The Clone Wars, Book 2: Wild Space [Legends] by Karen Miller, Chapters 19, 20, and 21
What kind of a May the 4th Celebration would we be having around here without some Wild Space, a Star Wars book I have been slowly recapping for actual years? I knew it needed to have a place at the party table. And you know what? I don’t wanna jinx anything, but at this point the end of this book is in sight. We’re not gonna get there today, but we’re going to be making our way very clearly, if slowly, towards the exit. The day I finally finish this thing is going to be an unofficial Snark Wars holiday, I’ll tell you that much.
Last time on Yet Another Bad Day for Obi-Wan and Presumably Another Angry Day for Anakin, Anakin had managed to sense Obi-Wan’s terrible hiking trip on a Sith planet from clear across the fucking universe, which Yoda and Mace were a little “…that can’t be a good sign” about, seeing as how Anakin probably shouldn’t super be able to do that. Obi-Wan and Bail continued their trudge towards what they think is maybe some kind of a Sith temple. I have been recapping this book for such a long time now that I had to think for a minute about WHY they were even ON this stupid adventure to begin with — Bail had gotten some kind of Top Secret Hot Tip about Sith activity there. How much do you wanna bet this hot tip originated with Sheev making a phone call with goofy voice under a fake name when he was bored one day and just felt like shit-stirring?
In today’s entry, well, wouldn’t you know? Obi-Wan’s day is gonna get worse. Again. A lot worse, even. WHO SAW THAT COMING. On the bright side, uh…well, the word “naked” appears in one of the chapters I’ve covered here like three times for some reason, but unfortunately none of them involve Obi-Wan parading around a ship in the buff like he did in that other chapter. No, here in this portion of this book, he’s just basically going to be author Karen Miller’s sad, redheaded Jedi piñata. This is actually why for the first time in a while, I’ve been able to cover multiple chapters in one go: because for most of the first two chapters, pretty much the ONLY thing that happens is that Obi-Wan and Bail take a beating and lament their situation. Obi-Wan does briefly get to drink some booze at one point, but it’s only because he hopes it will take the edge off of the crushing pain and torture…well, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go hear about another terrible day or two in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life, I guess.
Recurring Theme: Force-Fueled Freakout
So there they are on Zigoola, and I could probably save us all a lot of time by just saying “bad shit happens to Obi-Wan and Bail”, but I’ll try to flesh it out a bit more than that for you. Essentially as the two of them get ever closer to the Sith temple they’re seeking, Obi-Wan has more and more Force attacks, which are described almost like what I’d think of as a seizure of sorts — he’s alive, but he’s sort of locked in and unresponsive and can’t snap himself out of them until they’re over.
One such instance kicks off Chapter 19 as Bail persuades Obi-Wan to stop and take a break. Obes is predictably bitching about how they have to keep moving and blahblahblah, and when he finally does stop, this happens:
Bail panics, assuming that Obi-Wan is reacting to some sort of imminent threat, but as it turns out, he’s actually just hallucinating Ventress. I feel like she’d have some choice words about being part of Obes’ Dark Fantasy here.
Bail moves WAY the hell back now and Obi-Wan just carries on, fighting with nothing. The book makes sure to explain to us all in great detail that even when fighting literally nothing and on 0% battery life, Obi-Wan is Glorious and a Warrior and Amazing and I am HERE for it, thank you Karen Miller. But Bail is concerned: Obi-Wan has like no energy and he probably shouldn’t be wasting whatever he’s got left fighting someone who isn’t even there? He ultimately determines that uh, as much as he’d LIKE to stop this little sideshow, Obi-Wan with a lightsaber is terrifying and he prrrooooobably shouldn’t get too close. Obi-Wan keeps going and eventually starts wailing on a bunch of trees:
How much do you wanna bet that if Anakin got wind of this story he’d go out and mow down some trees too, no Sith Psychosis required? Oh, Obi-Wan slaughtered a forest? ME TOO LOOK I HATE TREES JUST AS MUCH AS OBI-WAN IF NOT MORE AHHHHHHHH.
