Saturday, August 20, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Here is a fanfiction that takes place during Return of the Jedi. This is my first foray into writing from Anakin's perspective so I hope I did alright. I really enjoyed writing this and I hope you enjoy it :)
I do not own Star Wars. All material belongs to George Lucas and Lucasfilm. Dialogue is taken from Return of the Jedi.
My Choice: A Star Wars Fanfiction
'I am empty and the darkness if my friend.' A phrase repeated so many times that it has become true.
I look over at Luke as the door to the elevator opens. His face is calm; passive even, and his stands firm, like those foolish Jedi.
'I feel the conflict within you, let go of your hate!' The words Luke had spoken to me echo in my mind, entering the emptiness like a cry for help; like a child's cry for help. Something stirs in me, an emotion so long unfelt at first I cannot identify it. Then it hits me; pity. I close my eyes, the burned, chaffed lids sliding painfully over my weak, damaged eyes.
'Emptiness, darkness, That's all I need. That's all I am.'
We stride out, side-by-side and approach the throne of my Master, The Emperor, Darth Sidious.
For a moment a memory assails me, so faint and indistinct I can hardly say it was mine. Obi-Wan and I, approaching Palpatine in a similar chair; only then he was manacled to it. A part of a plan of his own design.
Now he sits in his throne in all of his decrepit glory. His dream realized.
We come to a stop. I reach out to Luke, trying to sense what he's feeling but they're so gnarled, twisted, and hard, that I can't decipher them. My Master turns slowly around, his sick, wrinkled face partially hidden by a hood. I hated that face, but I also loved it. He was all I had left in the galaxy and that had to amount to something.
"Welcome, young Skywalker. I have been expecting you." he says in his thin, raspy voice, his yellow eyes boring into Luke with interest. Something twists in my stomach; fear. I bit the ruined flesh of my lips, forcing the fear out of the hollow caverns inside me. Sidious would not betray me...right? I breathed in. Of course not. he would betray me. The Sith didn't work that way; they didn't show mercy. We were alone in the galaxy. Which is how it should be. If you cared for no one, then you could never be hurt. Never.
"You no longer need those," Palpatine says after a brief pause, referring to the manacles around Luke's wrists. They open and fall off, clattering to the floor.
'Just like I did on the invisible hand.' I think then, with a rush of fury.
'No that wasn't you, that was Anakin. That was back when you were weak and you loved. Now you are strong. Anakin is gone, you , Darth Vader, killed him long ago.'
"Guards, leave us," Palpatine says, his acidic gaze leaving Luke for a moment and turning to the scarlet-robed Imperial Guards. I listen as they leave, their feet nearly silent on the floor. Then he looks back at Luke and a sinking suspicion enters the void, trickling like the sand I've always hated so much.
"I am looking forward to completing your training." Anger pulses. 'So Sidious, you are going to betray me? Well, I won't have it. I'll always be your apprentice; till the day you die. You're stuck with me.'
"In time you will call me...Master," Palpatine, or Sidious's, voice is quiet; his presence commanding like it had been for me, back when I was called Anakin Skywalker and had been a fool, thinking I was doing good. I had fought for a republic rotten to its core.
'Master.' That words makes me remember things I hadn't thought of in years.
'-Master, I'm scared.- -Its okay, Anakin, I'm here. I will always be here-' My Master, my old one. His voice floats into my head, like a feather in the wind. I remember his hands on my shoulder, his smile, his embrace into which I sometimes sobbed my heart out. And I remember him walking away. Something erupts inside my chest, rage bubbling up like the lava fields of Mustafar. Some Master, he left me to burn.
"You're gravely mistaken," I hear Luke answer softly. I look at him. He stands calmly, hands before him, face emotionless, just like Obi-Wan did before every enemy I ever saw him face.
'Except for you,' A voice inside me whispers. I stamp the voice into the ground.
"You won't convert me as you did my father," he continues, his voice still that chilly, steel-ringing calm.
