Wild Space, Part VIII: Return of the Shirtless Jedi

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The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapter 13

I just looked at how many more chapters I have left of this book and my friends, I am telling you: if I finish this thing in 2018 I am going to be really proud of myself. Or ashamed. It could go either way. Anything is possible in the world of Wild Space, which we’re revisiting in today’s recap! Previously, on The Soapiest Damn Thing I Have Ever Read In My Life, Obi-Wan and Bail Organa had set out for the possibly-evil planet of Zigoola, which sounds more like a failed internet startup from 1999 than a Sith planet, but whatever. At one point Obi-Wan, importantly, was given some painkillers and sent to take a nap, an act for which I will forever consider Bail to be my personal hero. Also Bail took Space Speed to stay awake, and Anakin and Obi-Wan had a little bit of a fight on the phone about how Anakin lost Artoo and forgot to wipe his memory first, and that’s exactly where this chapter picks things up. Without further adieu, I give you this gem…

Recurring Theme: Everybody Knows

Bail gets things off on the right foot in this chapter by LISTENING INTO OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN’S DRAMATIC BOYFRIEND ARGUMENT, and says this:

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Hahahahaha. I am so, so sad Bail didn’t say “…trouble in paradise?” but I will absolutely accept this as a close second.

Obi-Wan gets lost in his own thoughts for a moment:

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Obi-Wan? Willfully blind about Anakin Skywalker? GET OUTTA HERE NO WAY NOT POSSIBLE. I wouldn’t worry about it, Kenobi.

He continues this train of thought about how STUPID Anakin is and how yet SOMEHOW Anakin always believes his Master will have his back no matter what dumb thing he does:

2We don’t need to think about all that now. Please. That’ll probably never happen! Anakin has Obi-Wan’s support through SO much, why, he’d have to do something UNCONSCIONABLE to lose it!

Bail is like Soooo….everything’s OK, then? Obi-Wan assures him that it is, and through some additional questioning, learns that they’ve dropped out of hyperspace at the first drop point of the map to this mystery planet. They’re now just awaiting the next set of coordinates.

Bail Organa, Not a Fool

Bail suggests that they eat something, and so the two of them bust out some meal packs from the Space Fridge and settle in to eat — something that Obi-Wan is BEYOND not interested in doing, to my extreme delight.

Bail, channeling me, gets to digging up some dirt: so, uh, about your Padawan

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LOL. Oh it gets so, so much better from here, too: Obi-Wan is all snippy and defensive and all “he’s NOT MY PADAWAN ANYMORE OBVS WHO EVEN CARES WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM OH SURELY NOT ME” and Bail practically GUFFAWS, all “are you sure he knows he’s not your student anymore? Because he sure as hell raced to tell you when he fucked shit up just now.”

Obi-Wan, hastily hiding the many hundreds of pictures of Anakin on his phone and the text conversation that surely includes a number of heart-eyes emojis, is like “he just…values my advice, OK?” OH REALLY, Kenobi. Is THAT what they’re calling it now?

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I love Bail Organa so much. He deserved so much better for having forced Obi-Wan to have this conversation alone.

Obi-Wan is silently fuming about this because how DARE someone accuse he and Anakin of being overly involved with each other HOW WOULD ANYONE LEAP TO SUCH A CONCLUSION IT’S AN OUTRAGE, probably while polishing that photo he has of Anakin in a heart-shaped frame and doing some of Anakin’s laundry that he brought along with him on this mission. Obi-Wan. Oh my GOD.

Just a Normal Childhood Except For the Part Where They Learn to Wield Cauterizing Laser Sticks That Can Decapitate Four Men At Once

Obi-Wan hopes to himself that Bail will just shut up and eat his food now, but Bail’s got more questions in store: namely, does he ever wish he wasn’t a Jedi? At this, Obi-Wan is utterly affronted and is like NEWP. Bail asks: but it’s kind of a weird upbringing, isn’t it, being raised by the Space Monks from infancy? Never knowing your birth family?

