Obi-Wan and Anakin #4 – Issue 4 of 5 (to start with the first issue, go here.)
Previously, on Anakin Skywalker is the Biggest Obi-Wan Kenobi Fanboy In The Entire History of Ever, we saw a flashback to a night when Anakin went on a Evil Bonding Adventure with his future boss Darth Sidious, while in the present-day Obi-Wan avoided directly acknowledging the obvious fact that Anakin adores him, and Anakin ended up getting kidnapped by a teenage girl and her mom, who then proceeded to try and blow Obi-Wan up. Well. Anakin and Obi-Wan might have had the worst lives ever overall, but they certainly can’t say their lives were boring, at least. Will things go from bad to worse in today’s installment? Let’s find out!
As we get things underway in Issue #4, Kolara is wailing at Mother Pran as they take off with Anakin: my God, you’ve killed that one super handsome Jedi HOW COULD YOU. Mother Pran is unapologetic, claiming that she had to blow up the ship so that Obi-Wan wouldn’t try to follow them.
Of course, the joke’s on her since everyone knows you can’t kill Obi-Wan Kenobi — even when you actually do, he won’t really be dead — so instead of dying, Obi-Wan is of course directing Grecker on the finer points of leaping dramatically out of flaming wreckage. When they land on the ground, surrounded by terrifying monsters, Grecker has no time for Obi-Wan’s Jedi BS:
To make his point exceptionally clear to the encroaching creatures, Obi-Wan does a little display of his own badassedness by slicing a chunk of rock clear in half:
The monsters all flee, sufficiently in awe of Obi-Wan’s prowess. As well they should be.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Dedicated Space Dad
With that taken care of, Grecker is all “looks like the Open took your boy” (and YES he really calls him that.) Obi-Wan demands to know where they’ve gone off to: WHERE’S MY SON, DAMN IT?!
Grecker attempts to avoid answering and Obi-Wan is having NONE OF IT because Obi-Wan loves Anakin you guys and he is not going to lose him:
Grecker is like “well they probably took him to one of their secret hideouts. They have nests hidden everywhere. I’m sorry, dude: he’s gone. You’ll never find him.”
Obi-Wan decides that it actually doesn’t matter: Anakin knows that Obi-Wan was headed to the Secret Source of the Ancient Mystery Distress Signal, and Anakin knows where that is, so Obi-Wan is just going to keep proceeding onward, and Anakin will inevitably meet him there. Please remember: ANAKIN IS TWELVE HERE, YOU GUYS. And Obi-Wan’s just like “Welp, he’s the Junior Jedi Messiah, so he’ll be fine and figure it out on his own.” Grecker, in response to this, is like “???! He’ll never be able to make it out on his own. He’s just a kid!” Obi-Wan’s reply is fantastic:
Obi-Wan is quite seriously just like “yeah, Anakin’s not really just any old kid. He is totally amazeballs and he will be fine.” SKYWALKER, for fuck’s sake, how could you ever think this guy did not have faith in you. You were twelve here! And an emotional disaster! And he STILL knew you could do anything!
Recurring Theme: War Is Not The Answer
Obi-Wan tells Grecker to get moving or stay behind. As they walk, Grecker tells him that they’ll need to wear breathing masks, because the Open ruined the planet and poisoned the air and started the war. Obi-Wan points out that the Open said they the Closed started the war, and Grecker is like “blahblahblah they’re a bunch of liars” and Obi-Wan, gesturing towards the chaos around them, asks:
And, OK, while your point about Pacifism and not playing the blame game is well-taken here, Kenobi, allow me to note that sometimes it actually does matter who started the war. Like, say, in a situation where both sides of the conflict are actually being controlled by the same person. In cases such as that, you might find that information valuable to have. You know. Just saying.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, High-Value Hostage
Back with Anakin, Mother Pran is excitedly telling everyone at the Open’s little base camp thing that she’s got something fabulous: a child genius who’s good at fixing things! As it happens, the Open have a whole bunch of robots and implements of destruction that are broken, that need to be repaired. And if Anakin can do it for them, why, they can win the war once and for all!
SERIOUSLY: how many times did this happen to Anakin? Here, once again, he is being used as a tool to Bring About The End of War by helping someone vanquish their enemies. This guy just keeps getting used by everyone all the time and I honestly feel bad for him. And while I’m at it, I don’t know what the deal is with Supreme Leader Snoke, but I’m guessing his acquisition of Kylo Ren involved a similar line of thought. So I guess what I’m saying is that everyone in Star Wars needs to start doing their own damn dirty work instead of just kidnapping or corrupting a Skywalker to get them to do it for them.
Well…If It Works
With that, we flash back again to Palpatine’s office, where he and Anakin have returned to after their first real “let’s poison Anakin’s mind” outing. Anakin is heaping praise on Palpatine: gosh, Chancellor, thank GOODNESS you can put that rotten corrupt Senator in his place and bring him to justice! Good GRIEF, Anakin, turn down the enthusiasm a little bit.
