Obi-Wan Kenobi: Every Actor Who Has Played The Jedi | Screen Rant

Star Wars is revisiting Obi-Wan's story in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and there are a few names that have played the character across different media. Pictured as the classic archetype of a wise ancient master, Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi was responsible for defining what audiences today know as Jedi. From his clothes to his mannerism, the way the character was crafted in the original Star Wars set the tone for the Jedi mythology that George Lucas would later expand on.

The original trilogy would have been enough to establish Obi-Wan Kenobi as one of the most important characters in pop culture, but the Star Wars prequel trilogy added an extra layer of importance to the Jedi Master. Set decades before the Battle of Yavin, the Star Wars prequels offered a look at the Jedi in their prime and followed Obi-Wan's journey from padawan to a member of Star Wars' Jedi Council. Now, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series will help bridge the gap between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and the original film.

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Building this in-universe legacy for Obi-Wan was not easy, and more than one actor contributed to the process. In addition to the two live-action versions, there are also several actors who have lent their voices to Obi-Wan in animated series and video games. Here's a breakdown of all the actors who have played Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Perhaps one of the most impressive feats of the original Star Wars was getting Sir Alec Guinness into a film whose premise few seemed to understand and from a director whose credits listed nothing but THX 1138 and American Graffiti. To join Star Wars, Alec Guinness reportedly negotiated a salary double what had originally been offered and also had a small percentage of the film's profits as part of his deal. However, Guinness was not particularly impressed with his experience in that very peculiar production. In a famous letter to Anne Kaufman written while filming Star Wars, Guinness used terms like "rubbish dialogue" and "none of it makes sense" to describe how his days on set were going. That said, in one of his diaries, Guinness praised the film, describing it as an "exciting," "warm-hearted," and "vivid experience."

Obi-Wan's fate in the first movie was also a point of apparent frustration for Alec Guinness. George Lucas revealed during a commentary track for the first Star Wars that Guinness did not like to learn about Obi-Wan's death in Star Wars, while the actor wrote in his diary that it was the fact that Lucas had not "made up his mind yet" that was irritating him. Either way, Sir Alec Guinness reprised his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, now a force ghost, in The Empire Strikes Back and in Return of the Jedi.

Following the success of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, the National Public Radio released two radio dramas based on the films. While Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels reprised their roles as Luke Skywalker and C-3PO, most of the original cast did not take part in the audio dramas. British-Canadian actor Bernard "Bunny" Behrens voiced Obi-Wan Kenobi on both radio series and would also play Kenobi in the third one, made in 1996.

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If the Star Wars prequels were going to show Anakin's story from the beginning, then Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace would have to feature Obi-Wan Kenobi. The casting choice went to the rising star Ewan McGregor, who until then had been in films such as Brassed Off and Nightwatch. Although McGregor studied Alec Guinness's portrayal to make his Obi-Wan as close to the original as possible, the fact that The Phantom Menace featured the character at a young age allowed the actor to bring out a different side of Kenobi. McGregor would then reprise his role as Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith – films that showed Obi-Wan's growth into a wise, powerful Jedi Master. Although the Star Wars prequels were met with a lot of criticism, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan has always been touted as one of the trilogy's strengths. Seventeen years after Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan will once again be played by Ewan McGregor in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

If there is one actor who can be associated with Obi-Wan Kenobi as much as Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor, it's James Arnold Taylor. Taylor made his debut as the Jedi Master in the 2002's Clone Wars micro-series and went on to reprise his role both in the animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars and in the seven-season series of the same name. Taylor also played Obi-Wan's hologram recording message in Star Wars Rebels and recently voiced the Jedi Master in Star Wars: Battlefront II and in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. The version of Obi-Wan Kenobi that Taylor plays is the one from the prequel era, meaning that his portrayal of Kenobi had to somehow echo what Ewan McGregor had done with Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels.

With a spot-on accent and a bit of playfulness and irony that was not quite present in the films, James Arnold Taylor managed to respect what Ewan McGregor had done while also bringing something new to Obi-Wan. The impact Clone Wars has had within the Star Wars fanbase, and more recently among the general public, is undeniable – which makes Taylor's version of Obi-Wan even more important. In fact, James Arnold Taylor is the only actor to have played Obi-Wan on more than four different occasions.

Samuel Vincent is a long-time voice actor known for roles such as Edd "Double D" in Ed, Edd n Eddy, and Bugs Bunny in Baby Looney Tunes. He played Obi-Wan on two occasions: LEGO Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles and LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales. None of these Obi-Wan appearances are considered Star Wars canon.

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Stephen Stanton is a voice actor who has worked on different Star Wars games and animated series. He played Obi-Wan, the old Ben Kenobi version, in games like Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars: Empire at War and in the animated series Star Wars Rebels – in which Obi-Wan had his rematch against Darth Maul. Aside from Obi-Wan, another important Star Wars character voiced by Stanton on multiple occasions was Moff Tarkin.

Many different actors have contributed to the legacy of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sir Alec Guinness introduced the character to the world, Ewan McGregor showed a different side of him, and voice actors like James Arnold Taylor kept Kenobi alive for a newer generation. Obi-Wan's and Ewan McGregor's paths will merge again in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show.

Next: Star Wars Theory Reveals Obi-Wan Knew R2-D2 In A New Hope (& Why He Lied)



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