Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Complete Chronological History in Star Wars

He may not be the main character in the overall continuity of Star Wars, but it’s hard to imagine George Lucas’s hit sci-fi franchise without the lovably suave Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Having been a part of the Star Wars universe since it began in 1977, Obi-Wan has become a pillar of Star Wars’ continuity, appearing in numerous films, TV series, comics, and novels over the past several decades.

Given Obi-Wan’s importance in the series – especially in his influential training of both Anakin and Luke Skywalker – there is plenty to understand regarding Obi-Wan’s canonical appearances in Star Wars.

From his earliest years as Qui-Gon Jinn’s padawan to his interactions with Luke as a Force spirit following his death, here is every film, TV show, and novel Obi-Wan has appeared in in chronological order.

The Complete Linear History of Obi-Wan Kenobi

As one of the foremost heroes of Star Wars present throughout most of the films in the Skywalker Saga, you better believe Obi-Wan has been featured in a variety of movies, TV shows, and Extended Universe lore over the years. For a straightforward guide to his numerous appearances, we put together this list that you’re able to follow along to:

  • Padawan
  • Master & Apprentice
  • The Phantom Menace
  • Obi-Wan and Anakin (Charles Soule)
  • Attack of the Clones
  • Brotherhood
  • The Clone Wars (film)
  • The Clone Wars (series)
  • Tales of the Jedi
  • Dark Disciple
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Rebels
  • A New Hope
  • Empire Strikes Back
  • Return of the Jedi
  • The Force Awakens
  • The Rise of Skywalker

As helpful as this guide might be, it’s a serious commitment reading and watching all the above material in order. For the sake of simplicity then, we compiled the full chronological list of Obi-Wan’s appearances below, summarizing his life prior to meeting Anakin up to his eventual death on the Death Star.


Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi novel
Image Credit: Disney–Lucasfilm Press

Set in 41 BBY (about nine years before The Phantom Menace), Kiersten White’s 2022 young adult novel, Padawan, details a 16-year-old Obi-Wan’s initial training and interactions with Qui-Gon Jinn, illustrating the clash of styles between the master and his apprentice.

Initially frustrated by Qui-Gon’s hands-off approach to teaching, Obi-Wan embarks on a solo mission to the planet Lenahra, interacting with a group of Force-sensitive teens as he inwardly ponders whether he was ever meant to join the Jedi Order. Eventually uncovering a sinister plot to drain the planet of its life force, Obi-Wan – with the help of small-time prospector Dexter Jettster – saves Lenahra, relocating the displaced teens after the fact.

Reuniting with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan is surprised to find that, rather than being angered by Obi-Wan’s defiance, his master is openly proud of him, praising him for his newfound independence and willingness to strike out on his own.

Master & Apprentice

Master & Apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi Qui-Gon Jin
Image Credit Disney-Lucasfilm Press.

Taking place in 40 or 39 BBY, Claudia Gray’s 2019 novel, Master & Apprentice, focuses on the continuing adventures of Qui-Gon and a 17-year-old Obi-Wan Kenobi, roughly seven years before The Phantom Menace. A main plot point of the novel deals with both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s uncertainty surrounding Obi-Wan’s training, with Qui-Gon believing he’s failed in his duties to instruct Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan fearing Qui-Gon is secretly displeased at his pupil’s lack of progression.

Conquering their internal fears, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan grow closer after a successful assignment on the planet Teth, eliminating any uncertainty regarding their future together. More tellingly, Master & Apprentice also sees Qui-Gon confirm his own inner beliefs regarding the strength of Jedi prophecy, even as Obi-Wan himself remains reluctant to put much faith in visions of the future (a trait that would become integral in the years to come).

The Phantom Menace

Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Ewan McGregor
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Paired together for approximately decade, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s final assignment together comes courtesy of The Phantom Menace in 32 BBY. Dealing with a crisis on Naboo pitting the planet’s monarchy against the corrupt Trade Federation, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon rescue Queen Amidala and whisk her away to Tatooine. There, Qui-Gon discovers nine-year-old slave Anakin Skywalker, believing his influence in the Force makes him the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy.

Escorting the Queen and a now-free Anakin to Coruscant, Qui-Gon does his best to convince the Jedi High Council that Anakin is the prophesized Chosen One, sworn to bring balance to the force. Although uncertain of Qui-Gon’s belief in Anakin, Obi-Wan respectfully backs his master’s claims.

