This page is about the character. If you're looking for the second spin-off of Power, see Power Book III: Raising Kanan.
Kanan Elijah Stark is a major character and anti-villian in the Power universe, serving as one of the main antagonists of Power ,a posthumous protagonist in Power Book II: Ghost and the titular main protagonist of Power Book III: Raising Kanan. He was initially a recurring character in the first and second season, before being promoted to a series regular for the third season onward. He was a fellow drug dealer and Ghost's former mentor turned arch-rival. He was set up by Ghost and Tasha to go to prison for ten years.
In Power, Kanan served as the hidden main antagonist in season 1, one of the main antagonists in season 2-3, one of the two secondary antagonists turned anti-hero in season 4, one of the main protagonists/anti-villian in season 5 and the posthumous overarching antagonist of season 6.
Kanan appeared as a posthumous protagonist in Season 2 of Power Book II: Ghost.
Kanan came from a family of gangsters led by his mother Raquel. It was assumed that Kanan's father was Def Con Stark, a notorious gangster. However, his biological father is Malcolm Howard who was unaware of this.
When he was ten, he was beaten by bullies Tyus and Antonie for his money while his cousin Jukebox was held back and the older children beat him to the ground. Afterwards, a crying Kanan ran home and told his mother what happened, but his mother was insistent that he go back and face those boys, by placing batteries in a sock. At the park, Raquel told him to handle the situation or deal with her and he complied. Kanan then beat the bullies with the sock while taking pleasure in getting revenge. As this happened, the spectators cheered him on for taking care of the bullies.
Prior to Power
He has been a hustler for years and had once taken both Tommy and Ghost under his wing years ago and taught both of them of how to live on the streets. Even though he served as a mentor to him, Ghost was secretly plotting against him and make his own plans to run the hustling game.
Kanan first appears when his son Shawn comes to visit him in prison and the two catch up on everything that's been going on. During this time, Kanan hires a beautiful but deadly assassin known as Pink Sneakers to kill Ghost and his associates. While Ghost is looking for the person that is killing off his connection, Kanan contacts him from prison and informs him that the gang leader Rolla, who was a friend is behind it, framing the leader to have Ghost with no allies.
Afterwards, Pink Sneakers pays Kanan a visit telling him Rolla is dead as he laughs that his plan worked and he tells her that he wants Ghost dead before he gets out and that she needs to get a new pair of sneakers.
Kanan is released from prison being picked up by his son. During this time, Kanan discovers Ghost was still alive and is angry with this development but decides to make due with it. He starts looking for Pink Sneakers, who failed to kill Ghost, and has one of her contacts attempt to find her but fails. He kills him and later learns that Pink Sneakers is in hiding in Miami.
In the process, he goes to see his baby mama Jarita and pays her off for being loyal to him.
He orders his right hand man Dre go to Miami and kill her before Ghost does. Kanan and Tommy meet up with the RSK gang and their new leader QDubs, which ends in Kanan killing him as the latter refused to work with him, Tommy, or Ruiz and his Soldado gang. Afterwards, Kanan furthers his plot to take over the drug business and kill Ghost. After a meeting with Tommy, Dre and his crew, Kanan has Dre kill one the latter's men, Brock as he disliked him and thought he would be disloyal. Later, He meets up with all the drug lords and gangs , including Serbian gang leader, Vladimir, Haitian gang leader Drifty, and Ruiz in order to meet up with Felipe Lobos and set up a new drug business with Kanan in charge and Lobos as their distributor once Ghost is dead. However, things change as Tommy and Lobos are arrested.
Kanan's son Shawn goes to ask him about if he got Tommy set up to go inside. But Kanan denies it since he is a soldier to the streets. That was the moment where Kanan revealed to Shawn that his Uncle G set him up while he was in the car with him that night. So, this gives Kanan the opportunity to give Shawn a clean shot to take out Ghost. Dre, on the other hand, does not think that he is ready, and later becomes the truth. Kanan askes him one last time that if he did not want to do this, then he would have to let him know now. Shawn confirmed it in the process.
Tommy is released while Lobos is still locked up and the drug lords agree to have Ghost killed. During this time, Kanan uses his son Shawn to kill Ghost. However, Shawn fails and Ghost sends him away. Kanan is later confronted by his son, to whom he admits to using him and then shoots, killing him. Kanan has Dre get rid of Shawn's body. When Tommy meets up with Kanan, having him believed that James betrayed him. That is when Kanan reveals to Tommy that Ghost and Tasha send him to Jail. When Kanan had Shawn in his car with drugs, Ghost took one of the tail lights out of his car so that he can be pulled over.
