Obi-Wan is one of the most iconic characters in cinema. First portrayed by Alec Guinness in 1978’s Star Wars (later retitled Episode IV: A New Hope), the wise space wizard is a pivotal character in the Skywalker Saga. Funnily enough, his character gained greater popularity later thanks to George Lucas’s much-derided prequel trilogy. Now, with Ewan McGregor reprising the role for an Obi-Wan series, we look back at the Jedi legend’s best movie moments.
10) The Mos Eisley Bar Fight (Episode IV: A New Hope)
He’s a highly religious Jedi warrior, but this doesn’t stop Obi-Wan from getting into some bar-fight scrapes. Most famous of these is perhaps his confrontation with the wanted man in the Mos Eisley Cantina. After this pig-faced ruffian threatens Luke Skywalker, Kenobi draws his lightsaber and takes him out. It’s a cool moment because it shows that, despite his seemingly peaceful composure, Obi-Wan isn’t afraid to defend those he cares about if need be. It’s also the first time we see the lightsaber used in battle in a Star Wars movie.
9) Kenobi vs. Jango Fett (Episode II: Attack of the Clones)
Sure, Obi-Wan loses this fight. However, Kenobi’s fight with the famed bounty hunter proves to be one of his best movie fights. Unfortunately, Fett manages to flee his opponent but it’s still impressive to see Kenobi go toe-to-toe with a gun-toting badass. And, hey, Windu lops off his head later in the film so he didn’t get the last laugh.
8) “I’ll Do What I Must” (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith)
It’s not an easy choice to fight your former pupil and best friend. But regardless, Kenobi realizes he must do what he must when it’s evident Anakin is lost to the Dark Side. The scene is powerful because Obi-Wan is so level-headed compared to the mentally unstable Anakin. Having both characters face-to-face only further highlights how deranged Anakin has become. Yet, despite Kenobi’s determination to best him, there’s tragedy since he is fighting someone he loved as a brother.
7) Defeating Grievous (Episode III: Revenge fo the Sith)
Let’s be honest – General Grevious was a terrible, goofy villain in Episode III (which is a shame, since the Clone Wars microseries that preceded it built him up to be a badass). That said, one of Obi-Wan’s best moments is when he fells the lightsaber-wielding robot – and with a blaster to his heart, no less. The future Old Ben then casually discards the weapon, distastefully grunting, “So uncivilized”. That’s the Jedi Master of post-victory quips.
6) Want to Buy Some Death Sticks? (Episode II: Attack of the Clones)
Ewan McGregor kills it in Obi-Wan’s more humorous moments in the movies. Who can forget his bizarre interaction with a drug dealer on Coruscant when the slimy peddler offers him some Death Sticks? The Jedi Master executes a Jedi mind trick, convincing the Barfly that he doesn’t want to sell him Death Sticks. Obi then finishes his mind manipulation by suggesting the dealer “go home and rethink your life”. One wonders if he did…
5) Ben vs Vader (Episode IV: A New Hope)
Ben and Darth Vader’s duel is too iconic not to include here. It’s the first lightsaber duel ever filmed and, while the choreography is rudimentary compared to later instalments, it’s a cool piece of Star Wars history. And the dialogue is so cool, it enters ‘So Bad, it’s Good’ territory. “When I met you, I was the learner, now I am the master” taunts Vader, to which Ben retorts, “Only a master of evil, Darth”. Then there’s Ben’s warning – “If you strike me down, I’ll become more powerful than you can imagine.” Cheesy, but delicious. Also, it has retroactive value when you consider that Kenobi’s warning proves true when he posthumously guides Luke to Jedi success in the next two movies.
4) Old Ben Shuts Down the Tractor Beam (Episode IV: A New Hope)
This isn’t exactly a memorable moment in Episode IV as a movie. But for Obi-Wan’s character, it’s underrated in its badassery. Here, Old Ben successfully sneaks past a Death Star full of imperials and shuts down the space weapon’s tractor beam. A significant moment since it allows Luke and Company to flee later without the tractor beam drawing them back in. It’s overlooked but nonetheless one of Obi-Wan’s best moments.
3) Mind-Tricking the Imperials (Episode IV: A New Hope)
He may be old but he’s still got it. In this iconic moment from the first movie, Obi-Wan uses a Jedi mind-trick to convince an Imperial trooper that he doesn’t need to see Luke’s identification. This, of course, is the birth of that famous Star Wars phrase “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” Look, I criticize George Lucas for bad dialogue all the time – but he sure knew how to create some memorable lines from time to time.
2) Obi-Wan Defeats Maul (Episode I: The Phantom Menace)
Maul had the high ground in this battle as his light-sided opponent hangs helplessly above a bottomless chasm. However, Maul doesn’t know Obi-Wan is meant to survive the story until Episode IV. Thus, the Padawan leaps out from his predicament and impales Maul with his fallen master’s lightsaber. It’s sort of ridiculous, but memorable enough to make it one of Obi-Wan’s best moments. Sadly, as revealed in the 3D Clone Wars series and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Maul recovers from this…
1) Obi-Wan Laments Anakin’s Dark Turn (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith)
McGregor is one of the best parts of Episode III. And when you see this heartbreaking scene towards the end of the movie, you see why. Obi-Wan genuinely seems devastated that his former pupil turned to the dark side. “You were meant to destroy the Sith, not join them!” he cries. It’s the way McGregor elevates his material that makes us glad he’s returning for the series.
So, we pass the question off to you! What do you think are the best Obi-Wan Kenobi movie moments? Do you prefer Ewan McGregor or Alec Guinness in this iconic role? Regardless, expect to see more of the Jedi Master in Disney Plus’s Obi-Wan series set to air sometime in 2022.