Star Wars: From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi – Jason Aaron, Simone Bianchi, Mike Mayhew & Salvador Larroca (Marvel)

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After years and years of guesswork, speculation and theories, one of the Star Wars sagas most beloved sons, Obi-Wan Kenobi is finally getting the back story a character of his ilk deserves. Ultimately it will be told out in the eagerly anticipated live action TV series, currently in production that will see Ewan McGregor bridge the gap between Revenge Of The Sith and A New Hope. But in the meantime, Marvel have picked up the gauntlet  and packaged together the collected stories from Star Wars #7 to #30 to make up Star Wars: From The Journals Of Obi-Wan Kenobi and if any of these cannon stories are repeated on screen, then we are in for a real treat.

Based on the journals Obi-Wan kept, mostly from his time in isolation on Tattooine and ultimately passed down to Luke Skywalker, the series of stories kick off just a few short years after the events that played out in the closing minutes of Revenge of The Sith. The task of watching over one of the force sensitive twins from afar, is proving to be a mighty challenge for the aging Jedi Master. A simple trip into the hive of scum and villainy, that is Tattooine proves too much for Kenobi as he bares witness to the ills of the desert planet, when a drought is taken full advantage of, by Jabba The Hutt’s gangsters. As we know a Jedi Master could easily put a stop to it, but this would expose him to the Empire and put young Skywalker in peril. These are the moral tests Kenobi faces. That in itself would be instant gratification for any fan of the fabled saga, who ever wondered why Kenobi is something of a hermit in the first Star Wars movie. But there’s more. His well-intentioned attempts to nurture young Luke as he grows up prove fruitless as he is constantly blocked by Owen Lars, who recognises the dangers of the boy becoming like his father. Every story is seen through the wide-eyed optimism of young Luke who is enjoying the book almost at the same rate we are. To break up the heavy emotion, there are some action-packed tales which predate the Tattoine years, including the time when Obi-Wan came to the aid of Yoda, in his younger years.

It all make for very emotional reading as we witness the deterioration of the once great Jedi and it’s credit to writer Jason Aaron, who has given so much heart to the stories, that you can’t help but feel for the old hermit. Aaron has given an already great character a whole new dimension, and perfectly captures the tone where Kenobi’s guilt, perhaps at what happened to Anakin Skywalker at his hand, makes him feel somewhat responsible for Luke. This range of emotion as well as the frantic action, is all brought together in striking style by artists including Salvador Larroca, Mike Mayhew and Simone Bianchi. Quite frankly there are stories within these pages that are better than some that have made millions at the box office, which makes this book absolutely essential for any Star Wars fan… Chris Andrews

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