The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapter 11
I return to you all today with more Wacky, Soaptacular Adventures in Wild Space. Last time we visited this book, Bail Organa drank some brandy and began an important chat about his Top Secret Intelligence Sources with Obi-Wan and Padme, Padme had to suffer the indignity of having to get dressed for her day in a mere half-hour (the horror) and made sure to be sourly distrusting of Obi-Wan because one time he told her that her hooking up with Anakin might indirectly cause the end of civilization (HA HA HOW FAR FETCHED), and Anakin almost burst into tears on his way to go fight Grievous, because Anakin is super-duper good at hiding his feelings especially about being apart from Padme and Obi-Wan.
Today we’re going to explore Chapter 11, which finds Obi-Wan, Bail and Padme Dramatically Revealing information to each other, while still holding back a fair amount, as usual. We also are treated to a near-constant stream of people suspecting or insinuating that people are maybe hooking up with each other in secret, and Mace and Yoda get in some quality eyeroll time (and frankly, so do I.) Grab a glass of Bail’s Corellian brandy for yourself, and let’s get going!
Recurring Theme: It’s True. All Of It.
Chapter 11 kicks off with Obi-Wan, over at Padme’s house, admitting to Bail that, yes, the Sith are indeed a real thing. Bail’s initial reaction is like “well, I guess that’s good because it means that my Secret Sources weren’t full of shit…so, how big of a deal are these Sith guys? How many of them are there? What do they look like? Do they have hilariously dopey “scary” nicknames for themselves like Darth Nightterror and Darth Hauntedhouse?”
Obi-Wan takes a deep breath, and then lays out as much of it as he is willing to: we don’t know that much about them, who their leaders are or even necessarily what they look like.
Bail, at this, gets PISSED — um, why the fuck wouldn’t the Senate know about these people if they’re really that bad? Obi-Wan replies that the Jedi weren’t even sure the Sith were back at first, but, much like denim overall shorts and day-glo colors, they only thought the universe had vanquished them forever, only to have them come back to terrorize the galaxy anew.
Bail? DOES NOT LIKE THIS ANSWER. He goes off on a rant about how THIS RIGHT HERE IS WHY NO ONE EVEN LIKES YOU GUYS KENOBI, you kept this secret when you SHOULD HAVE TOLD EVERYONE IMMEDIATELY ABOUT THE SITH and he amusingly throws out there that THE POOR CHANCELLOR DESERVES TO KNOW THE SITH ARE BACK (hey, no worries on that front, Organa. I’m pretty sure Sheev knows the Sith are back.)
Padme Amidala, All Over the Damn Place Here
Padme, apparently tired of complaining and despairing about the Terrible Horrible Mean Jedi Order That Is Preventing Her From Being Able To Just Have Sex With Anakin All Day Every Day, butts in and tells Bail what for:
…um, OK? I mean, I agree with you Padme. I just never really know when you’re going to back up my pals at the Jedi Order or seethe dramatically about how they’re ruining your life.
Bail is not sold by Padme’s attempt to go to bat for the Jedi, and is like WELL AT LEAST THEY’RE DYING WITH EVEN HALF AN IDEA OF WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON! And just…hahahahaha, awww, Bail. No. The Jedi don’t actually know…pretty much anything. I know it looks that way right now, but no.
At this, Obi-Wan bristles and thinks to himself about O WHAT A WASTE OF TIME THIS WAS EWW GROSS A POLITICIAN IS TALKING, and makes to leave. Impulsively, Padme grabs his arm, and throws something else out there — she’s known about the Sith for a decade!
Recurring Theme: Truth Bomb
Obi-Wan flinches at this and internally screams about how this IS NOT A GOOD IDEA, and Bail is like EXCUSE ME? You KNEW? FOR TEN YEARS? Padme, insistently, begs Bail to have faith in Obi-Wan:
Padme, if this is you trying to make up for your previous anti-Kenobi statements earlier in this book, I accept your attempts at reconciliation, but I beg you to continue. (The rest of this book should just be Anakin and Padme talking about how great Obi-Wan is. Anakin would absolutely be down for it.) Yes, Obi-Wan is amazing and also thank GOODNESS he took care of Maul once and for all and he will definitely not be coming back ever again.
