Star Wars: Kanan - The Last Padawan #7 Revisited

For Star Wars Rebels 10th anniversary, we revisit the comic book origins of Kanan Jarrus.
Star Wars Kanan: The Last Padawan #2 Cover. Image credit: and Marvel
Star Wars Kanan: The Last Padawan #2 Cover. Image credit: and Marvel /

Kanan Jarrus, formerly the Jedi Padawan Caleb Dume, has been returned to the planet he’d thought he never set foot on: Kaller. The planet is an evocation of bad memories of Order 66 when he saw his Jedi Master, Depa Billaba, fall at the hands of the Clone Troopers.

Now Kanan is mortally wounded at the hands of Tapusk, a Kalleran who was once an associate of Janus Kasmir, who aided him when he was a padawan. As he is placed in a bacta tank with his life hanging in the balance and the rest of the Ghost crew looking on, Kanan recollects his earlier life as Caleb Dume during his days in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.

After getting injured during a training session, young Caleb is sent to the infirmary by Jedi Master Yoda and notices someone in the bacta tank: Jedi Master Depa Billaba. He somehow senses a connection with the Jedi Master and wants to be her padawan.

In our celebration of the 10th anniversary of Star Wars Rebels, we continue to review Kanan: The Last Padawan in its seventh issue.

This issue takes us back in time to Kanan’s early life as a Jedi Initiate living in the Jedi Temple. This was during happier times when the Clones were still fighting alongside the Jedi for the Republic.

Again, comic writer Greg Weisman shows the reader an almost different character who is on a journey to becoming a Jedi Knight and away from the battlefields of the raging Clone Wars. Caleb Dume is a far cry from the man who is a grizzled rebel fighting alongside his Spectres against the Empire.

We are also introduced to two new characters: Caleb’s fellow Jedi Initiates Sammo Quid, a Twi'lek male, and Tai Uzuma, a human female.

A notable highlight of Weisman’s writing in this comic would have to be Depa’s self-doubt. After she is released from the bacta tank, while being jokingly glib with Jedi Masters Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Mace Windu, she begins to lament her losses, including her defeat at the hands of General Grievous.

Weisman amplifies this by adding the dialogue between Caleb, Sammo, and Tai. Caleb is determined to become Depa’s padawan, but his fellow Initiates question why she would choose him. They also mention that Depa had not only been defeated by General Grievous but suffered 90 percent of the casualties of her Clone battalion. Caleb’s fellow initiates label Depa as “damaged goods.”

Weisman’s Depa Billaba is a woman who is in conflict with her role as a Jedi Master serving in the Jedi High Council due to her failures. Despite reassurances from Mace and Obi-Wan, Depa still questions her worth as a Jedi General.

Interestingly, despite Depa’s failure, Caleb is still determined to be her padawan. This is shown in a scene where he talks to her about what his friends have told him. Depa seems to agree with Caleb’s fellow initiates that she might as well be damaged goods, but Caleb says that she is fully recovered. Depa explains that losing her men was her responsibility and that she fears causing more deaths if she were to return to the field.

What is fascinating about this issue is that Wiesman once again used a parallel between two characters by implementing a bacta tank. Kanan Jarrus was in a bacta tank as was Depa Billaba. It’s also interesting that at the beginning of the comic, Zeb Orrelios questions why a Jedi like Kanan would get jumped, similar to Sammo and Tai expressing doubt of Depa ever getting a command as a Jedi General due to her losses.

The art by Pepe Larraz and coloring by David Curiel set the tone for the story in this issue. The bacta scenes of both Kanan and Depa were dark and cool-colored. This set a somewhat ambient mood with no action or movement. It is just a scene of both characters recovering from their wounds.

The splash page shows Depa Billaba’s recovery and training, along with Caleb’s initiate training, another parallel in the comic, but this time done by Larraz and Curiel. In both scenes, you not only see Depa and the initiates training but also reciting the Jedi Code, training with their lightsabers, and using the Force.

Another notable scene by Lara and Curiel is that despite her self-doubts, we see that Depa has some lightheartedness about her. In addition to her acting glib, much to Mace’s dismay, Depa seems to enjoy Caleb’s company. In one instance, she finds Caleb questioning the process of a Jedi Knight choosing a padawan funny. We see her humor again during a scene where she is training Caleb and the initiates with seeker droids. Caleb unintentionally destroys a seeker droid. In both these scenes, Caleb and Depa are comedic and playful as you see a bashful smile shown by Caleb while Depa looks on with a grin on her face.

It was also a fun little cameo seeing of the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, and his faithful droid, R2-D2, while Caleb and his friends are talking about Depa not having a padawan.

At the end of this comic, the Jedi Temple is attacked by a mysterious assailant sneaking into the building. Depa and Caleb witnessed the explosion after their conversation. Who is this assailant, and why is he attacking the Jedi Temple? And will Depa cast aside her self-doubt and conflict to confront the assailant? You’ll have to come back next time to find out!

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