The new Star Wars: Padawan prequel novel implies that Obi-Wan Kenobi is bisexual.
Disney is developing a habit of both retconning Star Wars continuity and “lazily identity swap[ing] the numerous classic pop culture icons.” An example of this came about in the upcoming prequel-era novel written by young adult fiction author Kiersten White who is best known for her Paranormalcy series, which features a moment that implies the main character’s ambiguous sexuality.
Star Wars: Padawan
The prequel is set during the early years of Obi-Wan’s training under Qui-Gon Jinn, and the young Jedi finds himself running off without his Master to undertake an official Jedi mission after growing restless with the slower, more mindful teachings of his Master.
The novel was set to hit shelves on the 26th of July, but copies surfaced in public a few days before the release and eager readers quickly found the scene in the novel which saw the future Jedi Legend questioning his sexuality. The moment occurs during a conversation on love and romance between himself and one of the teen allies he finds himself on the verdant planet with, Casul.
Most fans know that as Jedis have a duty to the Jedi order and pursue their relationship with the force, they do not generally have families or romantic relationships, and in the novel, Obi-Wan mentions this several times, yet after being hit he questions whether he would ever even want to give it all up to try. “But it had always been like an obstacle, not a temptation.”
The two teen Force wielders banter back and forth about their preferences before Casul says to Obi-Wan, “Though I will admit I’ve been curious about kissing,” before continuing, “So if you’re ever curious, too, let me know,” to which the latter blushes and becomes a stammering, flustered, and awkward teen.
How Critics Feel
It’s not surprising that there are Star Wars fans who aren’t very happy about the announcement that Obi-Wan Kenobi is bisexual.
“Notably, this vague hint that Obi-Wan is either bi-sexual or asexual is yet another example of modern Hollywood’s using the absence of evidence – expect to see defenders of this abrupt change likely arguing that this moment could still make sense to the character as he never outright denied his attraction to men or was seen being physical with either Siri or Satine Kryze – to confirm an established character as a surprise member of the LGBT community in order to virtue signal to the most vocal sects of social media progressives,” says Spencer Baculi at Bounding Into Comics.
This is not the first time that established characters have been altered to change their sexuality, as can be seen in the recent “bisexual reimagining” of DC Comics’ Jonathan Kent – Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s first son, Marvel’s comic book incarnation of Star-Lord, and the MCU’s version of Loki. Some will be happy and grateful that studios are adopting a more progressive and inclusive stance, while stickler fans may be upset at the fact that their favourite characters are changing. It’s all a matter of perspective.
What do you think, is Obi-Wan bisexual? Does it matter?