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Will Star Wars’ ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Show Acknowledge His Past Love?

Anakin wasn't the only one.

Obi Wan Kenobi Poster Obi Wan walks through the desert

Most people know Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi as either the wizened mentor of the original trilogy or the young but dedicated teacher and friend in the prequels. But did you know Obi-Wan was also a romantic hero of the Clone Wars? Obi-Wan had his love interests in the original expanded universe of novels (which aren’t canon for Disney’s new entries in the franchise), but the romantic life of the Skywalkers’ favorite teacher wasn’t explored in canon until The Clone Wars season 2.

Satine touching Obi-Wan's face.
Duchess Satine Kryze, maintaining a respectful distance. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Enter Duchess Satine Kryze, pacifist ruler of Mandalore and leader of the Neutral Systems (and yes, she is named for Satine of Moulin Rouge, in a reference to Obi-Wan actor Ewan McGregor’s love interest in that movie). If the name rings any other bells, her sister, Bo-Katan, made her live-action debut in Season 2 of The Mandalorian. (Played by her voice actress, Katee Sackhoff, too!)

Having originally met and fallen in love in their youths when then Padawan Kenobi was tasked to protect the young Duchess during the Mandalorian civil war, the two are reunited during Obi-Wan’s investigations of the Mandalorian terrorist group Death Watch (which we later find out Bo-Katan is part of).

This history makes for a bunch of fun old married couple bickering, only this time, it’s about galactic politics and the ethics of fighting wars vs. pacifism (hats off to Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni for finding a way to make prequel politics fun). There’s dozens of compilations and fancams of the two, who manage to have a very deep and compelling relationship over relatively few episodes.

There’s even a popular meme amongst Clone Wars fans accusing Satine’s nephew of being her secret love child with Obi-Wan, due to the boy’s lack of parents and apparent resemblance to Kenobi. (Hey, it makes more sense than Rey being Palpatine’s granddaughter through cloning!)

A Tumblr screenshot of Satine, her nephew, and Obi-Wan. The text below the images says "Satine's 'nephew' looks like a perfect combination of her and Obi-Wan... but that's none of my business frog emoji hot tea emoji # I know a secret love child passed off as a nephew..."

What’s truly interesting about their relationship is that the Duchess and Obi-Wan are a reflection of what Anakin and Padmé might’ve become if they had denied their feelings and put duty first: the galaxy prospers, but the two feel the stinging regret of “What if?” Still, they remain devoted to each other and seem to be able to make a professional friendship work.

But everything changes with the return of Darth Maul.

Darth Maul yelling about Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Maul screaming Kenobi into the Dune Sea of Tatooine. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Maul is like a bad case of acne for Obi-Wan, popping up in the most stressful situations to completely ruin his life. Maul hates Obi-Wan so much that he takes over every crime syndicate, partners with Death Watch, and ultimately takes control of Mandalore just to get to Satine and, therefore, Obi-Wan—which ends in her death at Maul’s hands in front of Obi-Wan. A classic fridging. Sigh.

I do appreciate how her death serves to illustrate the differences between Anakin and Obi-Wan: Where Anakin lashes out violently at anyone who even threatens, much less actually hurts, those he loves, Obi-Wan, while heartbroken, stays true to the light and seems sorry for Maul more than anything, who knows no other way than violence and hatred.

Obi-Wan Kenobi holding Darth Maul's corpse in Star Wars: Rebels.
Maul’s final death. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Even when Maul hunts him down on Tatooine decades later, Kenobi holds his longtime adversary in his arms as Maul dies and gives him peace knowing Luke is the Chosen One and will be the end of Palpatine (… I mean, he put him out of commission for 3 decades. That has to count for something.)

More than that, it is ultimately the logical conclusion to Satine’s path of pacifism and neutrality. Though she was right not to join a pointless war orchestrated to put a fascist in power permanently, her pacifism combined with her neutrality left her and her people vulnerable to internal corruption. Satine’s attempts to end the violence of the Mandalorian culture ultimately lead to another hostile takeover and civil war and her own impalement upon the darksaber, the weapon that literally denotes the ruler of Mandalore.

So where does this leave her and her legacy?

Darth Maul's creepy murder cave in Star Wars: Rebels.
Maul’s creepy murder shrine. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Star Wars: Rebels referenced her on occasion—Maul had a creepy portrait of her in his lair, Sabine named a weapon after her, etc.—and I maintain that Anakin seeing Obi-Wan refuse to divert troops to help Mandalore in The Clone Wars Season 7 contributed to his belief that Obi-Wan would not understand his relationship with Padmé in Revenge of the Sith (despite it being an open secret between them).

The Mandalorian, while not openly referencing her, has critiqued the Mandalorian warrior culture, with Din Djarin having been basically raised by a cult (that may or may not be an offshoot of Death Watch itself?) and Bo-Katan noting that Mandalorians’ infighting makes them as much a danger to themselves as the Empire, and The Book of Boba Fett indicates that both Bo-Katan and Satine’s actions have shaken Mandalorians’ faith in their monarchy. That combined with the unknown whereabouts of Korkie Kryze leave the question of whether House Kryze is still considered the “rightful” rulers of Mandalore.

But will Satine be referenced in the Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series?

Obi-Wan Kenobi looking through space binoculars in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series.
Me looking for Satine references in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Filoni’s involvement in the show leaves me optimistic that we might at least get some Easter eggs (a holo-portrait of Satine, or maybe an object to remember her by, like her droid deactivator). If they’re willing to reference a deleted duel between Boba Fett and Cad Bane in the finale of The Book of Boba Fett, I imagine it wouldn’t be a stretch to reference Satine in some subtle way that would make Clone Wars fans feel acknowledged.

But the fact that Darth Maul was apparently cut from the Kenobi series does not bode well, as it could indicate a desire to appeal to the larger audience and not confuse them with Clone Wars characters and storylines (though the cuts could also be due to anything from lack of flow to risk of continuity errors, to Maul already getting a perfect ending in Rebels).

Only the release of the series will tell us for sure. But Duchess Satine Kryze will always hold a place in our (and Obi-Wan’s) hearts.

Duchess Satine in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

(featured image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

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Kimberly Terasaki is a Creative Writing graduate, fanfiction author, and intersectional feminist. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan. She appreciates all constructive criticism and genuine discussion.