Ahem. Sorry. OK, so Bail is not ready to join the Official Obi-Wan Kenobi Fan Club, and he’s still quite put out about being left in the (har) dark about all of this. Padme rapidly grows tired of this bullshit, and lets fly at him: oh, you mean like how you didn’t tell any of us about YOUR secret info until just now? HMMM? MR. HYPOCRITE???
Recurring Theme: Someone’s In Need of the Truth Mirror
Bail is like “I’m not a hypocrite! That whole thing with ME hiding secret information was…different!” And at this, Padme says one of the least self-aware things she’s ever said:
HA HA HA HA HA HA. Yes. It IS something that SOME PEOPLE don’t seem to think the RULES APPLY TO THEM, isn’t it, Amidala? Gee, I feel sorry for whoever those people are. And I sure hope their rash decisions don’t come back to HAUNT US ALL.
Obi-Wan takes all of this in and just keeps on thinking about what a huge mistake coming here was:
…and I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with this phrase? But I really did NOT need to be forced to consider what exactly Yoda peeling someone’s hide might entail, thanks Star Wars.
Recurring Theme: Everything Involving These People Talking to Sheev is Hilarious
Padme persists: look, we ALL have our damn good reasons for doing the various Wrong things we did, and so you have to respect that if the Jedi kept the Sith a secret it was not because they were just trying to be shady dicks about it! Bail keeps stammering about how this is such a big deal, and Poor Palpatine needed to know —
— and that’s when Padme drops yet another truth bomb: Palps already knows the Sith are back! HA HA HA HE SURE DOES PADME Oh I made myself sad. Yes, Padme is referring to how they all apparently told Palpatine about the Sith after Qui-Gon’s Jedi Roast back at the end of The Phantom Menace. And at the time, according to Padme, Sheev had agreed that it was best for all involved to keep the Sith’s return a a secret and OH MAN I WISH I HAD ACCESS TO HIS INNER THOUGHTS FROM THAT MOMENT BECAUSE I BET IT WAS GOLD.
Recurring Theme: I Give Up On These People
Bail keeps trying to push back, and eventually starts to soften, half-chuckling that he doesn’t understand how Padme’s making him feel like he should apologize when he’s the one with a legitimate grievance here. He frets — all of this is just really fucking SCARY, OK Padme? She backs off a bit, too, and admits that she’s also afraid, and that’s when Obi-Wan’s thoughts cut in to make me laugh again:
A) I love that Obi-Wan blames this entire scene on his own inability to tone down his love for Anakin, and B) LOL that this book thought I needed to read about Obi-Wan’s hide getting peeled a second time. FFS.
Recurring Theme: Terrible Field Trip
Ultimately, after some cajoling, the trio decide to put aside their Angry Yelling Person instincts and settle down to work together for the good of the galaxy. Padme points out that their number one priority should be keeping the Sith from hurting the Jedi and by extension the entire galaxy, and I laugh and cry because THAT WAS YOUR ONE OBJECTIVE AND YOU GUYS BLEW IT SO THOROUGHLY GODDAMNIT ANAKIN AND FUCK YOU SHEEV.
OK OK: so Obi-Wan asks Bail to expand on what exactly this Top Secret Info from his Mysterious Totally Not Evil Sources said.
LOL. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time once again for Ultimate Evil to send our heroes on a shitty field trip, largely just to get them out of his thinning hair so that he can focus more on scrambling Anakin’s brain. (Sheev, my guy: do you really need to work THIS hard to confuse and take control of Anakin? He seems pretty befuddled a lot already.)
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
Obes determines that his next step is going to have to be to take this info back to Yoda and the rest of the nerds on the Council, and Bail is like “fine, but I can’t tell them anything more than what I told you” and Obi-Wan is like “FINE, and also don’t tell anyone about the Sith OK because those creeps mean business” and Bail sniffs that “whatever I can take care of myself” and Obi-Wan is like “well here, have some of my Tragic Backstory to make you bummed out before I leave”:
At this, Bail pauses and is like “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know that your life was this shitty already. OK, well, talk to you soon Kenobes.” Obi-Wan gets up to leave and Padme offers to walk him back to his speeder.
Recurring Theme: As Coruscant Turns
At Obes’ speeder, Obi-Wan stupidly comments, with all the implications that it comes with, that he had no idea Padme and Bail were so close, wink wink nudge nudge getmydrift?
Padme is like “yes, Bail and I have shared professional interests. And also I am very good friends with his WIFE, thanks asshole.”
