Star Wars #20 (Marvel, 2015)
Hello there! Today we’re off to Tatooine again, for a recap of another installment of the “Obi-Wan’s Terrible Hermitic Life of Sacrifice” portion of the Star Wars comic series. Those who checked in with us last time we visited this part of the series will remember that when we parted ways with our Saddest Star Wars Dad/”Eccentric Uncle”, he was about to be pursued by Black Krrsantan, an evil Wookie bounty hunter with one of the most Star Warsian names I have yet encountered in my 30+ years on this earth. Obi-Wan had a target on his back courtesy of Jabba the Hutt, because Obi-Wan cannot stop himself from kicking bad guy ass, even when he’s supposed to be laying low. So, naturally, he’s gotten himself in hot water for beating up a bunch of Jabba’s guys who were…I don’t even remember but it was something to do with shaking people down for money or resources during a drought last year on Tatooine. There are non-drought years on Tatooine? Huh. Learn something new every day.
As we begin, a quick reminder that this story is apparently being relayed to us via Luke Skywalker BASED ON a journal of Obi-Wan’s that Luke…found? Stole? Was told to go get? We don’t know. We also don’t know why in the hell Obi-Wan was keeping a journal that went into great personal detail about, among other things, his being a Jedi and Luke being Anakin’s son, two things that Obi-Wan probably wouldn’t have opted to commit to written documentation, or just left laying around, but OK. I’m going with “it was part of his grieving process” for now.
I still want to know why Luke has this journal. I hope he asked Obi-Wan’s ghost for permission before he just started looting a dead man’s belongings, at least, but then Luke IS a Skywalker and they’ve never been hesitant about taking everything from Obi-Wan without asking. (Sorry.) (Also don’t worry, I still love the hell out of them.) (Even though HOW DARE YOU, ANAKIN.)
Recurring Theme: Someone Wants Obi-Wan Dead
We open on a bad guy discussion about how Black Krrsantan (really, Star Wars? Are we really going with this name? This is the third comic I’ve recapped with this guy in it and the first time I’ve been able to will myself to write it out,) is going after this Mysterious Person who roughed up Jabba’s thugs. While they’re talking, BK (I refuse to keep typing that name over and over) starts walking towards the Lars homestead. Oh good.
Uncle Owen, Doing His Best He’s Trying
Owen Lars, a guy who did not exactly sign up to be pulled into the Skywalker-Kenobi Drama Disaster Factory that his life has ultimately ended up revolving around (and definitely won’t be ended because of! Sorry!) is looking to make amends with Luke. In the last issue, Owen and Luke had butted heads about Luke’s wrecking of the family Skyhopper, and had returned the spare parts for it that Obi-Wan had bought for Luke in secret because he didn’t want Obi-Wan meddling with Luke’s life even though Obi-Wan has given Luke all of his remaining years and protected them all this time and also Obi-Wan is the best person ever and his handsomeness has gone to UTTER WASTE because of his horror show of a life and all he wanted was to help and I’m sorry this sentence is so long.
At any rate, I appreciate the shout-out to Tosche Station. Also, this is really sweet: Owen has some not-that-great Skyhopper parts that he bought his own self, and he just wants to make things right with his adopted son and OH MY GOD. I’m working on like 4 different recap drafts right now and I have to keep leaving each of them because they’re ALL chock-full of Nice People Getting Things They Do Not Deserve and I just feel so bad for all these imaginary people.
Owen tries to find Luke, only to be greeted instead by the bounty hunter, and get abducted. Oh.
Recurring Theme: The Skywalkers, Unenthusiastic Adoptees
Obi-Wan’s Journal Narrator Voice cuts in now to tell us that unbeknownst to him at the time, Plucky Dork Hero Luke Skywalker had run away from home again, for what Kenobi calls neither the first nor the last time. Wow, OK, so not only did the Larses take in a virtual stranger’s child, from a weird, emotionally broken space wizard, under somewhat mysterious and definitely risky circumstances, but then they also had to contend with said child running away repeatedly on a planet full of pirates and smugglers? JESUS.
