First published in Imperium #6, 1997

The Adventures of L. Anakin Skywalker:
The Trilogy

by MJ Mink

Part I. Rebel

The first adventure was the best one as far as he was concerned, because nothing really awful happened, not like in the later adventures, and he actually had some fun. And this one, this one that changed his whole life, started really quietly, not all noisy and exciting like the later ones, in fact it started exactly like this:

"This belonged to your father. He wanted you to have it when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. He didn't hold with your father's ideals." Ben Kenobi, weird old wizard and lifesaver, rummaging through some rusted old box--how'd it get rusty in a dry sandpit like Tatooine?--and resurfacing with a stubby, tarnished silver tube that looked like it would've brought about two credits at an Anchorhead junk sale.

So if it was from his father, if his father left this for him, it was one hell of a poor legacy and probably not more than an old canister of rotten spice. Thanks a lot, Ben, for saving it all these years. And, Dad--hey, you could've left something good.

"It's a lightsaber. The weapon of a Jedi knight--your father's weapon."

Yeah, right. Ben must think he was a total moron because if his father had been a hero like that, there would've been holos and medals and great stories and he could've been proud. But his father had been a navigator on a spice freighter--at least he had gotten out of here. Navigation might not be exciting, not like being a pilot or a stormtrooper--but his father had probably been the best navigator in the whole entire galaxy. So he guessed he was proud anyway--in fact, he knew he was proud, no matter what.

"Your father was a Jedi, Luke, just as I was. We fought together in the Clone Wars."

Yeah, right. But it was sure great the way the weapon lit up and glowed and slashed through the air with a terrific, strange humming sound like a laser, only it was better than a blaster because it didn't disappear as soon as you fired it, not that he'd ever fired one, but he'd seen them on the vid. Still, maybe Ben did know something about Dad, dear dead Dad, big mystery, so he asked what he had asked a zillion times before which was: "How did my father die?"

Well, that made the old man hesitate while he decided what kind of story to make up. Always the same, he'd ask questions about his father, asked everybody around Anchorhead, walking around asking everybody, once he'd even snuck into Mos Eisley and asked all kinds of weird people and things--and nobody said they knew him, they'd never even heard of him--'course, it didn't help that he didn't even have a name to give them--which made him wonder if he even had a father or if he was like one of the streetkids and just got picked up by the Larses to be their slave. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru never told him anything, at least not anything important, not anything good. They brushed his questions aside like they didn't mean anything or like there was some terrible scandal, like maybe his father had done something awful. Was Ben going to be the same and not tell him anything? but it didn't look like it because Ben sighed, a little sigh like he was tired and didn't want to bother lying, and then he heard the most amazing, unbelievably weird and cool magic words he'd ever heard in his entire life and they were: "Your father is not dead, Luke."

Whoa! That meant he spun around, turned off the lightsaber, his father's Jedi lightsaber, feeling scared and he didn't know why because there was nothing in this tiny hovel to scare him, it was just an old man's old house. But scared or not, he had a zillion questions and they all started with what, where, how, even though he knew that it was impossible, that it couldn't be true, but-- But what if...oh, what if what if what if!!!

So Ben started this really long story--but it was about his father so it couldn't be long enough to suit him! about meeting him and what a great pilot was--like his son!--and how strongly something called the Force was with him. And then Ben said he tried to train Dad and he was lousy at it and screwed everything up and then he said: "I was wrong. I failed and Anakin was--"

Whoa! stop right there--who??

"Anakin. Anakin Skywalker. That was your father's name."

Anakin Skywalker. Anakin Anakin Anakin SkyyyyWalker--about time!--hey, he really did have a father. Or at least a name. If only he had a holo to go with it. Anakin Skywalker. Maybe they looked alike, maybe he could meet him and find out! Maybe he was in jail, maybe that's what the scandal was. Anakin Skywalker. What a perfecly cool name! Better than Luke Lars which he hated. Maybe a name change would be good. An-akin. Ana-kin. Anakin L. Skywalker. Luke Anakin Skywalker. L. Anakin Skywalker. Yeah.

