|Reviews for Though The Desert May Be Dry|
| Guest 5/3/13 . chapter 1
This is the most symbolic, beautiful, literary piece of fanfiction I have ever read.
| brooklynturtle 7/7/12 . chapter 1
He really thought what he was doing was the right thing. And that is what makes his such a tragic story. :'( MTFBWH
| sachariah 2/13/12 . chapter 1
Wow... powerful peice.
If you don't know, it's worth mentioning that I'm a big Rex fanboy. And among other things, I don't believe he will follow Order 66, or march on the Temple. He'll either desert before then, or - more likely - he'll disobey the order explicitly. Both the show and the writers has left hints to this effect, with Rex's performance in the current season being the most notable.
This isn't a fault of your story be any means, especially since this one-shot predates some of the TCW material that has convinced me of this. But it invariably will affect my perception of this and any tale involving my favorite clone - I've spent a lot of time researching this guy, after all. :P
But first, I have to hand it to you for the likening of Anakin' childhood aspiration (freeing the slaves) to his perception of the clones marching on the Temple. By all accounts, Darth Vader was known to have a fierce loyalty to his Stormtroopers, and this builds perfectly towards that end. In Anakin/Vader's mind, justice is finally being served. The clones have been slaves to the Jedi for three years too long, and it's payback time.
Now, while I concur with this being Anakin's perception, and I applaud your making this connection, I have to say that I - surprise - disagree with Lord Vader. Vehemently. There's no denying that there was a significant moral compromise on the Jedi's part, regarding the clone army. They should have known better than to agree to use an army of humans bred for nothing more than a war (not just war in general, but a single conflict, though a large one admittedly). There's no excuse either, because the Jedi (with a handful of exceptions - Quinlan Vos, for example) frequently demonstrated that they *knew* the clones were real people, individuals, "unique in the Force", as Yoda said. They knew these were *men* they were leading, and instead of standing for their rights as they would for an ordinary Republic citizen, the Jedi passively agreed to lead the vast majority of these men to certain death, for a war that was nothing to the clones other than concepts and vague ideals impressed on their still-developing minds. The Jedi knew the clones had no stake in the war, that they had no parents or children to fight for, no rights to defend.
But Vader is utterly wrong when he pins the blame for this injustice solely on the Jedi. For one, the Jedi were basically "handed" this army - it wasn't their idea or their ideal. Sidious had orchestrated events so that a vast number of Jedi were in dire straits, just as this massive and battle-ready army was ready to go, and just as the droid army made its appearance. Palpatine had essentially thrown the Jedi into the ring and handed them only one weapon - the Grand Army of the Republic. It was fight or die, and the Jedi instinctively chose to fight with the resources they had on hand.
But beyond Sidious's manipulation, Vader has also failed to realize an even more fundemental problem with the Jedi Order. The Jedi are *not* the slavemasters. The Jedi *are* the slaves. As was laid out rather profoundly in the Zygerian slaver episodes, the Jedi themselves are literally "Slaves of the Republic", beholden to a group of corrupt politicians and their traitorous figurehead. The Jedi are in fact do similar to the clone troopers they lead, it's almost scary. Like the clones, the Jedi have no familiar ties, no real childhood. Like the clones, the Jedi are raised under one philosophy. They may differ in species and genetics, but they are trained like the clones to operate according to one, unchanging code. Clone and Jedi are sworn to give their lives for the greater good, with no promise of reward or glory for their sacrifice. Clone and Jedi serve at the whim of forces greater than themselves, and - with few exceptions - accept the lot grated them on nothing more than the basis of mere authority.
Certainly, the Jedi have a few extra privileges, and extra powers at their disposal. But the Jedi is not free, no more than is a clone. To leave the GAR or the Order involves stigma, loss of privileges, loss of friends and or reputation.
And no one demonstrated the slavery that the Jedi suffer better than Anakin Skywalker. His loyalty to an impersonal Code, to a malicious mentor, tore him apart emotionally and physiologically, while Palapine's manipulations led him to blame the Jedi Order who were in reality no better off than Anakin was. Anakin recognized the slavery he was in, and that the clones were in, but he failed to make the connection to the true slavemaster.
