Jedi Council Member
Jedi High General
|Portrayed by||Alec Guinness|
James Arnold Taylor
(Clone Wars series)
Obi-Wan Kenobi The Phantom Menace
In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), set 32 years before A New Hope, Obi-Wan, now played by Ewan McGregor, is seen as a young Jedi Padawan. At the start of the film, Obi-Wan accompanies his masterQui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) on a mission to Naboo to discuss negotiations with the Trade Federation, who are blockading Naboo, ruled by Queen Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman). However, upon their arrival on the Federation flagship, they are attacked by battle droids and are forced to retreat down to the planet. In the swampy forests of Naboo, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan meet a clumsy Gungan named Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), who assists the Jedi in reaching the Queen. After making an unscheduled landing on Tatooine, Qui-Gon meets Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a young slave who shows such tremendous potential in the Force that Qui-Gon believes him to be the "Chosen One" of Jedi prophecy, destined to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. Obi-Wan initially believes the boy is too old and has too many emotional attachments to become a Jedi. The Jedi Council agrees with Obi-Wan, and forbids Anakin's training, sensing that the boy's future is clouded by the fear he exhibits.
During the film's climactic battle scene, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle the Sith Lord Darth Maul (Ray Park). After Maul fatally wounds Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan attempts to vanquish Maul by himself. After being disarmed and nearly falling to his death, Obi-Wan uses the Force to pull his Master's abandoned lightsaber into his hand and cuts Maul in half. Obi-Wan then runs to his Master's side, and the dying Qui-Gon pleads with him to train Anakin in the ways of the Jedi. Obi-Wan promises that he will.
For his heroics in defeating a Sith (making him the first Jedi in 1,000 years to do so), Yoda personally bestows to him the rank of Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan then states that he will train Anakin with or without the Council's permission. Yoda reluctantly agrees, but warns Obi-Wan to be careful with the troubled boy.