Wild Space, Part II: Blood, Sweat and Tears

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The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapters 3 and 4 

DEAR LORD, THE NEXT TWO CHAPTERS OF THIS BOOK ARE SOMETHING. I’m not even going to pretend that they aren’t. I honestly cannot believe this book exists, for so many reasons, and to say that I am looking forward to sharing today’s recap with you all is an understatement of epic proportions. There’s just…so many things?

Previously, on As Coruscant Turns, Obi-Wan and Padme got into a bit of a tiff in the nurse’s office at the Jedi Temple because, despite the fact that both of them were nearly killed and neither of them had even taken a second to change out of their blood-stained clothes yet, they both were just like SUPER IN NEED OF SEEING ANAKIN. Anakin was not even conscious for the entire prior two chapters, and yet he was pretty much all anyone — Sidious, Obi-Wan, Padme, Yoda, random Padawans — talked about. Please, Skywalker, remind me again about how no one cares about you. YOU ARE ONE OF THE ONLY THINGS ANYONE IN THIS GALAXY EVER TALKS ABOUT.

Today’s chapters are going to amplify the Anidala Drama and Anakin’s Rage Tears above and beyond pretty much ANYTHING I’ve ever read or seen in Star Wars (please take a moment to consider exactly how dramatic it would need to be for me to say that), and I’d sort of forgotten until I sat down to recap this how many people are total assholes or oblivious idiots in this part of the book, so that’s always fun. Then, we’re going to round out this adventure with a scene between Anakin and Obi-Wan that occasionally reads as though Team Star Wars just phoned up the authors of the entire Obi-Wan Kenobi/Anakin Skywalker section of Archive of Our Own and asked them to collectively Guest Author a scene.

Are we ready? Of course we are. I know what you people are about.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Unwelcome Visitor

Chapter 3 begins with Padme laying in her bed, probably wearing something ridiculous that has a cape and is encrusted with rhinestones, trying to force herself to sleep. Threepio knocks on her door and informs her that she has an evening visitor: it’s Obi-Wan. Man, Padme just gets ALL the best things: fancy apartment, hot Jedi husband, lots of insane hairstyles, AND nighttime pop-ins from Obes Kenboes? IT’S NOT FAIR.

Padme bolts out of bed, concerned that Obi-Wan’s here to tell her that something bad has happened to Anakin. But no — it can’t be! She’d totally know if he was dead HE HAS BEEN HER BOYFRIEND FOR LIKE 2 ENTIRE DAYS THEY ARE BONDED FOR LIFE NOW A COUPLE OF TIMES THEY DID KISSING.

I need to make some things noted right now: one, Padme is HILARIOUSLY DRAMATIC in this scene, and this book overall. Like, she is WORSE than Anakin somehow. Her internal monologue throughout this entire scene is direct off the set of the soapiest soap opera ever. She BURNS for Anakin. She LIVES for Anakin. She would rather DIE than hurt him. Each moment of her life without him is a moment where DEATH would be preferable. GIRL. YOU’VE GOT IT BAD. I’m not sure how she made it through the war without combusting, given this. I love that we are apparently something like 72 hours after she partially ignored Anakin’s many terrible attempts to flirt with her, too. I guess once Anakin takes hold in your brain, the Madness spreads quickly.

The other thing I need to note is that for some reason, Padme appears to pretty much hate Obi-Wan’s guts in this scene, like, right from the get-go. She seemed pretty disgusted with him back in the last recap, as well, which…is kind of weird? I mean, she was the one defending Obi-Wan when Anakin was having a fit about him in Attack of the Clones, she was the one who went to go rescue Obi-Wan, and, like…I sort of thought they were friends? OK, Star Wars, whatever you say. I guess this scene wouldn’t have been dramatic enough otherwise.

Padme comes marching out of her room after doing a quick costume change (she literally thinks to herself that if she’s going to get bad news about Anakin she wants to be wearing something other than a nightgown. Does she have a special preemptive mourning dress? Is this just her way to rationalize wanting to look nice for Obi-Wan on some subconscious level?) The first thing she asks Obi-Wan is a haughty WELL?! AM I PERMITTED TO SEE ANAKIN NOW, or are you going to keep us apart some more omg???

