Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover (Legends) (Part 5)
Hey! Who here likes ceaseless drama? No, no one who reads this blog, I am sure. OK then. I guess I’ll just recap this junk mail I have on my kitchen counter instead.
Oh, twist my arm: yes, it is time for more Star Wars nonsense. And here in Revenge of the Sith: The Somehow More-Ridiculous Novelization, when we last left our beautiful and immensely destructive friend Anakin Skywalker things had really picked up, uh, steam with a recurrence of Anakin’s Hot Sweaty Shirtless Nightmares. Said Nightmares, this time, featured Padme dying tragically in childbirth, and Anakin has decided that A) this dream is 100,000% going to come true, and B) he now needs to throw all of his energy at stopping it, possibly even if it means killing everyone he knows including Padme. Padme had helpfully suggested that maybe Anakin start by talking about this issue with his best friend, with whom Anakin is so close that together they form a Single Warrior according to actual words in this book, but Anakin was like nah I’ll just figure all my shit out myself while telling none of my friends/surrogate family any actual details about what’s going on, then primarily blame them all later when it doesn’t work out. Well then. That’s one way to go about it, I guess. You do you, Anakin!
In today’s entry, we’re gonna spend some more time with our friends on the Jedi Council — and boy, even without Anakin making everything a lot worse, things are not going so well for them. Reluctantly, I say we dive in.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves His Grandpa
Well, THANKS, BOOK: this chapter begins with the following paragraph:
FANTASTIC. Just what I needed: a reminder about how much Obes loved the Jedi Order and how comforting the Temple was to him. We’re off to a great start.
So these three are standing around watching some holo of the latest Senate blatherings about some new amendment coming up for a vote as part of the Senate’s latest effort to help Palpatine make the galaxy great again. On the docket today is something that, once passed, will put the Chancellor effectively in control of the Jedi Order.
Yoda? Is not impressed, pointing out that the Jedi Order has a moral obligation to conduct themselves a certain way, beyond whatever they are legally required to do — surely Palps doesn’t think this means they’re gonna just do whatever the hell that old grey weasel tells them to!
Mace counters: it’s not even about Palpatine being able to tell the Jedi what to do. This amendment would technically mean he could disband the Order, or spin off the Jedi brand and sell them to a multinational corporation, or turn the Temple into an Arby’s or something!
Recurring Theme: Boy I’m Sure Glad This Never Happened In Real Life
Yoda balks: that can’t be his objective, can it? Mace explains that it doesn’t matter if it’s Palpatine’s goal or not — all that matters is whatever that mysterious Sith Lord who’s behind all this wants. I briefly take a break from reading so that I can pound my head repeatedly into my desk while crying.
Yoda is aghast:
Ha! Ha! Ha! Imagine! A Senate! Voting in favor of that which would result in something as plainly bad as the demise of checks and balances, or democracy itself! Oh, reading this book just becomes more whimsical with each passing day, doesn’t it, my friends?
Yes, thank goodness this is all fiction. A fictional, fictional fantasy world. One where, Yoda points out, the Jedi have served to bring peace and goodness long before the start of the Galactic Republic, and one where they’ll continue to do just that, even someday when the Republic itself is nothing but dust. Mace replies that that day? Might be today, Little Green Grandpa!
Obi-Wan explains that the plan may be to have Palpatine just keep being “forced” to accept resolution upon resolution until he’s eventually just agreeing to becoming dictator for life. Mace, for his part, is convinced: this whole damn THING reeks of a plot to destroy the Order specifically. The Dark Side has been fogging up the place everywhere Palpatine goes, it seems!
YOU DID IT, Obes! Ding ding ding! Good job, honey. GOD: can you even imagine how much this conversation haunted this poor man for years? I FEEL BAD NOW.
Recurring Theme: Master Yoda, Trying Not To Let His Kids Fly Off the Handle
Yoda, sadly, is trying to be the adult in the room here, as Mace and Obi-Wan spiral into their (regrettably accurate) take on the war. He points out that they have zero actual proof of any of this! They can’t just hatch some plan to take down the leader of the allegedly free universe based on nothing!
