Well, it seems like that sneaky little Caleb Dume slipped through my fingers, too. Kanan: The Last Padawan #2 came out last week, and I completely missed it. I didn’t read it, I didn’t review it, and, worst of all, I let all of you Kanan fans down. Luckily, I caught up to it before the third issue, and it’s one of the best issues of the new Marvel Star Wars era. It’s fast-paced, it’s unremorsefully prequel-era, and it’s one of the most interesting stories we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe. How did the average Jedi like Caleb Dume, not legends like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, react to Order 66? This one, we find out, “unlearned” a whole lot, real fast.
In the opening pages of the issue, we finally witness Master Depa Billaba utter her famous words of warning to Kanan, “Run!” After listening to some interviews with writer Greg Weisman, I’ve gathered that he had something different in mind for Billaba’s last words until he saw the Inquisitor interrogate Kanan in the final episodes of Rebels, live on TV, just like the rest of us. While I’m sure Weisman had planned something a little more inspired, this series seems to be Weisman unhinged, unrestrained by fellow writers and the larger-than-comics television fanbase; this is Gargoyles Weisman, and I’m glad he has this opportunity to tell this story. He’s only on for a few more issues of this now-ongoing series, but I think this will be a run to remember, however brief it might be.
The art continues to be my favorite of the Star Wars series, too (I know, I know, but it’s hard not to compare them). I’m pretty well versed in modern mainstream comics, but I haven’t heard of Pepe Larraz. He can draw cool aliens, cool ships, and fluid action scenes, fitting perfectly with the Jedi superheroics and parkour of the prequel era. Oh, and about those cool ships: it seems every new Marvel Star Wars series has to include a money shot of some weird new ship. It’s starting to get gratuitous, but this ship had a pretty interesting design, almost reminiscent of Zam Wesell’s speeder in Attack of the Clones.
Caleb meets a rough-around-the-edges alien who lets his guard down to let the padawan crash in his ship, only for Caleb to steal the alien’s ship at the first sign of danger. Their interactions were brief, but Caleb still learned a quick, effective lesson in the process: lie, cheat, steal, survive. These words will become Caleb’s mantra as he transitions into Kanan Jarrus. The theft from this good Samaritan was a true shock; the fact that Caleb so quickly and completely abandons his Jedi morals shows that there is some darkness to him, and it makes me question how the “nature versus nurture” argument plays into the Force and the selection of Force-sensitive children for Jedi training.
Overall, I’m enjoying this series the most of the four Star Wars comics series. It has that meaningful, compressed storytelling and dialogue that Weisman has proved himself famous for, and the story is starting to head in some really interesting places, especially as Kanan starts to make enemies in every corner. I can’t wait to see what waits for him on Coruscant.
5 out of 5 starsPowered by Sidelines