133: Stealthy Ben Kenobi
c.1979? | age 11? Let’s see what Ben’s been up to. While his compatriots are being attacked by a monster and mashed, Kenobi’s been stealthily finding his way to the tractor beam controls.
Here’s the novelisation’s take on it:
“Secure this area until the alert has been cancelled.”
As they began to disperse, Kenobi became one with the dark.
I was confused by this, at first. (So what else is new at SWa9?) That is, I was confused by Ben’s crouched Jawa or Mexican-style-huddle in the doorway. Then I saw the speed-lines amongst the scribbly shiny tile renderings. “I’m in!” he says. Not sure where. Either an elevator or doorway.
It does do a great thing though, this page: it shows how Ben was able to get about the massive Death Star and its – presumably – labyrinthine network of thousands of corridors. What’s a Jedi to do? (And how did Han, Luke and Chewie find their way to the Detention Block?) Why, refer to a tourist information screen, of course! – indicating the route to the tractor beam. The correct tractor beam. They’d actually use a similar device in the Family Guy Star Wars parody, decades later, listing JC Penney and other shops on there too!
In this one, we just see The tractor Beam and the TIE Fighter bays listed. No shops.
The sliding doors close just in the nick of time before the sentry shoots him.
What? Oh, I don’t know either. Does he read from the screen how to get there – and he’s given a completely separate panel to think,
“AHA! That’s the route to take”.
No, of course not! Don’t be ridiculous. He’s thinking:
“Strewth – the door’s still open – they’re right outside – where’s the bloody door button?!?!?!”
“AHA – found it! How clever am I?”
But you’re all wondering, why didn’t he do the patented Jedi force-door-close? Come on! – you all saw that Attack of the Clones movie. Obi Wan – in that past life that he seems to have mostly forgotten about – could OPEN AND CLOSE sliding doors with HIS MIND. His miiiiiinnnd.. He learnt it in Jedi Academy, in their Everyday Practicalities module.
That last panel? Not sure why that’s there. But he looks kind of spooky and mysterious with his eyes in shadow like that. I suppose that’s him still ‘becoming one with the dark’.
Art Notes: Cross-Hatched Colour
There’s one bit of artistic technique here which interests me. See the colouring on Kenobi’s face? In that bottom left panel, you can see that yellow coloured pencil has been hatched diagonally across his face, and brown has been hatched in the opposite direction. It’s actually good way to ‘mix’ dry colour. If you ever work with coloured pencils, oil pastels, or some kind crayon, give it a try. I wonder if the brown was laid on top to make him look less yellow?–or was it simply to make him look like he’s in the shadows?