Of the many adventures I have chronicled concerning myself and my dear friend Sherlock Holmes, there is one I have yet to recount, for fear the strange circumstances of it would not be believed. On some days, even I do not believe my memories of that time. However, I am an old man now, and in these difficult times, a story of hope is needed, even such a nonsensical one as this.

It was in May, 1897, that an incident occurred which forever changed the way I looked at the world, and most especially the stars above us. On this particular morning, Holmes and I were having a conversation about the stars. I have mentioned previously how Holmes found little use for astronomy, and thus did not keep any knowledge of it in his "brain-attic", as he liked to call it. On my part, I often marvelled at his ability to discard such facts, and tried to argue with him on the merits of such knowledge. This morning was one of my attempts, prompted by a letter from an old friend, telling me of his new telescope, and all the sights he could see with it.

"Holmes, how can you show no interest in the glories of our universe?" I exclaimed. "All the stars and planets out there, the infinite sights and wonders to behold! Some of which, for all we know, could even be home to intelligent life!"

"And of what concern is this to me?" Holmes asked, piercing eyes staring at me from over his newspaper. "Will this life hold such interesting puzzles and characteristics as the people walking the streets of our own city of London? Will we be able to understand them at all? What is to say they will not be entirely alien to us, unable to understand our words or way of living?"

I could find no response.

"No, Watson," Holmes continued. "Until a member of this intelligent life you speak of comes to us, I will concern myself only with problems of a more terrestrial variety."

At that moment, as though summoned by Holmes' words, footsteps came racing up the stairs, and a young man burst into our rooms, followed by a creature the likes of which I had never seen.

"Good heavens!" I cried.

Holmes, conversely, showed no surprise, but rather excitement, leaping to his feet to look further at the interesting, almost alien creature that had followed the man inside. Holmes himself was rather taller than average, but this creature towered over him, ducking down to enter into the room. On his back, he carried a crossbow, tied there by straps running across his chest, and I could see from his comfort with it that he knew how to use it. By far the most interesting thing about him, though, beyond even his height or unusual choice of weapon, was the way he was covered entirely with shaggy brown fur.

His companion, by comparison, was much more average. He did not yet look thirty, and wore unusual clothing, unlike anything I had ever seen. At his hip, he carried what appeared to be a revolver, though not a model I had seen before. Together, the two made a strange pair.

"I heard a Mr Holmes lives here," the young man said.

"Ah, an American!" I exclaimed. His accent was unmistakable, and being a foreigner would go some way towards explaining his strange attire.

He looked affronted. "American? I'm Corellian, mister!"

"He is quite correct, Watson, at least in his first comment. This man is not American." Holmes turned to the man, prowling around him in a manner similar to a cat as he examined him. The man looked uncomfortable, bordering on defensive, but did not protest. "His accent is similar, but there are irregularities. It does not match to any one region. And your peculiar clothes," he continued, addressing the man himself. "This fabric is unfamiliar to me, and I have made a habit of studying the fibres of different fabrics. I can only conclude that wherever you are from, this Corelli, it is like no other place on earth."

"Earth? That's what you called your planet?" He snorted. "Real creative."

"From your words, you seem to mean that you are not from this planet," I inferred. "Is that true?"

He nodded. "I'm from Corellia, not Corelli, and he," he jerked a thumb at his companion, "is a Wookie from Kashyyyk." Seeing our baffled looks, he elaborated, "Those are the planets we're from."

I turned to Holmes in excitement. "Did I not tell you, Holmes? Intelligent life is out there!"

His sharp eyes turned to me. "It appears more likely to me that these two are fools, or swindlers trying to deceive you."

"With clothes made from a fabric you have never seen, an accent you cannot place, and appearances as exotic and unfamiliar as this?" I raised one eyebrow at him. "Really, Holmes. Have you not often said, once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

"And have I not also told you, the world is big enough for us? Must we now look beyond it to find a case worth pursuing?"

