A Recap of ‘The Clone Wars’ and the Prequel Trilogy Before You Watch ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

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Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Credit: Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) is the third live-action Star Wars TV show, following The Mandalorian (2019) and The Book of Boba Fett (2021). However, those two shows orbit the same period of time, as they’re set five years after Star Wars: Episode IV — Return of the Jedi (1983).

The new show, which sees the return of Ewan McGregor as the titular Jedi knight, picks up 10 years after the events of the Star Wars prequel trilogy’s final chapter Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005) and animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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As Obi-Wan tries to survive in a galaxy ruled by the Galactic Empire, and evade enforcers who have been dispatched by Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) to eliminate all remaining Jedi, he must also watch over a young Luke Skywalker (Grant Freely) on Tatooine.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a follow-up to both the Star Wars prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars, between which there are four movies and 133 episodes. As such, it’s definitely worth scrubbing up on your knowledge of those movies and that long-running show before viewing.

'Obi-Wan Kenobi' official poster
Credit: Lucasfilm

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So we’ve prepared a recap of all three movies, as well as Obi-Wan’s journey in the accompanying animated show. Then, when you finally start watching the highly-anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi, well, you’ll have the high ground!

Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace

When the Trade Federation cuts off all routes to the peaceful planet of Naboo, home to Queen Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), the Republic sends Jedi knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) to negotiate peace talks.

The Jedi end up rescuing the queen (unbeknownst to them) and teaming up with Gungan Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), however, while en route to Coruscant, they crash-land on Tatooine. There, they meet young slave Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), whom Qui-Gonn believes is the Jedi’s prophesized “Chosen One”.

(L-R) Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jar Jar Binks, Qui-Gon Jinn talking
Credit: Lucasfilm

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After winning the hyperdrive in a “pod” race, the gang is attacked by Sith Lord Darth Maul (Ray Park). After a brief lightsaber duel, they escape and head to Coruscant, where Qui-Gonn asks the Jedi Council for permission to train Anakin as a Jedi, which they refuse, sensing in him the “dark side”.

Queen Amidala decides to return to Naboo to try to end the crisis, and the Jedi accompany her, having been instructed by the Council to investigate the return of the Sith, who, until now, had been gone for millennia. A battle between the Republic and the Trade Federation soon erupts.

obi-wan kenobi (left) and qui-gon jinn (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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As the battle rages, Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan encounter Darth Maul again. After Maul fatally wounds Qui-Gonn, Obi-Wan cuts the Sith Lord in half, seemingly killing him. A dying Qui-Gonn asks his apprentice to train Anakin Skywalker in the ways of the Force.

During a celebratory parade on Naboo, we learn that Sheev Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who is suspiciously interested in Anakin, has been elected from senator to chancellor. Meanwhile, Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz) promotes Obi-Wan to Jedi knight, with Anakin as his apprentice.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones

10 years after Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999), the middle chapter finds Obi-Wan Kenobi continuing to tutor Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) as a Jedi knight, while the Republic is threatened by a Separatist movement led by former Jedi Master Count Dooku (Christopher Lee).

Now senator, Padme Amidala votes on the creation of an army to defend the Republic, however, as a result, she becomes the target of a series of assassination attempts. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are assigned to protect her, and a romance quickly brews between the Jedi apprentice and the senator.

obi-wan kenobi with lightsaber
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Obi-Wan is later instructed to locate the source of the assassination attempts, which leads him to the ocean planet of Kamino. There, he discovers an army of genetically engineered clones, for which the bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) is the genetic template.

Jango flees with his son Boba Fett (Daniel Logan), but Obi-Wan follows them to Geonosis. Meanwhile, after experiencing visions of his mother Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August) dying, Anakin visits Tatooine, where he learns that she has married into the Lars family but has since been taken by Tusken Raiders.

Credit: Lucasfilm

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Anakin swiftly locates his mother, but dies in his arms, so he slaughters all of her captors, including their families. Back on Geonosis, Obi-Wan refuses to join Count Dooku and the Separatists, and a climactic battle between the Jedi and Count Dooku’s forces ensues.

On Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine secures “emergency powers” to authorize the use of the clone army against the Separatists. “Begun, the Clone Wars has,” Yoda tells his fellow Jedi, before we see Anakin Skywalker marry Padme Amidala on Naboo, in the company of C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2.

Kaminoans and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Kamino
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The hit animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars spans the three years between The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002), depicting the titular wars in their entirety, while following all those involved.

While there are many Star Wars characters in the show, from the Jedi to the Separatists, and droids to clones, it mainly follows Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), as they navigate the increasingly deadly wars.

satine and obi wan
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In the 2008 theatrical animated movie of the same name, Obi-Wan places a young Ahsoka Tano under Anakin’s tutelage. Throughout the course of the show, the three are involved in many battles together, while Obi-Wan continues to find Anakin defiant and disobeying many orders.

There are several episodes that reveal many things about Obi-Wan you wouldn’t have otherwise known, from his time impersonating bounty hunter Rako Hardeen (James Arnold Taylor) to go undercover in a Republic prison, to his love for Mandalore’s Dutchess Satine Kryze (Anna Graves), and many other adventures.

obi wan kenobi (left) and commander cody (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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But the overarching story in The Clone Wars in relation to Obi-Wan is that of fallen Sith Lord Darth Maul (Sam Witwer). It turns out that Maul didn’t die at the end of The Phantom Menace, and when he rises from an abyss, he is hellbent on exacting vengeance upon the Jedi.

In Season 5 episode “The Lawless”, in which Maul rules over Mandalore as well as the terrorist cell Death Watch, Obi-Wan is forced to watch as the love of his life, Satine, the estranged sister of Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), is executed by the disgraced Sith Lord.

cad bane and obi-wan kenobi showdown
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith

While attempting to rescue Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Separatist forces led by General Grievous (Matthew Wood), Obi-Wan and Anakin end up in a duel with Count Dooku. But when Obi-Wan is rendered unconscious, under the influence of Palpatine, Anakin kills the Sith Lord.

Later, Anakin learns that Padme is pregnant, but he’s soon haunted by visions of her dying in childbirth. Meanwhile, the Jedi Council grows suspicious of Palpatine’s involvement in the Clone Wars, and after refusing Anakin the rank of Jedi Master, they ask him to spy on the chancellor.

obi wan padme
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Obi-Wan later kills Grievous on the planet Utapau, while Palpatine attempts to groom Anakin into turning to the dark side of the Force, convincing him that he would possess the power to save Padme. Anakin informs the Jedi Council that their suspicions about Palpatine are correct.

When Mace Windu (Samuel L Jackson) attempts to kill Palpatine, scarring him in the process, Anakin intervenes and his Jedi comrade is brutally killed. Anakin then becomes the Sith Lord Darth Vader, and Palpatine executes Order 66, which instructs the clone army to kill all Jedi.

Frank Oz as Yoda (left), Ewan Mcgregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (middle), and Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Darth Vader kills all the younglings at the Jedi Temple, and when Obi-Wan later learns of his friend’s heinous crimes, he faces him on Mustafar and an epic lightsaber duel ensues. After defeating Vader, Obi-Wan leaves him to burn near the lava, but not before taking his lightsaber.

Some time after, Padme dies giving birth to twins Luke and Leia, while Vader’s body is recovered by Palpatine and covered with protective armor to keep him alive. All remaining Jedi go into hiding, and Yoda sends Obi-Wan on a mission to Tatooine, telling him, “How to commune with him [Qui-Gon Jinn] I will teach you.”

When he finally arrives on the desert planet, Obi-Wan delivers Luke to his Uncle Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) and Aunt Beru Lars (Bonnie Piesse).

obi-wan fire
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Do you think Obi-Wan Kenobi will serve as a fitting follow-up to The Clone Wars and the prequel trilogy? Let us know in the comments below!

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