FROM THE AUTHOR: The following fanfiction story is my idea of what happened between the moments of Darth Vader's (a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker's) death aboard the Death Star and the vision of him with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda on Endor. I wrote it because I could not sleep so don't blame me if you flame me . . . LOL! -DarthRoden (a.k.a. Carl)

Disclaimer: I do not own nor did I create Star Wars . . . it is the property of Lucusfilm and Master George Lucus (bows).

Destiny Fulfilled

By DarthRoden

Vader pulled Luke very close, spoke into his ear. "Luke, you were right . . . and you were right about me . . . Tell your sister . . . you were right." With that, he closed his eyes, finally surrendering to the inevitable, and Darth Vader-Anakin Skywalker-died . . .

The man felt very different all of a sudden.

Slowly, the man opened his eyes and found himself looking into a bright light of a star orbiting whatever world it was he was on. A shadow crossed over his face and spoke.

"Welcome Anakin."

It was a familiar voice that he recognized it all at once. He blinked and was able to see the smiling face of an old man with white whiskers and kind blue eyes.

"B-ben?" Anakin asked in clear disbelief. "Obi-wan?"

Obi-wan Kenobi smiled more and said, "It's been a long time, my old Padawan . . . a long time."

Anakin sat up, and rubbed his eyes . . . then paused to look at his hand.

He'd used his right hand, which had been, for almost 30 years artificial after his first encounter with Count Dooku. However, his hand was in fact his own hand! He looked down at it and flexed it.

"B-but how . . . ?" He asked, still in a state of disbelief.

Then he paused and realized that not only was he able to see his restored hand, he could see them clearly with his own eyes. His clothes were no longer black but the white and brown of the Jedi Knight that he once was. He looked up at the sunlight and could actually feel it against his skin, which was no longer pale white but restored to its former color and no longer mattered with scars from his battle with Obi-wan or burns from . . . he shook his head no longer concerned with those memories.
Anakin looked back up at Obi-wan and asked, "How is this possible? The last thing I remember was talking to Luke . . . "

Obi-wan nodded and smiled more. "Luke was right about you, Anakin. Palatine had not completely destroyed the man you once was . . . and are once again. When you choose to save your own son, you helped restore the man you were and the Dark Side of the Force no longer held control over you."

Anakin blinked and stood up. He was in a field surrounded by plains of green grass. He recognized it at once. The Planet Naboo.

He shook his head. That could not be, a moment ago he was aboard the Death Star . . . then it hit him at once.

Anakin looked back over at his former master and said, "I'm dead, aren't I?"

Obi-wan shook his head. "Nothing ever truly dies, Anakin. The Force is a part of life all over the universe. Death is merely the doorway to the next part of one's existence."

"Humph, a lot to learn, this one still has," another voice spoke up.

Anakin turned and saw a small elvish figure looking at him with an old, wizened face.

"Master Yoda?" Anakin asked, though felt foolish since he already knew the answer.

The little Jedi held onto his walking stick and nodded. "We meet again, young Skywalker."

"We were afraid that you were lost to us forever, Anakin."

Anakin turned to see the smiling face of Mace Windu looking at him.

"Master Windu," Anakin said, at a loss for words. The last time they'd seen one another... "Master, I am sorry about . . . "

Mace Windu shook his head and said, "That no longer matters anymore. All that matters is that you have been restored to us and that you fulfilled the prophecy."

Anakin blinked again. "The prophecy?"

"Indeed," came yet another familiar voice as Qui-Gon Jinn appeared, looking at Anakin with his kind, reassuring eyes. "You were the one destined to bring balance to The Force, and you did as I knew you would."

Anakin shook his head in clear disbelief now, and his shame and quilt poured out.
"How did I possibly do that! I allowed the Dark Side to seduce me and lead me astray . . . I killed so many people, destroyed so many lives, all for my own greed and desire for revenge! I destroyed the Jedi Order, killed Obi-wan and Master Windu! I almost destroyed my own children . . . "

"But you didn't Ani," came another voice. This one was very familiar to him. He turned to look into the face of his mother.

"Mother?" He asked in a whisper.

Shmi Skywalker smiled at her son and said, "Yes Ani, it's me."

He hugged her tightly and cried on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to save you . . . " He cried.

"Shhh . . . " Shmi said, comforting him as she said, "It was my destiny to die there, as it was your destiny to find me. I was proud of you, and I still am, my son."

He pulled back from her. "Proud of me? After all of the evil I have done!"

"Anakin!" Obi-wan said, speaking up again. "All that has happened has been the will of The Force. You made the choices in your life, some good and some not, but you were guided to the point in your destiny where you were needed."

Anakin looked at the old man and said, "What did I do that was so important?"

"You saved the life of our son."

Anakin's teary eyes widened. He knew that voice, a voice he had not heard since the darkness had taken him, except in his dreams . . .

He turned to look into the smiling face of his beloved wife Padme.

"Padme? A-are you real?" He put his hand out to touch her face and paused, almost afraid to. Then he felt her warm hands take hold of his own and she smiled brightly.

Anakin smiled a little and more tears threatened, and he said the same words he spoke to her when he first saw her. "Are you an angel?"

Padme Amidala Skywalker smiled and said, "Something like that, my Anakin."

He looked at her. How could she possibly forgive him? After what he'd done . . .

As if she sensed what he was thinking Padme shook her head and smiled, "Anakin, you protected our son, and you were able to defeat the darkness that took over your heart. Your soul was still good that was something that you never lost. You saved a part of you . . . of both of us . . . "

Anakin snatched his hand from hers and turned away from her, too ashamed to face her then. "I let myself follow the Dark path, I lost you and I took out my anger on the galaxy. I killed so many people . . . "

"Conquered the Dark Side, you did," Yoda said to him. "You restored the balance of the Force. Without you, win the Emperor would as would have the Dark Side."

"The Dark Side was growing powerful," Windu told him. "If you had not become a Jedi then Palpatine would have found another way to conquer the galaxy, and your son would never have been born to stop him, had it not been for yours and Padme's love. That too was the will of The Force."

"Don't you see Ani," Shmi said? "You were important. Even though you swayed from the good path, your son was there to show you that good still existed within you."

"And so doing," Qui-Gon continued, "You defeated the darkness within you, a feat nobody before you had been able to accomplish, nor would the Emperor had expected."

"That was what you were destined to do, Anikan." Obi-wan finished.

Anakin tried to take all of this in, it was quite a lot. He thought about all of the horrors he'd committed both as a ruler of the Galactic Empire and with his own hand . . . all out of selfishness and out of anger for that which had been his own fault.

He looked down at the ground and muttered, "How can all of you forgive me?"

Anakin felt the soft hands of his wife against his shoulders and felt her head rest against his shoulder blades. "Anikan, you did the right thing in the end, and that is what mattered. Don't you see? What happened before no longer matters. All that matters now is that your task is done and you are with us forever in the ethereal oneness of The Force." Then Padme whispered to Anikan, "You never lost me Anakin, or my love."

Anakin Skywalker closed his eyes, and a new tear fell down his cheek as he thanked his son Luke for showing him what he should have always known. He took his wife's hand and turned to look at her, to look at them all, smiling as he'd never done in a very long time . . .

Anikan stood with Obi-wan and Yoda looking on at Luke and Leia on the forest moon of Endor with smiles on their faces. Anikan smiled at Luke and thought to himself, 'May the Force be with you, Luke and Leia, my children . . . and thank you forever.'

The End

May the Force Be With You All! -D.R.