I like how Obi-Wan’s “voiceover” here makes him sound totally unsurprised, too, which given that Anakin once tried to bolt from the Jedi Order into the wild blue yonder at age 12 (and God knows how many other times we haven’t learned about yet,) makes sense, I guess. You know Obi-Wan was like “I’m just proud Luke hasn’t even threatened to kill anyone yet. This boy truly is the Last Great Hope of the Universe.”
Where The Lights Are Bright As The Stars!
So there’s Luke, trekking across the desert IN A BUCKET HAT and his usual Tatooine getup. He literally did not get a new outfit style in nearly 20 years. Wow.
Luke’s yammering on to himself about how he doesn’t need anyone, man, he can make it off this planet all by himself. Owen and Beru can have Tatooine, and he’ll take…
I love Luke, and I’m sorry, but this is hysterical. He is like 3 seconds away from breaking into Hopeful, Naive Song here a la a Broadway musical. (“Out therrrrrrre, there’s a world outside of Jundland, Aunt Beru! Way out there beyond this hick town, Aunt Beru! There’s a slick town, Aunt Beru!“)
Luckily, though, Obi-Wan notes that Padme and Anakin’s least-hotheaded kid doesn’t get far: he instead has a Force Moment and tears on back to the Homestead because he Senses Danger, and we all know that there’s no goddamn way a Skywalker is going to just walk away when someone’s in trouble, unless they are the ones directly causing said trouble in which case they will first make everything one billion times worse, then flee to Mustafar and go build themselves an actual Murder Castle on a lava river rather than work through their issues.
Aunt Beru, Badass
When Luke arrives he finds Aunt Beru holed up in the house holding a GIANT GUN like a fucking hardcore badass, and she tells Luke that Owen’s been abducted. She instructs him to go hide in the maitenance bay and of course Luke is immediately like “I HAVE A PLAN that is probably definitely not safe or age-appropriate for me but I’ll BE RIGHT BACK!”
Let. Him. Go.
Somewhere out in the desert, Owen is getting wailed on by BK (which I now keep reading as “Burger King”, which is somehow LESS ridiculous than the character’s actual name here,) and he’s pleading with the Wookie: I don’t even know what you want! Why are you targeting me?!
That’s when our pal Obi-Wan rolls up to do his patented Capital-E Entrance and good LORD, people. Obi-Wan. WHY:
Where should we start here? The robe? The dramatically-timed arrival? No, I think we all know where we start here: THE LEG. Obi-Wan Kenobi has this…leg thing, guys. His Leg Posing is almost as important to his character as his insane robes (and removal thereof,) or his sarcastic bitchery, or his constant subtle (or not so subtle) sexual advances on every living being in the universe. I’m not even going to touch the fact that he’s all winded here because he’s older and his body is falling apart from having had to save the universe 782 times between the ages of 20 and 40, except to say it makes me sad.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kinda Winging It Here
Obi-Wan pulls the whole “hold up, dude, I know who you are and that’s not the guy you want: I’m the one you’re looking for…”
Hahahahahahahaha. OK, I love that he admits he’s the one this guy is after, then is immediately like “nah actually I’m kinda scared of this guy so let’s see if a mind trick works instead.” Kenobi’s getting a little rusty these days. (Well sort of. I may be giving too much credit to Clone Wars-era Obi-Wan, who frequently ended up being taken hostage or almost killed.)
Does his Mind Trick Ploy work here? Well…
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi Wants You To Know How Hard He Tried
Obi-Wan’s disappointed: he was hoping that the mind trick would have worked so that he wouldn’t have to bust out any big Jedi moves or whatever. It’s dangerous to out himself as a Jedi on Tatooine. He notes to himself that of course he doesn’t care what happens to him as a result, only that Luke stay safe. Obi-Wan’s a selfless and good man, guys! Did you know!? I love that Obi-Wan’s journal is really steering hard into this theme, almost as though he’s trying to stick it to the Skywalkers by pointing out repeatedly how much he sacrificed for them. (I’m not convinced Obi-Wan is above doing this.)