"Ah!" I cried triumphantly. "So you agree, this is a case worth pursuing!"

Holmes scowled, then laughed, his mercurial nature surfacing in my favour. "Very well, Watson. We shall take on this case, though I do not yet believe our visitors are truly alien."

The strange creature, the one known as a Wookie, roared, producing a startlingly loud sound that rattled the glass of our window. Holmes and I turned to him at once, startled.

"Do you wish for all of London to know you are here?" Holmes asked sternly. "Fortunately Mrs Hudson is out, or your appearance may have caused her quite a stir."

"Well if you and your friend there would shut up and get on with business, we wouldn't have had a problem," the young man retorted. Despite his brash words, there was a hint of shame in his eyes, enough to give me hope that persuading Holmes to take this case had been the right choice.

"Very well." Holmes settled himself again in his armchair, taking up his customary pose for hearing new cases, with eyes closed and hands resting against each other. "Let's start with your name."

The man looked at his companion in bemusement, then back to Holmes. "I'm Han Solo, and this is Chewie."

Holmes nodded slowly. "So, Mr Solo, please do tell us what it is a mercenary like yourself has lost to go to such lengths to find it?"

Solo startled, then scowled. "What are you, some kind of Jedi?" The young man asked disbelievingly. "All the way in the other side of the galaxy, and still I'm running into them!"

"These 'Jedi', they are a people with unusual abilities?" Holmes asked, eyes opening.

"You haven't heard of the Jedi?"

The Wookie made another sound, not the roar of before but something quieter, and slightly mocking.

Solo rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well, I forgot." He addressed Holmes again. "Alright, so if you're not a Jedi, how did you know I was looking for something?"

Holmes leaned back in his chair. "It was quite simple, really. I can also see the Wookie is your partner, and the two of you have known each other for many years. You spend most of your time on board a ship, likely the very object you are looking for, though you have recently visited a desert, and in your youth you had an unfortunate encounter with what I would normally presume to be a large dog, though of course in these circumstances it could very well be otherwise."

Solo blinked blankly at Holmes, mouth half-open. "Is this guy for real?" he asked me. "Next he'll tell me he can do the Kessel Run in only two parsecs."

"Holmes is indeed quite real," I assured him. "Though his methods do take some getting used to."

Solo turned back to Holmes. "Look, can you help us or not? Because if you can't find my ship, then I need to find someone who will, someone who doesn't just speak in riddles!"

The Wookie roared in apparent agreement.

"Very well." Holmes sprung to his feet. "I admit, I have some idea of where your ship may be. If your ship can do all you have implied, then there are a great many people in this city who would be interested in acquiring an item like that. I will make some inquiries."

"Alright." Solo turned for the door, followed by his hairy friend, but stopped at the threshold, turning back to us. "I don't have any credits on me, but the people I'm working for –"

"We can discuss payment later," Holmes interrupted kindly.

Solo hesitated for a moment, then nodded, continuing out the door.

As soon as the door had shut behind them, Holmes was pacing up and down the room, rubbing his hands together with glee. "You were quite right, Watson, this is a case well worth pursuing! The solution is clear, but there are some aspects that are quite remarkable."

"Like the fact that our clients are not from our planet?" I remarked dryly.

He waved that aside. "I will be going out, Watson, to make some inquiries into this curious business of a ship from space. I would think brother Mycroft might have some idea where such a ship could be." Grabbing his coat, he continued, "Don't expect me back for some time!" and departed.

It could not have been more than half an hour after Holmes left that I heard footsteps on the stairs. One pair was obviously from heavy boots, while the other was curiously soft, but with a stride that spoke of a figure of considerable height.

My deductions, slight as they were, left me somewhat prepared when Solo and his companion, the Wookie, opened the door of our sitting room.

"Did you leave something?" I inquired.

