Star Wars fan fiction
introduction and preview
Only For A Season
Chapter 1: Desert Visitor
Chapter 2: Game of Marbles
Chapter 3: Stargazer
Chapter 4: Dewbacks and Darklighter
Chapter 5: Skyhopper
Chapter 6: Beggar’s Canyon
Chapter 7: Boonta Eve
Chapter 8: Sunstealer
Chapter 9: The Stone Needle
Chapter 10: Shifting Sands
Chapter 11: A New Season
Chapter 12: Japor Strands
Chapter 13: Farmer’s Holiday
Chapter 14: Starkiller
Chapter 15: Setting Suns
Chapter 16: Seeds of Rebellion
Only For A Season
Tatooine’s twin suns dipped ever closer to the barren horizon, deepening the settling dusk and casting darkening shades of red across the ground and sky. Obi-Wan Kenobi frowned a bit as he spurred his mount with his boot heels, trying to quicken the beast’s pace. The Lars homestead was in sight; he could barely make out the flashing beacons along the farm’s perimeter, and he wanted to make his arrival before nightfall brought on heightened defenses against the local tribesmen. Tuscan Raiders, or Sandpeople as the locals typically called them. Obi-Wan had been researching his new home planet on the journey here – at least between spells of feeding, changing, and settling his charge to sleep.
The Jedi’s gaze fell upon the child. Anakin’s son. Padme had named the boy Luke. Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan had expected the journey to try the child, but he slept soundly through the dry arid heat, through the baying and jostling of the mount that carried them across the desert. Obi-Wan held Luke securely in the crook of his left arm, leaving his right hand free to guide the beast (or to wield his lightsaber against any threat that presented itself), and the Jedi made frequent efforts to touch the child’s mind with thoughts of reassurance and protection. But the boy slept on uneventfully. Almost as if he understood that he was going home.
The first of the suns had touched the horizon when Obi-Wan slid from the back of his eopie and strode toward the Lars homestead. He could sense two minds inside, both aware of his approach, though neither was happy about it. The door opened before he had the chance to announce himself and a young woman quickly stepped outside. From her sense and her body language Obi-Wan could tell that she was trying to diffuse any hostilities before they could begin.
“You must be Beru Lars,” Obi-Wan greeted her kindly. “I’m Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
Beru nodded numbly. She recognized the name, as she recognized the dress and manner of a Jedi Knight. But she did not understand what such a man was doing here on her doorstep. She had only seen a Jedi once before, when Owen’s step brother, Anakin, had come here to search for Shmi. After her burial Owen and Anakin had quarelled. Owen had thought it foolish and dishonorable of Anakin to leave Tatooine for a second time. He had been willing to forgive the errant decision Anakin had made as a boy, leaving his mother in slavery in order to seek his own fortune... but for a man to turn his back on his family – and even if they were not blood they were still family through Shmi – as far as Owen was concerned, for Anakin to leave was to turn his back on his mother’s memory, to turn his back on her for a second time.
Anakin had tried to explain to Owen, he had commitments to the Jedi, to the beautiful Padme who was apparently under his protection, and to Obi-Wan Kenobi, his mentor who was facing danger and possibly death, but Owen heard none of it. To a man like Owen the rest of the universe was very far away. He understood his home, his family, and his farm. He would give his everything for those. They were sacred to him. And Anakin’s rejection of everything Owen held dear had cut him to the bone. Anakin chose to leave. And Owen refused to have anything more to do with his step brother. Beru knew that the best thing she could do now was to send this Obi-Wan Kenobi away as quickly as she could.
Obi-Wan stood silently, watching Beru, his senses alert. Though he knew that Anakin and Padme had each trusted the Lars family, Obi-Wan wanted and needed to know what kind of guardians they would make before he left Luke in their custody. Beru made no move to offer him hospitality – though Obi-Wan could tell that it pained her to show a traveler such rudeness. Even if she did not understand the purpose of his trip, he had taken great risk and made a perilous journey across the desert to stand here on her doorstep, holding.... Beru’s confusion turned to awe as her eyes settled on the bundle in Obi-Wan’s arms and she realized that he carried a newborn baby.
