Wild Space, Part III: It’s a Hard-Knock Life

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The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapters 5 and 6

Oh, this book. It’s all I can think whenever I sit down to write these entries. Sadly, in today’s editionwe won’t be getting courtside seats to any more Hot Sweaty Jedi Action. Instead, we’re going to do the thing that Star Wars loves better than ANYTHING: revisiting the exact same thing it already did before! Yes, the next couple of chapters feature some very new experiences for our friends, indeed: Obi-Wan will spend his time gathering top secret information, checking in at Dex’s Diner and narrowly avoiding death, and in the meantime Anakin and Padme will roll around giggling with each other and getting absolutely nothing of value accomplished, followed by Anakin repeatedly brooding that No One Has Ever Felt a Feeling But Him And His Life Is Obviously The Hardest.

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…welp. Let’s get to it, then.

Recurring Theme: Bad To Worse

We open Chapter 5 with Obi-Wan hanging out in the Jedi Council Room, which is not described as being lit by a single weak flashlight, but we all know that’s what it looks like (maybe Karen Miller just figured it went without saying, like how she doesn’t add “handsome” to every sentence about Obi-Wan.) He tells the gang of usual suspects that Dex, his buddy from that 50s cafe he frequents, has some kind of Top Secret Info for him, but he doesn’t know what it is yet. Mace gets all paranoid and is like “but what if he’s just trying to lure you over there and It’s a Trap???”

Obi-Wan reflects to himself about how sad it is that Mace is so sad these days.
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Yes, truly: the last years of the Jedi Order were a real nonstop party. SIGH.

Yoda tells Obi-Wan to go anyways, because he agrees with Obi-Wan that it’s unlikely to be a trap and ALSO? The last few months have been ROUGH and Team Jedi NEEDS A DAMN WIN. So if Dex has a Hot Lead, they’ll take it.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Talking To No One

So Obi-Wan sets off all “Don’t worry Masters! I’ll get to the bottom of this!” and heads to the Temple hangar to sign out a bike to ride over there. While doing so, he starts thinking about how ANAKIN would be so APPALLED at his blase choice in transportation because Anakin loves hot, fast cars and in response, Obi-Wan starts talking out loud to Anakin even though he is alone. Nope, no obsessions going on here!

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Better still is the fact that the droid is like “YES, now please don’t dramatically crash it or return it as a heap of smoking ash, thanks”:

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Ha! What an asshole. Does this guy go through bikes like he goes through robes?

Enjoy It While It Lasts

Obi-Wan nervously reassures himself for like the next 8 paragraphs about how he’s SURE everything’s fine and that no one’s going to follow him (but Dex DID sound nervous so maybe it IS really something bad) and GOSH his bike sure is lame but it’ll get the job done and is his hood over his face enough and on and on and on until finally he thinks to himself about ANAKIN again:

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…well, savor this moment, Kenobes, because you’re going to get precious little of this kind of Carefree Time. Ever. Also, I would like to point out that he misses Anakin, and when I first read this book I thought the story was going to be that Anakin was on the other side of the universe fighting a battle or something, but as we will soon learn, Anakin is in fact like 2 blocks away right now. HE IS TWO BLOCKS AWAY AND OBI-WAN MISSES HIM.

God I Hope This Galaxy Has a Sexiest Man Alive Sort of Thing

He arrives at last at Dex’s, and Dex makes a big show of razzing him when he arrives — look who’s here, everybody! It’s That One Famous Guy! He’s a hero! What the hell are YOU doing here, you old such-and-such?

At first Obi-Wan is deeply confused by Dex’s ribbing here, and he can sense an undercurrent of fear in the air. Jovially, Obi-Wan goes with it, eventually concocting a story about how he’s only there because the power cell on his bike died. Maybe Dex could help him out? Dex agrees and tells him to wait outside for him.

So there’s Obi-Wan, handsomely standing against the diner wall outside, people-watching. And after a few moments, he realizes people are watching him back.

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Ha! Oh, Obi-Wan. I’m pretty sure there was a good chance people would be stopping to check you out even if you weren’t a famous Jedi.