Yes, we couldn’t possibly go another few pages without Obi-Wan and Padme both being WAY too invested in the other’s involvement with Anakin. Obi-Wan is like “gosh Padme, I sure hope you know I’m your redheaded Jedi Pal and if you ever need anything I’m here for you” and she’s like “yeah whatever OK”, and he thanks her for her help with the Hutts back in the Clone Wars Movie. She icily thinks to herself that she didn’t do it for Obi-Wan — because now that Bail’s not in the room she hates Obi-Wan again now apparently. No, she did it for Anakin — that sweet perfect cherub who has never been wrong about anything ever and whose very existence is stifled by Mean Old Obi-Wan who probably wouldn’t even be totally fine with Anakin cutting down an entire village that one time like WHO AMONG US HASN’T MADE AN OOPSIE LIKE THAT ONCE OR TWICE, RIGHT?
Obi-Wan is not an idiot, and picks up on her train of thought, telling her that it doesn’t matter who she did it for — he’s grateful all the same that she did it. He then pries and asks her if she still misses Anakin because Obi-Wan is a Jedi and therefore SUPER into gossip about other people, and Padme is like YES FINE I STILL MISS HIM, which cracks me up because even though we, unlike Obi-Wan, all know she just saw Anakin like 5 hours ago, it’s still true.
Obi-Wan softly tells her that the pain will lessen in time and that Anakin will forget her or whatever blahblahblah and Padme is like OH REALLY:
I…whatever. Sure, Padme. I’ve got nothing left to say to this dramatic bullshit. These two are both annoying the shit out of me, so let’s just get Kenobi into his speeder (and yes, as he does so he says something about how the Sith are going to pay or whatever, and Padme is like “wow I’ve never heard you be so forceful and threatening oh my God I’m maybe into it but I’m not gonna admit it” and I’m just not even going to unpack this,) and send him off to the Temple.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Own Biggest Fan
Back in the Council Room, Anakin is holo-Skyping to the Old Folks and it’s probably very dark in the room even though the book does not say so. Anakin tells the group that they’re holding their own against Grievous, but they haven’t reached Bothawui yet or taken Grievous out entirely. He also notes that Greivous seems to have known they were coming and says something like “he has good intelligence sources” and I laugh and then sob. Yes, Anakin, it’s almost like he was told by the Chancellor himself!
Anyways, Obi-Wan comes into the room and, at seeing Anakin’s visage on the holo-Skype, nearly requires smelling salts to help him collect himself because OH THANK GOODNESS LOOK IT’S ANAKIN AND HE’S OK AND LOOK AT HIS HAIR:
These two. I swear to God.
Recurring Theme: Mace and Yoda, BFFs
Obi-Wan pretends he isn’t into this and then Anakin goes back to bragging to the council about how much ass-kicking he’s done and blahblahblah and Mace and Yoda do that thing where they give each other a cliquey side-eye. Have I told you lately that I love them?
LOL. Sure. Obi-Wan doesn’t think Anakin is perfect. He just almost fainted with happiness from seeing him just now for Normal Reasons.
So now with Anakin off the conference call, the group is like “so what’s up with you, Kenobes? You seem upset,” and he’s like “yeah well I just learned some stuff about an impending Sith Attack.”
This leads to yet another Meaningful Side-Eye:
Recurring Theme: Everyone Is Into Everyone
Hahahaha, OK. So: back at Padme’s, Bail and Padme are sitting together kinda awkwardly and Padme apologizes for having yelled at him before. He’s all “nah don’t worry about it, it’s hard for all of us to keep secrets amirite?” and she’s like “yes. Secrets. They’re something all right.”
Because that whole thing with Obi-Wan thinking that Padme was into Bail wasn’t soapy enough, Bail then muses: So, Amidala. You and Kenobi seem like Real Good Pals, huh? Knowwhatimean?
Really, Bail. Pretty much everyone is at least partially in love with Obi-Wan. You’ll find out firsthand soon enough. Also I love how in this book Padme has been accused of being in love with Obi-Wan, Anakin, AND Bail. And frankly, if all of the above were true I would fault her not one iota.
At any rate, Bail is like “OK, well, enough prying into your life for now, I’ve gotta run,” and he heads out.
