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…
I sometimes like to imagine Vader meeting Leia on the Tantive IV and wondering why in the hell she seems so familiar. He’s heard of her, sure, but since Vader is not always directly involved in politics he’s never seen her before and she’s just so young. But it’s not just that, there’s something else…
I think it also bothers Vader that she is completely unbothered by him. Vader is probably used to getting the upper hand on people purely based on his appearance - especially when you consider his suit, his height, and his modulated voice - but Leia is completely unfazed. She openly defies him, she lies to his face, and she’s smug about it, too. And yet, despite all the setbacks and confusion, Vader cannot for the life of him put a finger on why she bothers him so much.
Maybe it’s the way she talks to him, or her lack of fear, or maybe it’s the youthful veracity that tinges her every dissentful remark.
Once Leia escapes the Death Star, though, Vader finds himself preoccupied with the origins of another - a certain Luke Skywalker. Not only is he the pilot credited with destroying the superweapon, but he bears the same name as him, as well as the same tutor: Obi Wan.
Vader thinks nothing of Leia, at least not until his confrontation with Luke on the second Death Star. Luke’s origins are almost a no-brainer. Once he learns of the rebel’s surname, it’s only a matter of time before he confirms that the boy was his… but there was no mention of a sister. After all, Leia was an Organa - he always knew that. Regardless of whether he followed galactic politics or not, Bail Organa had been a contemporary of Padmé’s, and royals have kids all the time, right? There was no reason for him, or anyone else for that matter, to think otherwise. But suddenly, Leia makes sense to him now.
She looks like Padmé. She has her eyes, her hair, her same penchant for politics - but she’s not actually like her at all. She looks like her mother, yes, but she takes after him. She is as passionate and personable as Padmé, but she is fueled by the same fearless ferocity as Anakin. He sees Padmé, but all Vader can sense is himself - but a better self, an old self he left behind long, long ago. And in his son, he sees his older visage - the same youthful face framed by blonde hair, those bright blue eyes - but he senses Padmé. Luke has her kindness, her compassion, and her unending patience when it comes to others and seeing the good in them. Leia is tempestuous and argumentative, and just as impatient with the galaxy as Anakin was with the Jedi Council.
She has Padmé’s eyes, yes, but she is also every bit of Anakin, yet a far better version of himself than he could ever possibly be.
HANDS DOWN. DARTH VADER IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THE STAR WARS SERIES AND HERE’S WHY
Darth Vader is the most terrifying badass I have ever met as a character, he knows how to get shit done and when to get it done. In the original trilogy, he hunts down Luke Skywalker using any means necessary and tries to get him to turn to the Darkside.
In the animated series Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, he still had that intimidating feeling after the Grand Inquisitor was killed. Just the moment when he arrives on Lothal and all you hear is the breathing and his iconic theme gets you hyped for season two.
The Force Awakens, all you see is an old relic of his helmet and it still gives you those vibes, man.
R O G U E MOTHERFUCINKG ONE
LET ME TELL YOU
The introduction to Darth Vader was so pleasing. Seeing him in the bacta tank protected by Imperial Guards when Krennic approaches him screams the fact that he’s still recovering from his injuries.
HIS CASTLE BASE ON MUSTAFAR BUILT ON THE VERY SPOT WHERE HE DUELED OBI-WAN KENOBI.
BOARDING THE TANTIVE IV AND KEEPING REBEL TROOPS TRAPPED IN A ROOM AND GOING ON A SLAUGHTER FEST
a. Luke Skywalker has spent his childhood going from planet to planet but Tatooine stands out because of the sand, the womp rats and the krayt dragons and the ten thousand other things that could kill and eat you…. except Luke has dealt with them all with a certain aplomb.
(They tend to end up in Tatooine when Uncle Ben basically runs out of ideas. For some reason, the Empire never really thinks about coming here, but maybe that’s because if there was a bright spot in the galaxy, Tatooine would be the furthest from it.)
b. Also, the best thing about Tatooine is Uncle Ben’s entertaining squeamishness over the giant, actually harmless, non-venomous spiders.
(Uncle Ben would never let Luke keep one for a pet.)
c. When Luke was very little, he remembered his mother watching over him, leaving him kisses on his forehead before he went to sleep.
