Review: Kanan – The Last Padawan #2

Kanan 2 review banner

Writer: Greg Weisman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colors: David Curiel
Cover: Mark Brooks
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Kanan Jarrus is still Caleb Dume, a Jedi padawan who is just beginning to fit into his role in the galaxy when everything in his world is turned upside down.  Three words that change everything, “Execute Order 66.”  The Jedi are branded traitors and are being executed by their clone troops.

Kanan 2

Kanan – The Last Padawan #2

Last month’s first issue was a great story of a young padawan forced into war, struggling to remember the principles of the Jedi.  Issue #2 is a complete tonal shift.  Gone are the serene moments of Jedi training, replaced by the frantic struggle to survive when everything has been taken away.

The book opens on the fateful moment as the troops of Rostu Squad receive the orders.  Master Depa Billaba reacts just fast enough to hold the troopers initial attacks back, but quickly finds herself overwhelmed.  We see everything play out through Kanan/Caleb’s point of view.  His thoughts are jumbled.  The writing of his inner monologue flows in a stream of consciousness.

He manages to evade the troopers long enough to see his master get taken down.  Both the writing and the artwork push this book to be a very fast paced story.  When Master Billaba goes down we want to linger on it just like Caleb, but even we the readers do not have that luxury.  As he runs, so do we the reader.  It’s not until the last 1/3 of the book that we can take a breath.

Caleb finds someone sympathetic to him, Janus Kasmir, the one they met shortly after liberating the planet from the Separatists.  It’s not clear why he helps Caleb, maybe it’s because he still wants to stick it to the Republic/Empire or he is just a kind person.  They work out a deal so Caleb can have a safe place to rest for the night and some food.

The brief respite is interrupted by the false Jedi signal ordering all Jedi back to the temple.  I was expecting him to be more wary of the signal based on some of the early scenes in A New Dawn, but I wouldn’t fault Greg Weisman or the creators here as Caleb is probably not thinking clearly after everything that has happened.  Caleb learns quickly what he has to do to survive now, and it seems the soon-to-be-Kanan has always had a habit of acting before thinking.

Weisman’s writing is simplistic and instinctual in the best way, matching the thoughts of someone going through these horrific situations.  The art is fast and frenetic, constantly moving, never staying still or giving us a clear picture of anything.  I really enjoyed the first issue of Kanan, but I wasn’t sure about this issue at first.  It’s such a huge shift from the first issue, but it matches the action and story.  We are not only seeing these tragic events through the eyes of a child but it’s also partially told from Kanan’s memory as he remembers these fateful days.

 

4/5 Kath Hounds

4/5 Kath Hounds

About the Author

Paul joined the EUCantina staff in 2012, combining his love of Star Wars and his obsession with comic books. He has been a Star Wars fan since the early 80's and is always finding a way to tie Star Wars into every facet of his life. Paul lives in Virginia. He loves movies, plays guitar and is TK-5990, a proud member of the 501st Legion.