Star Wars: Remix version
Chapter Forty-Nine: It's over
An Imperial shuttle floated down from the Death Star and landed gracefully on the huge platform. An Imperial walker approaches the platform from the darkness of the forest. The whole outpost - platform, walkers, military - looked particularly offensive in the midst of this verdant beauty.
Darth Sky walked down the ramp of the shuttle onto the platform, into an elevator, and appeared on a ramp on a lower level. He walked toward another ramp exit and was met by two troopers and a commander with Luke, in binders, at their center. The young Jedi gazed at Sky with complete calm.
"This is a Rebel that surrendered to us. Although he denies it, I believe there may be more of them, and I request permission to conduct a further search of the area" The commander spoke. He extended his hand, revealing Luke's lightsaber. "He was armed only with this"
Sky looked at Luke, turned away and faced the commander, taking the lightsaber from the commander's hand.
"Good work, Commander. Leave us. Conduct your search and bring his companions to me" Sky ordered.
"Yes, my Lord" The commander replied.
The officer and troops withdrew. Sky and Luke were left standing alone in the oddly tranquil beauty of the place. The sounds of the forest filtered in upon them.
"The Emperor has been expecting you" Sky told the young boy.
"I know" Luke said taking a deep breath.
"Have you accepted the Dark Side?" Sky asked.
"The only thing I've accepted is the truth that you were once Ray Skyler, Jedi Knight and apprentice to Obi-Wan" Luke informed the Dark Lord. Sky turned to face him.
"That name no longer has any meaning for me" He said firmly.
"It is the name of your true self. You've only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully. That is why you couldn't destroy me. That's why you won't bring me to your Emperor now" Luke said softly.
Sky looked down from Luke to the lightsaber in his own black- gloved hand. He seemed to ponder Luke's words.
"I see you have constructed a new lightsaber" He said, igniting the lightsaber. He held it to examine its humming, brilliant blade.
"Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen" Sky said.
They stood for a moment, then Sky extinguished the lightsaber.
"Come with me" Luke said softly.
"Obi-Wan once thought as you do" Sky said darkly. "You don't know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master"
"I will not turn...and you'll be forced to kill me" Luke said quietly.
"If that is your destiny" Sky said, shrugging.
"Search your feelings. You can't do this. I am Padme's son. You love her. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate" Luke pleaded.
"It is too late for me. The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your master now" Sky informed Luke.
Sky signals to some distant stormtroopers. He and Luke stand staring
at one another for a long moment.
"Then you are truly dead" Luke said, sighing. "I will not be turned"
"We shall see" Sky replied.
Back on Endor Han, Padme, Anna, Oola, Leia, Chewbacca, the droids, Wicket, and another Ewok scout, Paploo, hid on a ridge overlooking the massive Imperial shield generator. At the base of the generator was an Imperial landing platform. Leia studied the installation.
"The main entrance to the control bunker's on the far side of that landing platform. This isn't gonna be easy" She muttered.
"Hey, don't worry" Han reassured the women. "Chewie and me got into a lot of places more heavily guarded than this" Padme and Han exchanged glances, for Padme knew exactly what instances Han was referring to, but she said nothing. Wicket and Paploo were chattering away in Ewok language. They spoke to Threepio.
"What's he saying?" Padme asked.
"He says there's a secret entrance on the other side of the ridge" Threepio told them.
The vast fleet hung in space near a blue planet. A giant Rebel Star Cruiser was up at the front, but now the Millennium Falcon roared up to a spot ahead of it, tiny in comparison.
Lando was in the pilot seat. His alien copilot, Nien Nunb, had trouble getting used to the the Falcon's cockpit. Lando spoke into his comlink.
"Admiral, we're in position. All fighters accounted for" Lando said. Ackbar replied over the comlink, voice static.
"Proceed with the countdown. All groups assume attack coordinates" Ackbar announced. Lando turned to his weird copilot.
"Don't worry, my friends are down there. They'll have that shield down on time..." He said. "or this'll be the shortest offensive of all time" He muttered the last bit to himself. The copilot flipped some switches and grunted an alien comment.
"All craft, prepare to jump to hyperspace on my mark" Ackbar told them over the comlink.
