Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are best friends and allies in Star Wars
and Star Wars: The Clone Wars
, and then later bitter enemies. When both Jedi, had a great many adventures together, Obi-Wan taught Anakin nearly everything he knew.
Nonetheless, the two had differing personalities and skills, which occasionally sparked friction in their friendship, and ultimately set them on the different paths that would see them fight. Anakin had abilities and achievements that Obi-Wan could never hope to match, but the same is true of Obi-Wan to Anakin.
10 Obi-Wan Negotiates Readily, Even With Those He Despises
Obi Wan Sips Tea Clone Wars Movie
Before the Clone Wars, part of a Jedi's role as a peacekeeper was negotiation and diplomacy, whether from the Order to other groups or between factions in conflict. Obi-Wan embodied this role on more than one occasion, even naming his ship Negotiator
, and being addressed with that epithet by Grievous.
Most of Obi-Wan's diplomatic overtures seen on screen are unsuccessful (with the Trade Federation in The Phantom Menace) or tricks (General Loathsome in The Clone Wars), but by reputation, he is far more willing to attempt this than his Padawan, who prefers "aggressive negotiations" with a lightsaber.
9 Patience Is A Virtue Anakin Lacks & Obi-Wan Excels In
Anakin Skywalker Force Lightning Attack Of The Clones
One of the biggest differences between Master and Apprentice is that Obi-Wan favors the detachment expected of the Jedi, whereas Anakin is more hot-blooded and prone to charging into a situation. Anakin improves in this regard—particularly after losing his arm—but he is still far quicker to jump into action than Obi-Wan.
A key example of this difference is in investigations run by both of them. In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan only engages Jango Fett once it is clear that he is the bounty hunter Obi-Wan is looking for, and once he is making his escape. In his own investigation in Clone Wars, Anakin attacks Barriss Offee to test a theory.
8 Anakin Lacks The Detachment To Be Ruthless
Anakin Separatists Mustafar
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the kindest and valiant Jedi in the Order, so 'ruthless' can seem like an unusual way to describe him. Nonetheless, on more than one occasion he proves that he is willing to do what it takes to achieve certain goals, even if it hurts others. For instance, he doesn't tell Anakin before he fakes his own death, leaving Anakin to mourn, and sends Luke to fight his own father.
Anakin can be fierce, vindictive, and even malicious at times, but he always cares too much to be ruthless. He can't put aside the feelings and actions of others, especially not those he cares about.
7 Obi-Wan Uses Guile, Anakin Prefers A Straightforward Approach
"You can't win, but there are alternatives to fighting," Obi-Wan tells Han Solo in A New Hope
. Throughout his time in the films, Obi-Wan demonstrates this, taking a number of other approaches
. From impersonating his own 'assassin,' to faking surrender to Separatise leaders, to using his Mind Trick, Obi-Wan is not afraid to use approaches that emphasize subtlety or cunning.
Anakin prefers a more direct approach, often leading with his lightsaber. Both are equally effective, but highlight the differences between the two.
6 Soresu Is A Form Anakin Ignores, & Obi-Wan Masters
Throughout the Clone Wars, both Anakin and Obi-Wan become two of the finest soldiers among the Jedi, in spite of Obi-Wan not being as obviously talented a duelist as Mace Windu, Yoda, or even Anakin himself. Instead, he practices Form III, Soresu, a defensive form that wears opponents out until they tire and make a mistake.
The Form's passive nature led to Anakin largely ignoring it for other styles, and he himself masters Form V, Shien, which focuses on powerful strikes and counters to dominate an opponent. When the two clash on Mustafar, Obi-Wan is ultimately able to weather Anakin's assault and bait his opponent into making a move that sees him lose three limbs.
5 Anakin Grapples With The Jedi Code, Whilst Obi-Wan Obeys It
Anakin and Padme Kiss Wedding
One of the foundational cracks in Obi-Wan and Anakin's relationship is the Jedi Code. Having been raised by it from a young age, Obi-Wan follows it naturally, whilst Anakin struggles and even considers it wrong or unnecessary
. Obi-Wan only admits to considering breaking the Code once, when he admits that he would have left the Order for Satine Kryze, which never came to pass
Anakin, however, struggles far more with nearly every aspect of the Jedi Code, ultimately breaking it when he marries Padmé in secret on Naboo.
4 Obi-Wan Becomes A Master, & Anakin Never Does
Obi-Wan Kenobi sitting on the Jedi Council
Between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan goes from a well-respected Jedi Knight to a Jedi Master with a seat on the Jedi Council. Despite winning as much acclaim in the Clone Wars as Obi-Wan, however, Anakin remains a Knight.
Part of this is Obi-Wan's greater adherence to the values of the Jedi, but another portion is due to Anakin's temperamental nature and fractious relationship with certain Council members, including a distinct lack of trust towards him from Mace Windu. Even when allowed on the Council, Anakin is not made a Master.
3 Obi-Wan Ultimately Forgives His Enemies
Darth Maul Death Obi-Wan Star Wars Rebels
Over the course of his career as a Jedi, Obi-Wan amasses a great number of enemies, but he ultimately shows himself able to forgive him. He fights alongside long-time foe Asajj Ventress on occasion, and in the afterlife, he is shown forgiving Anakin.
Nowhere is this more clear, however, than with his greatest enemy, former Sith Lord Maul
. Even after Maul kills Obi-Wan's master, the love of his life, and threatens both him and a young Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan still cradles Maul after he dies, and offers him comfort with the existence of the Chosen One. Anakin holds onto his grudges, however, killing a helpless Count Dooku, and desiring to kill Obi-Wan years after their first bout
2 Grief Consumes Anakin, But Not Obi-Wan
Both Obi-Wan and Anakin experience a great deal of loss
. Obi-Wan loses Qui-Gon, Satine Kryze, his friends in the Jedi Order, and ultimately Anakin himself. Anakin in turn loses his mother, his Padawan Ahsoka, and Padmé.
While Obi-Wan undoubtedly suffers from these losses, he is able to use his Jedi teachings to process their grief and move past it. Anakin, however, allows them to eat away at him. It is grief over his mother and fear of losing Padmé that sees him take his first definitive steps towards the ways of the Sith.
1 Anakin Cannot Resist The Dark Side, Obi-Wan Can
As the Original Trilogy tells the story of Darth Vader's redemption, so too does the Prequel Trilogy tell of the descent of Anakin Skywalker into evil. It is ultimately a combination of
factors, from Anakin's struggle with the Jedi Code to his grief and fear for his loved ones, to his anger and his lust for power that see him ultimately fall to the dark side.
Obi-Wan faces some similar temptations, most often from his greatest enemy Maul, and yet, aside from some brief lapses, he never considers anything other than the Jedi way. It is ultimately this discipline and this resolve that marks the difference between the two.