Mace is not having it, pointing out that they may not have the luxury of waiting for proof:
The time has come for action, he says! Action to prevent this creep from prolonging the war any more than necessary, action to prevent more Jedi from dying, action to keep the Republic from becoming like some of the flat-out scary places elsewhere in the universe: places overrun with lawlessness and slavery and misery! He’s seen it, and he knows Obi-Wan’s seen what it’s like out there. Mace:
Oh really, Windu. Stop being so dramatic. Just let Palpatine have what he wants, OK? Anakin needs him, you know, on the outside chance that he’s telling the truth about any of the stuff he’ll be promising Anakin later in this book. Fine, sure, the universe would be consumed by slavery and pain, but also? What about Anakin’s problems, HMMM?
Recurring Theme: Mace Windu, 100% Ready to #Resist
Mace is completely unwilling to accept any version of the universe where they let this guy just dismantle democracy right before their eyes and turn the Order into a multilevel marketing company or something. And to prevent this, he is ready for shit to get REAL, suggesting that they need to be ready for “radical action”. Obi-Wan is somewhat alarmed: uh, Palpatine’s the Chancellor, though! That’s…treason! Mace, heroically, is like IF THAT’S WHAT IT IS, THEN CALL ME A TRAITOR GODDAMNIT! The REAL treason would be a “failure to act”!
Yoda is also alarmed:
I’m starting to think I would like Mace Windu to write call scripts for various political causes I am invested in. Yoda, however, is still not on board — he fears that taking action against Palpatine preemptively while the Mystery Sith Lord still exists will merely give the public more fuel for their uneasiness towards the Jedi. And that could have the effect of making them not merely unpopular, not merely disbanded, but possibly outlawed. Mace starts in on his next argument when Obi-Wan, probably putting on nerd glasses and rolling up his sleeves, declares that this stalemate sounds like a job for…The Negotiator!
At this, Yoda and Mace are both like PFFT GOOD LUCK, KENOBI. You’re welcome to try, though!
Recurring Theme: Regret of the Jedi
Obi-Wan lays out that the Chancellor has said to them multiple times that he considers Grievous the major hurdle to ending the war. So, if that’s his deal, then the Jedi should throw all of their efforts at finding Grievous and bringing him down. With all their energy focused on him, surely this Lord Sidious will have to show his face! He’ll know he can’t stay in the shadows when the full brunt of the Order is targeting Grievous! He’ll have to do something, if he wants the war to continue!
He laments: oh, if ONLY he’d realized all this sooner! He’s been such a fool! Yoda agrees: they’d ALL seen bits and pieces of the Truth, but they’d been unable to acknowledge it! Curse their arrogance and obliviousness! Aww, look you two: I’m not gonna say you own 0.00000% of the blame here, but also I have recapped a LOT of Star Wars content, and pretty much everybody in this Galaxy other than Sidious has been an absolute idiot to one degree or another throughout. You aren’t the first people to have missed something obvious, and you surely won’t be the last. Look at Kenobi over there: he thinks Anakin has a firm handle on things! What I’m saying is, don’t be too hard on yourselves.
That said, both Yoda and Mace ultimately agree with Obi-Wan’s take on things, and agree to hang back and wait for Sidious to reveal himself once Grievous is dead. They plan to wait until they know where Grievous is hiding before they decide — importantly — who to send to take him down.
Recurring Theme: Nute Gunray, Totally Does Not Get How Swindled He’s Been
We now move our focus to Utapau, where Grievous is busy sending the Separatists off on their Final Field Trip to Mustafar (“Riverside Lots for Sale, Inquire Within”.) Nute Gunray is putting up some hesitation to this relocation, accusing Grievous of not being able to keep them safe, blahblahblah he’s just paid so much money on this new facility on Mustafar etc etc etc what about if the Jedi show up.
Grievous is like “look pal, that facility will be able to protect you against TEN THOUSAND JEDI, mmkay? Simmer.” Gunray pushes back a little more and is like HEY NOW, I GIVE THE ORDERS AROUND HERE, MR. ROBOTO:
Gunray agrees that Grievous has made a compelling case, and gets on the transport.
Recurring Theme: Everybody Knows
No sooner has he dealt with Gunray’s hissy fit when he gets a push notification that Sidious is trying to start a holo-Skype with him. He answers and tells the Big Bad that the Lesser Baddies are indeed en route to Mustafar.
Sidious, a man having just an absolutely stellar week at work, is like EEEE hooray good job!! Now for the next phase of this 5-billion-step plan: the Jedi are toooooootally hunting Grievous personally “at last”! So…did Sidious learn this because the Jedi stupidly told Palpatine? Did he bug the Council room and overhear the conversation I just recapped? Did Obi-Wan tell Anakin and Anakin stupidly just went ahead and told Palpatine because Why Not He’s Such a Nice Old Man?