"All right. Stand by" Lando replied. He pulled a lever, and the stars outside began to streak as everyone went into Hyperspace.
the small group reunited with the Rebel strike squad. The entire group was spread through the thick undergrowth. Below them was the bunker that lead into the generator. Four Imperial scouts, their speeder bikes parked nearby, kept watch over the bunker entrance. Chewie growled an observation, and Paploo chattered away to Han in Ewok language.
"Back door, huh? Good idea" Han muttered. Wicket and Paploo continued their Ewok conversation "It's only a few guards. This shouldn't be too much trouble"
"Well, it only takes one to sound the alarm" Oola pointed out. Han grinned. "Then we'll do it real quiet-like" He said cockily. Leia and her mother exchanged grins.
Threepio explained what was going on to Wicket and Paploo. The Ewoks chattered a moment between themselves. Then Paploo jumped up and scampered into the underbrush.
"Oh! Oh, my. Uh, Princess Anna!" Threepio said startled.
"Quiet" Anna whispered.
"I'm afraid our furry companion has gone and done something rather rash" Threepio whispered. They turned to look and Leia groaned.
"Oh, no" She muttered.
Paploo had slipped out of the undergrowth near where the Imperial scouts were lounging. He silently swung his furry ball of a body onto one of the scout's speeder bikes and began flipping switches at random. Suddenly, the bike's engine fired up with a tremendous roar.
Paploo grinned and continued flipping switches. The scouts leapt up in surprise.
"There goes our surprise attack" Han sighed.
The Imperial scouts raced toward Paploo just as his speeder zoomed into motion. Paploo hung on by his paws and shoots away into the forest.
"Look! Over there! Stop him!" One of the scouts shouted. Three of the Imperial scouts jumped on their rocket bikes and speed away in pursuit. The fourth watched them go from his post at the door.
"Not bad for a little furball. There's only one left. You stay here" Han ordered the droids. "We'll take care of this"
Han snuck up behind the remaining Imperial scout, tapped him on the shoulder and let the scout chase him behind the bunker into the arms of the waiting Rebel strike team. Han returned to the front, and tapped out a pattern on the bunker door's control panel. Everyone stood out of sight, police-style, as the door opened. Han and Leia peeked inside. No sign of life. the rebels entered the bunker silently, leaving a lookout behind.
Sky and Luke entered a room a board the Death Star. They walked across the dark space to stand before the throne, beneath the gaze of the Emperor. Sky bowed to his Master.
"Welcome, young Skywalker. I have been expecting you" The Emperor said. Luke peered at the hooded figure defiantly. The Emperor then looked down at Luke's binders. "You no longer need those" The Emperor motioned ever so slightly with his finger and Luke's binders fell away, clattering to the floor. Luke looked down at his own hands, free now to reach out and grab the Emperor's neck. He did nothing. "Guards, leave us"
The red-cloaked guards turned and disappeared behind the elevator.
"I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call me Master" The Emperor said. Luke resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He stared at the Emperor calmly.
"You're gravely mistaken. You won't convert me as you did Sky" Luke responded quietly.
The Emperor got down from his throne and walked up very close to Luke.
"Oh, no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken...about a great many things" The Emperor replied.
"His lightsaber" Sky said, handing the saber to his master. The Emperor took it.
"Ah, yes, a Jedi's weapon. By now you must know that Sky can never be turned from the dark side. So will it be with you" He said, obviously hoping to anger Luke, but Luke remained calm.
"You're wrong. Soon I'll be dead...and you with me" He said. The Emperor laughed.
"Perhaps you refer to the imminent attack of your Rebel fleet" Luke looked up sharply, surprised that Palpatine knew about the attack. "Yes...I assure you we are quite safe from your friends here"
"Your overconfidence is your weakness" Luke said, calmly. The Emperor was getting irritated that nothing he was saying seemed to spark anger in the young Jedi.
"Your faith in your friends is yours" The Emperor retorted.
"It is pointless to resist" Sky said. The Emperor turned to face Luke.
"Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design" He indicated out the window to the small moon of Endor. "Your friends up there on the Sanctuary Moon..." Luke was startled and The Emperor noticed this. "...are walking into a trap. As is your Rebel fleet! It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them"
Luke's look darted from the Emperor to Sky and, finally, to the sword in the Emperor's hand.
