Marvel’s latest miniseries expanding Star Wars canon offers us a rare look at a time period we’ve seen little, if any, of. Obi-Wan and Anakin takes place three years after Episode I – The Phantom Menace and follows the early days of Anakin’s apprenticeship under Obi-Wan. We’re only two issues into the five issue series, written by the incredibly talented Charles Soule, but already we’re seeing development that any hardcore fan should find terribly exciting!
Issue #1 sets us up with our heroic pair crash-landing on a supposedly dead world in an attempt to answer a distress call sent out in secret Jedi code. Most of the development in this issue is setting the tone between master and padawan while introducing our setting and, surprise(!), the inhabitants of the “dead” world. That’s really all the backstory necessary to delve into our review of Issue #2:
An element to issue #2 that I particularly enjoyed was side story showing a previous interaction with Chancellor Palpatine in which he shows that creepy trademark interest in Star Wars’ favorite padawan. While the direct interactions were pretty cool to see, especially when the Chancellor escorts him to Coruscant’s seedy underworld, I think my favorite parts were Anakin’s generic interactions at the temple. How he modifies a training droid to look/fight like Darth Maul to impress Obi-Wan and his emotional reaction to other students remarking on his former slave status were particularly cool to see.
- Master/Padawan Relationship
The character interactions, especially between Obi-Wan and Anakin, are pretty darn cool. I love the dialogue between Master and Student as Obi-Wan skillfully fulfills his mentor role. It’s also really nice to see the admiration that Anakin has for his master at this stage in his life. It really drives home the tragedy of the character when you see the “stars in his eyes” knowing how Episode II and III pan out.
- Supporting Cast
While Mace Windu felt somewhat lacking, everyone else was pretty well written, with particular kudos to Palpatine. I can never get enough of how devious that brilliant bastard is. The inhabitants that the heroic duo encounter don’t have the most in-depth dialogue I’ve ever read, but their concept is pretty cool nonetheless. Two tribes at war on a secluded planet, cut off from the rest of the galaxy; I mean they don’t even know what Jedi are! I see potential for Soule to pull off some really cool stuff here.
- Beautiful Action Sequences
I would be doing this series a disservice if I were to ignore the detail and eye-catching color schemes applied throughout. The action scenes, particularly anything dealing with a lightsaber, look so fresh and exciting it really captures that feeling of amazement any fan gets watching a battle playout on screen. So bravo Marco Checchetto, bravo.
Some of the dialogue, particularly Mace Windu’s, felt stiff and unnatural. Disappointing because in my experience this isn’t usually a problem for Soule.
- Evil Hoods
I may be nit-picking, but I rather disliked us seeing “robed” Palpatine at this early stage of Anakin’s life. At most time’s, throughout Star Wars’ canon, it’s understandable how characters may not recognize the hooded Darth Sidious as the good Chancellor, but you would think if you had previous experience seeing Palpatine in his evil hooded glory it might be a little harder to hide it. Meh, just my two cents.
Sporting only a rough edge or two, Obi-Wan and Anakin makes for a pretty great read for Star Wars fans.