(10) Obi-Wan's birth family dies in a speeder accident when he's seven years old. By then, he's been at the Temple for almost six years; he doesn't know his parents or his brothers, he doesn't remember anything about them. There is no connection, no bond.
He regrets their deaths. That is all.
It is an odd sort of comfort, to know that he has already passed that test. If he were one to succumb to the lure of attachments, surely he would feel sorrow at their deaths, the need to grieve for them. He doesn't even feel that he is an orphan-
- until Qui-Gon falls beneath Darth Maul's lightsabre.
(9) Obi-Wan knows that the other young Jedi struggle most with the injunction against passion.
He knows, but he doesn't understand. He's rarely felt more than boredom at the idea, and then only mild distaste. If they would simply regulate themselves –
Well. It is not the way of the Jedi, and nothing else matters.
(Sometimes, though, Obi-Wan has the sneaking suspicion that he'd be exactly the same if he weren't a Jedi – at least about this.)
(8) Obi-Wan never thinks of Anakin as his son.
Anakin is many things: a thorn in his side, a constant worry, a promising if exasperating padawan, the creation of the Force, the Son of Suns. Above all else, however, he is the boy chosen by Qui-Gon, chosen as Obi-Wan himself was, years ago. He is Qui-Gon's other child, his younger son.
Qui-Gon would have known what to do with him, known how to teach him, known how to respond to his questions and quell his temper. He would have raised Anakin properly, he would have been a father, not a bewildered, grieving, ignorant older brother.
Obi-Wan cannot imagine himself as another Qui-Gon, so it never occurs to him that fatherless Anakin might do so. He doesn't understand the boy's desperate longing for a father, the hopes he first pinned on Qui-Gon and then neatly transferred to Obi-Wan. He certainly doesn't understand that Anakin looks up to him, rebels against him, fights alongside him, and finally betrays him, as his son.
He can't. For Obi-Wan, Anakin will always be his little brother.
(7) Obi-Wan watches Palpatine's – Sidious' – victory, and grieves.
He grieves for the Republic, weak and teeming with corruption though it may have been. He grieves for Mace Windu, for all his brother and sister Jedi. He grieves for the children, slain by one they looked up to.
Secretly, he grieves for Anakin, too: not the yellow-eyed monster that he has become, not Vader, but Anakin. The Dark Side has destroyed him as it destroys all within its grasp, filling the shell of Anakin's body with itself. There can be no return from the Dark Side, Yoda tells him, no hope for one who has fallen, for there is nothing left to save from the wreckage.
Anakin is dead, and Obi-Wan grieves for what he was.
(6) Obi-Wan hides with the Organas, concealed as a bodyguard of Senator Amidala's. From a certain point of view, he is.
It's not for her sake, however, fond of her though he may be. The child must be hidden, as soon as it's born, taken beyond the reach of the Emperor, and of Vader, too. Neither will indulge in any sentimentality about another Jedi child.
Obi-Wan imagines that Anakin-shaped monstrosity slaying Anakin's child, and shudders.
They have only formed the vaguest possible plan, however, when Padmé goes into labour. It's too early, he thinks wildly. It's too early. We're not ready –
They haven't even begun their preparations, let alone finalised them, and the child is already lying in the Queen of Alderaan's arms, whimpering for his mother.
"Luke," whispers Padmé, eyes drooping. Her skin is ashen and drawn tight across her face. "We . . . Anakin and I, we talked – "
"Luke Naberrie? It's a good name," Organa says quickly, nodding at the droid. It creaks over and increases the flow of sedatives and analgesics.
"No," she says, turning her head towards the child. Another guard shifts his weight anxiously. "Skywalker. Luke . . . Skywalker. He's Anakin's heir, he has – "
It is neither the time nor the place to argue, yet Obi-Wan feels a deep sense of unease as he turns away, silently encouraging her to escape into sleep. Within days, Luke has disappeared, and so has the guard; a pleasant, nondescript man nobody paid the slightest attention to, except to commend him for his efficiency.
Obi-Wan feels sick. "Vader has the boy now."
"He's dead, then. How can I tell her – what will I tell her?" Organa stares down at Padmé, her face calm and relaxed in sleep. At least her dreams bring her comfort, Obi-Wan thinks, and reaches out to the Force.
Other presences ripple back at him: fifty or sixty Jedi, too distant to pinpoint; perhaps a hundred padawans and younglings scattered across the galaxy; and a single bright flicker illuminating the twisting, spreading obscurity where Anakin should be.
"No," says Obi-Wan, his eyes flying open. "He's not dead. Luke is with – " his father – "Vader, but he lives."
