The second issue of Marvel’s latest Star Wars miniseries, Obi-Wan and Anakin, finds the Master and Padawan right where we left them: in the middle of a really dumb fight.
Let me preface this with the fact that I’ve been in love with the creative team behind this title (with Lando’s brilliant Charles Soule writing, and artist Marco Chechetto, who brought Shattered Empire’s massive battles to life in brilliant spreads) and I still am, but much like some of the other 5-issue stories that have been released, it’s suffering from a slow start.
There’s nothing wrong with the title characters, who are forced into the midst of a feud that lacks a particular sense of depth. It’s hard to care about the conflict between the new characters, especially in the case of a miniseries, where supporting characters can often be established too quickly for their own good. Such is the case with Mother Pran, Kolara, and Grecker, who often seem more like squabbling children than warring factions.
This is not to say that this issue wasn’t enjoyable at all. Outside of being a little irked by characters who I feel I just haven’t gotten to spend enough time with (yet), the story delved deeper into Anakin’s early beginnings as a Padawan, and the signs of darkness that popped up early on, right before Obi-Wan’s eyes. While the older Jedi appears cool and collected as always, Soule’s carefully crafted dialogue alongside Chechetto’s perfectly emotional close-ups clue us into Obi-Wan’s struggles as a Jedi that forced himself to grow up far too quickly.
Coming down from The Force Awakens, Anakin’s struggles are portrayed as opposite, yet parallel to those of his grandson, Kylo Ren. Scenes like these remind us that Anakin actively struggled against the Dark Side at first. At this point in time, the boy was just trying his best to be a good student, and failing miserably against his own headstrong nature and the overwhelming potential of his power. Where Kylo so desperately wanted to force the light away, Anakin is shown trying his hardest to do the right thing, to call the light to him.
While the new characters haven’t yet stolen my heart, Obi-Wan and Anakin is doing a wonderful job of reminding me why their bond was so intriguing in the first place. It’s about two men, two brothers struggling to do their best in a time where their world was changing rapidly, and holding on to one another for support.