Bail comes perilously close to ending up as Obi-Wan’s next woodland victim, when Obes miraculously snaps out of it. Shaken by the fact that he could have killed Bail, he makes a request:
Bail, recognizing what a huge thing this is — that weapon is life, after all! — agrees to do so, and Obi-Wan insists that they keep moving, no matter how much the Dark Side Ozone in the air eats his brain or whatever. They’re running out of time before they starve or dehydrate or Obi-Wan mistakes them both for Robo-Maul and kills them.
Recurring Theme: The Jedi Order, Grossly Underpaid
They continue on, and Obi-Wan keeps coping with increasing Sith Attacks, and Bail is like “you? Look really awful. Like, you’re-gonna-die-before-lunch-awful.” Obi-Wan, in response, is just like “nope I’m not gonna die because I’m just not gonna and THAT’S THAT.” I love that this happens to him SO MANY TIMES. Dude just straight-up doesn’t die because YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF HIM AND YOU CAN’T MAKE HIM and at any rate he’s just got too much on his plate right now to do something extravagant like dying. Please.
Bail feels bad for Obi-Wan, and as he watches him be hit with the latest barrage of psychic pain, is like “wow, being a Jedi sucks“:
SAME, Organa. Like, the communing with the driving Force of the universe stuff sounds awesome and lightsabers are cool as fuck, but FORGET IT. I am a wimp, for one thing, and also I could never live anywhere that doesn’t have full electricity. Plus I don’t need to be on the hook for helping a galaxy full of INGRATES with every last problem it has, thanks. Being able to float a pear in the air or whatever isn’t enough to sweeten THAT deal for me.
Obi-Wan’s episodes involve him repeatedly reliving horrible things that have happened to him (and GOD there are ALREADY SO MANY), and as Bail observes the latest one he makes sure to get in YET ANOTHER DIG at how attached at the hip Anakin is to Obi-Wan:
First off: OH. 🙁 Secondly: LOL. HOW MANY TIMES IS OBI-WAN GOING TO YELL OUT ANAKIN’S NAME IN THIS BOOK? These two. I canNOT. (How will I EVER survive this forthcoming Obi-Wan show, you guys. HOWWWWWW.)
Obi-Wan snaps out of it again, and Bail notes that they’re still ONE OR TWO DAYS AWAY FROM THIS BLASTED SITH TEMPLE THEY ARE TRYING TO GET TO. And since this book is giving us like, a MINUTE-BY-MINUTE ACCOUNT of every terrible thing happening to them, I feel like *I* am being taken along on this journey of misery right along with them.
Recurring Theme: Bad to Worse
Naturally since everything’s going really amazingly well for them now, it’s time for the guys to get pummeled by a horrible storm. Bail is delighted: RAIN! WATER! Obi-Wan freaks out and is like “for all you know the rain here is POISON WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING????” Fortunately, at least one (1) not-totally-horrible thing happens, and the rain is not, in fact, poisonous.
OK, so, we can all agree that the Force is just an asshole, yes? WHY DOES IT HAVE IT OUT FOR OBES SO MUCH. Also, their relief at the rain not being poison is short-lived (BIG FUCKING SURPRISE) because it gradually starts turning into razor-sharp hail. They end up huddled together, attempting to shelter themselves, and then just as soon as it began, the storm stops.
Bail scrambles to collect some rainwater in their canteens before it drains away, but Obi-Wan remains motionless, traumatized. He says he tried to do an old padawan move and shield them from the rain, to no avail. He’s lost his ability to connect with the Force. He says he feels like his blood has turned rancid. Bail thinks to himself that that sounds like a shitty time, and Obes continues:
Bail sinks into utter despair, and wills himself not to cry. FUN TIMES. Gosh, I hope their fortunes turn around in the next chapter!
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
HA HA JUST KIDDING, WE ALL KNOW THAT WON’T HAPPEN. Nooooope. Here’s how chapter 20 gets going:
Bail snaps Obi-Wan out of it, AGAIN, and forces him to drink some of the rainwater he’s collected, which Obi-Wan thinks tastes gross because apparently it’s been “tainted by the Dark Side”. I have…a lot of questions. The Dark Side can turn water “bad” somehow? Are we talking like…stale? Too chlorinated? Sewage? Or does the Dark Side have a flavor, and it’s nasty? DOES IT HAVE AN ODOR? Does this extend to Dark Side users? Have the Jedi just been too polite to point out, and consider the implications of, the fact that the Chancellor, say, smells like durian fruit?
