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Saved by the Beer

This is a spin-off of last week’s short story, Father’s Day with Han Solo.


In an alternate universe, several years before The Force Awakens….

Old Gary the stormtrooper sat sadly in the cantina.

Formerly TK-1287, the retired trooper was having a bad day. He blew what remained of his life savings on a bad bet — he backed the wrong team in the Kessel Races. Now all Gary had left were his blaster and a couple of credits.

Someone took the bar stool next to him, an old man with a scarred face. Silently, Gary debated whether he can mooch him for a drink. But the old geezer didn’t look loaded with credits.

snoke funny“Maybe grandpa here has any credits? Naaah.”

Someone else took the stool on his other side, an old smuggler turned race team captain. That scoundrel Han Solo.

Maybe he can mooch him instead.

“That was a bad race man. Maybe you shoulda stayed in the smuggling business.”

Solo looked at him. “Yeah, the team’s not up to spec today. Do I know you?”

“Yeah man, TK-1287. We captured you back on Bespin!”

There was an awkward pause.

“If it helps, I backed your team today. And I voted for your wife in the Senate polls too.”

Han nodded. “Yeah well thanks for the vote of confidence. So whadya do now?”

“Me? I’m just a drifter seeing the galaxy. Didn’t get to see much during my service, just bulkheads and battlestations. How bout you? How’s the princess?”

“We’re doing alright. Leia’s busy doing political stuff. Me, I finally get to see the Falcon racing without being chased by turbolasers.”

“Great. Last I saw you, you were being carbonited — even told my son about it! Got any kids?”

jar jar carbonite funny
“Told him I was gonna carbonite him too if he didn’t shut up.”

“Yeah, just one. He’s in Jedi school taking after his uncle. Yours?”

“My little Larry’s in the academy taking after me. Taught him a few tricks too. Jedi school huh? That doesn’t sound good for the poor schmuck.”

Han glanced sideways at him. “What do you mean?”

“Well Vader went to Jedi school, look how that turned out for him. Spent a lotta time in his little black room shipside. Not very social, that guy.”

“Ha, I know what you mean. The asshole tortured me and didn’t even ask anything! Wish he knew I got to bang his daughter.”

“Yeah well that’s the Jedi for you. Maybe you oughta take your kid out, take him starship racin’ or teach him smuggling. The little fucker might turn into a whiny Sith before y’know it.”

Han got a faraway look. “Yeah, you’re right. Maybe I should. It’s been awhile since I paid Ben a visit. Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. Lil squirt might not finish what he started.” Gary turned to face him. “So how ’bout that drink?”

But Han had already left.

Goddammit.

The old man in the other stool stood up too. Before he could leave after Han, Gary held his arm. “Hey man, got spare change for a drink?”

“No. Let go. I have Force children to take.”

“Force brats huh? Well there’s one on Jakku. Saw this little scavenger floating junk to her sled when I was marooned there.”

“I see. Thank you for the information.”

“No problem dude. So how ’bout that drink?”

But the old man had also left too.

Selfish fuckers.


Several years later….

ben solo rey

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Father’s Day with Han Solo

Six years before The Force Awakens….

 

Gary the stormtrooper sat sadly in the cantina.

Formerly TK-1287, the retired trooper was having a bad day. He blew what remained of his life savings on a bad bet — he backed the wrong team in the Kessel Races. Now all he had left was a pack of gum and a couple of credits.

Someone took the bar stool next to him, an old smuggler turned race team captain. It was that scoundrel Han Solo.

Gary glanced sideways at him. “That was a bad race man. You shoulda stayed in the smuggling business.”

“The team’s not up to spec today,” Han replied with a trace of irritation. “Do I know you?”

“Yeah man, TK-1287. We captured you back on Cloud City. I was the one who tied you to that torture rack!”

There was an awkward silence.

“If it helps, I backed your team today with my life savings.”

Han nodded. “Yeah? Thanks for the vote of confidence. Lemme buy you a drink.”


Several rounds later….

 

“… we still keep the metal bikini in the closet. So whadya do now?”, asked a heavily drunk Han.

“I’m just a drifter seeing the galaxy. Hic! Didn’t get to see it much during my service,” Gary replied. “So where’s your kid?”

