Other than droids R2-D2 and his (oblivious and often obnoxious) counterpart, C-3P0, Obi-Wan Kenobi is the only character whom appears in each of the seven Star Wars films. This isn’t by chance. Obi-Wan plays a increasingly pivotal role throughout each of the first six installments, and his ties to Episode VII and beyond are continuing to unfold. In fact, evidence of his importance to the overall storyline is underscored with other canonical work, such as Issue #7 of the Marvel Comic series, “Star Wars.” So, what exactly makes┬áthis crazy old hermit so important?

When we first see Obi-Wan in the opening scene of Episode I, he’s a Padawan under the tutelage of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. He’s (fairly young), he’s ambitious, he’s inquisitive, and he displays humility in his learning. As the saga progresses, we watch Obi-Wan transform into the wise sage, full of cryptic comments, and insights – from a certain point of view. In between, we witness – either firsthand, or through extrapolation – his desire to learn, grow, and pass-on his knowledge and experience. And, while some have argued Kenobi is a failure of sorts, their argument missteps when they underestimate the power, beauty and fragility of being an imperfect human.

What cannot be argued, however, is that mentorship is a major thematic element woven throughout the Star Wars galaxy. In fact, it’s so important, the two opposing sides of the Force each have programs devoted to it. While the methodology and end-goal of a mentor-mentee relationship often plays out quite differently, both the Jedi and the Sith understand the importance of an older, more experienced person┬áteaching and training a younger person.

Over the coming weeks, this series will explore the many aspects and benefits of mentorship, and what traits a true mentor displays. Throughout the series, we welcome your stories and insights…

-DK