Also that Tasha send the anonymous tip. Then Kanan has a confrontation with Ghost at a warehouse and the two fight and have a bloody, fiery showdown. Ghost stabs Kanan and then burns the house down, thinking he's dead. However, it is suggested that Kanan survives and it is discovered that someone broke out of the warehouse during the fire.
Kanan survives the fight with Ghost and goes into hiding in Washington D.C. at his cousin LaVerne "Jukebox" Ganner's house, but he is severely burnt and injured. Jukebox askes Kanan what happened to him since he lied the first time. It was later after Jukebox found out from her girlfriend Candie that Ghost was the one who burned him alive. That is when Kanan revealed to his cousin that Ghost was the reason that he was inside, and he killed Shawn due to his disloyalty. After recovering, he helps her rob a jewelry store and kills Dirt, who is in on the heist after he opens the store's safe. He later plans revenge on Ghost once again and Jukebox advises him to use Ghost to his advantage and then kill him.
He returns to New York City and goes to Dre's apartment and watches his daughter. When Dre returns from work at the club, he is shocked that Kanan is still alive. Kanan is angry that he is working with Ghost and blackmails him into working with him once again by threatening to kill his daughter. He is later seen spying on Ghost and Tommy. He meets up with Dre, who promised to get him more information on what is going on with Ghost. Later after being updated by Dre on Ghost's current events, he helps an old lady to her apartment (which was one of Breeze's old apartment where Ghost killed him) and kills her by smothering her to death.
While Kanan continues to get updates on Ghost's actions from Dre, he meets Ghost's son Tariq and later picks him up from school and the two bond. Kanan tries to secretly kill Tariq but after he learned Tariq resented his own father, he decides to use this to his own advantage. He develops a soft spot for Tariq, thinking that he would be like a father to him just as Ghost was to Shawn.
He later threatens Dre about warning Tariq about him, reminding him that he chose him. While Kanan is hanging out with Tariq, Jukebox later shows up to help. They tested his loyalty and Jukebox has him arrested and tried to force him to give up Kanan but he stays silent, which meant he passed. Kanan gets in the car and is impressed with Tariq who realizes what this act meant.
While they are all hanging out his apartment and plan to take out Ghost, Kanan talks with his cousin and she advises him to kill Tariq, which he holds off on. They later drug Tariq and then send a text from his phone to Tasha, showing a picture of her son and demanding a ransom.
Kanan still stays in hiding as he, Jukebox, and Ray Ray wait for Tasha to respond to their ransom demand for Tariq. Unfortunately for them, their meeting is interrupted by Dre who was looking for Tariq. Dre breaks the news to Kanan that due to Ghost being arrested, they won't be seeing any money from the St. Patrick's that night. Dre also promises to pay Kanan with the money he gets from running the club since Ghost was incarcerated and left him in charge. Ray Ray and Jukebox demand for a higher price for each person at 15K.
Satisfied with his enemy's suffering, and no longer intending on holding Tariq hostage, Kanan wakes Tariq up from his lean coma and tells him that his dad has been arrested.
After Tariq wakes up, he is shocked at the news of his father's arrest and asks Kanan what his father did. Kanan tells him whatever he did, “he did that shit” and the young, gullible Tariq believes him.
Tariq goes back home to his worried family as Kanan takes joy on Ghost experiencing what he experienced in prison. Days past, with Kanan and Ray Ray turning Tariq to his side and using the teenager to rob some of the latter's wealthy friends. Kanan's reasons for this was to turn Tariq against his father just Ghost did with his own son Shawn.
Dre continues to pay Kanan but warns him to stay away from the teenager as Tommy and Tasha were getting suspicious and think of coming for him if they learn he was alive.
When Ghost is released from jail, Jukebox (realizing Ghost could access his money) seizes the opportunity and kidnaps Tariq to continues to carry on with their ransom plans to get money and kill both of them. Jukebox has Kanan track Ghost down and Kanan finally makes his move against Ghost, surprising him with his survival. He then forces St. Patrick into his car at gunpoint telling him to hand over cash or Tariq will die. When Ghost protests that he just got out of jail and is a little short, Kanan is unimpressed. “Not having no money never stopped you from getting money before,” he reminds him. Ghost then decides to rob Tommy’s stash house with Kanan laughing that he'd rob his own friend and needs him as backup and an armed robbery in which one of Tommy's men dies.