Returning to Naboo to end the Trade Federation’s invasion, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon encounter the Sith Lord, Darth Maul. After a lengthy duel that leaves Maul severely wounded and Qui-Gon mortally injured, Obi-Wan swears to his dying master to assume Anakin’s training. Notifying Yoda of Qui-Gon’s wish and his determination to see it through, Obi-Wan is granted the rank of master by Yoda at the age of 24. Yoda then reluctantly allows Obi-Wan to take Anakin as his padawan.

Obi-Wan and Anakin (Charles Soule)

Obi-Wan and Anakin star wars comic
Image Credit: Marco Checchetto/ Marvel Comics.

Three years into their partnership together, Obi-Wan and the 12-year-old Anakin carry out various peace-keeping assignments throughout the galaxy – one of which takes them to the planet Carnelion IV in 29 BBY, which forms the basis for Charles Soule’s five-issue comic series.

Even as they continue to form a close bond together on these assignments, Obi-Wan and Anakin’s partnership is mired by Anakin’s recklessness and what Anakin views as Obi-Wan’s overly-orthodox approach to adhering to the Jedi Code. Though the mission is successful, Anakin begins questioning his place in the Jedi, becoming aware of both the hypocrisy and injustices found within the Order and the Republic. Coming close to exiting the Jedi Order at the off-set of the mission, Anakin ultimately decides against it, resolving to continue his padawan training under Obi-Wan.

Attack of the Clones

Ewan McGregor in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Seven years after their assignment on Carnelion IV, the 34-year-old Obi-Wan and the now 19-year-old Anakin are assigned to protect Senator Padmé Amidala in 22 BBY, after the former queen was nearly assassinated by agents of Count Dooku. Leaving Anakin to guard Padmé against any future assassination attempts, Obi-Wan embarks on a solo mission to determine the assassin’s true identity.

Obi-Wan’s investigation soon takes him to the mysterious world of Kamino, where he uncovers a genetically engineered clone army designed to serve the Republic. Believing that the clones’ genetical template – the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett – was behind the assassination attempt, Obi-Wan pursues Fett to Geonosis, where he’s promptly captured by Dooku and the fledgling Separatist Army.

Nearly killed in a gladiatorial fight alongside the similarly imprisoned Anakin and Padmé, the three then take part in the opening battle of the Clone Wars, pitting the Jedi and untested Clone Army against the Separatist’s mighty Droid Army. Facing Dooku in a duel, Obi-Wan and Anakin are left grievously wounded, and are only barely saved by the timely appearance of Yoda, who chases Dooku off, ending the battle in the Republic’s favor.


Brotherhood Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi
Image Credit: Del Rey/Laura Racero.

As the Clone Wars alters the political landscape of the galaxy, planets struggle to figure out where their true allegiances lie. Such is the focus of Mike Chen’s 2022 novel, Brotherhood. Taking place in 22 BBY, Anakin is promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight, leading him into conflict with Obi-Wan regarding their relationship.

No longer master and student, Obi-Wan has his patience tested when Anakin butts in on a sensitive investigation into an bombing on Cato Neimoidia that could determine the planet’s affiliation with the Republic. Clashing at first, the two eventually set the boundaries of their newfound partnership, saving their friendship – and Cato Neimoidia itself – in the process.

The Clone Wars (film)

Clone Wars Movie Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

A short time after the “messy business” on Cato Neimoidia, Anakin and Obi-Wan lead the Republic assault on the planet Christophsis in 22 BBY. During a small lull in the battle, the two meet teenage Togruta padawan, Ahsoka Tano, who is assigned to learn under Anakin by Yoda. Amused by the order and realizing his friend will experience the persistent headaches that come with training a rebellious young Jedi, Obi-Wan bides time for Ahsoka and Anakin to defeat the Droid Army, securing the planet for the Republic.

Learning that influential gangster Jabba the Hutt’s son has been kidnapped by the Sith – who are now framing the Jedi for the child’s disappearance – Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka are tasked with finding the young Hutt. Taking advantage of Obi-Wan’s famous political skills, Obi-Wan is dispatched to Tatooine to negotiate a treaty between the Hutts and the Republic. Uncovering the whereabouts of the missing Hutt on Teth, Obi-Wan personally battles Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress, easily defeating her (though she manages to escape the planet and Republic custody).

The Clone Wars (series)

Star Wars Clone Wars tv series Obi-Wan Kenobi
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

For the next three years, the Republic is embroiled in an epic, galaxy-wide conflict with the Confederacy of Independent Planets, forming the backbone of The Clone Wars TV series. From 22 to 19 BBY, Obi-Wan – like the fellow members of the Jedi – takes part in this war, with Obi-Wan personally leading his own battalion of clones with the assistance of his second-in-command, Commander Cody.

