is one of the most hotly anticipated pieces of Star Wars ever and one of the many elements fans are excited about is the dynamic that Ewan McGregor’s iconic Jedi has with other characters new and old. Over the years the Jedi Master has formed many incredible friendships, but so too has he been caught up in passionate rivalries that have immense stories behind them. The former General Kenobi is set to form more rivalries with Inquisitors in the show, but already has such an immense catalog of foes behind him, joining his group of amazing friendships.
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Best Friendships
Obi-Wan is one of the few people in the Galaxy to know about the relationship between Padmé and Anakin, and his figuring this out can be attributed to not only how much he knows Anakin, but Padmé too.
The two are not the best of friends or the closest of comrades, Padmé is much closer to Ahsoka for example, but they have a good relationship and a lot of care for one another, exemplified by Obi-Wan being there comforting her during the birth of Luke and Leia.
For nineteen years, Obi-Wan Kenobi looked over and protected Luke Skywalker and the Lars homestead before finally beginning to try and train the young Skywalker in the ways of the Force.
Obi-Wan was definitely more a mentor than a friend to Luke. There was no Anakin and Obi-Wan level of brotherhood between the two, but there was an immense amount of care and respect, and during their time together, they did form a close bond, even beyond Obi-Wan’s death retaining a relationship.
The story of the clones is totally heartbreaking, not just because it resulted at the end of the Jedi, the start of the Empire, and the eventual dismission of them, but because fans got to know them as individuals.
Many great relationships formed with clones such as Rex and the 501st with Ahsoka and Anakin or Wolffe and the Wolffepack with Plo Koon. Another example is that between Cody and Obi-Wan, the two had a great liking, respect, and even care for one another, even though their relationship is presented a bit more business-like than that of Ahsoka/Anakin and Rex.
Yoda & The Other Jedi
The Jedi Order was an extremely flawed institution, particularly the Jedi High Council, with its beliefs, actions, and adherence to an ancient code, but it had some great people and excellent characters who were more often than not friends.
Some Jedi Obi-Wan had great back, and forths with and a good rapport with include Yoda, a relationship that continued beyond both their deaths, Windu, Quinlan Vos, Adi Galia, Luminara, Shakk Ti, and others.
Over time the relationship between Obi-Wan and Ahsoka becomes fractured, with her being rightfully angry with the Jedi Master for everything that went down in seasons 5 and 6 of The Clone Wars. Nevertheless, the two have a great relationship before then.
Audiences are not treated to a lot of one-on-one conversations between them, but the friendship is evident as Obi-Wan clearly cares for the young former Jedi, and Ahsoka has all the respect in the galaxy for her Master’s Master. There is a small chance that Ahsoka could pop up in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, and seeing these characters interact one more time would be remarkable.
The relationship between Obi-Wan and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn is short-lived on screen but still manages to make an impact, with the relationship becoming even better through the extended canon in Master and Apprentice.
There was definitely incredible care between the two, with Obi-Wan admiring his master even though he never fully understood his ideals. The two had one of the best and closest Master/Apprentice relationships of that era, far warmer to each other than the likes of Luminara and Barris, even if they never reached Anakin and Ahsoka levels of personal.
Speaking of Obi-Wan and Darth Vader, there is much less of an argument over what Obi-Wan’s best friendship was, with his relationship with Anakin being one that was definitely rocky, but with a lot of love.
The building on their relationship from the prequels is an underrated aspect of The Clone Wars. The two have so many fantastic moments as a duo throughout their time together in that show and the prequels. All the history, the emotional moments, and the care between them add to the Battle of the Heroes, making it so heartbreaking. Even though at times Obi-Wan was a bad friend to Anakin, and sometimes Anakin acted like too much of a whiny teen in regards to Obi-Wan, they have a fantastic, adored well-crafted, mutual friendship.
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Best Rivalries
This is a total one-sided rivalry in the sense that Obi-Wan holds no ill will or animosity towards Owen, whereas Owen has a distrust of Obi-Wan that leads to him confronting and berating the Jedi a couple of times.
This storyline and the tension between them have already been explored in comics. Still, it will unquestionably be dealt with further in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series which should add depth to Owen’s character and properly go into his seeming dislike of Obi-Wan.
One of the very best enemies-turned-reluctant ally relationships in The Clone Wars and Star Wars overall is that between Obi-Wan and Ventress, who share some amazing scenes over the course of the show.
As rivals, they have a great, almost banter back and forth with one another and produce some brilliant action together too. Ventress may not be the most emotional or personal of foes for Obi-Wan, but that does not stop it from being a solid rivalry.
Throughout both the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars, Count Dooku is an oftentimes underrated villain who adds a lot to the story of the war while also being a good character in his own right.
As a former Jedi, Dooku was once friends with the likes of Obi-Wan; after Dooku fell to the dark side, the two had a handful of lightsaber battles, and the hunting of Dooku was crucial for the Jedi.
While Dooku and Obi-Wan did have a great rivalry throughout the war, it always seemed as though Anakin was at odds more with the former Jedi, while Obi-Wan spent more time dealing with General Grievous.
Since Grievous never met Anakin until Revenge of the Sith, they never shared much of a rivalry beyond a natural disliking of the opposite side of the war. Obi-Wan and Grievous, however, had numerous battles and exchanges with one another, all of which were at least entertaining, with their final fight being a fairly iconic one. The rivalry would rank highly on any fan’s mind for the “Hello there,” “General Kenobi” exchange alone.
One of the very best original Clone Wars characters, who fans hope to see again in the canon soon, is Cad Bane, a ruthless bounty hunter and skilled fighter who caused the Jedi a lot of issues.
In particular, Bane seemed to have more of a mutual disliking with Obi-Wan, who was seemingly there to thwart all of Bane’s plans. The two had a great dynamic and produced some great fights with one another, with Bane constantly annoyed by the presence of the Jedi.
You cannot talk about Obi-Wan without talking about one of Star Wars’ best and most powerful villains, Darth Vader. In 1977 the first-ever Star Wars lightsaber battle occurred, and it was between the two, with Obi-Wan heartbreakingly meeting his end.
There is debate on when Anakin officially becomes Darth Vader. Is it when Palpatine deems him so? When he kills the younglings? Or when he puts on the suit? Assuming he was Vader for at least part of the Battle of the Heroes, their rivalry becomes an even better one, and one that lasted nineteen years with only two meetings – that fans know of.
There will be some fans who hold the opinion that Obi-Wan’s greatest rival is Darth Vader. While that is, of course, a respectable opinion, even if it takes place on the big screen, that rivalry does not achieve the heights of Obi-Wan and Maul.
There is obviously more of a heartbreaking history behind Vader and Kenobi’s rivalry. However, with how Maul stayed alive all that time out of hatred for Kenobi, how he killed Satine, how he hunted him on Tatooine, how the two shared an incredible first duel, and an immense final one, and with the sheer emotion and quality that oozed from every appearance they made together, it is undoubtedly the best of Obi-Wan’s rivalries.
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