As they drive to where Jukebox is holding Tariq, Ghost and Kanan have a heart-to-heart, or as close to one as these two men are capable of. Ghost stated “I loved you like a brother. I wasn’t going to kill you,” when explaining his choice to take Kanan out of the game by sending him to prison. Kanan replied “So you just made a bad choice,” stating bluntly if he was dead then this wouldn't be happening. Kanan then tells Ghost that Jukebox has his son, which worries him. After a drive, Kanan starts to have second thoughts and hands Ghost a gun and gives him a choice: Kill him now, or use the weapon to go in and they’ll get Tariq out together.
When the men get to the house, Jukebox quickly figures out she’s getting crossed, and she doesn’t like it. She pulls a gun on Tariq, who’s tied to a chair, and starts spilling secrets. She commands Kanan to tell Tariq who he really is, as he complies confessing that he’s a “no-good motherf–ker” who wanted to hurt Ghost, “so I used you.” Then, if poor Tariq isn’t traumatized enough, Kanan admits to killing Shawn, his own son and admits he'd do it again.
Jukebox is done with the truth-telling, so she goes to shoot Tariq, but Kanan takes her out with a round of bullets to the chest, killing his cousin. Ghost grabs his freaked-out son and hugs him, swaying back and forth. Kanan says he’ll see Tariq around, grabs the cash, and leaves.
Kanan texts Dre twice a few weeks after Tariq's kidnapping to talk business but Dre doesn't respond to Kanan's two text messages. Dre and Cristobal later send two assassins to kill Kanan. Later, while Kanan is at his apartment, the assassins attack and try to kill him, but Kanan effortlessly overpowers and kills them. It is later revealed that the two assassins were members of the Hermanos Tainos, Cristobal's gang.
Kanan tracks down and confronts Tommy some time after killing the assassins. Kanan asks if he or Ghost sent the assassins and shows Tommy the assassins' dead bodies in his car trunk. Tommy denies it and tells Kanan the assassins were Hermanos Tainos because of their gang tattoos. Tommy tells Kanan that Cristobal is the leader of the Hermanos Tainos and he is friends with Dre. They call a truce due to Kanan saving Tariq and Kanan leaves. Kanan travels back down to Washington D.C. to Candie's (Formerly Jukebox's) house to form a crew with the intention to get revenge on Dre.
Kanan then tells his men who to look out for and is soon told about Raina's death. Kanan figures out that it was Ray Ray because Tariq had called him earlier asking him where he could find Ray Ray. He calls Tommy to let him know it was Ray-Ray who was responsible for it.
After Tariq kills Ray Ray, Kanan calls Tommy to tell him to let him speak with Ghost and they form an alliance to take out Dre. Kanan sits in the back seat of Tommy's car as the three men spot Dre with his new affiliation, they realize it was too risky to kill him since he was protected by the Jimenez Cartel. The three then drive off with the intention of getting reinforcement to carry out their plan for revenge another day.
At the beginning of Season 5, Kanan, Tommy and Ghost go to Tommy's Apartment to discuss a way to kill Dre. But before they get upstairs, Ghost askes Kanan how can we trust him. Kanan responded, "You set me on Fire N***a, not the other way around". As Ghost knows that Kanan is not the forgiving time, Kanan tells him, "I could have shot you both 20, 11 times already. Get out the way man, so we can figure out how to kill this lil light skinned n***a, Dre's the problem right?", leaving Ghost to answer, "Right."
Tommy gets a tip from a young Taino boy about where Dre and Cristobal are staying. He tells Kanan and Ghost as soon as possible. Little do they know that it was a trap. They were in a warehouse in Roosevelt Island. Before going to the spot, Kanan and Ghost have a funny throwback of when Tommy found an Albino Boy back in the day thinking that he found another white boy in the hood. After their little reunion, Tommy gets into the Hyundai Sonata and they travel to confront Dre.
As soon as they reach the spot, Ghost and Tommy go inside, however, Ghost catches sight of a blunt and realises that they have been played. They run as soon as possible towards the exit. Right before Dre was able to kill Tommy and Ghost, Kanan races in with the Sonata and saves both of their lives.
When Tommy's connect Jason Micic appears, he is angry at Tommy for causing a loss of money and takes note of Kanan who is forced along with James to work for him to repay him the millions.
Kanan tells his gang they're working with Tommy/Ghost but doesn't mind, since he just has to make himself look good enough to work for Jason.
Kanan goes to Tommy, who asks how to handle a mobster being released. Kanan soon learns it's Tommy's father and is surprised, now understanding Tommy's new mob friends. Kanan then tells Tommy to give it a chance, since he didn't have a father. With that advice, Tommy decides to give his father the benefit of the doubt.
