The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapter 14
Yes, it’s time once again for a visit to Wild Space, as part of my neverending quest to determine just how much recapping of a single piece of Star Wars content I have in me before I just completely suffer a nervous breakdown. I haven’t hit that limit yet, probably, so here we are!
This time around we will be exploring Chapter 14, which could very well be subtitled But Why Can’t The Jedi Just Do Everything Everyone Wants Them To? (Which, as it happens, is a pretty common refrain in this fandom. And also of Anakin’s. Ahem.)
When we last left our crew of heroes, villains and hero/villains, Bail and Obi-Wan — en route to a Sith Planet of Mystery for reasons I’m almost starting to forget now because I’ve been recapping this book for several thousand years at this point — had finished drinking booze for something like the third time in this book, and had switched to gambling that will definitely not result in yet more complaining from both of them. (I feel compelled to note here that I have been recapping Star Wars for years now, and about 80% of it has just been people whining at each other.) Let’s go!
Bail Organa, Out for Blood
The book explains that Obi-Wan and Bail have each won a hand of sabaac, and Obi-Wan is poised to win the third hand when the navi computer tells them that they are near Atzerri, and Bail looks out the window and asks Obi-Wan if he knows the area, and Obi-Wan is like yep, I do, I was there on a horrible mission a Long Time Ago:
LOL. You know, I feel like presuming that Bail was suggesting something like that is such a reach that now I’m suspicious that you DID start it somehow, Kenobi. And if you did I’m going to guess it was somehow handsomeness-related.
Bail is like “Oh I know who started it all right — it was Local Thugs™! Who killed my uncle just for standing up for what’s right!” Man: a LOT of people in Leia’s family have died standing up to fascists and criminals. And now I’m sad again.
Obi-Wan remembers the person Bail is talking about, and Bail confirms that that was his mother’s brother — and in fact, his death was so devastating to her that she herself never got over it: it was more like they’d killed two people instead of one. Sheesh, Star Wars. Really keeping it light here as always, huh?
Bail is like “and you know what was some bullshit? That those guys didn’t pay for what they did”!
Obi-Wan is having none of this bitching (AGAIN), and fires back:
Yes, the Jedi aren’t executioners. They also apparently don’t have to pay their utility bills on time (or possibly ever.) They’re also not all-powerful and all-knowing, they’re not in charge of the government, they’re not people who practice Forcible Marriage Therapy on their members no matter how much someone might need it, and they’re not responsible for making sure grown-ass adults among their ranks don’t try to solve their personal problems with incredibly fucked up decisions, ANAKIN.
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
Haha! I digress! It’s fine. I don’t have any strong opinions on this topic or anything. Those Jedi, amirite? Why didn’t they just murder every bad person in the universe and exceed their own jurisdiction to fix problems that may have ended up causing even bigger ones? So inconsiderate, really.
Bail is unconvinced and passionately yells about how that’s easy for Obi-Wan to say! What they did to his uncle was so horrible, if he knew that he’d —
…oh, well THANKS FOR THAT, Star Wars. We’re only like three pages into the chapter and you’re already doing this crap again. (I refuse to consider what this means for Obi-Wan’s Tatooine Years, even though I already knew that it involved a lot of sleep-crying.)
This gives Bail the chance to apologize for being “uncivilized” and calling for the heads of the people who killed his uncle, and Obi-Wan the chance to reflect on Anakin’s attachment to his mother, and Obi-Wan’s own attachment to Qui-Gon, and how they’re all so sad that this universe has been so murdery to them:
Recurring Theme: The Backstory Made It Funnier
Let me tell you something: I genuinely, genuinely LOVE when Star Wars had something that was otherwise Very Serious or Sad and then some additional content comes along and just makes it hilarious, such as Vader and Leia’s Sass-Off in the first 5 minutes of A New Hope, which involves Leia’s strident insistence that she’s on a Diplomatic Mission Get Off My Case You Wicked Robot, when we now know that Vader watched her fly off with the Death Star plans 14 seconds previous. (Leia, I know Anakin is an idiot but even he might not be that stupid.) So here, just as I’m feeling especially bummed out, thinking about Obi-Wan’s pain (he thinks to himself how hard it really is for him to let go of what he’s lost, and wonders if Anakin will carry a rage similar to Bail’s with him forever,) Bail asks this question:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh yes, Bail: you know perfectly well, as does Obi-Wan, what happened to the Sith Lord that killed Qui-Gon Jinn. Obviously the murderer in question is dead. It’s not like he could have survived being bisected and thrown into an abyss, and is now muttering crazily to himself, growing antlers in a pit while on robotic spider legs he acquired somehow, awaiting his eventual rise first as a lord of the underworld, then as the de facto ruler of Mandalore, then again as a lord of the underworld (which again, I need you all to remember he basically ONLY DID AS PART OF HIS PLAN TO GET REVENGE ON OBI-WAN.) The next thing you know you’re going to tell me that a Han Solo movie is a thing that exists, and that Maul’s in it. (No, I am still not over the fact that this happened, and I probably never will be. I sort of wish I had a time machine so I could go back and find my teenage self as she walks out of the theater after seeing The Phantom Menace so that I could tell myself all of these twists and turns in advance, because I’d honestly like to see the look on my own face.)
