Wild Space, Part XI: Beware of Darkness

The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapter 17

It’s a Wild Space Day! One of my favorite kinds of Snark Wars Days. It’s time once again for me to continue my apparently neverending quest (seriously, THERE IS STILL SO MUCH OF THIS BOOK LEFT, pray for me) to get Obi-Wan and Bail through their Space Road Trip of Misery.

Previously, on I Still Can’t Entirely Believe This Book Is Real But I Am So Grateful That It Is, the guys had finally — FINALLY — arrived on Zigoola, a Suspicious Place in Wild Space where apparently the Sith have been hatching some kind of plot, or did at one point, or maybe it’s all a big misunderstanding, or maybe none of this is even happening and Obi-Wan just got dosed with a powerful hallucinogen back at the Temple and we’ll find out at the end of this book that it was all a dream or something.

Their arrival hadn’t been especially smooth, though: Obi-Wan capped off the last entry being possessed by Evil Spirits, which involved him both being compelled to crash their ship on the planet surface, and having blood pouring out of his eye sockets. Please recall that this novel STARTED with Obi-Wan in the hospital after being seriously injured from fighting space monsters and battle droids in an arena and being almost killed by his evil Sith grandpa (after a week that involved getting shot at by a bounty hunter, being taken prisoner, AND the initiation of the all-out galactic war he’ll spend years of his life fighting pointlessly in), and since then, in this book, he has:

  • Almost died in a giant fiery explosion
  • Been partially in a coma
  • Gotten shot at during a gunfight
  • Had to fly a ship with his mind
  • Gotten yelled at by basically everyone, but especially Anakin and Padme, about a ton of shit that is Not His Problem, Nor His Fault
  • Slept maybe 3 hours total, part of which involved having a nightmare about a time that he fell into a nest of stinging insects as Qui-Gon’s poorly-supervised child
  • Become possessed by Ancient Evil
  • Been in a traumatic spaceship crash

I mean…Goddamn. WHY, STAR WARS. He is the best and the kindest and I love him and he’s got that FACE and THAT HAIR, WHY do you insist on hurting him all the time? Was that ONE time he and Anakin did “Just-Friends” Sparring the only fun he ever had, ever? LET OBI-WAN BE HAPPY, YOU ASSHOLES. Have someone buy him a hot tub in the Kenobi series or something, for the LOVE OF GOD.

All right, so, yes: things are not going so well for Ol’ Obes, as usual, and this road trip to Evilville has taken a decided turn for the worse. Let’s get going and find out what other horrible things are going to happen to Obi-Wan. (I’ll grab the first aid kit, you keep your finger hovering over the “emergency call” button on your phone.)

Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan

Wanna guess how this chapter kicks off for the best person in the universe? Hmm?

Great. So, his primary indicator that he’s not dead is how much pain he’s in. AND he’s upset with himself for getting possessed. I hate you, Star Wars. I HATE YOU. You’ll be hearing from my lawyer, and the lawyer I am retaining on Obi-Wan’s behalf (SOMEONE has to advocate for this poor man, OK?).

He hears some kind of eeeeeevil voice in his mind, and he thinks back to how he’d had to overcome the Dark Side’s lure once before, back on Naboo, the first time he fought Maul:

His mind still fuzzy, and still berating himself some more for not being strong enough to resist the Powah of the Dahhhk Side, suddenly Obi-Wan remembers: oh shit, Bail! He remembers throwing him out of the cockpit, and Force-choking him…and panics that he may have inadvertently killed him. I AM DYING THAT THIS COULD HAVE BEEN THEIR BACKSTORY, guys. “Leia, I need you to go to Tatooine and find the one man I trust most in the universe. One time he was possessed by pure darkness and tried to murder me, but as long as you don’t have to take him to any Sith planets it’ll probably be fine. Send me pictures if he does any shirtless yoga.” Like, as much as I am FINE with Ye Olde EU getting the non-canon stamp, we really missed out on something by not making an exception for this book.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Liar

So as he’s still laying there, injured, he forces himself to call out for Bail:

OBI-WAN KENOBI, you know I love you, and you KNOW I know this is a fucking LIE. Never been drunk. Pfft. Sure. I’m just gonna get Quinlan Vos on the phone here to comment. You guys were surely never at any raucous parties in your early 20s where you drank 8 too many and ended up making out in a broom closet. Definitely not.

