[It's you're sad reality]
[It's your messed up family tree]
One week. Seven days.
It's been one week since the fall of the empire, the death of Palpatine, the death of a Skywalker. A pilot so unrivaled in the skies. It should be a happy week in the wake of newly found freedom, but to the Alliance leaders it has been a hectic one as they scramble to collect what they can of the dead, to organize a new council that will temporarily lead the New Republic, to send word to the farthest reaches of the galaxies and to locate political prisoners lucky enough to have only been exiled.
It also meant that Luke's status as the last remaining trained Jedi was more important than ever as Mon Mothma called upon his skills. It left Luke exhausted after returning to a partially restored Coruscant every night.
But even then, the hours where Luke wasn't being called into an Alliance meeting, being briefed or debriefed, sleeping or eating, he was training much to the dismay of his sister. She never admitted it though, but often gave subtle, scornful looks as she passed the decimated gardens that had once been climate controlled near the destroyed Jedi Temple.
"The Force is strong here," he insists when Leia tells him to get more rest. Then he ties his blindfold again, releases the plasma blade out of the handle of his lightsaber and starts to deflect lasers shooting out of ten practice spheres.
"Just let him at it," Han says when he catches Leia staring out of their bedroom window at a tired Luke down below.
"He's my brother, Han," replies Leia stubbornly.
"He's also a bit hotheaded at the moment. He's just a kid. And besides…" The pilot trails off, leaving the implication unsaid.
Leia understands though, and she remembers the night of the first full day after the fall of the Empire. It's the four of them: Luke, Han, Lando and herself. They're onboard the Millennium Falcon watching Han pout at the small scratches and malfunctions of his ship while Lando stubbornly insists that everything is fine.
"Fine?" Han had exclaimed. "You escaped an exploding ship; you knocked her up against the piping. You call that fine?"
Somehow Luke had chosen that very moment to say what had been plaguing his mind since the night before.
"Vader's my father."
Of course, no one really knew what to say after that. Han had accidently clunked his tools against the wiring. Lando got a bit shamed face and Leia narrowed her eyes.
"Was," Luke then added for clarification that his father was indeed gone. He gave an apologetic shrug at his sister.
"Alright…" Han had trailed off, suddenly finding his ship even more interesting than it had been before.
A small silence passed in between, Luke expecting more of a reaction.
"That's it?" asked the Jedi Knight.
"What do you expect us to say kid?" Han questioned. "Do you want us to through you off the ship?"
"Does the Council know?" Lando inquired.
"I haven't told anyone else," promised Luke.
"The Council wouldn't hear the end of it…" the Bespin citizen muttered.
"That's because they're wrong," Luke had then defended. The three others regarded the Jedi with surprise. "He saved my life. He could have let Sidious kill me, but he didn't."
"Because he was your father." Han had rolled his eyes at his fellow smuggler's comment.
"Exactly!" Luke had exclaimed, suddenly excited. "Because-"
But Leia can't see it like her brother does. She is grateful that Luke is alive and well. She is grateful that they have won this massive war. Neverthless, she can't accept her father's last act of selflessness. To her this is, was, the same man who gave the order to destroy Alderaan –killing her foster family and her home. This was the same man who sliced off Luke's hand without a second thought, who left Luke to die.
Luke just says she fails to see that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are two completely different men.
"Just because they have different names doesn't make them different people. They're the same body," she retorts after finally snapping at Luke's excessive training.
"He's our father Leia," Luke insists.
"Doesn't mean I have to exalt him."
"I'm not exactly exalting him."
Their argument is cut short as Wedge Antilles ambles over and tells Luke that the Council, without the consent of its sole Jedi member and his sister, has unanimously voted for some grand idea that Luke must deliver some sort of inspiring speech at the one week mark of freedom.
[Are you going to be like your father was and his father was?]
For Luke it only means revealing his lineage, a revelation much opposed to by his friends and especially his sister. But Luke feels obligated out of filial duty.
"I can't let father die a sinner," he shouts the night before the celebration.
No one dares to cross him but they are all thinking the same thoughts.
Darth Vader was a sinner.
"But Anakin Skywalker was manipulated."
So that night, Luke tosses and turns as he falls into a worried sleep. But just before he slips into unconsciousness, he catches the materialization of a figure donned with Jedi robes and wearing the face of a young man.
He sleeps peacefully.
Down the hall, Leia paces the floor as her fiancée –she agrees the engagement was rather quick- slumbers soundly. She ambles to the adjacent living room like area where a small wall divider separates her from Han.
"These used to be your mother's quarters."
Leia turns around, ready to fight, but instead spots a holographic image in the middle of the room. Then she realizes there isn't enough static to make it a holograph and that there is no transmitter anywhere in the room.
Then it clicks.
"Father," she regards curtly, realizing this to be the "Force Ghost" Luke had been going on about when she caught him talking to midair.
"Leia," Anakin smiles. His voice isn't like Leia's, professional and emotionless. It's filled with regret and compassion. "Take care of your brother."
"I don't need you tell me that," she argues. Suddenly, she's a little girl again, talking back to Bail Organa on Alderaan.
"No you don't," Anakin agrees wistfully.
"I know what you want," Leia says. "And you're not getting it. I'm not ready to forgive you, not yet. Not after all that you've done."