"Oh...I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive" The Emperor laughed.
The Rebel strike team stormed through a door and entered the main control room, taking all of the personnel prisoner.
"All right! Up! Move! Come on! Quickly! Quickly, Chewie" Han was saying. The Rebel troops herded the generator controllers away from their panels.
Leia glanced at one of the screens on the control panel.
"Han! Hurry! The fleet will be here any moment" She said.
"Charges! Come on, come on!" Han said.
Outside, Threepio watched nervously in the bushes as several more controllers and stormtroopers ran into the bunker, leaving guards at the door.
"Oh, my! They'll be captured!" Threepio said, worried. Wicket chattered in Ewok language, and then took off full steam into the forest. "Wa-wait! Wait, come back! Artoo, stay with me"
Inside the bunker, Han looked up from setting charges as an Imperial commander entered.
"Freeze! You Rebel scum" The commander said. Han and Leia spun, to find dozens of Imperial weapons trained on them and their cohorts. A poised force of Imperial troops surrounded them.
Even more pouredinto the room, roughly disarming the Rebel contingent. They were helpless.
The Death Star and its Sanctuary Moon hung distant in space as the Rebel fleet came out of hyperspace with an awesome roar. The Millennium Falcon and several Rebel fighters were at the front as the space armada bears down on its target.
Lando flipped switches, checked his screen, and spoke into the radio.
"All wings report in" He ordered. Once all reported, Wedge spoke over the comlink.
"Lock S-foils in attack positions"
From the bridge of the Rebel Headquarters Frigate, Admiral Ackbar watched the fighters massing outside his viewscreen.
"May the Force be with us" He said over the comlink.
Lando looked worriedly at his alien copilot, Nien Nunb, who pointed to the control panel and talked to Lando.
"We've got to be able to get some kind of a reading on that shield, up or down. Well, how could they be jamming us" Lando looked nervously out the window. "if they don't know if we're coming" He finished. He hit a switch on his comlink.
"Break off the attack! The shield is still up" Lando commanded.
"I get no reading. Are you sure?" Red Leader asked.
"Pull up! All craft pull up!" Lando ordered.
The Falcon turned hard to the left.
The Falcon and the fighters of Red Squad veered off desperately to avoid the unseen wall.
Alarms were screaming and lights flashing as the huge ship changed course abruptly. Other ships in the fleet shot by outside as the armada tried to halt its forward momentum.
"Take evasive action! Green Group, stick close to holding sector MV-7" Ackbar said.
"Admiral, we have enemy ships in sector 47" A controller announced.
"It's a trap!" Ackbar said over the comlink.
"Fighters coming in" Lando replied.
"There's too many of them!" One of the pilots cried over the comlink.
"Accelerate to attack speed! Draw their fire away from the cruisers" Lando replied.
"Copy, Gold Leader" Wedge said. The battle continued around the giant cruisers.
Through the round window behind the Emperor's throne could be seen the distant flashes of the space battle in progress.
"Come, boy. See for yourself" The Emperor said. Luke moved to look through a small section of the window. "From here you will witness the final destruction of the Alliance, and the end of your insignificant Rebellion"
Luke glanced at his lightsaber sitting on the armrest of the throne. The Emperor watched him and smiled, touching the lightsaber.
"You want this, don't you? The hate is swelling in you now. Take your Jedi weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment, you make yourself more my servant" The Emperor said gleefully.
"No!" Luke shouted. The Emperor smiled.
"It is unavoidable. It is your destiny. You, are now mine!" He replied.
The strike team was led out of the bunker by their captors. The surrounding area, deserted before, was now crowded with two-legged Imperial walkers and hundreds of Imperial troops. The situation looked hopeless.
"All right, move it! I said move it! Go on!" the commander ordered. From the undergrowth beyond the clearing came a wild series of beeps and whistles.
"Hello! I say, over there! Were you looking for me?" Threepio said suddenly, peeking out from behind a tree.
The storm-troopers came around the tree and found the two droids waiting quietly to be taken. As the Imperial troops moved to do that, however, a band of Ewoks dropped down from above and overpowers them.