'Converted? I wasn't converted, I chose this! It was MY choice.'
"Oh no," Palpatine says in that deathly calm taunt I've come to recognize over the years, as he stands.
"my young Jedi." He walks towards Luke slowly, like a phantom rising from the nether-gloom in some horror legend.
"You will find that is is you who are mistaken. About a great many things." His voice is chilling and I understand what he wants. He wants us to fight; to see who comes out on top. He leers over Luke, a sick smile on his disgusting face.
"His lightsaber," I say, handing it to Palpatine. At least if he had it, it would give me a chance because Luke would have to take it.
"Yes. A Jedi's weapon. Much like your father's."
'Like mine. Like my old one. No! No- ANAKIN'S old one. I am Anakin no longer.'
"By you must know your father can never be turned from the darkside. So will it be with you."
'No, I'll never leave the darkside. Its given me strength and protection from the love and pain in the world.'
"You're wrong." The words Luke says surprise me.
'Someone thinks I can turn from the dark?'
This hasn't happened since Mustafar with Padme who pleaded, Padme who I force-choked.
'She was an unfaithful wench and you know it!' I tell myself, hardening my resolve, pushing the dust of doubt from my emptiness.
"Soon I'll be dead and you with me." Brave words, I'll admit, but also foolish. Did Luke really think he stood a chance against Palpatine? No one did. Not even me. He knew all, saw all, did all. Nothing could escape his notice. He could kill the both of us without lifting a finger.
Palpatine laughs then, a dry, low cackle.
"Perhaps you refer to the imminent attack of your rebel fleet." I feel something from Luke now; doubt, anxiety...fear.
"Yes," Palpatine continues, his words as slick as oil,
"I assure you, we are quite safe from your friends here." His face crumples in disgust as he speaks the last words and he turns and walks slowly away.
"You're overconfidence is your weakness," Luke says, sounding like a Jedi...like Obi-Wan. Palpatine spins around, Luke's lightsaber held lightly between his pallid, decrepit hands.
"Your faith in your friends is yours." Luke really is a fool. He is not a Jedi yet and even a full trained Jedi couldn't take Palpatine. Yoda even couldn't.
"It is pointless to resist, my son," I say, knowing it is. Palpatine always gets his way, one way or another. But something inside me speaks, in the small, scared voice of a boy.
'Maybe,' I think 'Maybe we can both take him.'
'No! No, Palpatine will not have it. I must stay his apprentice because, what will I do without him?' He has become to me like blood and oxygen; I need him to survive.
Palpatine takes his seat, looking directly at Luke again and whatever remained inside my scorched, empty chest crumples. I know who he prefers.
"Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. Your friends up there on the sanctuary moon are walking into a trap, as is your rebel fleet."
I sense panic seize Luke's heart, feel him tremble slightly at my side.
"It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them."
Then his voice changes into that frail, mocking tone he uses to belittle you, to insult you into rage. He has done it to me many times...more than I can count.
"Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive."
Grief stabs Luke then, a tsunami of emotion that crashes down around him, splashing me with its sheer rawness.
"Come boy, see for yourself," I see him turn to the window and watch as a battle ensues. I feel his anger mounting, growing larger and larger as his fear begins to corrode his mind, corrupting it, leaving room for the darkside to take root. I walk over to join my Master, standing by his side like I have for years. Just the two of us.
'Without me, you're nothing.' He had said this to me many times and I believed it. What was I without him? A cyborg, like General Grievous? A husk, an empty void?
"From here you will witness the final destruction of the Alliance and the end of your insignificant rebellion." Luke turns to him in horror and I see he understands what Palpatine has done. Then he looks down at his lightsaber, lying still beneath his old, withered hand.
'Should I give it to him? He is my son, after all.'
The emptiness is filling me now, so fast I can't force it away; and its pain, red-hot and stinging. But where the pain is coming from I cannot yet tell. I force a dam between me and it, trying to staunch it. I can't let weakness in. Not now.
