Comic Review – Marvel’s “Star Wars: Ahsoka” Adaptation Is a Marked Improvement Over the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” One

Today saw the release of issue #1 in Marvel Comics’ new adaptation of Lucasfilm’s live-action Disney+ series Star Wars: Ahsoka, and below are my thoughts on this release.

This past spring, I concluded my reviews of Marvel’s six-issue Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi adaptation by saying that “I can only cross my fingers that the writer and (especially) the artist for [the then-only-announced Ahsoka title] find ways to make that memorable and unique in its own right rather than simply transcribing and copying what we’ve already seen on Disney+” after feeling burned by that miniseries’ slavish reproduction of shots and scenes directly from the show. So it was with cautious optimism that I approached issue #1 of Ahsoka when I picked it up from my local comic shop today, and thankfully when I finally sat down and opened its pages I didn’t find myself too disappointed.

Writer Rodney Barnes is back (he gave us The Mandalorian seasons 1 & 2 adaptations, plus the just-launched Star Wars: Inquisitors original comic series) penning Ahsoka, and I wasn’t expecting his scripts to stray too far from what we saw on TV. That part turned out to be about what I expected from this comic, but the great news is that artist Steven Cummings (Star Wars: Crimson Reign, Star Wars: Hidden Empire) has mercifully been given the creative license to inject some of his own style into the proceedings, unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Salvador Larocca, whose work looked like he just traced it off the screen. Compared to that book, the illustrations in Ahsoka are a breath of fresh air that actually drew me into the story via a different perspective, much like Marvel’s 1977 Star Wars comic adaptation that actually predated the movie’s theatrical release by a couple of months.

For those who may not remember, the premiere episode of Ahsoka deals with the title character retrieving an ancient orb that promises to unlock a map to the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn, while on Lothal Ahsoka’s former apprentice Sabine Wren shirks her diplomatic duties while she wishes for a way to track down her old friend Ezra Bridger. These two characters’ paths collide with that of a lost Jedi named Baylan Skoll and his own student Shin Hati, who are working for the villainous Morgan Elsbeth. The story that worked so well on Disney+ is executed with similar panache here, and Cummings’s dynamic staging of the action scenes does an especially good job at replicating the excitement of the TV series. I’d say this comic, so far, is on par with what we saw in Barnes’s Mandalorian adaptations, and this first issue alone is already head-tails over Obi-Wan Kenobi in terms of sheer enjoyability. I’m very pleased to say that I’m excited to see what this creative team has planned for the adaptations of the remaining seven episodes of Ahsoka.

Star Wars: Ahsoka #1 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.