Luke stood out on the walkway, looking up into the heavens of space. He fixed his eyes on one bright star. He wished hard on that star, but knew it would not come true. That star was the Death Star. His eyes were glued on to it. A hand fell on his shoulder.
Luke turned around slowly and smiled as best he could.
"What's wrong?" Leia whispered.
Luke's smile turned weary, "Everything, I'm afraid. Or nothing, perhaps. Maybe things are finally going to be as they were meant to be."
Vader was near, very near.
Leia took his hand, squeezed it gently. She felt so close to him...but how? He seemed lost, alone. Distant at the most; so distant that his hand didn't feel as if it were in hers. "What is it, Luke?"
He looked down at their intertwined fingers. "Leia, do you remember your mother? You're real mother?"
Leia was taken by surprise. She never felt she had to think of her mother, she always felt so close to her adopted parents. Her real mother was like a dream.
Yet now Luke's question made her think. Flashes of from her infancy assaulted her-distorted visions of running...a beautiful woman...hiding in a trunk. The fragments suddenly threaten to make her emotions over flow. She finds herself looking into Luke's eyes.
"Yes," she said pausing to regain her composure. "Just a little bit. She died when I was very young."
"What do you remember?" he pressed. Leia went ridged. "Tell me."
"Just feelings, really...images." she wanted to let it slide, it was so out of the blue, so far away from her real concerns.
"Tell me." Luke repeated slowly.
She felt overwhelmed by his insistence, but decided to follow him with it, at least for the moment. She trusted him, even when he frightened her. "She was very beautiful. Gentle and kind- but sad." she looked deeply into his eyes seeking his intentions. "Why are you asking me this?"
He turned away, peeing back up at the Death Star, as if he'd been on the verge of opening up; then something scared him, he tucked it in. "I have no memory of my mother." he claimed. "I never knew her."
"Luke, tell me whatís troubling you?" she wanted to help, she knew she could help.
He only stared at her for a long moment, estimating her abilities, gauging her need to know, her complete desire to know. She was strong, this he knew, unwaveringly. He could depend on her. "Vader is here...now...on this moon."
She felt a chill run down her spine. Her blood ran cold. "How do you know?"
"I felt his presence. He's come for me."
"But how could he know we were here? Was it the code, did we leave out some password?" She babbled on, knowing it was none of these things.
"No, it's me. He can feel when Iím near." he held her by the shoulders. He wanted to tell her everything, but he was tired and he would fail, "I must leave you Leia. As long as Iím here I endanger the whole group and our mission here." his hand began to tremble. "I have to face Vader."
Leia was becoming distraught, confused. She felt intimations running through her wildly, flooding her blood stream with fear.
She shook her head hard, "I don't understand, Luke. What do you mean, you have to face Vader?"
He pulled her to him, his manner suddenly gentle; abidingly calm. To say it, to just say it, in some basic way would release him. "He's my father, Leia."
"You're father?" she spat in disgust. She couldn't believe it, but she knew it was true.
He held her steadily, to be a wall for her to lean on. "Leia, I've found something else out. It's not going to be easy for you to hear, but you must. You have to know before I leave here because I might now be back. And if I don't make, youíre the only hope for the Alliance."
She looked away, she shook her head, and she wouldn't look at him. It was terribly disturbing, what Luke was saying, though she couldn't imagine why. She moved away from him, to deny his words; at least to give them distance, to let her breathe. Flashes of her mother came again, in her breathing space.
"Don't talk that way, Luke. You have a power I don't understand...and could never have."
"You're wrong Leia," he held her at arms length. "You have that power, too. The Force is strong in you. In time you'll learn to use it as I have."
Shook her head, he was lying she had no power. What was he saying?
Luke brought her closer, held her face in his hands.
He looked so tender now, so giving. Was he giving her the power? Could she truly hold it? What was he saying? "Luke, what's come over you?"
"Leia, the Force is strong in my family. My father had it, I have it...my sister had it."
Leia stared full into his eyes again. Darkness was seen in his blue eyes, and the truth was seen. She was frightened. But this time she didn't draw back. She stood closed to understand.
"Yes," he whispered, seeing her comprehension. "Yes. Its you, Leia." he held her in his arms.
Luke allowed himself to be cuffed and dragged away from the forest. The two Imperial officers pulled him to the base. What was Luke going to tell his father? Would he be able to turn him? His thought betrayed hi, he wasnít sure, he was so confident he could turn Vader.
The officers moved Luke to the turbo lift, up and then door slid open. He saw Vader standing opposite of him, across the deck. The young Jedi gazes at Vader with complete calm, with many lagers of vision.
One officer spoke, "This is the Rebel that surrendered to us. Although he denies it, and I believe there maybe more of them, and I request permission to conduct a search of the area." he extended his hand to Vader; in it he held Lukeís lightsaber. "He was armed only with this."
Vader look at the lightsaber, taking it from the officer. "Leave us. Conduct your search, and bring his companions to me."