This DOES, however, sound like the sort of thing Obi-Wan would have told Anakin as he desperately attempted to hide his intoxication while whoever he was entertaining in his bedroom made a quick escape out a window. (“Oh no, Anakin,” he slurs, swaying on his feet slightly, “I’m not drunk, of course. I’ve never been drunk.” Fortunately for Obi-Wan, Anakin will believe basically anything, so he was probably all “wow, my Master is such an upstanding citizen.“)

…I digress. Did this book mention that Obi-Wan is seriously injured yet? Just in case you forgot, he is:

Oh good! At least he gets to feel a different kind of pain.

He hears a fire crackling somewhere, and spends multiple paragraphs catastrophizing: my God, what if the ship is about to go up in flames, and he’ll burn to death? What if, what if, what if????? This doesn’t seem very Jedi of you, Kenobes, but I guess you have been through a lot lately.

He ascertains that the ship isn’t immediately about to burn up — the fire is somewhere outside — but…

I mean, honestly Kenobi, at this point? I wouldn’t put it past Star Wars to hit you with all of the above.

Recurring Theme: Force-Fueled Freakout

He tries to will himself to get up, but is unable, and then suddenly he’s treated to some kind of Force Episode: he’s back in that nest of insects, screaming for Qui-Gon to help him — then, he’s back on Naboo, watching Qui-Gon get stabbed. THEN, finally, he’s back on Geonosis, watching Dooku toy with Anakin and lop off his arm.

…this is not even the first time Obi-Wan has come to while screaming Anakin’s name in this book. I AM JUST SAYING. How is it that Star Wars has even less chill about these two than I have?

Then this happens and I laugh for 800 years:

LOL. “Sorry I’m not your boy toy that you were yelling for for normal reasons.” Bail’s got their number. I guess word sure got around about that sparring match.

Bail, who is somewhat injured but mostly OK, explains that they crashed an hour ago — while Obi-Wan was unconscious, he explored a bit. This makes Obi-Wan mildly panic, but it appears that Bail’s held his own — the fire Obi-Wan heard before is a campfire that Bail set up for when night falls. Unfortunately, however, their ship is totally trashed, as is all their communications equipment. That’s less than ideal.

Obi-Wan, while internally not at all sure about this, assures Bail he is not insane. Bail helps him to his feet, and as the two of them stand there, they take stock of how very much this little journey has gone off the rails.

Obi-Wan explains that they must have sprung a trap: perhaps one that was set for both of them.

So they blather on a bit more and Bail is like “so…since the Sith are a thing, and were able to affect you so badly, should we, uh, flee? Or something?” Obi-Wan tells him that the Sith Magic Powers that impacted him so greatly weren’t from individual Sith — no, he thinks it was maybe some kind of holocron or something here on the planet. Sure. Why not. I mean if the Sith can survive being cut in half and falling into a garbage heap, or survive being THROWN INTO A REACTOR ON A SPACE STATION THAT THEN EXPLODED AND STILL BE ALIVE ENOUGH TO BE A THREAT TO THE ENTIRE GALAXY OVER THREE FUCKING DECADES LATER, I’m sure a Sith holocron is capable of doing practically anything. For all I know, one is going to be the Big Bad of the next trilogy.