"Luke is highly sensitive to the Force. Vader may intend to raise him as an – apprentice." Something cold and hard settles in his gut. "He must not succeed. Luke is our last hope. I shall find him, and if it is possible, I will bring him back. Say nothing to Padmé."
He spends the next three days searching for Vader. Enveloped as the Sith Lord is by the smothering tendrils of the Dark Side, Obi-Wan cannot simply track his presence in the Force, as he once would have done. He fumbles along, guided only by his dim sense of Luke, and unsure whether it is even possible to defeat the boy's wayward father.
It doesn't matter. The attempt must be made.
Before he can do much more than look, however, Organa summons him back to the medicentre. The queen is weeping, the droid deactivated, and the doctor speaking in a shrill, nervous voice.
"I already told Lord Vader – "
Organa lifts his head, revealing tired eyes and tear-stained cheeks. His mouth is set in hard, grim lines.
"Vader?" Obi-Wan repeats. He feels an abrupt certainty that something is wrong, terribly wrong – and somehow, that it is not Vader's doing. "What is this about? Is Senator Amidala – "
"Dead," the doctor tells him, and adds helpfully, "heart attack. Electrocution."
Obi-Wan's breath hisses out between his teeth. "Sidious."
"Funny," says the doctor. "That's what he said."
(5) Obi-Wan is the first Jedi to return to the Temple.
He waits only for the Senate to reassert its control over the government, rushing home the moment that Interim Chancellor Organa rescinds Order 66. It's a mess, of course, though the bodies have been cleared away. He requisitions an army of cleaning droids within the hour.
Yoda joins him shortly thereafter.
"Optimistic, you are, Obi-Wan Kenobi."
"I?" Obi-Wan doesn't presume to disagree. "Perhaps I am. I see the Empire fallen, and a great deal of work to do."
"Survived the fire, Darth Vader did," observes Yoda.
Obi-Wan permits himself a short laugh. "Anakin set the fire, no doubt from a safe distance. I've been told he ordered everyone out, all the way down to the droids. He's not – I don't know what happened, Master Yoda, but the Force . . . it feels different now."
"Balanced, it is." Yoda hobbles away, boosting himself onto a window-sill. "Purified. For now."
"Forever, I hope."
"Think that Vader will not return, do you? Because turned on the Emperor, he did? Bah! The way of all Sith apprentices, it is."
"You must have felt many Sith masters depart the galaxy by now," Obi-Wan says, sending a broom sweeping across the floor. "Did their deaths balance the Force?"
"Hm!" says Yoda. "Missed a spot by the wall, you have."
(4) Obi-Wan is the first to receive news of Anakin – by way of a bounty hunter, of all things.
It's just after the Republic's second Restoration Day when the bounty hunter presents himself at the Temple, refusing to speak to anyone other than Obi-Wan.
"Master Kenobi, you have dealings with beings of this ilk?" Master Lanta asks frostily.
"I know nothing of any of this," Obi-Wan says, and it is no less than the truth. "Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding."
"Sure," drawls the bounty hunter, "happens all the time. Got to say, though, my client gave me a pretty good description, and you match it. Exactly."
"Well," Obi-Wan says, "bring it here, and we'll try to clear this up."
"Sure thing." His smile broadens as he turns on his com, ordering his – lieutenant? whatever he is – to bring the shipment to the courtyard.
Obi-Wan doesn't know what he expects; something, perhaps, from one of the Jedi posted away from Coruscant – a discovery of some lost knowledge, a rare artefact, something –
The lieutenant, a tall male Twi'lek, turns into the courtyard. He carries nothing but a blaster at one hip and a toddler on the other. Children of varying ages and species trail behind him, their faces solemn and composed.
"It's going to be fine," a young Wookiee says in her own tongue. "He promised."
Obi-Wan, on the point of asking if this is some kind of joke, pauses. The Wookiee feels . . . familiar. Out of habit more than anything, he reaches out with the Force – and nearly bites his tongue off.
They're Force-sensitives – the Wookiee most strongly, but all twelve to some degree. By the widening of her eyes, Lanta feels it as well.
"We did not send for this shipment," she says, one stalk twitching wildly. "Who hired you?"
The bounty hunter scratches his chin. "Young fellow. Quiet, tall. Didn't try to bargain. Light hair and blue eyes, both of them."
"Both?" Obi-Wan says sharply.
"Yeah, him and the little boy. He sent the others on, but not that one – his own kid, I bet. Spitting image of him. The name was something odd. Starkiller? No, Skywalker. Yeah, that's it. Anakin Skywalker. Here's the message."
He extends the datapad to Obi-Wan, who accepts it with steady hands.
