Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 (Issue 1 of 5)
For a wee change of pace this time, we’re going to take a quick dip into the time frame between Episodes 1 and 2 and go check in on Anakin and Obi-Wan in one of their newer, new-canon comic adventures. Even if you’re not a comics person, I still suggest you read this recap, because let’s face it: everyone loves laughing at Obi-Wan and Anakin, and they are both dramatic fancypantses in this one to the nth degree.
A couple of Author’s Notes before we get started, since this is a different medium than my usual recaps: this entry will not rely as much on visuals as my television recaps do, and images will be smaller or more cropped than usual, etc. This is because, well, for one thing, it would be supremely shitty of me to just copy > paste a comic book out at you guys in full, and for another thing, if this recap whets your appetite and/or makes you laugh, you should really consider purchasing and reading the comic series itself (Amazon, for one, has it in multiple formats including a Kindle edition.) The bottom line here: just like how my TV recaps are no substitute for actually watching the show, this recap’s not a replacement for the actual original work — just my usual lovingly snarky commentary.
Anyways: I purchased this series to read with my son, and we loved it — and I loved it for a lot of the same reasons I love TCW and Rebels, and so I felt the need to share this love, and this comic’s wacky weirdness and Star Wars-Flavored Angst, with all of you.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!It’s a handful of years after The Phantom Menace, and put-upon, unprepared single dad Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Padawan son, Anakin Skywalker (who is something like 12 years old in this) are both having existential crises about the Force and what it all means and what it wants from them. Don’t worry, these two will totally figure it all out by the end…of their lives (…sort of). We learn via the comic-book equivalent of the Famous Star Wars Opening Crawl that despite their collective misgivings about Life, The Universe and Everything, they are proceeding forward on a mission. A mission that was started due to a…
Recurring Theme: Mystery Distress Signal
Yes, it turns out the trope of having these guys pulled into action by an ancient Mystery Distress Signal goes back far earlier than the Clone Wars. As far as I can tell, fully half of every mission Obi-Wan and Anakin ever did began with one.
They’ve since crash-landed on Carnelion IV, some random-ass planet in God Knows Where. When they arrive, it is sleeting (or raining?) and OK, you guys: this comic pretty much STARTS with Kenobi, his insanely unnecessarily gigantic robe blowing in the wind, STANDING ON A MOUNTAINTOP MAJESTICALLY and it was at this point I knew this comic and I would be friends because this is a representation of my Space Husband that I can get behind:
Anakin tells Obi-Wan not to feel bad about crash-landing — there was so much detritus all over the atmosphere that he doesn’t think a crash was avoidable. It should be noted, right now, that Anakin, like, LOVES — LOVES — Obi-Wan in this series. Obi-Wan is his actual hero and I’m sorry but it’s been 3 pages and I’m already broken by this. There is a LOT of these two genuinely caring about each other in this comic set and it warms, and then breaks, my cold black heart. Anyways, as I was saying, right now Anakin is trying to make Obi-Wan feel better about crashing the ship by being like “golly Master, NO ONE could have landed in those conditions, not even a beautiful superhero like you and also you still have the best wolfman hair and I hope I can be as amazing as you are someday and also please sign my autograph book.”
Obi-Wan, having no social skills with which to gracefully accept a compliment, is like “huh, the debris everywhere around this planet must be one of the two reasons why no one ever comes here”. What’s the other one, you ask?
Why, it’s a barren, on-fire dystopia! How’d THAT happen, Master?
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan and Anakin Chew a Stick of Dramatic Irony Gum
Obi-Wan tells Anakin that the planet has been ravaged by war. In response, Anakin expresses his shock — SHOCK I SAY — that the Republic would allow something as egregious as a war to occur! They’d TOTALLY NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN.
Obi-Wan tells Anakin that the Republic has no reach out here, and Anakin, not satisfied with the pain he’s already put me through, is like “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE JEDI, MASTER? Why didn’t THEY stop the war?” and Obi-Wan is like “…our hands were tied. We have to do what the Senate says and also? We’re no army, we’re just a bunch of mellow Space Monks with laser swords that we mostly keep around for show because of how awesome they look.” It’s not as though the Jedi have a CLONE ARMY backing them up that was procured under mysterious circumstances or anything because if that ever happened it’d be crazy! Nope: “We’re just here to help people help themselves and meditate solemnly and ruminate on how our old girlfriend is probably taking a bubble bath with some fair-trade conflict-free peacenik-endorsed soap right now in some gigantic Mandalorian palace while we’re here crashing in the middle of a fucking snowstorm and being peppered with questions from an annoying 12-year-old” and OK fine he doesn’t say all that but still — COME ON, STAR WARS. LET US LIVE.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker Wants to Fight the Power
Anakin? Is not buying this. And OK, I know he’s young here, but he’s also been a Padawan for like actual years already and I find it a LITTLE hard to believe that the definition of WHAT THE JEDI’S JURISDICTION AND MISSION STATEMENT ARE has never, ever come up before, but OK. Anakin is incensed: so the Jedi just…let people die? They let a war rage on without stopping it? What kind of bullshit is THIS? Can’t we use the Force to obtain a pathway to things some consider to be unnatural and help keep people alive FFS?!