Solo looked hesitant. The Wookie made a short sound, and slapped his shoulder. Solo shot him a black look. "Alright, alright." He turned to me. "If we go out on the street, someone's going to notice Chewie. I've got enough people after me, we don't need to have some Stormtroopers, or whatever you have here, trying to arrest us when we don't even know where the Falcon is."

"Of course!" I exclaimed. "I should have thought of that sooner. Please, sit. Holmes will not be back for many hours yet, but you are welcome to stay until then." I gestured them toward the fireplace, and the scarce used lounge that sat opposite. Holmes and I each had our own chairs, and were quite fond of them, therefore the lounge was used only for guests, or on a rare few occasions when I had an exhausting day and could not make it all the way up the stairs to my bed.

Solo sat, sprawling across the lounge with forced casualness. The Wookie continued to stand.

Noticing their unease, I endeavoured to ask them questions about the world they came from, and the cities and planets they had seen. Solo had many tales to tell, largely of smuggling between planets I could not even hope to imagine, but I listened, rapt, asking question after question. The Wookie, Chewbacca, added the occasional growl, none of which I could understand, but which often inspired Han to recount a new tale of adventure. They had clearly faced much together, and their friendship was heartwarming.

Their tales eventually turned to a rebellion, and a ship that could destroy entire planets. My imagination faltered at the very concept. "What twisted mind could possibly create such a weapon? How could such slaughter of innocents possibly be justified?"

"Vader could justify it," Han growled.

"Vader?"

"Darth Vader. He's the Emperor's right hand, and a real piece of work."

"And he would use such a weapon?"

"He already has. He destroyed Alderaan, just to try and destroy a Rebel base. There's only rubble there now."

I sat back, shocked. "Were there any survivors?"

"There were a few. Her highness, some who were offworld. Only a few hundred, so far."

I could say nothing. Such unimaginable devastation was completely beyond my understanding. A planet, reduced to rubble, and a population of billions reduced to a scarce few hundred. It felt unreal, like one of the popular novels Holmes so loved to deride.

"Luke destroyed it, though," Han continued. "It's gone. They can't use it anymore."

"Luke? A Rebel commander?"

Han snorted. "The kid? No way." He told me of how he and Chewbacca had met Luke and Ben, the latter one of the Jedi he had mentioned, and their mission to rescue a princess, as well as how that mission failed when the princess proved quite capable of rescuing herself. Finally, he told me of Luke's mission to destroy the 'Death Star', the incredible luck of his final shot, and the medals they received, granted by the princess they had rescued. Throughout, his fondness for the boy was evident, nearly as much as his infatuation with the princess.

"This princess sounds quite remarkable," I commented. In my own army days, there were no women in the field, though I have known some women who could fill such a position well, my dear Mary numbered among them.

"Yeah, she's pretty alright," Han agreed. "Stubborn as a falumpaset, though."

Chewbacca laughed, a sound I now recognised.

The noise brought my attention to the clock, where I realised with a start the hour had grown quite late. "Gentlemen, it is time to retire. Come, I'll show you where you may sleep tonight."

Rising, I led them up the stairs to my own bedroom, showing them inside, then taking my leave and heading back downstairs to the sitting room. I would not sleep until Holmes returned, and even then I could stand a night without my own bed. It would not be the first, nor likely the last.

It was not many more hours before I heard footsteps on the stairs, followed by Holmes flinging open the door. "Ah, Watson," he beamed. "I knew my faithful doctor would stay up, though really, there was no need. You certainly did not need to give up your bed to our guests."

I shook my head in wonderment. "How did you know?"

"I should think myself a very poor detective indeed if I could not see the trail of sand leading up the stairs to your room, the same sand that adorned our visitor's feet. It's that soft heart of yours, Watson," Holmes said. "You would take in all the world if you could." Despite his chiding words, there was a fond twinkle in his eye.

I accepted the rebuke with a smile, changing the conversation. "Have your inquiries been successful?"

