Kanan comes to an end.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Kanan #12 and the series overall.
Writer: Greg Weisman | Artist: Andrea Broccardo | Colors: David Curiel | Cover: Mark Brooks | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Issue twelve of Kanan brings the down the curtains on the series. The first eleven issues of the series told the story of how Caleb Dume became Kanan Jarrus. It was a story that started in the middle and through Kanan’s reflections, proceeded through the present and back through his past as a Padawan to end back at the middle and the execution of Order 66. After recuperating in a bacta tank for most of five issues, Kanan has recovered from treatment for the stab wound he suffered to his back. The Stormtroopers that threatened him and his friends have been defeated, and as the crew of the Ghost departs Kaller, Kanan and Ezra remain behind to respond to a message from Kanan Jarrus’s, not Caleb Dume’s, oldest friend, Morfizo of Moraga. Their new ally, Gamut Key, the provisional governor, provides them with a ride to Moraga to investigate.
Gamut’s ship just happens to be a call back to Legends material that may not be evident to more recent Star Wars fans. Governor Key pilots a Corellian Series Hawk series heavy fighter. While that may not sound familiar, the Moldy Crow might to fans of the Dark Forces video game series. That was the name of the starhip used by Kyle Katarn in the Legends books and games of the same name. Key’s ship bears a different color scheme, but it is undeniably from the same class of ships as the Crow, which incidentally, also made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace (just look for the ship flying away from Coruscant as the Queen’s ship arrives).
Upon arriving on Moraga, Kanan and Ezra meet Morfizia, Morfizo’s wife, and learn that Morfizo has been taken to Lahn by the Empire. Morfizo had joined a Rebel cell. If the name Morfizo does not sound familiar, the alien’s appearance might seem so. Morfizo first appeared in issue five of Kanan. However, that appearance was hardly memorable. Morfizo appeared in a single panel towards the end of the issue and was largely there to greet Caleb Dume as he arrived on Moraga. He provided Caleb an opportunity to officially adopt the name Kanan Jarrus.
After learning what has become of Morfizo, Kanan vows to rescue him and has Gamut Key take Morfizia and her children to Kaller to establish new lives with new identities. Before she departs with her children, Morfizia takes Kanan to a hanger where he recovers his old ship, the Escape, which was seen in issue five of Kanan. Morfizo has been protecting Kanan’s “baby” on and off for years just in case he might one day need it. Kanan and Ezra then depart Moraga for Lahn, where Morfizo is being held. Lahn, at least the part of Lahn that Kanan and Ezra land on, has a tropical climate. If it seems familiar, this is the planet where Caleb’s old clone trooper comrades finally caught up to him after Order 66 back in issue four of this series. Kanan devises a plan whereby Ezra will create a distraction while Kanan breaks in to the building where Morfizo is being held and rescues him.
For the most part, the plan works. Ezra is forced to improvise after the Stormtroopers guarding the facility where Morfizo is being held prove to not be so easily fooled. The big surprise of the issue is revealed after Kanan infiltrates the holding facility. Kanan quickly dispatches the Stormtroopers guarding Morfizo and comes face-to-face with an old adversary. Captain Sloane has made her return. By now, she has been promoted to Vice Admiral Sloane. Following the events of John Jackson Miller’s novel, A New Dawn, Vice Admiral Sloane made Kanan Jarrus her hobby. Apprehending and holding Morifzo was an attempt to draw Kanan out. Sloane had followed Kanan’s trail backwards in time until she found Morfizo. Prior to Kanan’s meeting Morfizo, there was no record of Kanan. Of course, Kanan did not exist prior to that.
Kanan manages to subdue Sloane and rescue his friend. As the Admiral contemplates what has transpired, the Grand Inquisitor arrives and orders her to tell him everything she knows about “her hobby.” This sequence puts a nice bow on tying the events of this comic series to Rebels. Kanan’s story thus far can be divided into three parts. Part one is the story of Kanan’s life as a Jedi Padawan named Caleb Dume. The Kanan comic series tells that story. Part two is Kanan’s life after Order 66. That story is told both in the pages of Kanan, and it is resolved in A New Dawn. Part three of Kanan’s story is his life as a Rebel and a member of the crew of the Ghost. That story is still being told on television screens in Rebels. Sloane’s appearance here officially closes part two and hands off the baton to the Inquisitor for part three.