Obi-Wan is like “no, it’s not about that” and before Obi-Wan even gets a chance to remotely touch on what he’s there to discuss, she’s pretty much just trying to throw him out of her apartment because if he’s not here to take her to Anakin then she doesn’t want to talk to Obi-Wan at all. He persists: this is important enough that they really need to talk and it can’t wait.

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He tells her that he has, and that Anakin’s fine and resting, and Padme’s all annoyed immediately that Obi-Wan isn’t upset enough. Sigh.

Padme Amidala, Unreliable Narrator

The two of them eventually sit down in her living room. Padme starts in by being like “don’t be mad at Anakin, OK? He totally didn’t want to disobey his orders and he LOVES being a Jedi and all he ever talks about is how he doesn’t want to disappoint you!!!” Um, let me pause here for a second, Senator, because this? Is not 100% true. If you will recall, every other thing Anakin says to Padme in Attack of the Clones is MUCH more along the lines of how:

  • he’d probably be cool with having a secret love affair with her (which he only backtracks on when she talks him out of it);
  • Obi-Wan is a pain in his ass;
  • he’s more powerful than Obi-Wan;
  • everything bad in his life is all Obi-Wan’s fault because Obi-Wan is holding him back.

Now, I think we all know I am fully aware that Anakin also totally loves Obi-Wan, but Padme’s making it out like Anakin spent all of Episode 2 rhapsodizing to her about what a wonderful mentor Obi-Wan was and how much he’d NEVER EVER want to disappoint him. Sure, Amidala. OK. You do know the rest of us saw the movie, right friend?

She then, at Obi-Wan’s questioning about them going to Tatooine, drops the bomb that Shmi died. Obi-Wan is aghast: what happened? Padme is like “this interview is OVER“:

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…OK. I…I mean, I get this. She’s protecting him, True Love and whatnot, but sometimes the reality hits me that this “business with the Sand People” Padme is pointedly refusing to address because Oh My It’s Anakin’s Private Secret to Share is the fact that HE MOWED DOWN AN ENTIRE VILLAGE. Like…yes, they killed his mother. I know. But. Wow. OK.

Low Blow

The two of them bicker back and forth about whether it was OK that Anakin disobeyed orders and Padme is like “you know who didn’t always obey the Council, Obi-Wan? HMM? YOUR DEAD SPACE DAD HE TOLD ME SO AND EVERYTHING.” This conversation then somehow reaches new levels of Dramatics when Obi-Wan is like “bitch, thanks for throwing that in there but I did not come here to talk about Qui-Gon” and Padme regards him like he’s a serial killer in response:

3…what the fuck: Obi-Wan pointedly telling her not to Go There about his dead dad is so ooooh chilling Padme has to summon the strength not to be reduced to tears like she is so sure Poor Anakin must always be? Oh my God, what is even happening right now. Yes, how dare he request that you back off his Tragic Backstory. This entire discussion…like, honestly I kept scrubbing my face while reading it.

Next, Padme’s like “you know what? I’M the one who dragged Anakin along to save you”, and Obi-Wan is like HOW CREATIVE OF YOU QUI-GON WOULD BE SO PROUD, and Padme then starts bitching about how Poor Anakin has no idea that Obi-Wan even LIKES him he needs to know you trust him blahblahblahblahblah and Obi-Wan throws back that he DOES know that obviously and Padme accuses him of being wrong and that Anakin’s real problem is that he lacks confidence because Obi-Wan doesn’t hold his hand in public enough or whatever and OH MY GOD THESE TWO ARE SO TIRING.

At this, Obi-Wan insists: “Anakin doesn’t have a problem with his confidence, good LORD. If anything he has too much confidence — it’s why he charged in after Dooku and that’s why he lost his fucking arm!” Padme is like “Oh, good, so you blame ANAKIN for that. Nice.” Well…I mean, no? But also Anakin DID lose his arm at least partly because he went in guns a-blazing after Dooku? Like, WHILE Obi-Wan specifically yelled after him not to do it?

