May is going to be the month of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
With the Obi-Wan Kenobi tv series starring Ewan McGregor, set to premiere May 27 on Disney+, the Jedi Master is set to have his own comic miniseries.
Marvel Comics is set to release Obi-Wan, a comic miniseries centered around the early adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The first issue is set to launch on May 4, just in time for Star Wars Day.
According to an article from SyFy Wire, the miniseries will span for five issues and it will be written by Christopher Cantwell (Captain America, Iron Man, Doctor Doom). In addition, Ario Anindito (Star Wars: The High Republic, Sword Master, Hulkverines) will be the illustrator for the first issue which will be a story about Obi-Wan as an eight-year-old youngling venturing in the streets of Coruscant’s underworld.
Marvel’s Obi-Wan, as written by Cantwell, is unique in that it is going to take readers back in time to the life of Obi-Wan as never before told. These issues will tell the stories from different eras of Obi-Wan’s life. And with each of these five issues of Kenobi written by Cantwell, also come different artists.
During the interview with Syfy Wire, Cantwell said that “regardless of age,” Kenobi has “certain indelible traits.”
“He’s incredibly loyal, and has shown deep connection to certain people in his life. I also think he is honor-bound, but willing to push boundaries when need be. Part of that he likely learned from Qui-Gon, but a lot of that, in my opinion, is intrinsic. I think these are things that would be present in Obi-Wan from an early age,” Cantwell told SyFy Wire.
The comic book writer added to this by making analogy of young Obi-Wan’s childhood to his own childhood. He told SyFy Wire that as an eight-year-old boy, he had “certain perspectives or feelings” and he knows that his son, also an eight-year-old, will also grow to “see certain things” and” bring certain perspectives in a similar way for the rest of his life.” Furthermore, he added that with his son, some things are “already hardwired in.”
“Obi-Wan’s ‘hard wired’ traits are what we see in this story,” said Cantwell.
According to the article, the issues will have a flashback element to them in which the Ben Kenobi incarnation of Obi-Wan chronicles his past in a journal while living in his home on Tatooine. The article also explains that while revisiting the Clone Wars, there will be new unexplored things in Kenobi’s life during that time.
“We explore some intense moments of the Clone Wars that are new,” Cantwell told the SyFy Wire. “I was always fascinated with that period ever since Leia mentions it offhandedly in her recording. To me, it had to be formative for him, considering how vast the conflict was, and how intense.”
Cantwell elaborated that while Obi-Wan’s adventures during the Clone Wars have been further fleshed out in other works, like Star Wars: The Clones Wars animated series, he said that it was “interesting to tell stories from that era.” He also mentioned that he probably added some of his own perspective to the Clone Wars incarnation of the Jedi Master since the character is about his age at that time in which “you realize things are not as simple as they seemed when you were younger and are instead infinitely more complex.”
The article touched based on what Star Wars means to Cantwell regarding the triumphs and struggles of the characters as well as its philosophical themes.
“The characters and themes to me are what make Star Wars so enduring,” Cantwell explained in the interview. “Yes, it has an incredible amount of wonderful ephemera and accoutrement, and the ‘world’ of it is basically endless. But it’s the themes of Light vs. Dark, both within and without, that draw me in again and again. Classic heroes and their turmoils. The tone is also extremely important. Sincere without being self-serious, charming without being glib. Star Wars has all the hallmarks of the most classic serial sci-fi and fantasy stories.”
The SyFy Wire also release exclusive preview pages of Marvel’s Obi-Wan which display Ario Anindito ’s art. The cover art of Issue No. 1 shows a younger Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi with the old man he will become in the background along with Tatooine’s Twin Suns ascending. Below the two incarnations of Obi-Wan is Darth Vader, the man who was once his faithful padawan and friend Anakin Skywalker. In addition to the cover art, the first page shows an older Obi-Wan near his home on the scorching sands of Tatooine and wearing a pensive expression on his face as he feels the sand blowing between his fingers.
What is amazing about the art in the cover and the panels in the first page is how Anindito captures the visage of both Ewan McGregor and the late Alec Guinness versions of Kenobi. The cover alone tells the reader that this is going to be a coming-of-age story of Obi-Wan Kenobi from his time growing up in the halls of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to becoming a hermit in Tatooine looking after Luke Skywalker.
The next pages feature the eight-year-old youngling Kenobi venturing in the Coruscant underworld. Anindito’s drawings show a young boy, dressed in traditional Jedi robes, fighting against thugs by using the Force. Just by looking at these panels in this issue, young Obi-Wan drawn by Anindito is showing shades of the hero that he will grow up to become. But Anindito’s art would probably evoke a question into the minds of readers: what is an eight-year-old Jedi youngling doing venturing in Coruscant’s underworld?
In the last couple panels, Obi-Wan is also seen interacting with what appears to be another youngling. Without the word or thought balloons, the panels in these pages indicate that Obi-Wan and the youngling might be in some trouble as they are confronted by what appears to be a Zabrak female. With a dark smirk on her face, the Zabrak, who appears to be the leader of the thugs, is also dangling what looks to be a kyber crystal and taunting Obi-Wan and his fellow youngling.
Further into the SyFy Wire interview, Cantwell praised Anindito by saying that he was a “pro” and “brought the series to life immediately with incredible detail.” He also mentioned taking a liking to the eight-year-old incarnation of Obi-Wan.
“He [Anindito] also did an eight-year-old Obi-Wan that doesn’t have the advantage of being immediately recognizable as one of the two actors to play the character,” Cantwell said regarding Anindito’s drawing of the young Kenobi. “But his Obi-Wan is instantly just crystallized, and I bonded to him just as I have the other incarnations I’ve seen over the years.”
The SyFy Wire article also explains, Issue no. 2 will take place during the time Obi-Wan is the apprentice to maverick Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Cantwell noted that issue no. 2 is “unexpected” and that a horror element would be into it. The art for that comic will be illustrated by comic artist Luke Ross (Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters, Venom, Conan).
Marvel’s Obi-Wan hits comic book shelves on May 4 or wherever comic books are sold. To stay up to date on Star Wars comics, visit the Dork Side of the Force.