In the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi (premiering this week), audiences will finally get to fill in one more gap in the Star Wars timeline between Episode III and IV. While live action Star Wars entries have mostly avoided showing us the details of Obi-Wan’s life, other mediums have been more interested in exploring this character in more detail – particularly comics. If Obi-Wan leaves you wanting more of the Jedi master, these issues will fulfill that desire and maybe even hint at what the series may explore.
Marvel Star Wars (2015-2019) Issues #7, #15, #20, #26-30
Star Wars was one of the first series put into production after Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, focusing on the main cast after the events of A New Hope and written by Jason Aaron. While most of the series focuses on smaller encounters between the Rebels and Empire, the series would take breathers to look backward using Obi-Wan’s journal left behind for Luke Skywalker to use. These journal entries gave readers and Luke a look into what Obi-Wan’s time on Tatooine was like. Since these vignettes are in a canonical comic, we could see some of these events be referenced in the Obi-Wan series.
These issues also include the surprise appearance of a character who made their first live action appearance in Book of Boba Fett and the first hint Luke would receive of Yoda as well. Yoda’s mention here is most noteworthy as it suggests that there are secrets he shared with Obi-Wan during this time that we’ve not yet been privy to.
Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016)
Written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Marco Checchetto, both Marvel Star Wars staples, this five issue miniseries was Marvel tiptoeing backwards into the prequel era. Set before Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan and Anakin follow the titular master and student on a mission gone wrong while being stranded on a remote planet. While the central story of warring factions for control of the planet is relatively rote for a Star Wars story, it serves to reveal more about the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker at this period of time. Framed against very recent flashbacks, the story highlights Anakin’s frustrations and Obi-Wan’s hesitations about his own place in their relationship. If you’re a fan of the banter between the two characters in Attack of the Clones or The Clone Wars animated series, this series fits right in with that tone.
Star Wars: Age of Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019)
This one-shot from the Age of Republic series written by Jody Houser takes place at the very early days of Obi-Wan’s training of Anakin. In this story, Kenobi is all nerves and hesitation – still unconvinced of his own station and if Anakin should really be trained. The main plot – Obi-Wan and Anakin go to retrieve a Jedi artifact from a Republic archeology site – is again not meant to do much but serve as a plate for Obi-Wan to project onto. This less confident Kenobi is a great compliment to the Obi-Wan and Anakin miniseries version of the character and gives a greater trajectory of Kenobi’s growth into dedicated master.
Capitalizing on the new Disney+ series, this new miniseries is still ongoing. However, Marvel solicits have indicated the trajectory of the series. As opposed to other comics focusing on a specific period of time in Obi-Wan’s life, each issue will follow Kenobi through a different stage of his life. This is being handled by the same framing device used back in 2015, Obi-Wan’s journaling. Most notably here is that this will be one of the few canonical looks back to Kenobi’s own childhood, a period shrouded in mystery up until now compared to other parts of the timeline. This series has only had one issue released so far and won’t be completed until after the Obi-Wan show has finished, however, so bookmark for now.
Star Wars Episode I: Obi-Wan Kenobi (1999)
This adaptation of The Phantom Menace is written from Kenobi’s perspective, told in retrospect by Obi-Wan to Yoda. This comic follows the plot of the film but provides the reader with a chance to get into Obi-Wan’s head during those events. Since he spends a decent amount of time on the sidelines during Phantom Menace, these little bits of details lend a peek into an even more conflicted character. His opinions of Anakin and his own situation makes it much more clear that he and Anakin share a lot of restlessness and frustration, even though it originates from very different places. Since this was published before the Disney purchase, it’s considered non-canon and in the “Legends” category, but between being a direct adaptation of Episode I and being written by Star Wars legend himself Henry Gilroy, it’s a safe argument a lot of the takes on Kenobi here still stand.
Star Wars: Purge (2005)
This Dark Horse published Legends comic is the most curious entry on this list, but it’s also the most likely to inform some of what will actually be in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Despite Kenobi not actually appearing in this John Ostrander-written one shot, his presence drives the entire plot. That plot involves other Jedi survivors of Order 66 secretly meeting to try to recover all while the specter of Darth Vader hovers over the remaining Jedi in the galaxy. This comic predates newer additions to canon such as Vader’s Inquisitors, so instead it relies on Vader’s own rage at Obi-Wan to drive him as a terrifying threat.
Vader doesn’t get his destined rematch with his former friend and master in this comic, but that doesn’t stop him from getting a chance to take his desire out on other members of the Order. This comic definitely retains the uncomfortable fear depicted in Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One while carrying Vader’s passion for vengeance. If anything makes it into the Kenobi series, it will be the animosity Vader has for Obi-Wan, and maybe it’ll be just as scary.
While a lot of comics in the Star Wars brand tend to focus on smaller side stories, issues like the ones outlined here help to flesh out the larger details of the galaxy far, far away. Even if the Obi-Wan Kenobi series doesn’t directly reference them, these comics will help to flesh out a character that only gets to shine so often in Star Wars.
Obi Wan-Kenobi premieres Friday, May 27. Watch the trailer for the series below.