“His name is Luke. He’s your nephew,” Obi-Wan whispered.
Her face softened as her gaze drank in the child. Beru Lars had warm eyes and a compassionate nature, but underlying those was a sense of focus and practicality shaped by years of adversity and a single-minded determination to make not just a way of life in this barren wasteland but to make a home and a family. Obi-Wan watched her stare at the child for several seconds, but before Beru could make any reply Owen Lars appeared behind her. A stern and foreboding look took over the farmer’s features as he stared out at the Jedi.
“I need your help, Owen,” was all Obi-Wan stated.
The man’s eyes flickered to the child, and then back to the Jedi. He gave a nod to his wife, and she gently took the baby from Obi-Wan’s arms and carried him inside. Obi-Wan could hear Beru speaking softly to Luke as she turned her back on them. Once the sound of her voice had faded back into desert stillness Obi-Wan took a deep breath and began to explain to Owen Lars, as much as he could, about what had brought him and Luke to them, and why Luke desperately needed their protection.
Owen’s emotions rose and fell as he listened to Obi-Wan’s tale of war and betrayal, and of the fate that had befallen his step brother... but his face remained stone-set and impassive throughout. In the time since Anakin had left Tatooine Owen had endured his own trials. He had lost Shmi, of course, who had been like a second mother to him. His father, Cliegg Lars, had not survived his wife for very long. But well before his death Owen had already taken over operation of the farm; even while he survived, Cliegg’s health, along with his grief, had hampered him greatly.
With Cliegg’s death Owen and Breu had been forced to marry more quickly than they had planned. They were each alone in the world, no surviving family to help them make their start. Even with the two of them working night and day they had barely managed to keep the farm going. Then, once they had finally made enough headway with the farm to start looking toward the future... Owen’s gaze flickered toward three small headstones placed alongside Shmi and Cleigg, and he pushed back the pang that those losses still inflicted on his heart. Owen Lars wanted no more to do with this Jedi than he had his step brother, but if the child was his nephew and had no one else... Owen couldn’t turn him away. But there would be rules. There would be conditions.
Obi-Wan fell silent and listened with a somber expression as Owen Lars listed his requirements. Owen’s terms would push Obi-Wan out of Luke’s life, but the Jedi knew he had no choice in the matter, not if he wanted the boy to live here and remain safe.
Then Owen came to a halt and took a deep breath, as if processing for himself everything he had just said. Obi-Wan inclined his head in a gesture of concession and felt a distinct ripple of surprise from Owen, which was swiftly followed by the suspicion that Obi-Wan hand given in far too easily.
“You’re telling me that my brother won’t come looking for the child?” Lars questioned.
“Anakin doesn’t exist anymore, and Darth Vader has no reason to come here,” Kenobi replied.
The Jedi’s voice rang with his defeat, but Owen Lars had no pity for him; the Jedi Knights had taken Shmi’s son from her care, and they were responsible for Anakin’s fate. Owen’s face turned colder as he considered those thoughts. Now Kenobi came here begging for help with Shmi’s grandson in his arms.
“But if anything does happen,” Obi-Wan promised quietly, “I’ll be nearby–”
“We agreed, Kenobi. You’re to have nothing to do with the boy.”
Obi-Wan began to object. “His safety is my–”
“Nothing!” Owen nearly yelled, “not if you want me to raise him.”
Obi-Wan hung his head, finding that concession harder to swallow than any other. He had failed Anakin. He could not fail Luke.
Owen’s voice shook with emotion when he spoke again. “I am willing to raise the boy as my own son, to give him everything that I would give my own son, but I won’t live my life waiting for him to be taken from me, Kenobi.”
Obi-Wan could feel an intense devotion beneath the fierceness in Owen’s emotions, and despite his gruff exterior Obi-Wan knew more than ever that Owen Lars would do right by his nephew.
Obi-Wan nodded his lowered head in concession.
“Then that’s the end of it,” Owen decided, and he took a step back into the homestead.