Regardless of how he figured this out, Palpatine tells Grievous to prepare to lay a trap on Utapau for the Jedi, and tells Grievous that he should expect Obi-Wan to be the Jedi that shows up. I hate what this guy ends up doing to democracy and the Jedi and everything? But also I love that Sidious is always like 75 steps ahead of everybody. It’s morbidly hilarious to me. The JEDI don’t even know who they’re sending yet! They literally JUST SAID THEY HAVEN’T DECIDED! But nope: Sidious has got it all figured out.
Grievous has one thing figured out, too, though it’s the thing absolutely everyone in the entire galaxy already knows, which is that if Obi-Wan’s coming, his boyfriend’s coming too, right?
Was there a bad guy message board they all posted on where gossip about those two ran rampant? God, I hope so. I would love to read it. I bet Ventress was a very active poster. She seems like she enjoyed laughing at those two idiots almost as much as I do.
Sidious (probably) smirks at this: oh, no, he has a feeling that Skywalker will be otherwise engaged by the time Obes gets sent over there. I hate this man so much but I am cackling that a key portion of Sidious’ plan relied on getting Anakin away from Obi-Wan.
Grievous is like “OK fine. Oh, and by the way, boss…”
What. an. asshole.
Grievous wonders how victory can be assured even with Dooku dead, and Sidious is like oh don’t you worry your pretty partially-cybernetic head about it, pumpkin: he was a necessary sacrifice! It was all part of his plan! He had to draw Dooku into a fatal blunder! At this, Grievous is further confused: “fatal blunder, sir?”
Attention, villains from this universe and literally every other fictional saga: bow down before your king.
I Hope Star Wars Gives Me a Lifetime Achievement Award For Laughing At These Two Someday
Hahahaha, so next we leave Grievous and Sidious behind and we find Anakin standing on a restricted landing deck at the top of the Temple, “finger-combing” his hair and probably pouting and taking selfies and so on, when his attention is drawn to a figure coming towards him from way across the way.
Yes, just Obes strutting his way across a platform in the morning wind! NO WONDER IT GOT ANAKIN’S ATTENTION. Obi-Wan sashaying in the sun while the wind blows his hair around probably caused several Coruscant traffic accidents this morning alone.
This is so, so entertaining to me. Please allow me to tell you why.
- “Finally” is a thing I think when Obi-Wan shows up in Star Wars, too. I feel you, Skywalker.
- The mental image I have right now is of Anakin running all over the Temple, in a panic, accosting random Padawans and demanding to know if they’d seen Obi-Wan. I bet this happens OFTEN. There is probably hundreds of hours of Temple security camera footage of this from over the course of Anakin’s life.
- HE HOPED OBI-WAN WOULDN’T NOTICE HE HADN’T CHANGED HIS CLOTHES. OK, first of all: ANAKIN WEARS THE SAME OUTFIT EVERY FUCKING DAY. HOW would Obi-Wan notice?! Obi-Wan is that involved with Anakin’s life that he’d be like “I notice you’re wearing the leggings with the hole in the side pocket again for the second day in a row” OH WHO AM I KIDDING OF COURSE OBI-WAN IS THAT INVOLVED WITH ANAKIN’S LIFE.
With that, it’s time for us to once again be subjected to Anakin’s Very Dramatic, Serious Personal Thoughts. He ruminates a bit more about how he and Padme’s Secret Love shall remain a secret still, because he’s not ready to leave the Jedi yet because OMG WHAT IF PADME DIES. Then he thinks some more about his shirtless nightmares and his premonitions in general and how he’s never wrong (sounds fake but OK, Anakin,) but then pauses and thinks about this little nugget of Jedi wisdom:
Probably not worth dwelling on that any further, right Anakin?
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Human Disaster
Ah, and now it’s time for us to sit back as Anakin recalls his Terribly Unproductive Conference with Yoda earlier in the day. He’d gone to him to get an answer on how to save someone from dying, and to do so without having to give any specifics whatsoever.
He’d been SO surprised, you see, that Yoda had been so NICE to him, given that Anakin is SURE Yoda hates his guts. But contrary to Anakin’s expectations, Yoda’s super nice to him! He lets him come hang out in his room, no questions asked! He even offers to meditate with him and Anakin is so touched he almost loses his shit before even getting a chance to talk about anything!
