Wild Space, Part IV: The Right Man For The Job

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The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapters 7 and 8

Welcome back to Wild Space, the book where the drama is ceaseless, Obi-Wan’s spleen is probably lacerated, and nobody’s feelings matter unless you are Anakin Skywalker, in which case they are the single most important thing in the entire history of time.

Last time, we were treated to a little bit of an Attack of the Clones callback, as Obi-Wan visited Dex to get some Top Secret Intelligence, while all the while Anakin and Padme rolled around naked with each other and dramatically stared out windows while thinking about how no one understands their love. And, just like in Attack of the Clones, their Very Important Love was interrupted by the fact that somebody (Sheev) tried to kill Obi-Wan. Well, OK, this time it was more that Obi-Wan just happened to drive right into a bombing perpetrated by Sheev, but same difference. We ended the last round of this hilariously wonderful soap opera with Anakin revealing the important tip Obi-Wan had gotten from Dex — that Greivous was headed to Bothawui — and angrily stewing in his own annoyance with everyone while desperately waiting to be allowed to see Obi-Wan.

We ready for more of what this book has to offer? I know we are. Let’s do it!

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Chapter 7 begins with Bail Organa tearing down the Senate hallway in search of Padme: he has Dramatic News! Obi-Wan Kenobi got hurt in that bombing! Padme, of course, has to be like OH WOW THIS IS BRAND-NEW INFORMATION THAT I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THANKS BAIL because she can’t be like “yep Anakin mentioned it after he had a Force Attack following our berry-juice-laden bed-romp and subsequent probable shower sex.” Bail tells her that he’s heard Obi-Wan is not dead, but is very seriously injured, and he’s sorry to be the bearer of bad news: he knows she and Obi-Wan are buds.

Padme, this being this book and all, sourly thinks to herself that NEWP, she and Ol’ Kenobes aren’t friends because He Tried To Stand In The Way of Her True Love Just Because He Clearly Doesn’t Love Anakin Save For All The Evidence To The Contrary:

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She and Bail have a bit more banter about how he found out about Obi-Wan’s condition through a gossipy staff member, and she’s like “OK well we’ll talk more about this…after our briefing meeting that we’re having.”

Recurring Theme: Sheev Palpatine, Wants To See You Suffer

She and Bail arrive to where this briefing of theirs is scheduled, only to find the room empty…except for Palpatine, who informs them that he’s cancelled their meeting so that the three of them can go check out the carnage from that bombing that the, uh, Separatists perpetrated. And this guy? He is REALLY coming off creepy as hell here.

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Yes, nothing to be worried about, Padme! He just wants to watch you — the one that SOMEHOW KEEPS NOT DYING DESPITE HIS BEST EFFORTS — see terrible destruction and suffering! For science!

He also tells Bail that he wants Bail to come along with them because he’s concerned that Bail is feeling badly about having supported Palpatine’s agenda thus far. Bail insists that he doesn’t regret it — only that war is really actually quite terrible and he’s sad that it’s come to this. Palpatine wickedly assures him that once he sees the aftermath for himself — what those vile Separatists are capable of — he’ll feel more assured that they are doing the right thing.

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Padme Amidala, Really Testing Me Here

As they walk, Palpatine asks Padme if she’s heard the gossip about Obi-Wan, and she says she has. She asks, also, if he’s heard any news about his condition:

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Oh, Anakin. Yes, Padme, obviously Anakin is the main person to be worried about here, not the man whose body has been bloodied and who might die from his injuries. I mean, sure, Obi-Wan might perish, but let’s all keep our focus where it belongs: on how SAD Anakin will be if he dies! Poor, poor Anakin. Girl, again: I love you, and I love Anakin, and I will defend you both against any angry fan-rant, but YOU ARE TESTING ME AMIDALA.

Oh! And guess who ELSE wants to make sure that Padme keeps her focus right there? Why yes! The evillest man in the universe! Palpatine reminds Padme that the healers did such a good job with Anakin, surely they’ll help Obi-Wan, too. And just THINK ABOUT HOW SAD ANAKIN WOULD BE IF OBI-WAN DIED AMIRITE?!

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He continues: Anakin loves Obi-Wan, obvs, even if Obi-Wan doesn’t love him and is so OMG mean to him all the time. 