I’m trying really hard not to rant too much here because I like Padme a lot and I completely understand her all-consuming, brain-eating Jedi Romance here, but I am dying because prior to a handful of days ago, she and Anakin hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in a DECADE, and now she’s mouthing off to a guy who sees him EVERY GODDAMNED DAY about all the things that are dysfunctional in their relationship and everything she totally knows Obi-Wan is doing wrong. Like, you are never going to find me claiming that the Kenobi-Skywalkers have their shit together here, but holy shit, Padme! Did it ever occur to you that you might not have the full story of their messed-up relationship? Obi-Wan already always considers himself Not Good Enough, Padme, and he doesn’t even really want to be here. You don’t need to make it worse.

Stay Away From My Man

Obi-Wan has understandably had enough of this and is like “for fuck’s sake, this isn’t even what I came here to talk about” and that’s when he gets down to the real task at hand: he knows that Anakin has Feelings for Padme, and she has Feelings for him, and he’s here to douse them both with some cold water for the good of the galaxy.

He goes through the usual song and dance: Anakin’s a Jedi, he’s a really Important Jedi at that, and there could be Grave Consequences For the Universe if he’s pulled away or distracted from who he is supposed to be.

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…good grief, KenobiI’m never sure what I find more humorous: that the Jedi Order thinks that two people hooking up might end up bringing the universe to ruin because it’ll make Anakin shitty at his job, or the FACT THAT IT ENDS UP KIND OF ACTUALLY BEING TRUE. Oh, Star Wars.

Padme then spits this back, on the verge of tears:

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So, did she just suggest that Obi-Wan should just be like “You’re right. You know what? Go nuts. Get married, have kids, whatever. You’ve swayed me by yelling at me for 15 minutes about how I’m a bad friend.” How the hell did she think this conversation was going to go? Again: SHE HAS BASICALLY ONLY KNOWN ANAKIN AS AN ADULT FOR A HANDFUL OF DAYS. Did she honestly think Obi-Wan was just going to be all “oh good point; guess I’ll just scrap my life’s work and give up on my promise to a dying man”?

Importantly, Obi-Wan’s not about to let the accusation that he does not love Anakin stand, because even Obi-Wan has his limits here.

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Padme is totally unimpressed by this, which frankly is SOME BULLSHIT. She does know that the fact that a JEDI would admit this out loud to her is a HUGE FUCKING DEAL, right? But no, instead she’s just like O What Could He Possibly Know Of Love?

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…I can’t even with this. Whatever you need to tell yourself, Padme. Sure. Obi-Wan just more or less admitted to your face that he broke the Jedi Code and is attached to your stupid boyfriend, but you’re totally right: he just couldn’t possibly know what it’s like to care about someone, especially Anakin.

Eventually, Padme pretends to relent: OK, fine, she’ll tell Anakin it’s over, even though he will probably DIE and she’ll DIE and everything will be THE WORST. Obi-Wan thanks her, and after telling Padme it’s for the best, and takes his leave while she immediately launches into a series Dramatic Thoughts about how Love Will Conquer All. To my ENORMOUS relief, this scene is over, because I’m not sure I can take much more of this.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi Cannot Win

Obi-Wan, having taken an emotional beating at Padme’s hands, now returns to the Temple to get another shellacking, this time from Yoda. Obi-Wan’s having a bang-up week this week, isn’t he? I’m a little surprised Maul didn’t just decide to pop up right now, too.

Obi-Wan is lingering on feeling sad for Anakin because of what happened to Shmi and feeling terrible about his conversation with Padme. He wants to go see Anakin right away, but he knows he needs to stop by and see Yoda to tell him that he’s successfully interfered in a teenager’s love life for him. Ah, the important tasks of a Jedi Knight.

Yoda is like “Pfft, good. Glad it’s done. OF COURSE, we wouldn’t have HAD THIS PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE IF YOU’D DONE YOUR JOB, KENOBES. I’m very disappointed in you for letting Anakin have feelings for a girl.”

