WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: Age Of The Republic - Obi-Wan Kenobi #1 from Jody Houser, Cory Smith, Wilton Santos, Walden Wong, Java Tartaglia and VC's Travis Lanham, on sale now.
Following a dive into the past of Qui-Gon Jinn, Marvel's Star Wars: Age Of The Republic #1 offers some insight into the early days of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Set in the time between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, it should sate fans who are still waiting -- apparently in vain -- for that solo flick starring Ewan McGregor.
But as much as folks thought it may be a story akin to what we saw in Star Wars Rebels, detailing Obi-Wan's formative years fighting with the clones and for the Republic, this tale is as just as much Anakin Skywalker's story. Not only do we see their father-son bond developing, we're actually privy to Anakin's very first Jedi mission.
This one-shot deals with Obi-Wan's doubt as to whether he could fill Qui-Gon's shoes after Darth Maul killed the Jedi Master. He doesn't believe he can live up to the honor, respect and the rebel status of the legend, but nonetheless, he's trying. When he gears up to leave for a mission to Dallenor to investigate an excavation that unearthed a Jedi Holocron (information-storing devices seen in Rebels), Anakin asks to go. However, his teacher feels it's too early.
Seeking Yoda's counsel, the sage tells Obi-Wan they can't stifle someone who has the powers of the Chosen One. What's more, Anakin is right -- he's light years ahead of his peers, as evidenced by his skill with the Force. They agree to let the boy go on the trip, as Obi-Wan thinks it'll be more diplomacy than anything else. The excited Anakin, in what's an unofficial graduation, even asks to pilot the ship, but is turned down because, let's be real -- this isn't pod-racing.
En route, they have an emotional exchange which sees Anakin falling out with his mentor. He thinks Obi-Wan inherited him from Qui-Gon and that he's obligated to train him. When the elder Jedi tries to make it clear that Anakin's not a burden, things get a little testy, but eventually they warm back up to each other. As they reach their destination, though, Obi-Wan's fears come to life as pirates -- the Krypder Riders -- attack, trying to steal the artifact.
He takes out most of the raiding party in non-lethal fashion, but one manages to hold Anakin hostage with a blade to his throat. As Obi-Wan negotiates for the kid's release, we see rocks rising up behind the criminal, only to smash into his head and knock him unconscious. It seems Anakin is finally able to channel his training sessions and put it into practical use. Obi-Wan's impressed with him, but as they depart, the boy confesses something dire.
Ani tells Obi-Wan he's sorry for freezing up in battle, as he left his master to take their foes on, solo. Obi-Wan, however, consoles him as he clearly wants Ani to be more than a child soldier, reassuring him he's on the right path. To seal their success, he lets Ani pilot his vessel, cementing his role as a father figure to the boy. Ani himself said they were meant to cross paths and save each other, so to him this is all destiny.
It's a great snapshot into their warmth and love for each other, especially knowing how they'd fall out in the future. With Obi-Wan leaving him burning to death on the fire-planet, Mustafar, Ani then becoming Darth Vader and eventually killing off the Jedi, including his former master, we can't help but look on in awe at their peaceful days. Especially from a story like this, no one could fathom what would happen years later when young Skywalker decided to walk on the Dark Side.