Obi-Wan bristles: oh, so I see you’re regretting having backed the Jedi up in the Senate now, huh? Bail clarifies: no no, it’s not like that:

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Obi-Wan sighs: we are not, contrary to popular belief, THAT weird THANKS:

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Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here quietly nodding and sipping my coffee with a carefully arched brow.

Bail persists: oooh, so you admit that being a Jedi can be hard sometimes? Obi-Wan counters that it’s not like Bail’s willing to assert that being a Senator is a nonstop party either, is he? Bail laughs and is like “well no, but doesn’t it suck not being allowed to have attachments? Doesn’t that mean you can’t ever show affection to anyone?” Obi-Wan sniffs that there’s more than one way to show affection for other people, and MAN I am just sitting here doing that thing where I point my fingers at my eyes, and then do the same at Karen Miller.

Bail, hilariously borrowing a line from Padme and Anakin’s Meadow Date, throws this back at him:

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Before Obi-Wan can answer, Bail gets a comm from his Mystery Source and excuses himself, and Obi-Wan uses the Force to crumple the containers from their meals into a cube for the garbage. LOL. I love, love, love his repeated lazy use of the Force.

Recurring Theme: Grey Area

Bail now settles into the cockpit and reprograms in their next set of coordinates, having gotten Top Secret Info from his absolutely above-board contacts. Bail reveals that his communications with said source are being kept covert. At this, the two of them get into still more debating about whether or not anyone is ever justified in breaking the law if it’s for a good cause, and who gets to decide what IS a good cause, and on and on. Obi-Wan huffs that THIS is the reason why the Jedi get annoyed with politicians: they take on crazy schemes and then the Jedi are left cleaning up the aftermath. Bail sighs and persists that hey, sometimes politicians make the Jedi’s job easier. You know, politicians like Palpatine. Or Padme. Or anyone on Mandalore. Or Lux Bonteri. Or all the people who are gonna cheer for Palpatine later on when he announces that the Empire is a thing. Sigh!

Before taking off, Bail also tells Obi-Wan that if he gets any sort of Super Secret Jedi Feelings about being in danger, he is to inform Bail immediately. At one point Bail actually threatens to leave Obi-Wan behind if he doesn’t agree to this, by saying VERBATIM that he’ll “turn this ship right around and take [Obi-Wan] back to Coruscant.” LOL!

Obi-Wan sighs that OK OK, he’ll tell Bail if the Force tips him off that they’re going to die, and adds that at the moment he doesn’t sense anything amiss apart from just thinking this whole thing was a bad idea to begin with. he adds nervously that he can’t promise he will always be able to sense Danger, and Bail casually is like “Oh yeah because the Dark Side clouds everything, right? Padme mentioned that,” to which Obi-Wan is like GODDAMNIT ANAKIN:

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Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Underpaid Employee

With this little tiff behind them, Bail throws the ship into hyperspace and tells Obi-Wan that, while Bail sleeps, he should take some time to come up with better reasons for disliking Bail than just that he’s a politician. As he leaves the cockpit, whistling to himself, Obi-Wan takes a moment to lament his fate:

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…nobody tell Obi-Wan about the 19 years of solitude in the ass end of space, OK guys?

I’m sorry, Obi-Wan. I promise I am not laughing at you. Too much.

Recurring Theme: Hello There!

So ten hours later Bail wakes up after his first sleep in like 4 days, and Obi-Wan goes to his own little bunk to do some meditation. He does that for an hour (vaguely worrying about Anakin through most of it, because of course,) and then after he’s done with that he realizes they still have like 6 hours before they get to their next stop. Bail busies himself with Senate Stuff, and so Obi-Wan decides he’s going to brush up on some of his Jedi skills, and MAN am I sad we missed this one showing up in a movie.

Obi-Wan decides to do some exercises, and in order to do so strips down to just a pair of leggings:

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…oh, I don’t know. I bet he was pretty close to perfect. Anakin would back me up on this, I think, as would a majority of the galaxy if most of the Star Wars content I’ve consumed is to be believed.