In the meantime while he was changing his name, Ben was still talking and all of a sudden he was talking about seduction and temptation and Darkness-with-a-capital-D so you'd better believe he started paying attention to that! but it just turned into some weird thing about how the good man who was his father died in a manner of speaking--that was a cop-out if he ever heard one!--and was reborn as Darth Vader, the Emperor's Right Hand. And that name sounded a little familiar--why hadn't he paid more attention to Current Events in school? but he really wanted to know why his father dumped him in this hell-pit and Ben said his father didn't even know about him! Well, it seemed like somebody had a whole lot of nerve! but Ben said it had to do with protecting him--him, L. Anakin Skywalker!--from the Emperor but he couldn't think of one single reason that the Emperor would care about his servant's kid unless he was supposed to inherit his father's job. And the Emperor's Right Hand sounded like a damn good job! And while he was pondering the qualifications for that job, Ben started talking about his mother, not that he had much to say, no he only said: "She died shortly after she brought you to me" and he felt a really odd feeling like Ben wasn't telling him everything he knew. All of a sudden he thought that maybe Ben killed his mother--but that was dumb--why would he?

And then the news got worse because Ben said: "We...Anakin and I...fought in a--a refining depot. He...fell and his lightsaber ignited gaseous fumes that-- He was consumed by the flames. I thought he was dead. He should have been dead. But somehow he lived, crippled and horribly maimed. Palpatine saved what was left of his body. Luke...your father is more machine now than man. He requires constant life support. He is fully masked. No one has ever seen Darth Vader's face--if indeed he has a face remaining. He...your father is dead in everything but intellect."

"What about his spirit?" Soft, weird question, and he didn't know where it came from, it just popped out of his mouth, it was just something he needed to know. Sometimes questions like that just happened and they came out and he couldn't do anything to stop them even when it made Uncle Owen mad. "His...soul?" and then he wished he hadn't asked because now he was afraid for his father because he wasn't all that religious but if his father lost his soul then what did he have left and wasn't he awfully lonely if he didn't have a soul and didn't have a son?

"No. His soul was destroyed when he was seduced by the Dark Side."

He wasn't so stupid that he would just believe something like that, believe it just because this guy who wasn't telling him the whole truth said it was true--yeah, right, try to sell him a droid with a bad motivator! Hey, Ben, if Dad doesn't know about L. Anakin, how could he leave L. Anakin his lightsaber? If his father still lived, then he would find him--it was that simple. Anakin Skywalker would be so surprised to know he had a nearly-grown son--so happy when L. Anakin Skywalker appeared and rescued him from whatever he needed rescuing from so he told the old guy that he was going to find his father.

And wow! amazement of amazements, Ben nodded like he agreed. "Yes. You must come with me to Alderaan. I will train you in the ways of a Jedi and then--"

Whoa--hold it right there, Mr. Jedi, because L. Anakin Skywalker had something to say about that! and it was: "You failed with my father. Why should I trust you to train me properly?" Just because he was young and inexperienced, it didn't mean he was stupid. He didn't mind letting people think that some of the time...but not all the time.

Ben's face got all full of frowns, probably because he'd dare to question a Jedi, big deal, nobody even knew what they were anymore. "I have learned much in the last nineteen years. I no longer make the same mistakes."

Right. And womprats can fly. He folded his arms so he'd look serious like Uncle Owen did when he was about to start his you're-wasting-time-again lecture. "I want to find my father." Hey, his father, his Anakin-Skywalker-Father, could train him. This Dark Side--it sounded like nonsense, like something out of an ugly fairy tale and why should he worry about it because his father would never doing anything bad to him! His father would train him to be a Jedi and they would fight side by side, fighting what? who cares, there was always stuff to fight for.

"It is your destiny to find your father. And to confront him. You are the future of the Jedi, Luke, the bright future. Your father represents their Dark past and must be destroyed."

So then his hands dropped to his sides, fingers clenching in fists so tight they almost hurt but when he got mad like this sometimes it just had to hurt and he couldn't stop it and he said are you saying that I should kill my father? And Ben nodded, a satisfying, proud, all-knowing, smart-ass nod, and his anger blew up and he yelled, he actually yelled at a grownup: "You're out of your mind! No!--no way! I'm going to find my father, but I'm not going to kill him! Not for you or for anyone else." Weird old creep!

"Then the Emperor has already won. The galaxy will be shrouded in Darkness until the end of time...unless you confront your father."