(The touch of her fingers and her lips upon his brow were cold, cold, cold.)
He knows now that wasn’t a living person but he’s not frightened, not really, not when he could remember her beautiful brown eyes and how sad they looked. It was only when he called her “Mama” that the sadness would lift away from them.
d. Luke has met other Jedi such as Kanan Jarrus. But Uncle Ben has forbidden him from telling them his true name.
“What they do not know will not be tormented out of them,” Uncle Ben tells him sadly.
As far as Kanan knows, Luke is simply a creche infant that Ben must’ve rescued from the Temple during the purge and Ben is content to let him believe that.
e. Aunt Snips and Uncle Rex know Luke’s true name though. They are the ones who tell him most of the stories he knows about Luke’s father, a brave Jedi Knight and a hero of the fallen Republic.
(Any mention of his father only makes Uncle Ben all the sadder. Luke has learned not to ask any questions from him. Or to mention his father at all.)
f. Luke is not unintelligent, of course, and perhaps his father’s fate came at the hands of the infamous Darth Vader. He’s never seen Vader, not up close and personal. Uncle Ben has always made sure that Luke is safe.
g. Luke still has vivid memories of being four years old and being handed off to a young Cassian Andor for safety. He remembers hiding with Cassian in some hidden nook, expressly built for that purpose. He remembers being told to be good, to be quiet and to not look.
Luke did look. There was blaster fire and remembers seeing what was once a living, sentient being fall, all burnt and blasted before Cassian’s hand slid over his eyes. Luke couldn’t see anymore but he could still hear the screaming.
He was good. He was quiet. He closed his eyes and listened to Cassian croon soothing, comforting nonsense.
h. Luke doesn’t nurse an adolescent crush on Jyn Erso when he sees her again after so many years, this time in the company of the infamous Saw Gerrera. She teaches him how to pick pockets and how to fight even dirtier than Cassian has ever taught him.
(Luke winces at some of the hand-to-hand tactics she knows.)
In turn, Luke teaches her some slicer tricks and they steal a ship to joyride in, much to Uncle Ben’s amusement and eternal exasperation.
When Saw Gerrera abandons Jyn, she ends up with Luke and Ben for a good long while, before she strikes out on her own after rumors over the whereabouts of her father.
i. Jyn, of course, knows all about Luke’s hopeless crush on Cassian Andor. As well as the one on the beautiful Princess Leia Organa. She doesn’t laugh at him at all for it, which Luke appreciates.
j. Chirrut Imwe tells Luke that the Jedi of the fallen Republic had forgotten the true Jedi Code and that perhaps, it contributed to their own destruction. He chants it as a secondary prayer:
(Luke doesn’t understand the significance of this vs. the Code that Uncle Ben had always known until he undertakes his own Jedi training. And then, finally, it made sense, when he learned the truth about his father and how he’d Fallen to the Dark Side.)
k. Baze is solidly practical and is quite smug when Luke reveals an aptitude for blasters.
l. Truth be told, Luke always felt that Uncle Ben would’ve preferred him to stay out of the Rebellion altogether.
These are our failures, young Luke. I wish that you would never have the need to set those right, to leave that task to us instead. I wish that you would find a better, more peaceful life.
But Luke couldn’t stand by and let his friends suffer. He couldn’t stand by and let Uncle Ben fight alone.
m. So Luke steals that ship so he could go to Shariff and he arrives just in time to save the lives of all his friends, to fly away just as the Death Star blasted its own military base into stardust. There are hugs for all his friends, a reverent salute to the pilot Bodhi Rook and of course, because things never work out perfectly, the ship takes damage from TIE Fighters chasing them.
n. The rendezvous point with Princess Leia is the one that makes perfect sense, even if Luke teases his Uncle Ben that he’s all out of ideas again. Luke sets course for Tatooine, now adopted as part of the now infamous Rogue One team.
o. While in hyperspace, Cassian grimly hands Luke the remains of K2SO. Luke smiles at the man he once crushed on and tells him that K2 is not completely lost, that he can be repaired again.
p. On Tatooine, Luke will be forced to crash the ship after running into the same Star Destroyer attacking the Tantive IV. There will be a new ship, a smuggler and his Wookiee, a moisture farmer and his wife to save and certain droids that must be found.
Some things remain the same and some things do change.
