Oct 23, 2021
10 mins read
For fun, I thought I would share a fanfiction challenge that I answered a long time ago. Some of these fanfiction pieces have not seen the light of day in close to 15 to 20 years. However, they were my entrance into the world of creative writing and the stepping stones of becoming the author I am today. I hope you enjoy them.
The theme of this challenge is betrayal. That means that your fic must have some kind of betrayal in it. Be creative. This can mean almost anything. Your fic must include the words - star, scorch, and bloody. Note - it doesn't have to be the exact word. You can play around with the tense, etc. but you get the point.
Fandom: Star Wars
Timeframe: Immediately after ROTJ
Characters: Luke, Leia, Anakin
Summary: A Lesson from father to son
Star Wars and all related characters are owned by George Lucas and LucasFilms (author's note: now Disney) and not by me. I’m just borrowing them for a little while.
Luke Skywalker gazed over the celebration taking place in the Ewok village. He couldn’t shake the feeling of melancholy that came over him, especially when it was a joyous time. He was a hero, as was his newly found sister and the smuggler-scoundrel she had come to love. They were all heroes. After all, Emperor Palpatine and his dark minion, Darth Vader, were dead. The galaxy was free once again. Or was it?
Luke sighed at the implications. There were still Imperial troops on the Outer Rim that would not receive word of the Empire’s downfall for months. Already there was dissension among the ranks over who should lead the New Republic, as it was being called. And of course, there was pressure from the leaders of the Rebellion for him to rebuild the Jedi Order. He snorted at the last thought. He was barely a Jedi Knight himself.
He turned away from the celebration and began to walk through the thick forest of Endor. There was an escarpment not far from the village; he had spied it in the air when he returned to the planet, his father’s lifeless body in the back of the shuttle. It was a good place to sit and reflect, to feel the Force move around and through him and find that inner calm Master Yoda taught him about. It didn’t take him long to reach it and he settled his lanky frame on a large boulder, staring up at the stars and the starfighters that were releasing fireworks. Soon he was left with just the stars and sounds of the forest creatures around him settling in for the night. It was peaceful, yet Luke was not.
“They betrayed us both, you know.”
Luke turned slowly at the voice, watching as the shimmering image of Anakin Skywalker appeared and approached him from the trees. This wasn’t the pale scarred face he had gazed upon while the second Death Star died. This was the face of his father in his prime. The face of a young man not much older than Luke himself. At least now he knew where he got his dirty blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. “How do you mean?” he asked softly. “Who betrayed us, father?”
Anakin gazed over the ridge, his hands folded within the sleeves of his dark Jedi robes. “The Jedi Order. Your mother.” He looked at Luke and settled on a boulder across from his son.
Luke shook his head. “How could the Jedi Order and my mother have betrayed us? I don’t understand.” He drew his knee up, wrapping his arms around it as he waited. A gentle breeze blew over the escarpment, rustling his hair as he studied a man he never had the opportunity to know.
Anakin smiled softly. That is how they betrayed us, he thought at the wistful look of longing that passed over Luke’s face. “They robbed us of the chance to know each other. This war…I was younger than you when I first became involved in it. I was a nine-year-old slave boy from Mos Espa that had the gift of the Force and the skill to build droids and tinker with machinery. That’s where I met your mother.”
“On Tatooine?” Luke asked in curiosity.
Anakin nodded. “She was an angel to me.” He gazed out over the ridge. “An angel in the company of a great Jedi Knight.”
“Qui-Gon Jinn. Obi-Wan told me a little about him during the flight to Alderaan,” Luke commented.
“Mmm. Alderaan.” Anakin shook his head with a deep-seated sigh. He fell silent before whispering more to himself than to Luke. “The blood of an entire world coats my hands from that.”
Luke tilted his head. “Father? How did they betray us?”
Anakin snapped out of his thoughts. “With love,” he simply stated.
Anakin nodded. “On the one hand, your mother loved me so much that she hid the truth of her actions from me because of my ties to Palpatine. She wanted to keep me safe. Yet, on the other hand, that same love betrayed me. She allowed herself to be swayed into a snap decision and follow me to Mustafar simply to determine the truth of one man’s words and give Obi-Wan the chance to confront me. Giving myself the chance to fall deeper to the dark side.”
“If Obi-Wan had not gone with her, do you think she…” Luke stopped, his eyes locked with Anakin’s. It was an interesting thought, to say the least, and he realized just how different things could’ve been.