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OH MY GOD. So Padme hates Obi-Wan because she thinks he doesn’t love Anakin enough for her tastes, and Yoda hates him because he thinks Obi-Wan loves Anakin too much for his comfort. God.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Anakin

Obi-Wan tells Yoda that Anakin’s mother has died and Yoda, hilariously, over-the-top dickishly, is like “…and???? Death happens. BFD.” Obi-Wan has some Thoughts to himself about how Yoda doesn’t understand, Anakin is such an emotional little baby bird and this will be so hard for him. Yoda informs Obi-Wan that they’re probably going to get into a war now, so they’ll probably have to make Anakin a knight way sooner than they’d planned. Fantastic. And as if this conversation wasn’t depressing enough, he makes sure to lecture Obi-Wan some more before he leaves to go see Anakin: what Anakin needs right now, more than anything, is a teacher. Not a friend. You can’t be both. Don’t fuck this up, Kenobes.

This all ends up being like a mirror image of the conversation he just had with Padme, except that this time Obi-Wan is Padme: he tells Yoda to his face that he understands, but as soon as he leaves his first thoughts are about how Yoda doesn’t get it, that all Anakin needs is for him to be his friend, and that the more he tries NOT to be Anakin’s friend, the worse things get between them. And now that he’s lost an arm and he’s about to lose Padme, too, Obi-Wan knows he HAS to be Anakin’s buddy now more than ever. (So, what’s the moral of the story here? That Anakin’s life turned into a disaster because people liked him too much? LOL)

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Shirtless Nightmare-Haver

Back in the healer’s ward, Anakin is having what is not explicitly described as a shirtless nightmare, but let’s just go ahead and, for the sake of continuity, say that it was. He’s reliving his mother’s terrible death scene, and just as he is once again unable to save her, he bolts awake — and the first person he sees is Obi-Wan.

As should surprise nobody at this point, guess who Anakin wants to blame for all the Problems right now?

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So, just to recap: in this single chapter, Obi-Wan has been told:

  1. He’s a bad friend and is going to ruin Anakin’s life
  2. He’s a bad mentor and is going to ruin Anakin’s life
  3. He’s the reason Anakin’s mother is dead which has ruined Anakin’s life

Nice. Thanks, Star Wars! Wouldn’t have expected it to go any other way.

Obi-Wan is horrified and reaches out for Anakin: I’m not the one who killed her! I had no idea your dreams were about her death! You never told me! (THIS IS SO IMPORTANT OK?!)

Anakin is not in the mood for excuses, though, and very pointedly tells Obi-Wan to get his hands off of him. (I feel like I should say something suggestive here but this scene is actually Quite Sad and Emotional so I will refrain from being all “GUESS THERE’S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING! HAR HAR HAR!”) (Sorry. I guess I did it anyways.)

That’s when Anakin notices that uh, his hand looks a little different, and eeeeverything starts coming back to him: the arena, the battle, Padme’s near-death love confession, and losing his arm. Anakin’s really had quite the week, too. This is what causes a breakdown for him, and sure enough, he really does need a friend.

9Oh. My poor boys! Sigh.

The Kenobi-Skywalkers, Co-Parenting

Now in Chapter 4, we jump ahead a couple of years, right into the midst of the Clone Wars Era. Amusingly, plunging ourselves further into The Encroaching Darkness is actually going to make this book a LOT more cheerful and fun (and, frankly, much more sexually suggestive.) (But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Anakin, now a Jedi Knight, is doing some saber practice with Ahsoka, his relatively newish padawan. He’s…struggling, a little bit, with the whole “being a space dad” thing. Ahsoka’s kind of a handful! It can be Very Vexing at times! They are both getting frustrated with each other! Obi-Wan is unsurprisingly and deservedly LOVING THIS as he watches from the observation area.

