Author's Notes on
Frangipani (@teagrl) had a Tumblr post that inspired this story. I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea, even though I never read Dark Empire in full and never wanted to because I think that’s where the EU Legends mis-characterization of Luke Skywalker started. That was my main reason for rejecting me writing this plot bunny: I hadn’t read that part of the source material and still don’t want to read it.
Eventually, I will learn not to say publicly that “oh I won’t write that story idea.” Every time I do, I end up writing the story. I made a comment on someone’s else fanfic about hated story lines of the EU referencing this idea and how I didn’t think I could do it justice because I didn’t want any more knowledge of the Byss episode than I had already gleaned from the rest of EU Legends. Besides, I was busy on my Rescue the Farmboy AU. Then came a writing challenge of meeting daily word count goals from a writing encouragement newsletter. The Rescue the Farmboy AU took too much time researching movie scenes at the time, so I decided to outline this Byss AU instead and work on it for two weeks. Then I’ll have something to build off of later.
The two weeks got spent only on the outline, and I found myself committed to writing it after. I started writing September 5, 2016, finished the first draft on July 23, 2017, and decided to aim for publishing with the Last Jedi’s premier since getting the edits done is where my drive usually falls flat on its face. Beta reading and editing duties were taken on by Frangipani and my RL friend Suzanne.
Force woo is Frangipani’s term for Force powers/meta discussions about the Force. I’m using it as a fandom shout-out. There may be more of those.
Jedi Skywalker — Jedi Knights need a title to differentiate them from Jedi Masters, but I’m not fond of the solution of copying “Sir” which was the honorific given to knights on Earth. So I went with using Jedi, especially for non-Force sensitives who couldn’t be positive as to the status of the Jedi (Is this lady in the brown robe a Knight or a Master?) I’m not overly fond of the use of Master, but movie canon has saddled us with it. You made up Padawan but didn’t even try for something new with Master. *eye roll*
If this story has any sequels (no promises for or against) that carry on into the building of the New Jedi Order, I might have Luke come up with a term from his culture of origin for a Knight as well as replace Master with something not associated with owning sentient beings.
Why I tagged this story as a fix-it fic is not for me fixing what I saw as issues in the original Byss storyline, but how I ended up tweaking preceding canon in little ways. No reasons that actually affect the plot, but this is what Author’s Notes are for. This is the first one. I love the matriarchal cultures of Dathomir and Hapes; not so happy with how OOC all the characters are in the Courtship of Princess Leia (Luke maybe should mention that Leia is his sister to Isolder or at least think about mentioning it is the smallest example of those). But I love the Dathomir witches and the original Nightsisters (Why did Clone Wars take one without the other?) and the glamor of isolationist Hapes. So here’s the way I think that story went down without rewriting it. Leia did her diplomatic duty to get Hapes to join the New Republic and Isolder got it in his head to marry her. New Republic government and Alderaanian survivors play on Leia’s sense of duty a little too hard. She doesn’t owe the Hapans anything and goes to Han because she loves him and they’re partners. (And Leia was always going to marry for love, even if Alderaan had never been destroyed and the Organas insisted on a political match. She’s gets it from both Padmé and Anakin.) Han won Dathomir in a sabacc game, and offers it to her for a new Alderaanian home world. Leia decides to check this planet out and get it away from Warlord Zsinj while everyone in the New Republic stops trying to auction her off. They take off. Luke has a vision that they are in terrible danger and works his way into Isolder’s saving the Princess party, because Leia must have been forced to leave his fabulous proposal and his awesome self by that pirate turned General. Ta’Chume tries to have Luke assassinated because of the anti-Jedi thing Hapans have. Adventures on Dathomir proceed according to the book, with added emphasis on Isolder’s worth comes in a far second compared to the Jai for the Witches and he makes himself worthy of Tenniel’s love, ending with Tenniel Djo and Isolder off for wedded bliss in Hapes and joining the New Republic, and Leia and Han getting married before they get back to Coruscant. And Luke doesn’t miss the wedding ceremony of his sister and his storm-brother for a stupid joke.