His last remaining option having failed, in order to keep himself available for Luke Skywalker Bodyguard Duty, now he’s got no choice: it’s lightsaber time.
He pulls out the weapon, only to have it immediately batted out of his hand. Black Krrsantan then grips him by the neck and holds him up in the air. As he struggles to breathe, he thinks to himself that the years here in the desert have made him a fool: and a dead one, apparently, at that.
Recurring Theme: Post-Prequel-Era Obi-Wan and Anakin Both Kinda Wish They Were Dead
He thinks he’s about to be thrown to his death or strangled, when BK tosses him to the ground. Obi-Wan realizes that he’s not, in fact, a dead fool yet, and he seems kiiiiinda half-disappointed by this.
I need to pause to point out that in the comics, which are filling in some of the time that Obi-Wan and Anakin spent apart in the post-Revenge of the Sith era, BOTH of them, despite being quite dedicated to their respective Good and Evil causes, also both seem absolutely depressed as hell and somewhat bummed when someone fails to kill them. “Welp, looks like I’m finally gonna die that’s OK I sort of…oh. OK. I guess I’m not dead. [long, defeated sigh] Back to the grind then, I guess.”
Anyways I feel totally OK about this and it doesn’t break my heart or anything.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, High-Value Hostage
So BK’s going to be hanging on to a living Kenobi, because he’ll get a higher bounty for him and Jabba apparently wants to watch him suffer. Jabba, please: if you want to see Obi-Wan suffer, you don’t need to kidnap him for that. Have you been watching ANY of this series so far, dude?
With that, BK shoots out some sort of electro-spider-web thing at Obi-Wan, trapping him:
At this, Owen goes into action and tries to attack the Wookie. Obi-Wan is like Nooooooo Owen don’t!, and Owen gets himself thrown off a cliff.
Qui-Gon Jinn, Original Hardworking Dead Guy
As Owen flies over the edge of the rocks they’re standing on, Obi-Wan throws his hand out and yells for Qui-Gon to help him get out of this jam:
I love how the trade-off for becoming a Force Ghost is that you have to take your former apprentice’s phone calls for the rest of eternity. Given how often this Jedi lineage seems to be getting into potentially universe-ending trouble, I think I’d prefer to just return to the Force to get some damn rest instead.
Anyways, Owen snags himself on a rock, saving himself from falling to his death, and Obi-Wan uses the Force to grab his lightsaber and escape from his electro-net.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master
A scuffle ensues between Black Krrsantan and Obi-Wan, who does some Force-throwing and general badassing and then rushes to the cliffside to check on Owen. As he does, BK comes running at him with a rock. Obi-Wan has to ask himself:
The answer here, of course, is yes. Also, I realize Obi-Wan’s been through a LOT by this point, but he’s really pushing the whole “I’m so old and weakened and probably can’t even do anything” angle in this series. Obi-Wan, please: Luke is what? Like, 10 here? That means you are in your mid-to-late 40s. That’s not old for humans in general and especially not for Jedi, to say nothing of one of Obi-Wan’s caliber. This guy was so depressed I can’t stand it. I can’t blame him, but still.
It Surrounds Us And Binds Us And Sometimes Tries To Kill Us
Mid-fight, Owen’s hold on the rocks fails and he starts to fall to his death. Obi-Wan throws out his hands and holds him aloft with the Force, yelling at Owen to grab something. He can’t keep up his hold on Owen forever AND try to fight this giant Wookie at the same time, and he starts having a Force Moment of his own: he feels the Force flowing through every living thing around them, even…
Recurring Theme: The War Has Forged Their Two Lives Into One
Obi-Wan realizes that he’s losing his hold on Owen, and Owen begins to fall again. Oh no! Uncle Owen! You’ll never guess who shows up to save the day!
Yes, as per usual, you can’t really get jack shit accomplished in this universe without both halves of the Open Circle: true heroics requires a contribution from column Kenobi and a contribution from the Skywalker contingent. Naturally, then, here comes Luke to fill in the gaps. I do not find this at all emotionally moving or anything and Anakin would definitely not be touched by this, possibly even while still living as Darth Vader. (We all know you’re in there, Anakin, and we all know you’d cry over this, you emotional wreck.)
