Marvel’s Star Wars comic books have been such an outstanding home-run thus far, and that continues here.
Star Wars #7 takes a break from the adventures happening in a time before The Empire Strikes Back, and tells a tale about a character we had not yet seen in the series: beloved Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Turns out he had kept a journal and left it for Luke Skywalker to find posthumously, containing tales of what “Old Ben” was up to in the years before the events of A New Hope.
The tale told here is that of the former Jedi general hiding away in the wasteland that is Tatooine, struggling to come to terms with the world around him that he cannot help. There is a great drought on the desert planet and the community of moisture farmers find themselves in a deadly situation. The only thing keeping these people alive is what they farm, and unfortunately Jabba’s goons take these resources as a tax.
If only there were a hero among them, one who could stand up to these thugs and ensure the safety of the people who so desperately need it. That is the conflict Kenobi finds himself entangled in and he’s not too happy about it. For him he has only as one mission: to protect the young Luke Skywalker, living in obscurity on the Lars family farm.
What Jason Aaron does with Star Wars #7 is a lot of fun and can finally put some longtime fan theories to rest. Seeing Obi-Wan struggle with not knowing how to “fade away” and how he still refers to his master’s teachings is an absolute joy. It’s dangerous territory, filling in gaps of time in the Star Wars universe, and fans are always ready to lash out when their cherished franchise is revisited. Fortunately for us, this is another well written entry in what has been a wonderfully justified adventure in a galaxy far, far away.
Another tough area to approach with this revered franchise is the art, which in this case is another big win. The planets and characters readers are familiar with come to life just as they would in the movies. This is the first we’ve really seen Kenobi at this age, in between his time as Anankin’s master and Old Ben, and he looks exactly how he should. There is a hint of the 1980s/90s comic book style in the work by artist Simone Bianchi, only met with a great modern touch. And Justin Ponsor’s colors are especially impressive during panels of Tatooine at night.
A heartfelt love letter from die hard fans for die hard fans, Star Wars #7 is a must read for any enthusiast. Not only an interesting peek at what Obi-Wan was up to all those years, but a touching tale about a man’s struggle to accept his duty as he transitions into a “forgotten relic.” Reminiscent of the times your heart smiles whenever Jim Gordon interacted with a young Bruce Wayne, and truly a great book.