A long time ago, a girl’s parents took her to see a science fiction film called Star Wars. On that day, she fell in love with all things Star Wars, even the extended universe that began with Timothy Zahn’s 1991 book, Heir to the Empire. But in 2012, Disney purchased Star Wars and proceeded to erase the majority of the extended universe she had come to know. With much of her Star Wars knowledge no longer applicable, she begins a journey through the new canon. Her goal – to travel the path of the new canon, experiencing as much of the new material in story order as best as she possibly can.
The Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin trade paperback collects issues #1 – 5 of the comic series written by Charles Soule, with art by Marco Checchetto and colors by Andres Mossa. Published by Marvel.
This series is set a few years after The Phantom Menace but before Attack of the Clones; the comic does not provide an exact amount of time. From the appearance of both – Anakin doesn’t reach Obi-Wan’s shoulder – it looks as though three to five years have passed, making Anakin twelve to fourteen years old.
The Jedi and his Padawan have been given the task of discovering the source of a distress signal on a planet called Carnelion IV. The plot is rather forgettable and inconsequential; what matters are the flashbacks that show the development of Anakin Skywalker.
Anakin has started to question the ways of the galaxy. He is still the caring boy we met on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace, wanting to help as many as possible and expecting the Jedi and Senate to be the same way. The planet he visits with Obi-Wan was destroyed by war. Anakin is shocked to learn the Senate and the Jedi did nothing. Obi-Wan tells Anakin that there are only 10,000 Jedi, which is not enough to help every world; besides, Carnelion IV is outside of the Senate’s control, and the Jedi are under the Senate’s jurisdiction.
The young Padawan’s questioning has prompted him to consider leaving the Jedi Order. In the flashbacks, we learn that he is still good at fixing things; he changes the training droid to mimic the fighting style of Darth Maul, but he doesn’t have good control over his emotions. Because of his actions in saving Naboo, Chancellor Palpatine has been following Anakin’s training. Palpatine’s interest is suspicious. He basically orders Master Mace Windu to send Anakin to his office by citing that the Jedi are under Senate control.
Palpatine takes Anakin with him on an errand to the lower levels of Coruscant, where the rarest commodity is sky. In a seedy nightclub, Palpatine, who has disguised himself by wearing a cloak, making him look like Lord Sidious, laments about the disgusting fact that lives are being bought and sold around them and tells Anakin about the Senator gambling with money he has skimmed. According to Palpatine, the Senator has avoided an investigation because the amounts have been small, but if he lost a large sum, then he would have to take more, drawing unwanted attention to the Senator. On his next roll, the dice do not fall the Senator’s way, and he loses big. From the expression on Anakin’s face, it is clear he decided to bring justice to the Senator. Palpatine seems pleased by Anakin’s actions.
Anakin must trust and respect Palpatine because he ruined a man’s life based on one story Palpatine told. I wonder just how much time these two have been spending together.
What I wasn’t expecting was the revelation of how hardcore Obi-Wan takes his promise to Qui-Gon. In a flashback, Obi-Wan tells Master Yoda about Anakin’s plan to leave. If Anakin leaves, Obi-Wan can’t train him because only Jedi can train Jedi. Obi-Wan understands and tells Yoda that if Anakin leaves, he will follow.
I feel for Obi-Wan because I’ve been there too. I made a promise to my dying grandmother, but even she wouldn’t want me to throw my life away to make it happen. I still feel guilty, and sometimes I think her ghost is over my shoulder giving me that disappointed look, but I’ve learned that my life is my own.
Pro tip: Don’t make promises to dying people.
It was Yoda’s idea to send Anakin with Obi-Wan to that planet with the people and the signal and such. In the end, Anakin, still a good kid who wants to help people, decides to continue his training with Obi-Wan.
Up next: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones