Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover (Legends) (Part 5)
Yes, it’s time once again for another thrilling installment of Anakin Skywalker’s A Series of Unfortunate Events! Previously, in this delightfully over-the-top novelization of my very favorite delightfully over-the-top movie, Anakin had returned to Coruscant in the understated, low-key way he usually arrives everywhere, this time by crashing half of a giant spaceship into the middle of a densely-populated area. (Thank GOD he managed to save the Chancellor, you guys. Really. What would the Republic have done otherwise?!)
After taking a few moments to wave his hair around in the wind and flirt with/complain to Obi-Wan, as is his way, Anakin had walked into the Senate building, where Threepio had passed along some salacious innuendo to him on Padme’s behalf (really, this is a thing that happened). And with that, the Galaxy’s Most Brilliant Idiot is off to reconnect with his One True Love (Non-Himself/Non-Obi-Wan Category.) I absolutely live for Anakin and Padme’s hilariously desperate Romance Unlike Anything Anyone Has Ever Known That No One Else Could Ever Possibly Understand scenes, so I’m excited to dig in. Forward!
Recurring Theme: Padme Amidala, Has Got It Bad
Yes, things start off, RIGHT AWAY, with Padme at last being able to breathe again at the sight of her golden-haired Adonis of a husband. She stands there just sort of gawking and being Oh So Very Thankful that he’s alive, marking one of the last times in his life anyone other than Palpatine is going to be happy about Anakin not being dead. (Sorry.)
Finally she hears Anakin yakking to Bail about how the war’s going to keep going until Grievous is dead, blahblahblah, and then he Sees Her, and OH THE DRAMA:
*cue the Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet*
I know they are all hidden away in a corner and all, but I am dying at how often these two are like, dip-kissing in public or in front of giant picture windows or whatever. I’m starting to think that my friends and I were onto something when we speculated that maybe the Jedi actually were allowed to marry, and Anakin was A) dumb and B) never actually read the rules, and thus thinks he is somehow pulling off some sort of Great Cover-Up, while the Order just feels slighted that Anakin never invited his own damn family to the wedding. (Yoda had so been wanting to walk Anakin down the aisle and give the groom away.)
OK! Sorry, that was just me going off on a Tangent of Bullshit (again). So the Amidala-Skywalkers are totally sucking face in the Senate building whilst the universe is Finally Perfect Again For But One Last Moment (LOL OMG, my eyes could not be rolling harder.)
This book then takes a moment to give us the skinny on Padme, which it does in part by contradicting its own backstory and claiming she was the youngest queen of Naboo ever, despite the fact that, if memory serves, she specifically TELLS Anakin she wasn’t in the last movie. Whatever, this is Star Wars and while I could claim this was just an accidental oversight, it’s also entirely possible that Padme inaccurately remembered her own life story and thus relayed incorrect facts, given that no one around here ever remembers anything, like that Luke Skywalker existed or that the Sith ruled the galaxy for a chunk of time.
Recurring Theme: Whatever, Star Wars
The book goes on: oh sure, Padme is smart and fierce and an A+ dresser, but at her Very Core she is none of those things, and let me tell you: I know I just said my eyes couldn’t have been rolling harder, but as usual, Star Wars has found a way to push me to another level of Feeling, because this part is RI-DIC-U-LOUS. Padme, you see, is not really a Senator — no, she just, and I quote, “pretends” to be a Senator. Her most fundamental identity, we are told, is this:
JESUS SKATEBOARDING CHRIST. Look, fine, I GET IT, they’re in Love. Next-Level Love, A Love For All Seasons, Love-ity Love Love Love, but WHAT THE FUCK, PADME. Get a grip, girl. Younger readers, please heed these words from me, an older person who is not particularly wise about many things does have a very happy marriage: this is not necessarily what one should be striving for in your romantic relationships. (I’d also generally recommend NOT eloping with a 19-year-old who’s just confessed to mass murder, whom you’ve only really known for a very weird 72 hours, just for the record. But I would hope that doesn’t need to be said.)
Recurring Theme: Padme Amidala, Really Needed To Open Up To Her Friends More
It just goes on and on: Padme once lived a life that was so pale and desolate! She had no idea how Truly and Deeply she could be loved! And Oh What A Man this Skywalker is: not a boy, no, but a MAN, a MAN with big beefy arms who goes swoosh-swoosh-whoosh around the galaxy with a laser sword and who maybe by now has sort of figured out how sex works! WHAT WOMAN COULD RESIST? Surely not Padme, no!
