Home Samurai culture Obi-Wan Kenobi: The True Meaning of the Jedi Name Explained | Television & Radio | Showbiz and television

Obi-Wan Kenobi: The True Meaning of the Jedi Name Explained | Television & Radio | Showbiz and television


Obi-Wan Kenobi is coming to Disney Plus on May 27, and Star Wars fans are excited to see Ewan McGregor reprise his role. Hayden Christensen, who originally played Anakin Skywalker in some of the movies, is also returning for the TV miniseries. Linguistic experts at language-learning app Babbel have revealed the origins of Obi-Wan’s name.

Where does the name Obi-Wan Kenobi come from?

The next series is set a decade after the events of Revenge of the Sith, which saw Anakin Skywalker turn to the dark side.

Ewan McGregor serves as executive producer and stars as the fan-favorite lead character.

The series follows the Jedi Master as he lives in exile on Tatooine.

Darth Vader created Sith Inquisitors to hunt down any surviving Jedi after Order 66 destroyed them.

Obi-Wan lives as Ben on Tatooine, but Babbel spoke to Express.co.uk about the origin of his real name.

READ MORE: How to watch Obi-Wan Kenobi: Release time, cast, trailer

They said, “Like the word Jedi, it’s another homage to Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films and Japanese culture.

“An ‘obi’ is the belt used to tie a kimono, ‘ken’ is Japanese for sword, and ‘wan’ sounds a bit like the Japanese honorific ‘san’.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi’s casting history also suggests Kurosawa’s influence on Star Wars.

“Before giving the role to Sir Alec Guinness, [George] Lucas approached Japanese superstar Toshiro Mifune to play Obi-Wan.

“Mifune has performed in many of Kurosawa’s jidai-geki, including The Hidden Fortress and Seven Samurai.

“You might consider it a coincidence if it weren’t for the fact that Lucas repeatedly cited Kurosawa as an influence.

“He even said that the two bickering peasants in Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress were his inspiration for R2-D2 and C-3PO.”

Themes like good versus evil, light versus dark, and nature versus technology are ubiquitous throughout the Star Wars universe.

The same can be said when it comes to character names.

As for Darth Vader, Lucas claimed that the name is a combination of two “evil” phrases, “water of death” and “dark father”.

Babbel added, “That doesn’t mean the vader-father connection was a deliberate foreshadowing.

“In early drafts of the Empire Strikes Back script, Vader wasn’t Luke’s father, so Lucas couldn’t have intended that when he named the character years earlier.

“Another theory, if the naming convention of other Sith is any indication – Sidious (Insidious), Maul, Grievous – Vader could be short for ‘invader’, hence ‘Dark/Death Invader’.”

The miniseries will consist of six episodes and will see the main character leave Tatooine to embark on an epic adventure.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is streaming on Disney Plus starting May 27.