Bail Organa, Life Coach
Bail tries to rally Obi-Wan to his feet so that they can find a better spot to rest for the night before so that they can commence the seven-hundreth week of this journey in the morning. Obi-Wan, however, has just about Had It. He refuses to move, mumbling that Bail should go on without him and find the Temple. We KNOW Obes must be in bad shape because he has barely acquiesced to Bail being allowed to go to the BATHROOM unaccompanied on this ridiculous quest up to this point, and now he’s just like “yeah ok whatever have fun at that Sith temple”.
Bail? IS NOT ABOUT TO ALLOW OBI-WAN TO QUIT, and he goes Full Leia Organa Mode here:
Obi-Wan sort of…reboots, a little? He manages to somewhat pull himself together and agrees with Bail that they need to get moving. As they start to walk in tandem, Obi-Wan unsurprisingly can’t help but make a sly comment:
I now personally require fanfic where Bail punches the crap out of, like, Tarkin. Some Imperial. That weasel Krennic’s definitely asking for it and even ANAKIN figured that one out.
I digress. Bail starts to apologize for having socked him in the face, and Obi-Wan insists that he was only doing what was clearly necessary, and then seconds after this Obi-Wan gets hit with YET ANOTHER DARK SIDE ATTACK. In fact, at this point just ASSUME that unless I am describing Obi-Wan doing literally anything else, he is having one of these episodes. My poor baby.
Eventually they do set up a camp and Bail gets a fire going and Obi-Wan gets some sleep that is probably filled with horrible nightmares about terrible things happening to Anakin. Good thing everything in real life with Anakin will be absolutely fine. While Obi-Wan rests, Bail checks out the area and discovers that they are indeed, FINALLY THANK YOU GOD, almost to this fucking Sith temple. However, getting to it will involve making it over a ravine — one that looks doable for two dudes in OK shape, which Bail and Obi-Wan very much are not right now. Goodie. He goes back to heat up a mealpack and tell Obi-Wan the good news.
Well look, Kenobes: I’m not super thrilled about it either, but if I have to read ONE MORE CHAPTER about this vacation from hell, I am going to yeet MYSELF into that ravine, so GET GOING.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Liar
Obi-Wan tells Bail that the Sith are still screaming in his head constantly, and Bail has an idea: he pulls a bottle of brandy out of his backpack and offers some to Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan — who claims he does not drink, because Obi-Wan is a TELLER OF LIES — should maybe try to souse it up a little bit! Take the edge off that unceasing Darkness! So Master Teetotaler here is all “well I SUPPOSE it might help” and then acts like he is APPALLED by this uncivilized potion:
I choose to believe that this is because Obi-Wan is SUCH a brandy snob that even Bail’s Space Hennessey here is Deeply Offensive to his taste buds. Obviously he only drinks Space Louis XIII de Remy Martin. What is this SWILL you tried to pass off as something one would drink for pleasure? SIGH.
So Obes gets mildly boozed up from like, a single sip of brandy (sure, Star Wars, whatever you say…I guess we’ll just assume his overall dehydration situation was a significant contributing factor) and notices that hey, whaddya know: alcohol does help ease the terrible pain of his existence! It makes the Sith shouting…not as loud! Just wait til you find out how much more tolerable Anakin will be to be around with a little of that stuff, Obi-Wan. (Do NOT give any to Anakin, though. That just seems like a bad idea.) Unfortunately, his buzz appears to make him LESS able to control his already ceaseless Force Attacks, and he slips into yet another almost immediately.
