– Spoiler Review –
In Kanan #10, Caleb Dume, his master Depa Billaba, and their clones find surprises awaiting them on Mygeeto in a solid entry in the exceptional Kanan series’ last arc.
While the Kanan series primarily takes place in the title character’s past, there are still parts of it which take place in the Star Wars Rebels season 1 ‘present.’ Things are heating up there, as Kanan still recovers from a knife to the back in a bacta tank while the rest of the Ghost crew find themselves in a seemingly impossible battle against attacking stormtroopers. The swipe/dissolve (or whatever you want to call it) was one of the series’ best, as we got a panel of Kanan and Caleb’s faces aligned in the center of the page, one where Kanan’s eye rests shut while the other has Caleb’s eye wide open. Pepe Larraz has done stupendous art for the series and even in the subtle moments like this one, he excels.
Just as the art continues to be great each issue, Greg Weisman’s writing is entertaining and his plotting well-paced, and it’s no better exemplified in an exchange between Depa and Caleb mid-issue. After they clear away some nearby Separatist forces, Caleb questions Depa about her missing robes, which she calls a ‘sacrifice’ from the battle, prompting her to have a deeper discussion with him. She warns him that not all sacrifices will be as minuscule as what happened to her robes, indicating grave losses will be involved, and then she says the most curious thing of all to him, “But that must not prevent the true Jedi from taking risks…from surrendering oneself to a higher purpose.” Upon those words, Caleb gets a vision of the future, of Order 66, without realizing it yet. The fact that he has that vision and doesn’t quite understand Depa’s words almost makes it seem like Depa was talking to Kanan, not Caleb. As if she somehow knew not only part of his future, but of her own as well, and wanted him to have the idea of how her sacrifice, and the ones he might have to make down the line, would always be worth it if it’s to assist the Force’s whims.
The ‘Third Battle of Mygeeto,’ goes rather smoothly for their team, but as is their lot in life (see Kardoa in #9 and Kaller in #1), things go south in the most unexpected way. Caleb, Depa, Captain Styles, and Stance (the trooper who saved Caleb last issue) are stranded on a mesa platform deliberately by the Separatist forces, who start to attack the outnumbered group. Things look dire, with air support from Commander Grey possibly too far out for them to hold out for, but Skull Squadron comes to the rescue in the nick of time. This Squadron isn’t a clone trooper one, but instead it’s a Mandalorian squad led by Fenn Rau, a character to be seen in Star Wars Rebels S2 episode, “The Protector of Concord Dawn.” During the Clone Wars (as seen in the TV show), Mandalore is widely a peaceful planet due to Duchess Satine’s leadership…until Darth Maul teams up with the mercenary group intent on bringing back Mandalore’s warrior past, Death Watch. How things are on the planet after Darth Sidious takes care of his old apprentice’s meddling was never revealed (though a line from Captain Rex in “The Lost Commanders” points out there was a Siege of Mandalore at one point later in the war), so why and how Fenn is out fighting will remain a mystery…probably until I watch the latest episode. I’ll update this after I’ve seen it and review it. UPDATE: It turns out Rau was a pilot instructor for the Republic Army during the Clone Wars, as he’s part of the Protectors, a group of Mandos who make their own rules. By the Rebels episode, he’s working for the Empire and comes head to head with Sabine and Kanan (who manages to finally thank Rau for helping him and Depa out…until he captures Rau). Why this issue couldn’t have slipped in a reference to who or what exactly Rau was part of, I don’t know, but it certainly would’ve been nice and not made his appearance such a Deus Ex Machina moment.
Other than a helpful Mando surprise, a return to the Republic’s unoccupied base camp results in a Separatist ambush, leaving Stance dead at the tip of a Kage warrior’s blade (could it be Colonel Coburn Sear, who’s brother died in an attack on the Jedi Temple in #7?). Caleb finds his newest friend dead in his arms and a warrior to battle, while Depa finds herself with an opponent herself: General Grievous. Kanan‘s first arc, “The Last Padawan,” was notorious for the exciting cliffhangers were things seemed to only get worse for the heroes and issue #10 returns to that format in spectacular fashion.
Here are a few other things:
- I really need to start realizing an issues’ cover doesn’t always necessarily represent a moment from the issue on hand i.e. Caleb and Grievous do not duel here…not yet at least.
- Third Battle of Mygeeto? I wonder what number it was up to by the time we see Ki-Ad-Mundi there during Order 66 (as seen in Revenge of the Sith)?
- When Caleb points out to Stance that he’s older than the clone, I realized I never quite thought of it that way. I always knew they had accelerated aging, but it was just weird to consider Stance might only be 5 or so, technically speaking.
- Issue #11 will likely wrap up the Caleb-set part of the series, while #12 will wrap up events in the ‘present’ on Kaller, much like how the first arc’s issues played out. Too bad this will be the last arc.
- It seems Weisman wasn’t aware the Rebels episode and issue #10 would release on the same day; The Force works in mysterious ways!
Kanan #10 isn’t without its moments, even if they’re mainly to shuffle our characters into their fateful meetings for one part of the finale.
+ ‘Cliffhanger’ ending
+ Sacrifice talk
– Lack of Rau info/Deus Ex Machina moment
CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood: #7 | #8 | #9 | #11 | #12
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#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) | Annual: #1
Poe Dameron (on-going)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)