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johnnyputrid
29 September 2004, 03:20 PM
The small shuttle drifted through the foggy morning skies of Ossus, as it made its way towards the ancient ruins of the Jedi Library. Battered and pock-marked with dozens of micro-meteor impacts, the small craft still held a degree of elegance, its former mirror shine dulled by generations of use. A lone figure operated the shuttle as it descended towards the small, but functional spaceport, nestled among the collapsed pillars and walls of the once-towering Jedi edifice. Few were about at this hour, but a pair of technicians were milling around, awaiting the shuttle’s landing. Construction machinery sat idle around the library ruins, awaiting the morning work shift to begin the process of rebuilding and restoring the complex. Soon the Jedi Order would have a new facility in which to train its students, and continue their time-honored traditions.

Setting down in an unused bay, the sleek shuttle lowered itself on a trio of slim landing struts and settled down. Descending the landing ramp, a cloaked and hooded figure of indeterminate species and gender slowly made its way towards the port master’s office. Keeping its hood low over its features, the tall figure moved with a ponderous gait, graceful, yet showing signs of great age and much hardship.. The large hood betrayed a non-human profile, and a slight hunch in the creature’s back further emphasized an alienness about it. Noting the creature, the port master, a short human with a noticeable paunch about the mid-section, hurried over to greet this new arrival.

“Welcome to Ossus, spacer. As you can see, we don’t get much traffic here lately, outside of the construction guys and the Jedi fellas, of course. You got business with the Jedi, or you just a tourist? Either way, it’s no problem. Most folks are welcome here.” Though the port master had to look up to address the new arrival, he held himself in a confident manner, the heavy pistol at his side reassuring him that he could handle any trouble he might face. He felt no hostility from the creature, but the weapon's weight reassured him.

“I am here to see Master Skywalker,” replied the creature, his Basic accented with a slight provincial twang. “I have an important matter to discuss with him.”

“Uh, here’s the thing fella. Lotsa people want to see Skywalker lately. But if you don’t have an appointment, I’m afraid it’s going to be a long wait. Jedi training and all.”

“Please, if you will, inform Master Skywalker that I will wait as long as necessary. But I am old and sick, and have only a few weeks left to live. It is vital that I speak with him before my time ends.” The creature’s voice carried a sadness that was easily felt by the stocky port officer.

“Alright, fella. Have a seat over there, and I’ll see what I can do.” Indicating a chair nearby, the port master left the office, heading into the complex proper. The hooded figure sat slowly, a few creaks audible as its joints popped and flexed. Folding its arms in front of it, the creature leaned its neck back a bit, resting its head against the cool duracrete wall. The darkened hood slid back slightly, revealing a large mouth, but little else of its features.

Several minutes later, a figure dressed in black clothing, similar in cut to the tunics worn by the Jedi Knights strode into the office. His hair was a sandy blond shade, worn short, with tiny streaks of grey running throughout. His only adornment was a simple belt, a gleaming cylindrical object dangling from it that could only be one of the fabled lightsabers, the ancient weapon of the Jedi. Offering his hand, he introduced himself.

“I’m Luke Skywalker,” he said, his voice both soft and compelling. “Can I help you in some way? The port master stressed some urgency.”

Lowering its hood, the creature rose and accepted Luke’s hand with a firm grasp. Large floppy ears, one of which was missing a large portion near the tip, spilled out from beneath the hood. His billed mouth drooped slightly, a pair of long whiskers draped over each side of his lips, and a pair of hooded eyes, mounted on flexible stalks, passed their gaze over the Jedi Master.

“I have traveled a long way to meet you, Master Jedi. My name is not important, as I use it little nowadays. But I have something to tell you, something I should’ve said many years ago, but have only now found the courage to do.” Sadness and weariness crept from the creature’s voice, as if he were finally relieving himself of some long-buried secret kept too close to his heart, and too often left unspoken.

Luke stood loose and relaxed, but through the Force he felt powerful emotions in this being. “Please sit. You’re a Gungan, am I right? From Naboo?” As both sat, Luke sensed an emotional struggle within the creature, something at once both dark and bright in nature.

“Yes, a Gungan, though I have not called Naboo home in many years. But it is not where I come from, as much as it is where you come from that I came here to speak of. For you see, I was a friend of your father.”

Luke nearly reeled as the creature spoke of his father, long dead and now one with the Force, just as his former mentors Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi had become. He had not thought of his father in a long time, and memories flooded into his mind, many enjoyable, but many more were frightening. “You knew my father?” Luke felt a twinge of fear and exultation. The Gungan paused, hanging his head slightly, as he made an effort to assemble his thoughts. Though he had rehearsed this speech thousands of times over the years, finally being in the presence of the great Jedi Master filled him with apprehension and doubt. When he finally spoke, it was in a low voice, barely audible, and on the verge of choking on his own words.