Ghost orders Kanan to kill Diego Jimenez to slow down Dre's operation, in exchange Dre kills Tommy's connect with Jason Micac. Kanan kills Diego and his body guard. Kanan cuts Diego's head and brings it to Jason. Kanan tells Jason that he wants to be his new distributor and that he plans to have Ghost and Tommy kill each other to get Tommy's job. Kanan tells Jason to kill Alicia who is Diego sister in order to get his ports from her. Also he warns Jason that an assassin is on his way hear to kill him. Jason and Kanan leave with a deal.
Later in the season, Kanan is pulled over by the police. It's revealed that Angela and Tasha planted the murder weapon which Ray Ray was killed with in his car. It's also revealed that Tariq was in on the plan to frame Kanan so that he can take the fall for Ray Ray's murder. Kanan is shot by the police, but manages to kill all of them. He approaches the police car with Tariq in it, locking eyes with him before killing the last surviving officer. Tariq, paralyzed with terror, watches as Kanan gives him a grin and gets in another squad car to drive away. However, Kanan succumbs to his shot, and loses control causing the car to slowly crash into a pole.
Although he was dead during the events of the final season, he was mentioned a couple of times when Tommy, Ghost and Tasha find out that Kanan has been in touch with Tariq and gave him drugs to sell out Choate before his death. He appeared in Ghost's hallucination warning him that he is no different from him and he will always be a killer. He later appeared as in Tariq’s hallucination telling him that he should be the one to kill Ghost. Despite making amends with Ghost after saving Tariq, he did get his revenge on Ghost in a form of his son.
He appeared in Tariq's nightmare telling him to get rid of the phone. He later showed up in Tariq hallucination in a prison cell telling him to be careful who to trust. He later showed up in Tariq’s nightmare and berates him for not being fair with him as Tariq help set Kanan that led to his demise.
Murders committed by Kanan
Power Book III: Raising Kanan
- Buck Twenty: Shot to death along with D-Wiz for taking over Raquel corner.
- Chabo: Shot in the head for failing to find Pink Sneakers.
- Quarter "QDubs" Water: Shot in the head for refusing to work with him.
- Shawn Stark: Shot twice for not killing Ghost after Shawn confronted him and also for insulting him.
- Dirt: Shot in the head with a sub machine uzi.
- Unknown old woman: Smothered in order to gain Breeze’s apartment.
- Marcus: Shot in the head to prevent him from killing him and Ghost.
- LaVerne "Jukebox" Ganner: Shot 3 times in order to save Tariq.
- Two Hermanos Tianos Assassins: The first one was stabbed to death and the second one got his throat slit.
- Scotty: Shot to death for betraying him and trying to kill Tommy.
- Trigger: Shot in the head for trying to kill Tommy as well as for betraying him.
- Two Hermanos Tianos Members: The first one was shot in the chest and the second one was shot in the head.
- Diego Jimenez's Bodyguard: Shot in the head by Kanan in order to kill Diego Jimenez on Ghost's orders.
- Diego Jimenez: Shot in the shoulder and then in the head by Kanan on Ghost's orders.
- Four NYPD Officers: All shot in the head.
Murders connected to Kanan
Power Book III: Raising Kanan
- Nicole Bingham: Indirectly Caused. Nicole stole a batch of the drugs from Jukebox that Kanan made that killed some other junkies and had taken them resulting in her last breath.
- Anibal Santalises: Neck slit from behind by Pink Sneakers to weaken Ghost's drug operation on his orders.
- Rolla: Shot three times in the chest in his apartment by Ghost, after Kanan told him it was Rolla who sent Pink Sneakers after him.
- Two RSK members: Shot to death by Tommy after Kanan shot QDubs.
- Pink Sneakers: Stabbed to death by Dre on his orders, after failing to kill Ghost as he wanted Ghost dead before he gets out of prison and to also make sure she is not the one to tell Ghost it was him who sent her to kill him on Kanan's orders.
- Broc: Kidnapped by him and shot by Dre on his orders because Kanan didn't like him and considered him as disloyal on Kanan's orders.
- Raina St. Patrick: introducing Tariq to Ray Ray and Jukebox led to Ray Ray nearly killing Tariq for money, but in the process Raina tried to protect Tariq, which ends up killing her. All leading back to Kanan's lesson of loyalty.
- Raymond "Ray Ray" Jones: Indirectly caused. Kanan taught Tariq how to open a locked door with a card. Tariq later used this skill to break into Ray Ray's apartment and kill him.
