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Star Wars: Age of Republic - Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 Review

by Kaasen Koy on January 02, 2019

Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 Cover
Writer: Jody Houser
Pencilers: Cory Smith, Wilton Santos
Inker: Walden Wong 
Colorist: Java Tartaglia
Publisher: Marvel


After an ancient Holocron is uncovered on Dallenor, Obi-Wan is tasked with finding and defending it from local pirates in Star Wars: Age of Republic - Obi-Wan Kenobi #1.

It could be the most fun and action-packed this series has been so far — but the plot is only a backdrop for Obi-Wan to monologue and air his misgivings (and an excuse for a few panels of lightsaber action). It’s interesting to see Obi-Wan’s self-doubt and mistakes on display, but we don’t glean much more than we did from the pertinent scenes of The Phantom Menace.

It’s become a hallmark of this anthology that each issue ends with the title character learning a lesson about their role in the world. As a Jedi or as a Sith or, for Obi-Wan, as a teacher. The strangest and most persistent shortcoming of this anthology is that these lessons are incongruous or even unrelated to the trials that led to them. Here, this strange flaw rears when Anakin manages to defend himself from an attacking pirate, finally proving himself to his master and prompting Obi-Wan to commit wholeheartedly to his padawan’s training. Except — you can pick any piece of dialogue from this wordy, text-laden comic and find… Obi-Wan’s doubt doesn’t lie with his padawan but with himself. Shouldn’t Obi-Wan — the title character — be reaffirming himself or his teachings? Instead his “Chosen One" ward knocks out one two-bit pirate and all Obi-Wan’s fears are allayed.

The artwork continues to carry this series but its weaker in this issue with many smoother, less detailed panels and a jarring change in artists upon arrival on Dallenor. The overzealous pitch-black inking ruins a few images here (in particular, it gives young Anakin a full, dark beard in his last panel before landing — and I can’t believe the image made it to print). Another hallmark of this series, we get a nice spread of Obi-Wan in action and its effective, but not nearly so much as it was in the Qui-Gon or Maul issues. With a comics equivalent of shaky-cam, it’s two pages littered with images of blurred bodies and awkward positions.

Star Wars: Age of Republic - Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 feels like the first full-on misstep in the series. A wordy comic without much to say, it doubles down on the shortcomings of previous Age of Republic one-shots and lacks the inspired artwork that elevated Qui-Gon #1 and Darth Maul #1.

Our Score:

4/10

A Look Inside

Comments

Was hoping for more in a first issue for such a major character.