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

by Dennis Keithly

Obi-Wan learns the difficulty of letting go and the pitfalls and fears of being a mentor in Age of Republic: Obi-Wan Kenobi #1.

This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Age of Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi #1.

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

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

Writer: Jody Houser | Peniclers: Cory Smith; Wilton Santos | Inker: Walden Wong | Colorist: Java Tartaglia | Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera | Production Designer: Anthony Gambino | Editor: Mark Paniccia | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman

Jody Houser’s Star Wars: Age of Republic series enters its third issue with Star Wars: Age of Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi #1. The previous two issues, Qui-Gon Jinn #1 and Darth Maul #1, dealt with the theme of the relationship between the light side and dark side of the Force and that blind adherence to one risks falling to the other. With Obi-Wan Kenobi #1, the theme shifts to that of masters and apprentices, mentors and mentees, students and teachers. Obi-Wan Kenobi learns a valuable lesson: fear of failure in oneself impacts those he strives to teach.

Kenobi’s Conundrum

Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 begins with Obi-Wan meditating at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. By his side is Anakin. Obi-Wan remarks that although Anakin excels at his training, Obi-Wan feels an unease. Another Jedi interrupts their meditations with a mission for Obi-Wan from the Jedi Council. This mission requires Obi-Wan to travel to Dallenor and investigate a potential Jedi artifact. Over Anakin’s objection, Obi-Wan elects to leave Anakin behind.

However, Yoda offers a new perspective on this decision. When Yoda challenges him, Obi-Wan responds that Anakin isn’t ready. Yoda retorts that a student needs his master’s belief, and if Obi-Wan is going to train Anakin, then he needs to train him well. After all, a poorly trained Jedi is a threat to himself and others.

With Yoda’s advice in mind, Obi-Wan changes his decision. Anakin accompanies him to Dallenor.

Star Wars: Age of Republic - Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 - Qui-Gon trains Obi-Wan

The Insecurities of a Nervous Master

Anakin is overjoyed by Obi-Wan’s change of heart. As the pair travels to Dallenor, Obi-Wan reflects on his relationship with Anakin. At this point of Obi-Wan Kenobi #1, Obi-Wan says a few things that confuse Anakin and feed his insecurities. First, Obi-Wan responds to Anakin’s thanks by responding that Yoda agreed it was time. Anakin likely took this message that Yoda made Obi-Wan take him. That wasn’t what Obi-Wan meant. Next, after Anakin asks about Obi-Wan’s life before the Jedi, Obi-Wan responds it is the only life he has ever known. This raises doubts in Anakin because his previous life was that of a slave. In addition, Obi-Wan’s attempt to reassure Anakin fails. The delivery was the key. Obi-Wan pointed out that Qui-Gon chose him. He failed to mention that he believed in Anakin. Once again, Anakin hears that Obi-Wan’s actions are the result of the choices of others. He storms off believing that Obi-Wan feels he was “stuck” with Anakin when Qui-Gon died. Again, this isn’t what Obi-Wan meant.

Perhaps there is something subconsciously at work here. During this conversation, Obi-Wan reflects that Yoda was right. Anakin needs a different type of training. Plus, he isn’t the same type of teacher Qui-Gon was. These statements are key. Obi-Wan is insecure. He revered Qui-Gon. The Jedi believe Anakin is the chosen one. Therefore, Obi-Wan is feeling compounding pressures. First, he wants to honor his master’s choice and train Anakin. Second, he wants to live up to Qui-Gon’s ideal. However, he doesn’t think he can. He was young when he became Anakin’s master. Third, there is tremendous pressure in training the “Chosen One.” What if he messes it up?

Pirate Attack

Eventually, Obi-Wan Kenboi #1 sees Anakin and Obi-Wan arrive on Dallenor. While Obi-Wan investigates the Jedi artifact: an ancient Jedi Holocron, Anakin eagerly accepts Obi-Wan’s suggestion to stand guard. Before long, pirates attack the archaeological dig site. Obi-Wan fights them off, but Anakin is taken hostage by a pirate. Using his abilities in the Force, Anakin frees himself with some Force telekinesis while Obi-Wan attempted a negotiation.

Star Wars: Age of Republic - Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 - "Hello there."

Confessions of a Jedi Master

Once their mission is concluded, Obi-Wan and Anakin have a heart-to-heart conversation. Obi-Wan commends Anakin for his actions, but Anakin is dejected. He froze up. He confesses he wasn’t ready. Ob-Wan, however, admits otherwise. He reassures Anakin he was ready long before that day. Furthermore, it wasn’t Obi-Wan that was stuck with Anakin as a student; it was the other way around. Anakin was stuck with Obi-Wan as a teacher. Obi-Wan then admits his self-doubt: if he couldn’t save Qui-Gon, how could he possibly protect a student? The master and apprentice then vow to save each other. Finally, Obi-Wan learns to stop comparing himself to Qui-Gon.

Final Thoughts on Age of Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi #1

Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 is another outstanding issue of the Age of Republic series. As with the prior two issues, Jody Houser expertly explores a theme while crafting an excellent Star Wars adventure. In the films, Anakin and Obi-Wan had a complicated but brotherly relationship. That comes through here. This series is a wonderful set of character studies combined with thematic development. Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 ends on a somewhat ominous note. After Obi-Wan acknowledges he isn’t the same teacher as Qui-Gon, he notes he is the teacher Anakin has. He states he won’t fail Anakin again. Not that Anakin’s eventual fall to the dark side is entirely Obi-Wan’s fault, but this doesn’t work out as well as he hoped. Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 is an expertly crated tale supported by fantastic art from Cory Smith and Wilton Santos. Obi-Wan and prequel trilogy fans should love it.

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