The first issue of Obi-Wan Kenobi is here! Star Wars publishing has begun cranking out these comic adaptations for their live-action Disney Plus shows, now branching out from The Mandalorian. While they aren’t exactly telling any new stories in these pages, these are fun ways to look back on the episode. Sometimes, this mode of giving us back a story we have already seen is effective. Crucial moments can be slowed down because they exist on just a single page. Or a deeply emotional scene can be drawn in such a way that moves us more than it did on the screen. This form of art can capture a unique element of the story and I love being able to sift through them. Last, but not least, it’s simply just fun to see these stories in the comic world.
Let’s start with the cover. I like it, but don’t love it. Sometimes the simpler the cover means a bit more. I am not a massive fan of stacking as many characters onto a one-page poster design, which exists in many movies now. Please don’t hear what I’m not saying though. This cover is far from bad. It just plays it way too safe.
The attack on the temple during Order 66 never fails to deliver. Add this to the number of times we have seen it pop up, but I don’t care. As Star Wars publishing continues to craft more Jedi stories from the prequel timeline and the High Republic, it only adds to my sadness and the overall devastation of the fall of the Jedi. This image below of a fallen Master trying to save some younglings hits home.
Once we are on Tatooine, the Inquisitors show up. I’m reminded that Rupert Friend delivered a great performance as the Grand Inquisitor because I can hear “the Jedi Code is like an itch. They cannot help it” in my head, unlike any other dialogue from this episode. Salvador Larroca’s art portrays the darkness and overall evil look of the Inquisitors quite well. I wasn’t a huge fan of how Reva looked at times, but some images of the Grand Inquisitor stood out as exciting ones.
My heart breaks for Obi-Wan. His loneliness and sorrow are palpable on each page. Check out this image below. The last line from the Grand Inquisitor on the top of this particular page reads “consider him forgotten.” He is talking about Kenobi of course, and in the image, he stands all alone with no one even giving him a second thought. This issue captures the loneliness and emotional deprivation of the Obi-Wan that we see in the show.
I wondered how much of Kenobi’s nightmare scenes we would see in the comic adaptation, and turns out pretty much all of it. The iconic “Battle of the Heroes” image is blasted on a page, and boy oh boy, it looks good.
“The fight is done.” The words that overflow with the overwhelming sorrow and guilt Obi-Wan carries with him all these years later. When confronted by a Jedi on the run, Nari, in the desert, Obi-Wan rejects his calls for help and encourages him to run away and stay hidden. Obi-Wan talks about wanting to train Luke in this episode and may have convinced himself he is doing all of this to keep Luke safe, but that’s not entirely true. The image below illustrates what’s going on here in a great way.
As you can see, they put the dialogue in as Obi-Wan is turning his back on Nari, but he has turned his back on the greater picture. Yes, Obi-Wan is on a mission to look after Luke, but he’s lost sight of the greater reason for doing so and lost most of himself in his exile. Eventually, we will see Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master, once again, but not for a minute.
It’s finally here: the showdown between Owen and Ben. The memes for the Uncle Owen exchange were off the charts before the show even began, and it doesn’t disappoint here. Again, the gravity of Ewan’s performance makes its way into the artwork. I loved the pages from this sequence.
Next, comes the Reva and Owen exchange. It’s wild to think about how close the Inquisitors are to Obi-Wan in the first episode. He’s hiding RIGHT THERE. While the comic does a great job of portraying Obi-Wan’s emotional state, I don’t think it captures the intensity of Reva that well. It’s hard to create that in an image, but it doesn’t resonate with me on the level I had hoped.
For several pages, it transitions to the Leia story. The comic gives us the great comeback line to her stupid cousin before it fasts forward to her kidnapping . I am glad they didn’t show the whole chase scene as that might have been a bit awkward in a comic. Unfortunately, they decided to cut out the moment where Bail Organa and Leia have a real father/daughter moment. I thought that could have been a great moment to be captured in this art form.
Of course, we all know Bail and Obi-Wan have a little chat on Tatooine after Kenobi denies his plea to rescue his daughter. I am so glad they included the “she’s just as important as he is” line from the show into the comic because YES SHE IS.
Seeing the two of them in the comic was pretty cool. The best part of the closing was Kenobi going into the desert to pick up the lightsabers he buried there years ago. It doesn’t matter what form of medium it is; seeing the Skywalker saber gives me chills.
Obi-Wan will be traveling to Daiyu in the next issue to go rescue Leia. I can’t wait to see how it looks!
Finding ways to nonchalantly incorporate Star Wars quotes into 8th grade classroom, Tyler lives and breathes Star Wars. His morning tradition is sending the latest number in the countdown for different Star Wars projects and loves engaging in uplifting Star Wars dialogue. If you are passionate about Star Wars you can follow him on Twitter at TyBrad5.