Oh but don’t worry: it’s not like Padme doesn’t know Anakin has flaws, of course, but uh, in the Grand Tradition of Every Woman Who Has Made Excuses For Shit That She Really Really Should Not Be Making Excuses For, those flaws? Why, they only make her love Anakin more! (WHAT A SHOCKER.) Sure, he’s “prideful, moody and quick to anger” and could kill someone with the flick of a wrist, but like, he’s also really nice a lot and helps people sometimes! And he loves her a lot, he even said so! So it’s fine probably! I’m really, really trying not to sound like I’m shitting on these two, because I genuinely like them AND God knows I also still love Anakin even though he spends a good chunk of his life stanning for fascism and trying to kill characters I like, BUT OH MY GOD. The whole “well sure he’s angry and scary powerful but that’s part of his CHARM and also my loving him will make it all better BTW have you seen him shirtless” thing is like, Relationship Red Flags 101. PADME. Please talk to your handmaiden friends about all this at some Girls’ Night thing, because I REALLY think you need some helpful people on your side talking you through the potential downsides here.
This segment wraps up by explaining that Padme has decided to keep their marriage a secret because Anakin is some sort of all-powerful Superman who does so much good that, despite the fact that it’s not allowed for various reasons, Anakin deserves to still be a Jedi and be married to her at the same time. He MUST still be a Jedi. So, she thinks Anakin deserves to break the rules just because it’s him and she’s decided that it should be allowed in this one instance because she thinks so? That’s…maybe not a great outlook for a politician to have, but OK, Padme, I guess if we’re already using a lot of unsound logic here already, why not go for broke?
And yet, eeeeeeeverything is about to change, and she knows it, because Padme is keeping a Big Ol’ Secret. That’s right: she’s not Just a Wife! She’s gonna be a mommy, too!
Recurring Theme: Days of our Star Wars
So anyways, these two are clinging to each other and whispering sweet nothings and saying shit like this:
LOL. HOW COULD THEY DO THAT TO US?! Uh, gee guys, I dunno, maybe there’s a fucking WAR and also Anakin practically throws a tantrum in the fucking Council room about how nobody trusts him or believes in his amazing warrior prowess any time they send ANY OTHER JEDI ON A MISSION? This is like in TCW when Anakin gets called to go to work and Padme is all “ho hum, guess you like work more than meeeee, I see how it is”, where I’m just like DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT A JEDI IS, PADME? WAS THE JOB DESCRIPTION UNCLEAR? WTF.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Galaxy’s Biggest Pun Fan
Anakin tries to make out with her again and she’s like “no no, not here, we can’t let anyone know or they might force you from the Order” and Anakin for-real says this:
You can’t take this guy anywhere. I love that his love for absolutely awful wordplay is a constant, though.
Padme is like “Anakin shut up this is really serious! Don’t you understand how important you are to the Republic?” She then, hilariously, declares that ANAKIN is one of the main reasons that the general public still like the Jedi. She thinks ANAKIN is helping the Jedi PR. I mean, you know, he’s handsome and brave and clever and all, but…this is like me saying that my own kid is clearly the best and most well-liked in his class. It could be true, but it’s also probably mostly going to be that I’m saying it because I love him the best. Padme’s not exactly the most reliable authority here on who “everyone’s” favorite Jedi is.
Recurring Theme: If Only There’d Been Warning Signs
So then Anakin is like “oh thanks, I literally just got home and you already want me to go back to the war” and she’s like “no that’s not it” and Anakin just…starts totally catastrophizing based on absolutely nothing:
Yeah, I feel fine about all of this. Anakin recoils and is all OH NO SORRY ABOUT THAT BRIEF MOMENT OF EVIL THERE and then proceeds to wax on and on about how Padme is the only thing he has to live for (which, again, is not really a great thing to hear from someone that has just been admonished by his spouse to stop being unstable and threatening, but I digress YET AGAIN.) Padme spills the beans: she’s having a baby! Anakin’s baby! The spawn of Skywalker!
Recurring Theme: Your Author Is Unclear on the Rules Here
Then there’s a bunch of stuff about how this means they won’t be able to hide things anymore, and that Anakin will get discharged “in disgrace” from the Jedi Order (LOL, really? I find this really hard to believe. It’s not a celibate order! Surely people DO get pregnant now and again, either inside or outside the Order? I could see how if you’re going to be actively raising a child you wouldn’t be able to remain on Jedi duty anymore and you’d probably be asked to leave, but “discharged in disgrace”? I’m just picturing the Council in that Judgement Chamber from the Season 5 Ahsoka TCW arc, accusingly holding up a Boppy and being like “….is this YOURS, MASTER JEDI? A-ha! J’accuse! PACK YOUR BAGS, TRAITOR.” The Jedi Order doesn’t have time for this bullshit! Their days are already full, what with the war and trade disputes and hiding from collections calls from the power company.)