After Morfizo has been rescued, Kanan and Ezra return him to his wife and children. One small piece of business remains. Kanan asks Ezra how he got away from the Stormtroopers. Ezra is a little fuzzy on the details. Unlike Lothal, where Ezra knows all the alleys and hiding spaces, Lahn is unfamiliar to him. Therefore, he was eventually cornered by the Stormtroopers that pursued him. Out of nowhere, a Kalleran subdued the Stormtroopers and allowed Ezra to escape. Ezra didn’t get his name, but Kanan was satisfied with the answer. Meanwhile, presumably in space above Lahn, a familiar looking ship departs from orbit. Aboard, Kleeve, the old Separatist general, is asking his partner, Janus Kasmir, why he was so late. Janus doesn’t have too much to say other than he ran into a kid that reminded him of someone he used to know, and the kid needed help. It was an incredibly satisfying conclusion to this series.
The conclusion of this series is bittersweet. On the one hand, the quality of the series was consistent throughout. From the art to the writing, it never really suffered. There didn’t seem to be an off issue. Therefore, it gets to go out on top in the sense that it hadn’t suffered a decline in story. On the other hand, it was consistently good, and it would be wonderful to get more Kanan stories from Weisman and art from Pepe Larraz (more on that in a moment). However, the comic book was about to run out of room. Kanan/Caleb’s story from his life as a Padawan to his becoming a Rebel has been told. The comic didn’t leave much room for additional stories from Kanan’s life as a Padawn; although, I would like to know the story of what exactly happened when he acquired his saber crystal. What is really left before the stories told in Rebels is what exactly Kanan and Hera were up to before they met Zeb and Sabine and before Ezra joined them on Lothal. Perhaps Weisman could tell those stories? If not, perhaps he could devote a series to Hera’s history? One can hope.
The only other criticism for the conclusion of this series is that this episode interrupts the circular narrative of the prior eleven issues. Kanan’s reflections in issue eleven brought the story full circle to the events portrayed in issue one. Therefore, the series created a circle, and the story never really ended. This issue, as the final panel suggests, really serves as an epilogue. However, stating that it was an epilogue on the final page is somewhat confusing. At first, I thought there were pages missing, or that an additional issue remained. Despite this issue operating outside the narrative structure of the prior issues, it successfully resolved other plotlines, and it further cemented this series in Kanan’s chronology.
Overall, this series has been some of the best Star Wars created by Marvel since they resumed publishing Star Wars comics last year. It was the third ongoing series to be published by Marvel, and the fourth series overall (after Star Wars, Darth Vader, and the limited Princess Leia). While Star Wars and Darth Vader brought a cinematic, space opera style to comics, Kanan brought a comic book style to Star Wars. Unlike the earlier titles, it utilized thought boxes to narrate the issue. The art style was less cinematic and resembled more of what one would be used to in a traditional comic book. It worked. It matched the tone and feel of the Rebels television series. It benefited from having Weisman, who has written for Rebels, write the series. Larraz, the primary artist for the series, has a style that complemented the animated series as well. This will likely be remembered as one of Marvel’s better series. If readers are fortunate, Weisman and Larraz will be given another opportunity to write for Star Wars in the future.
Art and Favorite Panel:
This issue of Kanan was illustrated by Andrea Broccardo. I would have liked to have seen Pepe Larraz provided the art for the final issue of this series, but Broccardo’s art is a fine compliment to Larraz’s work. Broccardo provides art that is similar to Larraz’s work in that it is less cinematic than what was provided in earlier issues of Star Wars or Salvador Larroca’s work in Darth Vader. It is perfect for a comic book. Broccardo would make a fine choice for Marvel’s future Star Wars projects.
As is usually the case with many issues, it is hard to select a favorite panel from issue twelve. Vice Admiral Sloane’s reveal was a contender, as was the Grand Inquisitor’s arrival. It was hard to not choose one of the concluding panels with Janus Kasmir. Ultimately, I settled on an action panel featuring Kanan invading the facility holding Morfizo. This was the final issue of the series devoted to Kanan after all.
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.