Obi Wan Kenobi's Lightsaber Skills Explored

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader Face Off by Hannaford

Obi Wan Kenobi is one of the world's most beloved characters. From a mysterious guide to a mentor to a fully-fleshed out character in the prequels, Obi Wan's popularity has stayed high since he first appeared in A New Hope portrayed by Sir Alec Guinness - but was firmly cemented when he was played by Ewan McGregor. 

But in the lore of Star Wars, and in the context of what we do here at Saberzone, just how good was Obi-Wan Kenobi with a lightsaber?

In this article we're going to answer some of the internet's favourite questions about the old hermit master: Why does Obi Wan Kenobi have a blue lightsaber? What happened to Obi Wan's Lightsaber after his death? What form did he use? 

We've already looked at Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber Prowess - so let's see how his first teacher's duelling saber skill stacks up. 

Let's dive in. 

Obi Wan's Lightsaber

Obi Wan Kenobi's lightsaber, or at least his most famous one, is actually his third saber. Some would accuse Kenobi of being a little careless - considering he lost both his previous sabers and almost lost the famous one, too. 

The original Obi Wan lightsaber was the one he wielded as a Padawan to Qui Gonn Jinn. This was a blue-bladed plasma saber with a stylish hilt befitting of the golden age of the Jedi. Unfortunately for Obi Wan, this flashy saber went the same way as the torso and legs of Darth Maul - down the big hole in Naboo. 

His second lightsaber is a blue-bladed one which shared a very similar design to its predecessor. This was Obi-Wan's main replacement blade until he was advanced into the ranks of Jedi Master.

As a master, Obi-Wan Kenobi's third lightsaber continued the tradition of a blue blade, but its hilt design was very different to his earlier sabers and was instead fairly unique for its wide emitter which attached to the grip via a slim neck. 

This lightsaber was the same one he wielded throughout his battles with Anakin Skywalker and later, Darth Vader. It would go on to inspire his apprentice, Luke Skywalker, to build his own saber in that style after losing his hand-me-down during a duel with Vader. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi's Lightsaber Skills

What lightsaber form does Obi-Wan use? Throughout the franchise, Obi-Wan favours more defensive techniques and is particularly talented at Form III (or Soresu). Kenobi's main style was to rely on defense and outlast his more aggresive foes - taking advantage when they slipped up or became too confident (think back to the famous "I have the high ground" moment). 

The form was also called the Resilience Form, named for its ability to weather the storm of an opponent's strikes. However, the fact Obi-Wan primarily uses this style is perhaps also a commentary by the Star Wars creators: he is a resilient man who must weather betrayal, heartbreak and loss whilst remaining a pure and strong protector. 

Obi Wan's lightsaber skills evolve throughout the series. Originally, the young Padawan is known for his brashness and is constantly reminded of it by his master. This in turn forces him to adopt a more defensive style, which is why he focuses mainly on Soresu. 

But when you consider his list of victories, you realise how good Obi-Wan really was at beating foes who may have been technically 'better' than him at duelling. Through ingenuity and solid defensive principles, Obi-Wan managed to outlast and overcome most opponents he faced - exploiting flaws whenever he found them. 

  • His first victory was over Darth Maul, slicing the superior combatant in half after tricking him into overconfidence as Obi-Wan clung on for his life. Through the use of surprise and his command of the force, Obi-Wan found a way to win. 
  • His next battles are against Count Dooku, regarded as one of the greatest duellists of all time. Obi-Wan loses both duels with Dooku but manages to withstand many of his attacks in a way others could not. He holds his own against a form designed specifically for lightsaber combat, whereas Kenobi's Soresu form is also used to deflect blaster fire. 
  • General Grievous has, by the time they meet, already killed many Jedi in battle and taken their sabers. The Jedi Council sends Obi-Wan specifically to tackle the warrior, opting for his defensive style over a more fierce fighter like Mace Windu. Obi-Wan manages to sever many of Grievous' limbs and then defeats him by using a blaster - showing that he is more willing to improvise and bend the rules to exploit any gap in an opponent's style. 
  • Obi-Wan then goes on to defeat Anakin Skywalker, regarded as one of the most powerful Jedi of all time. Anakin's incredible force abilities are reduced by his blind hatred and Obi-Wan takes advantage of this, wearing Anakin down by defending his strikes and then maiming him when he overreaches. 
  • In the final 'film' duel we see him in, Obi-Wan battles calmly against Darth Vader. By now, Vader has a reputation as the most fearsome Sith warrior in history - but even an old, diminished Kenobi stands firm and serene against him. Obi-Wan chooses to give his life up to allow Luke to escape - but who can say what would have happened if he'd chosen a different path? 

Those are just the on-screen battles. In the expanded universe, Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber skills are on even greater show. He not only overcomes Darth Maul and Savage Oppress at the same time, but Obi-Wan also finally finishes Maul in seconds once the Dathomiran ex-Sith tracks him to Tatooine. 

All in all, we'd rate Obi-Wan as one of the most solid lightsaber duellists in all of Star Wars. While he may not have been a skill-for-skill match with some of the more ferocious one-on-one combatants in the Star Wars universe, he was a master of the defensive side of combat and could therefore take on many different types of foe without having to worry. 

If versatility is strength, Obi-Wan had it in droves. 

What happened to Obi-Wan's lightsaber? 

Obi-Wan's third, final lightsaber was lost after his battle with Darth Vader aboard the Death Star. In the new canon, there is no official answer to what happened to it. In Legends, Darth Vader keeps the saber as a trophy. 

However, logic dictates that even in the official canon, it was likely that Darth Vader would not waste such a treasured weapon and memento of his life. 

If that saber was left aboard the Death Star, it would have been destroyed when the Rebel Alliance managed to blow it up. We can only assume by the fact it doesn't appear in Episode 7-9 that this was sadly the case. 

Luke Skywalker's second lightsaber, however, was styled after Obi-Wan's and therefore 'resurrected' the design. Unlike Kenobi, Skywalker's blade was green. 

Why did Obi-Wan have a blue lightsaber? 

Some Jedi's blade colour reflected early roles within the original Jedi order. The blue blade was symbolic of the Jedi Guardian, a role reserved for protectors of peace and the innocent. While his master, Qui-Gon, was more mystical and focused on the Force, Obi-Wan struck a balance between force prowess and an urge to protect people from harm. Everything about him, from his chosen actions in watching over Luke for 20 years of his life on Tatooine through to his balanced use of Soresu indicates a calm, balanced guardian. 

Of course, your own choice of lightsaber colour can speak volumes about your personality. Click this link to see what we mean. 

 

What do you think of Obi-Wan Kenobi as a lightsaber wielder? We're tempted to head back to our old 'best Star Wars duellists' and bump him up even further - because after all, his defensive style manages to topple superior opponents over and over again. 

If you love Kenobi's iconic saber, you're in luck. We've got just the thing - and thanks to freely changeable blade colours, you can have Obi-Wan or Luke Skywalker's saber in the flick of a button. 

 

 

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