The Ages of Star Wars series continues with another happy landing — Obi-Wan Kenobi.
2019 is off to a good start thanks to none other than Obi-Wan Kenobi himself. In what might be the best issue in the Ages of Star Wars series so far, we see and learn things about the Jedi Master from a different perspective than we’re used to in Star Wars: Age of Republic Obi-Wan Kenobi No. 1.
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The Qui-Gon and Darth Maul issues were solid, but Obi-Wan’s gives us a perfect balance of action, storytelling, and emotion. We get to see how Obi-Wan feels about training Anakin, how Qui-Gon’s death has left him some guilt but has also helped him on his Jedi journey, and last but not least, just how deadly he can be with a lightsaber.
We start on Coruscant, years ago at the Jedi Temple. A young Kenobi is learning the ways of the Force along with his fellow younglings, hearing that the Force is “a greater means of obtaining greater control over our thoughts. Over our emotions.” Flash forward to the present day: Obi-Wan still meditates in the same way, but this time with an apprentice of his own. It looks as though Anakin is about three or four years into his training with Obi-Wan, so we’re probably looking at a solid five years before Attack of the Clones.
While they sit and meditate together, Obi-Wan thinks to himself about how far Anakin has come in his training. In his own words, he’s a Padawan that would make any Master proud — when he actually listens. It’s then revealed that the death of Qui-Gon still nags at him, which is revealed through a flashback to their duel with Darth Maul on Naboo. Obi-Wan says that he never expected to have a Padawan of his own so soon, wishing that he had Qui-Gon to turn to for some advice.
Obi-Wan’s thoughts are interrupted when Master Tosan enters and gives him a new mission from the Council. Apparently, an archaeology team on the planet Dallenor has discovered a Jedi holocron. Obi-Wan accepts the mission (would he really say no?) and tells Anakin that he can continue his training with Yoda. Obi-Wan goes to the Jedi Temple Library to research any Jedi who went to Dallenor in the past. Yoda comes along and basically tells him that he’s wasting his time, saying that their names are “lost to time.” Yoda then suggests that Anakin accompany Obi-Wan on the mission, even though Obi-Wan isn’t sure he’s ready for it.
Yoda says that Obi-Wan’s lack of belief in Anakin will cause him to fall behind his fellow Padawan learners. Obi-Wan claps back by reminding Yoda that he was among the Council members who didn’t want Anakin trained in the first place. Yoda says that a poorly trained Jedi is dangerous to himself and others.
Obi-Wan eventually relents and brings Anakin along for the ride. While they’re flying, Obi-Wan thinks to himself that Yoda was right — Anakin shouldn’t be treated like the other Padawans. Something interesting happens next when Anakin asks Obi-Wan what his life was like before he began his Jedi training. We learn that Obi-Wan was taken from his home planet at a young age, as he says:
"“Well, I can’t say I really remember. I was very young when I left my homeworld. I was identified as Force-sensitive and taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.”"
It’s not much, but the key here is that while Obi-Wan is reminiscing, he’s scratching his head. That tells me that he was really young when he was brought to the Temple, so young that he doesn’t even remember what it was like. This also shows a little bit as to why Anakin became corrupted by the Dark Side — he could actually remember his mother and his life on Tatooine, a connection that Obi-Wan never had. Shmi’s death had a lasting impact on her son, while Obi-Wan doesn’t even know if his mother is still around.
The two then have a mini disagreement when Anakin wonders if his slave background is why the Jedi Council didn’t want him trained. Obi-Wan assures him that the Council isn’t perfect and that Qui-Gon picked him to be his own student. Anakin responds by saying that Obi-Wan got “stuck” with him after Qui-Gon was killed, then he walks to the back of the ship to be alone.
Image via Lucasfilm
Obi-Wan and Anakin finally arrive on Dallenor and meet up with Clatriffe, who is heading up the Dallenor excavation. She says she wants the holocron off the planet as soon as possible, explaining that they had to hire some local muscle for protection after pirates discovered that they had found the holocron.
Anakin goes to help keep watch for pirates while Obi-Wan verifies the holocron’s authenticity. Just as Obi-Wan is about to say who the holocron belonged to, Anakin bursts into the room and says that the pirates have returned. Obi-Wan goes to confront them and even gives them a chance to leave the dig, but the leader of the pirates orders his men to get Obi-Wan’s lightsaber. We then see Obi-Wan absolutely dominate, slicing through every pirate with no problem at all.
Things get complicated when one pirate puts a knife to Anakin’s throat, but Obi-Wan uses the Force to attack him with rocks from behind. When they get on the ship to leave, Anakin apologizes for not being ready, but Obi-Wan reassures him that he was ready long ago. The Master decides to let Anakin fly them home, and Obi-Wan tells himself that he won’t fail Anakin again.
Like I said, this was probably the best issue of the three we’ve gotten so far. Just a good balance of things we want to see in an Obi-Wan book, with a little Anakin and Yoda sprinkled in there for good measure. Next week’s issue should entertain as well, with Jango Fett hitting the shelves on Jan. 9th.