Obi-Wan and Anakin
Writer Charles Soule
Art by Marco Checchetto
Colors by Ares Mossa
Taking place between Star Wars Episode 1 and Episode 2 this limited series Is part of the new official Lucasfilm canon along with all new fiction novels and cartoons written post purchase. . We’re off to a great start thanks to Charles Soule. As is the tradition with all things Star Wars related, the first page involves an opening crawl just in case you somehow blocked out the events of The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan has been promoted to the rank of Jedi knight after the battle of Naboo and the death of his master and has taken on Anakin as his Padawan learner. The issue involves the pair responding to a distress call on Carnelion IV a system previously abandoned by the galactic senate and the Jedi Order. The setup ends up being a perfect gateway to fill in the backstory of what Is going on behind the scenes and how Anakin goes from the naive and innocent boy from the end of The Phantom Menace to the angsty disillusioned teenager from Attack of the Clones. There ends up being quite a few things going on below the surface that, rather than take away from the main plot and arc of Anakin Skywalker, add to why he was seduced by the dark side. In the beginning of the issue he is on the verge of leaving the Jedi Order due to issues with his training and the other Padawans.
Charles Soule is perhaps one of the best writers working for the Big Two, and despite working on what seems like half of Marvel's books right now, is able to perfectly capture the tone and feel of the prequels without pandering. Throughout each panel small hints are dropped about the disillusionment that Anakin feels and we see hints of Palpatine’s interest in him. There is also a really nice sub plot about the senate not caring about worlds that don’t have resources that can be used for the greater good, and by extension the Jedi who have to answer to the senate. I also got a kick out of seeing the struggles that Anakin had at mastering his temper, we see him very quickly mastering the use of a Lightsaber and being told many times that he is one of the strongest force users in generations but seeing him struggle with the self reflective training against negative emotions was very well done. I personally can’t wait to see where this adventure takes us since it’s a limited series and will have a definite end. Setting the story on a world that has destroyed itself due to war was a good way to keep the cast of characters small and keep things personal while also having an open canvas to show us a new alien world.
This book would be nothing without the art by Marco Checchetto, He is able to capture just enough hints of the original actors while also taking liberties when needed to de-age them to the proper ages. The detail work that he did was some of the best art I have seen in a long time, and he was able to create astonishing vistas while in the next panel bringing us back to the clean and sterile world of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, with all clean lines and muted colors. His Mace Windu alone was impressive especially capturing Samuel L. Jackson’s expressions. His previous work on Star Wars Shattered Empire was of the same, if not better quality and was able to capture the heart of all of the original cast. It would be incredibly wrong of me to talk about the art without mentioning someone who did some very fantastic work, and I would gladly frame anything he worked on and that is Andres Mossa. The amount of work he had to do to cover up the pencils and inks was no small task and he was able to do it brilliantly. To me there was almost a watercolor feel to many of the backgrounds giving it a hazy and almost dream like feel.
I would definitely say that if you have ever had any interest at all in Star Wars, or are just curious about why there was such a big jump in personalities between the movies in the prequel trilogy, I would say to pick this one up as soon as you can. My rating would be a solid four out of five, It was light on dialogue in parts, but the art and the rest of the story more than made up for it.