a. So Obi Wan Kenobi basically ends up going, “NOPE. FUCK THIS NOISE.” and decides to raise baby Luke Skywalker himself.
(He’s not a true Jedi anymore; not when he can see all the mistakes he’s made with Anakin in full, excruciating detail. Not when those closely held values of detachment and denial of emotions have led to fire and death and grief and…
No. He will not turn. He might not be a perfect Jedi, but he won’t turn to the Dark Side.)
b. So he loves Luke with all his heart and baby Luke is basically the teeniest, most adorable ball of sunshine and light and his smiles are a balm on Obi Wan’s broken heart.
c. Also. Obi-Wan joins the Rebellion. Because hope doesn’t just lie in Jedi and the Light Side of the Force. Hope lies in the people who are willing to live and die for their freedom, who are there to resist the Empire and its lies.
d. Eventually, Obi-Wan finds Rex and Ahsoka and of course, that means baby Luke has more family members who will love him. Maybe he’s not growing up as royalty the way Leia is, but he is equally treasured and precious to Uncle Rex and Aunt ‘Soka.
(Except Luke calls her Snips - just out of the blue - even though Obi Wan has never told him about this nickname and he doesn’t understand why Aunt ‘Soka suddenly catches him up in her arms and holds him tight tight tight. He thinks he’s made her sad but Aunt ‘Soka tells him she can be his Aunt Snips and thus, Aunt Snips she became.)
e. Obi Wan does not want to put the burden of stopping Vader on Luke’s shoulders. It is monstrously unfair and neither Luke nor Leia should be burdened with the task of repairing their father’s mistakes. This was Obi-Wan’s failure and it is his job to make it right.
f. Vader chases after Obi-Wan’s ghost in various Rebel skirmishes - Jedi who mysteriously disappear and escape his finest soldiers,. Imperial shipyards being sabotaged, the best scientists of the Empire making successful defections. He is always just one step behind, just one moment too late. Vader’s rage knows no bounds.
(Vader never sees or hears about the child in Obi-Wan’s care. His heart has already been buried in the royal tombs of Naboo, where Padme Amidala lies in her forever sleep.)
g. There is a holo of little Luke and little Jyn Erso playing together. Jyn has not smiled in months as her father and mother have desperately tried to flee the Empire, so that they would not be forced to keep working on its latest monstrosity. It is Luke who has made her laugh again for the first time as they ran and chased each other.
h. Luke’s first friend, first crush and his idol is the dashing Cassian Andor.
i. Obi Wan finds healing and a new outlook/philosophy on the Force when he becomes friends with Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus. He and Luke make the pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jeddah and while Luke is too young to understand, the ruins of its ancient temple make the child “feel good.” For Obi-Wan, it is a peace he’s not felt in years.
j. Some things are still meant to happen. Obi-Wan and Vader clash over the years but each duel is inconclusive and both men walk away alive. It takes years for the Rebel Alliance to gain steam. Galen Erso still falls into the hands of the Empire. The pilot Bodhi Rook still defects to the Rebels. Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor still lead a desperate group to Shariff to retrieve the Death Star plans.
k. The difference is that Luke Skywalker defies his somewhat overprotective Uncle Ben, having stolen a ship to Shariff to rescue all of his friends. They barely make it off planet as the Death Star blows up its Imperial base, but Luke’s gotten to be a very good pilot and will spend his downtime happily chatting away with Bodhi Rook.
l. Baze spends a few minutes yelling at Chirrut for having the “suicidal tendencies of an Alderaanian lemmingray” before kissing him stupid and it is the first good laugh that Rogue One has, even as they are all safe and sound and alive.
m. Luke grins even though he knows he’s in deep trouble with Uncle Ben. There is a transmission from him - Darth Vader is now in hot pursuit of those lost plans and he is chasing after the Tantive IV. They will all rendezvous with Princess Leia on Tatooine.
It begins. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…