by TS Caladan
[author's note: If I am disappointed in a movie or series that is special to me, I challenge myself: Can I write something better? Google 'TS Caladan' with the titles: 'Diamond Eye' for a new James Bond film, 'The Engineers,' for a Prometheus sequel, 'Bladerunners,' 'Men of Steel,' 'Starwalkers,' for a Star Trek parody as well as 'Orville.' Also, look up 'TRONA.' Now, here's how I would have written Star Wars #7].
There were no more Death Stars or a Republic. The Empire had fallen. A quiet peacetime settled over an "Alliance" of star systems.
Ben Solo, son of Leia and Han Solo, led police officers called "Rangers." Under the vigilant watch of Rangers, peace was maintained. The Sith was thought to have been completely vanquished.
Luke Skywalker successfully trained a very young Ben Solo on the ways of the Light Side of the Force. Skywalker had gone missing for many years. Last of the Jedi warriors believed Luke would return and was 'key' to the continued peace and prosperity in the galaxy.
In the darkness of black space with an endless star-field background, a shuttlecraft streaked a hyper course. The Alliance/Ranger shuttle was state-of-the-art and comfortably sat 7 people. Through the transparent front portion of the ship, an aged Han Solo was viewed. The shuttlecraft was a gift from his son, Ben.
Ben rose up the ranks quickly and was the new head of the Rangers. Han and Leia were very proud of the young man.
The vehicle terminated hyperspace~
Han discovered how easy the shuttle maneuvered at sub-light speed. In every way, the ship was superior to the old Millennium Falcon, which came to a final rest years ago. The Alliance/Ranger shuttle was faster, better shielded and had much more firepower. He preferred the Falcon, any day.
Han thought: Leia should like it. The family had a cool runabout, thanks to Ben and his Rangers. He'd forgotten why Leia said she couldn't come on the test flight. Han decided to call the shuttle: the "M2," in the hope his Falcon had the power and reincarnated. He reached his destination in no time, his home.
Asteroid 'L90047' stood and traveled at the center of the Hienz meteor cluster. The massive cluster was nearly a light-year in diameter. It was the ideal hideaway for the Solos (Leia's idea). She named the asteroid: "Shasheer." Alliance scientists terraformed an iron rock into a lush jungle and cloaked it. To any explorer or passerby of the Hienz cluster center, they viewed the illusion of the original, rocky, airless meteor and not the jungle. The Solos had received special treatment by those who defeated the Sith.
Shasheer was dead ahead.
The new and shiny M2 landed in a clearing, next to thick vegetation and the Solos' dome home. The artificial sky mimicked late evening hours.
Han left the vehicle 'port' area and approached the dome. He was puzzled. Why was the security wall around the dwelling down? Han didn't have to drop the force-field.
He went in. Why were objects strewn on the floor? What the hell happened? A few pictures on the walls were...
"Leia!" Han saw the scene in the main living-area.
Furniture was out of place. There was a body on the floor. Leia was on the floor.
"Le..." He ran to her side. Han saw damage that a light-saber had caused.
Leia was dead. His wife was dead. Han held her lifeless body and wept, uncontrollably.
[In my version, Ben Solo is not played by actor Adam Driver. The character is played by actor Ryan Gosling].
Later. At prime Ranger station 794, on the small planet Trision, in the Rel System, father and son shared an emotional moment in the control room. Han wore his usual flight jacket and clenched his son with tears in his eyes. Ben wore his dark blue Ranger uniform. It had been ages since he'd held Ben. Others in the room witnessed the embrace and understood. Father/son had always been close. Leia's death brought them even closer, both devastated by the pain of such a great loss.
In Leia's life, she had waved off any political or military career. Ben always came first. She was a significant factor and helped Luke in Ben's successful Jedi training.
Han was also "there for Ben" and never felt jealousy or resentment because of the boy's bond with uncle Luke.
To Ben, it was as if he had two fathers and the greatest mother in the universe.
Han and Ben held the hug for longer than they had imagined. They cried again and eventually broke from the warm embrace.