Sensing he’s got a supportive audience for the Oh Poor Anakin Nobody Loves Him Enough school of thought, he REALLY lays it on thick now:

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…well, no argument on that last point there, Palps.

Recurring Theme: Nobody Cares About You As Much As Your Wicked Uncle Palpatine

Guess who really likes hearing about Poor Anakin’s Tragic Plight Of Unrequited Kenobi Love? Yeah, Padme is so dazzled by Kindly Palpatine’s feelings here that she has to TAKE A MOMENT BEFORE SHE CAN SPEAK AGAIN. She stammers that the Jedi are just…operating the way they feel is right.

Palpatine remarks: yes, but sometimes one has to wonder if the whole universe is just full of people doing the wrong thing because they think it’s the right thing because they are stupid and are getting actively duped by an ancient evil dressed as a kindly old man.

She doesn’t have time to really reply to this, because they arrive at their destination now. But she does take some time to think to herself about how nice it is that at least Anakin has ONE friend who cares about him:

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PADME. OMFG. *buries my face in my hands*

Sheev Palpatine, Unexpected Hot Rod Champ

OK OK. This part? Kills me. So they’re on a landing platform surveying the empty skies of Coruscant now, and Palpatine gestures to a speeder and is like “OK guys, hop in and let’s ride.” At this, Bail is surprised: SHEEV’S going to drive them? Really?

Palpatine makes some silly comment about how he can promise they’ll be perfectly safe and that he himself actually used to be quite the accomplished pilot. He jokes: wanna see my license, Organa?

At this, Padme is delighted because here’s Ol’ Sheev, cracking wise and being charming Just Like Old Times:

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LOL. HE DID??? WHEN?! How???? I need details, Star Wars. This is delightful. What a mental image! Also, Padme, for real: he does still TOTALLY have a “sly sense of the ridiculous.” I promise.

Bail is as excited and surprised by this as I am, and is like “wow you never mentioned that before!”

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…so, this description actually seems to apply to Sheev, Anakin, Luke, Han, Poe, Rey…I could go on. It’s a lengthy list of insane piloting. What I am trying to say is: was this Star Wars’ subtle way of telling me that literally none of its main characters are fit to be in charge of anything? Because I largely agree, really.

Recurring Theme: Sheev Palpatine, The Only Person Who Knows What’s Going On Ever

So they hop aboard the Sheev Express and as he drives them, Palpatine has some time to ruminate on what’s been going on and what he’s learning from talking to Bail and Padme just now. First off, he confirms for me Padme is, like Anakin, terrible at hiding her feelings from him, and Sheev is now 1000% convinced they’re boning each other.

Furthermore, he reasons, the war is going to tear them away from each other more and more. That could be a problem, he notes — because Padme is also totally into Bail Organa. He’s not even sure if PADME knows that she is, but he can tell with his Sithly Senses that she is. So, with Anakin preoccupied, and Padme and Bail hanging out…uh, well, this leaves the door open for other things:

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Frankly, I’m just mostly surprised that last line wasn’t about Anakin and Obi-Wan.

This whole scene is honestly one of the best, evillest moments ever and I love it: Palpatine is literally just sitting there mentally working his way through the RIDICULOUS SOAP OPERA THAT IS ANAKIN SKYWALKER’S LIFE. He’s got EVERYONE’S number: he knows Bail is married, but his wife’s back on Alderaan (he also shittily notes that Breha’s barren like it’s a character flaw while thinking things through, because Sheev is the worst person ever.)

Well, They Are The Team

And THEN, Sheev thinks to himself: there’s the whole Thing with Anakin and Obi-Wan, whom he hilariously notes “stubbornly refuses to die” (AND HE NEVER WILL, BUDDY.) Yes, he’s worried about Padme’s heart being stolen by Bail, but he’s also worried that Anakin and Obi-Wan are too close.

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Well, he’s got Anakin’s number, that’s for damn sure — not that that was any big surprise since Anakin’s love for Obi-Wan is so NOT subtle that I am fairly sure inanimate objects in this universe are aware of it.

It’s then that the group begins to survey the wreckage: bodies strewn about, major structural damage. Bail is moved and Palpatine…OMG. He’s just…such a bad guy? Like, relentlessly? I just…like, he’s the worst BUT the best at it.

