Author's Notes: After nine years, several jobs, even more job interviews, and a way-too-long hiatus, this story is done! Thanks to all who have reviewed, followed and favorited over the years (especially to the ones who kept coming back, hoping it was updated … your patience is appreciated beyond words). So, remember last chapter when I said that there would be an even bigger time jump this time around? Yeah-try several thousand years. I kinda took the path I've seen in several movies, tv shows, and books … one that I first became aware of as a young girl watching Battlestar Galactica (the original, thank you very much, although I have to admit the series finale of the updated version influenced me). So. In this chapter, a descendent of Obi-Wan and Anakin learns about his family … while our heroes make an appearance themselves. Thanks for reading!

Epilogue

The Truths We Cling To

Alberta, Canada

Planet Earth

January 2017

"So … what you're saying is, it's all real? It really happened, it's true? It's part of our family?"

Ben Walker smiled at his son and cradled his newborn granddaughter even closer. He imagined that was what his face looked like when his father told him the story of their family, so long ago. The reaction, his father told him later with a rueful smile, was predictable at this point. As usual, his father was right. What was just as predictable was his son's next question, "Were … those their real names? Palpatine, Obi-Wan … were those their real names?"

"Close enough," Ben conceded, bowing his head to kiss his granddaughter's tiny forehead. It was hard to explain how the names changed and evolved over the millennia. When they said, 'a long time ago,' it was at that, thousands upon thousandsof years earlier. He went on, "My own name is a variation of Obi-Wan's, just as your grandfather's name was a variation of Yan Dooku. It's all true … from a certain point of view, as Obi-Wan might have said." His son's eyebrows raised and Ben explained, "In the circumstances of the movies, based on what that version of Obi-Wan went through, he would have said such a thing."

"That brings up another question … how did the movies come about? I mean, those are movies, but they are a variation on our family's history. In truth, Anakin Skywalker never fell … right?" the young man asked. Ben looked at his son, who was staring at him with wide eyes. That's right … for all intents and purposes, he'd just learned that his lifelong heroes were not only real, but part of his family. It was somewhat different for Cody (yes, named for the loyal clone) … because he had to share his heroes and ancestors with the entire world.

"No, although it was a near thing when Jasleen was poisoned by someone with ties to Kimi Pelonite … if Obi-Wan hadn't been there, he might well have fallen. As to how the movies came to be … more than likely, one of our cousins got drunk and talked about what Obi-Wan saw in that other reality. I don't know who, and really, it doesn't matter. That's a worst case scenario, the movies are. We know the truth, and that's all that matters," Ben observed. He chose not to mention that while Anakin hadn't fallen, Leia's daughter and Obi-Wan's granddaughter, did … Ben wasn't ready to talk about that part of their heritage, or the devastating consequences it had for Leia and her beloved father. Cody nodded, his eyes shifting to his daughter. Ben added (because his son was a lawyer, and it needed to be said), "And there's no point in suing. We can prove the truth, but in the end, it's not worth it. The world can keep its space tragedy. We know the truth."

Cody looked up, startled, and rolled his eyes. He retorted, "Never even crossed my mind, Dad. I may be a lawyer, but I don't counsel my clients to sue at the drop of a hat. That's a waste of time. That's why you suggested 'Jocelyn' for the baby's name, in honor of Jasleen Palpatine Skywalker?" Ben nodded with a pleased grin. Yes, that was exactly why. Cody went on, stroking his daughter's cheek as she fought off sleep with all the strength in her tiny body, "So, we're descended from both Obi-Wan and Anakin?" Again, Ben nodded.

"Correct. While in the movies, just as in the alternate reality, Luke was the son of Anakin Skywalker, he was actually his son-in-law in reality. He married Anakin and Jasleen's oldest daughter, Drisana … and the adventures those two had would make an incredible movie series as well. Luke was a Jedi Knight, like his father and his father-in-law, and Drisana was an archaeologist who worked for the Order. Leia actually did marry Han Solo … much to the consternation of her older brother Boba," the older man answered wryly.

Cody blinked, and asked warily, "Just out of curiosity, did Boba threaten to encase Han in carbonite if he ever broke Leia's heart?" Ben smirked and raised an eyebrow … whyever would his son ask that particular question. Cody mumbled more under his breath than anything, "Got a shovel talk from Ash's father along those lines, only he said he would have me frozen if I ever hurt his baby girl." Ben would have laughed, but it really wasn't funny and wouldn't have been funny even if Cody wasn't his son, and he resolved to talk to Ash's father at his first opportunity.

