A Comic Panel Far Far Away: An Unexplored Era Revealed In ‘Star Wars: Obi-Wan And Anakin’

by Tony Thornley

Today is May the Fourth. A day to celebrate all things from a galaxy far, far away. And, as Star Wars has such a long and successful history in comics, so we thought it would be fun to visit some classic stories from the past, present and future of the franchise.

Of the main timeframe explored in the Star Wars films, a total of about seventy years, two chunks of time are mostly undocumented. One of those- the time between Return of Jedi and The Force Awakens – is slowly having the gaps filled in. However the other, the time between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, has not really been seen. 

That’s one of the things that makes Obi-Wan and Anakin so interesting. This miniseries is created by a team of superstars. It’s written by Charles Soule, with line art by Marco Checcetto, color art by  Andres Mossa, and letters by Joe Caramagna.

A few years after the event of The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan continues to train young Anakin Skywalker. The young man’s heart has driven him to want to leave the order. However, the two is sent on what is possibly their final mission as Jedi to respond to a Jedi distress call on the planet of Carnelion IV…

Soule creates one of the most interesting challenges we’ve seen Jedi face. The cliched route for this story would have been a supernatural threat, or yet another Dark Jedi. Here though, he crafts an interesting conflict between the people of Carnelion IV, represented by two overzealous factions who have bombed their world back into the industrial age. It’s a fascinating setting, the first time that I can think of that we’ve seen something resembling steampunk in the Star Wars Universe.

That setting creates a fantastic canvas for the character conflict to come. Soule avoids the cliche route here as well, as many may have seperated the title characters for the duration of the series, but instead builds the story around these two heroes forging the bond that was the foundation of their relationship. It does have the downside of doing too much, as there are multiple plots that could use more room to develop, and the ending is quite abrupt.

Checcetto proves that he’s one of the best in the business right now. His characters are dynamic. He depicts action really well, and changes how he lays out the page depending on what the action is. For example with lightsaber combat, he uses smaller inset panels, building up to a wow moment. However, with the airship dogfights, he uses wide panels that take up the page, capturing as much detail as possible.

He also excels at character work. Though the characters aren’t lavishly rendered as the actors who portrayed them, he captures the spirit of the duo and others. Especially well done is his take on Chancellor Palpatine, creating a cunning politician whose darker motivations peek through from time to time. Paired with Mossa’s stunning colors throughout, it’s one of the best looking series to ever come from Marvel’s Star Wars line.

This story is an entertaining roller-coaster ride that definitely gets overlooked when talking about the Marvel era in Star Wars comics. It’s a thrilling action story that any fan should check out. I do wish the series had gotten more time to develop some of the conflict that the characters are going through. Even with that flaw though, I’d say it’s one of the best Star Wars stories that we’ve gotten from Marvel, and an underappreciated one at that.

Single issues of Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1-5 are available at your local comic store, as well as digitally from Kindle and Comixology. The series is collected in Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin from Marvel Comics, available at bookstores, comic stores and your favorite digital retailer.

We’d like to ask, on behalf of our friends and colleagues that own and are employed by comic shops, that you first try to get these books at your local shop. This is a very uncertain time for owners, employees, and their families. Show some love for your community and friends by buying from your regular shop when possible and safe.

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