The saga continues, in that galaxy far, far away….
Note: I shamelessly headcanon Tatooine as Space Australia and also because @determamfidd ‘s posts about ACTUAL EARTH AUSTRALIA never fail to make me chortle in glee.
Time to cry about STAR WARS and I have no shortage of tears again this week. What I especially love about this collection is that there’s a number of fics exploring different possibilities, ones that diverge from canon or remix just one or two things (to go along with all the lovely character explorations here!), to highlight what might have happened.
There’s just something really wonderful about getting to read these possibilities that will maybe fix things or will maybe ruin it differently, but there’s so much creativity and so many possibilities that I’m in love all over again!
✦ Time To Go by light_mantled_albatross, obi-wan & anakin & ahsoka & cast, 27.2k wip A version of the “Anakin doesn’t find Ventress at the end of season 5, with the result that Ahsoka gets Dramatically Sentenced To Death” plotline. Obi-Wan makes choices, Anakin freaks out, the Jedi Council behaves somewhat questionably, Darth Sidious behaves completely reprehensibly, and Ahsoka is generally her bad-ass self. ✦ Fast, Thorough, and Sharp as a Tack by igrockspock, han/leia, 2.9k Leia knows how to fire a blaster, survive an interrogation, and escape from the Death Star, but she’s still missing a few essential survival skills – like how to apologize, how to accept help from a friend, and okay, she might not know how to wash her own clothes or cook a real dinner. ✦ Any Scar You Give Me (I Will Endure It) by igrockspock, leia & ben & han/leia & luke, 15k Leia and Han had escaped from Imperial assaults, been captured by Jabba the Hutt, blown up the shield generator on Endor, and helped to found the New Republic. After all that, raising a child together couldn’t be that hard, right? ✦ untitled by stonefreeak, obi-wan & anakin & ahsoka, 1k Obi-Wan idly watches Anakin pace back and forth, muttering to himself. ✦ the world, nothing less by imaginarykat, obi-wan/anakin, fusion au, modern au, 6.1k wip Modern day London; Anakin Skywalker, a young man who’s accidentaly always in trouble with the law, is in bigger trouble than usual. ✦ Better Living Through Lack of Chemistry by avarand, obi-wan/anakin, NSFW, a/b/o, alpha!obi-wan, omega!anakin, 5.5k Anakin has hidden his Omega status his whole life. Thanks to suppressants, he passes a hot-headed Beta Jedi Knight. On a small-scale mission with Obi-Wan days away from the nearest city, he learns his suppressants have been compromised. He’s sharing a room with his long-time object of lust and desire, and about to go into heat. ✦ untitled by glare-gryphon, obi-wan/anakin, 1.1k The door chimes once again, and Anakin pushes off the couch to find out who it is before they wake Ahsoka. He is both surprised and not to discover Obi-Wan Kenobi standing in the dark of the Naboo night. ✦ untitled by likealeafonthewind, obi-wan/anakin, 2.5k It’s two years after the Battle of Geonosis. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the Jedi War General and leads the GAR. Anakin Skywalker had just been Knighted 6 months ago after completing supplemental healer training under Master Che and is now the Commander of the Relief and Support Forces. He’s just returned from a trip and learned that Obi-Wan has not been taking care of himself. ✦ The Stars Died So That You Could Be Here Today by WinterSky101, obi-wan & anakin & padme, 4.6k Anakin and Padmé guide Obi-Wan through his mourning for Qui-Gon. ✦ Got a lot of fight left in me by silveronthetree, obi-wan & leia & luke & cast, 3.6k Leia meets Ben Kenobi on Tatooine. A New Hope AU. ✦ Inheritance by ambiguously, obi-wan & leia, 1.2k The Tantive IV makes it to Tatooine, and Leia has a job to do. ✦ Mother Is the Name for God by victoria_p (musesfool), padme & leia & bail & breha, 1.8k Leia dreams of a beautiful woman with long curly hair. Sometimes, she’s smiling brightly, and sometimes, she’s sad, but Leia knows, deep in her heart, that this is her birth mother, and that she loves Leia very much. ✦ The Wisdomless Cadet by Ignite the Stars, thrawn & eli, 1.2k Eli Vanto isn’t very happy when he is informed that officers are required to have their Wisdom Teeth removed before commissioning. Features Cadet Vanto on drugs and Thrawn making sure he follows the post-op instructions. ✦ Split the Night by Zinga763, obi-wan & anakin/padme & ahsoka & maul & cast, 3.3k wip Darth Maul knows exactly how to break Kenobi. In which Maul targets someone other than Satine, and it changes Obi-Wan and Anakin’s lives, along with the galaxy’s. ✦ Cataclasm by dendral, obi-wan & anakin & waxer & cast, 11.8k wip For reasons unknown to all but himself, Obi-Wan Kenobi has left the Jedi Order in the midst of the Clone Wars, taking with him a single clone. Anakin Skywalker has been unofficially tasked by the Order to find Obi-Wan and bring him home. Unfortunately for Anakin, it seems his former master is always ten steps ahead of him.
