Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019) No. 1 Review


Obi-Wan Kenobi struggles in his new role as Jedi Master to his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, in the latest installment of Star Wars: Age Of The Republic.

Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019) No. 1

Writer: Jody Houser

Artist: Cory Smith

Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera

Star Wars: Age of Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi cover (Credit: Marvel Comics)

Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi can’t help but compare himself to his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. The astute warrior never expected to take on a Padawan so soon, and Obi-Wan is unsure of his ability to train his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, as well as he should in Jody Houser’s Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019) No. 1.

When a new mission falls into his lap, Obi-Wan must find a way to get through to the boy, as well as prove to himself and to Master Yoda that he is worthy of being a teacher. It doesn’t help that Anakin isn’t like the other Padawans – Anakin is older, less disciplined and destined to be the Chosen One. Can anyone blame Obi-Wan for being riddled with doubt?

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fan-favorite Star Wars character, and Ewan McGregor’s interpretation of the Jedi Master was a particular highlight of the prequel trilogy. Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019) No. 1 adds further layers to him by highlighting his struggle with Anakin.

Over the course of the prequel trilogy, Obi-Wan and Anakin’s relationship grew from barely tolerating each other to angsty father-son, before evolving into one of brotherly love. Their past and future together are hinted at in this issue which is heavy on characterization over story. This is where Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019) No. 1 excels.

Houser’s brilliance has always been in her perceptive understanding of people – it’s what makes her characters come alive on the page. She was partially successful at this in the Darth Maul installment of the series, and manages to best that in this book.

Obi-Wan is a man with a purpose, but he is also young and inexperienced. He expected to have Qui-Gon by his side, but he was ripped away from him. And Obi-Wan is still trying to deal with that loss and its consequences. The subtext of this issue reads like a new parent trying to build a bond with their stepchild while also working through their own grief. After all, Anakin was supposed to be Qui-Gon’s Apprentice; Obi-Wan only took him on as a promise to his dying Master. Houser imagines what effect these decisions would have had on the principal players in Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019) No. 1.

Obi-Wan and Anakin in Star Wars: Age of Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (Credit: Marvel Comics)

While the art in this series has purposefully avoided recreating the faces of the film actors, Obi-Wan’s dialogue is reminiscent of Ewan McGregor’s style of speech. This helps to capture the feel of George Lucas’ Star Wars films from a different perspective. Cory Smith and his art team beautifully reimagine the galaxy far, far away – the flashback to Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is accurately rendered, as is the Jedi Temple Library, which looks like it could have been a concept art piece from the films.

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It’s hard not to fall in love with this particular installment of the series, especially since it carries the weight of more than 40 years’ of knowledge about the Star Wars universe. Houser ably hits the reader in the feels with the interactions between Obi-Wan and Anakin and how the two of them band together to become an unstoppable force against the Sith. Well, at least they tried to, in any case.

Star Wars: Age Of The Republic has been improving with every issue, and that is definitely a good sign. It also seems like Marvel realized the grammatical error in the title for the series and have retroactively added an article before ‘Republic’. Despite that, there was no change made to the comic book cover of this Obi-Wan issue, which makes one think Marvel needs to be less in a hurry to release new content and work on producing the quality that decades of fans have come to expect.

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Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Obi-Wan Kenobi (2019) No. 1 was such an outstanding look at the character of Obi-Wan that it is a pity his Master had not been given the same treatment in the first issue of the series. Having said that, Qui-Gon’s legacy and integrity continue to shine through his former apprentice and will probably play a part in the forthcoming installments in this series. The addition of the character histories at the end of each book is also a wonderful way for readers to learn about how these characters were developed and evolved into the ones we love. If Obi-Wan is anything to go by, this series is headed for great heights.