‘Star Wars’: Were Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi Actually Friends?

An interesting debate has come up about the Star Wars prequels, and it has nothing to do with the political parallels the movies predicted in our own reality. This time, it has to do with the so-called friendship between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

More precisely, it has to do with understanding whether they were really friends or emerging adversaries all along. What was their relationship in more realistic terms? According to fans online recently, it never really looked like friendship from our common perspective.

Did the original trilogy throw fans off about Obi-Wan and Anakin?

Hayden Christensen at Galaxy's Edge
Hayden Christensen | Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

In the old days of Star Wars (before the prequels), the notion always was Obi-Wan considered Anakin a close friend before he turned to the dark side. Even so, a lot of secrets were kept from viewers then, creating a mythical and intriguing backstory.

From fans, an interesting view of the Anakin/Obi-Wan relationship is emerging. When someone started a thread on Reddit recently analyzing the pre-Dark Times, someone noted they never quite considered Anakin and Obi-Wan “good” friends.

Going back to watch the prequels again, one can see they do seem to argue more than ever being simpatico. Said the above fan: “I never got Anakin’s and Obi-Wan’s friendship in the prequel. They argued more than anything. This is due to George’s writing, of course, but when it came to the final battle at RoTS, I felt no attachment for them.”

Were Anakin and Obi-Wan more like arguing brothers?

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Maybe the best way to look at the two of them was more like brothers who never seemed to get along. More than a few sibling relationships are like that in real life.

Said another Reddit user about how this evolved: “I feel like the prequel films don’t do their friendship justice. When I watch the films, I don’t really see friendship, it more resembles a strained relationship with a co-worker. TCW is where I get the impression of actual friendship.”

Can one properly translate the above relationship as Obi-Wan just tolerating Anakin since he figured he was the Chosen One? Maybe Obi-Wan sensed something was not right when he and Anakin started arguing about the Jedi Council.

Over on Quora, some similar discussions were brought up already back in 2016. One person suggested Anakin and Obi-Wan were more like an older brother apprenticing a younger brother.

However, the answer was a little deeper when realizing Anakin felt like the Jedi betrayed his trust. Part of this was when finding out Obi-Wan had unfulfilled romantic feelings for Duchess Satine of Mandalore.

Was Anakin and Obi-Wan more like a father-son relationship?

Others on Quota above argued Anakin considered Obi-Wan more like a father, albeit latter looking at former as a brother. Not seeing one another equally might be one reason the two ended up clashing beyond Anakin turning away from the Jedi.

From another perspective, it seems it was obviously love for a woman bringing Anakin down in the end, something he should have confided in with Obi-Wan. CBR noted a while back that had Obi-Wan opened up to Anakin and allowed the two to share their feelings about their love interests, their friendship would not have fallen apart.

In the end, the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi was a psychological warning tale about always talking out our feelings, including with friends willing to listen.