When Obi-Wan comes to, Bail apologizes for attempting to solve their problems with booze. Obi-Wan informs Bail that he doesn’t think he can manage to get any closer to the Sith temple — he fears he will become dangerous. Bail is basically like “WELP TOO BAD, GET MOVING”. Obi-Wan asks Bail to swear that if he goes Full Dark Side Possession here, that Bail will use Obi-Wan’s lightsaber to neutralize him, thus showing that Obi-Wan has a better sense of right and wrong while on Day 6,000 of a dehydrated death march on a planet consumed by the Pure Powah of the Dark Side than Anakin ever will. Bail is shocked that Obi-Wan can even be thinking of such a scenario:
Well don’t you worry, little buddy! Brighter times are definitely ahead. Grey skies are gonna clear up; put on a happy face!
…I mean, like, eventually. Like in…um. Can we even still count the end of Return of the Jedi? Like…the Dark Side reeeeeally just sort of immediately resurrected itself there. And to be honest at this point I believe Sidious is 100% dead at the end of The Rise of Skywalker about as much as I believe that the Trump campaign meant to host that press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. So…I guess I’ll just reassure Obi-Wan with the fact that he will, at some point, get to mostly stop having to report for work. He’ll have to be several years into being DEAD before it happens, but it WILL happen. He will, however, also have to be on Permanent Anakin Duty after that, which…my condolences, Kenobi. You know that little shit is gonna eat all the good afterlife snacks, too.
SO. There is this ravine. And Bail and Obi-Wan have to get past it to get to the Sith Temple so that they can destroy whatever evil things are in there and try to get home somehow. This ravine thing does not go well! Obi-Wan is so exhausted he can barely move, and then as you may have guessed he gets hit with ANOTHER Force Attack, and Bail is forced to try to grab onto him.
OF COURSE HE DID. I like how the author is now just agreeing with me: “of course this bad thing happened because this is a book about Obi-Wan so what the hell else even could have happened”.
Hilariously, Obi-Wan discovers upon regaining consciousness that being in horrible, screaming, acute pain is something that actually HELPS him regain hold of his senses! So basically as soon as he’s even remotely able to stand again, he’s like OK BAIL LET’S GO LET’S GET TO IT, and is like, PUNCHING HIMSELF IN HIS INJURED LEG TO KEEP HIMSELF MENTALLY FOCUSED. Just…why, Star Wars. Why are you all so invested in beating the snot out of Obi-Wan? HIS LIFE WAS ALREADY SO SAD.
And so off they go, swearing and shouting and almost dead, again. And readers, do you know what happens next? A MIRACLE.
THANK THE FORCE. After literal years of recapping this book and what feels like literal years of Obi-Wan and Bail’s Decidedly Not Excellent Adventure, THEY ARE FINALLY AT THE SITH TEMPLE. And just in time for their arrival at the main thing they’ve been trying to get to for the last century, Obi-Wan pretty much dies. Yep! You didn’t think he was gonna be OK already, did you? No no: he CLEARLY has not suffered nearly enough yet.
So, yeah: Obi-Wan’s in some sort of Super Sith Coma:
Bail realizes that Obi-Wan is possibly permanently offline, and that this means that after ALL THAT, he is still going to have to go in this Sith temple alone. He leaves Obi-Wan laying on the ground more or less right out in the open, and proceeds towards, and then into, yet another Dramatic Bullshit Manor brought to you by the Sith.
Recurring Theme: The Galaxy Needs to KonMari This Business
We head into the Sith temple, which is basically just one hugeass room with a bunch of alcoves jammed full of random shit. Bail walks around, taking it all in and feeling deeply creeped out about whatever is going in on this place.
So…it’s like a dark and evil-affiliated version of an overstuffed backroom at some nerdy comic-book/fantasy store. Sounds vaguely like a fire hazard; they need to edit down the pile. PRETTY SURE NONE OF THIS STUFF SPARKS JOY, GUYS.
He takes all of this in and comes to the conclusion that he has no idea what the hell to make of any of this, something I too feel whenever I spend a lot of time with Star Wars. Because he’s not sure what — if anything — can be of use to either disrupt the Sith activity here on Zigoola and/or get them the hell off this shitty planet, he knows this means that he’s going to have to figure out a way to un-dead Obi-Wan and get him in here. So he goes back outside, and lo and behold, Obi-Wan is right where Bail left him: dead in a ditch.
