Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin by Charles Soule
3 out of 5 stars
Set between Episode I and II, this book compiles issues 1-5 of the Obi-Wan & Anakin comic, and, for only being five issues long it tells not only one, but two stories using an interwoven timeline format. The main story is a straightforward adventure story. Anakin and Obi-Wan are stranded on a dsytopian planet engulfed in civil war. They have to keep their wits about them to stay alive, but also stay true to the Jedi code and try attempt to create a peace. The other story, the one that is the emotional centre of the story, is one where Anakin contemplates leaving the Jedi order, and his struggles to come to terms with what he wants, and what he thinks is expected of him.
This books is written with typical comic book style. It’s slick and goes over well. Obi-Wan and Anakin are more or less in character. The author does a particularly good job on depicting Anakin as a young teen who is beginning to question his life. The early teen years can be ones of great confusion and change for many adolescents, and the author conveys those feelings with believable care. Additionally, the author portrays Palpatine beginning to groom Anakin for the Dark Side in a careful and somewhat frightening way. This book does a lot of good for Anakin’s story, and fills in the inter-movie years quite well.
Obi-Wan is actually much more of a secondary character here, so if he’s the main attraction to reading this book, you may be disappointed. He plays a reasonable and sympathetic supporting role in driving the story along, but, like the movies, this is really Anakin’s story.
Finally, the art. The art throughout this book is excellent, absolutely no complaints here. It is a comic book, so the art is stylized to advance the story (and make the characters look cool) but everyone looks quite like themselves. I especially like how Anakin looks, it’s a good blend of child and teen. The action too is easy to follow and visually spectacular. Overall, this is a fun read.
As far as things I didn’t like, the main story leaves something to be desired. It’s a fairly dull story, there isn’t a lot of interest, and outside of Anakin being kidnapped, it has very little to keep the reader engaged. The secondary flashback storyline is far more intriguing making the primary story feel that much more bland.