The officer and his men withdrew and left back to patrol.
"So," Vader breathed. "You have come to me."
"And you to me."
"The Emperor is expecting you. He believes you will turn to the Dark Side."
"I knowÖFather." Luke felt stronger addressing his fears, calling his father, Father. It was Luke said this that he realized what Vader had said. The Emperor foresaw him turning to the Dark Side?
"So you have accepted the truth?" Vader gloated.
"I have accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father."
"That name no longer has meaning for me." It was the name from long ago. A different life, a different universe; Could he truly still be that man?
"It is the name of your true self. Youíve only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor had not driven it from you fully." he molded with his voice, tried to form potential reality with the strength of his belief. "Thatís why you could not destory me. Thatís why you wonít take me to your Emperor now."
Vader looked down at the lightsaber in his hand- Lukeís lightsaber. So the young Jedi was truly a Knight now. A grown man. He held the lightsaber up. "You have constructed another."
"This one is my own." Luke said quietly. "I no longer use yours."
Vader ignited the blade, examined its humming, brilliant light, like an admiring craftsman. "Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are as powerful as the Emperor has foreseen."
They stood there for a moment, the lightsaber between them, sparks dove in and out of the blade.
"Come with me, Father."
Vader shook his head, pondering. "Ben once thought as you do-"
Luke turned angered, "Donít blame Ben for your fall-" he stopped his rage before it over came him. "Join me, Father."
"I must obey my master." Vader stood where he was. But he began to dwell on the thought of joining Luke, betraying the Emperor and never seeing the Imperial fleet again. It was as tempting as joining the Dark Side.
"Please, come with me" Luke insisted.
"I cannot." Vader turned away. "Leave now, Luke, help your friends. Go before I change my mind."
Luke stepped back, "What about you?"
"There is no turning me, son. Save yourself from the pain." he paused and faced Luke. "Go!"
The young Jedi paused momentarily, Vader sighed, grunted. He threw Luke his lightsaber. Luke caught it using the Force to pull it in to hand. Luke turned and left.
Vader stood alone, looking out at the green forest of Endor. How would he explain this to the Emperor?
"Lord Vader, why have you returned empty handed?" The Emperor sat on his throne peering down at his apprentice.
"He did not come to me." Vader kneeled down.
The Emperor lifted his head in surprise, "What? I foresaw he would go to you. Are you sure about this Lord Vader?"
Vader sighed; he would lie to his master, "Yes."
"Then what do we do about this, Vader?"
"If he had not come to me, then the Empire is in danger. I suggest evacuation." Vader looked up at his master.
"Youíre right Chewie, "Solo said, "with just those guards this should be easier then breaking a Bantha."
"It only takes one to sound the alarm." Leia cautioned.
Han grinned, a bit over self confidently. "Then weíll do it real quiet-like. If Luke can just keep Vader off our backs-" he didnít get to finish when Luke sneaked up behind him. "Well, Iíll be." Han shook his head.
"Hi Han." Luke smiled. He turned to Leia who was openmouthed. "Leia, Iíll explain later. Now, about getting in there. Couldnít be that hard."
Leia seemed to glow with happiness; "Han was just saying how to get through the back door with out being noticed."
Luke raised an eyebrow, "Letís just try something here." he looked towards the forest and pointed far out. The troopers guarding the door moved out, thinking they heard something.
Han grinned, "I donít know what you did, kid, but it sure as hell worked." he bent down walking briskly under the trees. The rest followed.
The lock on the door opened as an officer came out to see where the troopers had gone. Han pointed his blaster at the captainís face. He grinned, shrugged as if an accident or no big deal. The captain commanded the officers behind him to move outside. Han presses the man back into the generator.
Luke ignited his lightsaber, moving to the back with Leia at his side.
Han spoke to the captain, "Turn it off."
The captain didnít move, he was loyal to the Empire.
Leia pulled at Lukeís arm, begging him to do something. "Alright" he said Luke attached his mind to the manís mind, thought pattern. The captain turned his way. Luke spoke, "You will leave here now, and you will take your troops out far into the forest where the locals dwell."
The man looked around, brainwashed, but he left the generator, moving out.
Han turned to Leia, who tossed him the charges. Han laid the charges and motioned for Luke and Leia to follow him out. "Hit the dirt!" he cried. He hit the button on the trigger in his hand and the generator blew.
Luke watched as base blew up in an orange ball of flame. He thought about the freedom fighters in space fighting to the last, hitting the second Death Star from inside. It would be the end of the Empire, the end of Palpatine, and the end of Vader.
Leia touched his arm, "What is it?"
"Vader let me go."
"Let you go?"
Luke shrugged, "He told me to save myself. It was too late for him."
She hugged him tightly, and kissed his cheek. "Iím sorry." she looked up at the sky and watched the last of the Death Star blow. She turned to Luke, who was watching as well. "Heís gone, so is the Emperor"
He shook his head, "I donít think so, Leia." he looked down at her, into his brown eyes. He saw fear. "Itís not over."