Ben had the official title of 'Commander,' highest officer among Alliance Rangers. He sent his staff and tech operators out of the room. Ben had to be alone with his father.
The mood in the control room changed. Emotions were curbed. An old, "scruffy," rogue cowboy and a young 'Police' officer worked on the case: Who killed Leia Solo?
"Father. I want you to brace yourself. We have a film of the intruder. We know the face of the killer," Ben stated in a monotone.
"You do? You know?" Solo was confused. Shocked. He personally inspected his home's security films. Han had seen that the images went blank before the dome's perimeter was breached.
Ben revealed, "Security cameras were installed by my people, right, father?"
Han replied, "Of course. Why not have the best? Ben. I went over the films and saw nothing. You know that."
Ben responded, "What you and home invaders don't know...when the system is shutdown and appears dead, it's not. Our backup keeps rolling and data stored in a hidden file."
"Really?" Han swallowed. He sensed he'd confront an image of Leia's assassin soon. "That's handy."
Ben said, "We've cleaned up the image and enhanced a still. We've run the face through mainframes of 57 star systems, and..."
"Nothing? So. He hasn't been identified."
"Not as yet. But I'm sure we will in time. And father? It's a HER."
Han was once more surprised. "Her? Show me." Solo was apprehensive, tense.
Ben hesitated. "Are you sure?"
"You obviously had me meet you here to show me. Now, do it," Han declared firmly.
Ben pushed a button on a console in front of him. He sadly said, "I...I (choke) destroyed the act itself, the part that..."
Both had tears in their eyes.
Han sincerely said, "Thank you, son." Then he got angry. "I have to see. Who did this, Commander?"
The restored film was visualized on the large screen: The Solos' private asteroid named Shasheer was silently invaded. A single, dark figure dashed about the jungle with the agility of an athlete or a Jedi. The killer got inside and danced along halls and curved walls of the Solos' happy home.
Ben stopped the film, as he had done before, at the optimal moment and enhanced the static image. The young intruder and murderer was a very attractive brunette with her hair pulled back. She wielded what appeared as a red light-saber.
Han's eyes enlarged. He whispered to the screen: "Who are you?"
[The girl's face was the face of actress Daisy Ridley].
Ben confessed, "When I first saw her..."
"Ah. I got the sense that I knew her, or, or...I recognize her."
"From where, son?" Han was less angry and more curious.
Ben replied, "Don't know. Maybe my dreams? Passed lives? I've even done a 'mind-extraction,' which confirmed: I've never met her. Yet. I have these feelings. Why do I know her? It's a mystery."
Han thought of Luke.
But it was Ranger Ben Solo that picked up on the thought and said, "You're right, father. Luke could be a big help to us, if we knew his location."
"It's been many years. Still no sign of your uncle?" Han asked.
"I know he's alive. I know he'll return." Ben smiled. "Maybe my Master will save the day?" Ben stated positively with hope in his heart. He lightly slapped Han's shoulder. He asked, "Did Skywalker always disappear like that? I have a sense he did."
Han answered, "From time to time. He told me a bit about his secret once: an isle on a giant planet in a hidden dimension. I didn't really believe him. It sure was sacred to him, where he went to be alone and meditate. He never said a word about it to you, during your training?"
"Never. Ah. Father. I also sense the anger in both of us. I must ask...revenge, sir? If the girl is found and captured? What then?"
Han understood it was Ben's training that spoke those words. The old man responded, "I want to know: why? Who is she? Was she paid? Who put her up to it? How'd she find our home? A Last Sith? Where are they, Ben? I want answers. Don't you, son?"
"Of course. I have a final still picture to show you, father."
Ben pressed another button on the console and said, "We examined the images every way we could, through every spectrum and enhancement. And this appeared. Look closely."
The screen displayed the assassin once again, only the image was a far shot among the jungle in the darkness of 'artificial night.'
"There. Around the girl. About 30 feet high."
"You mean the faint aura? Could be anything, Ben."
