Sunday, November 8, 2015

Short Review: Kanan The Last Padawan

This is a Star Wars series based on the story of Kanan Jarrus from the animated show Star Wars Rebels. He escaped order 66 and now we get to see how.


The concept of Kanans' backstory fascinates me for several reasons. The idea of this basically sheltered kid having to survive in a galaxy that suddenly wants him dead is certainly an interesting twist. It also links the prequel series with the original trilogy through a character that we see change because of the Empire. If you read the novel or extra material you already know that Kanan Jarrus isn't his real name it's Caleb Dume which needed to be changed because the Jedi are all being hunted down. His master--as stated on the show--is Depa Billaba. A character that's seen in the background in A Phantom Menace on the Jedi council. She's also a former Padawan of Mace Windu, something which was explored in Shatter Point. I was curious if the book would tie in since Depa actually went insane and it is alluded to here as a misleading rumor. A lot of old canon was dropped when Disney got the rights but if they want to use it later it should be interesting. Although she certainly doesn't act like she did in the book.

This starts off in present Rebels canon with Kanan hearing that the team is headed to Kaller and we get a flashback to the last time he was there. That was Depa and Caleb's last mission together right when Order 66 comes in. The two have a warm relationship with each other and their clone troopers, especially Grey and Styles. Much like Caleb their not thrilled when one of the planets inhabitants disrespects Depa since he doesn't see the difference between opposing Generals. Naturally he comes back into the story later on the play an important role in Calebs' life. Something I guessed by his name being similiar to another.

Caleb is happy to find his place in the world even in the midst of war but his master warns him against clinging to his contentment as that can change at any time. She gives him a Holocron which is a plot point from the beginning of the Rebels series. There are other things tied in like Obi-Wans' message and how it even gets transferred. I didn't expect Caleb to start wearing his hair like he does as Kanan or have an explanation for it. This story manages to keep up the pace while Caleb tries to find his place in the world. I was pleased to see it touch on his feelings and sense of betrayal although he has to keep moving making it hard to dwell on anything for long. There's a lot of loss--he loses everything and the Galaxy he served has been pretty ungrateful to all Jedi. Yet it's a hopeful tale as he's able to touch those around him. It shows that everyone's life can change on a dime. Allies can become enemies and those you used to label enemies can have a lot in common with you. Caleb even finds himself doing things he never would have as a Padawan

At the end of the flashback Caleb gives himself a new name and in present day Kanan has to look for his stolen goods while pretending he's just on another planet around his crew mates. A very enjoyable read that has me looking forward to more. The series is supposed to continue to tell his past to help fill in the blanks. It will get dark for him at least for awhile and while we know he'll meet others he can be himself around he's still not safe, none of them are.

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