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Still Complaining About Not Being Rescued Sooner
OBI-WAN’S PROUD FACE IN REACTION TO THIS absolutely didn’t faze me either. Obi-Wan was the proudest uncle ever, everyone. I still die a little every time Return of the Jedi ends and Kenobi FINALLY GETS TO SEE SOME OF HIS HARD WORK REALLY PAY OFF FOR ONCE. But this moment is very sweet, too. (Let’s not discuss the fact that the fruits of his and Luke’s labor here appears to have been hilariously and distressingly short-lived, Kylo. UGH.)
I also appreciated the writers making sure to include Obi-Wan’s patented WHAT THE HELL TOOK YOU SO LONG into this scene. He may be proud of Luke, but he’s not going to just let a Skywalker save the day without sassing about it at least a little bit, too.
So now with Uncle Owen saved, Obi-Wan focuses his attention on the Wookie, who he calls “rude” (LOL) and then throws over the cliff.
Way to go, Team Kenobi-Skywalker Mark II! You saved the day. And you’ll do it again. *sniffle*
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Wizard Who’s Just a Crazy Old Man Now
Owen and Luke have a very sweet reunion where Luke apologizes for flying the Skyhopper and Owen thanks him for saving him and they hug and it’s adorable. Luke’s dad may have blown it pretty epically, but at least he had a couple of really great uncles to pick up the slack. As this heartwarming scene concludes, Luke’s other uncle, unnecessarily posing dramatically with his lightsaber, looks down on them from on high:
I? Love this. Why would he still be doing this, and especially so close to Luke? Like, Owen looks up at Obi-Wan thankfully, and look at where Luke is:
So, if Luke just like…turns around and follows Owen’s line of sight, he’s going to see Glorious Space Wizard War Hero Obi-Wan Kenobi standing on a cliff with a lightsaber, his robe probably majestically flowing in the wind? Wouldn’t Luke be like, picking up on all sorts of insane Force Waves right now radiating off of Kenobi, too? This kid is a Skywalker; you know those guys probably are especially attuned to a Kenobi. Of course, as we’ve covered many a time here, the Skywalkers are also often terrible at knowing what’s going on, so I guess this is still in character for him.
Well Thanks a Whole Helluva Lot, Star Wars
As this Kenobi Adventure concludes, Obi-Wan goes baack into narrator mode to tell us that he never found the Wookie’s body, so he presumes the guy lived and ran off to fight another day (which we of course know he did, since Vader hires him later in the last comic I covered,) and that he and Owen did not speak of this incident again.
Obi-Wan says he was OK with this: he was just happy to see Luke and Owen back with their family…
THIS IS THE BEST AND WORST THING EVER YOU GUYS. Obi-Wan has no family because the only family he ever knew was destroyed in the worst way possible and he feels largely responsible for it. And now he lives in the desert in solitude watching over the last remaining Skywalker connection he has and HE MADE FRIENDS WITH THE ANIMALS HERE ON TATOOINE. HE CALLS THEM HIS FAMILY.
I am completely on board with this being in canon. I love that the story is that Obi-Wan is good with and loves animals and that he sought their companionship during the darkest years of his life. BUT THIS IS STILL KILLING ME OK?! On the plus side, it’s unlikely that one of these guys is going to betray him and turn to the Dark Side, so I can see the appeal this held for him. My poor sad Space Husband. Someone hug him.
Luke Skywalker, Universe-Saving Cinnamon Roll
The comic wraps in Dramatic Sunset fashion, as Obi-Wan reflects on how, even on this terrible shithole of a planet where bad things happen all the time, sometimes new hopes are forged “in blood and fire and sand…”
At that, I presume the Force Theme starts playing and we iris-wipe our way out of this installment! Thanks for joining me for another installment of Obi-Wan’s terrible life story. I’m sure there’s more where this came from. ‘Til next time!