Specific narrative storylines centered around Obi-Wan in the series include his romantic relationship with Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze, his repeated clashes with General Grievous and Ventress, and his fateful encounter with a returning Darth Maul – now out for revenge against Kenobi for his maiming a decade prior.

Tales of the Jedi

Tales of The Jedi Obi-Wan Satine
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

Obi-Wan makes a small appearance in the anthology series, Tales of the Jedi, figuring into the episode, “Practice Makes Perfect.” This episode – set early on in the Clone Wars, shortly into Ahsoka and Anakin’s partnership – shows Obi-Wan attending Ahsoka’s training session at the Jedi Temple, sarcastically admonishing Anakin for being late.

Dark Disciple

Dark Disciple Star Wars
Image Credit: Del Rey/Matt Taylor.

After The Clone Wars’ abrupt cancellation in 2013, several unfinished storylines planned for the series’ future seasons were adapted into tie-in novels, including Christie Golden’s 2015 book, Dark Disciple. Set in 19 BBY, the novel follows disillusioned Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, who Obi-Wan recommends carry out an assassination attempt on Count Dooku’s life (an assignment designed by the High Council that Obi-Wan is heartily against).

Throughout the novel, Obi-Wan works with Vos from afar, providing him with valuable intelligence and resources, and helping him make an ally out of Dooku’s former pupil, Asajj Ventress. The entire mission proves unsuccessful, with Vos briefly falling to the Dark Side after trying – and failing – to kill both Dooku and Darth Sidious. Defending Vos and the fallen Ventress – who gave her life to save Vos from Dooku – Obi-Wan convinces the High Council to pardon Vos for his failures, attending a private funeral service on Dathomir for his former enemy-turned-ally, Ventress.

Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of The Sith Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi Ewan McGregor
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

In 19 BBY, Anakin and Obi-Wan launch a successful rescue operation over Coruscant, freeing the Chancellor from the clutches of General Grievous and killing Separatist leader, Count Dooku. With the end of the Clone Wars in sight, Obi-Wan is sent to lead the Republic assault on Utapau, finally killing the wily Droid commander, Grievous. Before departing for Utapau, Obi-Wan does his best to calm the increasingly addled Anakin, who’s discontent with the Jedi High Council seems to have reached its breaking point.

With Obi-Wan no longer there to provide him with guidance and clarity, Anakin falls to the Dark Side, bargaining with Sidious (revealed to be Chancellor Palpatine) to save Padmé’s life from prophesied death. Assuming his place as Sidious’s apprentice, Anakin – now going by the moniker Darth Vader – initiates a galaxy-wide genocide against the Jedi, with only Obi-Wan and a few others managing to survive.

Devastated by his friend’s fall from grace – but realizing his death is necessary for the sake of the galaxy – Obi-Wan departs for Mustafar, engaging in an intense duel with Vader over the planet’s fiery terrain. Seriously wounding Vader yet unable to deliver the final blow, Obi-Wan tearfully laments Anakin’s transformation, leaving him to die on a nearby lava flow. Reuniting with Yoda, Obi-Wan witnesses the birth of Luke and Leia, agreeing to protect and watch over Luke on Tatooine after Padmé’s death in childbirth.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi Ewan McGregor
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

As the Republic is restructured into the Galactic Empire under Palpatine, Obi-Wan lives in solitude on Tatooine for the next 10 years, guarding Luke and his family from afar. Guilt-ridden over Anakin’s supposed death at his hands, the 46-year-old Obi-Wan severs his ties with the Force, assuming the name Ben Kenobi to avoid Imperial authorities.

When the 10-year-old Leia is kidnapped in 9 BBY, Obi-Wan reluctantly agrees to rescue her upon the request of Bail Organa. Freeing Leia from her confinement, Obi-Wan outruns Imperial Inquisitors, eventually coming face to face with Vader, who’s he shocked to learn survived his injuries on Mustafar.

Meeting in two separate battles, Obi-Wan finally manages to come to terms with Anakin’s transformation during his climactic duel with his former padawan, who fully embraces his new identity as Vader. Sparing an injured Vader’s life, Obi-Wan escorts Leiab back to Alderaan and returns to Tatooine, resuming his duties protecting Luke and finally conversing with Qui-Gon’s Force spirit after the latter’s death 23 years earlier.


Star Wars Rebels Obi-Wan Kenobi James Arnold Taylor
Image Credit: Disney XD.