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Recurring Theme: Star Wars Would Like To Give a Shaming Shout-Out To Real-Life Politics

He uses this death and destruction to paint a picture to both of them: Coruscant’s become too trusting! These terrible evil people got in here somehow and we must vilify all of them and spy on our own people to root out the traitors? Welp, none of this sounds familiar at all.

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Padme is at first disgusted: spying? On our own citizens? No way! Bail, sadly, calls it the lesser of two evils — look at what they did! How can we sit by and do nothing?! and Padme ultimately, sadly, agrees.

You know who’s having a GREAT day?

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Mace Windu, Knows What’s Up

Back at the Temple, Yoda and Mace are solemnly considering their options: they both believe Dex’s story about Grievous, but they don’t know what to do about it. The war’s been grisly and awful so far and even Mace is starting to flip his shit already, something that is deeply concerning to Yoda:

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Mace apologizes for being freaked out, but he also presses Yoda: don’t you think it’s pretty fucking crazy that OBI-WAN couldn’t sense danger before the bombing? That he just walked right into it? Whoever this Darth Sidious guy is, he must be HARDCORE because, like…this is OBI-WAN KENOBI we’re talking about!!

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Aww, Windu. I always knew I liked you. You’re one of the less-dumb people in this universe, even though we all know this place isn’t exactly crawling with geniuses.

Recurring Theme: Bonding Time With My Non-Evil Son

Mace eventually just comes right out and says it: I’m afraid, Master. And while Yoda sticks to his guns — don’t be scared, don’t let the darkness take you over, etc etc etc — this scene is actually really quite touching. Mace was Yoda’s student, of course, and Yoda levels with him: I’m your friend, and I need you.

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They slowly craft a plan: they’re gonna blockade Bothawui, and draw Grievous out. They list off a few people who are already engaged elsewhere and therefore couldn’t lead the charge…but if not those people, then who? Who among them could lead the group into battle?

Recurring Theme: Mace Windu, Maybe Should Have Been Listened To More In Hindsight

Mace follows Yoda’s train of thought and is like WAIT WHAT NO:

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Yoda acknowledges that he can be kinda…well, Anakin, but he’s matured a lot! He can even open his own juice boxes now and everything! He even went back to Tatooine on a mission and everything was TOTALLY FINE! He’s been able to move past his hatred of sand maybe!

Mace sniffs: uh, did you not just see his latest tantrum in the council room like 30 minutes ago?

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LOL forever that Yoda just blames this on Kenobi-Related Derangement. Mace hedges: well, Master, if you’re sure…maybe…

Yoda scoffs: he’s not SURE about anything anymore! Everything is fucking insane these days, Windu! But we’ll do our best with the information we have. At any rate, he thinks Anakin’s up to the job — but first, he’s going to talk to Obi-Wan while he’s on his death bed.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Too Busy To Die

We open Chapter 8 as Obi-Wan awakens in the healer’s ward, disoriented and having a hard time keeping his eyes open. He flashes back to the thoughts he was having before he lost consciousness:

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LOL. FFS, Kenobi. He starts to realize Yoda is there, and tries to talk to him. Obi-Wan starts to remember where he is:

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I like how Obi-Wan is a sarcastic bastard even to himself in his own thoughts. He attempts to start telling Yoda that he has a message for him. Yoda shushes him, and tells him not to exert himself: the council knows about Dex’s message. Obi-Wan is startled as he remembers: oh yeah! Greivous! OMG!

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Anakin

Obi-Wan tries to sit up and he literally tells Yoda he needs to be sent into battle to protect Bothawui, when 4 seconds ago he didn’t even know where he was. OBI-WAN, CHRIST ALMIGHTY. Yoda shuts him up: you’re not going anywhere, you’re just barely not actually dead right now. We’re gonna send Anakin instead.

Obi-Wan is thrown: wait, what? Anakin’s a baby, he’ll get hurt, YOU CAN’T SEND HIM, and Yoda cuts him off: Anakin is a MAN now, Obi-Wan. You need to see that. (Um, I feel like maybe Obi-Wan has, emphatically, noticed Anakin’s manhood, if that sparring scene before was any indication, but I digress.) Yoda presses him: do you really think Anakin’s the wrong guy for the job? Given everything you know about his skills?