Luke is safe, well, and happy. Do not attempt to take him from me. My former master thought to do so, shortly before his death, and discovered that even a monster's love for his child is not easily perverted. I intend to instruct him in the tenets of our faith and the way of the Force, but I will not permit any separation between us, nor any harm to come to him.
I presume the Order's standards of acceptance are rather less rigorous than in my youth, given the present circumstances. There is no Qui-Gon to shelter these children, and as orphans they have even fewer alternatives than I did.
(3) Obi-Wan doesn't understand why he looks forward to Anakin's shipments.
Oh, he's fond of the children; he likes teaching them. And it comforts him to know that Qui-Gon would (probably) be proud of him.
That's all true enough, but it's not the whole truth. It's not even most of the truth.
The truth is that his anticipation isn't for the children but for the messages. They're pure Anakin: formal, brusque, and vacillating wildly between autocratic commands, urgent entreaties, and awestruck descriptions of his son.
Even allowing for the prejudice of a doting father, the boy seems little short of a Force prodigy. He is also cheerful, healthy and articulate, if the accounts they receive from the children's ludicrously inappropriate escorts can be trusted. Obi-Wan is pleased, relieved, grateful. For some reason he . . . cares for Luke, a boy he hasn't seen since the Empire's hellish last days, and then only for a few hours.
He doesn't understand that, either.
(2) Obi-Wan always swore he'd never take another padawan, even as he attempted to manage the one he had.
Anakin's fall certainly did nothing to change his mind on the subject.
Anakin's son does.
Seven years after his father delivers him to the Temple, Luke Skywalker seats himself across from Obi-Wan and blinks owlishly at him.
Obi-Wan has taken an interest in the boy from the first: looked after his comfort, enquired after his aspirations and predilections, answered his questions, told him stories of his father and talked around the-subject-which-must-not-be-mentioned.
They must not fail Luke as they failed Anakin.
Obi-Wan isn't foolish enough to ignore the uncanny resemblance between father and son, but he knows Luke isn't Anakin. (He has the sneaking suspicion that nobody else does, only sometimes excluding Anakin and Luke themselves. But Obi-Wan remembers the truth.)
"Can I help you, Luke?"
"I want you to take me as your padawan," Luke says, and fixes Anakin's disconcertingly direct gaze on him. "Can you help me, Master Kenobi?"
(1) Almost from the moment he sets eyes on her, Obi-Wan knows that Leia Organa is Padmé's daughter.
It is all very discreet, of course. Senator Amidala has always spent a great deal of time with Senator Organa and his family; they are known to be close personal friends as well as political allies. Leia naturally adores kind, glamorous "Aunt Padmé" and Padmé naturally returns the princess' affection. Even Obi-Wan sees nothing to provoke suspicion.
And yet he knows.
He and Bail keep the secret for over a decade. At first, it seems the only reasonable thing to do. Anakin might not be Vader any more, but he is still Anakin, wilder and more unpredictable than ever. If he discovers that his wife left a daughter – a daughter in whom her slight sensitivity to the Force is magnified tenfold –
Later, after Anakin brings Luke to the Temple – well, it's not Obi-Wan's secret to tell. Bail is still staunchly opposed to telling anyone about anything; Leia doesn't even know about Padmé yet. Yoda, likewise privy to the truth, regards Luke's intense devotion to his father as quite dangerous enough without throwing a sister into the mix.
At first, he bows to their authority with only a few flickers of regret. But when Anakin is reinstated into the Order, Obi-Wan's remorse becomes bitter and constant, and by the time he accepts Luke as his padawan, the secret has become an almost unbearable burden. Leia is almost eighteen, Luke already thirteen; the childhood they ought to have shared is nearly gone.
When she sends a hologram all but demanding the name of her stepfather, Obi-Wan's shoulders sag in relief.
Anakin is livid, of course, though his face remains blank and he says only "how, then, does she know about me?" and "when do we leave?" Luke seems torn between excitement and confusion. ("Master, why couldn't you tell me I had a sister, again?")
When Leia drags Anakin into her father's study, Obi-Wan braces himself for all the rage and recrimination he deserves. For a moment, the princess does look as if she wants to put a blaster to his head. Then her eyes fall on Luke, fiddling with his braid, and her fury softens to bewilderment.
"This is my apprentice," Obi-Wan says, "Luke Skywalker."
Leia catches her breath. "Stars, I'm an idiot," she says, and holds out her hand to her brother. "I mean, hello. I'm Leia Organa."
"Hi," he says, then blushes. "I – I guess I'm your half-brother?"
"No, my baby brother," says Leia, grinning madly. "How embarrassed would you be if I hugged you right now?"
"Only a little," says Luke.