"Yeah, that particular shovel talk was given … although not where Jasleen could hear it. As you can imagine, she was a bit sensitive about the question of being frozen in carbonite. Actually, Boba never made that threat where Leia could hear it, either. She became a diplomat, yes, and was greatly influenced by Bail Organa … but she was also Asajj Ventress' daughter, and she could be quite creative when it came to retribution. That's where your mother gets it," Ben added ruefully. His wife was extremely imaginative when it came back to such things.

Cody just smirked, murmuring, "Yeah, I can imagine … on both counts. So … and this will be my last question before I go heat up Jocelyn's bottle … how do we know all this? I mean, I can't imagine that the records have lasted all this time." Ben considered what to tell his eldest child. It was a Walker family tradition to tell each child about their heritage once he or she became a parent themselves, so they could pass on the stories to the next generation. But … and this was very important … Cody wasn't ready to hear the whole story. For now, it was enough that he knew the truth about Obi-Wan, Anakin and the rest of their ancestors.

The truth about the Force could wait until another time. At last, he said, "The original records, no … but each generation, a scribe is born into the family who copies down the previous generation's records. Remember, too, that when our ancestors arrived here on Earth, they had access to technology that we didn't. They also began engraving records in stone. It wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, except someone who arrived from that area." Cody nodded thoughtfully, before smiling at his daughter.

"You are descended from some of the greatest heroes imaginable, little one," he murmured, kissing her forehead as his father held his daughter, "I can't wait until I can pass these stories onto you!" He looked up at Ben, adding, "Thank you so much for telling me, Dad. I swear, I will start writing down the stories so that Jocelyn and her siblings can carry on our heritage. I have a feeling there's still more I haven't been told. Jocelyn … be good for Grandpa." With those words, Ben's eldest child swept into the kitchen where he would begin heating the milk for his baby daughter's next meal.

Truth from a certain point of view, indeed, a familiar voice observed, with more than a hint of laughter. Ben turned to face the newcomer, a blue-lined figure who stood across from him, hands on his hips. The Force-ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi beamed at him before turning his attention to Jocelyn, murmuring, So this is the newest generation. Does Cody yet know what his daughter's middle name means? Jocelyn blinked up at her long-dead ancestor, reaching up for a man who couldn't reach back.

"Not yet. I wasn't sure if he was ready for that. He's not even ready to know about you," Ben told the spirit. When he'd watched the prequel movies, he was stunned by how close they'd come to his ancestors' physical appearances (although, his wife sniffed that Obi-Wan was even better-looking in reality. Ben chose not to argue). Obi-Wan nodded and smiled down at Jocelyn once more. Ben asked hesitantly, "Why did you manifest yourself to me when you did? The only one of my children who has seen you thus far is Deenie."

There are times, namesake of mine, when I grow weary of the company in the Force and seek out my flesh and blood descendents. Not only did you bear my name, but you reminded me a great deal of not just Luke, but Boba as well. Luke has maintained his consciousness in the Force … Boba has not. I have missed him deeply, but being around you, I missed him a little less, was the somewhat unexpected answer. Ben thought about Cody dying, and never seeing him again in the afterlife, and a lump formed in his throat. Yes, he could see where Obi-Wan was coming from, in that respect. Obi-Wan added, The same is true of your Dakini. By the way, does she know that her name means, 'she who walks the sky,' Ben?

"Not yet," was Ben's prompt response, "and I probably won't tell her until she turns eighteen. It's weird enough that my sixteen year old daughter has a crush on her ancestor … when I tell her that she's named after the Skywalker line, I'll never heard the end of it." He was amused by the blush that stained the Jedi Master's cheeks … he shouldn't have been able to see the blush, but he was of the Kenobi-Skywalker line. They specialized in that sort of thing.

Hmm. Yes. I had noticed the way Dakini began looking at me around the time she turned fifteen, Obi-Wan answered. Well, that was promising! From what Anakin told him, Obi-Wan didn't always notice such things … or realize what they meant. His ancestor and namesake went on after a moment, And I must apologize for interrupting your time with your granddaughter. I believe you were starting something? It would be quite rude … uncivilized, even … not to finish. Ben rolled his eyes at his ancestor, but smiled anyhow.

He turned his attention back to his granddaughter, murmuring, "It's time for me to welcome you to the world and to our family, as we've always done, ever since Obi-Wan and Anakin's descendents first landed on this planet, so many thousands of years ago." He looked at Obi-Wan, rolling his eyes when Anakin Skywalker appeared beside his former Master and eternal cousin, wearing a goofy grin he'd learned long ago to recognize. Silly boy. He turned his attention back to Jocelyn, murmuring, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …"

The End … and, the Beginning