long time ago in a galaxy far far away

Join me in AU Territory for a few minutes, okay?

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…  

Hello, Gentle Reader. This is Fan Fiction.

Recently, I’ve seen some rumblings across my dashboard about fan fiction again.  

I don’t want to dive into a debate because all the information that I have to go on are second hand sources and there’s always going to be a bit of bias there, because one person can see it in one way and another person can perceive it in another way.  

I’d rather explain to you, New and Gentle Reader, what fan fiction is, if this is the first time you’ve heard about it.  

Fan fiction is what happens when you walk out of the theater, turn off the TV, the radio, close that book or whatnot for the first time and ask yourself  “What happens next?"  Or:  "What if it happened THIS way instead?"  Fan fiction is what happens when you are six or seven years old and you take your dolls, your action figures, your stuffed toys and various household items as props and send them all onto adventure.  Maybe Barbie rescues G.I. Joe from Cobra or Optimus Prime fights the Evil Transforming Kitchen Thingy that Mom uses for making meatloaf but should really be the Evil Transforming Dark Lord of the Sith.  

Fan fiction is what happens when you are ten and you’re discovering how to really write for the first time and you put words on the page, in your math and English notebooks, one sentence after another, style be damned, painstakingly bringing forth to life the images in your head of your cartoon and movie and book heroes.  

Fan fiction happens when you are in your teens and you want to be the hero or the heroine of the story and you want to fight alongside Captain America and the Avengers and go on the Quest to Erebor or save Frodo from the effects of the Ring.  

Fan fiction happens when you are in your twenties or your thirties or beyond that and you are still writing because you just enjoy and love telling stories.  There’s a new maturity to your writing and that happens because you’re a bit older, though maybe not wiser, but you still love telling the stories anyway.  People tell you that you should write for money and sometimes you think, hey I could try that and you dream.  And sometimes you just smile and say, "I just like telling stories” and that is more than enough for you.  

And sometimes people fall in love in your stories, regardless of sex or gender.  Sometimes they fight.  Sometimes they laugh.  They cry.  They hate.  They die.  Sometimes they kiss.  Sometimes they make love.  Sometime it’s just sex.  You keep writing.  You can’t help it.  You get that idea and you just need to write it down.  Word for word.  One sentence after another.  Just like when you were a kid and you’d wear your pencils to stubs and let your pens run out of ink as you shape the letters.  

That’s fan fiction.  Sometimes, the best stories in the world start because they were fan fiction.  Ask Shakespeare.  Ask Jules Verne.  Ask Neil Gaiman.  

Gentle Reader, if this is your first time in here, then I hope you might find the time to read my stories.  I humbly ask, because a fan fiction writer’s currency is in the feedback of his or her readers and we’re happy to hear from them when it’s good and devastated when we get hate from those who don’t even have the courage to sign their names.  If it’s not for you, then I understand.  It’s all right.  Move on, that’s okay.  These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.  Maybe there’s something else you’d like.  It’s fine.  

And this is what I hope for if you do decide to venture in.

I hope you smile.  I hope you laugh.  I hope that you ended up snorting coffee out your nose in the middle of Starbucks.  (Here’s a napkin.  Sorry that I’m not sorry?)  I hope that I made you giggle in the middle of the subway or the bus stop and you get weird looks from folks passing by.  

I hope you cry, because sometimes I write sad things and that makes me cry too.  Here’s a tissue.  It’s okay.  Sometimes there are no happy endings.

I hope you are frightened, but only in a way that a good, scary story can make you feel frightened.  Sometimes there are dark and terrible things out there and they’re part of the Story too.  Hold my hand.  It’s all right.  I’ve got you.

I hope you blush and maybe smile a little later when love and romance and sweet things are told.  Love is a gift and true love is meant to endure.  And sometimes there’s hurt and pain and grief in there too, but you already know that.  You’ve lived that.  Sometimes we do have happy endings after all.  There’s always hope.  

Are you ready?

It doesn’t always start with “once upon a time” or “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” but every story starts somewhere.  

Turn the page.  Click the button.

Here we go.    

carrie fisher isn’t just princess leia. carrie fisher isn’t just an actress we all admire from a famous series of movies made a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. carrie fisher isn’t just another name on the list of shitty things 2016 has done to people i admire.

carrie fisher is a woman who struggled with addiction and mental illness and never sugar coated it - she spoke honestly, openly, about every ugly truth, and made me so much less ashamed of the things i struggle with in my daily life.

carrie fisher is a woman who fought back against body shaming and misogyny, against agesim, who looked at critics and said “yes, i am a woman who has aged, and had children, and struggled with depression and addiction and my body has changed, so you can just shut the fuck up and deal with it”, and it was absolutely beautiful.

carrie fisher is a woman who was placed in the role of “princess” but didn’t conform to the typical hollywood idea of what a princess should be. she’s loud, brash, crass, and unapologetic for being so.

she’s an idol and an inspiration and she’s a woman who saved my life many times just by being who she was and never shying away from it or feeling the need to say sorry. carrie fisher is so much and more and i cannot begin to stomach the thought of 2016 taking her away from me, from her family, from the rest of the world and those of us who love her so dearly.

i love you, space momma. we all do. keep fighting the good fight.