Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to George Lucas, not me, much as I might wish to be that rich.

Puppets On A String

Space. Black and pitiless, it calls to me. It whispers secrets gleaned from the deepest shadows of the Dark Side. Yet these whispers are not for all to hear- far from it. Only the strong, the brave, the determined, may perceive these whispers, may gain the deepest truths to be discovered within the Dark Side of the Force.

As I sit here, I gaze out at Endor, and at the Imperial fleet. My Imperial fleet. A sight to make men tremble, a power unmatched by any in the galaxy, save that of the Dark Side itself. The two strongest powers in existence serve me. I reign supreme- alone, and unchallenged. The Rebellion? Their days are numbered. Even now, the processes are set in motion that will crush their pitiful insurrection.

I find myself lost in thought. My former master, Darth Plagueis, spoke to me often of the need to focus. It seems, though, I was more focused than he ever anticipated. Such memories amuse me. They are my perpetual playthings- rather like the galaxy itself.

Those around me have been compared to pieces in a dejarik game. Not true. Dejarik requires an opponent on equal terms- all my opponents have fallen. Rather, these inferiors who surround me are my puppets- I may manipulate them, pull their strings, even destroy them, upon the slightest whim.

I remember my puppets, past and present. I remember the intricate shows that were created. For even as I am puppeteer, I am also the audience. After all, no other will truly comprehend the complexities, the subtleties, of the performances I have engineered.

Darth Maul, Count Dooku, the Separatists. Such useful puppets. Maul's savage enthusiasm was an excellent weapon, as was he. Darth Tyranus was more subtle, with political connections, and a past that served well to blind others to his motives for quite some time. The Separatists became the villains of the puppet show. They never truly had the skill to be genuine villains, though those who faced them were easily taken in by the ruse.

Even those who thought themselves my enemies were my puppets. They thought to oppose me, but in truth merely danced to my tune.
The Jedi could not withstand the power of the Sith. They are gone, broken, their influence but a memory. The last of their number, young Skywalker, will soon serve me openly and fully. He may resist, but he will come to the Dark Side in the end. I shall enjoy bending him to my will.

The unwilling make finer puppets, their struggles a novelty that makes all the more profound their eventual submission. Those puppets who fall are a novelty, too. Sometimes, even as the blade scythes their strings, these puppets realise the truth. They look up, see the strings that bind them, know at the last that all their actions have led to this. All their struggles have been hollow acts upon a vast and intricate stage, and the script has been mine to write.

Briefly, unquiet thoughts disturb me. At times, I wonder what would happen if my puppets found a way to free themselves and challenge me. Also, those I manipulate are unaware of my influence. Who holds my strings, manipulates me? What if there is a greater puppeteer?

No. Such thoughts are foolish. I am ruler over all. None dare challenge me. I hold all power, I am the only puppeteer. Everything that has happened, I have foreseen, have brought about.

Skywalker draws near. Vader is with him- one puppet leading another. Darth Vader has been a most useful puppet, but his usefulness may be ending. His son may surpass him, may even surpass what he once was, what he might have been.

I feel the ripples in the Force. A pivotal scene in my vast puppet show draws near.
It is time. They are here.

"Welcome, young Skywalker. I have been expecting you..."

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