Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars at all! Any characters and ideas in this fic were made by George Lucas (well Disney, now), not me!

Raika: Well, it's 2013! It's a new year and I'm going to start it off with a revision of my Prequel AU story, The Dark Times. I hope you like it. Please leave reviews and let me know if I need to make any corrections to my story if necessary.

With that out of the way, let's get started.


"For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Before the dark times. Before the Empire."

- Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker.

Prologue


Ever since the signing of the Galactic Constitution over ten thousand year prior, the planet of Coruscant had always been the capital of the Republic. It had been the political center of the galaxy, often called the Queen of the Core. It attracted many from the Mid and Outer Rims of the galaxy, bringing business to the Republic's capital. It was said to be the greatest place in the galaxy. That was until start of the Clone Wars.

It all began when Republic worlds in the Outer Rim faced raids by the ferocious pirates and the iron grip of the Hutts on their economic structure. Desperate for help, they turned to the Senate to help them only to be turned away by Senators who have grown complacent in their power.

Taking matter into their own hands, the worlds seceded from the Republic and formed their own armies, calling themselves Separatists. The Republic simply watched until they began to notice one thing: their soldiers were clones.

The practice of cloning was known to have been used by other civilizations, but they were too far and remote to be noticed. Yet, the sight of clone armies brought fear into the Republic as the Senate ordered the Outer Rim worlds to disband their armies. The Outer Rim worlds refused, and the Republic began drafting its citizens into the army to enforce their rule. Thus, began the Clone Wars.

Within the first few years, the war devastated many beings throughout the galaxy, including the famed Jedi defenders of the Republic. Survivors have found themselves fleeing their home worlds engulfed in the fires of the Clone Wars, if they were lucky. The destruction could be felt all over the galaxy, mainly within Outer and Mid Rims that made up a majority of the Republic's Senate. There was a still a small spark as the Core Worlds were left untouched.

The once-lively streets of the Republic's capital were now filled with people afraid as they continued to live their lives knowing the war engulfing rest of the galaxy. Much of Coruscant's poor class grew ever since refugees from the war-torn worlds arrived to seek a better life. They lived on the streets, just outside of the tall skyscrapers that housed rich and powerful upper class and Senators.

Yet, both poor and rich were forced to watch their loved ones don the white armor of Republic troopers and march down the streets. Mothers, father, sons, and daughters alike tried their best to not shed tears in front of the brave people who were forced into the war. At the same time, the possibility of losing them to the enemy coiled around the back of their minds.

High above the streets and in one of the skyscrapers, two people stood at the balcony, their eyes trying to avoid the sight of goodbyes and marching soldiers. The setting sun's rays fell upon them both, revealing a man and woman, both their youthful faces filled with worry. The brown Jedi robes on the young man moved in the air, along with the edges of the woman's purple dress.

The young woman's hand held onto her large belly, a sign of many months of pregnancy, she tried to keep still as her green eyes stared at the man's grays. "Must you go, Anakin?" she asked, her voice filled with concern.

Anakin Skywalker felt his wife's free hand place itself upon his right cheek, the smooth tips of her fingers brushing against his dirty blond hair. His eyes were filled with sadness as he placed his right hand–a silver prosthetic–on his wife's own. "I have to, Padme," he spoke as he gently moved her hand away from his face. "It's my duty as a Jedi to protect the Republic."

While Padme Nabierre-Skywalker knew that her husband's duty as a Jedi forced him into this dreadful war, she did not like it. Many Jedi had fell in the front lines along with many men and women who had been drafted into the Republic's army. Anakin fought in the war many times and every time he left, Padme worried for his chances of survival. At the same time, Padme knew that Anakin would leave, no matter what she said.

In the end, Padme could only let out a light sigh. "Just promise me you'll be careful, alright?" she asked.

Anakin's lips turned into a smile as he rested his forehead against hers, short strands of his hair touching Padme's long silky strings. "I will," he told Padme.

The two tried to savor the moment, one of them wanting to be in the other's presence. Time around them seemed to have delayed as seconds felt like hours. Fearing this could be their last time together, they wanted to be together as long as possible.

Unfortunately, the moment ended at the sound of footsteps from inside Padme's residence. The young couple looked away from each other and towards a man walking in the direction of the balcony. Both of them recognized the man in question when the saw the familiar robes that matched Anakin's. "Master Obi-Wan," Anakin recognized.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was a man in his early forties with a beard, combed much like his short hair. Like Anakin, he wore his brown Jedi robes and carried his lightsaber on his belt. His blue eyes shone with experience and wisdom, the same traits he tried to share with Anakin under his tutelage.

The sight of Anakin and Padme together had not surprised the older Jedi Knight for he had known the secret the two carried, even though it was against the code of the Jedi. The code forbade any Jedi to marry because of the possibility of falling to the Dark Side. Obi-Wan never agreed with that rule and agreed to their marriage. In fact, he had even been present at their wedding.

The older Jedi stared at his student, his eyes filled with regret of having to separate Anakin from his wife. Nonetheless, his words came from his mouth. "Anakin, it's time."

Anakin nodded to his mentor before looking at Padme. "I have to go," he told her.

Padme simply looked at her husband. "Make sure you come back," she told him, though her voice made it sound like an order.

The young Jedi gave her a grin. "I will," he promised.

The gap between the couple as their lips touched in a loving kiss, yet it only lasted for a few moments as Anakin removed himself from his wife. The young Jedi left his wife's side and headed towards his mentor. "Let's go," Anakin told Obi-Wan.

Padme remained at the balcony and her eyes focused on the two Jedi leaving her residence. The same fear she had before her husband never left her mind and she only hoped he would come back safe.