Star Wars #7 (Marvel, 2015)
Hello, readers! Say, you guys like reading about Obi-Wan’s Life of Ceaseless Pain, right? Oh GOOD: because I’ve got some Kenobi Sads for you today in the form of Star Wars #7, the first issue of the new-canon Star Wars comics where we get a chance to read a snippet from “Anakin Was At Least Right About Sand: A Hermit Years Memoir by Obi-Wan Kenobi“.
Recall that in the last issue of this series, Rebel Hero Pilot Luke Skywalker had ventured back to Tatooine (because it’s one of Those Planets in Star Wars that everyone always vows they’ll never return to and then it just keeps sucking people back in,) to raid Obi-Wan’s old house in search of…well, he didn’t actually KNOW what he was in search of. He just knew that when the going gets tough, the tough go to their dead mentor’s old house and steal his stuff. And when Luke got there (and finished kicking Boba Fett’s ass while blinded), he found a journal that Obi-Wan had left for him. This journal details all kinds of things about how he was sad and used to be a Jedi and was not able to train Luke and his life was terrible and I’m STILL dying that Obi-Wan committed these things to paper and then just abandoned this thing in his empty house on a planet full of thieves and gangsters, but OK.
Today’s issue covers but one of the stories from Obi-Wan’s desert years. It appears to pick up when Luke’s like…I dunno: 8? Thereabouts? It’s kind of hard to tell, because in some panels he looks like he’s 4 and then later he looks like he’s closer to 10. At any rate, you will be oh so very shocked to learn that Luke Skywalker is A) a do-gooder who is Committed to Justice, B) impulsive and reckless and C) almost gets himself killed until someone comes to save his ass. You will never ever guess who it is, but I will give you a hint: it is someone for whom the phrase “Skywalker is trying to save the day” immediately puts them into I Guess I Better Go Rescue Him Mode. This family, I swear. OK friends, let’s go.
Drink Up, Me Hearties, Yo Ho!
Right off the bat, we’re informed that it’s a time of extreme drought on Tatooine, so I guess this means that it’s even more awful to live there than usual. We’re treated to a scene where a poor defenseless moisture farmer is getting shaken down for his water stash by a bunch of pirates who work for Jabba the Hutt, who is evidently keeping it classy, as he usually does. His thugs harass and beat this poor guy, then guzzle down his water in front of his battered face. Lovely.
Obi-Wan, who is in the vicinity for reasons that are not totally clear to me, is watching this all go down. He clenches his fist in anger over the injustice of it all, tamping down his instinctive need to swoop in and save people and show off his hair: he’s not a Jedi anymore, and he can’t be one. And as hard is it was to become a Jedi, it’s been even harder to stop being one. Awww. *sniffle* He wills himself to walk away from the beaten farmer and keep a low profile.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Needs a Hobby That Isn’t Wizardry
He shuffles sadly back to his house out in the middle of nowhere, his tattered cape flying behind him like he’s walking through a wind tunnel. He frets that it’s been years since he’s even touched a lightsaber. At home, he sits by himself in the dark (I assume he was feeling nostalgia for the Jedi Temple, which as we all know had no electricity.) He laments all the things he isn’t anymore — a general, a Jedi Master — and laments what he is: a lonely, forgotten hermit. MY POOR BABY.
The days are all running together, he notes: he’s used to fighting Sith Lords and bounty hunters and suggestively raising his eyebrows at everyone and now? He’s mostly battling boredom and he hasn’t had a soul to sass-flirt with in AGES. This immediately made me think of when my husband and I first watched TCW, and about halfway through the series, my husband just randomly blurted out, “Wow: Obes Kenobes must have been REALLY bored in the desert after he lived through this.” (Yes, my husband called him “Obes Kenobes”. We are soulmates.)
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Stalker
He heads over to the Lars Household, and observes that he should be busier than ever! He should be training Luke…but of course, Owen is not into this idea, what with the fact that nearly all the people who used to be Jedi were brutally slaughtered en masse and whatnot.
Please look at this panel: Obi-Wan is standing directly above Luke while Luke plays outside. There are SO MANY MOMENTS LIKE THIS IN THE COMICS, it cracks me up. He is always like 4 feet away from Luke, or occasionally INTERACTING with Luke in some way, and Luke never notices him. Ah, that patented Skywalker Attention to Detail! Sigh.
Anyways, Obi-Wan stares down Baby Luke and wonders to himself — and this is literally in this comic — if it wouldn’t have been better if Obi-Wan had just died with everyone else, too. Well then. Great. Thanks, Star Wars. DID OBI-WAN WRITE ALL OF THIS IN THIS JOURNAL? LOL. He really was trying to stick it to the Skywalkers: “LOOK AT WHAT I SUFFERED THROUGH FOR YOU PEOPLE. OH AND LOOK: I KEPT COMING BACK AND SAVING YOUR STUPID ASSES. BUT I’M FINE DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME OR ANYTHING. I KNOW YOU WON’T.”
