OKAY OKAY OKAY OBSERVE THE TRUE EXTENT OF MY ZANY IMAGINATION AS I TAKE YOU ON THIS JOURNEY OF INCREDIBLY PHANTASMAGORICAL AU POTENTIAL
So. Hunchback of Notre Dame/Star Wars AU.
And it goes as such:
Padme survives childbirth. She survives, but Anakin doesn’t know that. In fact, Anakin only knows what Palpatine tells him, which is “you, in your anger, killed her”. Except Palpatine isn’t stupid, and he knows that Anakin will eventually figure out that she’s not actually dead, so Palpatine has to, consequently, ensure that she actually dies.
Cut scene. The story begins. It’s in the middle of the night, and Obi-Wan arrives breathless at their hiding place Which I Have Not Yet Determined The Location. “Sidious,” he says, “Sidious is coming for - you - or the twins, I don’t know -” and Padme, eyes wide, starts gathering her things, bundles herself up in a disguse, and scoops up Luke into her arms. Obi-Wan takes Leia.
They turns to leave -
But they’re too late. Sidious is already on-planet, and Obi-Wan can sense him, and -
“Look, we can separate,” says Padme, clutching baby Luke to her chest. “Take Leia and run, He’ll have a harder time sensing them if they’re separated, Obi-Wan, and I can meet up with you later.”
Obi-Wan doesn’t like it, but he holds Leia close to him and disappears into the fog of the night.
And then Sidious is there, and Padme is cornered. “Sorry,” says Palps, “but I kinda have to kill you to manipulate your garbage bag husbando. Nothing personal.”
*cue dramatic BELLS OF NOTRE DAME OPENING SEQUENECE* -
“… she RAN.”
DUN DUN DUN DUN
so anyway, Padme flees, but in the struggle (He grabs the bundle - “LUKE!” screams Padme - and with a malicious flick of his wrist, the poor girl is flung backwards into the wall, her skull cracking as it hits the durasteel -) Palpatine ends up killing her and snatching Luke - who he is about to kill, but then realizes looks just like Anakin, whereupon he’s like “huh I can train this child to be my apprentice” or some such shit, but of course he realizes that Anakin can’t know that the boy is alive (we’re assuming that Palps doesn’t know there are two of them, because very few people knew there were two children. So for now, Obi-Wan and Leia are safe), because then all of his carefully laid plans will collapse, so he hides the child in the place where Anakin will probably never step foot in again:
The ruins of the old Jedi temple.
FAST FORWARD SEVENTEEN YEARS
HUR HUR HUR
okay so Luke has grown up his whole life secluded away in the farthest corners of the Jedi Temple, overlooking Coruscant and wishing he could step out into the real world for once. Palpatine realizes early on that the complications of trying to raise Luke as an apprentice are him wanting to go out into the world, and so he decides to neutralize the threat instead and fill Luke’s head with drivel about him being Force-sensitive and Force sensitivity being a thing of the Jedi and the Jedi being Evil and Awful and so if he were to go out into the world, people would mock and scorn and try to kill him. Luke, knowing nothing else, accepts this as tthe truth, but fins it difficult to completely swallow due to his inherent belief in the goodness of people that somehow has not been stamped out of him dont’ question it okay this is a thing because reasons.
AND THEN, THE STORY TRULY BEGINS. Early morning on Coruscant, people start milling around in the airways directly beneath the Old Jedi Temple; unease is stirring. But this is a thing that happens every year. People set up stalls and pretend to do Jedi mind tricks, have visions of your future, etc - mostly con artists, but some of the Real Jedi In Hiding also show up, hoping to make some extra credits on the side to put food on the table. Palpatine barely tolerates the display, but allows it to slide because of the barely kept up illusion of democracy and good will he currently has going (Vader is stoutly Against It, but Palpatine sent Vader off planet for Important Navy Things so that he would sit around and grumble the whole time and strangle a couple people on the side and relatively keep the peace). So anyway.
This year, something is different. Among the relatively harmless con artists and hokey mind readers, there are a few individuals who are deliberately stirring up trouble - talking of freedoma dn injustice? what the devil is this? Rebels.
Because the Rebellion is slowly becoming a massive thorn in Palpatine’s side, and the last officer he assigned to Coruscant surveillance and rooting our Rebels on planet was less than satisfactory, so he sent for a new one.
