They were all dead now; all long gone, their tales vanished with them. Padme Naberrie Skywalker, dead of a broken heart. Bail Organa and Obi Wan Kenobi, murdered by Darth Vader. Yoda, who had lived too long and yet died too soon. The Jedi order, mercilessly struck down by the Empire. Anakin Skywalker, betrayed by his mentor, and later killed protecting his son.
Without them, the universe would never learn the tragic tale of love and loss; the forbidden romance of a Jedi knight and a Republic senator. It would never learn the depth of Anakin's devotion, a devotion which drove him to the brink of evil and led him to commit unspeakable crimes. It would never learn the pain that his betrayal had caused Padme, a pain so great that she had lost the will to live.
But more importantly, their children would never know.
Luke and Leia would never understand how Vader managed to lose all morals, every vestige of humanity. They would never learn why he was so devoted to the Empire, why he could be so ruthless. They would never understand how he could destroy an entire planet, for they did not know that his entire world had been shattered all those years ago.
They would never learn their mother's name; would never know that one of her bright smiles could light up a room. They would never understand how any woman could have fallen so madly in love with a man who had caused the galaxy nothing but pain. They couldn't possibly understand, for they would never learn of the bright eyed boy that their father had been, nor known anything of their mother's gentle and giving nature.
But he knew. He knew everything.
"I wonder what my mother looked like," Leia had said one day, and Han had shrugged his shoulders.
"Probably just like you," he had replied, and Leia's smile had shone brighter than the twin suns of Tatooine.
But she looked nothing like her mother. Padme had been beautiful, her skin translucent, her eyes almost doe-like with their warmth and trust. Her softness, her kindness, had been etched into every feature; the curve of her lips, the smoothness of her forehead had all portrayed her gentle nature. She was an ethereal creature of beauty, with a regality that one came across only once in a lifetime.
Leia's forehead already bore lines that belonged on someone twice her age; her brown eyes were cool and guarded. Lines had begun to form around her mouth as well, despite the tenderness of youth, and she was always carefully reserved. There was a haughtiness to her, a stiffness in her spine and a edge in her voice that served to both intimidate and amuse. Yet every so often, when she let her guard down enough to truly smile, a piece of her mother managed to shine through.
He supposed that if he had the ability, he could tell Leia that himself, perhaps even shown her a holo or two of the woman who had died shortly after naming her. He could explain to the offspring of Vader how their father had won a pod race at the tender age of nine, how much he had once admired and respected Obi Wan. He could tell them how Padme and Anakin were married in secret; how much the pair looked forward to their children's birth. He could tell them of Anakin's visions, of Senator Palpatine, of Anakin's fall. He could tell them that Obi Wan had been the one to put Vader into the machine, that the same Jedi had held their mother's hand as she died.
But he did not have the ability, for he was not human. He was merely a droid. He supposed that if he were human, he would not be able to live with the pain that would inevitably accompany the knowledge that he bore. But his programming did not leave room for feelings.
And so, R2-D2 merely continued to observe the Skywalker children, alone in his knowledge of their origins. And because he was a droid, he ignored the 'could have been's,' and the 'should have been's,' and merely focused on what was, as humans are incapable of doing.
The galaxy would never know the story of Anakin and Padme; the Skywalker children would never learn their parents' tale.
But one small, battered droid did.