Star Wars: Age of Republic – “Obi-Wan Kenobi”

Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Cory Smith & Wilton Santos
Published by: Marvel Comics

Chronology Placement: Set a year after “The Phantom Menace

Set a year or so after the events of “The Phantom Menace”, this issue focuses on Obi-Wan’s insecurities as a teacher to Anakin – a role that was forced upon him after Qui-Gon Jinn met his end at the hands of Darth Maul. Writer Jody Houser explores Obi-Wan’s doubts, reminding us that he was still a padawan when he first met Anakin, and how he struggles with the role of teacher. It’s interesting to see Obi-Wan uncomfortable with taking a senior position over Anakin, as the pair seem to adopt a more brotherly relationship in the rest of the prequel adventures. It also addresses the question as to whether Obi-Wan was the right teacher for Anakin, and whether his fall to the Dark Side could have prevented if a more senior Jedi had been in charge of his education. A routine mission to recover a lost holocron gives Obi-Wan the opportunity to trust in Anakin and his abilities, but his doubts over Anakin will continue to divide the pair in future stories.

The art in this issue from Cory Smith and Wilton Santos is filled with a vibrant energy that radiates off the page, and I like the way he captures the youthful exuberance and impatience of Anakin. I also liked the sense of majesty the artists bring to the opening sequence as Obi-Wan meditates in the Jedi Temple and becomes attuned to the Force. The action sequences on the planet of Dallenor are thrilling, and the eye-catching design of the alien bird pirates makes an interesting visual addition to the Star Wars universe. Short, but sweet – this adventure successfully explores the awkward origins of one of the most pivotal relationships in the whole Star Wars franchise, addressing the natural insecurities of a first-time teacher. Once again, Houser manages to take these iconic characters and make them feel all the more human, examining their motivations to provide added insight into their later decisions. This is a solid little adventure and works well as a companion piece to the also-excellent Obi-Wan & Anakin mini-series, which is set further along in their relationship.

Score – ★★★

Star Wars: Age of Republic – “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is available in a digital format from Comixology and Amazon, or collected in the trade paperback, “Star Wars: Age of Republic – Heroes“, which is also available from Comixology and Amazon.

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