AN: No, I don't own Star Wars yet. For those of you who don't know what I'm doing, this is the second episode in my "Defenders of the Force" series. It would be best if you would read the first episode before reading this one (just go to my profile and you'll find it - it's not long). And what do you know, I found a way to tie the latest Clone Wars episode into this fic.
The new characters I've introduced so far are:
Rianna Trenn Skywalker: Luke's wife, a former Naboo queen (she's technically appeared in some of my other fanfics before, but she's still my OC).
Mae Skywalker: Luke and Rianna's thirteen-year-old daughter who's beginning her life as a Jedi trainee.
Owen Skywalker: Luke and Rianna's ten-year-old son.
Tamyra Offee: A thirteen-year-old blind Mirilian trainee, Barriss Offee's niece.
Reviews are much appreciated, but not required - I'm not one of those authors who threatens to stop writing if people don't review.
"Defenders of the Force, Episode 2: Ghosts of the Past"
Mae Skywalker didn't know what to expect from her mother's classes. "Philosophy of the Force" - how exactly did that work? There was the light side and the dark side, everyone knew that, but what else was there to analyze? Why couldn't she get something more interesting for her first class as a Jedi trainee?
She was sitting next to her cousin Anakin, who was doodling on his notebook, drawing himself holding up a lightsaber against Darth Vader, their grandfather. Mae wasn't exactly sure if the picture was tasteful, given that he was named after Darth Vader, but maybe Anakin was drawing it to be ironic.
"Yes Dad, I'm fine . . . I'll call you after class, okay? . . . Okay, tell Mom I said hi . . . I love you too, bye."
Their new friend Tamyra Offee entered the classroom, a comlink in one hand and her sensor in the other. Once she hung up the comlink, she began waving her sensor in front of her, letting it tell her the layout of the classroom. After a few seconds, she made her way up the three steps to where Mae and Anakin were sitting.
"Hey guys," she said. "Looks like we all have the same class schedule. Would you mind if I sit with you?"
Anakin looked up from his drawing and grinned up at Taymera even though she couldn't see him. "Sure, you can sit with us. There happens to be an empty seat right next to me."
"Thank you," said Tamyra, carefully sliding herself into the seat.
"Would you like me to tell you about my drawing?" asked Anakin.
"Sure," said Tamyra.
"Okay, well I'm a Jedi here, and I'm battling my grandfather, Darth Vader . . ."
He didn't get a chance to explain the details, since right at that moment the teacher walked in. Just like yesterday, Rianna was wearing her Jedi robe, her lightsaber dangling from her belt. "Good morning, young trainees," she said, turning around and writing her name on the whiteboard, her thick black hair swaying with her body. "My name is Rianna Trenn Skywalker. You may call me Master Rianna or Master Skywalker - I will answer to both." She turned around to face the students. "Before we get started, I'd like us to get to know one-another, so here's what we're going to do. We're going to go around the room and when it's your turn, I want you to tell me your name and a little bit about yourself."
Mae groaned softly. Was her mother trying to embarrass her for some reason?
"I'll start," Rianna continued. "My name is Rianna Trenn Skywalker and I am a Jedi. I first met my husband Luke when he and his sister and brother-in-law came to Naboo, where I was queen at the time, to try to convince us to join the New Republic. I have two children, Mae and Owen, and in my spare time I like to plant flowers and watch holofilms." She pointed to a Torgruta girl seated on the opposite side of the room from Mae. "All right, now why don't you start?"
The girl stood up even though she hadn't been told to do so. "My name is Sylia Truwe and I'm from Shili," she said in a rapid voice. "Mom and Dad found out I was Force-sensitive when I was a baby and I used the Force to pick up a baby toy. I like listening to music and going out with my friends."
Mae hardly listened as the other kids introduced themselves - she could only pay attention to the twitching in her stomach. She swallowed several times, but that did nothing to calm herself. It wasn't until Anakin's turn when she became really aware of what was happening.
"My name is Anakin Solo," Anakin said, "and my mom and dad are Leia and Han Solo - I bet you've heard of them. I've got a big brother and big sister, they're twins, and they're already students here. I like hanging out with my sibs and cousins and I also like doodling." He held up the picture of himself fighting Darth Vader. "See?"
"Yes, thank you, Anakin," said Rianna, turning her gaze to her daughter and smiling gently at her. "Mae?"
Mae wished the Force would let her make herself invisible. She took a deep breath. "Hi Mom . . . I mean Master Rianna." Her cheeks were already flushing and she could hear several giggles from around the classroom. "My name is Mae Skywalker. I always knew I was Force-sensitive since, well, both my parents are. I've got an annoying little brother named Owen and I like swimming and going out places."
"Thank you, Mae," said Rianna, smiling at her daughter before moving on to the next student. Mae felt like hiding under her desk. Both her parents had already said that they wouldn't treat her differently from anyone else in class, but she could still feel that her mother was internally gushing about her.
