While Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues knock out box office records Marvel’s own Star Wars comic books are finding success as the top selling titles every month. Continuing to ride the momentum from The Force Awakens Marvel’s latest Star Wars book is Obi-Wan And Anakin. Unlike other Star Wars comic books that they have recently published Obi-Wan And Anakin in the first title that takes place during the prequels. And with so many theories being thrown around about The Force Awakens can Obi-Wan And Anaking #1 begin to shed some light into what fans have been questioning? Let’s find out
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Near Carnelion IV a ship gets hit by some asteroids and plummets to the planet below. The ship crashes into several mountains, losing several parts along the way. The crew is able save the ship from being completely destroyed by deploying the ship’s emergency system.
Out of the ruins of the ship walk out Anakin and Obi-Wan, with Anakin reassuring his Master that there was nothing they could’ve done to avoid crashing. Obi-Wan tells his young Padwan that the debris they hit is one of two reasons no one ever visits the planet they are on. Anakin wonders what the second reason is and Obi-Wan shows him the ruins of a lost city.
Anakin wonders what happened to the planet. Obi-Wan says that generations ago the people of the planet destroyed themselves because of a war. Anakin asks about the Republic ever helping. Obi-Wan says that the planet was never part of the Republic. Anakin then wonders why the Jedi didn’t help. Obi-Wan reminds Anakin that the Jedi Order are under the Republic’s jurisdiction and even if they weren’t the Jedi Order is not an army that interferes in a civil war.
Anakin can’t believe that the people are gone because of a system and thinks that system should change. Obi-Wan responds by saying that one they things may change.
Anakin changes the topic to their current situation now that they need to be saved but can’t since there communication devices are destroyed. Obi-Wan reminds Anakin that they came to the planet to save someone not be saved. Obi-Wan then remembers that the original signal that they picked up was from an old phrasing that was sent recently, which could’ve been from a Jedi.
Anakin suddenly spots something and shows his Master a airship nearby that crashes near them. Anakin thinks they should go to the crash site to find survivors. Obi-Wan stops his Padwan so he can hand him his lightsaber. Anakin is hesitant to take it. Obi-Wan knows that Anakin’s hesitation is because he is thinking of leaving the Order but says that he is giving Anakin a lightsaber so he can stay alive.
Flashing back to some time ago, Anakin is practicing his lightsaber skills in front of a class of other Jedi younglings, with Mace Windu, Obi-Wan and Chancellor Palpatine watching from the balcony above. Palpatine comments on Anakin’s interest in the lightsaber. Suddenly the training bot Anakin is fighting uses a dual lightsaber, similar to Darth Maul’s. Obi-Wan tells Palpatine and Mace that Anakin has been asking him about every detail about his fight with Darth Maul. Palpatine stands impressed over Anakin’s skills as the young Jedi vanquishes the training bot.
As the fight ends Anakin’s peers comment on how his emotions will keep him from being a Jedi, especially after his history as a slave. Anakin hears all of this and uses the force to steal the two kids lightsabers and ignite it in front of their faces. Obi-Wan quickly jumps in and orders Anakin to stand down. Anakin quickly realizes his mistake and apologizes to the two other younglings.
Palpatine and Mace both comment on how Anakin’s training is not complete. Palpatine asks Mace to give him a meeting with Anakin so he can help the kid. Mace doesn’t think that is a good idea but Palpatine reminds Mace that the Jedi fall under his jurisdiction. Mace hesitantly agrees to grant Palpatine a meeting with Anakin.
Back in the present Obi-Wan and Anakin witness several airships fighting in front of them. Anakin and Obi-Wan try to help the ships that are about to crash by slowing their descent with the Force. Two of the people on board of a crashing airship jump out of the airship to the spot Anakin and Obi-Wan are.
Anakin checks on the two and learns that their names are Kolara and Mother Pran. Mother Pran points her guns at Anakin and Obi-Wan. She asks the Jedi if they are open or closed. Anakin introduces himself and Obi-Wan as Jedi’s who are there to help. Confused, Mother Pran asks what Jedi are. End of issue.
