ROTJ “missing scene”

Fatal Flaw
by MJ Mink

    “I can’t kill my own father.”

    Obi-Wan noted the quiet determination in the young Jedi’s face. “Then Vader and his Emperor have already won,” he said softly, knowing that it wouldn’t be enough to persuade Luke. His memory drifted to the events of two decades earlier. “Your father was lost long ago, Luke. He had a terrible flaw that led to his descent into Darkness.”

    Predictably, his words piqued Luke’s curiosity. “A flaw? Was it anger?”



    “No.” Kenobi shook his head. “Anakin’s weakness was love.”

    Luke stood, frowning at Obi-Wan’s shimmering figure. “How can love be a weakness?”
    He smiled at the naiveté of youth. “Loving too much or too strongly is always a weakness, Luke. That is why potential Jedi are taken from their parents as babes or toddlers before they form emotional attachments to their parents.”

    The boy’s shock and distaste were palpable. “That’s not right. Children should know their parents.”

    “You didn’t, and that’s why you are strong,” Obi-Wan stated bluntly, studying the other’s puzzled expression.

    “I don’t understand.”
    “You were taken from your mother, you and Leia were separated.”  It was necessary to delicately ration the truth, ladling it out in small, manageable bites that would be feasible for the young one to swallow. “That’s why Yoda was willing to train you. Though you are much too old to be a true padawan, you have not formed any deep attachments that prevent you from acting dispassionately.”

    “That isn’t what you said when I went to Bespin,” Luke retorted sharply. He turned his face away, lost in thought for many minutes. Eventually he added in a subdued voice, “What does any of this have to do with my father’s Fall?”

    “My master took him too late. He never should have been trained.” Kenobi stood, wishing for a wistful moment to have his old body back, to be able to stretch his muscles and feel the moist ground beneath his feet. “Anakin never stopped loving his mother. Her death drove him to take his first terrible step into Darkness.  Then he dared love Padme and that love was his downfall.”

    The younger man remained silent, though Obi-Wan could sense anger in him. Yoda was correct that Luke had the Skywalker rage, but he also had the line’s purity, the same purity Anakin had had as a child...the purity that had been lost somewhere along the way, when no one had been paying attention.

    “However, it is often true that a man’s greatest weakness is also his salvation.”

    Luke looked over his shoulder, cobalt eyes glowing with re-ignited hope. “So...love will save him?”

    “That and more.” He hesitated, aware that he needed to frame his words carefully. “Luke, only Vader can destroy the Emperor. And the only possible reason...will be to save someone he loves.”

    “Who--? You mean me? He doesn’t love me.” The strangled sound was half-laugh, half-sob. “He doesn’t even know me.”

    He knows you, child. But some things are best left unsaid. “You are his son. He will destroy Palpatine and sacrifice everything—including himself—to save you.”

    Hands balled into tight fists and eyes reflected unshed tears of fury and hurt. “Sacrifice himself? You expect me to stand there and let him—” The distraught expression melted into horrified realization. “No--no! You want me to put myself in a position where he has to save my life! You want me to...ah, manipulate him into suicide. I won’t do that!”

    “You must,” he replied soothingly, “for the greater good of the galaxy...and for Anakin. Can’t you feel his pain? He yearns for redemption, Luke, and only you can give that gift to him.”

    Luke trembled with outraged denial that echoed through the Force. “If you’re right that he loves me, then I can save him. I have to save him.”

    “At what cost?” Obi-Wan smiled faintly, certain that the two Sith felt Luke’s emotion. Let them be warned that their mutual end was approaching. “If he lives, he will continue to be Darth Vader. He will Fall even further into the Darkness and take the Emperor’s place. If he dies to save you, he will be redeemed and become one with the Force. That is how you can save him, Luke. By saving his soul, not his corporeal form.”

    The youngster walked away several paces, hugging himself and shivering. He shook his head, but did not speak. Satisfied that the seeds of Fate had been watered, Obi-Wan released his image and watched the echo of his physical self fade away.

    Luke would do as he was told. But if by chance he resisted, Destiny would not be swayed from its inevitable path. Anakin and the galaxy would be saved and, just as importantly, Master Qui-Gon’s unfortunate mistake would be corrected.


Return to story index