Anakin, good grief.
Yoda asks Anakin about these visions he has. Anakin says they’re of death and sadness and being cold all the time, like as if a thousand of his favorite soap operas were all cancelled at once. (OK FINE, the book does not say that. BUT IT SHOULD HAVE.)
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan
Yoda is like “well YEAH, we’re in the middle of a war and everyone you know is almost dying like every fucking day, so that’s no surprise”:
Anakin hedges and Yoda prods: is Anakin afraid for someone close to him?
HAHAHAHAHA. It sure IS close enough, Skywalker. It sure is. Oh my Lord. Also I love that no one even SAID “Obi-Wan”, but Anakin just assumes that if he said it was someone close to him, Yoda would just conclude that Anakin was referring to Obi-Wan.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Pretty Positive He’s The First Person Who Has Ever Had Feelings
Yoda’s voice is “gentle and understanding” as he tries to calm Anakin, telling him not to be afraid of loss. Anakin flips out and is like PFFT then WHY SAVE ANYBODY EVER, HMMMMM?!!!!??
Yoda counters: this isn’t about anybody, this is about Anakin, and his crippling fear of loss. If he lets go of his fear, loss can’t harm him, if it does happen!
Anakin immediately sours on this discussion now, because he realizes that Yoda doesn’t have a magic bullet for him. Did…did Anakin actually think he would? Like Yoda’s just gonna be like “Oh, right, I forgot that we actually do have this thing sitting around that keeps people from dying, but we just keep forgetting to charge it and so we’ve literally just been sitting here for the last few years watching half the Order get mowed down by the Separatists but figured, nah: we’ll just let ’em all die.” Nope! Instead Yoda told him that sometimes living things die and we have to accept that as an immutable truth of the universe. THE NERVE.
Then Anakin’s thoughts more or less spiral to his belief that obviously Yoda has never cared about anything or anyone and also he’s certainly never felt the Power of True Love the way Anakin and Anakin alone has! So there!
I really, REALLY wish Yoda would have thought to ask a few more prodding follow-up questions here before letting Anakin go back to angrily pouting somewhere. I guess the odds were slim that Anakin would have answered any of them honestly — since ultimately Anakin didn’t want to talk, he just wanted Yoda to give him something that doesn’t exist — but man, it’d have been worth a shot. Why couldn’t Yoda have just read ahead in the script a few dozen pages, damn it? Sigh.
Anakin Skywalker, Desperately Seeking Library Card
So that left Anakin here, at the top of the Temple, looking for Obi-Wan and huffing to himself about how he couldn’t just sit back and let Padme die. He was hoping the Temple would reveal something to him about how to save her life — either here, where so much Force energy is radiating off the Temple that Anakin’s getting a contact high just standing there, or elsewhere:
I’m sorry, Star Wars, but I’m gonna stop you for a minute here, because “intimate journals of a billion Jedi Knights”, you say? How intimate are we talking here? Which Jedi Knights in particular? Anybody I’d know? *eyebrow waggle*
OK OK, I am sorry. That was very immature and silly of me, because obviously Star Wars was not implying anything like that. The Jedi Temple Archives is full of important information about history and meditation and stacks of unpaid electrical bills, and definitely there are no amazing NSFW stories about Obi-Wan written by Quinlan Vos stored anywhere in them, because that would be ridiculous.
Unfortunately, Anakin is convinced that the Order is keeping all the good stuff in the restricted section, which only Jedi Masters and Platinum Status Rewards Members can access. He’s sure there’s gotta be something in there about how to save your secret, pregnant spouse’s life! (Oh, the hilarity of imagining Vader eventually busting in there after everyone’s gone and learning that it’s nothing but billions of personal chronicles about petty grievances between Jedi from two thousand years ago, or details about who was sleeping with who, or whatever. I hope it made Vader’s already bad time so much worse.)
Anakin’s Only Hope comes in the form Only Hope usually comes in: Obi-Wan, his beloved definitely platonic best bud, who happens to be a Jedi Master.
…or you could, you know, just be upfront with him about the whole situation, Skywalker. Like, that’s an idea. No? OK. Do it your way, I guess.
And that, my friends, concludes today’s installment of Snark Wars! Join me for our next visit to this amazingly Extra book, where the boys have a Moment, and then Anakin swings by Palps’ office for a little more good old-fashioned Brain Scrambling. Sigh! See you there, and thanks for reading!