"You want this, don't you?" Palpatine asks, patting Luke's lighsaber softly.
"The hate is swelling in you. Take your Jedi weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger!" Luke turns away sharply and I am besieged by yet another memory. Of me-no, Anakin- finding out Palpatine was the Sith Lord and him telling me in that tone of voice about my anger and hate and how I should use it. And I remember when he told me to kill Dooku.
'No, not you, Anakin. You are not Anakin. Anakin is gone.'
"With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant."
'Servant. So that's all I've ever been to you. A pawn in your plans. I've always known. But I'm nothing without you, right?'
I see the struggle in Luke, see his shoulders shudder, see him draw in a ragged breath.
'You can't resist, Luke. He will get you in the end. He always does. Its no use.'
"It is unavoidable. It is your destiny."
'As it was mine? Or is it yours, Master?'
"You, like your father, are now...mine."
A sickening rush enters me along with the pain, breaking through my wall, a deep poison of rage, deeper and darker then anything I've felt since Mustafar.
"As you can see, my young apprentice your friends have failed." Luke turns to look at him once more. And another feeling corrodes into me.
I was once his young apprentice.
"Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!" He turns to the arm rest on his throne and speaks into his comlink.
"Fire at will, commander!" We continue to watch the battle and see as the Death Star shoots a blast into the fleet. I feel a deep shudder run through Luke, a strong, unsteady tremor coming to me through the Force.
"Your fleet is lost. And your friends on the Endor moon will not survive. There is no escape, my young apprentice. The Alliance will die. As will your friends."
Luke is resisting, his chest and shoulders jerking as he turns away for a moment, his gaze raking the scene before him in desperation. Then he looks back and his eyes rest on the lightsaber once more.
'Take it.' The words come unbidden to my mind and I realize something...something is shaking in my brain, something long dormant and the scorched remains of my heart crackle with dread.
"Good," Palatine whispers, his eyes closing wistfully.
"I can feel your anger." Then his tone changes, to that seductive tremor of voice that had captivated me to the darkside.
"I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the darkside will be complete." Luke turns jerkily to the window, his emotions reeling; confusion, rage, and fear become a tornado of feeling inside of him, ripping into a tempest, spreading through the room like a real storm. For a moment I think he won't do it, then he swings around, calls the lightsaber to his hand, and ignites the vivid green blade.
Out of instinct born from my transformation into Darth Vader, for protecting the man I had stood beside, who I had killed Jedi for, who I had killed Mace Windu for; I blocked the blow with my own blade. And Palpatine began to laugh. He had planned this from the start.
And so, our duel began.
'Father against son,"
Then as I look at Luke an image of...her appears to me.
'Padme...' My beautiful Padme. He was so much like her in some ways. Sometimes...I missed her- missed her so much the charred bits in my chest lightly stung. And the dormant...thing inside me would stir in its slumber.
Then, I feel his foot connect with my body and I tumble back down the stairs.
'How was he able to do that?'
I look up at him, standing tall and victorious, like a conqueror and suddenly I hear Anakin's voice speak in my mind, screaming from the bars of his prison in which I had locked him away.
'No my son, don't!'
"Good," I hear Palpatine say, and a flash, my battle with Dooku filled my mind. Of me taking Dooku's place at Palpatine's side.
"Use your aggressive feelings boy. Let the hate flow through you." I stand, feeling shaken, the rattle of Anakin against his prison echoing in my head.
'No, my son, no! Don't do as I did!'
'Get back, weakling!' Darth Vader, me, hisses, as Palpatine begins to laugh. Luke deactivates his lightsaber suddenly as I walk towards him. Anakin still screams at me but since I am stronger, I am able to place a gloved hand against his mouth.
"Obi-Wan has taught you well."
Suddenly, I see tears in Luke's eyes.
"I will not fight you, father," his says, an edge in his voice.