I’m using West End Games as the source of Force Woo, because it is the system I played in. I have no idea how the current roleplaying game handles the Force. However, I have reserved authorial right to change things if needed. Namely, I have the Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook and I disagree with the Force skills they selected for Mara when they made her stats. They claimed to have only given her Force powers she had demonstrated but the text of the novels doesn’t support the eight skills they picked that fall under Control. I did give her Affect Mind (even though I can’t remember seeing her use it in the text) because it seems creepy enough to appeal to the Sith. Mara’s connection with the Emperor was not a bond of any sort in this story, but projective telepathy from him that she is super skilled in receptive telepathy to pick up and his conditioning her to never raise her mental shields to him.
And I have never really bought Mara’s running away from more Force training in Legends canon. The final step of becoming a Jedi, yes; the servitude of the galaxy after realizing what Palpatine had done with her loyalty is a step too far. But with how she hones all her other talents I don’t think she’d ignore her Force abilities.
I’m going with the Rogue Squadron killed Isard at the end of the Bacta War because that was what I remembered when I plotted this story. Wookieepedia explains that my memory was wrong and she causes further trouble in other books, but I don’t think I read those. I have enough villains without Isard regardless.
She was smart and resourceful... — Yes, I quoted Timothy Zahn’s Vision of the Future. Cookies for everyone who recognized it. The Hand of Thrawn duology has a special place in my heart despite Zahn’s inability to write romance (exhibit A. the lack of Han and Leia special moments in the Thrawn Trilogy, exhibit B. how Luke and Mara finally get engaged in the duology). I’ve mentioned in various comments how I gave up on EU now Legends and can point to the books that did it, but really it all boiled down to Luke’s portrayal. I was high school senior then college freshman so I lacked the vocabulary and skills to dissect why it was so wrong in the text and summed it up “they keep getting Luke wrong. I’m not giving them any more money.”
So the year after I made that vow, my good friend and fellow Star Wars junkie who was our group’s GM forced the duology into my hands over a semester break. “Zahn fixes it. Zahn fixes Luke; it’s all the Dark Side’s fault.” I wish now that Luke could have admitted how jealous he was over Lando with Mara in the text and that we actually got some romance without Force short cuts, but I was so grateful for an explanation for all the bad Luke characterizations at the time I can’t hate the books. It probably helped that it’s also all blamed on Dark Empire, which is where I think the Luke characterizations started on the wrong tracks.
So why this quote in particular? I like this list of things Luke admires about Mara because they’re all her inner qualities.
She was strong and capable in the Force, and didn’t consider his abilities wrong. -- Yes, that was a little slam against Gaeriel Captison. I like her though, but I like her better as a you’re-very-attractive-but-our-core-values-don’t-mesh former love interest. Who isn’t killed to cause Luke more manpain.
Mara Jade’s name: I believe Mara Jade is the oldest alias she has, but it’s not the name her birth parents gave her. Either Palpatine renamed her or more likely a nanny/governess/tutor renamed her for records’ purposes and he approved of it. As far as Mara can remember, it is her name. Other members of the court were aware of the renaming.
And here’s the dress that Mara wore to the Galaxies Opera House. I decided against putting it in the narrative.
The child Bendak Anor bought is portrayed by Skai Jackson when she was at that age.
So I’ve borrowed a few details from The Old Man’s Gift or; How Luke Got Stinking Rich by Aviatorman (mooseman13579), mooseman13579, namely the money and the property Vader owned. I love the idea; it is awesome. I love it so much better than the New Republic supporting the Jedi Order. Unfortunately in the background of this story, Luke didn’t inherit military forces.
And I don’t know if West End Games intended for starshine to be an equivalent to tequila, but that’s how I’ve always seen it.
Alien languages: there should be more in use. I know, writing Basic = English is easier (at least if your first language is English) but I love it as flavor as long as I have translations available close to the narrative. So while writing this story, I was depending on Wookieepedia, and the Complete Wermo’s Huttese Dictionary, but kept running into the problem of the languages are only partially built for what they needed in the movies or EU so they are missing the words I needed. I can’t really blame them; I’ve stopped conlags with just the words I needed right then too. But I have the rules for my conlags to make more words; that’s the difference.
What I couldn’t understand was no one in the fandom finishing them out like Klingon has been. I finally Google searched for making new words in Olys Corellisi and found the Coruscant Translator. Whoever built this let me kiss you, it has been a godsend!