Ben said, "At first, I thought it was an energy bubble, force-field that protected her. Then I realized...it's her motivation."
"Pay attention to the shape of the field. Notice the peculiar outline. Here..." Commander Solo fine-tuned the image more so that the picture was sharper.
Han responded and said, "Odd. Do you know what the shape means, what it is?"
"Nothing certain. I get the feeling that it's something truly alien to the galaxy. The outline has also been through the 57 prime mainframes and nothing. Unknown. Our best psychics and scientists are on it. We'll have our answers." Ben smiled. "I know it."
Han was very proud and pleased with the young man. Leia's spirit was also. He said to the boy, "Too bad the old Jedi Council isn't around anymore. They'd get to the bottom of it."
"No doubt," Ben agreed.
Han asked, "I know it's peacetime and your Rangers have kept the order. My question is: Why only a few Jedi priests left?"
"That's an easy one," Ben replied. "Most of the Kyber crystals exploded. The saber's light tapped into our hearts, souls and energy-force. Only a relative few crystals remain intact, therefore, few priests. Also, it's why the Sith are about gone."
"Everything's different now. Isn't it, son?"
They hugged again. They cried again, as their thoughts and feelings returned to the precious one missing from the material plane as well as gone from their home.
From the command center of an Alliance/Ranger battlecruiser, and through the enormous front window...
Pulsated a spectacular, stable, blue pulsar that pumped, beamed and broadcasted a strong, consistent, magnetic wave outward in all directions to the extent of 100 million miles. After such distances, the pulsar's photonic energy faded to almost zero.
Ranger/Alliance scientists had developed a secret project called: "the Beacon." The little-known, blue pulsar was converted into a "Super-Broadcaster," whose warm, loving waves of peace and contentment will be felt throughout the entire galaxy.
Major Dukane of the Alliance and Genis, a golden alien (a Vrutt), and greatest Alliance scientist, met at the command center of the battlecruiser. They stared out of the large window and observed the pulsar.
"Glorious sight, Master Genis. Can you explain what we're seeing?"
The golden alien responded, "The steady blue beat is at a frequency beneficial to every lifeform within its range. We all feel the soothing effects. Imagine an amplification a million times stronger, Major. Positive, healthy rays touching us all. Amazing, how many worlds the Beacon will heal. It's a Life Star."
"Question. I should say questions..."
"When will the project be completed? Will the Alliance go public with what you scientists plan? If so, when? And then, how will it be explained and described to citizens of many worlds?"
The shiny Vrutt calmly answered, "A year from completion, your year. We will divulge the existence and purpose of the Beacon, well after installation. Never its location. It will be camouflaged, covertly guarded. No one will know which pulsar is the heart and soul of the galaxy. In a year, no one will be able to find it."
"I see." Major Dukane commented: "Like a beautiful melody. Not heard, but felt throughout star systems."
Genis responded, "Poetic way of putting it, Major. Yes. Undetectable. Its source: untraceable. The pulsar will simply create 'good feelings,' out in space and in the atmospheres of countless planets."
"What?" The great scientist was reluctant to answer.
"Excuse my training and Ranger mentality, I guess. Our forces can certainly mask the pulsar from vast distances. My question is: Does the Beacon pose a threat? Can it be converted into a weapon of mass-destruction? Something that effects everyone in a negative way?"
"As long as we keep the wave-vibration blue, and we will, they'll be no fallout. None at all."
"All right, Master Genis. If you were to name a problem with the project, what would it be?"
The alien replied: "Discovery. If dark forces realize what the Alliance intends, which pulsar it is, then...there could be trouble."
"But Genis. We all know the Empire was defeated."
"Was it, Major? Our psychics disagree."
Alliance scientist and Ranger looked into each other's eyes.
The evening before Leia Solo's funeral, Ben awoke from sleep. He had a visitor.
Master Yoda, the energy that was the spirit of the powerful Jedi, appeared in Solo's bedroom. Yoda's aura shimmered in blue light.
Ben was startled and honored. He turned soft lights on. The young man sat at the edge of his bed.
