Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3 spoilers.
Star Wars loves a messed-up family tree. Along with luminous swords and puppets that talk gibberish, it’s essentially the backbone of this beloved franchise. So it should come as no surprise then that Obi-Wan Kenobi, a show deeply entrenched in the past, would set out to uncover a few new skeletons in the closet.
First though, episode three reminds us again of the family we’ve lost. Specifically, a sad cover-up story leads to Leia realizing that Ben did indeed know her biological mother, Padmé, before she died.
“The whole time I’ve known you, you’ve been hiding something,” she says. Which leads to the somewhat awkward question, “Are you my real father?”
Unluckily for her, Obi-Wan is not actually Leia’s father. But saying that, Ben is sort of related to Luke, her twin brother, depending on which version of the canon you buy into.
Leia’s question prompts memories of Obi-Wan’s parents, including flashes of his mother’s shawl and his father’s hands. Now this is where things get juicy in a Real Housewives of Tatooine kind of way, because Ben then suddenly mentions a sibling out of the blue, one that technically shouldn’t exist based on what we know of the character’s history.
“I think I had a brother, but I don’t remember him,” says Obi-Wan before he goes on to discuss the new family he became part of as one of the Jedi. This secret brother doesn’t come up again throughout the rest of the episode, but if we know Star Wars like we know Star Wars, then it seems safe to say that this throwaway comment will return to haunt Ben before the series is over.
Who is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s brother?
Back when Return of the Jedi was first released in 1983, the original screenplay mentioned that Owen Lars, the adoptive uncle of Luke Skywalker, was actually Ben’s biological brother. While that reveal was eventually cut from the final edit, the film’s novelization still includes a line where Obi-Wan refers to Owen as “his brother”:
“Your mother and I knew he would find out eventually, but we wanted to keep you both as safe as possible, for as long as possible. So I took you to live with my brother Owen, on Tatooine…”
According to Inverse, the book is still available to read, in case you wanted to check it out for yourself. What might be harder to find though is the Star Wars Customizable Card Game from 1996 that also refers to Owen as Ben’s brother.
And then, in a novel from 1999 named Jedi Apprentice: The Hidden Past, this all came up again when a younger version of Ben started dreaming of his parents and a brother named Owen.
That changed though when 2002’s Attack of the Clones retroactively established Owen Lars as Anakin’s step-brother after Cliegg Lars married Shmi Skywalker. 13 years later, in Abel G Peña’s short story, Lone Wolf: A Tale of Obi-Wan and Luke, Star Wars finally tried to explain all this away by claiming that the dreams Ben had as a boy were actually a vision of the future, not the past, because, you know, Force stuff.
So yes, there’s a bond there that feels fraternal, but Owen isn’t actually Obi’s brother. But in that case, what’s going on here then in Obi-Wan Kenobi? Is the show trying to undo this retcon and make Owen out to be his brother after all? That would be tricky, because these episodes are set after the Clone Wars, which is when Kenobi realised that Owen wasn’t actually related to him, biologically at least.
However, given the convoluted history of Star Wars and how certain aspects of the extended universe are no longer considered canon, it’s possible that this show might be trying to retcon the retcon, as tricky as that might be.
Or, perhaps this secret brother reveal has nothing to do with Owen Lars at all. Perhaps Ben really does have another brother we knew nothing about until now. If that’s the case, then don’t be surprised if he ends up appearing at some point in this series, or at least the very near future. And knowing Star Wars, this new brother could even turn out to be someone we already know.
Whatever happens, we doubt a happy reunion is on the cards for Obi-Wan and this mysterious brother.
Boy, Darth Vader wasn’t kidding when he told Obi that “Your pain has only just begun.”
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