Anakin tasks our girl Snips with doing some practice on her own while he goes to have an adorable talk with his husband about their new kid:

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There’s a whole bunch of stuff about how Our Boys are, thankfully, doing so much better as a couple than they were in the last chapter: they’re total buds now, raising Ahsoka together and kicking ass and sure, Obi-Wan sometimes still lectures him but Anakin still loves him and it’s all heartwarming and shit. Anakin is like oh, I suppose this is where I’m supposed to be like WOW OBI-WAN YOU WERE SUCH A GREAT MENTOR AND NOW I UNDERSTAND HOW HARD YOU WORKED and Obi-Wan, smirkily, is like YUP:

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He Doesn’t Understand

Awwww! Anakin reflects to himself on how it was Obi-Wan’s refusal to back away from Anakin that saved their relationship after Anakin’s Big Fat Meltdown in the last chapter: that Obi-Wan listened to him, let him yell at him, and never took it too personally. He thinks, further, about how he’s still keeping The Sand People Thing a secret lo these several years later. Because Obi-Wan? Yeah, he’d never understand what was motivating Anakin  that day. Never:

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Oh, really? Really. Not even a little bit?

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See? THIS IS WHY THESE TWO NEEDED A GOOD THERAPIST. They needed to get SO MANY THINGS out in the open.

Aaaanyways, Anakin ruminates further on how the only thing that had truly saved him from himself during Those Dark Times was Padme — Padme, who loved him and was wonderful and good and kind to him (aww), and let him Just Be Himself or whatever, and Obi-Wan, who apparently helped him reconnect with the Force.

What’s more, at some point The Boys had had a big ol’ Come To Jesus talk where Anakin apologized for charging at Dooku and acting impulsively and the part that that played in nearly getting them both killed, and he had winced as he did it:

17Oh! These two. *stifles a sob*

Anakin Skywalker, Daydreamer

Anakin continues to think to himself, STILL: about how the war had happened and how he wishes the Jedi could just kick more asses and be more badass and GET THIS THING DONE ALREADY and fondly recalling times that Obi-Wan had been nice to him and then he just starts STARING at Obi-Wan while wistfully wishing he and Padme could, uh, show him the power of love. Yeah.

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Well, hello there! Oh, Skywalker. Like we didn’t all already know you’d be into that.

Obi-Wan understandably is like “is there a reason you keep staring at me?” (oh come on, Kenobes, aren’t you used to that by now?) but instead of divulging what he was actually thinking about, Anakin asks if he knows where their next assignment will be.

I Can’t Believe This Part Is In Here

Obi-Wan replies that he isn’t sure where they’re off to next, and throws some of his usual “don’t be too excited to go and kill stuff, ANAKIN” chiding in there for good measure. Then he notices that Ahsoka’s looking pretty worn out from her exercises, and suggests that they give her a break — and a show.

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Yes, the boys are going to spar for us. And this would be not especially noteworthy — I mean, they are Jedi, they practice, whatever — except that this scene is written in such a way that…it’s something, OK? I was once telling my husband about just how outlandishly sexual this scene reads, and when I attempted to read part of it aloud I could barely get through it without junior-high-levels of immature giggling while he just sat there going “THAT IS NOT IN THERE, YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS MADE THAT UP.”

Oh no, dear readers: it’s true. All of it.

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Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan and Anakin, Showmen

Ahsoka, thrilled, hands off her training saber to Obi-Wan and, as the boys take their places, reflects on how intimidated she’d been to discover that Anakin was going to be her mentor. She was terrified about impressing him and proving herself worthy, but now they’re getting into a good rhythm and she loves her Space Dads (*sobs*).

While she is thinking about all of this, half the freaking Order starts filtering into the dojo because oooooh there’s about to be some Hot Sweaty Playfight Action and they don’t wanna miss it!

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Right, some “strange kind of Jedi alchemy”. Like someone didn’t just send out a text alert about this.

Ahsoka watches Anakin fight and wonders what it must be like for him to fight with a prosthetic hand, and wonders if she’ll ever get up the nerve to ask him about it, and as she’s thinking all of this she notices the gathering crowd and is peeved because she doesn’t want to share her dads with the Order. Awww.