"Ben. Do you remember what I told you about the Sith, last time we spoke?"
"Yes, Master Yoda. I asked you: Were the Sith really dead, dead and gone?"
"You said: no. And refused to say more."
"I knew your question then and your next question now."
"My question?" Ben asked. He rubbed his eyes.
Yoda responded, "Where are the Sith?"
"Yes, sir. My Rangers and I want to know precisely where they are. Will you tell me?"
Yoda chuckled and asked, "So your militias can be sent in and destroy the last of your enemy? Revenge, Ben?"
Ben changed the subject to his mother. "Do you know..."
"Of course, dear boy. I grieve with you. Your terrible loss. You will have a hard day tomorrow. You are strong with the Force and the Energy, Ben. I'll answer your question..."
"Wait. Master Yoda. Why are you talking differently?"
The dark green (passed-on) creature of knowledge, peace and love, smiled. He informed Ben: "I will never talk backwards again. There will be a time, not so long in the future, when the Force will not exist. Everything will change and be very different. To answer your question, you will find the 'hand' of the last Sith Lord on Jakku. Goodbye, Ben." Image of Yoda, the forward-spoken, former Jedi Force-wielder, evaporated into nothing.
Leia's funeral was not the small event she had requested. It was held on the sacred grounds of Ralia, under three purple suns. Hundreds of humans and aliens of all shapes and sizes and colors, attended the tribute to a truly remarkable woman. She was Skywalker, Solo and strong with the Force. Leia sacrificed prestigious careers in numerous fields all for her beloved son. She lived a happy life on Shasheer.
Some of the most prolific psychics in the galaxy felt the need and traveled to Ralia, without official invitation. They expressed how special Leia was, even though many had never met her.
The light-violet sky was set ablaze with streamers of fantastic complimentary colors expelled from a single, white saucer. The streamers burst in the air and the climax resulted in multicolored snow!
Rangers saluted Leia Solo's body encased inside a white capsule as it slowly hovered and moved along a golden road. Sweet music ended the tasteful affair.
Ben Solo wore his full-dress uniform. He was one more Ranger that saluted. On his right, stood his father, who appeared formal and was basically calm and composed. On Ben's left, and also in dress-uniform, was his best friend and valuable Ranger: Po Dameron.
When nearly everyone had gone, Ben met up with Po and they were alone. Ben informed him: "We're going to the desert planet of Jakku. Possibly a Sith base is there. You with me, Po?"
"Sir, you know it!"
Suddenly a figure in black gear behind Ben came closer.
Po recognized the bearded man. He asked, "Isn't that? No. Can't be."
Ben tilted his head. "What?"
Po said, "Commander. Turn around."
Ben sensed a supremely strong presence. It had been a dozen years. He knew who it was before he turned.
It was Skywalker.
"My Master." Ben had a huge smile on his face.
The 'robed warrior' replied, "Please. Just Luke."
Dameron took a few steps forward and shook Luke's hand. "We never met. It's a real honor, sir." The Ranger was overwhelmed, then remembered. "Oh. I'm very sorry." Po backed away and left uncle and nephew alone.
"Po," Luke acknowledged. He turned to Ben and gave him his complete attention. "I am so sorry, Ben. I'm late." Luke frowned. He thought of Han. "How's your father?"
"Surprisingly well, sir."
"And. Ben. How are you taking it?"
"I'm fine." He managed another smile.
"You've grown. I knew you'd be head of the Rangers."
Young Solo brushed off the comments and went straight to the pain: "Can you tell us anything of the murder, Luke?"
"Um. I knew the moment it occurred. I screamed. But I was blinded, or, blocked from seeing the assassin."
Ben said, "We have her on film."
Luke was surprised. "You do? A woman?" [His highly-increased Jedi powers were often useless when it came to intense emotions].
Po interjected: "Our best minds and machines have not identified her. We will in time. I should leave..."
"I should." Ranger Dameron did just that and left the purple scene.
When Po was gone, Luke asked again, "How's Han taking it?"