"As I suspected, Mycroft has a location for this spaceship, and we may head there in the morning. The British Government believes it to be in their best interest to let these travellers be on their way, lest they bring more of their kind to here. At least, that is what Mycroft has implied to me." Holmes hung his coat, then came to sit in his chair by the fire. "Apparently, this is not the first experience Mycroft has had with such travellers from the stars. I suppose you would not be averse to hearing some of these tales?"

"Holmes, you know very well I would be interested." In that manner we passed the rest of the night.

In the early hours of the morning, just as the sun was starting to peek above the rooftops, casting them in golden light, our guests awoke and came downstairs. Immediately spotting Holmes, Han asked, "Did you find the Falcon?"

"I do believe I have," Holmes nodded. "Come, let us go now, while the streets are still quiet. Your friend should be less noticeable at this hour."

Stopping not even to eat, we made our way down onto the street and into a hansom. Curiously, the windows were all covered over, rendering it impossible to see in or out.

Holmes noticed my observations. "This is a government carriage, borrowed from Mycroft. All windows are covered in such carriages, and today, it can only be to our benefit." He nodded his head towards Chewbacca, and I could not help but agree.

Without being able to see out, it had been impossible to know where we were going, but it seemed we were headed west, out into the country hills. Some hours later, we arrived, and I could see we had come out to a deserted part of the Childers.

"It is not far from here," Holmes said.

We started walking, heading up one of the densely wooded hills. At the top, I stopped, overcome with wonder. "Is that your ship?" I gasped.

Han grinned proudly. "That's her." He started to run, heading down the hill and towards the ship at great speed, Chewbacca at his side. Holmes and I ran after them, eager to see this ship that could traverse planets more closely.

When we reached the ship, I immediately started up the entrance ramp, but Holmes put his hand on my shoulder, stopping me. I turned to him. "What is it, Holmes?"

"I promised my brother we would not enter the ship," he said sorrowfully. "We must simply let them leave, and return to London. It seems the government has very strict rules on this, and they make no exceptions."

Han popped his head out the entrance. "Aren't you coming?"

"We cannot!" I told him. "We must stay outside. This is farewell, I'm afraid."

Han and Chewbacca came back down the ramp to stand awkwardly in front of us. "Well, this is it, then." He turned to Holmes. "I don't have those credits, but–"

"For this case, the mystery itself has been enough," Holmes assured. "Besides, I do not believe any currency you could provide would be accepted here."

Han gave a quick smile, then suddenly turned and headed back up the ramp, apparently no longer able to stand the farewells. "Come on if you're coming, Chewie!" he shouted over his shoulder.

Chewbacca howled mournfully.

"C'mon Chewie, you big softy," Han scoffed, turning around to pull him up the ramp and into the ship. However, it seemed that even Han was affected by the moment, for he hesitated at the entrance, turning back to us. "It's been good meeting you," he said gruffly. "Bye, Holmes. Bye, Doc. Maybe we'll see you again some day."

"Goodbye, Han!" I called for the both of us. "Maybe you and your princess can be happy, now that the war is over."

He smirked at me. "War's still not over, doc. And she's not my princess!"

"Then may you win your war. Goodbye! Goodbye to Chewbacca as well!"

Han turned, and and disappeared through the entrance. A few minutes later, the ship took off, rising out of our atmosphere and into the sky, where it departed in a blinding flash of light. Once it was out of sight, Holmes and I crossed the hill and returned to our carriage, heading back into London and our usual lives.

You may not believe my tale, dear readers, but I assure you, every word of it is true. Holmes and I did indeed meet with these warriors from the stars, and saw their spaceship return there. In my heart I am sure that they won their war, and it is that hope that keeps me going in this, the war to end all wars. One day, our own war will end, just as theirs surely has, and old friends will return home once again to celebrate together.

Even in the midst of war, light can be found.