Uncle Owen was right--Ben was a crazy old sorcerer! Galaxy shrouded in Darkness--sounded like one of those stupid vid headlines he used to see down at Roby's store while he was waiting for Biggs to pay for the Corellian ale that they would sneak off and share sometimes. Still, if the information about his father was true, maybe it was his ticket off this planet. If he could get off Tatooine, he could get a job, maybe get into the Academy and learn how to fly and if he could fly, then he could go look for his father! He could send Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen his salary to help them get through the dry seasons, and when he was gone they'd spend a lot less money on food. And they'd understand that he had to find his father--a boy needed his father, that's what Biggs's dad always said in that patronizing, pitying tone he'd hated--poor-Luke-no-father. And he wanted, really wanted, to go, but.... And then he thought, hey! Yeah, problem solved, conscience cleaned and he told Ben that when they got to Mos Eisley he'd sell the speeder and send the money back to Uncle Owen so they could get a couple new droids and wouldn't even miss their adopted nephew/slave this season.

And it was then Ben told him that they were dead, fried, dead. "Let us make haste. We must get to Alderaan without further delay. The stormtroopers will be hunting for you, too."

And he went because he wanted to and because he didn't have a choice and because they were dead and because he had to find his father to give him back his soul. Which goes to show you what kind of crazy ideas a kid can have.

And just look what came of it.


He was excited, exhilarated--saving princesses was something he could do every day! When they ran across the Death Star's docking bay toward the Millenium Falcon, he felt so thrilled and so alive and so crazy-- This was way cool! This was living!

Then there was some kind of duel going on in an adjacent corridor. He came to a skidding halt. Ben--that was Ben fighting with his lightsaber! Fighting somebody dressed in black. "Ben!" He had to save the old wizard. He couldn't leave anybody behind--he was a hero!

Ben looked at him and held up his saber, leaving himself totally vulnerable. The other lightsaber flashed and--pouf!--what had been Ben crumpled to the floor like a bag of dirty laundry. "Noooo!" he screamed. He was getting sort of fond of the old guy and besides Ben is/was his only link to his father, the only person who could help him find Anakin Skywalker and tell him what to do to--

The stormtroopers started firing lasers at him. He fired back, not even thinking--except to think that he'd never shot a blaster before today--just firing and firing in grief and rage. So angry, he was so angry, he'd never been this angry before! Leia and Han were screaming at him to come on, come on, and then he heard Ben's voice--how could it be Ben's voice, he was dead--saying "Run, Luke, Run," like he was reading some stupid primer about a dog and a ball, but he ran anyway and then Leia yelled:

"Hurry, Luke--before Vader stops us!"

And that stopped him. "Vader?" he cried, whirling around for another look. Fully masked, Ben had said, fully masked. The man in black, the man who just killed Ben? Father? he screamed inside, and the black man must have heard him because he started walking toward the bay and the Falcon began to move and he was tumbled inside as the ramp was raised and--

Was that his father? Was that his father?

He wanted to shout with rage, to pound on the ramp, to get out, to scream stop! stop! but it was too late, they were moving, they were in space, and if that was his father-- Father?

And he thought he heard something, but it was only in his head, so he didn't hear it, not really, but it said:

Who are you?

And he tried to answer back in his head: I'm Luke! Luke Skywalker! Are you Vader? Are you Anakin Skywalker? Are you my father? Father?

And then he couldn't hear anymore and he knew he was too far away. Somehow, someway, too far away. Or else he wasn't doing it right, because he didn't really know how to answer in his head. Didn't know how to answer his father--was that his father? Did he just find his father? Did he just lose his father?

FATHER!!! He screamed inside like he'd never screamed before in his life, and it didn't do one damn bit of good.


So much happened in a really short time. He'd spent his whole life on that boring dustbowl of a planet and nothing had happened, nothing ever! and now all of a sudden he was firing blasters and learning how to use a lightsaber--it was hard!--and saving princesses and meeting smugglers and big furry Wookiees and he was in the middle of the Rebel Alliance! and Biggs was here! and they taught him how to fly a fighter and Han showed him how to fire the guns and it was so cool. This was it, this was what he was made for, this was why he was born.

Which made him think of his father. He'd tried and tried to talk in his head and to listen, but he hadn't heard any more. Maybe he was crazy. Maybe that hadn't been Ben he'd heard and maybe it hadn't been his father or Vader or whoever--but he shouldn't be thinking about that now because here he was flying down a trench on the Death Star and not even scared because he knew he wouldn't crash his fighter, he didn't know how he knew, he just did. And then all of a sudden it happened again:

Trust in the Force, Luke. Use the Force, Luke.

