Episode I: Anakin Skywalker
[Also available in photo cover.]
Writing: Tim Truman
Pencilling: Steve Crespo
Inking: George Freeman
Color Rendering: Dave Nestelle
Lettering: Vickie Williams
Cover: Timothy Bradstreet
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/04/2009)
Anakin goes to Mos Espa to run errands for his mother and Watto. He meets his friends Kitster and Wald on the way, and together to go for a ruby bliel at Maggy the Gorgon?s. Unfortunately, Anakin's podracing nemesis Sebulba is standing outside the establishment and starts attacking the youngster. Their confrontation is broken up by an old spacer friend of Anakin's who brings the friends their favorite drinks. Anakin returns to Watto's empty handed, to his master's disapointment. He dreams of an angel leading an army when he is called in to the shop where he will meet the people who will change his life forever.
The first three pages present the planet Tatooine with cool images and narration excerpted from a Trade Federation market report about the Outer Rim. Pretty original way of introducing a story. Then we meet Anakin as he is cleaning the bins outside of Watto's shop for the umpteenth time. His friend Amee comes for a visit as a womp rat gets caught in a snare. Anakin frees the animal, saying that all things should live free, referring at the same time about his condition as a slave. The womp rat will represent Anakin's awakening talent to find things, as it leads him to two things he needs but never found amid Watto's junk yard: an energy binder for the podracer he is building in secret, and later on a cooling unit after he finds out that old Jira needs one.
Watto then sends Anakin to Mos Espa to get parts for the podracer he damaged last month from visiting Jawa traders. As he goes out the door, Anakin is then given another errant by his mother to get some fruits. As he arrives in the marketplace, his friends Kitster and Wald join him and propose to get a ruby bliel after Anakin gets some pika fruits from Jira. His friends want to go to the Blue Brubb but Anakin promised to stay away from the Hutt section so they go to Maggy the Gorgon's. Once they get there, they see Sebulba rehearsing for his Boonta entrance theme and try to sneak past him. But too late! The Dug sees them and does not hesitate to tease his podracing rival. But before the confrontation turns to a fistfight, Anakin's old spacer friend comes out of Maggy's bringing the friends a ruby bliel.
The friends then continue on to the Jawa market but too late, the two parts Watto required (a thermal veristat and thruster relay) are already gone! When Anakin returns empty-handed, Watto is very angry at him. At least Anakin managed to get some fruit for his mother. As a sandstorm is coming, Anakin falls asleep in the junkyard and dreams of a beautiful angel leading and army into battle and sees himself as a Jedi. He is then awakened by Watto, calling him into the shop to meet some potential customers. We all know what happens next.
This story fits pretty well between the Tusken Raider encounter (from Chapter 6 of the novelization) and Anakin's meeting with Qui-Gon and Padm?. There are other references to the novelization, like the time Anakin tried to save a bantha, and the podrace he lost recently in which Rimkar was killed. Overall it's a a short, fun little adventure in young Anakin's life that serves as a prelude to the movie.
The artwork and coloring are very well done. The aliens are also well represented, but Crespo has difficulty representing age in Human characters. For example, Amee looks like she's in her late teens at least, and Shmi looks like a woman in her early 30's at the most. Padm? doesn't really look like Natalie Portman either, but she's only in a couple of panels. The art matches well the story: simple and fun.
A new episode of Anakin Skywalker's life.
Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended