kanan #2

Kanan The Last Padawan

Writer : Greg Weisman

Artist : Pepe Larraz

Colorist : David Curiel

Cover by: Mark Brooks

To say I’m a fan of hooks and homages in Star Wars lore is an understatement. As a huge Everquest fan in the late 90’s and early 2000’s seeing what Tony Garcia and Bill Trost did with just the lore of a D&D game campaign they made and turned into a multi million player franchise (with Steve Clover/Brad McQuaid and John Smedley’s help) gives me that warm fuzzy feeling like I just ate the exact right portion of macaroni and cheese. They were able to put in hidden quests and stories not readily given to normal players but were there if someone was enough of a lore hound to find it out.

This was some of what I came across in Kanan #2.

As we pick up this issue order 66 has just been issued and jedi all over the galaxy are being slain in Palpatine’s own night of long knives. Depa Billaba is no exception to this order. During the attempt by the clone troopers to slay the jedi master and padawan Caleb has thoughts on what is going through his mind and how some of the clones had been his friends. How some of them he had shared a meiloorun fruit with (see rebels episode Fighter Flight). His self observations and introspective of his personal situation carry on a while even when his master falls. It gives the reader a better idea of what Kanan’s time before the clone wars was but it’s very brief.

Hiding in the gutter of Plateau city Caleb is found by one of the locals of the planet Kaller named Janus Kasmir. He gives young hungry and smelly Caleb a piece of fruit that looks very much like the previously mentioned meiloorun fruit (as seen in Rebels) that Caleb wolfs down nearly instantly.

Kasmir allows Caleb some shelter to sleep but soon Caleb gets his return call from the jedi temple on Coruscant. Kasmir tells him what most would to a padawan that’d get them arrested or killed for helping them that he doesn’t do the core. Caleb now dressed as the worst looking Jawa ever decides that with the clones lurking near it’s time to take matters (and Kasmir’s ship the Kasmiri) into his own hands and heists it. Kasmir kind of had it coming, he literally told Caleb a few moments before that Caleb will have to learn to survive in the galaxy even if that means to lie, cheat and steal.

Caleb learned fast. Taking the ship and lifting off as Kasmir was out on the landing pad arguing with Captain Styles over searching his vessel. A few (or many is doesn’t specify) hours in hyperspace and the return signal from the jedi temple changes to Obiwan Kenobi with the warning message.

If you seen Revenge of the Sith you know as I do that we don’t actually get to see Obiwan record the warning message we just have his dialogue with Yoda explaining he changed it. However if you have seen the first hour long movie/episode of Rebels you get to see and hear the warning message recording voiced by great voice actor James Arnold Taylor. So when reading the panels when Caleb’s signal changed from a ping message to Obiwan’s hologram I had seen it before in Rebels. However remembering the message was also from Kanan’s holocron in Rebels it kept the sincerity to it.

I regret to report that both our Jedi Order and the Republic have fallen, with the dark shadow of the Empire rising to take their place. This message is a warning and a reminder for any surviving jedi: Trust in the Force. Do not return to the temple. That time has passed and our future is uncertain. Avoid Coruscant avoid detection be secret but be strong. We will each be challenged: Our trust, our faith, our friendships but we must preserve and in time a new hope will emerge. May the force be with you.”

correct mac&cheese portion: achieved.

It was nice to see the slightly extended version of the warning message from Greg Weisman from the shorter one Rebels had in it even though the Rebels one gave me that shivery feeling when I first heard it. This was the kind of hook I spoke about in the beginning of this review. Even though it’s not a subtle message in the story but a poignant footnote it certainly links with Rebels nicely as did the meiloorun reference.

The final page shows Caleb exiting hyperspace outside of Coruscant and instantly surrounded by clone fighters alerted to his jump from Kaller because of a holonet alert that went out for the Kasmiri vessel that fled.

I have to say the writing is excellent, as well as Larraz’s art style. I’m not really able to find anything to gripe about this issue even though that’s my usual modus operandi. Subtle hints of lore and stories from other great adventures and tales mixed into a current one is what lead me to 12 years of Everquest playing and may lead to as much Kanan reading… this is a good thing.

See ya in 30!