– Spoiler Review –
Obi-Wan & Anakin #3 deepens the mystery and intrigue in the ‘present’ surrounding the planet Carnelion IV, provides a more ‘honest’ look at the titular character’s feelings about their situations in life, while Palpatine’s time with Anakin in flashbacks fantastically lives up to high expectations.
Safe for the time being in their cobbled together airship, Obi-Wan and Anakin split up aboard the ship and are put under scrutiny by their new friends. While the previous issues have focused on Obi-Wan and Anakin’s dynamic together, #3 looks at each character’s feelings on their current situation alone, where they can be more honest about things than when they are together. Obi-Wan chats with Grecker, a member of the Closed, and he’s more forth coming than I would’ve expected him to be. But it’s obvious from his chat with Grecker he’s looking for some unbiased opinions on certain matters, as well as someone to bounce his thoughts off of, and sees the curiously interested travelling companion as a suitable outlet. Obi-Wan reveals he doesn’t believe he has the answers Anakin needs for all his questions, but his duty and honor to his now-dead Master Qui-Gon keep him from giving up on being the Chosen One’s Master. This isn’t particularly new news, as he’s said as much before in films, books, and The Clone Wars, but it’s his admittance that things will get “…complicated,” if he fails Anakin by not convincing him to stay with the Order which is both new and interesting. The Jedi, though ambivalent to Anakin’s Chosen One status, are betting heavy on Anakin to pull through for them, so could “complicated” mean Obi-Wan or someone else will be tasked with leaving the Order with Anakin to keep a watchful eye over him? Ensure he isn’t influenced by the Sith or other sinister parties? If so, how ironic is it that keeping him in the Order is what allows such influences to set their hooks in Anakin in the first place? Or does “complicated” mean the Jedi will take to more drastic measures to ensure the possible Chosen One stays under their sway? I imagine the answer will be found before this series is through.
Obi-Wan, in his discussion with Grecker, seems to partly answer why Anakin wants to leave the Jedi Order, saying Anakin’s impatience for the Jedi’s lengthy teachings are what’s causing him to strike out on his own so he doesn’t have to wait to find his potential. On the airship, Kolara cozies up to Anakin as he sets about spending their down time absentmindedly fixing things (as we know he likes to do from the first two prequels). Anakin tells her of his disappointment that the Jedi can’t do as much as he had always hoped they could, as he’s expressed to Obi-Wan in the previous issues, and Kolara sees the potential to focus his skills and allow him to feel like he’s helping people. Mother Pran tests his abilities, asking him to fix a broken droid’s brain, and quickly asks him to stay and help with more once she sees how proficient he is at repairing technology (which brings up the question where she got the droid brain and why she has more). Anakin, eager to learn at his own pace and do his own thing, while still helping people like a Jedi should, eagerly jumps at the opportunity seeing as he believes he won’t be a member of the Order for much longer. But she’s not the only one we see appeal to Anakin’s goodhearted nature and desire to helps others…
In #2, Palpatine took Anakin under his wing for the first time, venturing down in the Coruscant underworld to Club Kasakar. Charles Soule, who got to bring Palpatine to life briefly in the Lando series, gets to delve deeply into the character and shows a creepily, but entertaining, understanding of the Sith Lord and his methods for manipulation. It stands to reason Palpatine would start off gaining Anakin’s trust and respect by having him actually do good things, as here he gets Anakin to Force-adjust some chance cubes to set back a corrupt Senator. Sure, the Senator could be corrupt in a way that is actually for the greater good and against Palpatine’s Sith-ly intentions, but I doubt it as Anakin would surely find out he was being played by Palpatine. The whole way Palpatine explains the situations, ‘delicately’ and ‘accidentally’ bringing up slavery to get Anakin’s emotions at the forefront, then slowly layering on the injustices the particular Senator was causing in his greedy/corrupt squalor was a sight to behold and enjoyable to read. The audacity of it all, baiting Anakin with ways to cure injustices, only to switch those injustices when his trust is fully invested in Palpatine later on, proves how cunning of an opponent the Sith Lord truly was for the Jedi (and how unprepared anyone, even Obi-Wan was, to help prevent such manipulations). The scene in #3 mimics much of what Palpatine will say to Anakin going forward, especially in those final days of Anakin’s life during Revenge of the Sith, and getting to see when he sinks those hooks in young Skywalker is a pure delight.
The Jedi’s inability to be open with one another in the prequel-era is highlighted in Obi-Wan and Anakin’s interactions with the others on their journey. Apart, Obi-Wan is more open and honest about his feelings towards being Anakin’s Master, especially when it comes to his doubts about his own abilities, but if he told Anakin such things who knows how differently events would’ve unfolded. Without Obi-Wan around, Anakin is more easily influenced by others (I’ll talk about Palpatine in a moment), as they always seem to promise him the chance to do things now, without waiting for more training. I found myself realizing the two factions on Carnelion IV, the Open and Closed, could be used to describe the relationships in Anakin’s life: The Jedi are Closed towards Anakin, keeping his and their emotions out of their interactions, while not recognizing the need to think outside the box on training such an unorthodox Padawan; And Palpatine is open with Anakin, admitting many of his own faults and desires (though obviously not in the most truthful manner), while not forcing Anakin to be patient/wait for more training. I might be stretching with the analogy, but it can’t be coincidence that the figurative Open (Palpatine) and the literal Open (Kolara and Pran) both manipulate and take advantage of Anakin’s abilities and naivety for their own personal gain.
See, by the end of the issue, Anakin is kidnapped by the two Open women. While under attack by the creatures seen so ominously staring up at the airship at the end of issue #2, Kolara disarms Anakin by being an intoxicating influence (like Padmé) and Pran knocks him out. They escape aboard a detachable glider, using its minigun to blow up the airship with Obi-Wan and Grecker still aboard. Can Obi-Wan survive?!? Sure, but how he goes about doing so and what he does to get Anakin back should be entertaining, to say the least.
Here are a few other things:
- What’s with all the jewelry/pendants being a bad thing, you might ask? I’m not entirely sure either, but I have my thoughts: All I know is one was seemingly delivered to their airship (who would do that…and why?) and Kolara isn’t supposed to have the one she’s hiding on her person. In the very first panel of the issue, the giant, broken statue, looks to be wearing a similarly styled pendant/necklace. Could whatever caused the destruction of the planet/the release of the toxic cloud, be tied to whomever/whatever wore such jewelry in the first place?
- Senator Colandrus, who Palpatine manipulates Anakin into messing with, is a species first seen in The Force Awakens. The Tarsunt in TFA was only glimpsed briefly during the scene set on Hosnian Prime and it was the New Republic Chancellor Villecham.
- I’m really digging Checchetto’s work on each character’s faces, as well as the choice to hide Palpatine’s face with the hood much like Obi-Wan’s in the previous issues.
Palpatine begins his tutelage of Anakin in the most manipulative way possible and the mystery of Carnelion IV only gets more complicated when the Open kidnaps Anakin in another solidly entertaining issue of Obi-Wan & Anakin.
+ Palpatine sinking in his hooks
+ Obi-Wan and Anakin apart highlights some of their issues
+ Mystery of planet gets more intriguing with Anakin’s capture
CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Obi-Wan & Anakin
#1 | #2 | #4 | #5 | Full Series (#1-5) Review by Chris
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-10)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (Arc Review by Chris) (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30)
Annual: #1 | #2
Han Solo (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)