And it was stupid, they thought he was crazy to turn off his targeting 'puter, but how can you argue with a voice in your own head? Especially a voice that wasn't yours. And then it happened again--this was getting too weird--and this voice said:

The Force is strong in this one.

And he wondered who the hell that was, it was getting to be one big crowd scene in his head, and then Han was there--outside his head, thank the Force!--telling him to blow this Thing so he did, and he felt It, the Force-thing, he knew right away that's what it was, and he pushed the button that fired the torpedo and it went right down that tube like sand down a chimney.

The whole thing blew up, the whole huge Death Star, and he'd done it, L. Anakin Skywalker--though he hadn't told that name to his new friends, only the Luke Skywalker part--and he felt sad for a minute that Biggs couldn't see it and then he felt even sadder but he wasn't sure why. It felt all the sadnesses he'd ever known magnified a thousand thousand times and he didn't know where it came from but it was sad and scared and crying and--

--then it was gone.

And he was a hero. Just like that.


Part II. Son

Everything seemed to go downhill after that because the second adventure got a whole lot worse (though not as bad as the third adventure) and it started--well, it didn't quite start like this but this was close enough--like this:

He hated that bacta stuff. He'd been out of the tank for a whole day and he still tasted it and smelled it on himself. It was totally gross, but he was cool about it--he just...maintained. Yeah, that was it, maintained. And everybody was fussing over him and worrying about how he'd almost froze to death--and heard the damn voice again but let's not think about that right now--and he had this great story about being attacked by the wampa which he would tell to all the girls as soon as they let him out of sick bay. He could hardly wait to tell all the girls because Leia had acted like such an idiot and made him feel so dumb and sort of sad, kissing him in front of Han when everybody could see it was Han she really wanted not him. Not that he blamed her because she seemed so much older than he was and Han was really exciting and so cool. A smuggler, a pirate, carousing around the galaxy, going wherever he wanted--while he, L. Anakin Skywalker, was a farmboy who heard voices in his head. Not that he told anybody about the voices. At least he didn't get in conversations with them.

Except that one time. Who are you? He wondered if Vader/Father had heard his answer. Maybe not, because he'd never answered back so it really wasn't much of a conversation anyway.

Anyway, he was a hero too which made him a heroic farmboy who heard voices and maintained. Which wasn't all that bad. He'd come a long way in a long time--almost two whole years! Lots of hours practicing with the lightsaber--Han still made fun of it--had paid off because he was good, damn good with it. And it came to him in the wampa's cave--it just came to him and he hadn't even talked to it in his head, he'd just thought it. So when he went to see this Yoda-person, he would show the guy that he wasn't fresh off the farm. He'd been around, that he'd learned! L. Anakin Skywalker was a Rebel with a lightsaber--a Commander! How the hell that had happened he wasn't sure except that they'd lost damn near every officer in that last confrontation with the Empire so, hey, if you haven't got much choice, why not promote the heroic farmboy who hears voices and maintains?

But he still hadn't found his father. Oh, not that Vader was lost, if Vader was his father. Vader was always flying around the galaxy, raiding here, blasting there, following them like he wanted to crush them or catch them or wanted--

--his son?

That would be the first thing he'd ask Yoda. Yoda would know about Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. Yoda could tell him about the voices in his head and how to talk to somebody he really wanted to talk to. And he would ask him that as soon as he got to Dagobah--why the hell hadn't he paid more attention in school instead of dreaming because he couldn't remember where the Dagobah System was, Sith and be damned!--but it might not be real soon because Vader was catching up with them again, he could feel it, which would mean another battle which he sort of enjoyed and sort of hated, both at the same time. He liked blowing up stuff, it was like a vidgame, watching it explode in fiery balls, but why did there always have to be people in the things he had to blow up? If this was the kind of stuff a Jedi did, it didn't seem much different from what a soldier did, so why bother to be a Jedi? And how bad could the Dark Side of the Force be if this was the Light Side?

He hoped Yoda was nothing like Ben because he could really use some answers instead of tippy-toeing around the truth. How much truth had Ben told him? No matter how much he thought about it, it still felt like stuff had been left out--and he thought about it a lot.

Well, maybe he should stop thinking now and see if he could get sprung and go talk to all the girls. Commander Skywalker, they'd giggle excited that he spoke to them, because he'd told Han and Leia--and Han had told everybody--that he was studying to be a Jedi, which was odd when you thought about it because Han, of all people, didn't believe in the Force--right, which was why he had dice hanging in the cockpit, don't believe in luck, huh? Sure, I do--well, that's the Force, not luck, just--just the Force.

