Back on Kaller with his rebel companions, the ghosts from Kanan’s past are beginning to catch up with his present…
If I had to name one thing I learned about Star Wars is that the ghosts of your past will never cease to haunt you. We saw this in a summer issue of Marvel’s Darth Vader, where Vader recalled moments of his past regarding Padmé and her pregnancy. Kanan’s complicated history reflects a similar kind of anguish and guilt in the sixth issue of the ongoing comic book series, but his past stems from a place where he is the victim and not the perpetrator. In this issue, appropriately called “Haunt”, Kanan returns to the planet where his Master and his previous life as Caleb Dume died. Visions of his past appear in the form of ghostly figures, distracting him and causing him to lose focus with his present mission and ultimately putting his life in danger.
“Long as I’ve known you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you jumpy before…” Hera said to him as they disembarked from the Ghost in Plateau City. She’s completely accurate in her statement. Up until this point, we have never seen Kanan this jumpy and on the edge, so his constant paranoia reminds us that he still believes himself to be on the run, even in the presence of the people he’s closest to. One of the things that I question is why does he still feel the need to keep his identity hidden? What purpose does it serve? Everyone knows that he survived the Jedi purge, and I understand his need for privacy, but he’s dead set in keeping that part of himself buried and bottled up inside him. And as recently seen, it’s still something that he continues to run away from in the second season of Star Wars Rebels, when he reluctantly talked about his past with Ezra. No one is going to judge him for running away, and coming to terms with what happened is the first step towards healing. Needless to say, Kanan is a complex individual, and I like how the comic continues to explore his character and presents him in ways that we haven’t seen him in yet.
The paranoia, as strangely as it sounds, also provided some room for levity. With Janus Kasmir out of the picture, we don’t have his sharp and sarcastic comments to break away from the tension. That’s where the Ghost crew and even Kanan himself come in. They help break up the depressing nature that is his traumatic past. There was the hilarious instance when Kanan hid behind Zeb so as to keep his identity hidden from Gamut Key and the other moment when Kanan and Chopper were caught and they lifted their arms up in surrender. Speaking of Gamut Key, the one detail I found out of place was how Gamut Key popped up out of nowhere both at the beginning and at the end of the issue. Both times, he just happened to appear, the latter of which seemed all too convenient for Kanan. Instead of him, I was half-expecting Kasmir to turn up and help defend Kanan from Tapusk’s furtive attack, leaving the Kalleran to chat with the crew while Kanan remained unconscious. In re-reading the issue, however, I found it interesting that Tapusk said, “Kasmir?! I’m thinking that name hasn’t passed my lips in an epoch!” The fact that Tapusk hadn’t uttered the name in a long time leads me to believe that Kasmir has long since moved on from Kaller. Otherwise, he would have been running into Tapusk more frequently.
All of that put together raises the question: what happened to Kasmir? He was clearly a big influence on Kanan, as seen with Gamut Key pointing out the similarity between their names. Kanan also had the intention of rekindling his partnership with Kasmir, something I still want to see happen in a future issue. That said, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon, since Kanan’s injury will take him back even further into his past, specifically at the point when he first becomes Depa Billaba’s Padawan. Despite not seeing Kasmir in the flesh in this issue, I am overjoyed by the fact that we get to see Depa again. She is an intriguing character, who, like so many others, had her life cut short during Order 66. Writer Greg Weisman has done an amazing job connecting Kanan’s past with his present, and I look forward to traveling back further to understand more of his childhood.
Kanan #7 comes out on October 28, 2015.