I am a Clone Trooper.
Does it matter, past that, what I say, what I do, what I tell you? You already think less of me for those first five words.
I won't lie.
I was a Clone Trooper. I am a Stormtrooper. You know that.
To put it simply, the tale I am going to tell you is a very different one to the one you might be expecting. It starts with my name.
Dull, yeah, so I called myself Bob.
Which is still dull, but less dull than A-1832/23.
The important thing is who and what I am and was.
I was a soldier of the GAR – a member of the 501st, in Torrent Company, under Captain 'Rex' – a better name than Bob, but I digress.
Torrent Company was fun, and I worked under some of the best Jedi imaginable – Kenobi, Skywalker, Tano – but then, one night, everything changed for us.
Order 66 went down.
I don't want to go into the details of the night we destroyed the Jedi Temple, but I felt like an absolute traitorous bastard, and that feeling never went away, not through all the long years of War that followed it. Those Jedi we killed. I don't remember Kenobi being there, or Tano.
If you asking if I did anything traitorous, then no.
Well, apart from ignoring Kenobi when I did see him. But that's it.
I mean, come on, I'm a Stormtrooper and I'm called Bob – did you expect a great Saga? That I leave to Skywalker, Kenobi and Tano. Heroes. I've done things I wasn't quite proud of, but then I remember that one day, soon, this pointless Civil War ends, and then finally I'll retire and be free of this damn white armour that now symbolises evil.
I kept my old Mark One armour. I'll wear that.
Oh yes, before you ask, I do indeed know about Vader. I was at the Temple. I know who and what he is and was.
And I hate him.
Traitor worse than all of us.
I still fight for the Empire.
That makes me no better.
Some nights, alone in my bunk, I wonder whether my brothers feel as I do.
If they did, Palpatine, Vader and the entire bloody Empire would be gone, and the Republic would have survived.
Kenobi would be alive.
Tano would be alive.
Skywalker would be Skywalker, the man I looked up to, not Vader the butcher.
That's what I want.
No sense even telling you this. You'll forget it in a second.
Shifts almost up now, love. The next trooper who comes'll be less talky, I can promise you.
The Stormtrooper nodded to his replacement, and walked off. The new Stormtrooper was silent as the grave. Princess Leia sighed as she sat back against the wall of her cell.
She wondered vaguely what would become of the Stormtrooper named Bob.