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New Star Wars Padawan novel suggests Obi-Wan Kenobi is bisexual

"Our bisexual king"

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Disney

Despite being set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away the Star Wars universe seems pretty advanced, certainly when it comes to technology. However, there has been a lacking of LGBTQ representation in the recent Star Wars canon (except the blink and you’ll miss it same-sex kiss in the Rise of Skywalker) Until now…

In the recent Star Wars novel by Kiersten White, Padawan (the name used to refer to Jedi apprentices) fan favourite character, Obi-Wan Kenobi, has been strongly hinted to be bisexual. 

Obi-Wan has been portrayed in the original Star Wars films by Alec Guinness and by Ewan McGregor in the prequel films, as well as the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+

In one passage in Padawan, a teenage Obi-Wan speaks to fellow teen, Casul about being a Jedi and the Jedi’s rule about not forming attachments or relationships.

In screenshots posted on Twitter Casul says to Kenobi: “I don’t think love is in my future, either, and I’m fine with that. As long as I have the Power to keep my family safe, that’s enough for me. Though I will admit I’ve been curious about kissing and why Audj and Zae-Brii enjoy it so much. So if you’re ever curious, too, let me know.”

Obi-Wan is then said to blush before replying: “I will. Let you know, I mean. Not that I will do that, right now, with you. Or anyone”.

The book then reads: “Would he [Obi-Wan] ever get to a point where kissing someone felt like anything less than a betrayal of himself and the Jedi? And if he did get to that point, who would he want to kiss? The Lenahrans were confident and charismatic, which was attractive.”

It continues: “But he couldn’t imagine just… kissing any of them. Maybe he didn’t want to be with any of them but rather to be more like each of them. Or maybe he wanted to kiss all of them.”

In the raging discussion online over recent days one person simply tweeted: “obi-wan our bisexual king”. Another joked that ‘bi’ appears twice in the character’s name. 

While another reasoned: “To anyone saying that it “changes canon” to make Obi-Wan bisexual, can you please tell me where it states he was ever heterosexual?”

The last person raises a good point – Obi-Wan’s sexuality is never addressed in any Star Wars media. In the animated Clone Wars series, Obi-Wan is seen to have had a romantic connection to Duchess Satine of Mandalore, but it is never stated if that was the only time he felt romantic feelings for someone. 

White, the author, has yet to comment on the speculation.

A second season of Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi has also been left open leaving a chance we could see the debate realised onscreen. 

Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy told Entertainment Weekly in June: “I think if there’s huge engagement and people really want more Obi-Wan, we’ll certainly give that consideration because the fans, they speak to us. And if we feel like, ‘OK, there’s a real reason to do this; it’s answering the why then,’ then we’ll do it. But we’ll see.”

Ewan McGregor has also indicated he would like to play Obi-Wan again telling The Radio Times in May: “I hope it’s not the last time I play him. I hope I do it again. I’d like to do it again.”

A description of Padawan on Disney Books reads: “Romantic complications, startling revelations, and a looming threat to both the planet and his new friends will bring Obi-Wan face-to-face with his worst fear: that maybe he was never supposed to be a Jedi at all.”

The book sees the young Obi-Wan proving himself to his master Qui-Gon Jinn, who was played by Liam Neeson in The Phantom Menace.

The Attitude September/October issue is available to download and order in print now and will be on newsstands from Thursday 4 August.