“Yes, I knew him well. Annie. Such a great young man he was. Full of life. And anger. You could feel so enamored around him. And sometimes very afraid, as well. But he was always good to me, and to her, your mother. Yes, I knew her too. She was so beautiful, and smart. Smarter than anyone I’ve ever known. And so very kind.” Tears welled up in the Gungan’s eyes, and his hands began to tremble beneath the sleeves of his robe.

Luke was overcome by the Gungan’s emotions. He felt the creature’s pain and sadness through the Force like an open wound in his heart. Holding back tears of his own, Luke was completely absorbed in this creature, and hung onto each and every word, savoring them. “Please, go on. Take as long as you like.”

“Thank you, Master Jedi. Where was I? Oh, yes, your father. Forgive me, for I am old, and my mind is not as sharp as it once was. Some would say it was never very sharp at all. But I digress. Your father. I knew him from when he was, oh, ten years old, I would say, maybe even younger. He was such a nice young boy. Much nicer than most human children. I mean no insult, but human children can be so cruel to aliens, you know. But not Annie. He helped me when I needed it the most. I was there when he first met Obi, before their falling out many years later. I miss Obi. They were such good friends back then. Like father and son. Meesa…I’m sorry. The old ways still come, from time to time. I traveled with them for a time, just before Annie became a Jedi, before….I’m sorry, this is so very hard for me.” The Gungan wept openly, his head hanging low over his chest, emotion pouring out from him like water bursting from a dam. Luke felt it as well, and placed his arm around the aged Gungan. He held him there tightly, well into the setting of Ossus’ sun, as his father’s oldest living companion told him the true tale of Anakin Skywalker, friend and Jedi Knight.

Ronin
28 February 2005, 06:43 AM
Dunno why no one else has commented, but I really love this mate.
Great work.

Midnight_Marauder
26 March 2005, 11:38 AM
No complaints here, it's a very good story. Well done.

coldskier0320
1 April 2005, 05:23 PM
...wow.

Johnny, is there any more to this story? I'd love to continue reading.:)

johnnyputrid
2 April 2005, 09:51 AM
Wow indeed. I wasn't expecting any positive reactions to this. I wrote off the cuff one day, threw it up here and totally forgot about it. Thanks for the nice words everybody. If I get a chance, maybe I'll expand on it a bit, but I think I'll hold off until ROTS comes out, just to get the full story.

Unless of course the movie shows Jar Jar winding up on the business end of Anakin's saber. You never know with Lucas.:D

jedi_lucky
7 April 2005, 12:12 PM
wow that was pretty good!

lucky
:daala:

Corr Terek
8 April 2005, 05:20 PM
I gotta say, this is pretty cool. I like how you made Jar-Jar an older, wiser, more refined individual. He even seems to have developed a wry sense of humor.

I considered doing something similar with Jar Jar: except I was thinking of maybe him doing something to delay some clones and/or Vader himself while young Padawans escaped. I was bouncing around some dialogue for Vader and Jar Jar, but wasn't sure how it would work. I'm sure Jar Jar, as a childhood acquaintance's of Anakin's, would maybe manage to prick Anakin's conscience just a little. Not enough to provoke a change, but slaying a childhood friend would probably weigh even more heavily on Anakin's sense of guilt...

Ronin
9 April 2005, 04:39 AM
Or...quite likely Vader would chop Jar Jar down ;)...at last.

Corr Terek
9 April 2005, 06:31 AM
Oh please. I was *trying* to look at things from a serious point of view. Actually, Jar Jar never really bugged me all that much. I guess I'm just not as picky as some people. Which is why I'm pleased someone else took the time to try to give the character a decent role.

Ronin
9 April 2005, 08:23 AM
Corr, I was joking ;) (rather obvious though it was).
I do agree that, handled seriously, Jar Jar isn't such a bad character. I like how Johnny has used him...though as for a conversation between Jar Jar and Vader...I think Anakin's too far gone by the time he becomes Vader.
Just IMO.

Corr Terek
9 April 2005, 03:19 PM
Yeah, I knew you were, and I wasn't as ticked as my post sounded. I see your point about Vader though. I just think it would be one more thing for him to brood over in his later years. I mean, we know that some good still lies in Vader, and I can see that good part in anguish over slaughtering young children (and maybe, just maybe, the one friend who was innocent in the whole matter...). But yeah, this was a really good look at how Jar Jar can be treated seriously.

Quamis Dorsaan
1 May 2005, 04:09 AM
words can't describe how good the story is. please continue the story. i want to know why Jar jar doesn't use his name.