He’s a Star

Eventually he and Dex meet back behind the diner, where Dex — chain smoking nervously — first has some back-and-forth with Obi-Wan about the war and the Jedi and how information is being spread on the Holonet. As it turns out, Obi-Wan’s notoriety among the Republic these days doesn’t just come via bloggers or telegrams — nope, Palpatine LITERALLY has cameras filming the war and editing them into digestible chunks of entertainment. So…the universe is watching the same Clone Wars I was? Well no WONDER everyone keeps talking about Obi-Wan and Anakin, then.

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They finally get to the matter at hand, though, and Dex tells Obi-Wan that he’s been given Inside Info that Grievous is going to be headed for Bothawui, home of the Famous Bothans of Great Information-Providing Acclaim. Obi-Wan is horrified: if this is true, and they fail to stop him, the Republic will be crippled and Ultimate Evil could triumph! (Sigh.)

Dex doesn’t reveal his secret source, though, and he doesn’t have any details beyond this, which worries Obi-Wan as he makes his way back home. What if the other Jedi don’t believe it? What if Dex is wrong? What if…?

…and it’s at that moment, as he’s making his way into the home stretch back to the Temple, that a giant explosion occurs, sending him tumbling into the void as the chapter ends. DUN DUN DUUUN!

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Deadbeat Employee

OH MY GOD. OK, so the next chapter literally begins — I am not exaggerating — with Padme SENSUALLY FEEDING ANAKIN SPACE GRAPES. It’s somehow even better and funnier that ANAKIN’S the one being fussed over here like some kind of fancy princess, because OF COURSE HE IS. JFC, Skywalker. Just to reiterate: Obi-Wan was off gathering important information that could save countless lives at great personal risk, and in the meantime Anakin was off BEING FED GRAPES IN BED BY HIS SECRET WIFE. I promise I’m laughing as I say this? But FUCK YOU, ANAKIN.

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GOOD. LORD. This entire part of the book is something else, and I know I’ve already said that like 17 times while recapping this thing and we are ONLY ON CHAPTER SIX, but still: Anakin’s all drunk on her intoxicating scent, and reveling in how very happy he is with his own one and only true love, because Anakin is a 14 year old with unicorns decorating his locker apparently. Hysterically, he marvels at how he can feel So Very Much Overwhelming and Powerful True Love for someone and have Obi-Wan be none the wiser! How could he possibly be pulling this off?

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LOL. OK, Skywalker: first of all, absolutely NOBODY, least of all Obi-Wan, doesn’t know that SOMETHING is up with you two. You are the least subtle Secret Couple in the history of all time. Second of all, I’m dying that you attribute the stealth you assume you have to your Superior Jedi Skills. OH my LORD, Anakin. I’ve said it a million times before, but I don’t know that I’ve ever TRULY meant it as much as I do now: Anakin Skywalker, PLEASE.

Padme Amidala, Much Better Employee

So then there’s a whoooole bunch of eyebrow-waggly “no, don’t make me wait I MUST HAVE YOU” blahblahblah as they roll around and kiss each other and Padme eventually peels Anakin off of her because she’s got a holo-Skype call to join shortly. She helpfully points out to Anakin that, uh, DON’T YOU HAVE A JOB, HONEY? Like…a padawan to train? Or just somewhere else to be?

Anakin is like uuuuggghh I GUESS, because if I don’t come back soon Ahsoka will assume I am dead and then the Jedi will start planning my cremation/funeral and it’ll be a WHOLE BIG THING, so I better go…but then he gets all introspective and Worried and Sad that he can’t shout about his everlasting and eternal love for Padme from the rooftops. But once the war’s over, everything will be different! he assures himself. LOL. Well, Anakin, for once you’re not WRONG — things will indeed be VERY different for you guys when the war is over. Just…probably not in the way you’re thinking.

This entire segment for-real ends with this:

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I…OK, Star Wars. Well then. You kids have fun! (Also, nothing says “Time for a Sexy Shower Romp!” like first announcing that you are experiencing indigestion. Hot stuff, Skywalker. Hot stuff.)

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, An Idiot

Once they’re, uh, showered, Anakin is standing on Padme’s balcony staring wistfully out at the city, and he once again lapses into angrily focusing on how Very Little Obi-Wan Knows Of Love:

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HONEST TO FUCKING GOODNESS. Anakin, if you STILL think that man knows nothing about caring for people or holding on to feelings for people, YOU HAVE BEEN MORE COMPLETELY UP YOUR OWN ASS THIS WHOLE TIME THAN I EVEN REALIZED. As infuriating as this is, I do like that this kind of shows us how much Anakin was so CERTAIN that Nobody Could Ever Have As Many Feelings As He Does, since this sort of…almost selfish line of thinking is sort of an important thing later on. I sure hope Obi-Wan never drops a love-related truth bomb on you when it’s too late for you to do anything about it, Anakin! Boy, wouldn’t you feel stupid if that happened.

