Reviews for At a Crossroads
KungFu Jedi chapter 19 . 8/4/2018
Last night, I was at an outdoor barbeque with a bunch of young friends, and we watched Star Wars A New Hope outdoors on a projector. :D SO much fun. It had been several years since I had seen that one! And, being older, found I could appreciate a few more things than before. Trying to imagine what it was like, the first time, in '77, with no precedent. Wonderingly imagining where it would go. An experiment, is what it was. All three of them were an experiment in storytelling, and I truly wonder that if it had not happened, how our perceptions of characters, villains and people would be different. Luke is so easily relatable- a frustrated teenager, bored and longing, aching for something new and adventurous, yet trapped in psyche by the perspectives of those around him, and then entering into pathways that begin by causing pain. Would he truly have left with Obi-wan if his heart hadn't been broken by the death of his aunt and uncle? Pain is a motivator. It shakes out the chaff real fast, banishing illusion and offering a choice. And that's where you start: Pain. Shaking out what has been said before. Offering new decisions to make, mostly internal, that is felt more than seen.

Truthfully, I couldn't imagine it. No way. No way, knowing no background for any characters, in a film that begins in medias res, could I ever imagine taking the characters to the emotional depths they were in return of the jedi. Vader, sharp, fierce, convicted in his ways, emanating anger. Han, loose and cocky, arrogantly shunning vulnerability. Watching IV, I would never have guessed at the end, or the awakened compassion, the cracking of the armor around each of the people. And that's what makes a great story resonate with the readers, right? Creating a character that you *want* to know more of, figure out, discover. And then slowly, cracking their shell. Revealing depth, layers, complexity, beauty. And it takes labor. It isn't done overnight.
You've labored with that, to a place that's never been quite reached. And that place has everything to do with humility, honesty, and purity.
Purifying.
That's what you wanted wasn't it? A purifying that didn't get a chance to happen for the living.
Although the characters in this story are more articulately emotional than is realistic, *nothing* is artificial. I deeply appreciate the honesty and vulnerability that is not treated lightly, and allowed the right situation to a mature into a place that is far from sentimental, which is the chief danger you had to stay away from whilst writing. Its *real*, that is, real in the sense that people are *meant* to be, not the terrible reality that we often encounter.
It is a Vulnerability with Honor. Forgiveness without expectation. Friendship with encouragement, but no strings attached.

You know, I have never appreciated Lando's arc before- he has such a small (but crucial) part in the films, and I never paid attention. But you gave him some shine time! And it's TRUE!
His confession to Vader was perfect. Everything was right about that WHOLE sentence, and I was left rather amazed. (And with a new appreciation for those that catalyst my own personal changes and trials- though I suppose that I am truly thanking God for putting them there).
That is what characters like Vader are largely for, I believe, in life and in a story (Whether or not they are redeemed)- His character judged a universe full of evil, with pain. Evil is a pusher. A motivator. It gets people out of the bed in the morning because they have something to either fight, or fight for. They keep us from getting complacent, or lazy, even apathetic. The evil that causes apathy is the worst it can possibly do- but "bad" people and "bad" circumstances are often the kickstarters of righteousness. As C.S. Lewis so aptly put, "Pain is God's megaphone to a deaf world". (That being said, being motivated by something good, and not evil is far more beneficial to a healthy heart. :)

I have to admit... this story made me uncomfortable. Almost like someone shining a mirror into my insides with a flashlight. Specifically concerning apologies, and making them with honesty, and honor. I was much younger when I read your other stories (There's a lotta life experience that happens in 8 years hehe) and I enjoyed them with an innocent idealism, and love for all the joyous benefits and cleansing that Light could offer, and now... having less idealism, and a bit more cynicism, and sadly, a lot more self-protection concerning people, I was convicted in several places, in multiple chapters. When the fictional characters start reaching out from the page and suddenly sit next to you and softly bring up *that* part of your life you need to deal with, it's a little sobering. But good.

You've unexpectedly humbled my pride with this final chapter. I'd forgotten what made your tales shine in the first place, the crux that made it all fit together wholesomely. I've grown a fondness for the super evil villain getting defeated in a spectacular, humiliating, powerful way, whether in unexpected, clever moves by the heroes, or acts of power. It's attractive to the eyes. And allows the imagination to go nuts. Return of the Jedi sort of blends both together.
But here...

"She couldn't wrap her mind around it. The Dark Side had been defeated not with Palpatine's demise, but with six little words. "I love you", and "I will stay".

Defeat so shaming and inexplicable. With the battle all fought inside a heart. Defeat of darkness at the most primal level, the most meaningful level. The level to make that defeat permanent.
It takes the purest element out of Return of the Jedi, and magnifies that element until it's white hot, inescapable. Given with no action to distract an impatient mind. A quiet, humbling moment, as tangible as something I'd hold in my hand, and one I will never forget.