Obi-Wan sighs. No, Yoda, you’re not wrong. Anakin can do it. Obi-Wan hilariously pronounces Anakin to be free of attachments, which, holy crap. We’re reaching new levels of wrongness here. Anakin cannot handle anything, and he is deeply attached to many things including actual ROBOTS. But OK, guys. If you say so.

Yoda nods and hands Obi-Wan the battle plans, and tells him to relay them to Anakin (awww.) After this, Obi-Wan starts to doze off and Yoda sweetly touches his forehead:

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God, I hate when Star Wars is cute like this. IT’S TOO MANY FEELINGS.

Recurring Theme: Wistful Evil Planning

Yoda, of course, takes this information about their New Big Plan to Kill Grievous straight to Palpatine, which is the exact wrong thing to do but no one knows this but me, the suffering reader.

Palpatine is, internally, PISSED OFF: how the FUCK did the Jedi find out about Bothawui? Goddamnit. Then, he sort of just…drifts off into fantasizing about how much he’s going to love kicking Yoda’s ass:

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LOL @ Yoda snapping him out of it. They go back and forth a bit about how it’s gonna be great to maybe finally end the war or whatever and Sidious, already thinking about how best to sabotage this mission and kill whoever gets sent on it, is like SO: who’s the lucky Jedi leading this thing? It’s not KENOBI, is it?!

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Hahahahahaha.

Darth Sidious, Does Not Like Surprises

Sidious is blindsided a moment later when Yoda replies that no, Obi-Wan’s not going since, uh, he’s BASICALLY DEAD AT THE MOMENT. They’ve decided to send Anakin.

Sidious more or less goes into a jealous snit in his mind over this: they’re WASTING him by sending him into battle like this before he’s ready! And he’s MINE MINE MINE!!! Honestly: WOULD EVERYONE IN THIS UNIVERSE PLEASE COME GATHER THEIR COLLECTIVE SHIT THAT THEY’VE ALL LOST OVER THIS GUY? God. Guys, I love Anakin too, but…wow.

He pushes back on this somewhat, but of course “defers” to Yoda’s recommendation here as their conversation ends. Now aware that he won’t just be able to blow the Jedi to smithereens in this battle, he steeps himself in some Dark Side Reverie as he thinks through to what might happen.

Recurring Theme: Man With a Plan

…he emerges from his thoughts confident that neither Anakin nor Grievous are going to die, and that furthermore, he’s got an idea that will get both Bail AND Obi-Wan out of his hair.

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He gets on the holo-Skype with Dooku, and tells him he’s got information he wants him to feed to Bail’s Alderaanian intelligence network. Dooku is like NICE, COOL PLAN MASTER LET’S GET ‘EM, and Sidious is just like “yeah OK whatever just don’t fuck it up” while thinking to himself that Dooku is a loser. OMG. The Sith are just such miserable bitches.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Has Been Wronged By So Many Except Palpatine Of Course

Back at the Healer’s Halls, Anakin and Ahsoka are being awoken by Vokara Che, who informs them that Obi-Wan is well enough to take visitors now. Anakin carefully asks if there’s anything he needs to prepare himself for as far as Obi-Wan’s condition, and she replies thusly:

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…is…is she telling Anakin not to manhandle him too much? Like, just chill out and keep the bear hugs to a minimum, Skywalker? Hahaha. Good luck with that.

Naturally Anakin’s thoughts here are not about being gentle with Obi-Wan, but about how he remembers getting his arm cut off, which leads him to immediately bitching in his mind about how the COUNCIL are SO MEAN TO HIM and STUPID JUST LIKE PALPATINE SAYS THEY ARE because they don’t UNDERSTAND HOW HORRIBLE IT IS TO GET A HAND CUT OFF AND THEY’VE NEVER KNOWN THE TOUCH OF A WOMAN SO THEY SHOULD ALL JUST GO FUCK THEMSELVES. I wish I was exaggerating, but save for the profanity that’s nearly a verbatim recounting of his little mental tantrum here. Whatever, Anakin. I don’t seem to recall any of them being like “BIG DEAL, so you lost an arm, WHO EVEN CARES NYAH NYAH NYAH LOL” but whatever. You’re totally right, Anakin, as always: nobody cares about you enough except for literally every single person in your orbit.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan

Anakin leaves Ahsoka in the hallway and proceeds to Obi-Wan’s room, where he finds him in bed covered in blankets but all in one piece. He asks for a rundown of what was wrong with him and Obi-Wan brushes it off: oh, a few bumps and bruises…

Anakin, not being totally brand new here, presses: what else?