And sometimes he felt It so strong and he felt so good--that's when he knew there was a difference between Dark and Light--and he wanted to love everybody--well, not like the girls, not like that, a different kind of love--but they were all warriors and they didn't understand what he felt and what he needed, really needed, to make him whole. Not that he exactly understood himself.

But, see, here's a problem: his father is a warrior. So how will his father understand? What if he doesn't understand? Which makes him think what if--what if--Vader was coming to kill him, coming to kill the Light Son like he was supposed to kill the Dark Father?

What would L. Anakin Skywalker do then?

Yeah, Hero, answer that one!


So by the time he'd fought the battle with the Imps and was sort of a hero again except that Dack was dead and he'd wrecked his fighter and Control was pissed at him, and by the time he'd found the Dagobah System--Force bless Artoo and that lover of a 'puter data bank--well, by that time he was pretty tired. And Yoda--Yoda was nothing like the picture in his head--guess seeing in his head was harder than hearing in it--because he was little and green like a gnome in a fairy tale and there sure were a lot of fairy tales in his life the last couple years. Anyway, he didn't know what Yoda was and he had paid attention in Galactic Civ and there was nothing about a race of little green people--unless Yoda got zapped by that Dark Side of the Force, unless he was supposed to kiss him and turn him into a handsome prince! But he decided to skip the prince business and concentrate on levitating rocks in the air and somersaulting through the air and a lot of stuff that he supposed would come in handy someday for something but right now just seemed like a lot of parlor tricks.

And he guessed Yoda sensed his skepticism and was zapping him for it, because now he'd been sent down into this weird sort of cave under a tree, for Sith's sake, and it was full of snakes and lizards--and he hated snakes, he'd hated the sidewinders on Tatooine and he didn't like these one bit better--and he'd come down empty-handed, left his lightsaber behind because Yoda told him not to take it and now he was wishing he had it because there was a really weird hissing sound and an eerie light up ahead and it was--

Darth Vader! Father--hey, Father? Not that he expected an answer because this was an illusion not reality, but he could still hope, couldn't he? Yeah, he could hope for all the good it would do him. And Vader ignited his lightsaber--whoa, this had better be an illusion too!--and he could just stand and watch and back up which did no good because the Big Guy kept coming and then the lightsaber swung at him and he was looking at his decapitated body on the floor of the cave. This was all too weird. And then his head kind of shimmered and it wasn't his head anymore it was somebody else's, somebody he didn't know, except he knew, he just knew it was Anakin Skywalker. Not L. Anakin, just Anakin, his father. And the head's mouth smiled at him. And then everything went pouf! and vanished and he was standing in this dark dank cave full of snakes that he hated and wondering, what the hell was that supposed to mean?

So when he asked, Yoda gave him one of those enigmatic little smiles that he was learning to dread and they went back to parlor tricks. And when they finally got to the one he wanted to learn, using his head for seeing and talking, what did he find? Not his father, no that would be too obvious, no he found Han and Leia and Chewie and they were being tortured, Sith and be damned!, somewhere in clouds and they were waiting for him to come and rescue them because he was the Hero and that was his job.

"If you go, save them you might, but destroy everything for which they have fought, you would." That was the way Yoda talked, he always talked that way, and it wasn't as hard to understand as you might think once you got used to it.

"They're my friends, I have to go. I have to save them." The It-thing was telling him to go, and he had a funny feeling that Yoda knew it and knew he was going, so then why was he making this big fuss about it?

And then Ben Kenobi popped in--long time no see--and it wasn't as creepy with a shimmery figure to go along with a voice in his head, and he said don't go don't go, and he wondered why he was bothering to become a Jedi if it meant you couldn't even help your friends and he was going no matter what they said.

Until they said--whoa, he didn't like this at all!--that if he went he would fall to the Dark Side and, okay, maybe he didn't know exactly what the Dark Side was yet, but he didn't think it was something he wanted to fall to. And that almost made him stop because he was scared, but what good would it be to be safe if his friends died and he was alone? because he'd been alone really alone too long and now he finally had people, almost like family, a whole lot like family and he sure wasn't going to let them die just because he was afraid of something that he didn't even know what it was.

So he and Artoo hopped into the x-wing--his wonderful beautiful battered x-wing--which still had some gross dried-up wet stuff hanging on it, but it had been so cool the way Yoda lifted it out of the water just by thinking it!, and off they went to a place that the lover 'puter data bank said was Cloud City just hanging in the air above Bespin.