“Jedi school taking after his uncle. More mumbo jumbo an’ handwaving. Never really understood any of it.”

Han looked at his watch. “Shit, I just remembered it’s Father’s Day! I gotta pick him up today, tell him the truth bout his granddad.”

He stood up. “I gotta go. Little snot’s been lookin forward to it for a long time.”

kylo ren sad.gif“Uncle Luke, is dad still coming?”

As Han turned to leave, Gary the stormtrooper stopped him. “You really gonna ditch me man? I’m broke because of your nerf-ass team!”

Han swayed and collapsed back on the stool. “Alright, one more round wouldn’t hurt.”

“Awesome! Forget the little fucker, he’s with Jedi monks now man. I know a good Twi’lek stripclub just ’round the corner. Hic!”

“Fine, lead on buckethead.”

Six years later….

han solo death

 Happy Father’s Day from Stormtrooper Larry! 

Kylo Ren’s Password Problem

Several years before The Force Awakens…

Young Ben Solo sat cross-legged on the floor. Very carefully, he set down the holocron in front of him and prepared to do his Jedi homework.

Holocrons, or holographic chronicles, were crystal devices that held ancient lessons. Today he was going to learn from the esteemed Master Yoda.

Before Ben could start, his friend Ron poked his head in the doorway. “Hey man, wanna watch some Twi’lek porn with us?”

Ben shook his head. “No thanks, you know we’re not supposed to watch those. Besides, I have homework to do.”

“Suit yourself. Later dude!”

twilek dancers monthly“It’s your loss Ben!”

Ben cleared images of sexy Twi’lek dancers from his mind and activated the holocron. A tiny hologram of Master Yoda appeared.

“Your password you must enter, if you wish to learn.”

On the holographic keyboard, Ben typed:

> crossguardlightsabersarecool

“Expired your password is. Change it you must, from the Sith and the IT department.  Would you like to change it now?”

Ben clicked YES.

“Your new password you will enter.”

> saber

At least 8 characters your password must have.”

> ihavebigsaber

“A capitalized character there should be, for cunning the Sith are.”

> ihavebigBIGsaber

“A number you should include, if you are not a dimwitted Gammorrean. Mmhehehehemmm.”

force-ghost-yoda.jpg“A stupid password that is, like 1234.”

Ben was starting to get pissed.

> ihaveBIGsaber69

“Weak your password is, young padawan. Try again. Mmhehehehemmm.”

> ihaveaBIGfuckingsaber69

“Still weak your password is. Disappointed in you, your father will be. Mmhehehehemmm.”

Ron stuck his head in the doorway again. “Hey bro, we’re gonna Force-torture some mynocks behind the gym. Wanna join?”

Ben screamed. “NO! GET THE FUCK OUT, I’M TRYING TO CONCENTRATE!”

“Geez man, okay.”

Ben Force-slammed the door and typed furiously:

> BIGgoddamnfuckingsaber69!!!!!

“Not allowed special characters are, little nerfbrain. Mmhehehehemmm.”

> BIGgoddamnfuckingsaberwithfuckinglittlecrossguardsabersontheside69

“A mismatch there is. Type your password again, you will mmhehehehemm.”

FUCK!

While the little Yoda hologram was still going “mmhehehehemm”, Ben Force-hurled the holocron against the wall, where it shattered into a million pieces. The lesson was supposed to be Jedi Calm and Patience 101.

Ben buried his face in his hands. He didn’t finish what he started.

Ron cautiously stuck his head in the door again.

“Hey dude, we’re gonna poke around the old Sith ruins in Korriban. Wanna come?”

Ben looked up.

“Yeah, I’m tired of this nerfshit. I could use a break.”

“Awesome! Meet you ’round back in 10.”

Fuck this Jedi shit. Uncle Luke had probably cheaped out again and bought pirated holocrons. While he was off searching for the first Jedi temple (or more likely spending time in the space casino), Ben was studying his ass off in his room.

He figured he deserved to have some fun with the gang. The Knights of Ron and Ben weren’t complete without him.

As Ben left to join his friends, the little Yoda hologram fizzled once before fading out.

“An error there is. Update your holocron to the latest version you should. Mmhehehehemmm.”

yoda laugh.gif“Ads you can remove with the paid version. Mmhehehehemmm.”


