AN: I was floored by the response to the last chapter of the book. As promised, here is the Epilogue. I will try to answer your questions, so that you won't lynch me.
1. Is this really the end? Well, sort of. It is the end of Yoda's Shadow. If you check my profile, which I update rather regularly, there is a list of what i'm doing/planning on this storyline. Some of it's posted already. The story "Interum" is dribs and drabbles which form no real basis for a story; rather, they highlight salient points for me, like what changed at such and such a point; a narrative on the activities of a character or a set of characters; and little peaks into the lives of Anakin, Padmé, Luke and Leia.
2. Did things change for the future? Well, duh. But I'll get into that in the next book, "Shadows of the Sith."
3. Why weren't the Jedi more prepared for Sidious? Well, because, even with Anakin telling them how dangerous Sidious was, they underestimated him. Anakin underestimated him, and he'd been Sidious' Apprentice for twenty-three years.
4. Why did you kill off Sabé? Because I couldn't kill Padmé. Seriously. Palpatine's goal at that point was to reak as much havoc as he possibly could. Killing his own soverign would have accomplished that nicely, but Anakin outwitted him, barely. If he'd known just a little bit more about any of the people in the repulsor pod with him, he'd have been able to figure out which one was Padmé.
5. Why did you kill off Anakin? I can't tell. You'll have to wait for the next book.
6. Should I go read Interum? That's up to you. There are spoiler points though, stuff that I won't get to until well into the new story. At some point you should, though; they are interesting little tidbits.
Mace breathed a sigh of relief. It was finished. He pulled out his comm, flipping it on, directing the thing to contact Yoda. "Master Yoda, it's over. He's dead."
"More there is than that, I sense, that you aren't telling me."
Mace grimaced. "We have people hurt, lots of people. Send in every Jedi that we can to start cleaning up the mess."
"Talk about this later, we will." Yoda told him in a tone that brooked no argument.
Mace tried to be a good patient. He just never was very good about sitting still when something needed done. Yoda came to talk to him, and that was better. The Healers worked quietly on his leg, and he talked to Yoda.
"See that our time travelers have left, I do," Yoda said.
"Yes, Master. They disappeared just as the elder Anakin killed the Senator. These events will cause much chaos. The Chancellor and most of the Senate are dead. It will be sometime before the legislature will be able to govern." Mace said, wincing a little as the healers worked.
"True, this is. Survive the Republic will. Necessary it will not be for the Jedi to take control. However look to us the Galaxy will for leadership until restored the government is," Yoda said.
"Nute Gunray will be here in two days, I think he should be held by the Jedi since everyone else is going to be busy with this mess," Mace said.
"Agreed. Many changes are coming. Change the Jedi must, if to survive we wish," Yoda said.
"How many Jedi did we lose when the Force Bombs went off?" Mace asked, not really wanting to know, but needing to know.
"Four are lost, though many are injured. Worse it could have easily been," Yoda said.
"What of the Tattooed Sith that Luke, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon fought?" Mace asked.
"No sign of him since assassination attempt, has there been," Yoda said.
"He will seek out an apprentice then; this isn't over yet," Mace said.
"Over it is not, agree I do. Time we have though. Prepare we must," Yoda said, hitting his gimer stick on the floor as emphasis.
"Prepare we will, Master," Mace said as the healers lifted him into a gurney and moved him out of the ruined Senate building.
Padmé walked out of the Senate building with the body of Sabé. The tears that had been stalled by the excitement of the fight flowed freely now. As she left the Senate building, she was grateful that the Jedi were keeping the press at a respectful distance. She heard a particularly loud reporter.
"We are here live at the Senate building. The Massacre is apparently over with the Jedi killing the Senator that went insane in the Senate building. It is rumored that he was throwing thermal detonators around. How he got such weapons past security is still unknown," the reporter said. Padmé's blood boiled to hear the mischaracterization at what happened. She would've had words with the reporter if she wasn't so emotionally exhausted. Her children's disappearance troubled her. She hoped that they were safe and not just wiped out of existence. The death of the Chancellor represented a major change in the history they knew. However, she knew who their father was, and hoped that they would be born. She also hoped that this time she would have a chance to raise them.
