Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover (Legends) (Part 3)
Greetings, readers, and welcome once again to Anakin Skywalker’s Epic Fuck-Up: The Novel — the book that proves that, yes, Star Wars can always take something that was already tragic and full of feelings and Very Shippy Subtext to an almost outrageous degree, and somehow take us beyond that. It’s really quite impressive, frankly.
We’re juuuust at the part right after Anakin’s lopped Dooku’s head off, and is full of Feeling Things about this. He didn’t get much time to stew about it, though, because the ship he’s on with Poor Defenseless Chancellor Palpatine and an unconscious but still handsome Obi-Wan is falling apart! Palps had gone for the Star Wars equivalent of a Hail Mary pass by suggesting that Anakin leave Obi-Wan behind to die (LOL, nice try buddy. Please tell me you did not actually think that would work. You are one of the few characters in this series who is not a complete dope. I guess it was worth a shot though.) As it stands, now all three of them are attempting to make a Great Escape off of the still-amusingly-named Invisible Hand.
This particular recap, as you may have already surmised, covers a portion of this book that is so frequently quoted in certain parts of the Star Wars fandom that it’s almost taken on a life of its own. It’s long been my destiny to recap it, and I am ready to fulfill that destiny. Join me, won’t you?
Recurring Theme: No Happiness For Anyone Ever
The next section of the book goes into Grievous’ interactions on a different part of the ship, and the most important thing for you all to take away from it is that Grievous is Very Very Sad and Broken and Miserable:
Oh. Well, that’s pleasant. Once again I’m being made to feel bad for someone who is basically a Jedi killing machine. I’m…not thinking about how this applies to Darth Vader. THANKS, STAR WARS. GOD.
Darth Sidious, Sith Lord of Leisure
Back by the elevator shaft, Anakin is trying to figure out exactly how to get himself, Obi-Wan and Sheev to safety, considering that the ship is lurching back and forth and there’s dust and smoke in the air and also Obes is out cold. He comes up with a plan, but they’re going to need to be swift:
LOL. I know Sheev was playing up the Frail Old Man thing on purpose here, but also, I kind of believe this? Like, even in the couple of duels we see him in, he’s not exactly hustling all over the place (save for his Showoff Corkscrew Move in his office that one time). He’s more of a desk-job Sith Lord. I guess that’s part of the rationale for the Rule of Two: you’ve gotta have one guy to do the legwork, and as Top Sith Sheev just understandably wants to sit in his throne and have someone else do it. Also, Anakin’s reply here is the dorkiest thing ever. “Never too late to start getting into shape”? God, he was 23 and already the king of Dad Jokes.
I Need More Information Here
So they’re trying to make their escape and then at one point Anakin realizes that they COULD flee to safety, BUT ALSO Grievous is riiiiiiiight there? And he could maybe take him out? And be the Heroest of All Heroes?
Sheev, sensing this, gives him a nice little Evil Pep Talk:
And Anakin? He gets like, Force-ified Goosebumps in response to this:
OK, GEORGE: I need more details here, because this is truly interesting. I feel like at the very least the book is teasing at the idea that Sidious is partially responsible for whatever voices Anakin is hearing in his head at this point. Is that a thing in this universe? (That’s a trick question: given that we’ve crossed into things like Death By Astral Projection and Robo-Maul, technically ANYTHING is a thing in this universe.) I would absolutely buy that this guy would have tried to open some sort of gateway into Anakin’s Dumb Doofus Brain as a means to manipulate him. There is pretty much nothing I would put past Sheev. I mean, it’s either that this book is trying to suggest that, or it’s trying to suggest that Anakin is having Dreams about Sidious in general, which, no thanks, Star Wars. No thanks.
Sheev keeps egging him on: forget about Obi-Wan! That guy doesn’t even GET how powerful you are! THINK about it, Anakin! I love that Sidious isn’t even really TRYING not to sound evil at this point, and yet it is still going to take Anakin another 800 pages to figure out that this guy is a Sith Lord. FFS.
Anakin, an idiot, pauses and lapses into a fantasy:
LOL @ “AFTER ALL THIS TIME.” FUCK. YOU. ANAKIN. YOU ARE 23 GODDAMN YEARS OLD. You just got knighted like 3 years before this. For the last fucking time: Obi-Wan WAS STILL A PADAWAN AT YOUR AGE. Is Obi-Wan the youngest Council member at this point? If so, the entire council has 16 to SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS ON YOU, ANAKIN. ALL THIS TIME. GET OUTTA HERE, SKYWALKER. Take a seat. (But not on the Council.) (BURN.)
Anakin fights off his Lust For Powah for now, though, and tells Sheev that he doesn’t get to make the rules: Anakin’s orders come from the Jedi, who get their orders from the Senate, not the Chancellor. Palpatine bitches that that may not always be true, and Anakin agrees, but tells him that for now, they’re just going to focus on getting to safety.
