You don't have to be from a long time ago or live in a galaxy far, far away to know that mentors have their place in storytelling. They come in many varieties, but few make as lasting an impression as this "Wan!"
The typical nature of this trope is that the character is older, calm, and about to kick the bucket anyway. They can die as soon as Act 2 in the first film or book 6 of a lengthy series - most often with dramatic effect.
"I never got that toffee every-flavor bean ..."
Not every mentor under this definition has to die. We might be led to believe that they're dead, only to make us freak out when they make their reappearance.
"Fly, you fools!"
"Psych, you fools!"
For the record, Obi-Wans don't have to be wizards or wield special powers. They can be ordinary folks or brilliant scientists with super (soldier) ideas.
"I just know zhe value of strength ..."
And not every Obi-Wan is a good guy, so you know.
"I've played an Obi-Wan twice!"
Examples of The Obi-Wan from the top of my head:
Kelsier from Mistborn.
The Third Hokage from Naruto.
Rufus in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Chubbs from Happy Gilmore (comedic example).
"Hot Ice" Hilda from Outlaw Star (female example).
Merlin the Wizard to King Arthur (legend example).
Can you tell which books these Obi-Wans are from?
10 points if you know their names
Examples of this trope are endless. And yet, it never gets old. Perhaps this is due to the natural order of life. We learn stuff, we pass it on to the younger generation, and then keel over. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
Have you written an Obi-Wan? What other examples can you think of? Would you like some toast?
I'm David, and ... "Remember Who You Are ..."
"Mufasa! Mufasa! Mufasa!"