By Greg Weisman, Pepe Larraz & David Curiel
Kanan – The Last Padawan is the latest Star Wars comic to be released from Marvel, and with Star Wars Rebels having recently wrapped up its first season in a spectacular way, Kanan: The Last Padawan offers up a surprisingly excellent first issue that should continue to give Star Wars Rebels fans their fix. It offers a much-needed breather from the time periods between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, which both the other three Marvel comics (Princess Leia, Darth Vader and Star Wars have been set in), taking place in the middle of Order 66. This first issue from the creative team of writer Greg Weisman (also the show’s executive producer), artist Pepe Larzz and colourist David Curiel acts as a prequel for the events to come, handing the build-up to the infamous Order 66 in an excellent way.
There’s a brief opening scene set in the time period of Star Wars Rebels and from this it looks as though we’ll be getting scenes that interchange between the past and the present, however briefly. Ezra, Hera, and the whole crew are featured (even if it is only for a couple of panels) and it looks as though we’ll be revisiting Kanan’s past in both the Star Wars Rebels timeline and the past, which should prove an effective way at not only giving exploration to the character with the mysterious past, but also allowing us to spend time with some awesome characters who Star Wars Rebels fans will have really gotten to know over the course of the first season
The book takes us fifteen years prior to the events of Star Wars Rebels after pretty much the first page as we’re plunged into the thick of things on the planet Kaller. Order 66 hasn’t quite happened yet and it’s great to see how well the build-up to one of the biggest events in the history of Star Wars canon is handled, as Weisman uses the first issue to establish a bond between the padawan Kanan, who was once called Caleb Dume, and his master Depa Billaba, and even the few clones that we spend time with. Even though we know what happens next, Weisman does a really good job at creating tension.
The artwork in Kanan is impressive, visually striking and it’s clear who the Star Wars Rebels characters are, and which ones are which. Larraz handles the pencils very well, with astyle not quite similar to the Rebels and Clone Wars animated portrayals of the characters, but not entirely different either, while the book still manages to capture that similar feel of the shows. The colouring from David Curiel is really strong as well, and it’s going to be really interesting to see what new and old creations the artists can deliver, with us already being introduced to Kallerans, who are an entirely new Star Wars race, in this issue alone.
On the whole then, Kanan – The Last Padawan gets off to a strong start. There’s plenty of potential for this book to explore things in the time period of Order 66 as well as that the Star Wars Rebels timeline. The creative team is off to a good start and this book manages to hit the ground running, offering the perfect way for Star Wars Rebels fans to get their fix whilst waiting for the return of Season 2.