So funtihruo is Olys Corellisi for asshole.
I didn’t put myself through Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith again nor did I find any reference books of settings and layout of Star Wars buildings among my libraries while I was writing. Since my extensive Googling only found people creating the veranda and nothing else in the apartment, I made my own layout with what Wookieepedia mentioned, what I remembered from the screen, and necessary rooms for any apartment (bathrooms, kitchens). My drawing is hideous, so I’m not sharing that. I have found ebook copy of Star Wars Complete Locations illustrated by Hans Jenssen and Richard Chasemore since finishing the rough draft, but it still doesn’t have Padmé’s apartment. So please don’t get nit-picky about the apartment unless you want to share scans/images that will improve the description.
I have no interest in writing fix-it fic for the prequels, but if I had to I would add back in Padmé’s political storyline (making it clear that it is leading to the Rebel Alliance) and have some scenes with her making a nursery. Because Padmé wanted to go back to Naboo to have the twins but events conspired to keep her and Anakin from making that trip. She didn’t get medical checks to keep the pregnancy secret, nor did she tell anyone else. Eventually nesting kicked in and she started decorating the nursery with probably only Threepio’s help and her ex-boyfriend who became an artist, who did the murals for her. But Anakin made the mobile out of the parts she gathered. I like the image of him carefully gluing models of the vehicles he had flown in between nightmares and battles and political machinations between Palpatine and the Jedi Council.
So way back in the late 80s and early 90s, before the Thrawn Trilogy was published, I made friends with a couple of guys who roleplayed Star Wars with the West End Games material and joined their group. We bought books and passed them around. I ended up buying most of the EU Legends novels (stopping after Black Fleet Crisis), but I almost submitted to the Star Wars Adventure Journal before it ceased publication (alas graduating high school and transitioning to university delayed writing the project). Hidden away in the WEG supplemental material was a little detail that C3P-O had been memory wiped. I headcanoned that R2-D2 had not and I’m positive I wasn’t the only one that was happy when the Prequels confirmed that as a fact.
But if Artoo hadn’t been memory wiped, why didn’t he tell Luke and Leia about their parents? EU Legends came up with a convoluted plot that he had been reprogrammed not to reveal the information, and the programming started messing up our favorite astromech. (I’m gleaming this from Wookieepedia. I don’t know why this was considered a better idea than just setting the reveal earlier in the EU Legends time line. Right after Truce at Bakura would have been good. Maybe it had something to do with changing publishing houses.)
Isn’t it a lot easier for Artoo to assume that Yoda told Luke about his parents? There’s a lot of conversations the droid missed out on during their stay on Dagobah since Artoo didn’t fit inside Yoda’s hut. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa both died before they could get around to it, so Yoda was the last organic who could tell Luke the truth about his courageous and principled mother. Luke never mentioned it, so he must be satisfied with the answer he got.
To call Artoo livid on his way up to Leia and Han’s quarters is downplaying his wrath. Alas we will never know if an arc welder can be used on a Force ghost.
Here is Mara's outfit for a business dinner with Karrde.
I didn’t want to set up the Life/Soul Force Bond as Luke oops made the wrong kind of bond. This bond is supposed to be so special and rare in canon, I think it must be entered into by equal intent for both parties. Granted, Mara and Luke really have no idea what they’ve signed up for as of yet, which was also done on purpose. :D I gave the decision to Mara, because even I as author was getting worried about the reciprocity inequality that Luke’s gift giving was building. Don’t misunderstand, Luke’s not trying to buy Mara’s affection—he’s just as generous to anyone he considers a friend—but there is an element of guilt there that’s not warranted nor acknowledged by him. Guilt from knowing that Mara suffered for five years under the last command and feeling responsible for that.
Alderaanian food: Alderaan had colonies in the Alderaan system and outside of it. According to WEG, Isis was a colony planet that Bail Organa kept the Empire from learning about so the Rebel Alliance could use it. I figure the colonists would have brought food plants and animals with them, so they were spared from extinction when Alderaan was destroyed.
Davik Oligard borrowed from The Old Man’s Gift or; How Luke Got Stinking Rich by Aviatorman (mooseman13579), mooseman13579.