He does this for TWO HOURS and gets totally into the Force Zone and totally sweaty in the process. He then uses the ship’s laundry to clean his clothes after freshening up in the bathroom, because he didn’t bring any extra clothing with him. OK, so just…hang on here, people:

  1. Why wouldn’t he have brought at least one extra pair of clothing with him? I mean they did leave on KIND of short notice, but not THAT short. It’s not like Obi-Wan is PADME and needs like 89 steamer trunks of capes and headdresses. How hard would it have been to throw another Bland Brown Outfit in there? I am going to assume this is because he filled up all available overhead bin space on Bail’s ship with extra robes for whatever Throwdowns await him on the Sith Planet of Mystery.
  2. The book pointed out he didn’t bring any other clothes with him AND has to launder his only outfit, so effectively this book went out of its way to make sure I knew Obes was walking around this ship nude for a period of time, and for what appears to be little reason beyond “Obi-Wan got sweaty, then naked. Then he went about the rest of his day.”
  3. This book? Is incredible.

Bail Organa, Relatable

So Obi-Wan, now clothed, walks back over to the cockpit where Bail is doing some of his Senator Homework. Obi-Wan asks Bail if he wants more food, because he’s about to open another meal pack for himself, and Bail teasingly asks him to make him a drink instead. Which Obi-Wan then proceeds to do.

Bail laughs as the galaxy’s hottest cocktail waiter shows up with his drink, insisting that he hadn’t actually expected Obi-Wan to do that for him, and THEN Bail is like “So, um, what was the Sweaty Shirtless Exercise you were doing before when I was spying on you?” WHAT. IS WITH. THIS BOOK. This is the SECOND time Obi-Wan has gotten all sweaty from exercising, and BOTH TIMES HE HAS ATTRACTED SPECTATORS. I feel so validated right now; so understood.

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The Jedi Order, Has a Small Band-Aid Budget

Obi-Wan is all affronted by this because OH MY GOD HIS SWEATY SHIRTLESS JEDI TIME IS PRIVATE ONLY ANAKIN GETS TO SEE THAT. Bail, defensively, is like “hey, I was just enjoying the view! It looked like hard work! You were doing a good job!” and THEN Bail notes that Obi-Wan hardly has any scars on his body, which is surprising to him given that Obi-Wan was just blown out of the sky like 3 days before this or whatever it’s supposed to have been. I am dying that Bail has admitted to having spent THIS MUCH TIME SCRUTINIZING OBI-WAN’S NAKED CHEST SOMEONE PLEASE SEND HELP I AM GOING TO EXPIRE OVER HERE.

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Obi-Wan frowns at his meal pack and sniffs that well, sure, he’s availed himself of Jedi healing techniques. That’s why he is still relatively unscarred (uh, unless we’re talking about EMOTIONALLY.) Is that so wrong of him? Bail is like no no, and Obi-Wan, annoyed, is like IF YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT THE JEDI, PAL, THEN JUST FUCKING SAY IT.

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Bail replies back that it’s just, well, normal people get bombed, and when it happens to them they’re not walking away without a scratch, is all. You guys are mysterious! You’re different! You’re not…normal!

Obi-Wan, increasingly furious, spits back that if Bail really thinks the Jedi never suffer any physical ramifications from their deathly encounters, he ought to mention that to Anakin. And have Anakin show Bail his prosthetic arm. Oooh.

A Good Question

Bail is chastised by this, and explains: he doesn’t mean the Jedi shouldn’t use healing, or that they never get hurt, only that it’s too bad not everyone can benefit from some of the things the Jedi have access to! There are small children who were hurt in that same blast Obi-Wan was in who’ll be disfigured forever now…

Obi-Wan gets where Bail is coming from, but BOY does he have some Important Thoughts on this.

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This blog is not about Heavy Analysis, unless it’s about Shirtless Nightmares or Star Wars Hair, so I’m not going to bore you all with my long-winded HERE IS WHY I LIKED THIS PART VERY MUCH, but just know I am over here raising a glass.