In the confusion of the battle, Han and Leia broke away and dove for the cover of the bunker door as explosions erupted around them. Han went to the bunker door control panel.
"The code's changed. We need Artoo!" Leia shouted. Anna dodged laser blasts and ran to the bunker. She handed her small comlink to Leia.
The Falcon and other Rebel fighters were engaged in a ferocious combat with Imperial TIE fighters, the battle raging around the cruisers of the Rebel armada.
"Watch yourself, Wedge! Three from above!" Lando warned the other pilot.
"Red Three, Red Two, pull in!" Wedge commanded. "Cut to the left! I'll take the leader! They're heading for the medical frigate"
Lando steered the Falcon through a complete flip, as his crew fired at the TIEs from the belly guns. Nien Nunb chattered an observation.
"Only the fighters are attacking. I wonder what those Star Destroyers are waiting for" Lando said, worriedly.
The giant Imperial Star Destroyer waited silently some distance from the battle. The Emperor's huge Super Star Destroyer rested in the middle of the fleet.
Admiral Piett and two fleet commanders watched the battle at the huge window of the Super Star Destroyer bridge.
"We're in attack position now, sir" One of the commanders said.
"Hold here" Piett ordered.
"We're not going to attack?" The commander questioned.
"I have my orders from the Emperor himself. He has something special planned for them. We only need to keep them from escaping" Piett responded.
The Emperor, Sky, and a horrified Luke watched the aerial battle fireworks out the window and on the view screens. Another Rebel ship exploded against the protective shield.
"As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station" Luke's eyes widened in shock as the Emperor spoke into a comlink. "Fire at will, Commander"
The Millenium Falcon was suddenly buffeted by the tremendous explosion of the Rebel cruiser. Lando and his copilot were stunned by the sight of the Death Star firepower.
"That blast came from the Death Star! That thing's operational!" Lando exclaimed. "Home One, this is Gold Leader"
Ackbar stood amid the confusion on the wide bridge and spoke into the comlink.
"We saw it. All craft prepare to retreat" Ackbar replied.
"You won't get another chance at this, Admiral" Lando warned.
"We have no choice, General Calrissian. Our cruisers can't repel firepower of that magnitude" Ackbar said solemnly.
"Han will have that shield down. We've got to give him more time" Lando urged.
Artoo and Threepio made it to the door, as Han, Anna and Leia provided cover fire.
"Come on! Come on!" Han shouted.
"Oh, Artoo, hurry!" Threepio said worriedly.
The little droid moved to the terminal and plugged in his computer arm. A large explosion hit near Artoo, knocking him head over heels, finally landing on his feet. The stubby astrodroid's head was spinning and smoldering. Suddenly there was a loud sprooing and the trio turned around to see Artoo with all his compartment doors open, and all of his appendages sticking out; water and smoke spurted out of the nozzles in his body. Han rushed to the terminal, as Threepio rushed to his wounded companion.
"My goodness! Artoo, why did you have to be so brave?" Threepio asked.
"Well, I suppose I could hotwire this thing" Han said.
"I'll cover you" Leia said. Anna stood up.
"I'll help Padme and Oola" She grabbed her blaster and headed out into the thick jungle, away from the bunker, shooting every trooper in sight.
Lando steered the Falcon wildly through an obstacle course of floating giants. He's been yelling into the comlink.
"Yes! I said closer! Move as close as you can and engage those Star Destroyers at point-blank range!"
"At that close range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers" Ackbar warned.
"We'll last longer then we will against that Death Star...and we might just take a few of them with us" Lando replied.
The Rebel cruisers moved very close to the Imperial Star Destroyers and began to blast away at point-blank range. Tiny fighters raced across the giant surfaces, against a backdrop of laser fire.
The Emperor turns to Luke.
"Your fleet has lost. And your friends on the Endor moon will not survive. There is no escape, my young apprentice. The Alliance will die...as will your friends" The Emperor spoke. Luke's eyes were full of rage. Sky watched him.
"Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon! Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete" Luke stared at the Emperor.
"No!" He said. "I will never join you" He reached out his hand and the lightsaber flew into it, but he did not ignite it.
Han worked furiously at the control panel; wires sparked as he attempted to hot wire the door. He motioned to Leia, who was blasting away at some stormtroopers.