Palpatine is like ehhhhh, don’t be so sure: the Senate would have to take actions to remove him; I can only make recommendations. Anakin’s like “well what about the Jedi? We can kick this guy’s ass for you!” to which Palpatine actually says, more or less: “Why, if I could just TELL the Jedi what to do, I’d be a DICTATOR! And of course I don’t want that! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha take that, audience: I want you to suffer.”
Recurring Theme: Darth Sidious, Fun Uncle Who Lets You Get Away With Stuff Your Parents Won’t
Anakin is like BUT BUT BUT how can we just let these creeps get away with this stuff!? Palpatine tells him that he is oh so very concerned about this very question, and also by the way don’t tell your parents that I let you go hang out in the underworld and then told you that slavery exists all around us but that the Jedi and the Senate won’t do anything about it, because I really don’t want to spoil the Big Surprise for them all later:
The Chancellor Offers Post-Graduate Courses in Evil
Anakin agrees to keep this whole thing a Special Important Secret between the two of them, and then Palpatine gets to work undermining Anakin’s faith in the Jedi a wee bit more by asking him if he’s really happy at the Temple. Anakin replies that of course he is, Uncle Palps: being a Jedi is all he’s ever wanted, except freedom from slavery and to save his mom and to smell Padme’s hair and to finish that biography he’s writing about his hero Obi-Wan Kenobi!
Palpatine pauses at this: I see. Well, just remember Anakin, once Kenobi’s done doing all the heavy lifting of raising you and teaching you how to do kickass stunts and getting you through the rest of puberty which is undoubtedly going to be a complete fucking nightmare for you, make sure to look me up:
Anakin Skywalker, So Outta Here
OK, so it’s maybe later that day, or later that month or I have no idea because the comic just says “Later…” but Anakin and Obi-Wan are in a gigantic hallway in the Temple having an Important Talk.
Anakin has just told Obi-Wan that he’s done: he quits! Here’s my two-week-notice, it’s-not-you-it’s-me, I think we should see other people, etc. Obi-Wan is aghast: does Anakin realize what a Very Huge Deal this is?
Anakin is like “Oh trust me, I know about making big choices. Remember when Qui-Gon basically pulled off a Friendly Kidnap of me on Tatooine? Does it not bug you at all that at age 9 I was locking down my whole future right then and there?” I mean, that IS a pretty damn big thing to ask a third-grader to commit to, yeah? This is like, unusually insightful and mature for Anakin. He is going to peak in both regards at age 12. LOL. And unfortunately, it’s because he’s been drinking Uncle Palpatine’s Special Evil Brew that he’s thinking these Big Thoughts, and it’s causing him to question his role as in the Jedi Order — who, while they are weirdos and nerds, are generally trying to help Anakin (and, as a bonus, are at least NOT LITERALLY SATAN INCARNATE).
Anakin goes on: what other choice was he ever going to have made in that situation? Could Obi-Wan blame him for having taken the Jedi up on their initial offer without really thinking it through? He makes sure to get in a quick dig at sand while he’s at it, too:
Recurring Theme: These Two Are Going to Kill Me
Anakin says, sadly, that he knows his training’s not complete. And that he could learn some of what he needs to know from Obi-Wan and the other Jedi. But he can’t learn everything he wants to know from them, like how to enter a room without a wind machine blowing his hair around or wear normal-length robes or sleep in a room that is not the actual physical manifestation of clinical depression.
He concludes: he can feel the great big wide world calling to him, and he has to take the call. It doesn’t have to be forever, Obi-Wan! Maybe he could come back someday!
Anakin, this is all very touching and I get where you’re coming from and everything but HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR OBI-WAN.
Obi-Wan begins to reply by saying Anakin’s name. He trails off, though, and accepts Anakin’s decision as he takes Anakin’s lightsaber:
SO. I’m totally OK with all of this. Sigh. OBI-WAN WAS A GOOD FRIEND HERE. Like, you know it was killing him to have the Chosen One trying to bail on him, but please note that he doesn’t scream at Anakin. He doesn’t dispute the complicated situation Anakin was faced with. Like, other than just telling him it was a big decision to make, he doesn’t do anything other than ultimately respect Anakin’s feelings here. And Anakin was so young here! It would have been perfectly understandable if he’d gone off on a “you’re only 12, I can’t let you do this, blahblahblah” rant. But he doesn’t. Because you know that he is COMPLETELY blaming himself here, for one thing. If Anakin leaves the Order, it’s his fault. If Anakin dies, it’s his fault. If Anakin becomes possessed by Ancient Evil, it’s his fault.
Keep in mind, also: Obi-Wan was, in the non-canon storyline, supposed to have been kind of a misfit hothead kid who attempts to leave the Jedi Order at one point around the same age as Anakin is here. Canonically, he was in love with someone as a young man and gave her up and remained a Jedi, and he admits to having lived with remorse because of it. Maybe, in spite of his commitment to the hard work of being a Jedi, he’s also like “…buuuut also I can kinda see where he’s coming from, given the absolute fucking trainwreck my life has been and will continue to be. Also the cafeteria food here is terrible.” I think he sees some of himself there, and he wants Anakin to be happier than he is (although, again, being happier than Obi-Wan is not a lofty goal for anyone to strive for.) He really did love this guy, and was dedicated to him, and this whole concept is really going to come back again in the last installment of this comic and I’m fine it’s fine everything’s FINE.