For the next decade, Obi-Wan continues to watch over Luke under his guise as desert hermit, Ben Kenobi. In 2 BBY, he finds and rescues the stranded Ezra Bridger, who’s arrived to Tatooine looking for Obi-Wan in the hopes of warning him about Maul – who is similarly pursuing Kenobi to fulfill his decades-long personal grudge against the Jedi. Gently rebuffing Ezra’s offer to join the Rebellion, Obi-Wan also makes it plain that he has no desire to fight Maul – although he admits that a confrontation between the two seems unavoidable.

Sending Ezra on his way, Obi-Wan encounters Maul in the desert. Presuming that Obi-Wan has come to Tatooine to protect someone, Obi-Wan engages Maul in combat, quickly defeating his former foe. As Maul dies in his arms, Obi-Wan confirms Luke’s identity as the Chosen One, the two mutually agreeing that Luke will “avenge” them once he comes of age.

A New Hope

Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker A New Hope
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

In 0 BBY, the Rebellion steals valuable plans detailing the Death Star, the Empire launching a far-ranging search to recover the missing plans. With no one else she’s able to call on for help, Leia sends the plans to Obi-Wan through R2-D2 and C-3PO on Tatooine, asking that he personally deliver them to the Rebellion.

Rescuing Luke from a tribe of Tusken Raiders, Obi-Wan agrees to take the plans to the Alliance with Luke’s help, revealing many details about the Jedi to Luke (although he opts to tell Luke that his father was killed by Darth Vader). Together, they hire expert smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca of the Millenium Falcon, fleeing Imperial authorities on Tatooine. Making their way across the galaxy, the Falcon is soon apprehended by the Death Star itself. Deactivating the Death Star’s defenses on his own, Obi-Wan encounters Darth Vader nine years after their previous battle, fighting him for the final time.

Weakened by age and aware of his own strong connection to the Force, Obi-Wan witnesses Luke and Leia reunite for the first time since their birth. Seeing this, Obi-Wan happily assents to his own destruction, allowing Vader to strike him down at the age of 57. Later, Obi-Wan psychically communicates with Luke, encouraging him to channel the Force to destroy the Death Star and reminding him that the “Force will be with you, always.”

The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back Obi-Wan calls Luke Alec Guinness
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

In 3 ABY – three years after the destruction of the Death Star – the Rebel Alliance runs and hides from the persistent onslaught of the Empire, who are determined to decisively wipe them out. As Luke narrowly avoids becoming a meal for a ravenous Wampa on Hoth, he sees the spirit of Obi-Wan amid a heavy storm, who encourages Luke to venture to Dagobah and continue his Jedi training under Yoda.

Upon his arrival to Dagobah, Yoda expresses reluctance to teach Luke, with Obi-Wan arguing in Luke’s favor. Overcoming his hesitancy, Yoda helps Luke hone his skills in the Force, though their lessons are cut short when Luke envisions his friends in peril.

Resolving to rescue them from their grim fate, Obi-Wan materializes in front of Luke, begging him not to confront Vader. Thanking both Obi-Wan and Yoda for their guidance and advice, Luke departs, with Obi-Wan and Yoda remarking that, should anything happen to Luke, their hope will lie with Leia.

Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Return of The Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi Yoda
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

One year after Luke’s first meeting Yoda on Dagobah, the young Skywalker formally completes his training, becoming a full-fledged Jedi Knight in the process. As Yoda peacefully prepares to become one with the Force, the wizened Jedi Master confirms that Vader is Luke’s father.

Rocked by this news, Luke confronts Obi-Wan’s spirit, who reveals his duplicity and tells Luke that Leia is actually his twin sister. Once Luke tells him of his own plans to turn Vader back to the Light Side, Obi-Wan expresses doubt that any good still remains in his former pupil, encouraging Luke – for the sake of his life and the galaxy’s survival – to kill Vader when he gets the chance.

After Luke’s battle with Vader on the Death Star II converts Vader back to the Light Side, the now redeemed spirit of Anakin appears alongside Yoda and Obi-Wan, the former best friends watching fondly as Luke celebrates his victory with his friends.

The Rise of Skywalker

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

As with several other notable Jedi from the past, Obi-Wan briefly appears in a vocal cameo in The Rise of Skywalker 31 years after his last canonical appearance in Return of the Jedi. As Rey confronts her grandfather, Palpatine, Obi-Wan and his fellow Jedi encourage her to use her knowledge of the Force to finally defeat Sidious for good.

Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).