Inside a dark, occult, Sith temple with symbols on the walls and only long, black candles for light...
A new initiate was naked and perched on her knees upon a sacrificial altar within a circle. She had blood on her face. The beautiful, but deadly, blonde woman was middle-aged and in incredible shape. She was strong with the Dark Side of the Force. She had killed again for her Lord and Master. The obedient servant and slave finished a ritual that placed her into a state of ecstasy. She shook. She calmed herself. She stated with every fiber of her being: "I am your Hand as well as the other. We will do as you command, my Master."
A very deep voice, the voice of the giant Snoke, echoed throughout the black temple: "You have done well, my Hand. Rise. You will no longer be known as Ova. From now on, you will be called...Phasma."
She got to her feet. Phasma revealed her naked beauty and very powerful physique. She saw the orange robes left for her on the floor. She put them on.
She left the altar and circle and approached a large, black pit. She looked down into the abyss and smiled. She said, "Phasma, eh? I like it." She put her hands on her hips and laughed.
Cloaked Sith drones swiftly came upon their targeted destination. Black machines confirmed what only a few Dark Side magicians realized: a new power source was needed (other than Khyber crystals). New crystals were discovered in one particular place, on one insignificant meteor in space.
The drones transformed and had become mining-machines. Under a star-field canopy, the devices drilled into an ordinary iron rock and found a system of natural caverns and channels. Further along metallic paths, the actual crystals were discovered.
Diorite crystals were rare and pink in color. The 7-sided mineral rods had been utilized by numerous systems because of the ability to "hold an electrical charge." Known Diorite deposits were always in a raw form with a cloudy matrix. The new discovery was very different.
Sith drones located Diorite here in its purist form: clear, no matrix, gem-quality, 7-sided, pink rods 100 times harder that diamond. The crystals were perfect, unbroken, unchipped, and scattered within dark caves of the asteroid.
Sith machines illuminated and collected all of the specimens. Each could be easily converted to create new types of blasters, light-cannons and light-sabers.
At prime Ranger station 794, Alliance fleets of battlecruisers, destroyers and small fighters were aligned in space. The full armada that served the Light Side was convened for one purpose...
Luke Skywalker had returned!
The strongest Jedi warrior had been out of communication for more than 11 years, ever since the completion of Ben's training. His family understood Luke was alive and healthy and again in his "special place," away from everything in the universe.
In the main observation deck, behind a massive window, stood Han and Ben. Various techs and officers were in the background.
The Commander said to his impatient father, "He'll be here. He's coming now." Ben checked his wrist device. He said, confidently, "He's here, father."
"It's been so long. Look how much has happened." Han was nervous.
"Ben. How do I mention...?"
"Don't," Ben assured him.
"He doesn't want to talk about her, either. Luke only wants to see the face of the killer."
Han exhaled and relaxed a bit. "Huh."
"There he is."
"Hm?" Han turned.
Others, some distance away, viewed Starwalker's entrance and favorably reacted.
Luke, still in uncharacteristic black, almost ran into the big room. He was happy to see his old friend and his student again, but not too happy.
They all hugged each other with tears in their eyes. Words didn't need to be spoken. A silent embrace said it all.
In a short time, the three detectives went to work and moved to a large display-screen.
Luke confessed, "I had no idea you have moving pictures of the intruder or that it was female."
Han asked his son, "Ben. Have Rangers discovered the answer to how? The force-field was supposed to be 'fail-safe,' sealed."
Commander Solo answered, "No, sir. Codes continuously change like com-channels." Ben cued the film and played it on the screen for Luke.
Once more, the dark, agile figure pranced through the Solos' home, apparently very sure of herself. The film stopped at the optimal time when the face was clearly seen.
Luke gasped and caught his breath.
"You recognize her too, uncle?"
"Yes. Yes I do. It's as if she's from a dream, or, or a memory I cannot recall."
A long silence.
"Pretty. Isn't she?"
Han snapped. "Ben! She savaged your mother with a saber."