What’s more, Obi-Wan knows for sure the Sith aren’t physically here on Zigoola: he can Sense Things, because he’s a Jedi etc etc etc. And also? He notes that regardless, there’s no giant gang of Sith waiting to pounce on them: there’s definitely only ever two Sith Lords, ever. Sure, I guess, if you don’t count, for example, the fact that at one point during the Clone Wars Dooku had a Sith apprentice, or that in the timeline set before Darth Bane, Ye Olde EU was once crawling with a bunch of tragically-stupidly-named Sith Lords, (approximately 90% of whom were fallen Jedi, if memory serves, because of fucking course they were. I love how a tradition of the Sith is being a bunch of lazy assholes who won’t train their own from scratch so they just wait around until some Jedi goes crazy and then snatch them up.) (As it happens, I just double-checked on Wookieepedia, and to my great delight, not only are a good chunk of Old EU Sith flagged as “Jedi-turned-Sith”, a few of them are flagged as “Jedi-turned-Sith-turned-Jedi“, and honestly? THIS IS HILARIOUS TO ME. Like. Can you even IMAGINE this playing out? REPEATEDLY? This would be like quitting your job, divulging all of your former employer’s secrets to a competitor who is also trying to kill everyone you used to work with, and then changing your mind and having the balls to ASK FOR YOUR OLD JOB BACK. AND GETTING IT. I don’t ever wanna hear anything about how the Jedi Order was cold or unforgiving ever again. If anything, they were WAY TOO FUCKING LENIENT to the point of outright stupidity. They were LETTING GODDAMN SITH LORDS BACK IN THE DOOR, GUYS, WHY.)

Ahem. Right, Wild Space. Obi-Wan says there’s only two Sith Lords, and Bail is like “????”:

He is, but he probably shouldn’t be. I love that the Jedi Order just assumes the Sith couldn’t possibly have deviated from the Rule of Two. “Those genocidal maniacs run a tight ship, OK? There’s no way they’d break a rule!”

Obi-Wan declares that he knows there aren’t any Sith on this planet right now, and he knows this because he’s a Jedi and so just cram it, Organa. Bail is…not super happy about this:

LOL. Sorry, but we all know Obi-Wan will forever have The High Ground. At any rate, I love that the Jedi are good enough to know where the Sith aren’t, and yet will still be unable to notice that they routinely speak with a Sith Lord who lives like, down the street from them, until it is literally too late. I’m laughing so that I don’t cry. MY POOR CLUELESS BABIES.

Anyways, Bail and Obi-Wan have their 6-billionth argument after this, with Obi-Wan saying he doesn’t know the names or locations of these Sith Lords, which is a partial lie, and Bail gets angry and Obi-Wan is like “you’re not the boss of me! That group of old wizards who never leave that room that is lit by a single strand of Christmas tree lights are!” Bail starts to rant about the Jedi Order YET AGAIN, and Obi-Wan gets insulted, and eventually Bail just storms off, swearing to himself.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Will Just Go Ahead and Ignore This Crippling Emotional and/or Physical Pain

Obi-Wan eventually follows Bail outside, where he finds him stoking the campfire he’s set up and stewing in his annoyance. Fine with leaving Bail to be mad by himself, Obi-Wan lays down on the ground and is beset with images of terrible things that happened to him again, including Some Guy From the Old EU he knew who died a terrible death. The fun truly never ends for Obi-Wan, does it? God.

Then he hears a voice saying his name, at which Bail freaks out and is like “…the fuck was that?”

Yep he’s fine he’s got a handle on this HA HA HA oh happy day.

Bail, feeling bad for Obi-Wan FINALLY, is like “hey buck up little camper, we’ll get through this! And guess what I found? A Sith temple! Over there! We’ll go there and destroy whatever is making you mildly insane, and find a way off of this planet!” Great plan, Bail. What could go wrong? Seems pretty cut and dried to me.