Obi-Wan is like hey kid, I don’t necessarily love it either, but it is what it is. Anakin insists:
…OK, Skywalker, save your political rants for your Facebook page. Or at least that date with Padme where you “jokingly” tell her that you want the universe to be run by a dictator. Also I love that BOTH of them are staring wistfully out into space in different directions in this shot.
Then they get into a whole big thing about what they’re even DOING on this planet, which is supposed to be dead, and who could have even called for them, and if they should call for help, and weirdly ANAKIN is all “let’s ask people to help us!” and Obi-Wan is like “fuck it, all we need is the Force.” So, these were maybe Obi-Wan’s Death Wish years. (Oh wait, no, that was all the years.)
Recurring Theme: Big Ol’ Explosion
So just then, their Discussion About Big Issues gets cut off when a gigantic fucking airship implodes right in front of their faces seemingly out of the clear blue sky. Anakin is adamant that they rush to help anyone who survived the crash, and Obi-Wan is like “Good idea — FORGETTING SOMETHING…?”
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker Wants Out
SO. Yes, it turns out that our Little Anakin, age 12, a mere three years in to being a Jedi, is ALREADY trying to tell the Jedi Order to go fuck itself. Earlier, he’d given Obi-Wan his lightsaber because he intended to put in his two-week-notice and peace out, presumably to go live on a dirt farm on Tatooine and stand around in that one room that all Skywalker Men like to complain in with their toy spaceships. I honest-to-God love the absolute shit out of the Jedi Order and will (and have) argued on their behalf, but part of it is because of their everlasting optimism and/or secret desire to be destroyed so they don’t have to come into work anymore. Really: this kid is TWELVE and he already has like 16 strikes against him, one of which is that YODA, who is the goddamn JEDI PRESIDENT, initially thinks Anakin might be full of Ancient Evil, but you know what? FUCK IT, we’re training this kid. Some dead guy wanted us to do it! Sure, we all sort of thought he was full of shit, but whatever! No one wants Kenobi to leave the Order if we tell him he can’t train the kid; he’s so handsome! We better let Kenobi train him! What’s the worst that could happen?!
Anakin tells Obi-Wan that HE MEANT IT, DAD — he’s so over the Jedi. Obi-Wan, in reply, is actually doing some semi-decent parenting here and is all “well fine, if that’s what you want, you can leave — but you should probably arm yourself for the time being so you don’t DIE before you can tell us all to take a hike.”
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan
Then we do a flashback — something we don’t really do in Star Wars usually, so that’s kinda fun — to Coruscant, and the Jedi Temple, a short while before this mission. We see Anakin doing some kind of combat training with his lightsaber, in an open space where people can look down and observe. Mace Windu, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine (who, I need to tell you right now, is GLORIOUSLY horrible in this series,) are checking out Anakin’s skills.
Palpatine is like HOLY SHIT that kid is a badass, and Windu is like “fucking DUH”, and EVERYBODY JUST LISTEN HERE: if you take nothing else away from this recap, I want you to know that Anakin is fighting a holographic training droid “bad guy” here as part of his schooling, and he CHOSE TO MAKE ONE THAT LOOKS LIKE DARTH FUCKING MAUL, BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE LIKE OBI-WAN WHO IS HIS HERO. Just when I think that Star Wars has dumped every possible sad thing they can on me with respect to these two, they have to go and pull shit like this.
Windu is like HOLY SHIT, KENOBI, IS ANAKIN FIGHTING A FAKE MAUL???!
…can I ask how Mace Windu knows what Maul looks like? Did Obi-Wan take a quick selfie with him on Naboo before he cut him in half that we weren’t shown in the film? Or does Obi-Wan paint a lot of therapy art featuring Maul, or what?
ANYWAYS. Obi-Wan tells them that Anakin’s been asking him questions about that time Qui-Gon died in front of his fucking face because his life is the absolute worst, but he had no idea Anakin wanted the specifics so that he could fake-fight Maul (who by the way is TOTALLY NOT STILL ALIVE OR ANYTHING and even if he was he’s definitely not currently growing out his Dathomirian antlers while prancing around on robot spider legs at this exact moment or anything.)
Palpatine is delighted with all of the Evil Possibilities this supernaturally-gifted kid presents, and is like “WHO CARES WHY he’s doing it?! This kid is…impressive.” DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!