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Anakin, and I, are both like LOL OK SURE IS THAT ALL, WELL GEE and this leads to a few Bromantic Moments of weak smiles and “gosh don’t scare me like that again”s and just…WHY GUYS.

Anakin finally decides he too has had enough of tormenting me over thinking about how doomed they all are and how sad I’m going to be when these two break up, and tells Obi-Wan that he told the council about Grievous, but he’s not sure if they believed him BECAUSE THEY HATE HIM SO MUCH GOD WHY MUST HE SUFFER SO.

Anakin Skywalker, War Hero

Obi-Wan tells him: oh yes, they believed you all right. In fact they’re planning to head for Bothawui, and a bunch of people are going, and the Resolute will be your flagship…

Anakin is like WAIT WHAT. MY flagship? Since when? What? How? OH GEE ANAKIN I THOUGHT NONE OF THEM BELIEVED IN YOU BUT IT SURE LOOKS LIKE THEY MUST.

He’s stunned: he’s just been made a Knight, he’s not ready — Obi-Wan interjects: then buddy, you better GET ready, because it’s happening.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Yeller of Things

Anakin is shaking and his heart is about to explode and he’s like “who’s all going? And do I get to keep Rex???”

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AWWWW. Nope, I’m OK, I’m just fine everyone just…I’m OK.

Anyways, as all of this sinks in — with Anakin YET AGAIN pausing mid-happiness to think to himself that this can’t be right BECAUSE OMFG THE COUNCIL HATES HIS GUTS (Anakin, a thought: maybe if they’re not super happy to see you all the time it’s because like every recent occasion you’ve been in the council room you’ve been kind of a dick to them for asking you basic questions? Like, I know they can be assholes but…reign it in, buddy. You’re gonna end up going Darksider at this rate. Ha!)

Anakin starts making little jokes about how he’s got this and Obi-Wan is like “Um, this is kind of a huge fucking deal, Anakin. It’s not a game. You can’t just waltz in there like it’s nothing and think you’re going to win just by virtue of showing up looking like you.” Anakin gets all predictably pissy about this, yelling about how he’s not Some Kid and anymore and OH BY THE WAY REMEMBER HOW I LOST MY HAND THAT ONE TIME and Obi-Wan ends up getting so worked up that he keels over in bed, doubled over in pain.

As expected, this immediately throws Anakin into backpedaling mode as he’s like OH GOD NO OBI-WAN DON’T DIE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH:

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These Two, I Swear To God

Vokara Che comes rushing in now and is like FOR FUCK’S SAKE SKYWALKER I TOLD YOU NOT TO GET HIM UPSET and she performs some kind of healing ritual on Obi-Wan that lulls him into near-sleep. But of course, Obi-Wan refuses to fall asleep easily and is instead asking for Anakin. Vokara Che tries to tell him that that mean old Anakin is gone and he won’t be bothering you anymore, but Anakin, ALSO OF COURSE, refuses to leave Obi-Wan:

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Obi-Wan tells Anakin, as he drifts off, to meet with the Council first thing tomorrow morning, and admonishes him to not gloat and to be respectful (LOL.) Then, one last thing:

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…oh, sure. I’m sure Anakin will never forget that or doubt it. (ANAKIN, WHY.) With that, Obi-Wan falls asleep and Anakin is shuffled out of the room. He walks back to Ahsoka, and tells her that it’s time to go.

…that’s the end of these two chapters of Wild Crazy Wacky Space! Join me next time for what is sure to include even more of Anakin’s bitching about the Jedi Order not giving him extra dessert with his dinner even though he’s the Chosen One, Padme’s disdain for anyone who doesn’t understand what a sweet delicate flower Anakin is, and Obi-Wan probably vomiting up a lung or something while worrying about Anakin. Well, at least we know Sheev’ll be having the time of his life. See you then, and thanks for reading!