Obi-Wan watched as they brought him into the room that they had Qui-Gon in. He wasn't feeling very well, but he could handle it. Anakin was curled up on Qui-Gon's bed, asleep, as was his Master. They must have been exhausted, not to have woken up when he'd gotten hurt. He breathed a sigh of relief, and he tried to shield a little better, he didn't want to leak into Anakin's thoughts. He'd watched the man that this boy had become die. He'd died a meaningful death, but he was still dead. He'd joined the Force, something only whispered of in legends, and then Luke and Leia had joined him, their mission apparently complete. Maybe they'd simply returned to the future, he considered, almost hoping that one day he might understand.
Padmé was sad, so very sad, that she thought it would be a very long time before she would be happy again. They were taking Sabé's body back to Naboo. She'd died in service to the Queen, and she deserved a state funeral. She lingered, though, saying her good-byes. She had dressed as a handmaiden, not feeling at all up to being the Queen. Eirtaé had taken the mantle on for this little bit. Rabé would do it when they returned, and Panaka had plans for further training for the young girls when they were home.
It had taken a couple of days to get everything straightened out. She knelt on the landing pad talking to Ani, who'd just that morning gotten a Padawan haircut. "Are you coming back?"
"Yes, but maybe not until after I am not needed by the Queen any more. She is just beginning her term, and if things go well for her, she will be elected to another one."
"How long is a term?"
"Four years, so eight years total."
"I'll be seventeen before I see you again."
"And deep in your training. It may be longer than that."
"I understand. I'll miss you, Padmé."
"I will miss you, too, Anakin Skywalker." Anakin went back into the temple, dejected because she was leaving.
"Take care of him, Obi-Wan." She said, giving the newly christened Knight a hug.
"We will take care of each other," he told her. They'd been through hell together. Nothing more needed said.
"And you, Master Qui-Gon. I will see you upon my return." He took her small hand in both of his.
"I will look forward to it. Anakin is a very special boy, have no fear that he will still be here when you come looking for him."
"I should go check on him," Obi-Wan said and turned to the door, running after his unhappy Padawan.
"You can resign if you do not care for the amount of danger in your life. Though, if you choose to pursue the relationship that Luke and Leia seemed to be a product of, I doubt you will have less danger in your life." The door remained open this time, and they watched Anakin and Obi-Wan from a distance.
"Thank you, Master Qui-Gon, but I don't think I could consider either option."
"Master Yoda announced yesterday that marriage according to the customs of the homeworld that each Jedi comes from will be permitted." He paused, considering the next part of the announcement. "And that should a child be found to be a potential Jedi, that they can bring their family with them."
"That will certainly improve the recruitment, won't it?" she asked.
"That is the hope. There will be much outcry from those in the Order who take a dark view to attachment."
"Obi-Wan is like a son to me, Anakin as well. They are like brothers already. I will not take a Padawan, I don't think, for the foreseeable future. I have had much change in my life recently, and come face to face with my own mortality. I don't think that I need the excitement of a Padawan right now. I believe that helping Obi-Wan with Anakin will be eventful enough."
"I hope for an uneventful reign as Queen." She said fervently.
Qui-Gon smiled. "The greatest curse in the world, 'May your life be interesting.' I wonder if that is whispered over every Jedi as an infant."
"I couldn't say, Master Qui-Gon."
"Padmé, we need to get going." Ric Ollie called her from the door of the ship.
Padmé sighed, "I suppose that it is now time for me to go home." She said to Qui-Gon.
"Yes," He said, "Have a safe and uneventful reign as Queen of Naboo. You will not have Anakin around; it will not be too hard, I don't think."
She laughed, and climbed the ramp. Ani would be fine, here with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to take care of him. She had a planet to care for.