Recurring Theme: When Force Pain Strikes

So Anakin snaps himself out of it, and the Amidala-Skywalkers are getting ready for Parting Which Is Such Sweet Sorrow, when Anakin cuts Padme off — he senses something. Something bad.

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Anakin snaps into action, and Oh How Interesting, Anakin, I thought you thought Obi-Wan was the actual worst. And yet here you go, bolting from the Loving Caresses Of Your One and Only because the only thing that matters is getting to Obi-Wan’s side. OMG.

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Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan

Anakin tears off towards the site of the explosion, fearfully and frantically searching for Obi-Wan using his Force-radar.

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He finds him on a rooftop, clinging to life and bleeding profusely. It’s killing me to realize that this is neither the first, nor last, time this guy is going to be at death’s door, only to have him have to start all over again the next week. MY POOR BABY. Whatever they’re paying him, it is not even remotely enough. And then I think about stuff like THIS:

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…aaaand now I’m crying again. Someone please buy him a spa gift card. I hope Anakin’s Force Ghost gives out backrubs. HOURLY.

Well That’s One Way To Make a Point

Anakin is distraught when he sees the condition Obi-Wan is in. With dismay, he recognizes that being a Jedi provides no safeguard against death (except when you ace your Ghost Certifications, of course):

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LOL. I love how this was phrased. Yes, clearly Qui-Gon was just trying to make a statement. And what a statement it was!

Anakin assures Obi-Wan that he’ll be fine, and then calls and begs Yoda to come help them, and bring healers along. Obi-Wan, meanwhile, lays there growing paler and colder by the second, with red froth coming out of his mouth while Anakin thinks to himself in this most flowery and ridiculous way possible about what a Dramatic Turn for the Worse his day has taken:

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Obi-Wan whispers to Anakin that he needs Anakin to tell Yoda what he’s learned from Dex, and Anakin continues to panic because OBI-WAN IS NOT ALLOWED TO DIE. He’s seconds away from risking it and flying Obi-Wan back to the Temple himself when Yoda and three healers finally arrive. Yoda tells Anakin he’s done a good job (OMG, I thought NO ONE EVER TOLD ANAKIN HE DID A GOOD JOB EVER OH WAIT EXCEPT FOR ALL THOSE TIMES.) As the healers save Obi-Wan, Anakin tells Yoda what Obi-Wan heard about Bothawui.

Yoda is disturbed by this news, and insists that Anakin take him back to the Temple posthaste. Anakin forces himself to leave Obi-Wan, and they depart.

Evil Is His Business, And Business Is Good

Back in Sheev’s office, a DELIGHTFULLY evil scene with the Chancellor himself is queued up thusly:

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Hahahahaha, oh what a joy this guy is. He is literally just chilling out alone in his office STEWING IN HIS OWN EVIL JUICES. He really was one of the only people in this saga who ever had true happiness, or career success.

Dooku holo-Skypes him to let his boss know that they’ve just perpetrated the bombing a few moments earlier. Sidious is all smirky and tells Dooku he’s done a good job:

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I’m just going to say it: Sidious is one of the best characters in this entire franchise, and I cannot imagine them ever topping him in the villain department. Like, they’re gonna have to find a way to bring him back from the dead for the Sequel Trilogy, because I just can’t see myself ever enjoying an evil overlord MORE than this guy. (Sorry-not-sorry, Snoke.)

Sheev Palpatine, Almost As Obsessed With These Two As Me

So after he gets off the phone with Dooku, Mas Amedda calls him to inform him that Obi-Wan was injured in the blast. Man, his day just keeps getting better! He uses his Sithly Superskills to determine — regrettably — that it looks like Ol’ Kenobes is gonna survive this one (AND EVERY SINGLE ONE AFTER IT — nice try, you wicked old creep, but the Force is never going to let Obi-Wan die. He has far too much tragedy and pain left that it wants him to have to watch firsthand.)

