From writer Christopher Cantwell (Halt And Catch Fire, Regarding The Matter Of Oswald’s Body) and artist Ario Anindito (Star Wars: The High Republic) comes the recollections of one of modern fiction’s most beloved characters in Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1. With colors from Carlos Lopez and lettering from Joe Caramagna, this opening chapter offers a compelling look into one of Obi-Wan’s early memories. With a safe yet solid script and stellar visuals, this comic will be a must-have for fans of the iconic “Negotiator.”
“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!”
Writing & Plot
Christopher Cantwell is sure to entertain most fans with his script for Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1. This chapter sees Obi-Wan residing on Tatooine shortly before the events of the original film. Here, he’s reflecting on moments from his past that have never been seen before. This comic, as well as the whole mini-series, are set up as a frame narrative. Old Ben is sheltering in his hut riding out a sandstorm and remembering moments from his past, with each memory making up a new issue. This is a clever and fun way to give readers a collection of new tales starring one of the franchise’s most popular heroes. This issue itself offers something not yet seen in the canon: Obi-Wan when he was still a child. Watching Kenobi as a boy endure the hardship of learning the tough lessons that will go on to make him the Master he turned out to be is a compelling treat. Admittedly, the story and its structure are pretty safe and not terribly surprising. Nothing about this comic, from its serviceable dialogue to its well-written but a bit overbearing narration, will do much to really awe dedicated Star Wars comic readers. However, this is still a completely engaging chapter that is worth a read for those who want to see Obi-Wan at a point in his life we’ve never seen.
Easily the most impressive aspect of Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 is Ario Anindito’s art. Just like his work in The High Republic, Anindito brings the Star Wars universe to life with an attention to detail that perfectly matches the visual style of the franchise while keeping his own art style intact. From the sand swept plains of Tatooine to the elegance of the Jedi temple on Coruscant, every setting looks the part yet feels especially unique in this comic. Classic characters, including Alec Guiness-era “Ben” Kenobi and others who show up look fantastic, and the work Anindito has put into the numerous aliens we cross paths with really shows. Where Anindito really flexes his skill, and this comic’s biggest visual surprise, is how he texturally changes his style from “past” to “present.” There’s a visible roughness to his pencils when we’re with Kenobi on Tatooine. The flashback sequence to child Kenobi has the more expected, modern digital style with very clean lines. Both styles are great, but Anindito’s Tatooine sequence has this stunning, almost classic aesthetic. He pulls off a style that sits somewhere between Sean Phillips and Steve Epting in those scenes, and it looks brilliant.
Carlos Lopez’s colors in this comic nail the rest of this issue’s visual experience. The arid landscape of Tatooine has scarcely been more stunning than when seen here in Lopez’s range of desert tones. At the same time, the cool metallic hues of the Jedi temple and the busy lights of Coruscant are respectively elegant and full of life as they should be. The lettering from Joe Caramagna is on par with that of all other Marvel Star Wars outings. Caramagna utilizes a suitable, easily legible font that works great for the reading experience but just sort of stays out of the way. Overall, this is a visually great looking and professionally composed comic book.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan #1 is a safe yet wholly entertaining chapter that no doubt gives diehard Kenobi fans what they want. Christopher Cantwell’s script is sharp and does a great job revealing new parts of Kenobi’s past, even if it doesn’t really do anything all that surprising. The visuals from Ario Anindito and Carlos Lopez are stunning and surprisingly varied, offering one of the best looking single Star Wars comics in recent years. Be sure to grab this little piece of Obi-Wan history when it hits shelves on May Fourth!