Enjoy The Moment
Each time I finish up Luceno’s cracking lead-in to ROTS, I am left with great confusion, and a feeling similar to that of watching a brilliant comeback in the first round of the NFL playoffs by a team who has no business winning (for example, the 2011 Denver Broncos)- it is enjoyment and excitement..for the moment. But we know it won’t last. Their friendship isn’t perfect, but it feels right, and for each of their sakes, I just want it to last a little longer.
Near the end of the novel, following the dynamic duo’s biting on Sidious and Dooku’s head-fake that led them to Tythe, we see a side of Anakin Skywalker that is rarely touched upon in the Clone Wars novelizations (or successfully often) outside of a few instances. His hatred for Dooku, so strong that the roar of his voice results in the literal collapse of the structure in which they all stand, is tempered by his subsequent emotional outburst to Obi-Wan, once he realizes that all is not right on Coruscant. It is well-written, genuine, human exchanges such as these that I prefer to frame young Skywalker by, not the heavy-handed hissy fits thrown on Tatooine after killing the Tuscans, or the childlike whining to Padme about “wanting more” at the beginning of ROTS. Luceno has long been one of my favorite SW authors, I should say in full disclosure- this is why:
Anakin: “You’re my best friend. Tell me what I should do. Forget for a moment that you’re wearing the robes of a Jedi and tell me what I should do!”
Obi-Wan: “The Force is our ally, Anakin. When we’re mindful of the Force, our actions are in accord with the will of the Force. Tythe wasn’t a wrong choice. It’s simply that we’re ignorant of its import in the greater scheme.”
Anakin: “You’re right, Master. My mind isn’t as fast as my lightsaber.”
Obi-Wan felt as if someone had knotted his insides. He had failed his apprentice and closest friend. Anakin was suffering, and the only balm he offered were Jedi platitudes.
(Luceno, Labyrinth, 283-84)
We see another emotional exchange that closes the story, when Obi-Wan attempts to make up for his perceived failure in this exchange by showering Anakin with support, in another touching and memorable scene. He does this again in ROTS, before leaving for Utapau. However, even though we are shown through hints throughout this book and Stover’s novelization of ROTS that Obi-Wan is likely cognisant of the romantic relationship Anakin shares with Padme, he is unable to break out the tendencies shared by Qui-Gon Jinn and Yoda to reply to real, human emotions with rigid, emotionless language. And as we know, standing outside the fourth wall, it is the inability of the Order to conform itself that ultimately leaves it vulnerable to destruction.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at this novel in the context of the Clone Wars microseries, and why Kit Fisto is carrying a blue lightsaber. Wait, what!?