"Ah." The Commander felt more a 'son' and less like the leader of the Rangers. "I know. I know, father. I'm sorry."
Luke concentrated on the girl and wondered, "Did she?"
Skywalker clarified his feelings: "I sense three things."
"Go on, Luke," Han urged.
Luke stated, "One. She's a puppet, a pawn to the real motivator. Two. She is completely innocent, played, as we are being played..."
Ben asked, "And three, sir?"
Han and Ben listened closely.
Luke's spirit expressed, "And three...we are somehow connected to her. Bloodlines."
Ben said, "I feel it too, Luke."
Han was befuddled. He knew his good friend and son were strong with the Force. It took time. Han processed the words he heard. His first reaction was: "What?" Then he realized answers will come and clarity will replace confusion. "Any ideas?"
The Jedi said, "There's time. Maybe we have to get away from the problem to solve the problem, eh?"
Ben followed the suggestion with, "Uncle Luke. Did C3PO ever cook his famous Bluvato sauce and meatballs?"
Han smiled and reacted, "Mmmm. Food of the gods."
Luke was astonished. "3PO cooks? Since when? Thought he was on his last legs?"
Han said, "There's been a few changes."
Ben smiled and led the way. "C'mon."
A shadowy humanoid that constantly changed shape, stood in front of a brilliant and extremely colorful landscape. The natural hills, streams, trees, and mountains were fantastic sights. The humanoid in constant flux was one of nine entities known as the Whills.
The Whill beheld utopia. The Paradise was not reality, but a symbol of future reality. The land and sky were projections, a possibility.
The war between positive and negative, Jedi and Sith, provided 'theatre' for much larger multi-verses on incomprehensible levels. Magnetic pressures from both sides had increased to a breaking point. Time had come.
The Whill in constant change, changed again. The entity once more viewed a landscape of perfection. It expressed:
In balance, out of balance, in balance, out of balance. Must the physical universe change in order to exist?
At the Solo homestead called Shasheer, under another dome (other than crime scene), a delicious Shasta meal was prepared with the most exquisite Bluvato sauce and meatballs.
Luke wore grey robes and had affectionately greeted C3PO earlier in the evening. He couldn't believe the new look of the android.
Ben, Han and Luke appeared casual and sat at the dinner table, served by a 100% silver robot.
"Who knew you could cook?" Luke asked his old, shiny, mechanical friend.
C3PO immediately replied, "One of my protocols, sir. I make the best Bluvato sauce in the galaxy. Just wait until you taste the balls."
Ben and Han laughed.
Luke asked, "Since when?"
"Since always, sir. I am most proficient in the kitchen."
Luke wondered about the silver exterior. "You'll have to explain the upgrade..."
Han replied, "He reincarnated."
The android moved his arms and attempted to explain. "Well, sir..."
Luke directed: "Not you, 3PO." He smiled and winked at the men. "Ben?"
Ben answered, "Upgrades galore. No memory degradation or personality changes. We basically slipped our old friend into a new/better body."
Silver C3PO stated with sarcasm, "How wonderful. I can run faster serving you your tea, sirs." The fine machine turned to Skywalker and seriously said: "Jesting aside, I am extremely pleased to see you again, Master Luke."
There were good feelings all around.
C3PO examined everything on the table in a flash. "Oh. Shasta's ready. Can't wait to see your reactions. I must confess, I outdid myself on this batch." The silver server sprinted out of the dining area.
"Good. I'm hungry," Han said.
Ben said, "I saw the rich blueness of the Bluvatos. Looked very fresh."
Luke changed the subject to a serious one after he probed their minds a bit. "I sense no Sith base on Jakku. Not a trace, as far as I can tell."
Ben said, "Master Yoda contacted me and relayed the information." Ben stared into Luke's eyes and said, "Sith are not destroyed. I believe their strength grows everyday."
Han questioned, "But Ben. Your Rangers found no evidence of a base or any threat on the surface. Do you mean inside Jakku?"
"Yes, father. No fleet or Sith presence has been detected. Could be hidden inside? I've sent a single agent with special equipment to the surface."