And the weirdest thing about this whole adventure, besides Han turning into a piece of carbonite, whatever carbonite was, why hadn't he paid more attention in class?, was that his father was there! Yeah, Darth Vader, the Big Guy himself. And he knew Vader was there, didn't know how, just knew, so it didn't matter--well, it was good--that Leia and Chewie got away with some guy in a blue cape, because he still had to find his father--wasn't that the whole point of this whole thing??

So he did and it was like a dream, only a real one this time not an illusion. But the air was all foggy and the steps were lit with orange lights--surreal!--and his father stood at the top of them, all dark and full of mystery, and he was looking for snakes and lizards, then for a minute it was like a temple and he was coming to worship. And he smiled and smiled and walked up the steps and his father didn't say a word just turned on his lightsaber. Whoa--that stopped him! Remember what happened in the cave, Hero--your head got lopped off!

So he was a little cautious and didn't get too close but he was close enough to talk so he said: "Father? Are you Anakin Skywalker? Are you my father?"

And he didn't know he was holding his breath until he could breathe again when his father--yeah, it was his father!--said: "Yes, I am your father" and it made him so happy, like he could fly without his fighter, and he just ignored the lightsaber and smiled and smiled and heard himself whisper "Father" like a prayer but his father didn't lower his saber. And that made him stop again.

So he thought, hey, maybe he knows that L. Anakin Skywalker is supposed to kill him and doesn't know that L. Anakin thought that was a stupid idea so he said: "I've been looking for you all my life. Ben Kenobi said I'm supposed to kill you but that's a stupid idea. You're my father. I've come to save you." And it was like he hadn't said anything--or maybe that he'd said something totally stupid--because his father swung at him and he ignited his own saber and parried and tried just to protect himself because he wouldn't he wouldn't kill his father!

But Dad, dear old formerly dead Dad, didn't seem to have the same scruple. Vader just kept coming forward and forward and he kept going backward and backward until he fell off something and landed with a hard thud on his back--where was the Jedi somersault stuff and landing on his feet?--and he scrambled up quick-like but Vader wasn't coming after him, maybe he'd changed his mind. Here was where he should split, should get the hell out of here, run away, but now that he'd found his father he wasn't going to leave just like that, without his father saying anything to him or telling him why.

So he went through all these doors that kept opening for him like they were guiding him and all the thanks he got was almost falling into a Tusken Raider-style bushwhacking--good thing he could hear Vader breathing or he would've been wampa fodder for sure. And then stuff--heavy duty stuff!--started flying through the air at him like they had wings for Sith's sake! and he used his lightsaber to bat at them because he couldn't figure out how to turn the Force on to push things away and the cursed things hit him and they hurt! and some huge window broke and there was this terrific suction and he got sucked out the window--sweet Sith it was scary when he fell!--but he caught himself by his fingers just his fingers! and he was crying--he really was crying!--helpmefather and he supposed his father helped because somehow he got back up and looked down and it was miles to the bottom, he couldn't even see the bottom!

And while he was lying there all tired and scared and crying and not maintaining, not maintaining at all!, he heard that weird breathing again and he had to get up and fight even though he didn't want to and he sure didn't want to hear the stuff his father was saying because it hurt, really hurt him inside. And pretty soon he was losing again and backing out onto some narrow catwalk and he was getting really tired and all of a sudden it happened. He hit Vader--hit his father with his father's Jedi lightsaber!--and he felt this terrible anger coming at him and then his father hit him back--and he thought they'd been fighting before! no, Vader had only been toying with him before--but this time the lightsaber came down and it was so beautiful and made that wonderful noise and it cut off his hand. His right hand! It cut off his hand, his hand was gone and it hurt like nothing he'd ever felt and he screamed like a baby but he couldn't help it because his hand was gone and his father chopped it off! When he could think again he supposed it was marginally better than losing his head like in the cave but damn!

Then Vader was chattering at him, talking on and on like he could really listen and think through this pain! and it was stuff about join-him-or-be-destroyed--well, neither of those options sounded good to L. Anakin Skywalker! So he crawled away, kept crawling until he got to the end and it was miles straight down and Sith knew what was at the bottom. And he felt like he was in a trap, like it was time to gnaw off his leg--don't let his father read that thought, please Mr. Force!--because he sure couldn't join his father in the Dark Side because if he was the Light and this was the Light then the Dark Side must be Living Hell and he didn't want to spend his life like that even though that's what his father was doing.