"I think I got it. I got it!" Han exclaimed. The three wires sparked as the connection was made. With a loud whoosh, a second blast door crashed down in front of the first.
Han frowned and turned back to the wires again. Leia exchanged shots with stormtroopers in the bushes, then suddenly cried out in pain, her shoulder hit by a laser blast.
"Oh, Miss Leia, are you all right?" Threepio asked.
"Let's see" Han said.
"It's not bad" Leia reassured them.
"Freeze!" They froze and turned to see a storm trooper. Leia and Han both raised thier hands in the air, but laser fire suddenly whizzed through and hit the trooper from three different sides. Padme, Oola and Anna rushed to the couple.
"Are you alright?" Padme asked.
"Leia's been hit" Han replied. "I can't get the bunker open"
"Let me try" Padme said, taking position at the wires.
As Han turned back toward Leia, he looked up to see a giant walker approach and stand before him, its deadly weapons aimed right at him.
"Stay back" He told the women. The hatch on top of the walker opened and Chewie stuck his head out and barked triumphantly. Han sighed in relief. Trust Chewie to do something crazy like that. He smiled.
"Ladies, I have an idea" He said triumphantly.
"Use your aggressive feelings, boy! I know they're there. Let the hate flow through you" Luke struggled to remain calm and not ignite his saber. He would not give in to the Emperor.
"Yoda has taught you well" Sky said suddenly. Luke turned to face the Dark Lord.
"I will not fight" He said. The Emperor nodded and Sky ignited his own saber, swinging it at Luke, who retaliated. The young Jedi leapt in an amazing reverse flip up to the safety of the catwalk overhead. Sky stood below him.
"I can see the conflict in you Sky" Luke called.
"There is no conflict" Sky snapped.
"You couldn't bring yourself to kill me before, and I don't believe you'll destroy me now" Luke said confidently.
"You underestimate the power of the dark side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny" Sky replied.
Sky threw the laser sword and it cut through the supports holding the catwalk, then returned to Sky's hand. Luke tumbled to the ground in a shower of sparks and rolled out of sight under the Emperor's platform. Sky moved to find him. The Emperor laughed.
The two armadas, like their sea-bound ancestors, blasted away at each other in individual point-blank confrontations. A Star Destroyer exploded. The Rebel victor limped away, its back half alive with a series of minor explosions. The Rebel cruiser managed to move in next to a second Star Destroyer before it exploded completely, taking the Imperial Star Destroyer with it. The Falcon and several fighters attacked one of the larger Imperial ships.
"Come on, Han, old buddy. Don't let me down" Lando whispered.
Controllers watched the main viewscreen on which a vague figure of an Imperial walker pilot could be seen. There was a great deal of static and interference.
"It's over, Commander. The Rebels have been routed. They're fleeing into the woods. We need reinforcements to continue the pursuit" A pilot's voice, Han spoke over the comlink. The controllers cheered.
"Send three squads to help. Open the back door" The Head commander said.
As the door to the bunker opened and the Imperial troops rushed out, they were surprised to find themselves surrounded by Rebels, their weapons pointed at them. Ewoks holding bows and arrows appeared on the roof of the bunker. The Imperial troops threw down their guns as Han and Chewie rush inside the bunker with explosive charges.
Han, Chewie, and several troops rushed into the control room and planted explosive charges on the control panels and rushed out.
Sky stalked the low-ceilinged area on the level below the throne, searching for Luke in the semi-darkness, his lightsaber held ready.
"You cannot hide forever, Luke" Sky said.
"I will not fight you" came Luke's voice.
"Give yourself to the dark side. It is the only way you can save your friends" Luke sucked in a breath, but said nothing. "Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for..." Sky stopped and sensed something. Luke shut his eyes tightly, in anguish.
"Sister! So...you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Padme was wise to hide her from me. But if you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will"
"Never-r-r!" Luke shouted. Luke ignited his lightsaber and screamed in anger, rushing at Sky with a frenzy. Sparks flew as Luke and Sky fought in the cramped area. Luke's hatred forced Sky to retreat out of the low area and across a bridge overlooking a vast elevator shaft.
Each stroke of Luke's sword drove Sky further toward defeat.
