In one of the latest addition to Star Wars lore, Star Wars: Padawan by Kiersten White explores the life of Obi-Wan Kenobi as he sets out on a mission alone to prove himself, but realizes that the force is far more complicated than he previously believed.
The 400-page novel has been praised for its introspective approach, allowing its readers to understand a character around 40 years old. The novel further reveals the thought process of a young padawan. But more importantly, the novel has subtly hinted that Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi might be bisexual.
Star Wars has often faced criticism for lack of diversity
Starting off with Star Wars: A New Hope, the films have always come under social criticism for various reasons, including a lack of representation of race and sex. Commenting on the same, Entertainment Weekly writer, Devan Coggan had tweeted
“It’s not a Star Wars movie until there’s a spunky white space brunette.”
Also, there was no actor of color with dialogue in the franchise until Lando Calrissian played by Billy Dee Williams in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy spoke on the matter to CBR at a ‘Rogue One’ press conference, she stated:
“I think it’s incredibly important to Star Wars… I think it’s more important to the film industry in general. I think having a cast that represents and reflects the world today, and having characters that people can relate to all over the world – this is very much a global industry.”
Obi-Wan is bisexual in recent Star Wars novel
Amongst all the interesting thoughts of the Padawan explored, one that has stuck with the readers is Kenobi’s possibility of being bisexual. While on the mysterious planet, Kenobi meets force-sensitive teens, one of whom hints more at the Padawan’s sexuality. The passage goes:
“Would he 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. But he couldn’t imagine just… kissing any of them.”
While unsurprisingly the latest revelation has faced some criticism, fans have defended the development of Obi-Wan’s character. Interestingly, a few fans have mentioned that Sir Alec Guinness, who played the character in the original trilogy, was also bisexual in real life.
Certain ppl are forgetting Obi-Wan was originally played by a Bisexual actor, Alec Guinness, who was marred by self-hatred due to societal homophobia
So having the char Alec originally played over 45 yrs ago actually come out as bi & be unashamed is meaningful on numerous levels pic.twitter.com/IMZv68PDRr
— Al-ExhaustedDemi-man💚Hal’s PR mamager (@TorchFromHell67) July 27, 2022
Check out: 5 Times Obi-Wan Kenobi Was a Hypocrite
people are shocked Obi-Wan Kenobi is bi???? it’s literally in his name! twice!!
— Bugs Maytrix (Now on OF 💗🖤💗) (@bugsmaytrix) July 29, 2022
OBI-WAN CANONICALLY CONFIRMED AS BI/ACE IS A WIN FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS! pic.twitter.com/z8A4Qku8P0
— 💭 (@obiwanthinker) July 23, 2022
The sexuality of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first actor adds another layer to this revelation. Sir Ian McKellen, stated that Star Wars star Sir Alec Guinness was secretly a bisexual. At a historic LGBT Pride Gala dinner, Sir Ian McKellen recounted a conversation he had with Alec Guinness during lunch, he said:
“You really should not, as a leading actor, have anything to do with anything political, especially anything as dirty as homosexuality. I beg you not to do it.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi has been bisexual since at least 2005 (also Sir Alec Guiness was bi). From the RotS novelization: pic.twitter.com/OQkJn8D0ie
— Christopher Skywalken 🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 (@WilrowHood) July 28, 2022
Dude I know obi-wan was bi since he drank tea with general loathsome mid battle in the clone wars movie like are you gonna tell me this guy is straight he fucking winks at his enemy??? pic.twitter.com/UBWwDF8PJR
— Quinlan’s babygirl ✨ (@nasderd) July 29, 2022
Commenting on this interaction, the X-Men actor stated that Sir Alec Guinness’ request came from self-hatred. Despite being married to a woman, the actor had to face rumors of bisexuality all his life. He was even reported to have been arrested once for sex with a male in a public toilet in Liverpool.
Considering that Star Wars has been progressively becoming more inclusive under the leadership of Disney, it will be interesting to watch if the character actually is revealed to be bisexual in the shows/movies.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+.