The Clone Wars: Wild Space
by Karen Miller
Published by Del Rey
Adrick's Rating: 2.7 out of 4
The Clone Wars have exploded across the galaxy as Republic forces and Separatists struggle to gain the upper hand. But while the Jedi generals work tirelessly to defeat Count Dooku and his rebels, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is hatching his own dark plans.
The Separatists have launched a sneak attack on Coruscant. Obi-Wan Kenobi, wounded in battle, insists that Anakin Skywalker and his rookie Padawan Ahsoka leave on a risky mission against General Grievous. But when Senator Bail Organa eveals explosive intelligence that could turn the tide of war in the Republic's favor, the Jedi Master agrees to accompany him to an obscure planet on the Outer Rim to verify the facts. What Obi-Wan and Bail don't realize is that they're walking into a deadly trap concocted by Palpatine...and that escape may not be an option.
Inspired by the full-length animated feature film Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the brand-new TV series, this thrilling adventure is filled with provocative, never-before-revealed insights into the characters of Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padme, Yoda, Count Dooku and many other Star Wars favorites.
I like the unexpected. After hearing that Karen Traviss’s excellent adaptation of The Clone Wars animated film was only the first in a series of novels tied to the film and television show, I thought that the volumes to follow would be based on the television show.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Wild Space is actually its own adventure. The story weaves in and out of Attack of the Clones, jumps ahead to deal with the immediate aftermath of The Clone Wars film, sets up the television show, and follows Obi-Wan and Bail Organa’s offscreen adventures while Anakin is busy with his own two episode arc in the television show.
Now I’m a big fan of Expanded Universe stories—like Death Star—that dance in between tales we already know, as well as those—like Traviss’s The Clone Wars—that give weight and context to events skimmed over by the breakneck pace of the Star Wars films. (Er, and television show now, I suppose. This is going to take some getting used to.) Thus, I found Wild Space to be an enjoyable supplement to The Clone Wars show.
Miller’s portrayal of Bail Organa is also worth a look. In Wild Space he is well outside his role of Senator, and we find that he’s a little rougher around the edges than one might guess from the prequels. But given that this is the man who raised Princess “Into the garbage shoot, flyboy!” Leia, it’s certainly a logical take on the character.
Alright, I admit it—if it weren’t for the fact that I’m a certifiable (in every sense of the word) Star Wars fan, I probably wouldn’t have finished this book. Why? Because I can’t stand stories in which the hero is gravely wounded and forced to make a long journey across unfamiliar terrain while constantly being assailed by demons within and without. Perhaps this may appeal to other readers, but I gotta tell you, for me it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. Miller’s trek across the nonthreatening sounding Sith world of Zigoola does not do anything to endear the scenario to me, but if Tolkien and Pullman couldn’t do it, I suppose no one can.
Also, Wild Space suggests that one of Palpatine’s main motives in eliminating Bail Organa is not that the idealistic Organa is a natural enemy of his impending Imperial regime, but that he might become romantically entangled with Anakin’s wife Padme and therefore interfere with Anakin’s descent into darkness. If this whole “send the galaxy spiraling into darkness” plot doesn’t work out, Palpatine could fall back on creating plots for bad fan fiction…
All the horrific physical and mental injuries Obi-Wan has to endure in this book pale in comparison to Padme’s line “More chee-chees, my darling?” By all the immortal gods of the Sith, why?