Kenobi Review

Kenobi Book Cover Kenobi
John Jackson Miller
Del Rey

The Republic has fallen
The Sith Lords rule the galaxy.
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has lost everything.
Everything but hope.

Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.

Known to locals only as “Ben,” the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider. But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.

Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training. And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.

How does a Jedi Master, a servant of Justice disappear? Not easily, when the Force keeps putting him right in the middle of trouble.
Wanting nothing more than to blend in, Obi-Wan finds himself discovering (or rediscovering) that for some people, there is trouble and drama enough in their neighborhood and those struggles are enough without galaxy wide wars, Empires and Republics and Jedi and Sith.

This is truly a ‘western’ of the Star Wars galaxy, with the colonists a mishmash of species (though mostly human), Tusken Raiders replacing the Native American Indians, and the Hutt henchmen for the outlaws.

The story is told from Anileen’s point of view, except for Obi-Wan’s meditations. It would be nice to have more of him, but it does work. We get to see where ‘crazy wizard’ idea began.

Obi-Wan finds an unlikely new friend in Anileen, who needs him as much as he needs her. It’s not a romantic friendship. But it is awkward as he can’t afford to be noticed. And just as an additional jolt her nickname is Annie…reminding him of the ‘Ani’ that he lost. He is wrestling with his own guilt, regret and loss of family as well as how to disappear and still watch over the young Luke Skywalker. How can he still be Kenobi, the servant of light and justice, yet sit by while injustice is done before his very nose?

This book is a nice change of pace. Obi-Wan himself is struggling with that very ‘change of pace’ he is so unaccustomed too just as we might wonder if a book without the blasterfire of rebellion, the starship action and lightsabers is really interesting enough.. But being here gives him the opportunity to grow to understand Anakin Skywalker, belatedly, in a way he never did before.

In regards to continuity, it makes some nice compensations for the changes the prequels made.
For instance:
In the Illustrated Star Wars Galaxy and in Junior Jedi Knights it was established that tusken male and female were equal, both were warriors and they couldn’t always be told apart.
In Attack of the Clones, however, the distinctions were obvious: males were the warriors and wore different gear.
By making use of  the influence of Sharad Hett from the Dark Horse comics (Asharad has apparently not reappeared at this point) we see how a transition began. Anakin Skywalker’s reaction to his Mother’s death definitely clinched it. Taking what was a contradiction and using that very contradiction to explain why things changed.
It  also mentions that Qui-Gon told Obi-Wan stories of Jedi, separated from the Order, and how they lived: Kerra Holt (Knight Errant) and Zayne Carrik (KOTOR Comics). Siri (Jedi Apprentice) is mentioned as Obi-Wan’s first test on turning away from love for duty. Satine of The Clone Wars is mentioned, but no details given so if you aren’t into The Clone Wars its not really a problem.

Other Stories about these Characters and Places

Other stories that touch on Kenobi’s life on Tatooine:

  • The Last One Standing – Jude Watson, only available in the paperback combo version of Legacy of the Jedi & Secrets of the Jedi
  • The Last of the Jedi: Desperate Mission – Jude Watson, book 1
  • The Last of the Jedi: Reckoning – Jude Watson book 10 (one chapter)
  • The Life and Times of Obi-Wan Kenobi – Ryder Windham
  • Legacy: Claws of the Dragon 3, 4 : John Ostrander (Author) Jan Duursema  (Artist) Dark Horse Comics issue 16

Stories about Obi-Wan before Tatooine:

  • Jedi Apprentice – Jude Watson
  • Last Stand on Ord Mantell – Dark Horse Comics
  • The Aurorient Express – Dark Horse Comics
  • Jedi Council Acts of War -(Dark Horse Comics)
  • Stark Hyperspace War – (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Legacy of the Jedi – Jude Watson
  • Secrets of the Jedi – Jude Watson
  • Episode 1 : Obi-Wan Kenobi – (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Rogue Planet – Greg Bear
  • Jedi Quest – – Jude Watson
  • The Approaching Storm – Alan Dean Foster
  • Precipice (Hyperspace short)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars video game
  • Star Wars: Republic 50: The Defense of Kamino (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic: The New Face of War (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic 53: Blast Radius (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Clone Wars Micro Series (TV/DVD)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 1 – “Blind Force” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 8 – “One of a Kind” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Storm Fleet Warnings
  • The Cestus Deception
  • The Hive (add on to paperback of The Cestus Deception)
  • Star Wars: Republic: The Battle of Jabiim (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic 59: Enemy Lines (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic 62: No Man’s Land (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Boba Fett – The Fight to Survive
  • Star Wars: Republic 67: Forever Young (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Changing Seasons – Timothy Zahn, Star Wars Insider
  • Star Wars: Republic: Dreadnaughts of Rendili (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Obsession (Dark Horse Comics)
  •  Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 4 – “The Brink” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 9 – “Appetite for Adventure” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 10 – “Thunder Road” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Brothers in Arms  (Dark Horse Comics)
  • The Last of the Jedi: Dark Warning
  • Labyrinth of Evil – James Luceno

The Clone Wars TV series also has many episodes (some contradictory) involving Obi-Wan
Novels based on that include:

  • TCW Gambit: Stealth – Karen Miller
  • TCW Gambit: Seige – Karen Miller
  • TCW Wild Space – Karen Miller

Other Stories involving Tusken Raiders/Tatooine:

  • Star Wars Republic: Outlander (Dark Horse comics)
  • The Illustrated Star Wars Universe – Kevin J. Anderson, art by Ralph McQuarrie
  • The Life and Times of Luke Skywalker
  • Tales of the Mos Eisley Cantina (Anthology)
  • Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning
  • Junior Jedi Knights 3: Promises – Nancy Richardson Fischer