Marvel Comics announced Oct. 11 that it’s going to detail how Kanan Jarrus was transformed from a serious, sober skeptical Jedi Padawan to the smug, sarcastic and loyal gunslinger that’s helped Star Wars Rebels draw critical and popular acclaim in an ongoing comic series Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan.
The first, five-issue arc, starting in April, is being written by Greg Weisman, who is among three executive producers of the show’s first season. The book, like the three other series already announced — Star Wars, Star Wars: Darth Vader and Star Wars: Princess Leia — is being edited by Jordan D. White who, in a previous interview with Coffee With Kenobi, had hinted that more Star Wars tales not set between Episodes IV and V were likely in the offing. The Kanan title won’t be the last.
“This is the first series we’re doing that is not set in the same period that we’re making our core books set in, which is before The Empire Strikes Back, and it won’t be the last. We’re going to be exploring the fullness of the Star Wars saga.” — Jordan D. White, Marvel Star Wars comics editor.
Art for the book, initially planned as a five-issue mini-series, is being drawn by Pepe Larraz, whose previous work includes illustrating issues of Deadpool Vs. X-Force, Thor and Inhuman, among other titles.
Weisman said the Kanan series is a natural outgrowth of his work as executive producer on the first season of the show and his experience, too.
“I’ve written comics before, I know the show and I know Kanan,” he said. “Obviously, it was a relatively natural fit.”
Weisman, who wrote Captain Atom for DC Comics in 1980s, and the companion comic to the TV show Young Justice that he produced. He also created the show Gargoyles
and wrote a comic series associated with that later on that was collected in three trades. He’s also written an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man for Marvel that detailed Flash Thompson’s recovery from the loss of his leg.
The first arc of The Last Padawan focuses on Kanan and Order 66, crucial to the Saga’s history given its implications, White said. The story documents how Caleb Dume, padawan to Jedi Master Depa Billaba, survived Order 66 and implemented Obi-Wan Kenobi’s warning to avoid detection.
“Kanan is a former Jedi and, as everybody knows, all the Jedi were killed or attempted to be killed around Order 66,” White told Coffee With Kenobi. “The question is ‘How did Kanan survive?’ That’s what we’re going to be looking into. What happened to him on that fateful day and the time shortly thereafter.”
The comic serves as a bridge of sorts for not just television and print, but The Clone Wars and Rebels, too, White noted. “As a fan of both series, it’s awesome to see that they actually do touch each other. They are part of the same fabric.”
Weisman, in an interview ahead of the series’ announcement with Coffee With Kenobi, said the comic book will give fans the chance to learn more about Kanan as a character and his role in the larger Star Wars universe, given the medium affords the opportunity to look back, forward and, if needed, from side to side, unlike the show.
“Rebels is very much in the moment. There isn’t a lot of space to actually stop the show, to go back and tell an entire story in a different time,” he said.
With the comic, Kanan’s backstory and history can be explored in depth.
“We’re actually going to go back and really be able … to dedicate time to this important, significant event in the canon and show and how it affected this one character,” Weisman said.
“Because a lot of Star Wars is about many characters and about larger major, historical events in the galaxy kind of things. This time we’re going to see a major historical event, but really see it from the pointy of view of one individual and see how he survived it and I think that is very exciting.”
Matt Moore has been perpetrating journalism since 1985, reveling in Star Wars since 1977 and reading comics since 1974.
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