And, that's how he *WAS* defeated wasn't he? No great soldier marching into a city to rally a revolution. No bright prince arming the people and riding against the roman empire to throw down the Caesar. It was so he could *stay*.

"For it is expedient for you that I go away, so that the Comforter may come to you."
So that He Himself could come to us, stay WITH us, in Spirit, a constant helper.

It was as it should be, purer, sweeter and more fairy-tale like, and yet, closer to reality than even the film.

"The Sith Lord felt as if something physical, as real as the child he was holding in his arms, was walking through his soul, through every nook and niche of his being and cleansing him for good. Not only that, as if it was *disabling* him for the Dark Side for all eternity."

If there is a bright heart to the universe... it is right there.

This tale is bigger than the sum of its parts, my friend. I cannot count how many sentences I've read that are just... PERFECT. Lasting. Rippling.

It was beautiful. Purer than I could have imagined, and most of all... convicting.

The best endings, are those that end as a beginning.

Thank you for your labor, for your endurance, your patience, for every tear you've shed and every grey hair that is your reward. They are not in vain, and have provided comfort and wisdom when I have possessed none. Thank you for being brave enough to share a part of your soul.

ever,
Kungfu Jedi

p.s.
For you. :)
s/13000031/1/Refovendum
Vog chapter 19 . 7/28/2018
Fairly good story re Luke's physical and Leia & Anakin's spiritual healing but please do an epilogue to address the loose ends re whether Luke and/or Anakin physically recover their former strengths, Leia connects the dots re her actual parentage and. .especially for Palpatine to be indisputably defeated. Yeah, the reunion's all nice but just staying around and not attempt to off Palpatine will make them all sitting banthas!
The Jingo chapter 19 . 7/24/2018
Fuggg I wanted to see them figure out Leia was Anakin's daughter too
Carrie2sky chapter 19 . 7/24/2018
I'm so sorry to be so late with my review! I was on vacation!

I have to say, I loved the ending! So sweet, and raw at the same time-but absolutely perfect! I was so touched-it brought tears to my eyes! I love a happy ending, and what could be better than Vader staying with his son, and coming back to the light?

The moment when Luke called out to him to stop him from leaving and then walking to him and Vader catching him in his arms was fantastic!

Such a wonderful ending to a lovely story! Thank you so much for sharing this! It's sad to have it over, but it was great journey!
Red Blaze 16 chapter 19 . 7/21/2018
Been away from my computer, so I had a few chapters to catch up on...

You had me nervous - that Vader would leave Luke. That being said, I almost felt like the last scene was more between lovers than parent/child. Of course, that's just my opinion.

And they lived happily ever after...
Ergrien chapter 19 . 7/21/2018
I can't believe it's over. Please say there will be a sequel. That was an amazing story. I can't tell how many times I was in tears. Your writing is beatiful a real masterpiece.
Cyber Rogue chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
*wipes away a tear* Wahh! It's over! I can't believe it's over! First off, I loved the interaction between Leia and Vader, it was really touching with how they addressed one another. Second, I love the final reveal when Vader took off his mask and became Anakin. At first, it kinda bugged me that 'Vader' was being addressed as 'Vader' in your story. In my mind, I always thought that whenever 'Vader' became good, he became 'Anakin.' But the way you tied that moment in with him taking his mask off and becoming 'Anakin' was perfect! I loved it, and thank you for writing! God Bless!
Etta.Ju chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
Such an amazing heartbreaking story! And a great powerful way to finish it!
Sometimes, good stories end in a strange not-finished way, but this story doesn't! I so like this end! Thank you very much!
P.S. Please, write when you have inspiration for another story!
Rose7070 chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
Amazing story! Will there be a sequel where Leia and Vader find out they're father and daughter?!
Etta.Ju chapter 18 . 7/20/2018
Great touching chapter!
A cowardly decision for Vader to go when Luke is sleeping... I hope Leia will do something...
KelsiBetsy chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
Oh, OH. This was so beautiful, oh my god, this was BEAUTIFUL. Your writing is so beautiful, so heartwrenching, so FILLING. It fills me with such emotional warmth reading it, I love it so much. It has so much SOUL. Thank you for writing this, for being such a beautiful person. I'm so sad this might be your final story, but what a story it was. May the Force be with you, my dear.
Gustave Daae Y chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
Very emotional from start to finish. I loved how Vader described his suit as being buried alive. Wonderful ending
Lillian81 chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
Thank goodness for that!
Oh don’t mind me I’m just sobbing from happiness and relief and a thousand different other things!
SpellCleaver chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
This was so sweet. I’ve loved this fic.
FullOfFaith chapter 19 . 7/20/2018
I honestly don't know if I should cry or faint. That was beautiful! You HAVE to write another story like this! PLEASE!
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