These Kids Can Kiss My Ass and Also I’m Telling Their Masters
Down at ground level, while Anakin fucking destroys this training droid, his classmates are being GIGANTIC FUCKING PRICKS to him and are, honest to God, 1200% MOCKING THE FACT THAT ANAKIN WAS A SLAVE. My eternal Jedi Order stanning notwithstanding: NICE PARENTING WITH THESE TWO, JEDI ORDER. BRA-VO. WHOSE KIDS ARE THESE??? SOMEONE GET THEIR ASSIGNED JEDI ADULTS OVER HERE TO TAKE AWAY THEIR GAMEBOYS OR WHATEVER.
Hey guess what FUCK YOU, YOU LITTLE BASTARDS
Anakin, in response, force-grabs their lightsabers away from them and taunts them, holding the blades right at these snot-nosed punks’ faces. Obi-Wan, from the observation deck, COMES FLYING DOWN to break up the impending fight, and for the love of ALL THAT IS HOLY, KENOBI, can you PLEASE STOP BEING SO DRAMATIC? FFS WHAT IS UP WITH YOUR ROBE IN THIS SERIES. God bless you, you Force-wielding wolfman.
(“….Master Kenobi, this robe is 75 feet long and wide and I don’t — ” “NEVERMIND. It’s perfect for when I am standing in a wind tunnel or jumping out of things. Also look at how it complements my flowing hair!” GUYS. Look at his HAIR in this shot, too. This comic understands my preferences.)
Recurring Theme: Just What Even The Hell Is Happening
OK. So, somehow Obi-Wan just flying down there and saying “Anakin!” means that ANAKIN has to apologize to these little shits and they don’t have to apologize for squat? FOR. FUCK’S. SAKE. I get it: threatening to kill someone while holding a deadly weapon at their face is more physically dangerous than mocking them and Anakin was out of line here, but Anakin is also TWELVE and these kids did TEASE HIM ABOUT BEING A SLAVE. That is COLD. I feel like they should have at least had to say a halfassed “sorry”. I hate whoever those kids are. I HATE THEM. I hope they got all the worst assignments during the Clone Wars. Or at least got stuck fielding the angry collections calls from the power company for a few weeks.
Palpatine is like “well thanks, Dark Side of the Force: this one’s a freebie!” Gee, Mace: Anakin sure seems to have a lot of angst about SLAVERY I could exploit for my own Extremely Long Con purposes. Any chance I could have a chat with him?
Windu is like nah don’t worry about it:
Palpatine pulls rank on Windu and is like “well I’m the king, so gimme gimme gimme.”
You Were My Brother
Back on the wasteland planet, Obi-Wan and Anakin are still atop that mountain, now observing an air battle between two ships that have randomly appeared. One of the ships is careening downwards, and so Anakin and Obi-Wan USE THE FORCE TOGETHER TO HOLD IT UP:
The people aboard the ship jump out to safety as a result, and Anakin makes the introductions here as they collect themselves, and OH MY GOD JUST LOOK AT KENOBI YOU GUYS. This guy. I just. LOOK AT HOW MAJESTIC HE IS:
Why does he look like he’s about 500 times bigger and grander than both of the other people in this panel OH WAIT BECAUSE HE IS. I love that Anakin is like, presenting him to these people. “Hey guys check out my magnificent Obi-Wan! Isn’t he neat?!”
Recurring Theme: Just Another Day of Posing Handsomely
The two women they encounter are evidently not swayed by Obi-Wan’s glorious robe action here, and one of them pulls a gun on them, demanding to know if they’re “open” or “closed”. Anakin is like …BUH? Lady, I don’t even know what the hell you’re talking about:
I’m…I’m sorry. But LOOK AT OUR BOYS HERE. LOOK. They are legit POSING for this shot because OF COURSE THEY ARE. These two were meant to be thrown together. The Force understood that it had to be this way. It really was their destiny. They’re practically modeling for their Action Robes Magazine cover photo here.
Also I love that someone just PULLED A GUN on them and Obi-Wan appears to have absolutely no reaction to this at all whatsoever. He looks like he’s mentally thinking through what he needs to buy next time he’s at the store, for God’s sake. WHY DOES HE KEEP LOOKING OFF INTO THE DISTANCE AND WHY IS HE SO FANCY.
The women are taken aback and exchange confused looks with each other: who requested Jedi help? It wasn’t them — they don’t even know what a Jedi IS! DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!
And with that, we reach the end of this first installment. Will our guys escape yet another Death Planet? Will they be summoned somewhere else by a mystery distress signal? Will Obi-Wan just stand in front of a wind machine for 3 hours? Well, for one thing, this is the preview image we get for the next issue, so I think it’s safe to say that Kenobi’s not going to be dialing back the dramatics at all:
‘Til next time, friends!