Star Wars IV.5 (pt iii)

The raucous cheers of the rebels echoed through the ancient temple. Luke Skywalker stood feeling ridiculous with his medal dangling heavily around his neck. Someone flashed the scene for posterity and he blinked.  He looked down at the medal and noticed that it was a T-65 fuel hatch that had been painted gold attached to a strap of cloth. A stream of whistles and beeps rang out behind him and he turned to see R2D2 next to C3P0.

Threepio was the second most unusual droid he had ever encountered. He had only examined him briefly back on Tatooine but noticed that the droids processors were overwired in a way that shouldn’t even work. Protocol droids already had powerful processing algorithms that allowed them to analyze the communications between sentients of different worlds. Threepio had been souped up  but not in a way that made him better at the task he was supposedly designed for; it was as if he had been custom made by a toymaker unconcerned with functionality. Back on Tatooine when Threepio had lost his arm, Luke had been unsettled at the empathy he felt for the droid.

He had turned fully to look at Threepio now; his perception of the throng had faded to be replaced with a compelling fascination with the light playing on the golden surface of the machine. The sounds around him had become static but he could swear that he could hear Threepio breathing; labored exhalations and inhalations separated by a metallic click. That was when Threepio reached up and removed his faceplate, revealing the face of Darth Vader beneath.

Luke had only glimpsed Vader from across a huge hangar during the duel which had ended Obi Wan Kenobi’s existence. Luke had thought Obi Wan was dead, but after talking to the old Jedi in the cockpit of his fighter a few hours earlier he decided that he had to recalibrate his concept of what death was. Luke understood death; the scorched corpses of his uncle and aunt came unbidden to his mind’s eye. It had only been days since he wept over Owen and Beru’s remains.

A golden arm reached out to Luke in a gesture that seemed to be imploring, contrasting with the merciless mask. That was when something exploded inside his mind; a wave of despair crashed down on him, staggering him physically, knocking the breath from his lungs. His head filled with a high-pitched whine, his flesh crawled, twitched, and spasmed as if jolted by lightning; then the colors began to melt.

In another lifetime/ he and Biggs/a few seasons ago/ ate the flower of a cactus the Sandpeople used as a sacrament/falling into himself/when he was a boy/ writhing in the desert for hours/a few seconds ago/eyes rolled back into their sockets/before Biggs left for the Acadamy/filled with a gutteral voice intoning cruel alien words of reverberating phased pulsing drone painaria torture operas and the death of hope. Wildrage ecstacy powerpromise terrorgasm burned his lungs and…

Leia shaking his arm. Princess Leia. The alarm klaxon blaring through the stone of the ancient temple.
‘Luke!’
When she spoke his name the spell was broken.
“What’s going on?” It was the only question that made sense.
“They’re already here. The Empire.”
The hall was nearly empty. An anonymous voice intoned through the whine, ‘Imperial Destroyer has entered Yavin space.’
‘Come on,’ taking his hand, Leia said, ‘Let’s go.’

He followed her through the intricate tunnels, for once calmed by her presence rather than confounded by it. He had known her for a little more than a day but she stirred something deep within him; she reminded him of the absence of something he didn’t know he’d lost. He filled the silence with a question.

“Do you know how old these temples are?’ He asked, passing a bas-relief depicting some indecipherable rite.
‘They say they were built over 5,000 galactic standard years ago.’ She responded. ‘But it wasn’t a native species. It was a spacefaring civilization that built these structures. We just don’t know why.’

They entered the deepest chamber where the command center had been set up. General Dodonna was talking very intently to Han, who looked angry. But Han almost always looked kind of angry, especially when he wasn’t on the Millenium Falcon. That seemed to be the only place the guy would crack a smile. That or a firefight. Luke supposed that’s why he was so tempted by Solo’s offer to take him on as crew and go starhopping with him and Chewbacca.

Chewie howled a greeting. Solo looked up, the annoyance in his voice contrasting with the relief on his face. ‘About time you showed up, kid.’ He paused. ‘And your Highnessness.’

‘Save it, Solo.’ Leia turned to Dodonna. ‘Jan, what is it?’ 
Jan Dodonna reflexively fell into a deferential report. ‘It’s broadcasting an Imperial ID. Executor. It’s enormous; smaller than the Death Star but it displaces over ten times the mass of a standard Star Destroyer.’ It jumped in ninety seconds ago on the far side of the Death Star Nebula.’

Leia looked pensive. ‘We need to evacuate. We should have fled hours ago.’
Solo interjected, ‘That’s what I was saying. We should all take off in different directions and never look back!’
Luke scolded, ‘We didn’t run from the Death Star.’
Solo retorted, ‘I doubt this thing has a convienently located button that blows it up, too. We’re not that lucky.’ Chewbacca howled. ‘No, Chewie, we’re not.’

To be continued…

4 Responses to “Star Wars IV.5 (pt iii)”

  1. squeak!

    we really need to get you watching dr who..

  2. Which season should I start with? It’s been on for a kajillion years so I don’t where to begin.

  3. probably the redux, then when you’re settled you can either go back to Patrick Troughton (you’ll like him – kind of bohemian hippie) or Tom Baker, who is just marvelous. He was ‘my’ doctor when i was growing up. anyway, yes – start with Eccleston, but give it a few episodes.

    I’m starting to catch up on Lost 5 . 🙂 One of my colleagues at work went to school with Desmond. How cool is that?

  4. Dude….more….more…more!!!!!!!!!!! I’m salivating here…drool all over my keyboard….write more!!!!!!

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