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Ah, yes: he figures that even if Obi-Wan lives, he can use this whole thing as yet another way to drive a wedge between Anakin and Obi-Wan (WHY SHEEV WHY.) This sequence ends, for real, with him steepling his fingers like he’s none other than C. Montgomery Burns, and relishing the many evil possibilities.

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Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Definitely Game For a Three-Way

Anakin and Yoda have now arrived at the Temple, and he’s itching to get to the healer’s hall and lavish attention on Obi-Wan and hold his hand and buy him a giant teddy bear and a mylar balloon from the gift shop and just generally annoy the hell out of him until Obi-Wan wills himself back to health to make it stop, but Yoda shuts him down. Naturally Anakin spends a couple paragraphs internally complaining to himself about how SURELY the only thing Obi-Wan really needs right now is him:

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Well! Once again, Skywalker: we all know about your little fantasies in this regard. This book alone has made them abundantly clear.

Yoda tells him that he needs to go tell the Council directly about what he’s been told, and at any rate, Anakin’s not a healer — he should leave that work to the professionals.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Not Good In Meetings

So they go into the Council room, where almost everyone is calling in via holo-Skype because they’re all busy fighting in various places, and Anakin tells them what Obi-Wan told him about Bothawui and Grievous’ plans. Of course, since this is very shocking information, Adi Gallia is like WHOA WAIT…REALLY?! and Anakin is just like a completely huge asshole and gets all DID I STUTTER??? about it in response:

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Literally ALL she had said to him was “Are you certain?” and this was his reply. ANAKIN, FOR FUCK’S SAKE YOU CAN GO SEE OBI-WAN IN LIKE FOUR FUCKING MINUTES, JUST CALM THE HELL DOWN.

After fielding one more question (and replying snottily to it,) Anakin is dismissed and he’s like FINALLY, GOD, NOW CAN I GO SEE OBI-WAN THIS TOOK FOR-EV-ER. Yoda tells him that he can, and how Yoda managed to not hit him over the head with his stick, I am not sure. As Anakin leaves, Mace calls out to him that he shouldn’t be afraid for Obi-Wan, because the Force is with him. Instead of being thankful for someone trying to reassure him in this time of crisis, Anakin instead huffs a “yes” over his shoulder while thinking about how Mace is always telling him he’s wrong and GOD HE HATES THIS PLACE and WHY CAN’T I JUST BE EATING BERRIES WITH MY NAKED WIFE AGAIN EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO ME IS THE WORST. I…can’t even with Anakin in this chapter.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Yeller of Things

Ah, and if you thought Anakin was done being an asshole to people who are just trying to help and/or get actual work done today, you were sadly mistaken! As he goes storming down the hall towards the healers, Ahsoka catches up to him and yells out her nickname for him — Skyguy! — and he bitches her out about how she’s not allowed to call him that, and YOU have to call me MASTER, and just pretty much almost makes her cry.

Anakin then notices that some of the other Jedi and Padawans — being, of course, the nosy gossips that they are — are paying attention to what’s going on, and he seethes:

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Oh GOOD GRIEF, Skywalker. Maybe they’re staring at you because you’re ripping on the genuine concern of your TEENAGE STUDENT, and not because they’re just Oh So Invested in the Chosen One. (Also, they decorate BANTHA SKELETONS on Tatooine Christmas? LOL. OK Star Wars, if you insist.) (Did Obi-Wan do this with the skeleton of one of his dear departed bantha family? Did Luke swing by and give him a gift to put under his bantha skeleton? I have questions. So many questions.)

Anyways, Ahsoka stammers that she could tell Anakin was scared, and she’d heard about what happened to Obi-Wan, and she was just…wanting to help. AWWWW. Ahsoka, you are one of the good ones.

Feeling bad, Anakin backs off a little bit and tells her she can come keep him company while they wait to see Obi-Wan, and the two head off together. Of course, not before Anakin takes a few more moments to think to himself about how A) this is all the council’s fault and B) no one, anywhere, ever, has ever had a harder life than he does but he’ll just have to muddle through it somehow:

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…whatever, Anakin. Hey, maybe you’ll luck out and she’ll just leave the Order or something, amirite?! (Sorry.)

With that, we’ve hit the end of this chapter, and that means we’ve hit the end of this recap entry (and thank goodness, because I don’t know how much more Anakin-related irritation I could handle today.) Thanks for coming along for the ride with me, and do join me next time for more soapy angst, brushes with death, and Palpatine giving Padme yet another round of his terrible advice.