Kanan Jarrus is easily one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe because he’s not your ordinary Jedi. He’s a survivor of Order 66, and for many years, he suppressed the way of life he had come to love as a Jedi Padawan. That part of his story is currently being explored in a Marvel comic book series written by Greg Weisman and illustrated by Pepe Larraz, known as Kanan: The Last Padawan.
“We’re looking at more or less a year in the life, give or take. So, we’re looking at the first year of Caleb’s life because this is before he took the name Kanan. We’re looking at the first year of Caleb’s life after Order 66, the day before, and about give or take a year after,” Greg Weisman said in issue #158 of the Star Wars Insider.
As for the scope of the story, Weisman went on to say, “This is not designed to be, just to be clear, sum total, it’s not like this will completely fill in the gap of Order 66 and A New Dawn. It’s not designed to be encyclopedic and take you all the way from point A to point B.”
So far, we’re seeing Kanan’s beginning unfold in this medium, having already read the middle in A New Dawn, but I wonder what the end for him will be like in Star Wars Rebels. We’ll just have to wait and see! For now, as we continue the countdown to the season two premiere on June 20, 2015, here are some of my favorite Kanan Jarrus moments:
Using the Force in A New Dawn
For a long time, Kanan had kept his abilities a secret and had turned away from the path of the Jedi in hopes of surviving the purge. When he finally uses the Force in front of another person in John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn, the results not only surprise him but the person he also saves. “He reached [Hera] too late, just as he’d been to late to save Master Billaba. The Force had been too late for many that day. But it was with him now, as he slid to the floor by Hera’s side. Hera, knowing the danger she was in, put her hand up as if to shoo him away, to safety. Kanan looked instead upward, waving with his hand–and suspending the giant catwalk in midair, centimeters from his and Hera’s heads.”
Kanan in the Landspeeder
Freddie Prinze, Jr., gave Kanan a nickname on Twitter: LLCoolK. Without a doubt, Kanan gives off the cool and casual vibe from time to time, while also adopting a wiser persona when it comes to teaching Ezra. When we first see Kanan, he’s fully in control of the situation, calmly communicating with the rest of his team. In the next scene, he pulls up in a speeder with his arm draped over the seat beside him. “How’s it going?” he says with an air of casual confidence, and that calm and poised demeanor is what makes him so cool.
The Detonation Charge
The rebel life is full of trials and tribulations, so when a moment of jest presents itself, Kanan is quick to grab it. In this particular instance, Kanan pretends to concede in the middle of a high speed chase. Completely confused by his actions, the stormtrooper doesn’t see the detonation charge coming until it’s too late. Once again, he’s calm, cool, and collected. He exemplifies what Yoda once said in Dark Disciple by Christie Golden, “Cheers the spirit, humor does, even at the darkest times.”
“Avoiding enemy fire, he unclipped two cylinders from his belt. They fit together as perfectly as they had when he first constructed his lightsaber under the tutelage of Master Billaba, more than a decade and a half earlier,” wrote Michael Kogge in The Rebellion Begins. When the series first started, some fans thought Kanan had altered his lightsaber for better concealment after escaping Order 66, but it was an ingenious design from his younger years as a Jedi Padawan that, fortunately for him, came to good use. “Today, upon activation, the lightsaber produced a blue blade that blazed brighter than it had at any other time in that decade and a half. The stormtroopers ceased fire, as did Sabine, Zeb, and even Agent Kallus. All beheld Kanan in stunned silence.”
Caught in the act by a patrolling stormtrooper, Kanan quickly assumed the personality of a drunk and overly enthusiastic individual, yelling out “EMPIRE DAY!” with all of the pride he could muster. I’d love to see footage of Freddie Prinze, Jr., recording that scene because the end result made for great laughs, so the performance behind the scenes has to be equally great. And let’s be honest, you can’t say “Empire Day” anymore without doing that impression of Kanan.
Reaction to Yoda
Worried that Ezra was taking too long to accomplish what he had to do on his own, Kanan made the motion to get up and paused when he heard a familiar voice. In complete and utter shock, he crouched back down, almost bowing in respect before resuming a kneeling position. It was a profound moment for Kanan because up until that point in time, he thought he was alone in his journey. Despite having a strong foundation to fall back on–his crew–no one else understands the ways of the Force. Hera comes close, but since she’s not well-versed with the principles of being a Jedi, Kanan is often figuring things out on his own. The animators beautifully captured his look of genuine disbelief, and though it was brief, it connected with me on a spiritual level, since I’m normally a “have to see/hear it in order to believe it” kind of person.
Kanan Using Ezra’s Lightsaber
Forced to face the Inquisitor as they attempt to escape, Kanan borrows Ezra’s lightsaber-blaster hybrid. Activating the blade, he runs towards the Inquisitor, but instead of clashing with him head on, he deactivates it and uses the blaster part in its place. Even Ezra was impressed by his master’s use of the weapon, since up until that point, he was using the two features for separate purposes and not in a combined effort. When Ezra is harmed in the process, Kanan Force grabs his lightsaber from a distance and proceeds to duel the Inquisitor with two sabers. The fighting sequence not only demonstrated Kanan’s growing skill, but also, his will to dominate and control his own emotions.
Looking forward to seeing Kanan and the rebel crew back in action later this fall. In the meantime, make sure to tune in for the one-hour movie premiere on Saturday, June 20, at 9PM ET/PT on Disney XD.