Back in the airways, someone is Making A Scene. A young girl, dark hair falling in wavy sheets down her back, bangs braided out of her face, big brown eyes blazing with fervor and passion, is giving a speech at the side of the road (think Marius in that once scene in Les Mis). She’s dressed simply, feet clad in worn leather boots and skirt rough and brown and screaming of the Outer Rim, and she’s talking about justice. Equality of all beings, humanoid or not. Freedom of speech - of assembly - of association. Her little Astrometric droid beeps happily in agreement beside her, and a small but nervous crowd of beings have gathered to watch.
Except, that kind of talk is Rebel talk, and as the three angry storm troopers tell her, “rebel scum” isn’t tolerated around these parts. At all. One grabs her arms, and the other points his blaster at her nose, and she growls and tells him she wasn’t talking rebel talk, she was telling the truth.
Meanwhile, a disgruntled and vaguely lost Newly-Promoted-Captain of the Imperial Navy, hair longer than regulation probably allows and top button of his uniform undone, is trying to make his way towards the Imperial Palace.
“‘Scuse me,” he starts, but the 'troopers all ignore him. And then he hears the girl giving the speech. Raises an eyebrow in - amusement? Fascination? it’s not every day you see a beautiful girl giving Rebel-esque speeches at the side of the road, especially not in Coruscant, and poor, lost, annoyed Captain Solo (because that’s who it is, and I will defend this to the end because it’s bloody perfect and I will explain why soon) thinks he can damn well spare a few minutes to watch.
Except then the Storm Troopers grab her. So he flicks a button on his speeder and whistles in sympathy as it whizzes from his grasp and knocks the three troopers down.
“Aw, man,” he says, tossing a wink in the direction of the girl, who is glaring at him suspiciously. “These damn speeders. Their settings are all short fused, ya know. So any of you boys care to tell me which way the Imperial Palace is?”
He turns to tell the girl to stay out of trouble -
But Leia is already gone.
WOW OKAY NOW THAT WE HAVE SET THE SCENE.
So anyway what happens next is that Obi-Wan, who is sitting in a stall in the corner, is like “Leia you’re crazy how many times have I told younot to make a scene we will be killed” and Leia’s like BUT FREEDOM AND JUSTICE OBI-WAN and Obi-Wan is like “damn it all why does she have to be so much like her mother and damn it all why does she have to be so much like her father and damn damn damn damn” Leia just rolls her eyes and pats Artoo on the head, and goes to get dressed because they’re doing a performance - storytelling or something, (I haven’t decided yet) and epic tale from the clone wars.
Except Leia, fledgling Jedi and consummate Rebel, makes sure to make the Jedi the heroes of the story in her epic retelling, and Palpatine, incensed (“look at the disgusting display, captain” “yeS SIR” says Han, because damn this woman is crazy but she’s also really really pretty) but strangely drawn to her because of her Force signature, purses her lips and makes a sour face.
MEANWHILE. Luke, listening to the voices in his head (can it be Ben’s voice? I kind of want it to be Obi-Wan’s voice, but like unconsiously. Because Obi-Wan is alive. IDK), sneaks out of the old temple and makes his way down to the proceedings. And watches Leia’s storyltelling with rapt attention, because the Clone Wars have always been so interesting and here is a girl who is shedding the Jedi in a good light and she’s so beautiful and he feels this weird connection with her that he can’t explain. But he’s like, half-trained in the force and sometimes his reactions cause things to go flying so something scares him (???) and he accidentally moves a speeder with his mind and everyone’s likeLE GASP it’s a JEDI because of course they know that all jedi are extinct, right? Order 66 hello? Jedis are enemies fo the republic?? what is going on??? But Ahsoka, who came with Obi-Wan and Leia, is like “haha folks shush YOU CAME HERE FOR JEDI TRICKS WELL LOOK THIS IS REAL LIFE!” and everyone’s like WOW EXCEPT THEN some garbage storm troopers start jeering and throwing things like “try to deflect this Jedi!” and Luke is thrown to the middle of the square and he’s like “SHIT SHIT HIST” and Palpatine is grinding his teeth and being the disgusting walnut he is and not helping Luke.
And then suddenly a hush decsends upon the crowd.
Leia is standing there beside Luke. Pulling him to his feet, dusting off his clothes, wiping away the blood from the cut on his cheek.