Liked this story? Then be sure to read the one about the showdown on Tatooine!

The 10 Major Surprises in Star Wars: Bloodline

One of the biggest questions of Star Wars fans is what happened during the 30-year period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: Bloodline, aims to answer that. Authored by Claudia Gray, the novel focuses on Princess Leia and her role in the new government that replaced the fallen Empire.

If you want to know the backstory behind TFA, this is the right place. But if you’ve got an unfinished copy of the book, then stop reading now!

Major spoilers ahead.


Six years before The Force Awakens….

 

1. Leia has a kick-ass title

Leia finds out that someone has a holo-recording of her strangling Jabba the Hutt and uploaded it to the Holonet. This earns her the badass title “The Huttslayer” among the Nikto, many of whom worked as Jabba’s henchmen.

leia huttslayer.jpg

This is a nod to real-life events. Last year, Disney caused controversy when they planned to drop the “Slave Leia” merchandise. The massive fan outrage caused Disney to rethink the plan, while fans suggested a more gender-friendly name, “Leia the Huttslayer.”


2. Han and Leia have a long distance relationship

In the old Expanded Universe, the two got married after a tumultuous period of courtship. They eventually settled down on Coruscant, siring three Jedi babies.

In the new timeline, Han and Leia get hitched during the wild celebrations after the Rebel victory. But they also recognize they come from two different worlds. Leia continues her life as politician in the newly reorganized Senate. Meanwhile, Han continues his nomadic lifestyle in the Falcon, becoming, of all things… a space racer! Yep that’s right, Han now owns his own starship racing team.


3. Chewie retires

In the old EU, loyal sidekick Chewbacca never left Han’s side even after the Alliance victory. In fact, the smuggler duo continued their adventures right until Chewie’s death during the galactic invasion by the Yuuzhan Vong.

In Disney’s new universe, Han joins Chewie on a mission to liberate the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, which is a separate story for another time (actually the novel Aftermath: Life Debt).

After Kashyyyk is liberated, Chewie decides to retire and settles down with his family on his home planet. However, he continues to keep in touch with Han and Leia.


4. The Skywalkers find out more about their mother

With the Empire’s records now unsealed, Luke and Leia discover more details about their birth mom, Queen Amidala.

Leia in particular is enthralled by Amidala’s political life, from ruler of Naboo to member of the Galactic Senate. This inspires her to continue in galactic politics, no matter how frustrating it could be (more on that below).


5. Leia doesn’t become a Jedi

With Amidala as her inspiration, Leia decides that her calling is in the political arena. At one point someone asks her why she didn’t join Luke new Jedi academy and become a Jedi Knight. Leia answers that her life is devoted to politics rather than the Jedi way.


6. A political rival exposes their father

leia vader daughter

The Skywalker twins wisely keep mum on their real father. However, during a heated debate in the Senate, an opposition senator reveals that Leia was sired by Darth Vader.

This shocking revelation has disastrous consequences. Leia’s good reputation built over the past two decades crumbles in an instant. Even her closest colleagues drift away due to distrust and avoid the fallout, so that Leia ends up a politicial liability without any more influence in the Senate.


7. The Republic is once again divided

galactic senate.jpg

Twenty years after ROTJ, the new Republic government that replaced the Empire is once again in crisis. Just like its Clone Wars predecessor, the government is portrayed as being ineffective due to partisan infighting and bickering.

After the fall of the Empire, it is revealed that Mon Mothma became chancellor and and disarmed the Imperial machinery. A major disarmament policy saw the Alliance fleet disbanded after the signing of the Galactic Concordance. And to prevent power from being concentrated in the hands of a few, the new government was designed to be more inclusive, with the galactic capital rotating among member worlds every few years.

After Mon Mothma stepped down due to illness, two sides emerged. The Populists wish to continue her legacy of a peaceful and representative government where power is spread evenly. On the other hand, there are the Centrists, who wish for a more centralized government led by a First Senator, and a return to the stronger Republic Navy of the war years. The former see this is a possible return to tyranny, while the latter believe it will be more efficient and productive.

This political deadlock has left the Senate ineffective and mired in motions and rulings that are vetoed by the opposing side. At one point, it leads to an assassination attempt on the Populists:

Leia settled into her chair, picked up her napkin — and stopped.

