Science Fiction
 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Wild Space

Author: Karen Miller

Published By:
The Ballentine Publishing Company


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            When I first saw Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Wild Space on the shelves I thought, “Cool, they’re making books based on the cartoon series, but they’re probably geared towards kids.”  After all, looking at the cover and the cartoon Clone Warriors pictured there, it was an honest assessment.  It was wrong, but honest.  After reading an excerpt of the novel, I knew I was mistaken about this book.  The novel may be based on the cartoon series, but it was in no way less than an adult novel.

            Wild Space takes place just after events in Attack of the Clones.  Things aren’t looking very good for the Republic at the moment, despite their victory on Geonosis Anakin and Obi-Wan have just returned to the Temple for healing of wounds dealt by Count Dooku.  The Jedi are reeling from the strength of the losses in the Geonosis arena. 

            Despite being counseled about their relationship, Anakin and Padme meet in Naboo for a private marriage ceremony.  Despite wanting the world to know about their love, they must keep it a secret from the Jedi or Anakin, the so-called Chosen One, will be cast off from the Jedi.  Such a secret is very difficult for both parties to bear, but a necessity.

            Upon Anakin’s return, it is learned that General Grievous has been systematically cutting off important trade routes all along the Hyperion Way.  At the risk of his life, Obi-Wan discovers that General Grievous is about to attack the Bothan planet Bothawui.  The Bothans are an important ally and a huge source of intelligence for the Republic.  With Obi-Wan seriously injured after a terrorist attack on Coruscant, it’s up to Anakin and his Padawan Ahsoka to lead the battle to protect Bothawui from Grievous and the Separatists. 

            Avid viewers of the cartoon series would remember this adventures as one in which Anakin accidentally looses R2-D2 and must do battle with Grievous while looking for his treasured droid who incidentally has all of the Republic’s battle plans in his memory banks.  However, this book is not about that adventure.  Instead, this book reveals what Obi-Wan Kenobi was doing while Anakin was in Bothawui space.

            Obi-Wan has just healed from his injuries when Padme comes to him with her trusted friend, Senator Bail Organa.  It would seem that Organa’s intelligence network has just revealed a threat to the Jedi - a Sith threat.  Yoda agrees that this threat must be investigated and the two head off to locate Bail’s intelligence connection.  In the end, the intelligence link is attacked and Bail receives coordinates to a planet in the connection’s last dying breath.  The coordinates lead them to a Sith planet, but are Bail and Obi-Wan strong enough to complete their mission, or will the Sith planet slowly tear them both apart.

            As I said in the beginning of this review, although the book may look like it’s for kids, it definitely contains adult content and is not suitable for anyone below teenage years.  Wild Space shows us a different side of the cool as a cucumber Senator Organa and it is interesting to see how he interacts with the Jedi at a time when the Jedi were still a mystery to him.  This story gives us insight into how Senator Organa became a treasured friend of the Jedi.  We discover how Palpatine’s constant media display of the Jedi’s accomplishments have actually done more harm than good.  People have a limited understanding of the Jedi ways and these displays push them to the forefront of the war in their eyes.  The people don’t understand that war is not the Jedi way.  We also see a new side of Obi-Wan Kenobi as we enter the Sith planet’s airspace and things begin to go horribly wrong. 

            Although the cover art may suggest that this novel is geared toward the younger generation of Star Wars fans, the darkness of the dramatic content is most certainly for adults.  Wild Space may be one of the darker novels I have read in the Clone Wars series despite the small moments of levity inserted here and there to break things up. 

            I have only small complaints.  Although Karen Miller shows some skill in writing our beloved Star Wars characters, especially Padmé and Bail.  I thought the closeness of the two characters and the implications that there could have been more between them had they become closer before they met their significant others was very well written.  However, there are some flaws I discovered with Karen Miller’s writing.  For one thing, Obi-Wan’s trials and tribulations on the Sith planet became extremely repetitive and, after a while, I just wanted to shout, “Get on with it already!” 

            But the thing that drove me the most crazy was when Miller described characters’ physical displays of displeasure by writing that said character, “pulled a face.”  While I know that the expression exists and it does describe the characters’ displeasure somewhat, I find it much more descriptive and more entertaining to read exactly what kind of face the character was “pulling.”  Was he/she frowning, glaring, sticking out his/her tongue?  Help me see what is going on in my mind’s eye!

            Despite these small issues, I found Wild Space to be fast moving and rather revealing.  I really enjoyed learning what was going on behind the scenes of the Clone Wars television episodes I had recently watched.  Wild Space is a must have for Star Wars completists or for anyone who is a fan of the animated Clone Wars television series.

 

For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at talonkarrde@g-pop.net.