Recurring Theme: Hey Everybody Check Out This Kids’ Series for Kids
Bail leans over him and sees that he’s not even visibly locked into a nightmare anymore: he’s just laying there, eyes unresponsive. He tries calling his name to rouse him but is unsuccessful. Then he remembers one of his previous tricks and starts smacking the crap out of Obi-Wan’s lifeless body. It was about TIME this book veered into near-corpse abuse! It had been so otherwise lighthearted. It had also been whole entire MINUTES without anybody getting any new injuries.
With this having not produced the desired results, he looks at Obi-Wan’s very very injured leg, and has a terrible idea.
STAR WARS, CHILDREN READ THESE BOOKS. My God.
The next thing we know, Obi-Wan’s coming around because someone is jabbing him in his horribly abused and bloodied leg. *I* am going to need therapy when this is all over. In case you were concerned if Obi-Wan was keeping his mind focused on the most important things right now, worry no more:
For fuck’s sake, Kenobi. You are hopeless.
I kid, I kid (well sort of, this time at least): this time he’s looking to see Anakin because he’s thinking that he’s in the aftermath of the explosion he was in near the beginning of this book. You guys remember that, don’t you? The bomb that goes off and Anakin immediately senses that Obi-Wan is injured (and practically leaps off of Padme’s balcony what I presume was only half dressed because OH MY GOD OBI-WAN IS IN TROUBLE)? Yes, I realize that was several hundreds of thousands of injuries ago, but THAT ALSO HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK AND PUT OBES IN THE HOSPITAL.
Take THAT, Anakin
Obi-Wan eventually realizes where he is, and Bail explains to him that he’s gonna have to go into the Sith temple, because Bail doesn’t know what he’s looking at or what to do with any of it. So there’s Obi-Wan — bedraggled, bloodied, and out of his mind from pain and Force torture — hauling his busted self through the doors of a Sith temple. He’s immediately overwhelmed by an urge to lay down and die. But he’s not going to, you see! And you know WHY??? Because Qui-Gon…
YEAH ANAKIN. You just….you just sit there and YOU THINK ABOUT THESE WORDS. Agggggghhhhhhhh you ridiculous himbo, why must I love you so.
So, yes: Obes summons the Power of Love in his heart (and of course we get the eye-rolly Fan Fiction Favorite “Maybe Attachment Isn’t So Bad After All” Moment, but I’m old and tired and I’m not even going to bother at this point. Suffice it to say I have some notes here,) and he’s able to make it through and fully into the temple. His eyes ultimately land on a small red pyramid-shaped item known as a Sith holocron, which you may know as a Sith “wayfinder” if you are writing a Star Wars movie and winging it. (…I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. Forgive me my salt, friends.) He grabs it:
He regains consciousness AGAIN (my God please someone let Obi-Wan go back to wearing a clone helmet like he did in those parts of the TCW microseries; HIS HEAD HAS TAKEN SO MUCH AND IT’S SO BAD FOR THE BRAIN) and the building starts collapsing all around him. He knows he needs to find something else in here that can help them get home, so he starts scrambling, looking through the giant pile o’ random crap the Sith have laying around here. Bail is screaming at him to GTFO because the temple is, y’know, falling into itself, and just in the nick of time he nabs a particular item — some sort of crystal — and shoves it into his robes. And with that, this chapter — and today’s recap — ends on just about as sunny and happy and delightfully fun a note as you might imagine it does:
Good, good. Here I was thinking that just because they’ve destroyed the Sith temple and a holocron that was maybe fucking with Obi-Wan’s brain and they’ve been battered repeatedly for the last million pages and Obi-Wan more or less died for the second time since this book started, they might get a break. I’m glad to know my fears were unfounded there.
OK: we’re done here for today! Happiest of Happy Star Wars Days to you all, lovely readers. Join me next time, as I continue my own Neverending Quest to complete this book. Will Obi-Wan and Bail click their heels together and declare that there’s no place like home? Will Anakin have a heart attack when he finds out how close Obi-Wan was to Force Ghosting it a couple decades ahead of schedule? Does Sheev care that one of the Sith houses got trashed, or has he already moved on to whatever other irons he’s got in the fire over there? We’ll just have to wait and see!