So there he was cornered and trapped and his father wanted to kill him and he was hanging on a tiny thin rail a hundred million miles in the air.

And he let go. Just like that.


Part III. Jedi

Here's where it really got bad. The third adventure--the final one and it's about time! because he couldn't take much more--wasn't going to get much of an introduction because it didn't need one. It just...was.

It started out that nothing was much fun any more. Yeah, they gave him a new hand, and it was great to rescue Han and watch Leia swooning all over him, great for them but it made him feel, well, never mind how it made him feel--but it was lousy to go back to Tatooine and meet and have to kill the legendary Jabba. He didn't even get to go to Anchorhead and see his old buddies--show off what a big Hero--and an almost-Jedi--poor-Luke-without-a-father had become--no father? if they only knew! because he had to go back to Yoda and find out what the hell had happened with his father, why his father wanted to kill him, why his father wouldn't even listen to him! And wouldn't you know when he got there, Yoda was dying. The little green fellow was turning sort of a muddy grey and he was no help at all--he wouldn't give him any answers--and then he went pouf! just like Ben and all that was left was a tiny empty robe and he was all alone with It again. And lately it seemed that It didn't like him very much.

Great. And then Ben showed up, all glittery and sparkly and smart-ass again, and told him Leia was his sister for Sith's sake! The only wonderful girl/princess he'd ever met in his entire life--okay, she loved somebody else but that wasn't the point--and she turned out to be his sister! In every fairytale he'd ever read the hero got the girl but here was Hero sans girl sans father sans everything.

And Ben gave him another song-and-dance about killing his Dad and even though it made more sense now that Dad wanted to kill him, he still didn't buy it. Wouldn't do it, no matter who said what. Which brought on another set of dire predictions about the Fate of the Galaxy--come on, he was just a guy who had problems with his dad. And, okay, maybe his father was a Dark Lord of the Sith without a soul who kept coming after him with a lightsaber, but what difference did that make really?

But then after he thought about it for awhile, he liked the idea of Leia being his sister because it meant he had a real family and Han would be his brother-in-law someday, almost like a brother, and they would make babies, Jedi babies? for him to play with and get called Uncle Luke because he was never ever going to tell them about L. Anakin, Uncle L. Anakin. And he wished, really wished, they would get married soon so they would quit acting so mushy and silly and be friends with him again, both of them, because right now it seemed like they'd forgotten him. Then he kept thinking and got scared because what if Father wanted to kill Leia too? because if he worked for the Emperor and if the Emperor found out about her--because that's what Ben said, that the Emperor wanted him, no, wanted to seduce him for Sith's sake like he would let himself be seduced by somebody who looked like a bantha sat on his face!--and maybe probably he'd want to seduce Leia too.

Or Father would kill her. Too.

So things were not going well for awhile and he was maintaining on the outside but not doing very good about maintaining in the inside.

And then they started the stuff with Endor and those really annoying Ewoks and trying to blow up the force field and everything was cool except for that he didn't know how to stop crying in the inside, until he heard what he wanted to hear and didn't want to hear, both at the same time:

Come to me, Son.

Well, there sure weren't two people in the galaxy who would be saying that to him in his head so he knew right away it was Dad, dear old formerly dead Dad who should have stayed that way--leave it to L. Anakin Skywalker not to know when he was well off! and he knew, just knew that he had to tell Leia about Dad and it was the last thing in the universe he wanted to do because he knew that somehow all the blame was going to be dumped on his head, maybe because he was the Hero and Heroes are supposed to be cool and maintain all the time, every last minute of the time, and he wasn't doing very well in that department any more. But she had to know so he led her away from that truly weird party and said:

"I have to tell you something. It won't be easy for you to hear." Hell, like it would be easy for him to say!

Right away she knew that something was wrong really wrong because she's a Sky-Walker and not stupid, not by a long shot. And he thought of all sorts of coy ways to tell her, like asking her about her mom and pop--but Sith and be damned! it was simpler, truer, to just tell her.

"I have to leave. I'm endangering the mission. Vader is here, on this moon, waiting for me. I have to go to him. He's my father."