At the same time, Grievous gets the bad news that Dooku is dead and that the Jedi have Sheev and are on the run. He vows to go AFTER THEM!, bad guy-style, DUN DUN DUUUUN!
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan
So, we now come to the portion of our program where Anakin is dangling over a ledge with Obi-Wan on his back, and the Chancellor clinging to his foot. I am going to once again point out that it is pretty fucking impressive that Anakin can hold ALL of their combined weight:
At one point Anakin’s lightsaber goes hurtling down into the abyss below them, and Anakin is momentarily glad that Obi-Wan isn’t awake to yell at him about it. LOL. I was going to be like “I doubt Obi-Wan would have cared considering the dire circumstances” but then immediately realized that no, of COURSE Obes would have lectured him even while hanging upside down on a spaceship that is falling apart.
Palpatine, unwilling to give up here, is wailing to Anakin about how OH NO I CAN’T POSSIBLY HOLD ON YOU’LL HAVE TO HELP ME ANAKIN, and Anakin’s reaction is predictable and also heart-crushing:
Recurring Theme: Anakin’s Butt
OH BOY. OK. Every so often I get the honor of recapping something that just…transcends the usual Star Wars content. Sometimes it’s something especially sad, or especially touching, or especially silly. And sometimes — sometimes — it’s something like the Sweaty Ass-Slapping Playfight Scene from Wild Space. I will let you all read this passage and determine which of these categories this next bit falls into:
So: just to be clear, given that as I understand it George Lucas apparently had some involvement at least in reviewing the draft of this novelization personally, are we to draw the conclusion that it is effectively canon that Obi-Wan has had the opportunity to examine Anakin’s ass in detail from other angles, just not this one? Also, I am sorry, but just the mere fact that this book felt the need to spend this many words talking about Obi-Wan and his proximity to Anakin’s derriere is…something. I mean, I know they pledged eternal faithfulness to one another and Obi-Wan told Anakin he’d want “no other man by his side” while the Force sang out around them or whatever already in this book BUT STILL. Wow.
Better yet, as it turns out, that WAS in fact an up-close view of Anakin’s behind that Obi-Wan was taking in:
Yes, now we’ve reached the point in Star Wars where Obi-Wan is comforted by the sight of Anakin’s butt. I mean, I can hardly say I blame him. There are worse things to be looking at. Also, I love how Obi-Wan has never been surprised to find himself near death, ever.
After some more Hijinks, the three of them eventually end up falling into a heap:
Oh, I don’t know, Obes. I’ve watched a LOT of The Clone Wars, and while it is ABSOLUTELY entertaining, I’m not sure all of your missions rise to “Obi-Wan knowing Anakin’s ass on sight seconds after waking up from a concussion” levels of entertaining. I feel like this mission is really something special.
Recurring Theme: Just Another Day of Posing Handsomely
The three of them end up back on the hangar bay of the ship, only to find that there’s nothing flyable that can get them out of there and to safety. Palpatine is all WHAT ARE WE GONNA DOOOOO, and I’m honestly kind of wondering about all of this, because there have been like 7 times already where Sidious could have accidentally died during this mission. Like, I know the guy has major Force Powers and whatnot, but was NO part of him even slightly worried that in service to playing the Helpless Old Man Routine he might somehow fall down into an abyss or get hit by a stray blaster bolt or whatever? Like, how hilarious would it have been if he’d gotten himself killed on this mission? Ah, if only.
Anakin looks at Obi-Wan and is like “I dunno, what should we do?”
Hahahahaha. Of course his robe was blowing in the wind. And while I know the book was going for something else, I’m going to interpret “bracing himself in the doorway” as something like this:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Artoo
There’s a whooooole big scene where shit is flying all over the ship and they’re flopping back and forth and part of the ship breaks off and in the mess, Anakin is like WAIT OMG ARTOO. Obi-Wan tells him, not unkindly, that it’s likely that Artoo’s been sucked out into space or otherwise destroyed. He gives his sympathy to Anakin, saying he knows how much Artoo meant to him.
Naturally, of course, Anakin isn’t about to stand for this, and keeps trying to comm over to Artoo. Then this happens:
- Was it necessary to be like “Obes leaned in Super Close and touched Anakin’s arm while speaking into his ear in a low tone of voice”? Not really, but thanks all the same, Star Wars.
- I would really, really like to know what a NON-JEDI apparently does when someone they care about dies or something leaves their life, since evidently the Jedi are unique for having adopted a “living things die and nothing last forever” philosophy. Knowing this dramatic galaxy, maybe everyone else does go through a yearlong period of mourning complete with full black attire when their robot gets broken.
