Star Wars: Obi-Wan Issue #1

A Storm Approaches…

The following is not really a review. It is more the impressions and observations of a keen reader. Off the bat, let me just say I’ve been really looking forward to reading this first installment of Star Wars: Obi-Wan since I first heard tell of it several weeks ago. I’m getting old, so I can’t recall exactly when. I did a bit of an intro to its upcoming release in a previous blog. Click Here to read it. Since I have to wait till May 27 to watch the first of the new Disney series Obi-Wan, this comic book would be a yummy aperitif. It turned out to be more than that. Much more! In fact, I dare say, more in line with a three course banquet!

I received my copy of Star Wars: Obi-Wan in the mail this week, and upon enthusiastically tearing open the package, I was greeted by this magnificent sight…

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Cover A

Wow! What a magnificent piece of art. Phil Noto has captured the essence of the journey ahead in this series in masterful fashion. At top right we see an aging Obi-Wan staring pensively into the distance. The future, perhaps? His image is almost a watermark, fading, yet maintaining clarity and strength. Dominant in the image is Obi-Wan at the age when his world began to crumble. Betrayed by his student and friend and now an outcast from a galaxy he vowed to protect with his very soul, Obi-Wan still stands strong, determined to fulfill his last mission: to watch over the child, Luke Skywalker. Which draws us down to the ominous presence of Darth Vader, lurking beneath all this. How will Darth feature in this story? I look forward to finding out. And of course this whole scene is set against the backdrop of Tatooine, its twin suns now an icon cherished by fans the world over. This truly visceral cover had me all but yearning to turn to the first page!

The story opens with an aging Obi-Wan pondering the nature of an impending sand storm. “This will be a bad one,” he says, staring into the distance, as if he can sense something. Something “elusive” perhaps! The colourist, Carlos Lopez, uses rich sepia tones here to reflect the hot, barren nature of Tatooine.

Then back in his home, we discover that, yes, Obi-Wan has sensed something. He tells us that he doesn’t chronicle every sandstorm on this barren rock. There’s not enough parchment in the galaxy for such a feat! But this storm…

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, art by A. Anindito & C. Lopez, p. 8.

Suddenly, we are whisked back in time, back when Obi-Wan was still a young Padawan. The colourist, Carlos Lopez, now switches from the warm sepia tones of the desert to a cold palette of blues and black to depict night time in a sprawling city. Obi-Wan wakes with a start in his quarters in the Jedi Temple to discover the bed next to his empty, the bed of fellow Padawan, Gehren Rand. Worried, Ob-Wan goes in search of his friend.

He eventually finds Gehren on the roof of the temple, staring miserably down at the city below. She is being plagued by nightmares of her father. He is terrified and in great pain. She tells Obi-Wan that she cannot stay at the temple. She has to go. Her father needs her help. Shades of Anakin’s dreams about his mother here. But Obi-Wan doesn’t want her to leave…

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, loc. cit., p12.

Nevertheless, Gehren chooses to leave. She leaps down into the “metropolitan abyss” of Coruscant. Obi-Wan, perhaps rashly, decides to leap after her. Into the underbelly of the city, he goes. And almost immediately he is set upon by a gang of ruffians. The confrontation that followed was awesome! Padawan Obi-Wan using the Force to fight them!

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, loc. cit., p16.

But there are too many of them for the young Padawan. Oh no! Poor Obi-Wan! Suddenly, in drops Gehren – literally – to save the day. Then the fighting ceases when the leader of the gang, Nodrus Cay, appears. She looks none-too-happy. But the Padawans strike a deal with her to take them “offworld”. But is this too easy?

Yes! The moment the Padawans turn to get on the ship, Nodrus Cay has them shackled. Betrayed! But then, Gehren reminds Obi-Wan who they are. What they can accomplish together if they focus. The pair, as one, close their eyes and reach out to the Force…

And “KRAAAK!” their shackles shatter, freeing them. They make a leap of faith. A leap to freedom!

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, loc. cit., p18.

Once free, Obi-Wan wants to return to the temple. But Gehren can’t! She still has to leave. And leave alone. So Obi-Wan watches his only friend leave. The one person who has always had his back and watched out for him.

Upon his return to the Jedi Temple, we witness the first appearance of my all-time favourite character. Yoda. Sooo cool! Yoda tells Obi-Wan that the only person who can truly watch out for him is himself! Yoda then gives him a broom and tells him he can ponder this “new wisdom” through the night while sweeping! Classic. Yay for Yoda!

The story ends back on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan reveals that he would never again see Gehren. I was definitely surprised by this. And a bit sad. Gehren really has the makings of a kick-butt character.

To wrap up, I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment of Star Wars: Obi-Wan. It promises an exciting and revealing insight into the life of a much-loved character from the Star Wars universe. Hats off to writer, Christopher Cantwell, for weaving such an engrossing and dynamic storyline. And artist, Ario Anindito, who also drew Star Wars: The High Republic, provided me a visual feast! Not to forget colourist, Carlos Lopez, who set the moods of the barren Tatooine to the multi-textured layers of Coruscant with epic style. Brilliant! 10 out of 10. Can’t wait for Issue #2 in June!

Until next time…