Obi-Wan, understandably, is not enthused about the idea of going to the source of Ancient Evil:

Bail insists that dying doing something is better than dying doing nothing, which, I mean, I guess. And what’s more, Bail has some words of encouragement for Obes:

Bail Organa, you are a liar. We all know it’s at least PARTIALLY because of his boyish charm and handsome face and hair and that voice and his dreamy — I’m sorry. I got carried away again. At any rate, your secret is safe with me, Bail.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Anakin

Bail tells Obi-Wan that he’s stronger than he realizes, which is nice and I support this, as I always support anyone telling Obi-Wan he is amazing. Obi-Wan counters that no one should underestimate the Sith. Bail acknowledges that this will be a dangerous undertaking, but that they really have no choice but to try and do something. It may be their only way off Zigoola!

Obi-Wan acquiesces: fine, they’ll get some sleep and set out in the morning. Their plan in place, he looks back at their mangled ship and feels sad about the condition it’s in, which gives him a pang:

Of course. It HAD been maybe 30 entire minutes since he’d thought about Anakin in this book.

Recurring Theme: The Jedi Order, Should Have Charged a Lot More For Putting Up With This Bullshit

Later that night, Bail and Obi-Wan are laying in their twisted junk heap of a ship, trying to sleep, when Bail has a lightbulb moment: say now, Kenobi, didn’t Padme say something to me before about how the Sith were behind the war? Doesn’t that mean that…?

LOL. LET THE MAN REST, ORGANA. Bail replies that Obi-Wan can deny it all he wants, but he plans to take this up with the Jedi Council once they get home, to which Obi-Wan is basically like “k, enjoy.”

Hilariously, Bail is like “can I ask why you guys aren’t working harder to stop the Sith?” FOR FUCK’S SAKE, BAIL, they’ve died or nearly died in Clone Wars-related bullshit like 900 times JUST IN THIS BOOK. Look, the Jedi are a bunch of total dweebs and the Dark Side is clouding their vision and all, but THEY ARE NOT HALF-ASSING THE WAR EFFORT, thanks.

DO BETTER. Excuse ME, buddy, but last time I checked the Senate wasn’t exactly busting their asses. Maybe take care of your own house before you go throwing accusations around.

At all of this, Obi-Wan is aghast: so we’re supposed to do what, take the Sith to court? They wouldn’t recognize the court’s authority! Honestly, the idea of this is greatly entertaining to me. Forget a criminal trial: the Jedi SHOULD have sued the Sith in civil court. Like, for slander or libel against the Order or something. I would have watched the hell out of that.

Obi-Wan explains that the Sith are so, SO evil, that there’s no putting them in jail or having them face trial: really all you CAN do with them is kill them, because they’re so warped and wicked and now I am feeling a LOT OF WAYS about Obi-Wan and Anakin yet again.

Yep, I’m fine with everything that’s happening right now. ANAKIN WHY.

Bail is shocked: but just killing them would be murder! Obi-Wan explains to Bail that the level of evil they are dealing with here is not the kind of thing they can negotiate with, or rehabilitate. This whole discussion is FAR funnier when we consider what I said earlier about how the Order kept letting Sith Lords back in thousands of years ago. I guess they learned the hard way and they are drawing a hard line now.

Bail reluctantly agrees that Obi-Wan could have a point:

Your instincts aren’t wrong here, mostly! Oh what joy awaits us all.

And that, friends, takes us to the end of this chapter, which means that we’re done visiting Wild Space for today! I hope you’ll join me next time, when Bail and Obi-Wan will set out for Evil’s House (and bicker the entire fucking time, STILL), Ahsoka will once again be the mature adult and have to try and talk Anakin out of being an idiot (good luck, Tano, that’s an uphill battle), and an actual, for-real topic of conversation between Yoda and Mace is how concerned they should be about the fact that Anakin can sense Obi-Wan being in danger from the opposite end of the galaxy. Good grief. It’ll be a delightful mess. See you then, readers!

Previously

Wild Space, Part X: I've Put a Spell on You

Next

The next entry in this series hasn’t been published yet.

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