By Jason Aaron, Simone Bianchi & Justin Ponsor
So far, Star Wars has been mostly focused on Luke Skywalker and company, but Luke, Leia and Han take a backseat for the seventh issue of Marvel’s series as the attention shifts in gears to look at Obi-Wan Kenobi. Here Marvel tells his adventures on Tatooine following the fall of the Jedi temple, which is something that many fans would like to see on the big screen with McGregor reprising his role of Kenobi in an Anthology movie similar to that of the upcoming Rogue One. The closest thing to this however, was probably the fantastic Western-esque novel by John Jackson Miller, Kenobi, which was a must read for Star Wars fans and one of the better tie-in novels that this reviewer has read from the franchise. Star Wars #7 attempts to do a Kenobi-centric story in the first issue, and thanks to the confident writing from Jason Aaron and art form Simone Bianchi and Justin Ponsor, it succeeds for the most part, delivering a fairly solid read.
The early days of Ben Kenobi are the focus of Star Wars #7 and it’s handled mostly well in the standalone issue. He isn’t as wise and as experienced as he is in “A New Hope”, and this Ben is younger and more prone to mistakes. Aaron captures the voice of the character very well and you can easily imagine McGregor playing the titular character, who’s starting to grow annoyed by the lack of justice on the planet that he’s on and the fact that Luke should be properly trained by a Jedi. If you’re familiar with Kenobi you’ll know that deep cover isn’t his speciality – he prefers the more hands-on approach, and the way his frustration is shown is handled well from both writer and artist, as Aaron and Bianchi work well to get Kenobi’s emotions across well, and getting Kenobi’s character right is important for this book because if something goes wrong given how important his character is, then the whole issue backfires. But it doesn’t, and as a result, allows for a hell of a read.
The structure of the series is also worthy of note, with the beneficial solo issues provided in-between arcs providing a nice flow throughout the issues and serves as a nice way to separate the arc before plunging us into the next one. Based on what we’ve seen here, the opportunity for Aaron to tell a story separated from the main cast of Leia, Han and Luke would be fantastic and maybe act as a gateway for the main series to drift away from the core cast in the future. There’s a lot of potential in the flagship Star Wars book, and next month will no doubt be an interesting one.
The artwork from Bianchi is really impressive as the desert is captured well by the artist, and much like John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi, the book has a distinctive Western feel. Justin Ponsor’s colours also work well, and combined, we have a pretty solid issue as a result of this artistic wise. There’s a one-page splash panel towards the end of the book depicting Kenobi in all his glory that’s one of Star Wars #7’s highlights.
In conclusion, Star Wars #7 is a really strong issue that gives us a great perspective into the life of Ben Kenobi during his early years on Tatooine. The art from Bianchi and Ponsor works well and Aaron again provides a nice story that as usual, feels very much a part of the Star Wars Universe as he gets Kenobi’s character. Readers who have been enjoying the first six issues can enjoy this book, but if you haven’t been up to date than this standalone issue is the perfect place to test this book out for yourself.