Ohhhkay that is enough Real Analysis for today, because I know that is not why people come here. Occasionally I cannot help myself though. These two really do destroy me sometimes and I swear on all that is holy, if their Force Ghosts ever come back in the Sequel Trilogy you will all hear my screaming from your own theaters on opening day.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Smarty Pants
Back in the present day on Carnelion IV, Grecker and Obi-Wan have arrived at the Super Secret Location of the Mystery Distress Signal at last. Grecker’s like “this can’t be the place! Everything here is dead!”
Obi-Wan, because he is (almost) always one step ahead of the game, is like “you totally know who sent the message, don’t you?” Grecker is like HOW VERY DARE YOU of course I don’t know who could have contacted the Jedi! Obi-Wan presses:
Grecker continues to play the “I’m so insulted” card: no way! This world is dead! Do you really think we’d be living in the wastelands up in the mountains if it wasn’t?! Just then, Obi-Wan says that Grecker keeps insisting that this world is dead, but…
Obi-Wan goes into Superhero Mode and is like “STAND BACK! I’LL SAVE US!” and from afar, someone takes note of him and is like “WHOA. A JEDI. HOLY SHIT.” Dun dun DUUUUN!
Recurring Theme: Double-Crosser
Grecker fires his gun into the air and Obi-Wan is like WTF are you doing?! Grecker, shadily, is like uhhhh I was just calling for help! Obi-Wan is like BITCH PLEASE WE DON’T NEED HELP:
Again: he is amazing and I love him. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this.
A door opens behind where Grecker is standing and a masked stranger beckons him inside some kind of structure. He is relieved at first: he thought he was a goner! The stranger is like “yeah well shut up and do what I say or you will be a goner anyways. Now: how do we get that Jedi out there to stop trying to save the day and come in here instead?”
Grecker is not into this: he wants the door to stay closed and for Obi-Wan to meet his demise out there instead. He pulls a gun on the stranger and says that he’s going to kill them if they try it. The Stranger does not appear convinced by this, since they turn around and kill Grecker:
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Solver of Mysteries
Probably because he’s Sensing Danger or because he’s evidently given up trying to show off his skills since no one else is around to watch him now, Obi-Wan busts into the room just as Grecker falls, and is all WTF is going on in here?!
The Masked Stranger is like “Dude I just saved your life; he wanted to leave you out there to die. Now come with me, Jedi, I’ve been waiting for you.” Ooooh! Mysterious!
The Stranger unmasks, and identifies herself as “Sera”. The two of them step into a vast warehouse filled with artifacts: art, sculptures, pretty stuff. Obi-Wan puts two and two together: you’re the one who sends up the kites with miscellaneous treasures in them!
Sera confirms: yes, it’s true. Her life’s work has been collecting the remnants of The World That Was here before the war destroyed it. She sends up the packages in hopes that the youth of today will see what they lost, and what could maybe be again:
Obi-Wan deduces that she’s the one who called for the Jedi, and she confirms that she is. She’s occasionally found, in the ruins, evidence of these great warriors who could maybe force her people to see the error of their ways. She’s getting too old for this sort of thing and she needs their assistance. She pulls up a holo of one of these warriors she’s seen, and, well, let’s just say that this person does indeed have a lightsaber but I don’t think they’re playing for our team:
Obi-Wan, ignoring that this does not look particularly like a Jedi, tells Sera that she probably doesn’t even need help getting the Open and the Closed to hold hands and sing songs with one another: he traveled here with people from both sides who were willing to work together. Sera scoffs: they just wanted him to lead them to her. Both the Open and the Closed have been searching for her for years, and they both want her dead — they don’t like her trying to remind everyone of the Good Old Days. The more they see of what they lost, the more they are reminded of how badly they’ve failed.
Anakin Skywalker, Always Up For Rescuing Obi-Wan
We cut to Anakin, still at the Open’s Base Camp. Mother Pran is pressing Anakin to give up the details on where Obi-Wan was headed. Now that he’s helped them rebuild their killbots, why, they can go SAVE Obi-Wan! Why, we can save everybody and there will be peace throughout the land la la la!
Anakin is not impressed: he knows she’s lying about having peaceful intentions here, but he points out that Grecker was, too. He tells her where the distress signal came from, and says:
Mother Pran is like uh uh uh! Not so fast! You’re too important to go save Obi-Wan, Anakin: you have to stay here at the base camp while I totally do not go kill Obi-Wan and whoever he’s with! She instructs Kolara to stay behind with Anakin, and says she’ll be back soon, as she and other Open people take to their robots and head out:
…and that’s where the issue leaves us this time! Will Kolara ultimately decide to help Anakin because he’s just too cute? Will the Open and the Closed come to a truce, or blast each other into tiny pieces? Will Anakin make good on his promise to find work outside the Jedi Order? Will Obi-Wan STOMP ALL OVER MY HEART with what he plans to do if Anakin leaves? (Spoiler alert: yes he will.) We’ll cover it all next time, in the thrilling conclusion to this series