'Father.' The word resounds in my mind, creating a solid mass in the cavern that is my chest.
I feel Anakin's fingers creeping from their prison, pushing through the bars as if they were jelly.
'My son, oh my son.'
Then a shudder runs through me, anger smashing into me like a tidal wave.
'Get back you foolish, weak, pathetic, child!'
I will kill Anakin by killing his son. Luke has awoken Anakin and he shall pay for bringing my pain back. I walk up the stairs towards him until I have come to face him. He stares at me, his face intense with emotion.
"You are unwise to lower your defense!" I roar, striking out with all my fury at him. He ignites his lightsaber and blocks the blows. Suddenly he leaps onto a ramp overhead, reminding me of Obi-Wan standing above me on the lava bank just before I foolishly jumped at him.
'Luke!' Anakin screams, his voice sobbing, his hands grappling with me, Vader, his fingers crushing me and I hesitate.
'I can't kill my own son!' Anakin shouts in desperation, his fists flailing against the bars that hold his soul forever entrapped.
"Your thoughts betray you father, I feel the good in you. The conflict."
Fury rages in me now, slamming Anakin into the back of his cell, Vader rising up, rage pouring.
"There is no conflict," I say in disgust.
'I have to kill him. I have to kill him so Anakin can't come back.'
"You couldn't bring yourself to kill me before and I don't believe you will destroy me now."
'I won't Luke, I won't!' Anakin whispers, his voice a razor against my mind.
"You underestimate the power of the darkside," I tell him just as another similar sentence echoes in my mind.
'You underestimate my power!'
"If you will not fight then you will meet your destiny!" And I do what I should have done on Mustafar. I throw my lightsaber at him. He dodges but my spinning blade cuts into the supports and half the ramp collapses. Luke tumbles away and out of sight and I go looking for him, a feeling of victory beginning its growth in me. Then I hear Palpatine murmuring.
"Good, good.." I ignite my lightsaber, searching for Luke who I know is hiding down there.
I want to find him but I want a confrontation, a real one, no more of this piddling around, telling me he doesn't want to fight. Anakin must stay locked away or better yet, killed so that Darth Vader can flourish without a conscience. I walk quietly under the rest of the ramps, searching the shadows with my burning, lava-red blade.
"You cannot hide forever, Luke," I say, casting my gaze around for him.
'Come out and fight me! So I can end you and Anakin once and for all.'
"I will not fight you!" his tone is low but with an edge, a defiance; just like the pitiful Jedi refusing to let the darkness into themselves.
"Give yourself to the darkside," I say, then a thought strikes me. I shall do what Palpatine did to me; I will manipulate him. I can feel with a shudder Anakin's fists railing against his prison, the clattering growing louder, the bars around him growing weaker.
"It is the only way you can save your friends." Which was true, the darkside did save everyone. It would have saved Padme is only she had followed me, if only she hadn't betrayed my love for another, for someone else. For Obi-Wan. Worry explodes from Luke, shuddering and shaking like a person dying out in the cold. I can even see faces, names; I know who they are and I know how much they mean to him. They are his everything.
'Like mom, like Obi-Wan, like Padme, like Ahsoka...'
I hear Anakin whisper into my mind, his arms reaching out as he begins to push himself out.
I had to hurry and kill the both of them or Anakin would return and I would be once again strangled by grief.
"Yes...your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong, especially for..."
An image, burning bright as a firework, appears before me. The young Princess who helped steal the plans for the Death Star. Then a startling truth. His sister. My-no, not mine, Anakin's- daughter.
'Padme had more than one child?'
"Sister...So you have a twin sister?" Luke's panic spasms out in controlled bursts and I know I've landed a nerve. Good, I'll break through his resolve soon. Then I realize what must have happened- Obi-Wan must have separated the two, so I, or my Master, wouldn't be able to find them.
"Your feelings have now betrayed her too,"
'I know who she is. I can use her against you...'
'NOO!' Anakin's roar gives him new strength and he continues his desperate attempts at escape.
"Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me.."
'She could turn, if Luke won't. They are both powerful in the Force.'
"Now his failure is complete." I turn to where he is hiding and slowly step towards him, speaking the threat that had just entered my mind.
"If you will not turn to the darkside then perhaps she will."
The words I speak finally break Luke's fragile control over himself. He springs up, lightsaber igniting screaming "Never!" with such fervent rage I know he will turn. Maybe I won't have to kill him after all-
He attacks with such a vicious wildness that I am, for the first time since turning to the darkside..actually afraid. I had felt fear earlier but this was different- this was the terror I had once felt as Anakin.
He drives me back, his lightsaber swinging before him like a club, his rage a growing storm behind him, becoming even larger than my fury. Then I realize where I am- I'm by the shaft that leads to the main reactor.
Anakin is almost free and as I mentally force him back, Luke drives me down, striking with his lightsaber so viciously I know I will loose. I collapse into the railing, exhaustion suddenly filling me, Anakin howling in my mind so loudly I nearly pass out. I hold up my blade in a meek attempt to protect myself from Luke's onslaught. Suddenly his blade cuts through my wrist of the hand holding my lightsaber and I fall to the ground, weaponless.
'So my son, you will betray me, like everyone else?'
I hear Anakin whisper, scrabbling half-in, half-out of the prison.
'No, get back! I can't die as you! I can't die a weakling.'
I stare up at the end of the green blade, swishing before me, Luke's face twisted with rage.
'No my son, don't give up on me..'
Then I hear Palpatine laugh and I know, I know, that he has also betrayed me-again.
"Good!" he says as he approaches us.
"Your hate as made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny, and take your father's place at my side."
Anger, pouring hot and red, pulses into me, joining the jumbled up feelings that had been building inside of me since I brought Luke to my Master. I had always known Sidious would betray me like this, he had already betrayed me more than once, lied to me more than once. But betrayal always seems to take me by surprise.
Luke doesn't answer for a moment, just stares at his clenched had- his now machine hand.
I tell myself, huddled on the ground.
'He'll turn. Palpatine always gets his way. Luke will turn and replace me.'
'All the better,' I hear Anakin say
'Now I don't have to kill him.'
Anakin is almost out now, but it doesn't matter. I'll be dead soon anyways.
But then, Luke deactivates his lightsaber.
But I feel Anakin smiling.
Then I realize I'm smiling.
"Never," he whispers, tossing his lightsaber away, refusing just like he'd refused to fight me.
"I'll never turn to the darkside."
Something swells in me then. Is it pride? Pride for the boy- no, the man- who can say no to this seductive liar?
'No,' I tell myself harshly
'He's a fool. The darkside will always win.'
'But the darkside didn't save Padme, did it? It killed her!'
Fire, my had squeezing darkness around her throat-NO!
I would not let doubt get to me. I had chosen my path long ago and I could never turn away.
"You failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
'Father before me...father before me...Luke...'
Something cracks in me then and I realize what it is; Anakin's prison is crumbling. And I do nothing about it.
Then I look over at Palpatine and feel the fury sizzle around him, sparking like electricity.
What is he going to do now that he hasn't got his way?
"So be it," he says, deathly calm, and a terror so large grasps me that for a moment I am frozen.
"...Jedi." The last word is dripping with disgust. Then he lifts a hand to Luke, fingers slightly bent.
"If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed!" Then he lifts the other hand and lighting springs from his fingers, waves and waves of it, slamming him pitilessly into the railing.
Then it stops. I stand. Maybe I can make him spare Luke...
"Young fool...only now, at the end, do you understand."
No, no, Palpatine won't let Luke live. Luke defied him, spit him in the face and now Palpatine will kill him.
Then he sends blast after blast of azure lightning into Luke and walks ever closer.
"Your feeble skills are not no match for the power of the darkside." He walks even closer, shooting more lighting, this time more intense; a steady stream of his harshest, darkest blasts of power.