The Good: As much as I dislike the prequels I will admit that I have enjoyed some of the material that they spawned, specifically The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. Just like those cartoons Obi-Wan And Anakin #1 does a good in setting up a story that is focused on expanding on what the prequels presented.
Part of what makes Obi-Wan And Anakin #1 enjoyable is the fact that we haven’t had a lot of material that details the early adventures of this pair. When it comes to Obi-Wan and Anakin’s relationship we have only ever seen them together as adults, outside of a brief period in Episode 1. While this was the only solid part of the prequels I have always wanted to see more exploration of Obi-Wan having to teach a young Anakin. That is exactly what Charles Soule’s delivers with his handling of the new Master and Padwan.
Throughout Obi-Wan And Anakin #1 Soule makes sure he never tries to go to big just because he is working in the Star Wars Universe. Soule makes sure to maintain a strong focus on Obi-Wan and Anakin. Even with characters like Mace Windu and Chancellor Palpatine eating up some of the screen time Soule makes sure that these characters are used to supplement the main focus of this story, Obi-Wan and Anakin.
It was also refreshing to see a different side of Anakin in this first issue. While we did see the emotional side that dominated Anakin’s characterization in the prequels for a brief moment it was interesting to see a restrained Anakin during the current day scenes. This Anakin that is on the verge of leaving the Jedi Order soon after joining it offers up a unique opportunity to see how Obi-Wan decides to teach his young Padwan. It also offers up the opportunity to see how through this first adventure that Anakin can find his drive to fight through the walls he has already built for himself.
Similarly, it was interesting to see that even with Anakin questioning his place Obi-Wan did not try to force his Padwan to step-up. Throughout the issue we saw a Obi-Wan who maintain his calm even when Mace and Palpatine were having there back-and-forth. While it is not clear how much time has passed since Qui-Gon Jinn’s death it is clear that Soule is subtly using it as a reason for why he is so reserved. Hopefully this is something that is explored to help give further depth to Obi-Wan’s character post-Episode 1.
Marco Checchetto isn’t an artist that some you may think would be right for a Star Wars comic given he has typically worked on street-level comics but it works for the story that Soule is trying to tell. With Soule spending the majority of Obi-Wan And Anakin #1 on talking head scenes in a few locations Checchetto was able to play to his strengths. Checchetto does a very good job at showing the emotion various characters have in reaction to others words and actions. That is not to say that Checchetto can’t deliver on big action set pieces, as we did get a glimpse at that towards the end of the issue and during Anakin’s training session.
The Bad: For those looking for an epic Star Wars comic filled with cosmic space battles Obi-Wan And Anakin #1 is probably not for you. With this comic Soule is going for a much more grounded story as both lead characters are grounded on a planet that does not have spaceships to speak of. It is definitely a change from what we saw in the prequels that bombarded viewers with special effects.
My one critique for this issue is the use of the flashback scene. It felt like the pages used on the flashback could’ve been better used to show us more of the airship battle that Obi-Wan and Anakin witnessed before stepping in and saving the two women. It would’ve helped keep the issue focused on the main characters of the story without reminding us of the prequel non-sense with Palpatine and Anakin.
Overall: Star Wars: Obi-Wan And Anakin #1 is a good start to the first Marvel comic that takes place during the prequel era. Charles Soule showed a very good understanding of both Anakin and Obi-Wan as he builds on what the early days of their relationship looked like. By literally grounding the two on a planet that has been destroyed by war Soule has opened up plenty of opportunity to explore both Anakin and Obi-Wan’s characters mental state at this point in their lives. At the same time, there is opportunity to see how the remaining people of a forgotten planet by the Republic and Jedi act when confronted by two Jedi. If you’re a Star Wars fan that is still looking to be immersed even more into the canon I recommend giving Star Wars: Obi-Wan And Anakin #1 a try.