This review concerns Star Wars Kanan: The Last Padawan Part I, II, III, IV & Star Wars: Kanan Part V (epilogue to The Last Padawan.)
The introduction to Part I takes place during Star Wars Rebels so is the end of Part IV and Part V only takes place during this era while the rest of the story takes place during and after Order 66 so at the end of the Clone Wars during and after Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith. As the title tells us it’s about Kanan or is real name Caleb Dume and he deals with the death of his master and Order 66.
I’ll start by talking about the negative points and problems there are in these comics because there are some that can be a bit annoying. The first problem is a little visual detail about Styles, the clone captain serving under master Jedi Depa Billaba, at a moment he has a E-11 blaster which is an imperial blaster while he should have a DC-15S or a DC-15A blaster rifle from the clone army, this mistake could have been easily avoided but never mind. There is a bigger problem with Depa Billaba. Kanan in Part I says she IS a member of the Jedi Council while there is no possible way that at the time of Revenge of the Sith she is at the Council as ALL the seats are taken, Depa was a council member during Episode I The Phantom Menace, Episode II Attack of the Clones and during Star Wars Dark Disciple she was at the council but Dark Disciple takes place before ROTS and as we see in The Clone Wars and ROTS too when a jedi from the Council is away he still remains at the council but he contacts them by hologram so since Depa does not do that during ROTS and that there is not seat available for her she cannot be part of the Council anymore so using Kanan using the present tense was not very a good idea for this. I’m a big fan of the Jedi Council and I don’t really like to see mistakes done with it so too bad they made a mistake. Another problem is I think the biggest problem in the story and it concerns the clone trooper Grey. We know thanks to The Clone Wars that the clones have a inhibitor chip in their head that makes them execute Order 66 without being able to think about it, they just do it. However, they can remove their chip like Fives does and like Rex does (as we see in some screencaps of Star Wars Rebels trailers he has a scar on his head that is where the chip is so he avoided Order 66.) Though, Grey does NOT avoid Order 66 and does NOT remove his inhibitor chip so making him realize all this was wrong and that they should not have killed Depa Billaba and that he captured Kanan instead of killing him instantly well that does not work, he has his inhibitor chip he should not be able to question Order 66, Styles does not so there is no reason Grey does. Thus, Grey making blow up the ship and killing Styles with him to help Kanan is pretty disappointing and badly written. Kanan destroying the ship would have been better and more dramatic for his storyline and definitely made more sense instead of having this problem. I also have something concerning the title ‘The Last Padawan’, it is not that good, it implies Kanan is the ONLY padawan in the Jedi Order to have survived Order 66 and I don’t think he is the only one, there is certainly other padawan who survived so the title is reductive forgetting there are other people in the Jedi Order.
So now I’m going to talk about the good points of the story because besides these problems, the story is worth reading. It tells us how padawan Caleb Dume becomes Kanan Jarrus, not the Kanan we know from Star Wars Rebels but the Kanan we know from Star Wars: A New Dawn as Kanan has a big evolution throughout his story until Rebels. I think it was important to get this back story for his character because obviously since season 1 of Rebels I wondered how Kanan became the man he was how and ‘The Last Padawan’ tells us how Caleb becomes Kanan. It was good that the story starts with the battle of Kaller, a new planet introducing us to a new species the Kalleran. Having new planets and new species to enrich the Star Wars universe is always welcomed! We see a victory of the Republic there and we encounter a new separatist General Kleeve. Seeing another battle happening during the clone wars is always appreciated. We also learn how Kanan has his holocron it was Depa who gave it to him so now we know, the details are important. Another detail is that Caleb gets Obi-Wan’s message and takes it on his holocron so here we know how in Rebels the holocron contains this message! As it was implied in Rebels season 1, Depa tells Caleb to run and she sacrifices for him to live, a noble sacrifice that I could see Kanan do in Rebels too for Ezra. From there it is interesting to see how Caleb struggles to survive and how he is lost in a world without his master to guide him. Janus Kasmir is a Kalleran and he becomes Caleb’s new guide, he is really the man who makes him become Kanan Jarrus. Kasmir is a smuggler and little thief who has a big ego and a selfish person, his ego takes him to name his ship the Kasmiri, not imaginative and shows how high he thinks of himself so it is a very different master for Caleb. So our young former padawan with Kasmir the way to survive in the new order of this galaxy going from planet to planet, from mission to mission and they become a team that works well, they fit together, it is a badass team. General Kleeve also is an interesting character and his story gives us a look at what the separatists officers become after the war and Kleeve becomes someone else like Caleb becomes Kanan and people who were once enemies are now working together. So we see how the order of things have changed in a galaxy controlled by the Empire. Concerning the conclusion of this, Caleb shows how hurt he is and how it is difficult for him to fear to loose who he cares about and him abandoning Kasmir just after his friend rescued him shows Caleb has issues that he needs to work on and I think in Rebels he has not deal completely with these issues as in the end of Part IV when we go back to the rebels era and Hera asks him if he has ever been to Kaller he answers no Kanan Jarrus has ever been to Kaller which is true in a way that he has never been to Kaller with the identity of Kanan but he has been to Kaller before and not acknowledging it shows that he still has problems accepting who he really is. The page certainly shows Kanan adult, Kanan at his beginning and Caleb padawan but his words go against the page so yes he has some issues to work on, personal issues. Part V takes back to Kaller with Kanan as an adult. There is not a lot of action it is mostly Kanan being reminiscent of his past and it is interesting to see he has not forgotten it but there is a difference with accepting who he is and tells the Ghost Crew what happened there to him and maybe he will reveal this truth in later issues of Star Wars Kanan but so far he hasn’t. Yet we can understand he cannot tell them, it is a dark part of his past that still hurts him.
6/10 In conclusion, Star Wars Kanan: The Last Padawan is a good story that goes to interesting place and gives us a better understanding of Kanan Jarrus. It also has nice visuals by Larraz (I, II, III, IV) & Camagni (V). However, these comics suffer from little problems that if they had been avoided would have make Kanan a great comics, nevertheless these are good comics.