The prison splinters, metal buckling, splitting apart, Anakin screaming.
Sidious pauses as he growls out another string of stinging words.
"You have paid the price for your lack of vision."
Luke screams, writhing underneath the bolts of blue, his face twisted in pain.
Then he looks straight up at me and says, desperate, pleading.
And I remember-
-Padme pleading with me to run away, leave it all behind, her begging. But I ruthlessly chocked her, causing her to die.
-Obi-Wan begging me not to jump, begging me so he wouldn't have to hurt me, so he wouldn't have to destroy himself to do what he had to do. But I did anyway.
-The child, asking me what to do, fear inflicting him and the rest of the younglings hiding with him. But I mercilessly killed them all.
Then the prison breaks open and Anakin, sobbing, screaming, leaps out. He grabs Darth Vader by the throat, and Vader grabs Anakin, their hands pushing, both vying for control.
"Now, young Skywalker, you will die."
'die Die dIe diE, DIE.'
Luke was going to die and it would be all my fault!
'I will be the most powerful Jedi ever! I promise you! I will learn to even stop people from dying!'
Suddenly I, both Anakin and Vader, were pulled away, into limbo, in the Force.
I was at a crossroads; just like I had been back at the Chancellor's office when I had to choose- choose between the Jedi and the Sith; The light and the dark side- right and wrong.
Anakin and Vader look at me. I have a choice. Who should I choose? Then I hear voices, speaking, one after another
Shmi: I love you my son...We will see each other again.
Obi-Wan: You are my brother, Anakin! I love you!...He is like my brother, I cannot do it!
Padme: I love you, Ani... I'd never hurt you.
Luke: Father! Please!...I know there's still good in you!
Then it hits me, like a fist of stone in my stomach, doubling me over.
And I stand here, gasping, stripped naked, all the fortifications build around me, the hard shell, destroyed. Gone.
How could I have doubted Padme? She loved me, loved me until the end. How could I have thought her unfaithful? She would never have done that. She had cared about me so much she'd been brave and confronted me. She'd died because she loved me so much. I'd killed her.
How could I have betrayed Obi-Wan? He'd always been there for me. He'd been my father as an apprentice- the father I'd never had. He'd been my brother, my best friend, my hand to hold when I'd slipped. He'd stuck up for me and covered for me so many times that I could no longer count. And how could I have thought he was with Padme? He had never looked at Padme, never see her as anything but a friend. That's all he'd been. My friend and hers. I'd killed him too. Not physically, but mentally for having to fight me. To maim me. Now I saw why he let me strike him down on the Death Star. He couldn't bring himself to do it again.
And my son. My son! He hadn't given up on me, even after all I'd done. He still believed in me. And he loved me.
And Palpatine...he'd never been my father. He was the cause of it all- of everything. Then I understand. I see how love works, how it saves.
'You may have ruined Padme's life, and Obi-Wan's life, and my life, but you won't, you WON'T harm my son! This is the final straw! You won't, you WON'T. There is a world without you. I don't need you anymore! I have more then the shadow with me, now. I no longer need you!'
Then Anakin smiles and Vader gives a cry, bursting into flames, his hideousness finally dying, vanishing forever.
And I am Anakin once again.
I'm back, standing beside Palpatine. And I hate him. Because now I see, in the flashes of sapphire light, Mace Windu dying because of me- another victim because of me.
'But not this time. I see the light now, Palpatine. I understand. No matter how strong the dark is, the light will always find a way. Because love can hold back hatred. And I won't let you harm my son!'
And I grab Palpatine, lifting his thin, dead body over my head.
Because he is dead inside; like I was for so long. A mind with a dormant soul.
His lighting cascades around me and I feel it rip into my life-support, tearing it apart, killing it.
And I rise up and destroy him, throwing him into the main reactor of the Death Star.
Finally, I made the right choice. My Choice.
But I am dying.