"Yes, Luke. I'm confident he'll find Dark Side evidence, a lead to what we seek."
Luke thought of the other droid, his heart and soul. "What of R2? Upgraded?"
Han replied, "The little guy's processor is onboard the M2. He reincarnated. Oh, Luke. The Falcon also reincarnated. Lot you haven't seen, my friend. A lot we have to show you."
Luke grabbed Ben's hand and Han's hand. He charged them with positive energy.
Everyone felt it.
Han expressed the old line, "May the Force be with you."
Luke oddly responded, "That will change...in future."
C3PO entered the dining-area with a silver tray. "Ooh. I am very fortunate at this time to present my specialty." The android placed the tray down and served plates of perfectly prepared Shasta in a bright blue sauce. Each serving had two rare meatballs.
Ben, Han and Luke thought of Leia. They'd already given thanks for the food. Two Solos and a Skywalker plunged into the heavenly Shasta covered in thick juice. They tasted the meat.
C3PO turned its shiny head towards each of the three. "Well?" it asked in breathless anticipation.
The diners were overwhelmed at how divine the tastes were to the senses. They cringed in sheer delight.
Han and Luke grunted and swallowed with such gusto and glee that the android misinterpreted the reactions.
Ben fell to the floor in ecstasy.
"Goodness! I've poisoned you! It was poison puree. That was it, the puree! Don't eat another bite, sirs. Oh dear, oh dear..."
"No. No!" Luke exclaimed. "It's delicious, fantastic! I've never had anything this good. I have to take this very slowly, to enjoy every bite."
"Really?" The robot was greatly relieved.
Han was also amazed at the meal and asked, "How come we never asked you to cook?"
Ben laughed from the floor. He got up and sat in his chair. Before he dove into the Bluvato again, he told them: "A lot of love in the room." The young Commander grabbed his Mead drink. He looked at Luke and drank to honor the return of the Jedi, Leia and those not among them. "Great having you back, uncle Luke."
Han also raised his glass. "Cheers."
Mixed feelings swirled under the dome.
Some dreams came true. Other dreams did not~
The M2 spacecraft dashed through empty space at hyper speed and contained Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and the young Commander in the pilot's seat. The shuttle was directed toward the desert planet of Jakku.
Ben was confused. "Luke? I have to ask. You insisted we blast off and meet Po halfway? I'm not sure why. Dameron is due to report in soon, then head back to the station. I'm not clear..."
"You trust me, don't you, my former apprentice?"
Ben kept his eyes ahead and also down at the monitor screens. He sputtered: "Ah. Yes. But. Um. Luke?"
Han was casual. "If I know your uncle, he has good reasons."
"I must learn patience," Ben admitted.
Han joked, "Why do you sound more like a young Luke than a young me? Did we do blood-tests?"
All three passengers had hearty laughs at Han's question.
Ben stated, "Luke. We have one more big intro, or, big reunion, you could say, to present to you."
"Huh?" Luke had forgotten. He had much more on his mind.
Ben pressed a button in front of him. The action activated an 'old friend,' now that the processing and outer-shell matrix was finished. Han surprised Luke with: "Allow me to present..."
Skywalker received a peculiar sensation. He needed to stand and rose to his feet.
"...The new and vastly improved...R2D2!"
"Son of a Wookiee," the bearded Jedi whispered under his breath.
R2 rolled up and waddled back and forth close to Luke. The silver and purple, transmogrified droid was actually plugged inside a state-of-the-art BB8-model. The droid was two spheres that moved.
Luke's initial reaction was disappointment at such a radical change in appearance. He frowned and expressed, "What the hell is that?"
Luke expected a somewhat similar exterior for the brilliant 'canister' that often 'saved the day.'
R2 as BB8 rolled around a few more times. Colored lights blinked on and off. The anticipated excitement in the M2 shuttle drained from the control cabin...
But in a short moment, everything changed again~
The new R2 bellowed a couple low tones of sadness: "Buuuuaaahuu."
