“Evolved, the Sith have. Grew complacent we did, while more cunning they became. If hope is to survive, then adapt we must.”
Imagine you are one of the last two Jedi left in the galaxy. From a considerable force once numbering in the thousands, in one broad stroke your entire group was suddenly and almost completely annihilated, until only two of you were left.
Your sole hope rests in two infants, a boy and a girl. You hope that someday they will grow strong in the Force like their father, and continue the millennia-long tradition of the Jedi. For now however, they are simply too young, and they must be kept hidden if the light side is to endure.
So you decide to split them up: one is sent to a backwater planet that attracts little attention, the other goes to a staunchly independent world firmly opposed to tyranny.
And yet, the risk is too great. All over the galaxy, the shadow of darkness is creeping, and it would be unthinkable to pin the Jedi’s continued existence on two helpless infants that could be caught at any time. As the Choon’ta saying went, “Don’t pour all your credits in one bet.”
And so you adapt. The old Jedi order is gone, and with it all traditions and long-held beliefs. Just as the Sith evolved to take over the Republic, so too must the Jedi change to avoid extinction.
In your desert world of exile, you encounter a woman strong in the Force. She is too old to be trained, and you have already failed with your last padawan.
So instead of taking on an apprentice, you do the unthinkable: you begin a relationship with the woman. As a man of the galaxy, you easily win her affection, since the gifted but naive girl has never even seen the stars.
In time she falls in love.
Unfortunately, you don’t feel the same. After all, you are a product of the old order, one that forbids attachment or affection. You’ve grown too old to be flexible, and it fills you with loathing to be using someone who loves you with all her being.
Eventually, you accomplish your goal: she sires your offspring. You look forward to settling down and molding your son in the light. However, the enemy is everywhere, and a flame that shines brightly cannot be hidden for long. Shortly after your son’s birth, you experience the first attack, one out of many to come. By the fifth incident, it has grown grave enough to involve the dreaded troopers in black.
There is no respite from the Empire. To ensure their survival, you abandon your family in the middle of the night. While your wife sleeps, you kiss her one last time and pull the old Jedi mind wipe. As far as your family is concerned, you were killed in a Tusken raid during the Great Drought.
Filled with a deep sense of shame, you continue to watch them from afar, making sure their needs are met. Each time you can’t help but feel the sense of sadness and heartbreak radiating from the mother. But there is little you can do, for you know that returning will put their lives at risk.
You spend your time watching between your two charges: one sired by your former apprentice, and the other from your own seed. It’s funny how the Empire combs the hyperlanes, ruthlessly hunting down sentients who show even modest Force potential. While on this backwater planet in the Outer Rim are the beings who could someday challenge the Emperor’s reign, the same planet where it all started.
You remember a briefing you gave to your clonetroopers a lifetime ago: “For every Plan Aurek, there must be a Plan Bacta. And it doesn’t hurt to have a Plan Crishna.” You have no idea how the female twin is doing, for to contact Alderaan is to put them at risk. So you operate on the assumption that the future rests on this barren desert world. You only know that now there is a real possibility of survival. And now that you are caring for two of them, you resolve never to get caught alive.
As the months become years, the sadness of your lonely exile grows into guarded hope. Both boys show strong potential, though you’ve had to secretly intervene several times in their wild adolescent years. One day, one or both of them will be old enough to carry on the Jedi tradition. Perhaps one day they will even have their own academy, and train a new generation of guardians. Or maybe it will be their offspring, still imbued with the Force, who will restore freedom to the galaxy. This is the dream that keeps you alive in your lonely hovel in the desert.
And yet, knowing all of these doesn’t assuage your feeling of guilt for abandoning her. You can only hope that someday, you can finally explain everything to Riella. And finally connect with your own son, Ren.
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