And in a perfect complex of tragedy, the destruction of the Jedi Orser brought no freedom. Vader was nothing more than the mere pawn he had always been, and as for the Stormtroopers, Sidious and his Empire showed no more concern for their wellbeing than for the Jedi themselves. Vader may have taken an interest in his own men - the 501st - but on a whole, the clones were treated more unfairly, and used more brutally under the Sith than ever before. Yes, the Jedi were imperfect, but they tried. Master Windu, Master Plo Koon, Master Eeth Koth, Master Secura, Master Yoda; all these risked their lives - or attempted to sacrifice themselves in Koth's case - at one point or another to save a lone clone trooper.
I don't know that even Vader would have taken that risk for a Stormtrooper. But I'm certain that Tarkin, the Moffs, the governors, would have had a much more calloused regard for the clones than any Jedi.
Gee, I sure can ramble, eh? :P Excellent peice, and I do look forward to perusing more of your work in the future.
| EndlessBlue 12/30/11 . chapter 1
Great googly moogly this was amazing.
Every single line was a blow. I never once thought I would see reason in the Temple massacre, but this - this just defined it and expanded it and made it so believable, and more than that, managed to make Anakin at this point - at perhaps his most monstrous - a certifiably *sympathetic* character. I hate to say it, but you even made him someone the reader could understand and almost support, and considering the magnitude of the crime he's about to commit, that's really saying something.
Amazing. Favorited without a doubt.
| FalconWing 4/22/11 . chapter 1
This is so awesome! I love how Anakin was concerned about the clones, saw them as the two-year-olds that they really are, felt their fear and drew the connection to his own slavery with Watto. Especially the way you showed that it was something that Obi-Wan just couldn't understand.
I also love how during the storming of the temple he's thinking about how the clones backing him are more familiar than those in the temple. They are where his loyalty is given. "Because Coruscant always thought it was better than Tatooine, but Anakin sees now that no planet is different from any other. Someone must always be called master." - THIS THIS THIS! So amazing! I always thought that much of the reason that Anakin comes across so resentful of authority is because he was born a slave and then when after being freed still had to call people master.
This whole piece is just so good and I love how the end ties back into the beginning, with Anakin projecting his actions against the temple towards Tatooine, envisaging a slave uprising, so that in his head he sees it as fulfilling his promise to come back to free the slaves, just like he told Kitster.
Any, I don't think that ramble did a particularly good job of articulating what I liked so much about it. Those examples I gave of what I really liked were just snippets really, but even beyond that, you drew it all together really well, made the three scenes flow into one story and the mood got progressively darker throughout. Great job. Favourited!
| Mister Buch 8/22/10 . chapter 1
That was an excellent story. Very professionally written, carefully plotted, very well-observed characters and it was original.
My only criticism is that it was short. I would have liked those scenes to be longer, so that I could get lost in them a bit.
There are some great concepts in this, which really gave me pause for thought. 'Freeing the slaves' in particular.
I really loved this little bit of imagery:
- "And Kitster settled against the sand and looked at Anakin like maybe he could see a lightsaber in the boy's tight-curled little fists, except that the blade was washed out by the sun like everything else in Mos Espa and you just had to know it by the tiny blue glint that could as easily be sky."
| anakinpadmekenobi 8/21/10 . chapter 1
How you connect each scene is beautiful. I like the last scene last, mostly because what Anakin is doing is what he feels is right, and you make us believe that it is right. And in a way, it is. Because, as is said, the clone don't have to follow the Jedi.
But they'll have to follow the Sith. Which, is like what Anakin is doing. Going from one master to the other.
("We weren't born slaves, Ani." "I don't think anyone knows that but us, mom." ) That's my favorite line. Very symbolic.
| TheMacUnleashed 8/21/10 . chapter 1
Wonderful vignette. The three snapshots of Anakin flowed together perfectly, showing how he changed as he grew, but how he always kept that one goal in the back of his mind. I love how Anakin was able to see and understand the issues with using the clones, but Obi-Wan found it a bit more difficult; that showed a lot about the mindset of the average Jedi, and provided an interesting contrast between the two.