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Underpaid Bodyguard
Just then, the Water-Drinking Pirates arrive to the Lars homestead, planning to steal their water and probably rough some people up or whatever. Obi-Wan, acknowledging that he does have one job left to do, approaches the Bad Guys’ speeder. Please note how it does not appear to be especially windy on this day and yet Obi-Wan’s robe is still flowing majestically behind him:
The pirates are taken aback: who the hell is this guy and where did he come from? Obi-Wan Has Words with them, and (OF COURSE) mind-tricks them out of sticking around, thus saving the Lars family’s water supply, and probably keeping Baby Luke from getting kidnapped or whatever. This guy and his mind tricks. I feel like this is a good time to point out a passage from a HILARIOUS non-canon Star Wars book called The Jedi Path, which is meant to be a sort of Jedi guidebook in which several of our favorites — AND SHEEV — have written entertaining commentary in the margins. This particular passage deals with the little parlor trick known as Affect Mind:
…sure, Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon was too fond of it. I hate to break it to you but the apple’s not falling far from the tree in this case, my ginger friend.
Recurring Theme: Star Wars vs. The Farming Community
Obi-Wan sighs: the best he can do for now is keep Luke safe, and hope that someday he’ll figure out for himself…
Again: what the hell is Star Wars’ problem with farmers? How about “he wasn’t meant to be a farmer”, Kenobi? Do you have to frame it as “he surely isn’t meant to be some lame-ass farmer, that would be such a waste“? I’m not a farmer, I’m not personally close to any farmers, but I feel like someone needs to stand up for them here. LEAVE THE FARMERS ALONE, DAMN IT.
Anyways, Luke stares off wistfully at the sunset because he’s his parents’ child, and Obi-Wan presumably heads off into the sand, possibly while the Force Theme plays.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Despondent Show-Off
Later that day, or a different day, or something, Obi-Wan is out in the middle of God knows where and he’s meditating. And while he’s doing this, he’s levitating all kinds of random debris, including multiple animal (I hope!) skulls around himself:
He’s thinking to himself about how this drought is so bad, and people are dying, and he’s just sitting there and letting it happen. He knows Jabba is just hoarding/stealing the water because he’s a huge and horrible creep! How can he just sit idly by? He addresses this part of his rant at Qui-Gon’s Force Ghost, who notably is not talking back. He collapses into the sand, calling out his old Master: of all the many horrible shitty things I’ve had to live through that you didn’t prepare me for, this is maybe among the worst!
For the ten-thousandth time: SOMEONE HUG HIM.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Can’t Stop Saving People
So apparently Obi-Wan somehow manages to get back on his feet, because we find him next in a market. He brings some black melons with him, which he’s trying to sell to a vendor. The vendor is dubious: uh, those are rocks! Last time I checked, you can’t drink from those! Obi-Wan explains: they have liquid that is drinkable inside of them — it’s gross, but it beats dying of dehydration, mmkay? He’s not able to finish selling this guy on this Disgusting Melon Jamba Juice, though, because at this moment the Slug Thugs return to start hassling people for their water again.
Things are looking bad: the pirates are about to open fire on the villagers in the market! But then…
Ah, yes: that crafty bastard! Obi-Wan and his main man The Force step in and sneakily prevent carnage because Obi-Wan is a Good Man and he couldn’t not save the day. (Swoon.) This gives the people a few extra moments to start going after the pirates, who jump back into their speeder and flee.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Did a Good Thing and Now Hates Himself
He frowns: that was maybe not my best idea. Eventually someone’s going to figure out I am an actual superhero and that I won Hottest Jedi Dad all those years in a row. So from that point forward, he decides that he shouldn’t go to the market anymore. HE IS SO ALONE YOU GUYS. It’s not fair. Like, I know Anakin has no friends, either, but Anakin also MURDERED A LOT OF PEOPLE. I feel bad for both of them, but I REALLY feel bad for Obi-wan.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mid-Life Crisis-Haver
He returns to his house, where he honest-to-God just sits in the dark alone AGAIN, looking very small and sad:
So, I have a question: is he actually talking to Qui-Gon, or just speaking as though Qui-Gon can hear him? He has his little breakthrough with the Force and hears Qui-Gon’s voice during the events of the Ahsoka novel, which is set several years prior to this, so…I assume Qui-Gon is actually listening to him? Or does Qui-Gon just attempt to listen, but gets too bored with all the complaining and tunes him out, just like Obi-Wan undoubtedly did with Anakin a zillion times?
