Caleb Dume is a fugitive of the nascent Galactic Empire that was once the Galactic Republic, the very establishment he swore and fought to protect. Even worse, the clones he had once served alongside are hot on his tail, and the boy who will become Kanan Jarrus is too late to heed the warning from Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to avoid Coruscant.
As part of the 10th anniversary of Star Wars Rebels, we continue to review Marvel Comics Star Wars: Kanan - The Last Padawan as we delve into the third issue, “Pivot.” Greg Weisman continues as the writer along with the creative team consisting of artist Pepe Laraz and colorist David Curiel.
This issue starts with an explosive dogfight between Caleb and the Imperial Clone Troopers on the Coruscant orbit. From the last issue, the Jedi fugitive has stolen the Kasmiri, owned by the Kalleran scoundrel Janus Kasmiri, a pirate who helped Caleb evade the Clone Troopers.
With Weisman’s Kanan narrating his past events, we are starting to see that Caleb is beginning to shed his Jedi self. As he is reminiscing about his past, we see how confused and terrified Caleb is. He realizes that anywhere he goes, the Clones will catch him sooner or later due to his Jedi heritage. With no other choice, Caleb decided to head back to Kaller, where his trauma began. In addition, the narration from Kanan notes the dichotomy between being a Jedi and a protector of the Republic and a common criminal.
Weisman’s writing reminds us that planet Kaller has become a character of sorts for Kanan Jarrus. It is a place of trauma and death. Caleb Dume died along with his Jedi Master Depa Billaba. Among those ashes, a survivor and a criminal on the run would be born: Kanan Jarrus.
While on the run, the art done by Laraz and Curiel shows the transition from Caleb to Kanan. Caleb’s hair slowly grows longer and scruffier. His Jedi robes are tattered from the days of being on the run. After saving Janus from a criminal deal gone awry with Tapusk, another Kalleran criminal, the Jedi has a change of clothes, cuts his padawan braid, and starts to resemble the man that he would become in the future with his long hair tied in a ponytail. He is also seen carrying a blaster instead of his lightsaber. Janus fusses at him to stop running his hand through his hair in a moment of levity.
One trope within this issue and previous issues that Weisman sets up is that Caleb hates being called “Kid.” Kasmir tells Caleb that until he can come up with a new name, he would be “better off with none” since “Caleb Dume is a wanted enemy of the new Empire.” Another thing a reader could probably notice is that Caleb is a lot like his future padawan, Ezra Bridger. Both have a penchant for getting into trouble and are clumsy, much to the dismay of their mentors. In addition, both are taken out of the worlds they once knew and thrust into a life of being on the run from the Empire. The only difference is that while Caleb was raised in the confines of the Jedi Temple, Ezra became an orphan after losing his parents to the Empire and had to survive the streets of Lothal.
Several panels illustrated by Laraz and Curiel in this issue show Caleb teaming up with Janus, thieving goods for the black market. It's a huge contrast to the panels from the first issue that showed Caleb fighting gallantly alongside Depa and the Clone Troopers during the Clone Wars. The issue ends with Kasmiri and Caleb being captured by Gamut Key, the governmental authority. And more shocking to Caleb, Kashmiri outs Caleb as a Jedi to save his own skin from being arrested for the crimes they committed.
Kanan - The Last Padawan issue # 3 shows Caleb learning the ropes of the criminal underworld and surviving as a fugitive on the run from the Empire. It also shows him shedding his Jedi heritage and embracing his new life as a criminal.
This issues is the birth of Kanan Jarrus.