- Kanan was one of the overarching villains of the series, as he appeared in all seasons, and has more history with Ghost and Tommy than anyone else.
- Kanan is 2 of the 5 main protagonists that have been killed off in the power universe.
- Kanan was the first character on Power to kill a main character when he killed Shawn Stark.
- He murdered two members of his family: His son Shawn Stark and cousin LaVerne Ganner.
- In Murderers,Tommy smokes some of Kanan's ashes out of respect. This is a reference to the belief that 2Pac's ashes were smoked by The Outlawz.
- Kanan never appears in all episodes of a particular season.
- His blood type is AB negative, same as his father Howard.
- Kanan had never met any members of the NYPD, including Angela, Saxe and Donovan. Ironically, he was killed by NYPD Officers.
- The real address where Kanan robs the Tivoli Jewelry Store with Jukebox's crew took place in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Graham and Metropolitan Avenues.
- In Tariq’s storyline, he served as the main antagonist in season 3 and the main antagonist turned tritagonist in season 4.
- Chronologically, Kanan is the first protagonist of the Power Universe, but in terms of release, he is the third protagonist.
- Chronologically, Kanan got the first kill.
- Although he was the overarching main antagonist of Power, he had redeeming qualities such as saving Tariq from Jukebox, Helped avenged Raina death by telling Tommy where Ray Ray stays, works with and saves Ghost and Tommy from Dre.
- To become part of the game (succeeded)
- Kill Buck Twenty (succeeded)
- Use Shawn to kill Ghost (failed)
- Take over Tommy's position in Jason's Organization (failed)
- Kill Ghost and Tasha (formerly) <succeeded through Tariq, Ghost Only>
- Kill Shawn for his betrayal (succeeded)
- Kill Tariq to hurt Ghost (formerly)
- Brainwash Tariq and turn him against Ghost (Succeeded)
- Kill Pink Sneakers (Succeeded)
- Save Tariq from getting killed (succeeded)
- Teach Tariq the drug game (succeeded)
- Kill Dre and Cristobal (failed)
- Kill Diego (Succeeded)
- Kill the cops (succeeded)
|Power, Season 1|
|#01||"Not Exactly How We Planned"||#04||"Who Are You?"||#07||"Loyalty"|
|#02||"Whoever He Is"||#05||"I Gotta Go"||#08||"Best Laid Plans"|
|#03||"This Is Real"||#06||"Who You With?"|
|Power, Season 2|
|#01||"Consequences"||#05||"Who You Are and Who You Want to Be"||#09||"Time's Up"|
|#02||"No Friends on the Street"||#06||"Why Her?"||#10||"Ghost Is Dead"|
|#03||"Like We're Any Other Couple"||#07||"You're Not the Man"|
|#04||"You're the Only Person I Can Trust"||#08||"Three Moves Ahead"|
|Power, Season 3|
|#01||"Call Me James"||#05||"Help Me"||#09||"I Call the Shots"|
|#02||"It's Never Over"||#06||"The Right Decision"||#10||"In My Best Interest"|
|#03||"I Got This on Lock"||#07||"Don't Go"|
|#04||"Don't Worry, Baby"||#08||"Trust Me"|
|Power, Season 4|
|#01||"When I Get Out"||#05||"Don't Thank Me"||#09||"That Ain't Me"|
|#02||"Things Are Going to Get Worse"||#06||"New Man"||#10||"You Can't Fix This"|
|#03||"The Kind of Man You Are"||#07||"You Lied to My Face"|
|#04||"We're in This Together"||#08||"It's Done"|
|Power, Season 5|
|#01||"Everyone Is Implicated"||#05||"Happy Birthday"||#09||"There's a Snitch Among Us"|
|#02||"Damage Control"||#06||"A Changed Man?"||#10||"When This Is Over"|
|#03||"Are We On the Same Team?"||#07||"The Devil Inside"|
|#04||"Second Chances"||#08||"A Friend of the Family"|
|Power, Season 6|
|#01||"Murderers"||#06||"Inside Man"||#11||"Still DRE"|
|#02||"Whose Side Are You On?"||#07||"Like Father, Like Son"||#12||"He Always Wins"|
|#03||"Forgot About Dre"||#08||"Deal with the Devil"||#13||"It's All Your Fault"|
|#04||"Why Is Tommy Still Alive?"||#09||"Scorched Earth"||#14||"Reversal of Fortune"|
|#05||"King's Gambit"||#10||"No One Can Stop Me"||#15||"Exactly How We Planned"|