Story: Greg Weisman
Art: Pepe Larraz
What They Say:
The Jedi Order is disbanded or dead! The Republic has fallen! Caleb Dume enters the dark times of the Galactic Empire!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The first couple of issues of Kanan have been a good bit of fun as it introduced us to the period just after Order 66 hi and we saw the end of the Jedi as a large organization. With its focus on Caleb in his pre-Kanan time period, it was interesting to see him as this padawan that only really knew what his master and instructor told him and hadn’t learned at that point to really stand for himself and to find his own direction. He did well in surviving so far of course, considering how badly things were going down across the galaxy, but he ended up in some bad situations that he made worse by not thinking about what he was doing. Which is what lead him back to Coruscant, which was pretty much the worst place in the galaxy to go.
This installment takes us a bit further down Caleb’s path as he looks for sanctuary for the moment and some form of a path to follow. His escape from Coruscant isn’t that much of a surprise since we know he’s got more adventures ahead, and it’s mostly just luck that lets him get out of the way. He’s got few options since he doesn’t know much of the galaxy proper at this young stage of his life, so he ends up going back to Kaller of all places. It has its haunting memories with what happened to his master, but Caleb is also hoping in the back of his mind that Kasmir may be able to help him. And it is amusing that when Kasmir does find him, since his ship lands so obviously, that Kasmir knows exactly what it is that Caleb is looking for. And refuses it outright, since he doesn’t want to be tied to any Padawan and what may happen because of that.
Kanan’s tenacious personality is what comes into play here as we see him inserting himself slowly but surely into Kasmir’s life, and he does end up taking a role with him as a partner of sorts for awhile. This starts some of the changes for Caleb to become Kanan as he changes his appearance that we know from the TV series, albeit younger, but also a growing confidence. He knows that a life as a thief and pirate of sorts is not what he was intended for, but he’s grabbing onto anything that works and provides some form of stability for him. It’s fun to watch it, and his internal narration with what he’s grappling with about it. Of course, it all has to go off the rails at some point, as you have Caleb tied to a less than reputable person, and seeing it unfold and the panic in his eyes is a hoot.
Changing the direction of Caleb’s life here is definitely fun to watch as we see him doing what he can to find some sort of path and stability and finding little in the galaxy now that the Jedi are gone. His time alone really shows the kind of fear that he’s coping with and it certainly feels right considering the way everything has fallen apart. As it progresses and we see him gaining confidence, it’s giving us a bit more clarity with the character we know in the TV series, which is nicely done. The story here is straightforward to be sure, but it moves smoothly and delves into the feelings and themes well to make him an engaging character. Pepe Larraz’s artwork really elevates it as well as the backgrounds are fantastic and the overall character design and layouts of the book makes it a great read on the first, second and third time as you notice more and more little details. There’s a lot to like and mine here to be sure.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: June 10th, 2015