This book then takes things up about twelve hundred notches as it breathlessly describes The Very Hot and Sweaty Action happening in the dojo, and the fact that Obi-Wan playfully slaps Anakin in the ass in front of everyone and Anakin is totally into it. I never thought I’d write a blog that would contain that sentence, but I am so glad that I got to write it and share it with all of you.

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WHAT THE HELL EVEN WAS THE JEDI ORDER, YOU GUYS. And why wouldn’t everyone want it restored to its former glory if these are the kinds of shenanigans that went on there.  (I’m going to pointedly ignore the fact that the Jedi Order gathering around to watch Obi-Wan and Anakin fight is making me feel ways about Sad Things, too, in favor of laughing at all of this.)

This whole thing goes on for some time, and at one point Obi-Wan for-real RUNS ACROSS THE CEILING AND ANAKIN CHASES HIM. Oh yes, clearly Obi-Wan was not at all a dramatic show-off oh no not Obi-Wan not ever. Ahsoka is entranced and she cheers aloud at this and I’m feeling some Space Family Feelings right now and it’s bumming me out.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan

The Kenobi-Skywalker Sexy Sideshow concludes thusly:

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I almost feel like I shouldn’t even provide additional commentary here because really WHAT THE HELL ELSE CAN BE SAID ABOUT THIS that it’s not already saying itself, except that I have to because…wringing wet and blowing hard? Wow, Star Wars. Also: it is absolutely killing me that this, uh, sparring match ends with Ahsoka pretty much crying tears of joy while yelling “Way to go, Anakin! Way to go!” as Anakin almost completely loses his shit because Obi-Wan touched his face and praised him. I mean…the fact that Star Wars slapped their logo on this book is just…amazing.  Incredible. I’m with you, Ahsoka: I’m pretty happy for Anakin, too.

As everyone starts filtering out now that this ostentatious display is over with, Anakin assigns Ahsoka some homework to do by herself — because he’s gotta, uh, go somewhere that is totally not “having sex with Padme” related. I guess Anakin’s, um, got a little energy to burn off now. Ahsoka is disappointed — Anakin is always running off to be somewhere else and she doesn’t totally get it (not yet, and probably only because she hasn’t known him that long) — but she resigns herself to being the Very Best Padawan she can be. Awww.

Recurring Theme: Padme Is Not Subtle

Meanwhile, Bail and Padme are listening to Palpatine blather on to the Senate with his usual trash about saving the Republic and the Jedi being their pals and whatever. Bail brings up their recent alliance with the Hutts and Padme is like UGH those guys are the WORST I wish we hadn’t had to make that deal. Bail notes that he doesn’t think they had a choice — they really need the hyperlanes they get out of it. Padme hilariously is like “well yeah and the Jedi would never have made the deal if they didn’t agree the JEDI totally hate the Hutts” and oh who COULD she be talking about here? This happens:

25LOL. You sure have, my friend. High five! Bail is like “hey I’m just glad you kind of get the Jedi. I think they’re sort of a bunch of weirdos” and Padme is instantly like HOW DARE YOU THEY HAVE THE BEST HAIR AND THEY ARE SMART AND BRAVE AND GOOD IN BED.

Palpatine, now done giving his speech, wickedly sneaks up behind them and is like oooooh what are you two gossiping about?, stopping Padme before she can say most of the things I just said above.

Bail says they were just talking about how great the Jedi are, and how indebted they are to them, and Palpatine of course cannot resist the chance to get another one of his usual Secretly Evil Statements in there:

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What an asshole. I love this evil bastard.

Padme, having heard that it’s getting late, panics — oh shit, I’m running late too! For something! That does not involve a naked Jedi! Gotta run! and she honestly takes off so fast Bail doesn’t even get a chance to properly say goodbye to her. Did Anakin and Padme have any idea that by the end of the war just about every single person in the universe knew they were sexing each other?

OH MY GOD THIS RECAP TOOK FOREVER (FOR JUST TWO CHAPTERS. TWO!), but with Padme’s sudden departure, we’ve hit the end of Chapter 4. Fear not: there is still plenty of soapy nonsense awaiting us in this book, and assuming that I can survive another round of recapping it, I’ll see you next time. Thanks for joining me!