Bail seizes on the fact that Obi-Wan uh, “killed” Maul and smirks: ah, I see. But you’re not about vengeance or anything, huh Kenobi? Obi-Wan, in response, just kind of shrugs and exhales while clearly thinking “fuck you”. Uh, OK, but stand up for yourself, Kenobi! Maul was trying to kill you! He was like .5 seconds away from throwing YOU into that abyss and you had no other real options! I think your (attempted) murder here was justified, even by Jedi standards. (Also now I’m just cracking up imagining the universe where Obi-Wan is the one who falls into that pit and goes crazy and makes a Maul Vengeance Shrine.)
Recurring Theme: We’ll Come Back To This Maybe
They get their next set of coordinates, which is going to take them to Munto Codru, in the Outer Rim. Obi-Wan gets all Concerned because now they’re going way the hell out there:
Yes, good question! Why would the Sith be interested in that place? Why would Snoke? Why would anyone? Where are Ezra and Thrawn and that space whale right now? WHO CAN SAY FOR SURE, but I’ll put money on whatever it ends up being being extremely ridiculous and confusing and probably more than a little bit humorous. I, personally, can hardly wait.
The two of them bitch at each other about why they should stay or go, and Bail is like “I don’t wanna give up now and you can’t make me” and Obi-Wan is like “But your life is important and mine isn’t!” because it had been 17 entire minutes since Obi-Wan last reminded us all that He Is Very Good and Loyal and Dedicated and Please Give Me an A+ On My Report Card Yoda.
Right, because Obi-Wan isn’t married. If you say so, Star Wars! Bail is like “you know what? I’m getting sick of your bullshit, Kenobi. Would you be asking Padme if she wanted to abandon the mission?” LOL. Given their dynamic in this book, if I were Obi-Wan I would be scared shitless to even bring it up if only because Wild Space Padme is the most Dramatic, Righteously Indignant Padme I have ever seen. If he questioned her she’d probably go right for the jugular and be like “Well! I may be about to do something obviously stupid that will probably kill me, but at least I don’t have to DENY MYSELF OF ALL THINGS BECAUSE OF YOUR PRECIOUS JEDI CODE, AND ALSO ANAKIN SAYS YOU DON’T PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION TO HIM IN BED. ALSO YOUR HAIR LOOKS B+ AT BEST TODAY” while sashaying away from him in a $35,000 gown.
OK OK: so Bail says he’s not leaving, and Obi-Wan is like FINE and turns his back on him to call his grandpa.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Anakin
Obi-Wan’s unable to reach Yoda from this far away, though, so he connects up to Adi Gallia instead, since she’s fighting some Separatist BS somewhere else. She agrees to pass along his update on his mission to Yoda, and Obi-Wan has to stop himself from asking her about something else. CAN YOU POSSIBLY GUESS WHAT IT IS?
LOL. There you have it, folks — Obi-Wan: worried about Anakin, but also not wanting to get him in trouble for a fuck-up. This book’s got their number.
Their new coordinates locked in, Obi-Wan asks Bail if he’s ready and Bail, still pissy from their tiff just now gets the ship going again. Obi-Wan then excuses himself because he has Shirtless Meditation to do again, and Bail is like “Sure. Fine. Go. See if I care. GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR.”
Hahahahaha. Careful there, Obes! Curtain-slamming is a path to the Dark Side!
Three days pass, and Obi-Wan is bored out of his skull, because while Bail has all kinds of paperwork and Senator Shit to keep himself busy, all Obi-Wan has is meditating and sensing that his friends are all almost dying and also that Anakin is an idiot who still can’t find Artoo. Then he spends several paragraphs worrying that Poor Anakin is being put up to too many tasks at too young of an age, and blahblahblah, and then worries that he still needs to protect him:
This is very sweet, and I’m not suggesting that adults can’t need someone to look out for them, too, but I’m just giggling a little at all of this because Anakin’s in his 20s here. He’s old enough to theoretically be a college graduate and buy a house and contribute to a Roth IRA! (I mean, Anakin couldn’t, because he’s Anakin and also Roth IRAs probably aren’t a thing in Fake Wizard Space for one thing and I doubt the Jedi Order pays well enough for him to be able to contribute to such a thing regardless, but whatever.) My point is that he’s at an age where he should sort of be able to start to take care of himself, no? (Again, it’s Anakin, so no, but still.)