“Step away from him, Rebel scum,” says Palpatine in a quietly menacing voice that probably strike fear into the hearts of men but ya know Leia doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass so she’s like “JUSTICE!” while Obi-Wan sighs quietly and is a mixture of exasperated and proud and in pain because that boy looks so damn familiar.
And you know how things go from there. She hides in the Old Temple, Han finds her, Han claims that the Temple is like haunted ground or some bullshit to keep Palpatine and his men from taking her away, she finds Luke in the cloisters all the way up above and Luke helps her escape, etc.
My problem at this point is that I
a) have NO IDEA how to incorporate Vader into this until the very end
b) have NO IDEA how Luke and Leia figure out they’re related.
what I do know:
- Han is charged with insubordination when he refuses to brutally chain and hurt some Wookiees (HELLO SEE I TOLD YOU THIS FITS BRILLIANTLY WITH CANON) who refuse to give away the location of the Rebel base(s) and sentenced to death; Leia, disguised as a bounty hunter, saves his ass, but he gets shot badly in the shoulder while escaping on a stolen speeder and falls into a river, etc etc, I just really like that scene I needed to have it be a thing
- the Court of Miracles/Ewok Forest scene - in which the Rebel Base is actually on Endor and Han, Luke, and CHewie (which okay so Han gets shot and Leia drags him to the Temple where Luke is like “you have to take care of him my friend” and Luke is like “can u two stop making out on the floor pls” but anyway so the PALPATINE SHOWS up and he’s like “oh mwhahaha I know where the rebel base is” and Luke is like “I HAVE FAILED AT EVERYTHING ANGST ANGST ANGST” but Han is like “you walnut WE NEED TO WARN THEM” and Luke doesn’t want to go but then Ben’s voice in his head is like “GO, LUKE” and they’re halfway out the door snarking each other - and this works because remember Han and Luke weren’t bffs from the get go - when SUDDENLY Cheiwie shows up like “hey bro I owe you a life debt for that one time you got shot in the shoulder” and Han is like “whAT ARE YOU DOING HERE YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER” and Chewie is like “nah son you’re stuck with me” and Han is like “I actually hate u both rn” and thus the reluctant trio set off in search of Leia anD AH PARALLELS I LOVE) - so ANYWAY, they show up at Endor and are ambushed (beAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL PARALLES) by the Ewoks, and taken for Ahsoka and Threepio to decide whether they can be eaten or not, and they’re like “mMMHWHWWHWW” (“that’s what they all say”) when Leia runs in in her forest-y getup (which she has actually had on the whole story whoops) like “but these are my friends!” and Ahsoka pauses halfway through and Threepio is like “Master Luke! Is that you, I can’t believe it, how I have missed you” becasue at this point threepio knows about LUke???? idk BECAUSE REASONS.
- That part at the end where Palpatine gets up on the platform where Luke is hanging, Leia gripping tighly onto his Arm and looking at Sidious in horror, about to fall into the reactor of the star destroyer and Palpatine cackles and shoots The Lightning from his gross fingers and Vader, who is wheezing in the background, lifts Palpatine and throws him into the chasm and catches Luke but then like sad bears Anakin dies reconciled with Luke and Leia.
- so like basically a lot of the major thematic elements - like the rebel bases, the conflict between the rebels and the empire, Palpatine being a disgustingly manipulative prick, etc, are still a thing. However, details of plot points, like when and how characters meet, are not the same. Also Padme lives longer and is more of a bamf, and Obi-Wan lives longer and is more of a bamf, and Ahsoka is actualy there and is a total bamf, and like Han is in the Navy still when the story starts, etc etc. and like Leia was never princess of Alderaan.
- Luke and Leia swinging around on ropes dramatically
- that whole thing with the misguided crush/idolization and then he’s like “hmm actually she’s more like a sister and is in love with this other guy who is also now my friend”
- So palaptine is actually canonically certified as a total creep becasuse he had a portrait of Padme in the imperial palace because he liked to look at it and IT MAKES MY BLOOD CURDLE
- I just don’t know how the vader arc fits in?? and how Luke would lose his arm??? UGH THIS NEEDS TO WORK
sorry okay don’t mind me just mushing together two of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THINGS because we were watching hunchback of notre dame the other night and I was getting a serious sw trio vibe from Esmerelda Pheobus and Quasimodo aND MY BRAIN WENT INTO OVERDRIVE.