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Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 Review

4 min read

“Youngling’s Challenge”

Creative Staff:
Story: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Ario Anindito
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

What They Say:
Fast approaches the ultimate destiny of one of the Jedi’s most renowned masters! As he spends his final days in the remote deserts of Tatooine, Obi-Wan Kenobi takes time to reflect on — and record — key moments of a heroic life long-lived. Writing in old leather-bound journals from his hermit’s hut, Obi-Wan remembers his days as a young Jedi Initiate, his trials as a Padawan, the crucible of Jedi Knighthood and the Clone Wars, and some of the earliest challenges he faced as a true Master of the Force! In this tale, Obi-Wan considers a watershed Youngling adventure he narrowly survived on Coruscant when he was but eight years of age…This is just the beginning of his Jedi journey!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the new limited series hitting Disney+ as this series gets underway, it’s definitely nicely timed and even comes as I’m reading the novel about Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn that takes place while he’s still a Padawan. This series has Christopher Cantwell handling the writing duties and he’s definitely been a writer whose work I enjoy (and get frustrated by) so I’m curious to see how he’ll handle the big picture here. Ario Anindito has been doing a lot of Star Wars comics for a while, as has colorist Carlos Lopez, and everything here looks great and just a notch above almost as it feels like a bit more time was given to deliver this project. The result is a really good-looking book that plays with some interesting characters and, across the run, to many worlds and species.

With the framing of Obi-Wan being stuck inside on Tattooine as a significant storm is coming, he’s continuing to write in his journals as part of his exercise of mindfulness. The lead-in to all of this is nicely done as we get to see some of his routine and his mindset at this point that’s close to where it’ll all change for him with Luke. But the main focus takes us back to his single-digit youngling days while he was still in the creche with friends and not a Padawan to a Jedi. His best friend at this time was a girl named Gehren and the two really clicked and connected well with a good bit of trust. But Gehren hasn’t let go of all that came before she arrived at the Jedi Temple and with knowledge or belief that his father is in trouble, she knows she can’t stay any longer. That has her making the decision to leave in the middle of the night, though Obi-Wan does his best to try and convince her to stay.

Naturally, Obi-Wan doesn’t achieve that and she heads off to the down-below levels to seek passage out through unsavory means. And he, of course, follows because even though it means him breaking the rules he has to for their friendship. It’s a fun if simple piece that’s all too familiar as he runs up against some thugs, tries to hold his own, and she appears to help out but they get caught up in a larger scheme. It’s good stuff overall and as a self-contained story that doesn’t even get the entire issue to work with, it accomplishes a lot. Their use of the force is pretty basic but even that shows what they’re capable of with minimal training, from the mind trick element to using the force to push people back from them. Obi-Wan’s nature is pretty clear here from the start and knowing some of what’s to come with him and others, it’s definitely intriguing.

In Summary:
Going back to Obi-Wan’s youngest days is definitely fun to see, though I’ll admit at first I thought/hoped we’d see him and Rael together instead of introducing someone new like Gehren. But that works well to show what he was like from a young age and the kinds of lessons he learned through it as we see with Yoda. Tying that into the start of the issue with the framing as he’s still unsure of whatever happened to Gehren is an interesting thread to possibly tug on some day, as we know there are many force-sensitive people out there that are never trained and just have an edge over certain things. Cantwell does a solid job here and with great artwork from Anindito, it’s a good opening salvo for this five-issue run.

Grade:

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 4th, 2022
MSRP: $3.99