The Dark Lord was knocked to his knees, and as he raised his sword to block another onslaught, Luke slashed Sky's right hand off at the wrist, causing metal and electronic parts to fly from the mechanical stump. Sky's sword clattered uselessly away, over the edge of the platform and into the bottomless shaft below. Luke moved over Sky and heldthe blade of his sword to the Dark Lord's throat.
The Emperor watches with uncontrollable, pleased agitation.
"Good! Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny and take Sky's place at my side!" The Emperor said gleefully.
Luke stopped and realized how much he was becoming like Sky. He made the decision for which he had spent a lifetime in preparation. Luke stepped back and hurled his lightsaber away.
"Never! I'll never turn to the dark side. You've failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi" The Emperor's glee turned to rage.
"So be it...Jedi" He sneered.
Han and several of the fighters ran out of the bunker and raced across the clearing.
A shock wave knocked them flat as the bunker exploded, followed by a spectacular display as the huge shield-generator radar dish exploded along with the bunker.
Ackbar, sitting in his control chair, spoke into the radio.
"The shield is down! Commence attack on theDeath Star's main reactor" He told the fighters.
"We're on our way. Red Group, Gold Group, all fighters follow me" Lando ordered.
The Falcon, followed by several smaller Rebel fighters, headed toward the unfinished superstructure of the Death Star.
Luke stood still, as the Emperor reached the bottom of thestairs. The Emperor's laughter turned to anger. He raised his arms toward Luke.
"If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed" Blinding bolts of energy, evil lightning, shot from the Emperor's hands at Luke. Even in his surprise, the young Jedi tried to use the Force to deflect them. At first he was half successful, but after a moment the bolts of energy were coming with such speed and power the young Jedi shrank before them, his knees buckling. The wounded Sky struggled to his feet, and moved to stand at his master's side.
"Young fool...only now, at the end, do you understand" The Emperor declared.
Luke was almost unconscious beneath the continuing assault of the Emperor's lightning. He clutched a canister to keep from falling into the bottomless shaft as the bolts tore through him.
"Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side. You have paid the price for your lack of vision" Sky watched what was happening and remembered Padme's words.
You are a good person. Don't do this
At what cost.
You killed Ani, didn't you
He could almost hear her speaking to him, and he knew what she'd say now.
Please Ray, protect my son
"Now, young Skywalker...you will die" The Emperor said coldy. Although it would not have seemed possible, the outpouring of bolts from the Emperor's fingers actually increases in intensity, the sound screaming through the room. Luke's body writhed in pain.
Sky suddenly grabbed the Emperor from behind, fighting for control of the robed figure despite the Dark Lord's weakened body and gravely weakened arm.
The Emperor struggled in his embrace, his bolt-shooting hands now lifted high, away from Luke. Now the white lightning arced back to strike at Sky. He stumbled with his load as the sparks rained off his helmet and flowed down over his black cape. He held his evil master high over his head and walked to the edge of the abyss at the central core of the throne room. With one final burst of his once awesome strength, Darth Sky hurled the Emperor's body into the bottomless shaft.
The Emperor's body spun helplessly into the void, arcing as it fell into the abyss. Finally, when the body was far down the shaft, it exploded, and Sky staggered, and collapsed toward the bottomless hole. Luke crawled to Sky's side and pulled him away from the edge of the abyss to safety. Both the young Jedi and the giant warrior were too weak to move.
Three X-wings lead the chase through the ever-narrowing shaft, followed by the Falcon and four other fighters, plus TIE fighters who continually fired at the Rebels. Lights reflected off the pilot's faces as they raced through the dark shaft.
"Now lock onto the strongest power source. It should be the power generator" Lando said through the comlink.
"Form up. And stay alert. We could run out of space real fast" Wedge noted. The fighters and the Falcon raced through the tunnel, still pursued by the TIE fighters. One of the X-wings was hit from behind and exploded.
"Split up and head back to the surface. See if you can get a few of those TIE fighters to follow you" Lando said.
"Copy, Gold Leader"
The Rebel ships peeled off pursued by three of the TIE's, while Lando and Wedge continued through the main tunnel. It narrowed, and the Falcon scraped the side dangerously. Two other TIE fighters continued to blast away at them.