"All right," Rianna said after the class was done introducing themselves. "Now we're going to start with a simple question." She turned around and wrote "Where does the Force come from?" in large purple letters on the whiteboard. "Where does the Force come from?" she asked, turning back to face the class.
"Is this a trick question?" asked Sylia without raising her hand. "The Force comes from the midichlorians, everyone knows that."
"A good answer, Sylia," said Rianna, "though it's not entirely correct. Anyone else?"
Tamyra raised her hand.
"Well, the Force doesn't exactly come from the midichlorians," said Tamyra. "The midichlorians are what make us Force-sensitive, but they aren't actually the Force."
"Very good, very good," said Rianna, "but if the Force doesn't come from the midichlorians, then where does it come from?"
No one seemed to have an answer. Mae thought she might have an idea, but she had no desire to raise her hand and draw all attention to herself. Even if her mother was going to treat her like a regular person in class, that didn't mean she wouldn't gush once they got home.
"Anyone?" said Rianna, giving several fleeting glances to her daughter, clearly expecting her to raise her hand.
Meanwhile, Anakin's hand slowly went up.
Anakin cleared his throat. "Well, my mom explains it kinda like this. She says the Force comes from us. Like, every living being carries the Force inside them, even those who aren't Force-sensitive, and the Force kinda holds us together."
Rianna gave a slow nod at her nephew. "Yes, that's a very good answer." She looked back up, facing the whole class again. "The Force does indeed come from every life form. We are dependent on it and it is dependent on us."
Mae looked down at her notebook, starting to get tempted to draw on it like Anakin did. Even though she wasn't trained to use the Force yet, she didn't need the Force to know her mother was disappointed that she didn't answer that question.
It was going to be a long day.
. . .
After class, Mae quickly looked over her schedule. She had Jedi History next, followed by Basic Lightsaber Training, then lunch, then the whole afternoon would be spent in Luke's Basic Force Use class. Of course, that was assuming that the whole day went by without another bomb threat.
Mae looked up from her desk and there was her mother, giving her gentlest smile.
"Yeah?" said Mae.
"Sweetheart, are you all right?"
Mae sighed. "Well I called you 'Mom' in front of the entire class - how do you think I am?"
"Oh come on," said Rianna, "I think everyone there knew you were my daughter."
"Different from displaying it," muttered Mae.
Rianna gave her motherly smile again. "Don't worry about it, honey. I've seen a lot of students who are nervous on their first day, but then as time passes they fit right in."
Mae sighed. "I've gotta get to my next class."
"Okay," said Rianna, sneaking a kiss on her daughter's head before she could move away. "Have fun."
Mae gathered her stuff and ducked out of the room before her mother could say anything more.
. . .
"So, what do you think of my aunt's class?" Anakin was asking Taymera when Mae caught up to them in the hall.
"It's interesting," said Tamyra, waving her sensor in front of her. "I like how it encourages you to think."
"Meh," said Anakin. "Personally, I'm looking forward to lightsaber training."
"I'm not," said Taymera. "I'll be terrible at that."
Mae smiled at the Mirilian even though she couldn't see her. "Maybe not. Dad told me that the first time he used a lightsaber, Obi-Wan Kenobi made him wear a helmet with a blast shield that covered his eyes. You might actually be ahead of the class."
Tamyra smirked. "Well I'm personally excited about Jedi History. I'd love to learn more about the old Jedi Order. Who knows, maybe we'll even learn something about my aunt. I don't really know much about her." She flicked her sensor from side to side as if showing it off. "So, who's going to be our Jedi History teacher?'
Mae sighed. "You'll see."
. . .
The Jedi History classroom was a small circular room, dimly lit with seats in small risers in a half-circle around a screen. Mae, Anakin, and Taymera took seats in the second riser, as close to the center of the screen as they could get. This time, Anakin didn't get a chance to doodle - it was only a few minutes before the teacher, or rather, teachers, entered the classroom.
"Hello everyone, I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations, and this is my counterpart, R2-D2."
"Wait," Tamyra whispered, "the protocol droid is the teacher?"
Mae shrugged. "Not exactly. Technically, R2's the actual teacher and 3PO's the interpreter."
"As R2 just said," 3PO was saying, "this is a very interesting subject. It is probably quite personal for many of you, since you might have had relatives connected with the old Jedi Order." He pointed in Mae's direction. "Such as Mistress Mae right here, she is Anakin Skywalker's granddaughter." He started waving yet again. "Hello, Mistress Mae!"
Mae wondered how many times she was going to blush today.
Seemingly sensing Mae's discomfort, Tamyra raised her hand.
"Yes, Miss Tamyra?" said 3PO. "Do you have a question?"
"Yes," said Tamyra. "I was wondering if you could tell me a few things about my aunt, Barriss Offee."
R2 beeped enthusiastically.
"R2 says we can indeed," said 3PO. "In fact, we have a recording of the day she betrayed the Jedi!"
He said it in such a jolly manner that everyone jumped when they heard Tamyra's reaction.