STORY BY Jason Aaron
ART BY Simone Bianchi
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
What would you do, left on a dessert planet, charged with looking after the New Hope for the galaxy without drawing attention to yourself? This is the quandary facing Obi-Wan Kenobi who is just a trifle bored of sitting in the sun, working on his tan. He is facing a bit of a crisis, that being how can he be a Jedi but not take the actions expected of a Jedi?
Marvel are the undisputed King of “What could’ve happened”, having been doing it, initially with the Star Wars saga back in the 70’s. The trick, of course is to try and tell a story that isst within the specific time frame, this time we are between Episodes 3 and 4, without contradicting what is yet to come. This is no mean feat, but the Star Wars powers that be are managing this quite well, what with the success of the cartoon Clone Wars and now Rebels, which recently featuring a pretty impressive Darth Vader showdown.
Back to this book, Jason Aaron is on hand to tell this story, from the Journals of Obi-Wan, and manages to convey the frustration that Obi-Wan is feeling. Here Obi-Wan is challenged not by action taken, but by not taking action. Of course, this being Star Wars, it is not too long before a Skywalker is in trouble. This time around however, young Skywalker may indeed bring balance to the Force or at least to the part of it residing out in the Dune Seas. Aaron’s script and plot are both well-conceived, helping to create a more interesting Tatooine than we have seen before.
Simone Bianchi is on art duties and at first you may be put off by his distinctive style, which has graced a number of covers on a number of books across the big two divide. But once you get into the book, you see that the choice is somewhat inspired. Living on Tatooine is a hard thing to do, and all the characters, including Obi-Wan have that weathered look of people living in extremes. Coupled with this clarity of vision is Bianchi’s layouts which help keep the story moving along. It may not be the frenetic pace you’d expect from a Star Wars story, but it’s the pace that is required for a story which is all about patience
The Star Wars books have been a mixed bag for me. This sort of adventure is more appealing as it covers things that don’t raise those nasty continuity questions. With the new movie out later this year, expect the normal Marvel glut of product. I just hope that they don’t lose the quality in all the hype.