In anticipation of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus, Lucasfilm is releasing compliment canon materials like Mike Chang’s Brotherhood and a Marvel Obi-Wan Kenobi comic series for insights, do not forget about Charles Soule’s 2016 Marvel comic, Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin.
The comic series shows how older generations try and mold younger generations and the collateral damage through two conflicts (external and internal).
Obi-Wan and Anakin is set three years after The Phantom Menace during the earlier years of their relationship as Jedi Master and Padawan. Anakin is still close to the events of Episode I and thinking about his mother and her situation. Naturally, he has his doubts about how effective the Jedi Order can be with their current code and is thinking about leaving.
Anakin wants to leave because he feels he can do more good in the galaxy on his own. His internal struggles and the voices on both sides parallel Obi-Wan and Anakin’s mission.
The Open and The Close
Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to Carnelion IV from a distress signal. The mountainous planet was thought to be uninhabited after a civil war left most of it covered in a sea of poisonous gas. The two factions, The Open and The Close, have been fighting for so long that they don’t even know how to fathom peace.
Anakin asks Obi-Wan why the Jedi never interfered to help and his Master responds that it was because the world was not a part of the Galactic Republic, therefore the Jedi could not involve themselves. And, after encounters with both The Open and The Close, it is clear that the younger generation is starting to question the point of fighting.
Obi-Wan meets Sera who the young locals call The Scavenger, an older woman who has sent things up to them with items of what their world used to be to inspire them to change things. She tells Obi-Wan that she was inspired by the Jedi she watched on the holos; however, it soon becomes clear that Sera was actually inspired by the Sith. She wants Obi-Wan to bring the rest of the Jedi to her planet to kill the adults so she can mold the young generation.
Obi-Wan manages to get the Order involved to cause a ceasefire between The Open and The Close, but that does not matter to Sera because she wanted the older generation gone, believing that starting over with the young was the only way for things to change. It is a classic example of how good intentions can become corrupted without hope.
Before the mission on Carnelion IV, Chancellor Palpatine begins grooming Anakin, using his past trauma as a slave on Tatooine to seed the ineptness of the Galactic Senate. He takes the young Padawan (against the advisement of Obi-Wan) with him on an errand. Palpatine secretly brings Anakin to the underworld of Coruscant (level 2685), telling him that he goes there undercover occasionally to try and do some good.
His true intention in bringing Anakin is to begin manipulating the young Force-user into a morally grey area with his abilities. He convinces the young Force-user to move a “corrupt” Senator Colandus’s chance cube during a game unfavorably by casually suggesting that if his losses were large enough, the Senator’s desperation would leave a trail long enough for Palpatine’s agents to expose him.
Even if you do not have the context of The Clone Wars series, it is understandable how a decade of this subtle manipulation could lead to the moment in Revenge of the Sith where Anakin kills Dooku at the behest of the Chancellor with little hesitation.
The grooming that has taken place most of Anakin’s life behind closed doors comes to a crossroads and Obi-Wan realizes the problem too late. Contrary to this, The Scavenger’s less subtle grooming of the Carnelion IV youth allows Obi-Wan and Anakin to intervene and potentially save two groups of people from destroying each other.
In the last few panels of the fifth issue (which begins before the mission to Carnelion IV), it is revealed that Obi-Wan’s promise to Qui-Gon Jinn goes beyond his commitment to the Jedi Order during a conversation between Obi-Wan and Yoda. If Anakin decides to leave the Jedi Order, so will Obi-Wan.
That does not come to pass, as Obi-Wan’s actions and his words that there is strength in the Jedi Order’s numbers convince Anakin to stay and continue his journey to becoming a Jedi Knight.
Unfortunately, the Jedi Order (but mainly Obi-Wan) missed a key lesson from this whole ordeal: The Sith’s power expanded to an isolated planet with century-old propaganda. Knowing at this point that there are Sith still around from the events of The Phantom Menace, the Jedi Order continued to underestimate the appeal of their methods to desperate people. People who want change but feel change is out of reach.
The events on Carnelion IV are a prophetic story of what happens with Palpatine, Anakin, and the Jedi Order. Palpatine uses Anakin (and the Clones) to wipe out the Jedi and mold the galaxy to his likeness. And he started with Anakin.
We will never know how Anakin and Obi-Wan’s lives would have been different if they both left the Order and worked outside of that system (and under the influence of Palpatine). But this experience also could inform why Obi-Wan is so intent on training Luke. Would it be a similar way that he would have trained Anakin had they left and possibly reunited with Shmi?
Their story continues post-Revenge of the Sith with Obi-Wan Kenobi. And stories like Soule’s Obi-Wan and Anakin help give more context to these Prequel-favorite characters as the Star Wars universe continues to expand.