Recurring Theme: Star Wars Senators Work Way Harder Than Real Ones
So Bail proceeds to have a really long day at the office — taking meetings, reading boring budgets and listening to people’s grievances and so on, and eventually he ends up back at his apartment and pretty much just collapses in exhaustion. (The book tells us he’s too tired to even booze it up this evening, which is amusing. He and Obi-Wan really are gonna be buds.)
As he’s nearly fallen asleep, his Top Secret Comm buzzes and, after decoding its message, he’s like OH SHIT FML, and realizes he’s going to need to call Obi-Wan.
OK, so, hold on: the Jedi Temple only has a switchboard line? Does Obi-Wan have a direct line but he didn’t give it to Bail even after ALL of that discussion before? Or is the Order so cheap that they didn’t pay for phone lines for each Jedi, just like they didn’t pay to run electrical wiring into every room in the Temple? Also, which unlucky Jedi gets stuck taking the phone calls on 1-800-JEDI? You know how real-life 911 lines get tons of bullshit calls all the time, like assholes who call in because their food is taking too long in the Taco Bell drive-thru and stuff like that? Can you even imagine the bullshit calls coming into that phone number? (And how many of them are probably coming from Sheev? Hahahaha, oh God, I’m just picturing him hunched over a phone, stifling his giggles as he asks for Jedi Master Seymour Butts or something and now I am officially dead.)
…uh, I digress. So Bail leaves a message telling Obi-Wan to call him ASAP, and then goes back to sitting in the dark and hating his life. Man, Star Wars is just a nonstop joyride for everyone. Don’t worry — Bail’s life absolutely has a happy ending and he will certainly not be blown to smithereens by Anakin and his Ragtag Team of Imperial Assholes or anything.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Does What He Wants
At the Temple, Bad News has come in and Obes is awake at 2:31AM taking a holo-Skype from a very peeved Anakin, who’s called in to try and reach Yoda and Mace. Obi-Wan tells him that they’re currently meeting with Sheev to talk about the Bad Thing that just happened, and asks Anakin what it is that he wants:
Obi-Wan sighs: no, Grievous hasn’t changed his mind. He’s regrouping with even more ships and TL;DR, they are all screwed. Grievous has actually attacked on 3 other fronts just now and, well, pretty much everyone on the Republic side of those skirmishes is dead, including 8 Jedi. And now Grievous is headed for Anakin.
Ha ha ha ha ha HA. Yes. It’s uncanny, isn’t it? HOW DOES HE DO IT.
Obi-Wan solemnly advises Anakin that retreat might be his best/only option at this point, and I am sure you can all imagine just how receptive Anakin is to this idea, smirking and carrying on about how OH YOU KNOW ME MASTER, IT’S ALMOST LIKE I ENJOY MAKING THINGS WORSE.
Recurring Theme: Ahsoka Tano, One of The Only Smart People
Ahsoka, possibly because HELLO, if Anakin gets his stupid self killed, she’s probably gonna die too, is like “hey Master, just a thought: how about we listen to people who are less unstable than you are?” Anakin is like PSHAW, my young Padawan, we’ll do what I say (where does he get that from?)…
Obi-Wan, as usual, is loving this shit and is like “Oh AHHHNAKIN, you should listen to your Padawan” and Anakin’s all “Just like YOU always did, Master?” and ugh, I love their little space family so much and I just wish they could have all given each other good-natured shit forever. Sigh.
Aaaaanyways, Anakin is like “I’m gonna go now; I’ll TRY not to get us all killed,” like WAY TO KEEP MAKING PROMISES YOU CAN’T KEEP, SKYWALKER, and they hang up their holo-Skype call.
Obi-Wan stands there, feeling sore, and realizes that it really hasn’t been that long since he, y’know, almost died, and that Vokara Che HAD told him to take it easy:
🙁 You don’t know the half of it yet, Obes. My poor baby.
And, speaking of stressors for Obi-Wan, it’s at this moment that he’s informed that OH BTW: Bail Organa called for you, and he says it’s urgent. Well. Lovely. No rest for the weary, Kenobes (and now that I think of it, both Obi-Wan and Bail have been awake for like 24 straight hours now, now WONDER people kept making bad choices in this universe.)
…that’s a wrap for this (very long) chapter, and for today’s recap! Join me next time, when Obes and Bail will have another talk and get ready to go on a little Senator-Jedi Bonding Adventure, and Anakin will probably have a hissy fit about something while Padme pines for him while wearing a ballgown to bed. See you then, and thanks for reading!