'It doesn't matter. He's gone, he's gone.'
I sob with relief. And as gas billows up after Palpatine's descent I hear his final screams vanish.
Then I feel Luke pull me from the railing, from the precipice. For a moment I lean into his shoulder and as I look up at him through my mask, I think.
'You saved me, Luke. You saved me from myself.'
And then he's hoisting me up and pulling me to the docking bay and I sense that the battle station will be destroyed.
'I'm slowing him down. With me, he'll never escape.'
Then I slip from his grasp but even though he is exhausted, he continues to drag me to the ramp of a vessel. He pulls me forward, staring at me with his blue eyes so like mine. And sorrow fills me that I will never know him but... I have to save him.
Then I realize I have never seen him, not really. Just through a mask, never with my own eyes.
"Luke, help me take this mask off," I manage to say through my painful, fire-filled breathing.
"But you'll die," he whispers.
I feel the air becoming thinner, my damaged lunges wearing thin, my burned heart tightening.
"Nothing...can stop...that...now. Just for once, let me...look on you with my own eyes."
For a moment he hesitates, then nods, slowly lifting the helmet off first. Then the mask comes off and air, real unfiltered air, hits my damaged face for the first time in over a decade. And I see him fully, now. I see how much he looks like Padme and like me. I can see my stubbornness and Padme's kindness in him. And I feel tears burn in my eyes, falling slowly onto my scarred cheeks. Oh how I wish I could spend more time with him, get to know him.
My breathing is becoming more difficult, like I'm trying to breathe in liquid. I force myself to speak through the fire spreading through my chest.
"Now...Go, my son. Leave me." He shakes his head, denying it like I had so many times in my past.
'Please listen, Luke. Do what I could never do. Listen.'
"No! Your coming with me. I'll not leave you here, I've got to save you!"
I smile sadly at him.
"You already...have, Luke." The world fills with gray and Luke begins to fade.
"You were right," I whisper and Luke leans closer to catch my words.
"You were right about me." I remember his sister, my daughter. Leia. I'll never know her and I know she will never forget what Vader- no, what I did,- to her home.
And my heart breaks, shattering like glass one stone.
"Tell your sister, you were right." The last words rip into my throat, and as everything fades, I think of my children, of Padme, of Obi-Wan, of Shmi, of Ahsoka; I think of how much I love them...
*****I wake in a dark place, like space, cold and empty. Far away I see a pinprick of light and I begin moving towards it, like I was piloting a podracer towards the suns on Tatooine.
'Obi-Wan! Master! Father, brother...' Pain grips me so hard I choke on a sob.
"Master? I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!"
"Anakin listen! You must listen closely. I am going to give you the power to travel from the netherworld of the Force to real-space and I need to tell you before you join the light."
"Master, why-why me?"
"Because you ended the horror, Anakin. Because you fulfilled the prophecy," his voice, soft and kind, just like it had been so long ago.
"And because, because you are my friend." His voice cracks as he says this and I know the secret. I had it all along.
"Yes." I say and I know Obi-Wan hears me.
I reach the light, now so bright I have to squint, its rays shimmering like the blades of lightsabers. Then in its pure gleam, I see a figure approaching. And its Obi-Wan; young, his body fit, face shinning, lips smiling, eyes full of tears. He reaches a hand out to me, his pale skin glowing with a beautiful luminescence.
"Come home, my son. Come home." And as happiness fills me, I reach out, taking his hand, sobbing, laughing, as he pulls into the light and into his arms.******
*And later, as the whole galaxy celebrates, two figures appear in the gloom. And as Luke turns, he sees a third appear beside Obi-Wan and Yoda; Anakin, his father. He smiles at them and they smile back.
His father, the Jedi was back. He had finally got it right. He had made the right choice.
And as Luke walks away with his sister and friends, the hearts of the three Jedi fill. Because they know that balance has been brought to the Force and peace has been restored in the galaxy. And all is right. At last.*