Recurring Theme: They Invented Being In Love, You Know
Oh but there’s a reason Anakin is so devoted to Artoo, all right! (Like, beyond the fact that Artoo has saved his life like 200 times by now.) Why, it has to do with where he got Artoo from. The book goes into Flashback Mode and shifts into an entertainingly flowery tone now, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for us to talk about The Most Important Love That No One Else Has Ever Felt Except Anakin and Padme:
Look, once again I feel compelled to point out that while I really do like these two crazy kids, and I wish it had worked out better for them both, feeling “shy” around YOUR ACTUAL SPOUSE is possibly a good indication that neither of you really thought this one all the way through before you MARRIED EACH OTHER. Also, I’m terrible but my first thought about that last line was “you don’t really have any friends now, either, Skywalker.”
ANYWAYS. Yes, there’s some tradition where you’re supposed to give your spouse a gift, but Poor Anakin Has Nothing To Give But His Heart because he is a poor Jedi and they never let him have anything except for constant attention and that dark dorm room full of robot parts and also Obi-Wan. So he decides to give her Threepio!
At first, Padme is all “I couldn’t! He means so much to you!” but Anakin insists that as a Jedi, he doesn’t own things, and also technically Threepio is a free droid: he doesn’t belong to anyone but he does need someone to look after him:
OK, I can’t even lovingly mock this. It’s adorable, and Anakin is the sweetest here.
I Mean, I’d Celebrate Its Demise Too
So Anakin had given Padme custody of Threepio, and then, the book tells us, two years later something Truly Magical and Meaningful happened: Anakin was knighted! And THANK THE FORCE, HE GOT HIMSELF A HAIRCUT. And the first place he snuck off to as soon as he could was Padme’s place. I completely understand. If I were Padme, I’d have been like “honey, the very instant you no longer have that regrettable haircut, I want you over here with a quickness.”
Ah! To prove to Padme that the Rattail of Jedification was well and truly dead, he gave her a chunk of his Jedi Trainee Hair as a gift. LOL. Oh sure, this is touching. But also I cannot stop laughing. Props to Padme for keeping her composure, because I’d have been like “Oh…good. Yes. Ahem. I’m just glad it’s not stuck to your head anymore.” And here I thought the traditional second-year-anniversary gift was cotton. Turns out it’s actually hair!
Apparently Padme had been so blown away by this gift, and/or is just so very very glad that Anakin can grow out his hair normally now that she gives him Artoo in return, having him hide in her closet before making an appearance. Anakin insists that he can’t accept him, and she counters: he just needs someone to be his friend. AHHHHHHH. Look, I am just DONE with this family making me feel things about this ROBOT OK.
Finally, in non-flashback form, Anakin is relieved to hear Artoo beeping at him. Thank goodness! Even though I’m totally sure Anakin would have handled it fine if Artoo had been blown to bits.
Yeah. He’s gonna be just fine.
I’ve Never Felt Closer To Sheev In My Life
So they go running off AGAIN, and they get to that part where they get trapped by the ray-shield, except in this version they have Artoo with them already. Obi-Wan frowny-faces about how They’re Smarter Than This (hahahaha OK), and Anakin tries to make a couple of crappy jokes but Obes isn’t having it:
Hahahaha. I love that Palpatine is like TIME TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT NO IDEA WHY THE DARK SIDE HASN’T CLEARED UP HA HA WHY WOULD I KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT MUST BE A MYSTERY.
THEN, some Magna-guards show up to apprehend them, and when they do they demand that they turn over their weapons. This, of course, means that Obi-Wan learns that Anakin’s is, well, not exactly on his person anymore. And this gives us all a chance to savor YET ANOTHER round of Obikin Bitchery. First, Obi-Wan is all OH ANAKIN HOW COULD YOU LOSE YOUR LIGHTSABER AGAIN:
Anakin turns the tables on him: hey, Obi-Wan doesn’t have HIS lightsaber anymore, either!!
HAHAHA. Oh, the mental image of this. Sheev is enjoying this, and who can blame him? Honestly, dude: are you SURE you don’t want to flip them BOTH to the Dark Side? Think about how fun it would be to laugh at these two for the next 30 years! As someone who basically HAS done exactly that, let me assure you: it is a delight.
So, the trio get led away to go see General Grievous, and Anakin is actually in a REALLY good mood all things considered: he’s got his bros, AND he’s gonna go win the war!
I feel like it says a lot about Anakin that his two “best friends” are the best person who has ever existed, and the WORST person who has ever existed.
And with that, Anakin is telling himself that soon everything’s TOTALLY going to work out perfectly. Yeah, that’s it:
Golly, THANKS, STAR WARS. As always.
That’s all for today’s recap — I hope you had as much fun staring at Anakin’s butt as I (and Obi-Wan) did. Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you next time!