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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.