Remember Revenge of the Sith? Pretend you don’t for a second. Instead:
The Senate, long corrupt and having interests on both sides of the war, votes to de-fund the clone troopers.
It’s the only way they can get around the Supreme Chancellor. Besides, they’re tired of the war and just want it to end, even if it means losing huge chunks of the galaxy to secession.
Realistically though this means a LOT of stranded clones in hostile territory, a lot of early-generation ageing clone veterans cut off from all support, not to mention the cessation of new clone creation.
Tension builds between the (clone) bulk of the Republic’s military and the Republic itself.
Anakin and Obi-Wan both sympathize with the troops, but Obi-Wan is more inclined to let the war end and go along with the Senate
Anakin refuses to abandon his soldiers, and he refuses to let the war end in defeat: they’ve come too far, done too many terrible things in the name of unity, for it all to come to nothing.
Meanwhile there’s a no-confidence vote for Palpatine and he’s placed under house arrest pending charges that he abused his power. “All to defend the Republic!” he and Anakin (and most of the military) insist.
Anakin leads a coup, arresting several key members of the Senate and liberating Palpatine.
Palpatine confesses his dark side affinity to Anakin, but phrases it as necessary balance. “The Jedi cannot do what must be done if the Galaxy is to be preserved.” Anakin ultimately agrees. The Supreme Chancellor is back in charge, the war is back on: Order must be brought to the Galaxy- it can’t all be for nothing.
The Jedi counter-attack, seeking to overturn the coup. The clone troopers defend themselves against their former generals, hearts heavy and bitter at the perceived betrayal. No need for any programmed behaviors or Order 66.
The attack is repelled- barely -thanks in no small part to Anakin’s personal ‘heroics.’ He begs his former comrades to stop, but they’re light-blinded idiots for the most part and treat him like a monster. It’s a treatment he gets used to, a treatment that gradually leads him to become what they perceive him as.
Anakin leads the clones- now loyal to him above even the Emperor, since he’s been their general for years and unlike all the others, he never turned his back on them.
(Say what you will about how Vader liked to burn through Imperial Naval officers, he never once mistreats a Stormtrooper in the movies and even leadsthe boarding action against the Tantive IV. Dude leads from the front! He’s an excellent infantry officer. The troopers should love him.)
Padme begs him to turn his back on the new Empire/junta, but Anakin’s course is set- he’s done too many terrible things to turn his back now. He’s personally killed many of his former friends. It has to mean something. It has to be the will of the Force- he has to believe that. They separate. Nobody force chokes anybody, what the fuck.
Obi-Wan and Anakin have their climactic fight. It can even be on Mustafar, why not, that was a neat sequence.
Padme Amidala leads many members of the Senate on their own daring escape. She and the Organas form the seeds of the Rebellion. Presumably she dies a few years later, but by god Leia has to be at least 2 before that happens or she’d have no memory of her mother “her real mother.” That line means something. Not a throwaway about Lady “no-lines-because-George-Lucas-is-rather-sexist” Organa.
Luke and Leia are born on Alderaan, but (hand-wavey bullshit about force-sensitive twins being like a beacon in the living force or some shit) they must be split up or risk discovery. The farther apart, the better. Obi-Wan knows just the place, a place that works for his exile, too. He takes the boy, because the little shit’s blond mop reminds him painfully of his best friend. I will do better this time, he thinks.
