Welcome, you’ve just made Point Five Past Lightspeed and that means you’re about to learn five things about our latest special guest. This week it’s the man who has played Obi-Wan Kenobi more than any other actor, James Arnold Taylor.
JAT: This isn’t one specific moment, it is the general brotherly banter between Obi-Wan and Anakin. From Revenge of the Sith in the elevator, “Always on the move…” to Anakin calling Satine Obi-Wan’s “girlfriend” in The Clone Wars, “No, Anakin, she’s not my girlfriend…” to serious moments as in The Lost Missions: The Rise of Clovis when Obi-Wan and Anakin discuss matters of the heart and the restrictions the Jedi Order brings. These are what make the characters real and bring even more heartache to Old Ben’s expression as he says, “And a good friend” when describing Anakin to his son, Luke, in A New Hope. These are important parts of the whole of Star Wars and the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi. It gives him a soul, and feelings that could easily get lost in the order of the day to day of a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan’s human, and I love that part of him.
JAT: From The Clone Wars in the Mandalore arc, after Obi-Wan has been caught by two Mandalorian Guards and he is communicating with Satine (voiced by Anna Graves) via comlink to a hidden earpiece she has while she is dining with Pre Vizsla. This has classic Star Wars banter as well as just straight up comedic fun. Their race against the clock to free Obi-Wan would be enough for most shows, but this has a payoff that takes them on an adventure that ends with action, excitement, and even hints of romance. When we were in the studio recording these lines, Anna and I were eager to see the finished product, and I know personally now, anytime I revisit it, it’s just as compelling and fun! And here’s another fun fact for this most fans may recognize it, but to those that did not, I am the voice of one of those guards that seizes Obi-Wan!
JAT: The Duel on Mustafar and its tragic end is by far one of Obi-Wan’s best, worst, and perhaps most controversial moments. Best in that as an audience we are given the final pieces of back story we need to the tale of Obi-Wan and Anakin, which allows their final battle in A New Hope to be even more dramatic. Worst in that we feel all the pain, anguish, and utter heartbreak, portrayed so beautifully by Ewan McGregor, for Obi-Wan on a personal level. This character that puts up walls to his emotions is as bare and raw as he’ll ever be and it is this moment that makes Revenge of the Sith perhaps my favorite of the films next to A New Hope. All that said, it is also controversial in the debates to whether Obi-Wan truly believed Anakin died there and that he really finished the job, or that he simply did not have it in him to watch the final moments of his dearest friend and closest brother in the force.
JAT: This would be my all-time favorite moment as the actor portraying Obi-Wan. The death of Satine in Season 5 of The Clone Wars by the hand of Darth Maul is one of the most poignant, powerful, and personal moments in the Star Wars saga, in my opinion. No where else is there as much care, time, and emotion shown by the death of a character. It was so wonderfully crafted by Dave Filoni and his crew and kept secret until the day we recorded, so it was a painful shock as I turned the page of the script and saw the fate of this beautiful character and how it would affect my character. What follows with Obi-Wan meeting Satine’s sister, Bo-Katan, and his brief, but powerful condolences are even more fuel to this fantastic Star Wars moment. It is yet another moment that breathes life into the depth of Obi-Wan that would not have been possible without The Clone Wars tale.
JAT: As a fan of Star Wars and a student of Obi-Wan Kenobi, I believe my favorite moment would have to be our meeting Old Ben Kenobi with R2, Luke, and Threepio. I’m constantly surprised by the amount of layers Sir Alec Guinness supplied to every moment he was on screen in A New Hope, but this first meeting is now made so much more powerful with all that we know from the prequels and even the following two films. He can say so much with just a look and we can question as an audience how much was he keeping from Luke and how much was he wanting to tell him. Without this moment, no other moments for this character could exist or would matter as much. Is he a crazy old hermit, or one of the few remaining noble knights pulling the last bits of magic out of his hat to persuade a young prince to find and fulfill his destiny? Simply look into the eyes of this fantastic character and the actor who played him for the answer.