Star Wars fans were sent into a frenzy as they speculated that the latest installment in the series has revealed the sexuality of legendary Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The popular character played by Sir Alec Guinness in the original films and Ewan McGregor in both the prequel trilogy and the Disney+ miniseries Obi Wan Kenobiis introduced in the new spin-off novel Padawanthe latest addition to the Disney canon released on Tuesday.
The young adult novel, written by author Kiersten White, centers on a teenage Obi-Wan who tries to prove himself while being apprenticed to Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who starred in the Liam Neeson films is played.
Social media users were quick to highlight a passage that appears to show the Jedi-in-training questioning his sexuality, with many concluding that this confirms he is bisexual. In the passage, Obi-Wan is questioned about romantic relationships by another teenage boy, Casul.
Obi-Wan doesn’t seem to have considered the option and clumsily tries to change the subject. He then gets nervous when Casul suggests to him if he’s ever “curious”.
The character says, “There aren’t many options here. I don’t think love is my future either, and I’m okay with that. As long as I have the power to protect my family, that’s enough for me. Although I have to admit I was curious about kissing and why Audj and Zae-Brii enjoy it so much. So if you’re curious too, let me know.”
The passage continues: “Obi-Wan blushed. ‘I will. let you know i mean Not that I’m going to do that to you now. Or anyone.’
“Would he ever get to a point where kissing felt less than a betrayal of himself and the Jedi? And if he got 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 one of them. Maybe he didn’t want to be with any of them, but wanted to be more like each of them. Or maybe he wanted to kiss them all.”
Some fans interpreted the passage as suggesting that Obi-Wan is interested in both men and women, while others took it as an indication that he was asexual or aromantic, according to LGBT website Pride.
“Here’s the part where Obi-Wan questions his sexuality and talks about being aromantic/bi,” one fan wrote on Twitter, sharing the passage.
“The canon confirmation of Obi-Wan as bi/ace is a win for the history books!” said another.
A third wrote: “Obi-Wan is canonically bi aroace [aromantic or asexual] is the best thing that can happen in 2022 and you can quote me on that.”
Others pushed back criticism that the character in the 2008 animated TV series already had a female love interest, Satine Kryze The clone wars.
“Actively opposing Obi-Wan being bi from Dudebros because he canonically ‘likes women’ is so funny because they obviously don’t know what the heck bisexuality is,” one wrote.
The Twitter account Star Wars Queers Watch gave the author descriptive praise Padawan as a story of “self-discovery”.
“Any gender is possible in a sweet, relatable scene where Obi tries to figure out his attraction, but he’s not sure if romance is even for him,” they wrote. “No clear label, but definitely on the bi- or asexual/aromatic spectrum.”
Star Wars Queers Watch listed several other “queer kids Obi meets” in the book, including “their leader Audj”, “her non-binary shapeshifting partner Zae-Brii”, “Audj’s brother Casul, who is willing to be with Obi.” experimenting” and “meme, a girl not at all interested in romance or attraction”.
“Queerness in this book feels very casual and I love it,” they wrote.
White has yet to comment on the revelations, but recently directed her Twitter followers to a February interview where she discussed the upcoming book.
“Besides, before anyone asks, Satine isn’t in this novel,” she said.
“Actually, she’s the reason there aren’t any romantic subplots in Padawan. Obi-Wan is absolutely committed to everything he does – including first love. I couldn’t water that down!”
White said her goal with the narration was “to take him on a journey of self-discovery so that he’s ready for whatever we know is about to happen.”
“Another important aspect of growing teenage Obi-Wan was surrounding him with other young people and giving him a first taste of freedom so he could learn who he is when no authority figure is looking,” she said.
“Once he left the Temple, what parts of his dedication to the Jedi Order still feel right? Can he let go and run wild? Does he even want to? And now I just realized I might have written a Star Wars spring break novel.”
Earlier this year, McGregor hit back war of stars fans after his Obi Wan Kenobi Co-star Moses Ingram received racist messages online.
In a video posted to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s official Twitter account, the 51-year-old actor expressed support for Ingram, who plays Reva Sevander on the series, and criticized fans for abusing her.
“We love Moses,” he said. “And if you send her bullying messages, I don’t think you’re a Star Wars fan. There is no place for racism in this world. And I fully support Moses.”