I'm a big fan of the Star Wars Rebels series, and recently finished watching it. Kanan Jarrus is one of my favorite characters of the series, and while we get some teases about his background in the show, we don't really learn much beyond that.
That's where this comic comes in. In the two volume series, Star Wars Kanan, The Last Padawan, and then in First Blood, readers learn Kanan's backstory, and how he went from being cocky Jedi padawan Caleb Dume to the Kanan Jarrus we came to know and love in Rebels.
The story is framed within a storyline from the Star Wars Rebels timeline, where we can see connections between Kanan's past and present. While the comic stands alone, I think readers could benefit from knowing the characters of Rebels beforehand, both to know who they are and to feel a stronger connection with them. The story is fast-paced and because I already knew Kanan from Rebels, I was instantly engaged. I often don't like backstories, because so often the characters are obnoxious in their youth, but with Kanan, the writers did a good job straddling the line between portraying a young character who still has a lot to learn with a character who will grow up to be responsible for his crew/family and who will play an important role in the rebellion. Even the one line that usually drives me nuts, "Don't call me kid!" leads up to a really emotional and poignant moment, where Kanan/Caleb says, "Don't call me kid. Not anymore." I also appreciate reading about young people who fight for what they believe in, who grow into heroes.
This is an exciting and at times, emotional read that is an excellent addition to the Star Wars story. We learn more about characters we love (and hate), and are introduced to new characters who ties storylines together. Highly recommended for readers both teen and adult!
Melanie R. Meadors is a writer of fantasy stories and comics, her work most recently appearing in the anthologies Champions of Aetaltis and Kaiju Rising II: Reign of Monsters. She is the co-director of the Gen Con Writer's Symposium and the publisher at Outland Entertainment. Melanie also edits anthologies, including Hath No Fury, Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology, and Tales of Excellent Cats: A Monarchies of Mau Anthology, which is set in the world of the popular role playing game, Pugmire. She is a content editor and publicity specialist at the RPG game company Mechanical Muse, and has written game settings for the RPGs Tiny Dungeons 2e and Tiny Frontiers 2e. She is a blogger and general b*tch monkey at The Once and Future Podcast. You can learn more at melaniermeadors.com