“Could’ve saved me?” Anakin shrugged. “The damage was already done, Luke. I should’ve listened to her, to have simply gone away with her. But I didn’t listen. I was too angry with her for her deception over the rebellion, for her bringing Obi-Wan with her.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “For her not listening to me and remaining on Coruscant where she was safe.” He stood and paced slowly back and forth. “Her actions that day cost me her, cost me my life.” He stopped his eyes boring into Luke’s. “Cost me my children,” he whispered sadly.
“And how did the Jedi Order betray us?” Luke asked quietly.
Anakin stood still, his eyes to the stars. “Their love blinded them to my pain. We were taught to have no emotional attachments; that we were beyond love.”
Luke pondered that. “Neither Master Yoda nor Obi-Wan ever said anything about that.”
“That’s because they discovered how wrong they were,” Anakin answered. He sat on the boulder next to Luke. “I knew my mother, Luke. I knew what it meant to love and be loved before I ever left Tatooine. The Masters understood that. Obi-Wan understood it. Yet instead of helping me come to terms with it, they told me it was wrong. To push it aside.”
“You cannot push aside a base emotion such as love. That doesn’t seem right,” Luke argued.
Anakin smiled at his son’s convictions. “It’s not right. And as much as he tried, Obi-Wan loved me like a brother. Which is why, even as I lied there scorched and burned beyond recognition, he could not kill me.” He folded his arms over his chest. “He betrayed our friendship, our brotherhood, by allowing me to live.”
Luke leaned his chin on his knee in thought. He glanced over at his father. “Obi-Wan told me that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered my father.”
Anakin thought about it and nodded slightly. “In a way it’s true. The first few months in that suit…I struggled. I was still me, yet that part of me, that…angry young man who felt the universe hated him, won.” He reached out to lay his hand on Luke’s shoulder. “It took my son to show me that I was wrong. That I was stronger than the darkness.”
“I think you were conflicted for so long that you just needed someone to show you the way,” Luke remarked.
“I think you’re right.” Anakin laughed. “You are a better Jedi than I ever could’ve been, Luke. A bit impatient, but that comes naturally.”
“So I’ve been told,” Luke chuckled. He pointed to the scar over Anakin’s right eye. “How did you get that?”
“A fight with a Sith apprentice. A lesson never to get cocky, never lose your focus.” He pointed to Luke’s hand. “Another lesson.”
Luke lifted his gloved hand, moving it, hearing the servomotors within. “I’m at a loss, father. They want me to rebuild the Order, but I don’t know how. I have no teacher.”
Anakin leaned forward and tapped Luke’s chest. “You’re teacher is right there.” He tapped Luke’s forehead. “Follow your heart, Luke, but do not allow it to blind you as it did to me. Follow your conscience. If it does not feel right, morally or otherwise, then don’t do it. Follow your instincts. Part of being one with the Force is allowing it to guide you, not using it for your own means. Let it use you.” He held up his finger, pointing it at Luke. “One of the first lessons I ever learned from Qui-Gon.”
“And if I should fall?” Luke asked quietly.
Anakin stood, gazing down at him. “Remember the lesson of your father and turn back to the light. You are a Skywalker. I left you a legacy and I know you have the strength to make it right.” He turned at the sound of laughter, his daughter’s laughter, and looked at Luke.
Luke stood. “Father, is there anything else you can teach me? There has to be more…”
Anakin shook his head. “There is nothing I can teach you, Luke,” he closed the distance between them, “other than I loved your mother with all my heart. I loved Obi-Wan as a brother. And I do love you and your sister. Just be careful how you use your love.”
Luke stared at Anakin. “I will.”
Anakin nodded. “From time to time, I will help you as I can, as the Force allows me to. Until then, may the Force be with you, my son.” Luke was about to reply when Anakin faded back into the ether of the night as Leia stepped into the clearing.
Leia looked at Luke for a moment. “Hey, are you okay?” she asked, laying her hand on his arm. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Luke looked down at her and smiled. “I’m fine. Now.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and hugged her tightly. “I love you, Leia.”
Leia returned the hug. “I love you, too, Luke.” She gazed up at him strangely for a moment. “Come on. Everyone is looking for you.” She led him back to the celebration, neither of them seeing Anakin nodding in approval as he watched his children walk away.
Original fanfiction story by Beth A. Freely, circa 2006ish.