The next major Star Wars project that will hit Disney+ on May 25 is Obi-Wan Kenobi. The series is set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and it will tell the Jedi Master's story while he is stationed on Tatooine to protect Luke Skywalker. In the galaxy far, far away, written material in the form of novels has become just as important as what is produced on-screen.
Kenobi's story is one of the most well-known throughout the saga. He was introduced in the original film back in 1977, and while there was some exposition about him when he was younger, the prequel trilogy and the animated series, The Clone Wars, are really what fleshed him out the most.
Obi-Wan decided to take a more by-the-book approach when it came to the Jedi Order and preached their same principles to his own Padawan, Anakin Skywalker. One of those is the handling of attachment, which is forbidden in the eyes of the Jedi.
However, in The Clone Wars, it was revealed that Obi-Wan had a major attachment of his own - a love interest that turned out to be the Duchess of Mandalore, Satine Kryze. At one point in the series, he even tells Satine that he would have left the Jedi Order if it meant he could be with her. Tragically, Satine perishes in Obi-Wan's arms at the hands of his archnemesis, Darth Maul, making his love story one of the most tragic in the galaxy.
It seems as though an upcoming novel that focuses on the early life of Kenobi is going to make that moment even more tragic when it hits the shelves in July.
Satine Was Obi-Wan's Only Love Interest
A new novel, titled Star Wars: Padawan, is set to be released on July 26, 2022. It is written by Kiersten White and will follow Obi-Wan Kenobi in his teenage years before the events of The Phantom Menace.
In a recent interview with Star Wars, White gave a brief background on the novel and answered some questions pertaining to certain aspects of the book.
White revealed that Obi-Wan's love interest from The Clone Wars, Satine Kryze, "isn't in this novel." She stated that there will be "no romantic subplots" throughout Obi-Wan's early life, which makes his love life even more tragic seeing as how the only person he ever loved was killed right in his arms:
“Also, before anyone else asks, Satine isn’t in this novel. Actually, she’s the reason why there are no romantic subplots in Padawan. Obi-Wan commits absolutely in everything he does — including first love. I couldn’t dilute that!”
The author also explained what the novel is trying to achieve, which is "to take (Obi-Wan) on a journey of self-discovery." She also mentioned that Padawan would "(feel) like it had always been part of Obi-Wan’s story," and even listed Claudia Gray's book, Master and Apprentice, as a work that she studied while writing:
“I wanted to make sure Padawan felt like it had always been part of Obi-Wan’s story, but that it made sense we had never heard about this particular adventure. I looked at who Obi-Wan became, then traced him backwards through the prequels and Claudia Gray’s excellent Master and Apprentice, to arrive at someone who still had a tremendous amount of growing to do, but with the foundation of who he would become. My goal with the narrative was to take him on a journey of self-discovery so he would be ready for everything we know he’ll face.”
White continued by saying that Padawan will offer a glimpse inside Obi-Wan's head, specifically on his thoughts of the Jedi Order and how he can grow "when no authority figure is watching:"
“Another key aspect of developing teen Obi-Wan was surrounding him with other young people, giving him his first taste of freedom so he could learn who he is when no authority figure is watching. When he’s out of the Temple, which parts of his devotion to the Jedi Order still feel right? Can he let go and run wild? Does he even want to?”
A Character Defined by Loss
Of all the characters in the world of Star Wars, it is hard to think of someone that has experienced more loss than Obi-Wan. In The Phantom Menace, he watched his master and best friend, Qui-Gon Jinn, wind up killed by Darth Maul right in front of his eyes as he was forced to stand there and do nothing to help.
In Revenge of the Sith, he not only had to witness the destruction of the Jedi Order at the hands of his own Padawan, but he even had to duel with him and watch as his best friend was burned alive.
Satine's death in The Clone Wars was especially tragic and it came out of nowhere. After she was introduced, many fans wondered why she had never been spoken of in any of the films, but the likely answer is that it was just too painful for Obi-Wan to talk about. White's upcoming novel makes Satine's death even more gut-wrenching as it reveals that she was the only person Obi-Wan ever had feelings for.
When Obi-Wan told Satine he would have walked away from the Jedi Order to be with her, that spoke volumes to the viewers, seeing how strict he was when it came to upholding the principles of the Jedi Council. Sometimes the best way to reinforce an idea is to be completely silent on it, and that is the case when it comes to Padawan.
By not including Satine or any other love interest for Obi-Wan, fans see just how strong his compassion was for her, as well as how great of a loss it was for him.