"That was too close" Lando muttered. Nien Nunb agreed. The battle between the Rebel and Imperial fleet raged on. Several cruisers fired at the giant Super Star Destroyer.
"We've got to give those fighters more time. Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer" Ackbar informed his fighters. X-wings pilots headed across the surface of the huge battleship.
Admiral Piett and a commander stood at the window, looking out to the battle. They look concerned.
"Sir, we've lost our bridge deflector shield" A controller said.
"Intensify the forward batteries. I don't want anything to get through" Piett ordered. The commander was looking out of the window where a damaged Rebel fighter was out of control and heading directly toward the bridge. "Intensify forward firepower!"
"It's too late!" The commander cried. The Rebel pilot screamed as his ship hit the Star Destroyer, causing a huge explosion. The giant battle ship lost control, crashed into the Death Star, and exploded.
For the first time, the Death Star was rocked by explosions as the Rebel fleet, no longer backed against a wall, zoomed over, unloading a heavy barrage. Imperial troops ran in all directions, confused and desperate to escape.
Luke sat with Sky who turned to face him.
"I'm sorry" He whispered. "Tell Padme, I'm sorry" He breathed his last and Luke sighed. He was glad that Ray was finally at peace, he only wished he could have saved his life as well. Luke dragged himself through the death star to his imperial shuttle.
A huge explosion rocked the docking bay. Luke stumbled toward a shuttle.
The Millennium Falcon lead a swerving bomb ran through the immense superstructure of the half-built Death Star. The Rebel Star Cruisers outside continually bombard the huge station. And each direct hit was answered by resonating, chain-reaction explosions within the station itself.
Lando's crew fired away at the pursuing TIE fighters as the dashing Baron of Bespin and his alien copilot homed in on the main reactor shaft. A lone X-wing was just in front of the Falcon.
"There it is!" Wedge pointed out.
"All right, Wedge. Go for the power regulator on the north tower" Lando replied.
"Copy, Gold Leader. I'm already on my way out" The X-wing headed for the top of the huge reactor and fired several proton torpedoes at the power regulator, causing a series of small explosions.
The Falcon headed for the main reactor, and when it was dangerously close, Lando fired the missiles, which shot out of the Falcon with a powerful roar, and hit directly at the center of the main reactor.
He maneuvered the Falcon out of the winding superstructure just ahead of the continuing chain of explosions.
Ackbar and other Mon Calamari leaned on the railing of the bridge, watching the large screen showing the Death Star in the main briefing room.
"Move the fleet away from the Death Star" Ackbar ordered.
An Imperial shuttle, with Luke alone in the cockpit, rocketed out of the main docking bay as that entire section of the Death Star was blown away.
Finally, just as it looked like the Falcon would not make it, Lando expertly piloted the craft out of the exploding superstructure and whizzed toward the Sanctuary Moon, only a moment before the Death Star supernovas into oblivion.
Lando and Nien Nunb laughed and cheered in relief.
Han and Leia, Padme and Anna, Chewie, the droids, the Rebel troops, and the Ewoks all looked to the sky as the Death Star reveals itself in a final flash of self-destruction. They all cheered.
"They did it!" Oola said smiling.
Han looked from the sky to Leia, a look of concern on his face. Leia continued to look at the sky as though listening for a silent voice.
"I'm sure Luke wasn't on that thing when it blew" He said, taking her hand. Leia turned to look at him.
"He wasn't. I can feel it" Leia said. Han smiled at her, but his smile turned to a frown as he looked up at the Sky. It was Leia's turn to comfort Han.
"The Falcon is the fastest ship I know" She said. "Lando made it, I am sure if it" Han turned to Leia.
"I love you" He said.
"I know" She replied and they kissed.
that night, In the sky above, fireworks exploded and Rebel fighters zoomed above the forest.
A huge bonfire was the centerpiece of a wild celebration. Rebels and Ewoks rejoiced in the warm glow of firelight, drums beating, singing, dancing, and laughing in the communal language of victory and liberation.
Lando ran in and was enthusiastically hugged by Han and Chewie. Then, finally, Luke arrived and the friends rushed to greet and embrace him.
They stood close, this hardy group, taking comfort in each other's touch, together to the end.