"Sorry doesn't it cut it," the princess snaps.
"I know," answers Anakin, refusing to ignite an even greater quarrel with his daughter. "You're so much like Padmé," he whispers, biting his lip.
Padmé. So that was her mother's name.
And then he disappears.
[This is not your meant to be]
[I can break the chains that bind you]
Luke wakes up with the courage and renewed resolve to tell the galaxy of his origins. Leia seems to have backed down for the moment and her brother senses a small disturbance in her mind but holds off on asking her until after the celebration.
So now he stands at the podium, Mon Mothma nodding with approval. A teasing smile threatens to escape Luke's lips. If only she knew what he was to say.
Looking out, it seems as if the entire galaxy is there. The flood of people is endless in the horizon, but the setting sun is beautiful.
"Four years ago," he begins. "I was just another ordinary person living under the Empire but by the end of that day, everything changed. I was thrust into the adventure that I had always wanted to have, but now I wished things had turned out differently.
"No one asks to lose, no one asks to suffer. But it just happens and we want to stop it, but we can't. That's just the way things turn out and we cannot ask any different.
"But today, we have overcome that restriction even if for the briefest of moments. We have exceeded the expectations and we have also lost. But those who fought and willingly gave their all so that our children, and our children's children may not have to live as we do, will be remembered.
"This place, where we stand, was once the crux of the prosperity of the Galactic Republic which crumbled into the tyranny of the Empire. This temple here was the sight of a massacre committed by a tortured and manipulated soul." The crowd murmurs amongst themselves at the mention of the Purge that had only been a legend. "That soul was Darth Vader."
The crowd begins to jeer and curse the name while Luke shares a glance with Leia, who is trying to tell him that he was being daft.
"He was my father."
Instantly, the crowd silences itself. There is some murmuring amongst the Council members but no one dares to voice a retort.
"Before that he was Anakin Skywalker, resident of a sandy bore of a planet Tatooine. A boy with the same taste of adventure. A slave, but an exceptional pilot, bargained from slavery and leaving my grandmother to train to be a Jedi. The next time he saw her, ten years later, she died in his arms.
"And that's how it started. Power. Power to prevent your loved ones from dying, power to save those you care about. My father didn't want power for the sake of being able to stand on top; he just wanted to stop the pain." Luke lets the crowd mull over his words before adding, "Wouldn't you?"
Then, he casts a hidden glance at Mon Mothma and the other members of the temporary Council. Some are eyeing him scathingly, a few are slightly sympathetic but most are wearing a perfect poker face. It is the mask of a trained politician.
"My father died in his war," continues Luke, feeling just the tiniest tingling sensation in the wind. It pricks at the back of his neck, but it isn't malevolent. More like, teasing. "He died, but he did not die a heartless traitor. He died a redeemed man." The tingling sensation disappears for a split moment as Luke finishes his monologue. "He died not as Darth Vader, but Anakin Skywalker. He died… saving my life. He died my father."
The crowd does not know what to think and ripples of disbelief and dismay crash down on the people. The whispers and small jeers intensify as people turn to their left and right, hastily sharing views. Luke can see that he hasn't made his point yet and he's about to speak again when Leia takes hold of his arm and pulls herself next to him.
"He died my father," she adds.
The immense silence fills the Temple once again. Luke glances at his sister who gives him a look telling her that she hasn't yet, but she's working on it. And she will. But for now, this is all for her brother's sake.
And that's all he needs to know before telling the people what they must do. "So this is our lesson. Let us not shy away from others. Let us not enforce the rules that will lead to our own downfall, for none of us want to witness the same horror again. Not if we don't have to. So from this day forward, this is our age."
Much to his surprise, the crowd bursts into happy cries and shouts. Luke tries to suppress the smile as he personally revels at the success of clearing his father's name. Leia gives him a small tug and forces a wry smile. Nearby, Han flashes a thumbs-up and Lando claps approvingly. Luke's won them over as well.
But the best congratulations Luke receives is the white pillar that stands out in the crowd. Although humans and aliens crowd the plaza, the figure that leans nonchalantly over there is unmistakable. The blue hue of his body is definite, the proud smile obvious and the redemptive look in his eyes painful.
And Luke could want nothing more than the knowledge that he had saved his father.
[But just like the seasons change –winter into spring]
[You're bringing new life to your family tree]
I'm so old (no not really) but I haven't watched Star Wars until last week.
I know, shame on me. What made me finally sit down and watch the whole series in order of release was a History Channel documentary about the various archetypes in Star Wars we had to watch in English.
Although I knew the basic plot line and plot twists, the documentary still confused me. So what better than to remedy that problem? I won't delve into my complete views on the film series besides the fact that I favor the Original Trilogy over the Prequel.
This was originally going to be a generic "Luke reveals Vader is his father fic" and how the friends cope after that but it evolved so much more as I kept adding dialogue and other stuff. I just love the father-son relationship between Anakin and Luke, so I had to write this. Completely melted at the catharsis :] I'm a sucker for emotion.
Song used: "Family Tree" by Matthew West www .youtube. com/watch?v=E1dfe8esH2Y I find this song extremely fitting.
Download a Author's Version of this fic here: www. mediafire. com/?x963rnr3ercewaa