This Seems Like It Won’t Go Bad
So Obi-Wan fills his time with YET MORE Shirtless Meditating, all of which I presume Bail watched through a crack in the doorframe, and eventually they get to their next stop. And this time, their next set of coordinates are slow in coming — they’ve been waiting for seven hours, and Bail’s getting very ansy indeed.
Obi-Wan proposes that they give Bail’s contact one more hour when this happens:
The contact refuses to give a name, but insists that they just needed to make sure Bail and Obi-Wan were truly alone so that, at the next stop, they can meet face to face. She sends the coordinates, and Bail determines that these — gasp! — will lead them right into Wild Space. DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!
So THEN we go BACK to them sitting and waiting and traveling and really, THANK GOD they’re almost there because I feel like I’ve been on this shitty snark-filled road trip with these two idiots for the duration of multiple presidential administrations at this point.
Obi-Wan comes out of ANOTHER meditative trance with a headache, and a Bad Feeling in his gut.
Recurring Theme: I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This and There’s Fuckall I Can Do About It
Bail looks up from his latest round of paperwork (FFS, why are they doing so much work stuff on paper? GET A LAPTOP, ORGANA) and is like “What’s wrong?!” Obi-Wan tells him he’s uneasy, and Bail confirms that they’ve nearly arrived at the Area 51 of the GFFA. he asks Obi-Wan what he’d like to do about it:
…I am really starting to feel like that Obi-Wan Movie we all know Disney will never love me enough to actually make (which just seems so unfair given how much of my money I’ve given them over the years, but I DIGRESS DISNEY IT’S FINE HERE’S ANOTHER $25 FOR CHURROS, AND YES I WOULD LIKE THAT STAR WARS COLLECTOR CUP, SIGH WHY MUST I BE SO WEAK,) should be a film that is 90% Obi-Wan’s internal monologue. It seems like we’re really missing out on some quality content there.
So after even more bitching, they drop out of hyperspace and they are greeted with the sight of a space station, just floating there, which as we all know is always a great and very reassuring sign here in this universe.
Obi-Wan suggests they do not turn on their homing beacon and instead try to glide in silently. Bail is like “OK but that’s not going to be easy and also they’re going to have security cameras everywhere”:
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan/The Force
Then, entertainingly, Obi-Wan decides to help Bail — who, he admits, is doing a damn fine job piloting — land the thing as gently as possible with an assist from the Force. He accomplishes this through yet another one of those REALLY flowery sequences where he becomes one with the universe and choirs of angels sing and so on, and I’m just laughing because it really feels like this happens to Obi-Wan in these books more than ANY other Jedi. Take that, Yoda and Anakin! The Force might love you, but it saves all its most ostentatiously borderline-romantic bits for Obi-Wan Kenobi:
Bail is blown away by this because Oh My God Obi-Wan, That Was Amazing and now both of them practically need a cigarette:
LOL. I mean, maybe the Jedi really didn’t sleep around all that much after all. They seem to be getting it on the regular direct from the Force itself.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Thinks This Is A Bad Idea But It’s Still Not Gonna Take Much To Get Him To Go Along With It
So with their ship now landed, Bail tries to run a scan on the space station but is unable to. Obi-Wan says that he can, but hesitates as he looks over at Bail: is he REALLY REALLY SURE he wants to do this? And OK, I get that Obi-Wan’s supposed to be feeling all kinds of warning signs and Dread and so on but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD OBI-WAN, YOU’VE ASKED HIM THIS ALL DAY EVERY DAY FOR FIVE STRAIGHT DAYS.
Bail looks mildly worried, then finds his resolve: yes, he can handle this. And he’s going to do it. Those are his people in there!
Obi-Wan thinks to himself that this is a terrible plan and he should be doing his job of protecting a civilian instead of letting said civilian do something stupid, but nevertheless goes along with this.
Bail urges him: let’s move — we’re burning daylight!
At that, the two head off for Death-Defying Mystery and Intrigue and Probably Obi-Wan Posing Gloriously in our next chapter — but that’ll have to wait for another day! Thanks for joining me for yet another edition of Wild Space!