Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Obi-Wan Kenobi has had a few releases to date in the Star Wars Black Series, most notably the much maligned blue line figure from 2014 a well as the Original Trilogy Obi-Wan, Force Ghost Obi-Wan and the more recent Clone Armour Obi-Wan from 2019. In wave 21 we have another version of Obi-Wan and this one takes us back to his beginnings as a Padawan from the Phantom Menace.
This is the same Obi-Wan figure as was released as a San Diego Comic Con Exclusive in 2019 on a retro 1999 design Phantom Menace Card. The only difference is the lack of a force gesture hand which was omitted from this release.
Number 85 in the 3rd phase packaging, Obi-Wan is packed as usual in the black box with red cardback and trim. He is specifically named as "Obi-Wan Kenobi" with "Padawan" following the name in brackets. The illustration on the front of the box is a good likeness to the 1999 Ewan McGregor.
The same image is repeated on the back of the box along with a very short bio text about Obi-Wan and his early years in the Jedi Temple.
"Like all Jedi of his era, Obi-Wan Kenobi was raised in the Jedi Temple from a very young age. He first underwent training with Yoda, before being assigned to Master Qui-Gon Jinn in his teens."
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
The head sculpt on Obi-Wan uses the face print technology and presents a very good likeness to Ewan McGregor. The skin is a little glossy, but the lips and eyes are very well printed and there is depth to the skin with shadowing around the nose and eyes. The hair is textured and painted well and Obi-Wan even gets his Padawan braids and rear ponytail.
The body is not a direct re-use of the original Obi-Wan, and is screen accurate to the Phantom Menace. The robes are cast in a single plastic with no paint apps, and while a softer brown wash would have brought out the detail - on such a light cover it is not a huge problem. The belt is very well detailed with silver clasp and varying brown colours.
Obi-Wan is packed with his lightsaber, and this is not the one used on previous Obi-Wan figures but rather his original saber hilt that was lost on Naboo during his battle with Darth Maul - great attention to detail. Like all Black Series sabers the blade can be detached from the hilt and the hilt can be hung using a slot in Obi-Wan's belt if you wish.
As we have mentioned, an alternative force gesture hand that was packed with the SDCC version of this Obi-Wan has been omitted by Hasbro - despite assurances originally that the figure would be identical. This is disappointing as the little gestures, as we saw on Qui-Gon, add real character to your poses.
The other concern with Obi-Wan is why he wasn't given a soft goods robe option - it was included with Mace Windu from the previous wave? Like Qui-Gon, the lack of outer robes does restrict some display options.
Obi-Wan has the standard 19 points of articulation for a Black Series human character and is pretty mobile with some good poses open to him. He includes the new two joint neck articulation, where the neck is articulated at both top and bottom - removing the unsightly pivot.
Head : ball joint neck base, ball joint neck top
Body : ball joint torso
Arms : ball joint shoulder, butterfly shoulder joint, single rotating elbow, pivot wrist
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh split, double jointed knee, ankle rocker
The only real restrictions are at the shoulders where the robes do extend a little and stop the shoulders going all the way up - and at the hips thanks to the skirt piece which is now all plastic and doesn't include soft goods like the previous Episode III Obi-Wan. The shoulder movement is somewhat aided by the new butterfly shoulder joints.
Obi-Wan stands perfectly well on his own and can even hold some action stances ready for posing alongside his contemporaries like Qui-Gon Jinn and of course, Darth Maul!
I am pleased that prequel Obi-Wan Kenobi has got a revisit, albeit in his younger Padawan appearance. The figure and articulation are well executed, and the only issues are that of accessories - being deprived the hand that came with the SDCC set is disappointing, and I still can't quantify why some Jedi's like Mace Windu get soft goods robes and others don't.
Like many figures, this release completes a diorama display for me - either alongside Qui-Gon on display or posed battling Darth Maul. I score the Obi-Wan Kenobi (Padawan) a 4 out of 5.