You would have thought he'd told her Han was married to Chewie, the way she acted! After she figured out he wasn't crazy, hadn't flipped out totally, then she was mad. Sort of. Like he'd been withholding information that she had some kind of right to know--well, he had and she sort of did but that wasn't the point, so he told her some more about Dad and tried to explain about his lost soul and how he could give it back, but then Han came out and wanted to know if he, L. Anakin, was hitting on his, Han Solo's, lady, and it was starting to get really complicated so he just said:

"Don't be stupid!--she's my sister!" And if he thought Sith-hell had broken out before, it was nothing compared to what happened then. This was not one of the better parts of this adventure--come to think of it, this adventure didn't have any better parts until the very end.

Anyway he gave up and left and they were both mad at him and he knew they'd feel bad later--which was why he stopped and yelled "I love you both!" and hoped they'd name a Jedi baby after him--because he knew, just knew that he wasn't coming back.


He wanted, needed to have a few words with Dear Dead Dad before he became a five-course meal for the Seductive Emperor--just in case Dad had changed his mind--but no. Stormtroopers all polished and pretty arrested him and put him in a shuttle and flew him into the Death Star--two Death Stars and he'd been in both of them and maybe this one would blow up with him in it, wouldn't that be poetic justice. And there was his father, his dead/alive absent/present hated/loved father, who was giving him to the Emperor like he was his own personal sacrifice. And Emp sat there on his throne by one of those big windows--he stayed away from that, he was pretty damn wary of big windows now--like a giant spider in a web, waiting for him.

And he knew, just knew, and it was kind of a relief, that he was snared and this was where everything would end. And what's more, he knew his father knew it too because his father kept looking at him and he couldn't see his face--wanted to see his face, would have died to see it--but he sort of knew what it would look like. Sort of sad. And that made him feel a lot better because he didn't want Dad feeling really happy about killing him.

Daddy Dad Father Pop! Yeah, I know it sounds stupid but I wanted to say it all once, just once. And he hadn't really expected an answer, hoped maybe, but didn't expect. And didn't get one. So he just maintained and let Emp say whatever he wanted and then get angry and then get very angry because L. Anakin Skywalker wasn't going to be seduced by the likes of him--hey, Dad, look what a mess Emp made of another Jedi, namely you! and it was right then, when Emp got finally really truly mad, that he knew that he was finally, really, truly a Jedi.

And then the blue lightning came.

No words existed to describe it and if they had, he probably couldn't have thought of them, not right then. It was blue and it was lightning. He knew what lightning was because they had it on Yavin and it had scared the hell out of him. And now--now this lightning was close, it was coming out of Emp's fingers and he knew, just knew that this was It, the Bad It, the Dark It. And it was It for him too. So he said good-bye to his father, to Anakin Sky-Walker, to his lonely lost father, and to Leia and Han--and Leia screamed and said Han Luke's dying he's dead, a little premature but she was right, and Sith! he'd miss them, his little family!--and he hurt so much he wanted to die just to stop it from hurting. And he was on fire, he could see smoke rising, he could feel flames eating, Sith be damned! maybe this was what happened to his father, maybe this was a Jedi-thing this lightning, maybe Ben did this to Anakin SkybeautifulskywalkerFather! And then it was over, it really was over, and he was watching himself go pouf! and all that was left was a pile of black clothes--was he naked? but it didn't look like it. It looked like he was wearing one of those ratty old robes like Ben and Yoda wore--great, he'd gone to Jedi Heaven and they wore scratchy old homespun!--and he looked at his father who was holding Emp way high in the air and then threw him down the reactor shaft and there was a big explosion!

And then his father was looking at him or for him--or rather, at what had been him and was now just a pile of clothes--and dropping to his knees and making terrible sounds. Which meant that his father loved him, a little late but loved him just the same, which meant that he, L. Anakin Skywalker, had done what he set out to do in the first place--rescue his father from whatever he needed rescuing from which had turned out to be the cold empty soulless Dark, he guessed. And it sort of looked like this saving business had saved him too because now, finally, he knew what he was and it was a Jedi. A dead Jedi, but a Jedi nonetheless.

But his Vader/father, his Anakin/father, wasn't happy about it, no he was still sad, worse than sad, so he thought really hard, harder than he'd ever thought and yelled at the top of his voiceless voice:

Hey, Father--I'm here, I'm safe, I'm okay--I saved you! and his father looked up and he looked down and saw he was all glittery and sparkly and smart-ass like Ben. And then his father smiled at him--he could see his face!--and he smiled back. And then the Death Star started to shake.

And it blew up. Just like that.