Star Wars Saturday REVIEWING Kanan

This is the final Star Wars review for this month's special Star Wars celebration!

Today we're talking about the Kanan Omnibus, published by Marvel comics. 

Kanan Omnibus

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Rating: T
Writer: Greg Weisman
Artists: Pepe Larraz (#1-5 & 7-11)
             Jacopo Camagni (#6)
             Andrea Broccardo (#12) 
Published: July 2016 - October 2016 

Collects: Kanan - The Last Padawan #1-6 & Kanan #7-12


Discover how Jedi Padawan Caleb Dune became Kanan Jarrus, the cocky, sarcastic renegade hero of Star Wars: Rebels! As Caleb trained under Master Depa Billaba, neither one of them ever suspected that their "loyal" Clone Troopers would turn on them upon the issuing of Order 66 - the Emperor's directive to execute all Jedi. How did Caleb Dune escape the Jedi purge? Then, journey even further back and experience Caleb's very first adventure as a Padawan, protecting the Jedi Temple alongside his new Master. As they head towards the furious Battle of Mygeeto, they'll face one of the deadliest threats in the entire galaxy - General Grievous! Bridge the gap between the Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels!



Greg Weisman has not done many Star Wars books, but he served as a writer and executive producer for the first season of Rebels. He also created and developed the 90's Disney animated series Gargoyles, which is pretty awesome. He has a couple comics and comic related editing work, but this is his main Star Wars title, and it is definitely a good one. 

Fans of Star Wars Rebels, the animated series airing on Disney XD, may be familiar with Kanan Jarrus. He is a leader of a small group of rebels trying to fight the Empire. As the synopsis says, this comic takes place before Rebels, during the time of and sometime after, the Clone Wars, although there are some quick snippets of Rebels included here and there. Kanan Jarrus is one of the few remaining Jedi and he serves as a mentor to a young boy who has the potential to become a Jedi, sort of. We don't know a lot about him in the show, just some general ideas. This comic collection brings together how Kanan got his name and went into hiding. 

The first issue opens with the announcement that Kanan's rebel crew is heading to the planet Kaller. The mention of the planet's name leads to Kanan's flashback, where we see what happened to him on that planet. Rebels is only shown on the first page of issue #1, before we come back to it in issue #6. Everything in between is the story of when Kanan was Caleb Dune, a young Padawan. He was very curious and asked a lot of questions. He questioned the council and the Jedi ways, and he asked so many questions that he was not always liked by the council and teachers. Issue #1 shows  the execution of the dreaded Order 66, which forces Caleb to go on the run. He has to hide from clone troopers he was once friends with and keep away from the Empire. During this time he runs into and ends up joining up with a smuggler. All the while, the Empire is still after him because he seems to cause quite a bit of trouble. He especially struggles with trying to reconcile his Jedi training with the things he needs to survive on the street that don't involve the Jedi way. Issue #6 shows us the moment when Caleb changed his name to Kanan Jarrus and fully started his life over. Issues #7-11 backtrack in time, showing his Jedi training up to the point when he gets a Jedi master, as well as some of the interactions he  has with his master. Issue #12 takes the story back to the Rebels timeline and shows Kanan with Ezra, picking up a ship. This issue ties things up and shows how far Kanan has come and how his past influenced what happens during this particular Rebels mission. It also shows some characters that are familiar from the show. 

While the stories are really intriguing and fill in several gaps in the timeline, the art is what really stands out to me. The art is clean and smooth, while having really balanced action effects that stick out, but not overly. What I also like about this volume is that it includes not just the covers of the original issues, but also some of the variants. It is interesting to see the different tones that the same story can take and the cover art is exceptional. Issue #12 appears slightly more cartoony than the previous issues in the volume, but this is understandable since Rebels is first and foremost an animated show for slightly older children (8-14 maybe?), so it isn't overly childish, but still not as "realistic" in art style as previous comic versions of Star Wars. I also like the incredibly short inclusion of sketches and art from two of the artists for the series. While it is only 4 quick pages at the end, the sketches are really neat to see. I've been a long time fan of seeing concept art for movies and comics, so I thought it was a nice little touch to include in the volume. 

This volume will be most enjoyed by fans of Star Wars Rebels. The issues that don't include the show are really interesting on their own, probably for any Star Wars fan, but the parts that tie back to Rebels wouldn't be as interesting for someone who doesn't already know the characters and circumstances. If anyone wants to see the impact of Order 66 and the imperial shift for padawans, this is a really cool volume. It is also a great way to show Kanan's history without feeling like a boring origin story that has to be slugged through. The pace is quick and the art makes it even more enjoyable. The other good thing is that this is the entire run of the Kanan comic series, so there is only one volume instead of having to seek out multiple or wait for more to be released. It is complete and collected in one convenient volume. 

The Kanan Omnibus receives a LoneStar Rating of:

Star Wars Canon Novel 
      Reading Order

Dark Disciple 
Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel


The next title in the Canon Reading Order is Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston, but I am unsure of when I will be able to pick it up from the library to read it.

If there are any other comic series or other books you would like me to review or feature, drop a comment below!

New posts coming next Tuesday and Thursday!