Furthermore, Padme will be “relieved of her post” as a Senator once the word is out! Again, I must ask: is this because she’s not allowed to be a mother and a Senator (which would be sexist as shit, Republic, like, maybe try to update your policies to something a little less horrible), or is this because that’s the punishment for touching the Jedi Goods? (And how would that make sense when, again, the Order is not celibate? Is the rule that you’re allowed to knock boots with a Jedi, but if you let them impregnate you, you’re out of a job? That’s terrible! Shouldn’t it be on Anakin to wrap it up if the consequences are that dire? Could Padme sue him for knocking her up because this has implications for her future employability? Were these two TRYING to have a baby in the middle of the damn war, AND given all of this? It’s them, and they are both pretty stupid around each other, so that wouldn’t even surprise me a little bit. I am laughing so hard right now; every possible explanation for any of this is amusing.)
OK OK, I am sorry, I just had a LOT OF QUESTIONS. Anyways, Anakin concludes everything here with a “don’t worry, be happy”, despite the fact that he has absolutely no real plan other than “it’ll probably be fine” and Padme, like me, is uneasy:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Shirtless Nightmare-Haver
Heeeeeey, it’s time once again for a Shirtless Nightmare! Sadly, the book does not go into detail:
…but I am always looking out for you all, dear readers, so I’ve got you covered:
Ahem. So as we all know, Anakin goes strutting out of his bedroom looking like a cologne ad, which I’m just including for thoroughness’ sake:
…and tells Padme, who follows him, that he had a dream about her death.
Padme is not especially concerned, which makes Anakin panic internally because HOW CAN SHE BE SO CALM WHEN SHE’S DYING??????
Padme explains that women don’t die in childbirth on Coruscant, and that she’s been medically examined and is in perfect health — she speculates that his nightmare must have been a metaphor, to which Anakin says this comedic gem:
I mean, I don’t doubt it.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Jerk
Oh gosh, OK: so then Anakin goes off into this whole big snit about how he just KNOWS Padme is going to die — maybe she won’t even be on Coruscant when it happens or something YOU NEVER KNOW!! She says she had been considering going to another planet to have the baby in order to protect Anakin’s job, to which he spits back that he doesn’t even WANT to be in the Order anymore. Amusingly, like 3 sentences later, when Padme asks if Obi-Wan would help them out of this jam, he’s throwing a fit about how he’s mad at Obi-Wan, because Obi-Wan’s on the council and he just KNOWS someone on the Council’s been turning him down for a promotion to Mastership, which he totally deserves because he’s the Best Jedi Ever, but Obi-Wan won’t tell him who it is or why! LOL. IF YOU DON’T EVEN WANT TO BE IN THE ORDER ANYMORE, WHY THE FUCK DO YOU CARE IF YOU’RE A MASTER, YOU DUMBASS? Anakin is the worst.
Padme is incredulous about all of this: surely Obi-Wan knows about Padme and Anakin already! He cares about Anakin! If he’s keeping things from Anakin…
…I’m sorry. “Maybe” Obi-Wan loves your stupid ass, Anakin? MAYBE??? It’s possible all those electrocutions you’ve sustained thus far really have already fried your brain, buddy, because if you can’t see that, you have not been paying attention. Oh sure, Obi-Wan’s not the “sob into your arms and declare that his love can save you from eternal darkness and/or death” type like every person in this current scene is, but not everyone expresses their affection using the language of Harlequin romance novels, Anakin. FFS.
Anakin scowls to himself about how he’s positive the Council is scared of him, and then immediately thinks:
Yikes. Yeah, CAN’T IMAGINE WHY THEY’D BE CONCERNED. CLEARLY THEY ARE WAY OFF BASE.
Finally, Padme calms him down and asks him to come back to bed, which Anakin agrees to do, under one condition:
…Hahahahaha. I’m laughing so that I don’t cry. GOOD GRIEF, ANAKIN, WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS.
That’s all for this edition of Snark Wars, because God knows I have had my fill of Padme and Anakin’s Drama-Rama, and if I have to read any more of Anakin’s complaining today my eyes might get permanently stuck in eyeroll position. Join me next time, when we head back to the poorly-lit Council Room for yet another long, boring meeting where the Masters gather ’round to gossip about people, and as always no one learns anything useful until it’s too late. Hooray. Til next time!