Recurring Theme: Your Periodic Reminder That The Jedi Order Did Not Ask For This Bullshit

Bail apologizes: this is coming out all wrong. He greatly admires the Jedi, they are superheroes — but this war has thrust them into a spotlight and put them on a pedestal like never before. People are going to critique them more and more, especially as the war drags on and on. Obi-Wan acknowledges this, and counters that hey: they didn’t ask to be put on pedestals! In their world those are solely reserved for those Humongous Statues of themselves they use as decor!

Bail agrees: he knows they didn’t. But as the bad guys pull more people over to their side, more people will look for anything they can use as evidence that the Jedi are not suffering like the average citizen is.

Obi-Wan is taken aback:

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EVIDENTLY THE ANSWER HERE IS YES, but we…don’t need to discuss this right now. *sobs*

At this, Bail clarifies that whether or not it’s TRUE is immaterial. Perception is reality. Obi-Wan sighs, and agrees. Bail continues: the Jedi have done immeasurable good for such a long time in the universe — helping to resolve petty disputes and break up smuggling rings and what I can only assume were about 67 billion missions that were about space mining in one way or another. But this? This war is different. And when the shit hits the fan, Bail promises him, they will be blamed regardless of if they deserve it. Bail? Is smart. No wonder Leia is the most amazing person ever.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Bail

At this, Obi-Wan is rendered completely unable to eat his meal, and is just sort of gaping at Bail, and Bail turns away and is all “I’m sorry, ignore me, I know I know I’m just a politician…”

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Um, OK. Is everyone in this book in love with each other? I endorse this, by the way. Princeling! Good grief.

Obi-Wan says that Bail is right: the Jedi know their public image is a problem, and that having them elevated to this level is a Bad Idea. In fact, they’ve been fighting it this whole time and were more or less dragged kicking and screaming onto the covers of Galactic OK! and Us Weekly by Palpatine! WHO CAN SAY WHY.

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Bail thoughtfully and CRUELLY adds that Poor Palpatine’s heart is in the right place, but he just doesn’t understand the consequences of his actions! He’s only Chancellor by accident anyways! It’s weird because if only that whole Trade Federation thing with Naboo had never happened, why, he’d never have even become Chancellor! Oh. Well, not everything Bail just said was wrong, but…sigh.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Liar

The two of them are now thoroughly Bummed Out about this depressing conversation, and Bail is like “I…need more booze. You up for it, Kenobi?” and Obi-Wan tells him that alcohol is not recommended for a Jedi, and I laugh out loud, because I have seen this man drink alcohol multiple times and I’m just…what does “not recommended” mean? That it’s not healthy so they shouldn’t? Or does the fact that they are Force Superbeings mean that it has an outsized effect on them? Are the Jedi a bunch of lightweights and he’s afraid he’ll end up making out with Bail if he has a beer? If this is true then why was he drinking in a bar in the middle of a mission in Attack of the Clones (AND in A New Hope right before he was supposed to GO SEE BAIL AGAIN?) I have so, so many questions.

Bail is like fine: how about a game of sabacc, then? Or are you guys also not “allowed” to gamble?

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Obi-Wan cheekily replies that they can, and do, but also no one ever seems to want to play with them. I can’t fathom why.  I am sure it has nothing to do with their ability to sense what the people around them are going to do before they do it, or the fact that they can literally get some people to do their bidding through a bizarre sort of mind-scrambling. I really hope that when the Order is running low on funds for whatever reason, they just send Quinlan Vos to Canto Bight for a weekend.

Bail agrees to keep his Wily Politician Ways to a minimum as long as Obes keeps his Jedi Magic Tricks out of things. Obi-Wan nerdily declares sabacc to be a “perfectly acceptable way to pass the time”, and sneakily thinks to himself that he’s going to use this little date night to learn more about what makes this Very Unique Senator tick. Man, Anakin is gonna be jea-lous! (Maybe even Padme, too.)

That’s all for today’s edition of I May Have Really Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew With This One! Join me next time, when Obi-Wan and Bail’s road trip heads into the space-travel equivalent of unmarked, poorly-lit back roads, and Obi-Wan continues to do some long-distance worrying about — surprise! — Anakin. Thanks for reading!

Previously

Wild Space, Part VII: Love Is The Drug

Next

Wild Space, Part IX: Into the Unknown

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