First off, anon, I’m terribly sorry for how late this is. I can’t even pinpoint when I got this - this has been sitting in my inbox since before I came up with Silent Measures. Which means months. But I’m trying to clear my inbox so here’s something I came up with on the spot.
A Face in the Crowd
Summary: During the Clone Wars, the Jedi were lauded as heroes, but so out of reach of the masses that they seemed at times to be toy soldiers selling war bonds more than actual walking beings. But there were four Republic Days that fell within the Clone Wars, and in each one of them, if you look carefully enough, there are things to be seen that are special. A child watches, is inspired, and remembers, twenty years after.
Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Aayla Secura, Plo Koon, (and many clones, though only in passing)
(note: this is after Ahsoka leaves, so she isn’t here)
Little Meron Junshi is not sure whether he likes this Republic Day parade.
It technically hasn’t started yet, but the heat is stifling here in the masses milling behind the railings along the Senate boulevard. His father has put him on his shoulders, and the air is a little clearer up here, but Meron would much rather they be back home on Alderaan, where the air is sweeter and the skies much, much bluer.
And less loud. There are many interesting species around him that he has not seen before, but Meron finds the noise rather distracting. And the boulevard before them is still empty, except for the red-and-white armoured clone troopers that stand guard at equal intervals along the railings themselves.
But he will behave, because he his a big boy of eight and his father is here to do important business with Senator Organa, and Meron is only here because he pleaded and pleaded until his parents said yes.
And then suddenly, there is thud of a plasma cannon from high above, so deep and low that Meron feels it shudder through his frame and down to his father’s wide shoulders; and the guarding troopers snap to attention with a muted thud of armoured boots against duracrete.
This first thud echoes across the suddenly silent masses; and in the distance, under the Senate Building itself, comes an answering drumbeat.
Then another. And another.
And then a steady tramp-tramp-tramp comes filtering down the boulevard, and before Meron can do anything but sit up straighter on his father’s shoulders, the first company of clone troopers come into view.
The Coruscant Guard is first, led by a proud-shouldered trooper with a helmet visored in grey and painted in red, the etched plaques on his armour marking him as a commander.
Meron gapes as row after row of red-white troopers follow, posture ramrod-straight, each holding a blaster at parade ready. The cadence of their steps are so well-matched that if Meron were to close his eyes, he could imagine a singe titan was thundering down the boulevard, and not nearly a hundred and fifty men of one company.
The crowd around them is shrieking with excitement.
A company of soldiers, each with stylised wolf-head painted on their grey-lined white armour, and striding confidently at their head, a Kel Dor Jedi with russet robes flowing jauntily in the wind.
Plo! The crowd is screaming. Plo Koon!
The Wolfpack! Meron stares, wide-eyed, so engrossed in the clean lines of General Plo’s wolves that he nearly misses the ground-shaking thud that follows.
Five paces after the last grey-painted trooper comes twin files of eight AT-TEs, six-limbed bodies creaking with every solid stamp of durasteel legs. And marching between, standing on, and holding to the side of these giant assault walkers are many yellow-striped troopers. Most strikingly, somehow balanced perfectly on a walker placed centrally between the two main lines, is a blue-skinned Twi’lek woman with a smile on her face and a lightsaber at her hip.
SECURA! The masses yell, in a hundred thousand different sentient voices. SECURA!
She stands tall, but her smile widens.
Company after company come, whole battalions and legions painted every colour of the galaxy, each with a Jedi marching before them, or sometimes two, with the younger marching alongside a clone captain.
Meron watches, dumbstruck, as hero after hero steps off the war-reels and into reality, like toy soldiers ripped from the holonet and placed within reach.
But then a roar of pure sound sweeps through the masses like an oncoming wave, and Meron is nearly unseated from his father’s shoulders.
The troopers coming into view now are painted with bold gold stripes.
And at their head, stepping with a calmly fluid gait-
-is a Jedi with red-gold hair and cream robes, and eyes the colour of a silent sea above a beard trimmed to immaculate neatness.
Meron forgets to breathe.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Negotiator.
The multitude raves. There is no collective chant, now, not like before; overlapping screams of KENOBI and NEGOTIATOR and OBI-WAN rise in an increasing cacophony of unleashed madness.
Throughout all this, Meron only watches the Negotiator.
