The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi

January 24, 2017 at 11:50 am (Reads) (, , )

obiwanThe Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi by Ryder Windham

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When I went through to add the juvenile books to my Expanded Universe reading project, I got a little picky in which books to include. I wanted books that did more than just retell the stories of the movies, or were too, too basic, so I didn’t add the early reader books or the character journals or the junior novelizations to my list. I figured I was looking for new content, not retellings, and I left those out all together.

The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi, though, is mostly retellings. Windham admits this in his foreword, telling us that the bulk of the story is taken from other sources, like A New Hope, the NPR radio plays, and even Kenobi. On the one hand, I understand why he’s pulling from all these sources — together, they make up the life and legend of Obi-Wan — but on the other hand, I already knew most of these details. It reminded me that these books are intended for a different audience, and this book especially isn’t intended for readers already familiar with the Expanded Universe.

There is some new detail to this book which I found to be helpful. The prequels put in details that didn’t make sense when viewed against the original trilogy, like Obi-Wan not recognizing R2-D2 and acting like Darth Vader is someone other than Anakin Skywalker. With this book, Windham tells us that scene from the perspective of Obi-Wan, giving us his thoughts as to how he reacted and responded to all that. In his mind, he was still trying to keep Luke safe from the Empire, and he thought that giving him the information from a “certain point of view” was the best way to do it. It’s a small thing, and still doesn’t answer all the questions, but it was at least something new to the story.

The book is well-written and does a good job of pulling together all the details of Obi-Wan’s life, but I don’t see it as a necessary read, save for someone who is new to the Expanded Universe. Even then, with the new canon, a lot of the details may be rewritten later, so I’m not sure it would be useful for anyone save those who are completionists. If nothing else, it’s a quick, easy, entertaining read.

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