With Star Wars: Brotherhood hitting shelves next week and Obi-Wan Kenobi coming to Disney+ at the end of the month, I am not sure there is any bigger hype around a Star Wars character than there is for Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi right now. To add to the HYPErspace train, Marvel comics has released a new miniseries featuring everyone’s favorite bearded Jedi master. Written by Christopher Cantwell, Star Wars: Obi-Wan will follow the final days that Kenboi will be spending on Tatooine as he reflects back on his life. Writer Cantwell is joined on Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 by Star Wars staple artist Ario Anindito, while Carlos Lopez provides colors, letters by Joe Caramagna, and Phil Noto rounds out the team as the cover artist.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 opens nearly 20 years since Kenobi has entered into his isolation on the desert planet of Tatooine. From the first panel, it is clear this is not the Obi-Wan Kenobi that fans have come to love during the prequel era. This is Ben Kenobi. A grizzled hermit whose glory days are long behind him as the harsh weather on Tatooine and solitude has eroded down the charming diplomat who was once the pinnacle of the Jedi Order in his wisdom and his fighting ability. As a sandstorm approaches, Kenobi feels unnerving darkness on the horizon. The darkness awakens the loneliness that he feels as he remembers a time when he felt such isolation.
In a fashion similar to what fans see from other Star Wars comics like Haylcon Legacy and Tales from Wild Space, Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 switches its focus from present-day to events of the past for the bulk of the issue. In this flashback, Kenobi finds himself as a youngling on the verge of attending the Gathering to find his own kyber crystal on Illum. After startling awake, he desperately attempts to find his fellow Jedi initiate Gehren. Gehren is haunted by the nightmare of her father and she feels the need to leave the Jedi Order and come to his aid. Kenobi, who clearly has a deep bond with Gehren, attempts to stop her from leaving which incites an ominous visit into the belly of the Courscant lower levels.
The parallels to the visions that Gehren has compared to that of Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones are evident. Unlike with his former padawan, Kenobi has the opportunity to save his friend from indulging in the darkness of attachment and doing things alone. In some ways, this is likely the first time that Kenobi is dealing with his own issues with attachment to another person. It is a battle that Kenobi grapples with Duchess Satine of Mandalore but this feels deeper. his This version of Kenobi is still shackled by the need to follow the rules of the Jedi Order to the tee all while having his own self-doubt that he can still succeed as a Jedi without Gehren in his life. He is not a capable Jedi Knight. This is a Jedi Initiate who is afraid of being alone. Just as he is on Tatooine decades later.
As the panels progress throughout Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1, especially in the flashback plot, I am in awe of the art. Artist Ario Anindito who excels are exposing the dark and grittiness present in the Star Wars universe through comics, does an excellent job of showing these aspects on Courscant. Further, his attention to detail in the faces of Kenobi (both old and young) and Gehren show the emotional pain that the characters are enduring as the issue progresses. To supplement the art, colorer Lopez brings the distinct differences between Tatooine and Courscant to life while also highlighting how the storms brew differently on the planets: one of sand and wind and the other of scum and villainy. As the flashback story progresses, the reader never losses the feeling that Ben Kenobi is still telling the story. The letterboxes from the present day make their way into the past as gritty brown boxes reflect the pages of his journal entry. It’s a team that I hope to see continue to work together in future series.
Overall, Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 is off to a great start. If you are looking for a series to hold you over in between episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, then this is certainly the series for you. Readers are going to new things about one of the oldest characters in the Star Wars canon. There are stories to be told here and Cantwell is not looking to sugarcoat anything. It is clear that writer Cantwell is going deep with the inner workings of Obi-Wan Kenobi at likely his lowest point. There is no telling where we go from here as the flashbacks are going to span the life of a very accomplished Kenobi and that is not a bad thing.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 is available wherever comics are sold May 4. 2022.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1
Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 is off to a great start. If you are looking for a series to hold you over in between episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, then this is certainly the series for you. Readers are going to new things about one of the oldest characters in the Star Wars canon. There are stories to be told here and Cantwell is not looking to sugarcoat anything. It is clear that writer Cantwell is going deep with the inner workings of Obi-Wan Kenobi at likely his lowest point. There is no telling where we go from here as the flashbacks are going to span the life of a very accomplished Kenobi and that is not a bad thing.