Something was written on the paper streamer on her plate. Actual writing. Virtually nobody wrote any longer; it had been years since Leia had seen actual words handwritten in ink on anything but historical documents.

But today, someone had left this message on her plate, only one word long:

RUN.

Leia shoved her chair back, instantly leaping to her feet. “We have to get out of here,” she said to the startled senators at the table. “Now. Go!”

But they didn’t move, even as she dashed toward the door. Varish said, “Leia? What in the world’s —”

“Didn’t you hear me?” Damn fools who had never been in the war, who didn’t know an urgent warning when they got one. Leia held up the paper so they could see it. “Run! Everyone get up and run!”

With that, she took off, running as fast as she could, finally hearing the others stir behind her. Maybe they thought the note was only a prank, but Leia knew better. The inchoate dread that had swirled inside her all morning had solidified; this was what her feelings had been warning her about.

As they dashed through the hallways of the conference building, Leia glimpsed an alert box and swerved sideways to hit it. A robotic voice said, “No detected hazards at this — ”

“Override! Evacuation alert now!” Leia resumed running just as the warning lights began to blink and the siren’s wail sounded. Immediately people began filing out of various other rooms, mostly grumbling but at least moving toward the exits — and when they saw her, they, too, started to run. The sense of urgency built behind her like a wave cresting, preparing to crash.

Leia’s breath caught in her throat as she pushed herself harder, running full out toward the doors, so fast they almost didn’t have time to open for her. In the square beyond, security droids had begun herding people away from the building, but too many continued to mill around, staring in consternation at the scene. The others evacuating flooded through the doors behind and around her, but once they were clear of the structure, half of them stopped, remaining stupidly within range.

Within range of what? She still didn’t know. But every instinct within her told her disaster was near.

Leia didn’t stop. She kept running as hard as she could, never looking back, until . . .

Brilliant light. A roar so loud it resonated in her skull. And hot air and debris slamming into her, knocking her down, rolling her over, erasing the world.


 

8. Leia’s arch-enemy has a classic supervillain name

So who is this rival that exposed the Skywalker lineage? An upstart Senator called Ransolm Casterfo.

The young politician becomes the head of the Centrists and thinks the only real problem with the Empire was that it had the wrong Emperor. It comes as no surprise then that Casterfo has a penchant for Imperial relics like banners, armor and Palpatine’s personal stuff.


9. The First Order is born from secession

star wars first order

After the remaining Imperial fleet is defeated in The Battle of Jakku, the Imperial Remnant signs the Galactic Concordance. This sees loyalist moffs and other warlords relegated to remote sections of the Outer Rim. Despite this, there are frequent reports of Star Destroyer packs and whole fleets vanishing from these monitored regions.

The biggest blow comes when the stalemate in the Senate comes to a head. The centrists, led by Leia’s rival, announce their intention to secede from the Republic. But unlike the old Confederacy, they find a powerful partner with whom to combine their territories and fleets: the banished Imperial loyalists.

This leads us to the birth of the First Order.

But while the Centrists and Remnant join forces to threaten the Republic, we also have a new hope. Towards the end of the book, Leia accepts that the current government was no longer effective, especially after it failed to act when the Centrists seceded. And since she has lost her political allies, she resigns from the Senate and prepares for the inevitable conflict, with the help of Admiral Ackbar and disgruntled officers of the Republic.


10. Ben Solo was kept in the dark about Darth Vader

ben solo jedi.jpg

This is the biggest surprise of all: Leia never told her son Ben about his grandfather.

This is because Leia was concerned over Ben’s potential to follow in his footsteps. Throughout the novel, Han and Leia worried over their son’s growing Force powers, and how best to tell him about his lineage. Unfortunately, all that was preempted by the expose of Leia’s rival live on the Galactic Senate.

In the end, Leia leaves a tearful holomessage for her son acknowledging the truth, but it isn’t shown how Ben reacted, or even if he received the message.


 

Whew, what a whirlwind! And all these occurs just six years before The Force Awakens! It does bring up a host of questions, such as Rey’s actual age when she was dumped on Jakku.

Anyway, Star Wars: Bloodline helps flesh out the state of the Star Wars galaxy and the fate of our heroes. And it also explains the saddest thing about The Force Awakens.