General Kenobi steps in time with his men, but something in the smooth effortlessness of his pace and the gravity of the tabards over his shoulders speaks of a noble sadness, mixed with extraordinary determination.
Sadness, in the middle of the greatest parade of the year?
Meron lowers he hand he was using to wave, and frowns. He is struck with the sudden impression that General Kenobi would look much the same leading his men into battle.
But then there is a blare of trumpets, and Meron nearly gives himself whiplash as he jerks his head to look.
These new troopers are painted blue.
The crowd is shouting in synchrony, now.
SKYWALKER! SKYWALKER! SKYWALKER!
The Hero With No Fear himself is stood next to Chancellor Palpatine, on a slow-moving barge surrounded on all sides by a sea of blue-and-white armour. His smile is rakish, his waving casual, and the scar that curves around the edge of one eye effortlessly cool.
Meron stares at Anakin Skywalker, and wonders if he imagines that those ice-blue eyes flicker towards him, if just for a moment.
Meron does not waste it. He straightens up so abruptly that his father grunts in surprise, but he does not pause to think about it - instead, he nearly slaps himself in the forehead as he salutes.
He is halfway through the motion already before he realises General Skywalker is looking at him.
Krayt spit! Meron tells himself, knowing his father would give him a good scolding if he heard the words out loud - I probably look stupid!
But what is done is done. The edge of his right hand is pressed to his forehead.
The General watches him for a moment - it cannot be more than half a second, but it seems the longest moment in Meron’s short life - and then suddenly, General Skywalker raises two fingers to his forehead and flicks them to the side in a jaunty salute.
In return to his.
Meron’s brain smashes into a wall of disbelief and disintegrates into awed smithereens.
It is only after the barge has passed by, and the next company is marching past that Meron remembers that he should drop his hand. He lets it fall by his side, numb.
He barely registers the rest of the parade.
He is grinning so widely his cheeks ache.
“Father,” Meron says, later, when a squadron of LAAT/is have flown overhead and the crowd is beginning to disperse, “I’d like to join the Alderaani guard.”
“Oh? And why is that?” his father says distractedly, holding one of Meron’s ankles to stop him from sliding off.
“I want to be a General,” Meron says.
There is a long pause. Meron’s father slows his pace, and stops.
“War isn’t as fun as you think, Meron.” His father’s voice sounds different.
“Talk to me when you’re eighteen. We’ll see then.”
“Okay!” Meron chirps happily, as his father carries him across the sea of Coruscanti crowds, and away from the Senate boulevard, its white duracrete surface stamped grey with the feet of two hundred thousand men.
Twenty years later, clutching a blaster and kneeling in a white-walled corridor swamped with shadow, Meron Junshi thinks of that long-ago Republic Day. Of the sun and the chants and the bright-painted soldiers with their Jedi Generals.
He had gone to his father when he was eighteen, and he had gotten his wish.
The Alderaani guard had led to a permanent place in the Rebellion, and the Rebellion…here.
Behind him is a short passageway, and beyond that, the Tantive IV, with a precious person aboard. In front of him is a darkened corridor, which lies silent and still beyond the echoing howl of the klaxons.
And then Meron becomes aware of another noise.
A sawing, unnatural breathing, like air rasped through a grille of harsh desert sand.
And the passageway is lit with a bar of crimson plasma.
Oh, Meron thinks, as his finger tightens on the trigger and plasma spews uselessly out of the barrel of his blaster. You were right, father.
War is not a parade, with sun in your eyes and bright-painted soldiers and their much-loved generals marching before them; war is red-painted white walls, and flashing bolts, and screaming, and the never-quickening and never-slowing breaths of a shadow that reaches for you, and grasps you with invisible hands, and sends a screaming blade of blood-red light slashing towards your chest.
“Take it! Take it!”
And Meron knows that perhaps there is a little truth in what his eight-year-old self thought about war: War is nothing without hope.
Hope, to a boy watching a war parade on his father’s shoulders, is to receive an acknowledgement from the General he loved so much as a hero.
Meron stares into those hard black lenses, and holds this image in his mind as he dies.
He has no time, before the end, to wonder if he imagined Darth Vader flinch.
I hope this makes up for how late this is, anon. I made up Meron on the spot; his name means soldier. Reblog as you like, and thanks for reading, everyone.