Luke immediate heard and understood. "R2! It's you!"
The droid responded with great love and affection: "Sweeetwee Tyreee!"
"Good to see you too, R2."
They all laughed.
Han said to Luke, "Told you he reincarnated, ha."
Luke released his tight grip on the droid. He tapped it a few times with his metal hand.
Ben was curious. He asked Luke for clarification: "Why are we shuttling toward Po when he was on his way back to the station with his report?"
Luke calmly told the Solos, "Because in this way, we can confront Leia's killer as soon as possible. Po captured her on Jakku. Only now can we communicate and rendezvous with him."
"What?" Han was stunned.
Ben asked, "Po has her in captivity?"
Luke assumed a cold, hard expression. "Nothing will happen to the child, I assure you. I'll see to it. Thought it best if all four of us brought her in for questioning. We'll get to the bottom of this soon enough."
Father and son hardly believed Luke's words.
"Weeeet Weeep!" R2 informed Luke that Po's signal was transmitted.
Dameron's transmission reached the M2 in hyperspace. It was confirmed. They found the girl they had sought.
Later. The pretty brunette with her hair pulled back wore beige colors that camouflaged her among desert sands. She was not happy within the jail cell, specifically: a Ranger/Alliance containment field. She was brought to Station 794 and placed in the most secured room, under the most advanced surveillance-monitors. She was intensely guarded and studied.
High above her "open-area" (like a zoo specimen) were floors of observation decks. On one of the floors, against the railing, three interested observers met. Han was not there.
Po, Luke and Commander Ben talked as they watched the girl below them who paced back and forth like a graceful, caged cat.
Ben asked Ranger Dameron, "What was your report? I mean, if you hadn't encountered the girl, Po?"
He replied, "My close-range scans confirmed our remote scans: no Sith base on the surface or inside the planet. The 'mind-extractor' examined and analyzed dozens of natives. At first, it was set for anything Dark Side..."
Po continued: "...I thought to cross-check our assassin's face, on the odd chance one of the natives had seen her? In a sample of half a hundred extractions, the computer found her numerous times and displayed bits of what the collective knew of her..."
Ben asked, "Which was?"
Luke concentrated as his eyes focused on her eyes, three floors down.
She felt his stare.
Po said, "She's a scavenger. It's in the file. Quite a successful one, they say. A desert rat. The natives stay clear of her. A few think she has secret weapons or magical powers. And some are sure she's a witch. She sure had me bewitched."
Luke asked, "She have a name?"
Po replied, "They call her Rey."
Luke was also bewitched by her. "Rey?" Luke peered inside his mind, his memories. He heard a woman's voice that whispered: "Rey."
"You all right?" Ben asked.
Skywalker strangely responded to an entirely different subject: "Something's wrong with the Force. Oblivion, we all are. Yoda doesn't believe the Beacon Project will work."
Po asked, "What Beacon Project, sir?"
Ben was equally unaware.
There was no response.
Ben ordered Po, "Leave us, Po. You are dismissed."
Ben looked down three floors at Rey. He turned to Luke. He knew he'd receive the truth. He asked his father's question: "Who is she?"
Luke hesitated. Then, with feelings, he said, "She's family."
On a barren, cloaked planet, used by the 'Resistance' or secret rebels against the Alliance...
Blue-skinned Admiral Thrawn stood on a balcony that overlooked the 'ground-breaking' ceremonies in the distance, under red skies of twilight from two crimson suns. The creature in a gold and black uniform smiled an evil smile. In future, military vehicles and war-weapons of every type will be energized by a new and different power source. The Admiral laughed. He'd lead the next wave of revolutionaries. War-factories on many worlds will be produced just like this first one.
A far shot of Admiral Thrawn showed that he was in the middle of an extremely faint aura or 30 foot energy field. The shape of the 'cocoon' was bizarre, irregular, distinctive and seen before.
THE END of Star Wars #7, 'A New Threat.'
Stay tuned for:
TS Caladan's Star Wars #8, 'Balance of Power.'
comments are very welcome.
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