Now following a Kalleran smuggler KASMIR, Caleb must learn the ins and outs of his new role: a common thief. Caleb soon finds that his list of friends and allies is cut short, however, when a scheme gone wrong leads Kasmir to turn Caleb in to Imperial hands….
The origins of Kanan Jarrus continue to take shape in the fourth issue of Marvel’s Kanan: The Last Padawan.
The issue opens up with Caleb locked up in confinement as he awaits for the arrival of clone troopers Styles and Grey. Young Caleb finds himself betrayed–again–and completely lost in his way. Remind you of someone? After being left behind and abandoned again, Ezra was also placed in confinement, where he was left to ponder on his lonely existence. The more we get to learn about Kanan and his past life, the more we get to see how he and Ezra share so many similarities that aren’t readily apparent in the television series. Caleb also thinks about how he has never felt less of a connection to all living things. Jump forward years later and we see Kanan teaching Ezra how to connect with another living being, showing how far he’s progressed with his own connection to the Force, even after he lost his way.
His growing friendship with Kasmir is one of my favorite aspects of the story. The montage page reminded me of an old wild west duo who’d steal and ride off into the horizon. The two appear to work well together, and even though Kasmir hasn’t straight up said it, I like to think he enjoys Caleb’s company. It’s also very telling the fact that he and Kasmir picked out a pre-arranged rendezvous location in case trouble caught up with them. It demonstrates how much the two have to come to rely on each other.
Seeing General Kleeve again was a great way to reinforce the fact that not every Separatist was a bad guy. In many ways, he reminded me of Mina Bonteri from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. At the time, he had it in his mind that he was fighting for freedom, and now, he understands that he put his trust in the wrong people. I appreciate that he wasn’t the stereotypical agent of Count Dooku and that he was a man of his own beliefs and motivations. His conversation with Caleb is my favorite piece of writing in the Kanan series, so far, because it’s the first time Caleb is exposed to the fact that the war wasn’t as black and white as he originally thought and that there were other factors involved. Granted, Caleb doesn’t really focus on that all too much, since he gets distracted by Kasmir’s new ship–as any other teenage boy would–but the conversation is there for him to look back on.
And, of course, there’s the cliffhanger that the issue ends on. It was only a matter of time before his “old friends” caught up to him. What’s interesting to note about Caleb is that he hasn’t killed anyone. He’s fought droids, and I’m sure he’s roughed up a few people here and there during his adventures with Kasmir, but he hasn’t killed someone of flesh and blood–at least, none that we’ve seen. With these two clone troopers constantly on his back, it’s only a matter of time before Caleb has to do something permanently about it. He can’t just keep running away from them because like Kasmir said, “They track us from planet to planet, always just a step behind.” The fact of the matter is Kanan’s always been on the run, but there are instances when he stops and stands his ground to go up against an immediate threat. We saw that with Kallus at the Spice Mines of Kessel, and we saw it again with the Inquisitor in the season finale of the first season. He’s reached a point where if he doesn’t kill his pursuers, he’ll end up being killed, just like his Master.
I’m looking forward to the next issue because I feel like it has to be headed in that direction. I’m definitely not looking forward to the emotions that will come with it because I love clone troopers and I love Kanan, so it’s going to hurt me if something like that comes to pass.
Issue #4 is definitely full of enjoyable moments as well as fantastic art by the extraordinarily talented Pepe Larraz. He continues to give us flawless facial expressions of young Caleb, which I simply adore. Without a doubt, this issue is worth picking up, if you haven’t done so already or if you’re on the fence about reading the series in general.
Issue #5 will go on sale August 19, 2015.