Today’s fictional favorite is rather specific. Yes, I am here to talk about Obi-Wan Kenobi, but not the Old Ben we first see in Episode IV, fond of him as I am.
Padawan Obi-Wan is earnest and adorable, but he’s not quite up to standard when it comes to the character I want to discuss.
Let’s talk young, bearded Obi-Wan. I’m not the biggest fan of the prequels, but Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of Kenobi is leaps-and-bounds the best thing about them.
It’s as if he ignored the tepid direction and decided to give the character what interest and depth he could, balanced with a wry sensibility.
Ta for that, by the bye.
That excellence is expanded upon in the Clone Wars animated series*. Brilliantly voiced by James Arnold Taylor, we’re afforded a richer opportunity to see Obi Wan as warrior, diplomat, and mentor.
He’s damn near fearless, and able to work around the bit that isn’t, which makes him an outstanding general. He’s a good friend. He’s a fine Jedi. He has loved, deeply, even if he wasn’t able to act upon it.
He effortlessly balances self-possession, strength, and humour.
Lastly, and entirely superficially, the beard completes the red-gold framing that hightlights those piercing blue eyes.
Bearded Obi-Wan = Best Obi-Wan. That is all.
*on the off chance you’re not familiar, this takes place between Ep. II: Attack of the Clones and Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith.