Have you ever noticed that? We base our assessment of the intelligence of others almost entirely on how closely their thinking matches our own. I’m sure that there are people out there who violently disagree with me on most things, and I’m broad-minded enough to conceded that they might possibly not be completely idiots, but I much prefer the company of people who agree with me.
You might want to think about that.
~ David Eddings, Belgarath the Sorcerer
OK so I am cheating a little and using a nickname to facilitate my ‘O’, but this character has to be included in my A-Z, as the reason I met my favourite genre, fantasy. The character is known throughout a lot of the first book in his series as ‘Old Wolf’.
He is Belgarath the Sorcerer irascible, irresponsible old rogue, nicknamed Old Wolf by his daughter Polgara, after the animal form he finds most comfortable to take and tends to live him when there is no real need for him to be in human form. Initially introduced as a drunken old storyteller, with no relationships to speak of, it is revealed that he is a father and grandfather (many times removed), with a turbulent past and a strained relationship with his daughter, who has always felt she was not the favourite and has also been cursed with magic.
Both immortal and able to do almost anything through the force of will, Old Wolf is revealed to be the oldest disciple of the God Alder, a strong, competent general if needed, willing to sacrifice all for his family and yearning for a love that died over a thousand years earlier. He’s a nasty old man a lot of the time, but he’s worth his weight in gold, and he can make you his weight in gold if you ask him nicely.
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.
~ Princess Leia, Stars Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope
An unintentional apt choice for today considering the new Star Wars trailer flying around (*geeks out*) at the moment. My O is Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Depending on when you were born (pre-prequels or post-prequels) some people may have been first introduced to Obi-Wan as a young man, as played by Ewan McGregor, while most, like me, (and if you watch the films in the correct order, starting with Episode IV) would have first seen him as ‘Ben Kenobi’ played by Alec Guinness.
A legendary Jedi Knight and Master, Obi-Wan appeared in all six films and played a significant role in the fate of the galaxy. Mentor to both Anakin and Luke Skywalker, he trained them both in the ways of the Force, having a sibling relationship with Anakin but was more of a father-figure to Luke. Even after Vader ‘strikes him down’, he continues to guide Luke and offer wisdom as a ‘force ghost’.
Obi-Wan also appears extensively in the ‘Expanded Universe’ of Star Wars, with entire book series which detail his life pre-Phantom Menace (‘Jed Apprentice’ series) and pre-Attack of the Clones (‘Jedi Quest’ series). He has also appeared in comic books and video games (even one titled ‘Star Wars – Obi-Wan’ for the XBox).
Loyal and dedicated, Obi-Wan is shown to possess a dry sense of humour and sarcastic wit in his youth, although he could certainly be on the cynical side at times. His humble and soft-spoken demeanor belied his warrior prowess and despite his complaints about flying, he was also a skilled pilot. As time went by, he became more cautious and careful in his approach to situations and even to his last days, he retained his traits of patience and foresight.