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Review: "Incognito" by John Jackson Miller

scalf1Although this short story is only five pages long, “Incognito” is a very pleasant prequel to the upcoming Kenobi novel that leaves you begging for more. Told from the point of view of Dewell Bronk, a political refugee from Coruscant after Emperor Palpatine’s rise to power and Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader, it sets the tone for Jackson’s book by telling Obi-Wan’s story from the perspective of others. While this method may not have been what fans were expecting, it actually works very well. Not only do we learn about the “little people” who are affected by the Empire’s rise, but we also get a little of that mystery around Obi-Wan back.

Remember when he first showed up in A New Hope? We didn’t know too much about him other than he was a “crazy old hermit”, thanks to Owen’s explanation. Throughout the entire original trilogy, we didn’t know that much about him at all, come to think of it. Then we got the Expanded Universe, the comics, the prequels, and The Clone Wars. Suddenly that original air of intrigue was gone. Not that it was an altogether bad thing (personally, I quite enjoy learning the details of the Jedi’s life as he’s one of my all-time favorite characters), but it certainly was a departure from the way we were introduced to him.

But now that mystery is back with “Incognito”. It was while reading this story that I remembered the Jedi were still a strange and aloof bunch to those outside the Order, more like mystics than down-to-Earth people. It’s such an easy thing to forget when you’re engrossed in the adventures of Aayla Secura, Kit Fisto, or Quinlan Vos. Having Obi-Wan’s flight to Tatooine with an infant Luke Skywalker told from outside perspectives is a stroke of brilliance that helps ground everything we’ve seen in Star Wars leading up to this point.

And there’s a bit of humor mixed in with the seriousness of the plot as well. Nothing big or over-the-top, but enough to make the reader crack a smile (especially when it’s at the expense of the “new bad guys”). Also, baby Luke is totally calling all the shots:

“Your child is hungry,” Dewell said.

“He just ate a little while ago,” the Young Father replied. “I didn’t think it was time again.”

“The child decides when it is time again.”…New parents were amusing.

It’s really cute that Obi-Wan thinks infants care about grown-up time schedules.

Finally, Chris Scalf’s accompanying artwork is absolutely stunning! I would be lying if I said I didn’t want the picture of Obi-Wan and Dewell (shown above) hanging on my wall.

You can read “Incognito” in Star wars Insider #143 (August/September 2013) right now, and Kenobi  on August 27, 2013.

About Reporter Michelle Lawhorn:
Michelle, a.k.a. Stormraven, is what can only be described as an eclectic nerd. Her interests and expertise range from Doctor Who to Lord of the Rings, cosplay to comics, and Bollywood to opera to name just a few. When not raving about her “fandoms”, she can be found spending time with her family and adding to her ever-growing list of Things to Cosplay. She can currently be found searching for more Star Wars material to feed her new found obsession with the Clone Wars.

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