Stealing a ship from a Kalleran named Kasmir, Caleb attempts to travel to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, only to find himself surrounded by Imperial fighters. With nowhere to turn, Caleb must learn to do what it takes in order to hide his Jedi past and training if he is to survive….
The origins of Kanan Jarrus continue to unfold in the third issue of the ongoing comic book series Kanan: The Last Padawan. While, personally, the other Marvel Star Wars comics haven’t kept me eagerly wanting for more, Kanan is the complete opposite. Every time I reach the last page, I groan and complain about the wait I have to experience before getting the next issue. It’s that great of a series.
After stealing Janus Kasmir’s ship, it makes sense that Caleb would return back to Kaller, the planet where he lost his Master and where his pursuers would least expect to find him. There is a moment during his hyperspace travel where he tries to think of other locations to go to for safety, but they’re all compromised in light of what’s happened. It also cleverly sets him on the path to join forces with Kasmir, a somewhat sketchy individual who we still don’t know much about. One of my favorite parts includes the instance when Kasmir tells Caleb that he needs to hide his tell, a subtle nervous tick (brushing his hand through his hair) that gives him away in any situation. It was essentially the origin story of Kanan’s ponytail, and as a fan of the ponytail, I was quite pleased to see it take center stage! And actually, if you go back through the first two issues, Caleb does, in fact, run his hand through his hair when he’s nervous or unsure of himself, so that was amusing to see from a continuity point of view.
My favorite page, however, is the one that includes the sequence of him leaving who he is as a Jedi Padawan behind. It’s a fact that he’s come to accept, and if he wants to survive, it’s not something that he’ll take too much time to think about. It’s a swift and rational decision, and it was beautifully drawn and colored by Pepe Larraz and David Curiel, respectively. Caleb knows that he has no other options and to go a different route would ensure his death, so the natural flow of events take him into thievery and working alongside the only person who hasn’t outed him as a Jedi…well, that doesn’t go according to plan. Is this individual truly a character we can’t trust or does he have a trick up his sleeve? Given some of the details about Janus Kasmir that appear to have influenced Kanan, such as his new name and armor, I think Kasmir will be an important figure as Caleb continues to establish his new persona.
Lastly, Larraz’s artistic style is something at which to marvel. Once again, personally, the art from this series outshines the current lineup of Star Wars comics. The piece of art to come out of this particular issue that still blows me away is Kasmir’s helmet. It’s quite possibly one of my favorite designs. It’s so alien, but at the same time, it’s something that fits in the Star Wars universe.
Greg Weisman and the crew involved with the series have put together a solid story that has been both consistent and visually captivating. Like the animated television series it’s based on, it’s the only canon Star Wars comic book series I enjoy reading over and over.