In any case, Obi-Wan is despondent because hiding from the suffering going on around him and not trying to help, and sitting here while Luke goes untrained, just feels wrong to him. He’s used to being a day-saver! It’s actually really sad: he sort of has a mini-breakdown alone here in the dark, shouting at Qui-Gon’s ghost that he feels lost and pointless and — and…uh oh! He senses something happening clear across the Dune Sea, and he knows it’s Not Good. He only has one job left to give his life meaning, and…
Luke Skywalker, Has Too Much of His Father In Him
Oh good, another thing to make Obi-Wan feel bad about himself. As it turns out, Owen and Beru, armed with flashlights, are wandering around outside the Homestead. They’re looking for Luke, who has unsurprisingly run off somewhere. Why did Luke run off, you ask? If you guessed “because he wanted to Do The Right Thing even if it meant probably just making things worse and getting himself killed”, congratulations: you have clearly seen previous Star Wars content.
Yes, Luke’s run off to steal from the Water-Stealing Gangsters. Even though he has no weapons that I am aware of, and is in like 3rd grade here. This is the most Anakin Skywalker thing that has ever happened and it’s not even Anakin Skywalker who’s doing it.
He stands dramatically in front of the baddies. LOOK AT HIS POSING. This kid’s going to make one hell of a Jedi. *sniffle*
The pirates get in his face: awww, were you trying to steal the water? That is hilarious:
BEHOLD THE SASS IN THAT FACE, YOU GUYS. No wonder Obi-Wan sensed all this was going down. There’s no way he’d have not picked up on the level of Sassiness going on here. Sheesh.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ultimate Badass
The bad guys decide to kidnap Luke into slavery. Nice going, Skywalker! You sure showed them! Luke is all BACK OFF BUDDY I’M NOT SCARED OF YOU and they find this all endlessly entertaining (in fairness, so do I.)
They’re getting their party ready to depart to Jabba’s Palace or whatever when suddenly the lights on their ride go out. OK: I know he was doing this in part to help conceal his identity and give him an advantage in this fight, but I love that the first thing Obi-Wan does here is cut the lights like this is a horror movie except the bad guy is the World’s Handsomest Space Monk:
Obi-Wan, aided by the Force, swoops in and just completely WASTES these creeps: throwing them in the air, hurling shit at them, ripping their weapons out of their hands…it’s crazy. At one point he CRUSHES two droids by dropping BOULDERS ON THEM:
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Owed Many Thousands of Credits for Babysitting
Luke handily gets knocked out mid-skirmish here, and Obi-Wan makes short work of the remaining pirates. After he does, he CARRIES LUKE OUT IN HIS ARMS and it’s like did I need to know that this happened? Like, really, Star Wars? I’ve only recapped like three of these issues and Obi-Wan has directly or indirectly saved Luke’s life like 10 times already.
He drops Luke off at Owen and Beru’s house, where they discover him to their great relief as the sun rises. Awwwwww. Luke is like “HUH? How did I get here?”
Obi-Wan watches from a distance, his robe STILL FLYING AROUND and please take note of how unreasonably long it is AGAIN. It looks like he stapled a bedsheet to the end of his actual robe:
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kind of In Love With His Own Legend
So then this whole thing wraps up with Obi-Wan pretty much narrating about how His Brave Heroics enraged the evil Jabba the Hutt, and that the drought lifted the following week and that the bad guys vowed to seek out and destroy the Mystic Warrior who had stood up them. But no one knew what to call this brave, handsome, mysterious stranger who had saved the innocents of Tatooine including the only son of Anakin Skywalker The Chosen One!
LOL. Obi-Wan is pretty into himself here. But then again, this is this guy we’re talking about, so are any of us really surprised?
He wraps this up by picking up his lightsaber again, and announcing to no one as he poses in his house, with his blade activated: I am Obi-Wan Kenobi! Screw denying my identity; I AM the Last of the Jedi! But this is not The End of the Jedi, and now, thanks to an insane child who tried to steal water from a bunch of heavily-armed crooks, I know that to be true! And maybe someday…maybe someday I can tell that boy all these stories myself.
Recurring Theme: Luke Skywalker, Kenobi Fanboy
With that, we cut back to Luke, who’s reading this story while looking moved and engrossed. Awwww, he’s just now learning about all the ways that Obi-Wan suffered! Welcome to my pain, Luke. “Enjoy.”
Luke isn’t done suffering, so he tells Artoo to keep piloting for him so that he can finish Obi-Wan Kenobi: Only a Fraction of the Sadness, You Seriously Have No Idea. He’s sure that reading this collection of depressing tales will guide him to where they’re supposed to go next! I hope that all works out for you, Luke. Usually hearing about Obi-Wan’s sad life just makes me want to cry and make sarcastic jokes to hide my pain. Good luck, sweet little farmer boy!
And with that, this issue’s done! Will Luke find what he needs from Obi-Wan’s tragic stories? Will Vader break a bunch more windows with his own rage? Will Boba Fett ever finish a mission successfully? We’ll have to keep reading to find out! See you next time!