“Wait,” Obi-Wan stopped the younger man, placing a hand on his shoulder before Owen could disappear inside. “Will you give him this, when he’s old enough to have it?” Obi-Wan took the lightsaber from his robes and held the weapon, open palmed, out for Owen. The other man’s surprise and revulsion were evident in his face. “He’ll never know his parents, Owen. He should at least have something of his father’s,” Obi-Wan implored the man. “Or would you deny him his birthright?”
Owen’s face contorted in a look of barely contained rage as he shook his head furiously. “So that you can fill his head full of mindless idealism and meaningless Jedi tricks, like you did his father?” Obi-Wan looked away. “Take him away from here, where he would have been safe?” Owen continued on, incensed. “No. According to you his parents are dead and gone, and that’s enough nonsense about birthright – the boy’s father was a navigator on a spice freighter!” he finished tersely.
Obi-Wan looked up, startled, just in time to see the door close in his face. The Jedi took a deep breath, then gave another nod. Owen was right; it was done now. The boy was returned to his family where at least he would be safe. Obi-Wan would make sure of that.
The corner of his lip upturned in a faint smile. A navigator on a spice freighter... Obi-Wan could almost picture that: Anakin at the helm of a starship blasting through the unknown regions in the midst of some wild adventure. The Jedi Knight shook his head away from that imagination. It was as fine a deception as any, he supposed. He hated that someday the boy would have to learn a far harsher truth.
Point of view, came a chiding whisper at the edge of his mind.
Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan stood watching the door that had slammed in his face for another moment before he turned away, the blazing suns sinking at last into the horizon at his back. But now that he had learned to communicate with his former master it was difficult to close the channel between them.
“Interesting,” Obi-Wan breathed as he took up the reins and climbed back aboard his mount. “It seems I have another house call to make then.”
At daybreak the following day Obi-Wan visited the Stargazer homestead, where there was a newborn girl just christened Breanna. The family had celebrated the blessed and long-awaited event late into the night. Qui-Gon assured him that this girl’s presence in Luke’s life was necessary; as much as Owen and Beru, she would become his family.
With the help of a little Jedi persuasion, Obi-Wan was able to convince the doubtful parents that a match with Owen Lars’s new nephew would be perfect for their two families. These things were far from uncommon in these parts. Survival and family alliances meant more than the fleeting, fickle romances of youth. Besides, young people rarely had trouble with romance, and what was love if not an enduring partnership which created a family of its own.... Still, Obi-Wan was not without serious doubt for what he had just done as he walked away.
“I hope you know what you’re doing,” he murmured under his breath.
This place will be too small for the boy, as it was with his father.
“And this is the solution – tying him here to a wife and family?”
He needs only stay for a season, Obi-Wan. You will see.
“And what of the marriage?”
He will be raised to understand it as a duty to be fulfilled.
“As a commitment – and possibly the most sacred form of attachment.”
Our lives are full of attachments, Obi-Wan, whether we characterize them as duties or commitments, service, friendship, or love. I would have expected you to understand that by now.
A brief silence settled in Obi-Wan’s mind as he considered his old Master’s new teachings.
It’s not the attachment that does the damage, Qui-Gon decided a moment later, it’s the inability to let go the attachment when its purpose is done and its season in our lives has passed.
“Yes, Master,” Obi-Wan murmured, feeling very much like the headstrong and overconfident young Padawan he had once been to Qui-Gon Jinn all those years ago.
The suns of Tatooine were already blazing their way across the dunes as Obi-Wan Kenobi picked up the reins of the animal that had borne him across the desert sands and led it away from the Stargazer homestead. The Jedi Knight hoped that he would come to understand.... Once they reached the edge of the dune sea he released the eopie back into the wild. His senses told him there was a herd nearby, taking shelter from the day’s heat in a cave. Obi-Wan gave the animal’s mind a nudge in that direction and it walked off into the desert in search of its cohorts. Kenobi pulled his cowl up over his head and likewise disappeared off into the desert, no longer a Jedi Knight, simply an old hermit who called himself Ben.
So Let it Be Written Publishing © 2004