And Wookieepedia tells me there is no Vader fortress on Gromas 16, but I didn’t want to use Vader’s favorite citadels away from Coruscant, like Bast Castle on Vjun. Or Mustafar, thanks for another stab of Vader pain Rogue One.
“For the evidence not to match what you told them with the mind trick?” — The death of Bendak Anor became a staple in odd mysteries and conspiracy theory circles on Columex in the years to come. Because the forensic evidence points to the self-inflicted blaster bolt to the head as the primary cause of death, so how did his hand get broken? What cut through the strange spherical cage so cleanly? Who were the originators of the male and female genetic debris discovered in the cage and in a sed-box found in the house? Both were of the unrelated to Anor and each other. Why was the holoprojector thrown into one of the custom furniture pieces damaging both? Who commed Nardolin Enforcement for aid if Anor was already dead? Why didn’t Anor supervise the unloading of his supplies like he did every week? How did the internal and external security holorecordings for the day get erased?
Korora's name: A little family history; when my father was about two, my grandfather packed up him, my grandmother, and my aunt and took them to the South Pacific island where he had a construction job after World War II. I don’t know how long they lived there and the Polynesian souvenirs they brought back never said the name of the island. One of these days, I will have to get the name out of my father. My mother has called it Korora before. Ignoring the problem of third-hand details, my mother is notorious for adding letters to names that aren’t there (Chicago is Chicargo, consistently). There is a Koror Island near the Philippines—and it may turn out to actually be the place—so I borrowed its spelling for my mother’s pronunciation and gave the name to a character.
Anor and Korora originated together in my mind, but it took longer to find a story they worked in. Anor’s pro-slavery, sadism, and past training Mara and Korora hugging Mara straight out of the sed-box and calling Mara ‘mommy’ have never changed. They nearly ended up in the Rescue the Farmboy AU but I really couldn’t justify them raising a four-year-old on various Rebel bases.
Colors mean something on Tatooine: I was already leaning towards “blue is a sign of prosperity and reserved for weddings because of associations with water” before discovering the work Fialleril put into color symbolism in her Tatooine Slave Culture, so I’ve borrowed the rest from her.
Autochef is a term I borrowed from Colonial Chrome when I borrowed ship layouts for the smaller ships I had interior scenes in like the interior image of the Jade’s Escape. He describes what he designed the autochef as on the FAQ page and in more detail in this Basic Technology page. I pictured something like a cross between a microwave and the food rehydrator from the Fifth Element. Basically, prepackaged food goes into the machine and hot food comes out like a frozen dinner does with our microwaves. Larger ships have full galleys with stoves that are similar to planet versions and fresh food consumables. The costs and manpower of both in smaller ships isn’t feasible.
He didn’t gild her chains for jewelry: another metaphor I borrowed from Fialleril’s meta on Tatooine Slave Culture found on this Tumblr post: http://fialleril.tumblr.com/post/157047093686/i-had-an-idea-for-a-tatooine-slave-culture-saying.
Mara Jade can’t cook: I’ve seen it multiple times in other fanfics, but I have no idea if it is canon in book set and published after the Hand of Thrawn duology. But I love the idea that the Emperor didn’t think it was important to teach a prize assassin how to feed herself other than with ration bars so here it is yet again.
Why is Luke so amused? He’s remembering his last trip to see an Emperor.
Apparently the scene was cut out of the final film for pacing reasons, which I can agree with and still mourn the loss of Darth Vader ducking out of a Lambda shuttle.
Back to Luke, that whole experience didn't go the way he thought it would (keep 'em distracted long enough for the Fleet to blow up the Death Star and die setting the galaxy free) and more importantly, it didn't go how Palpatine thought it would either (I take out the Rebellion and get a shiny new apprentice or make due with a more broken Vader for a few more years). And this is Mara's area of expertise, they stand a much better chance of winning.
I don’t remember Yoda, Kenobi, or Vader EVER telling Luke Palpatine’s Sith title. At least in the movies (okay, Lucas hadn’t thought of it yet) and Legends materials I have read. I’m assuming that Palpatine never shared that information with Mara because of his experiment with not turning her into a Sith or a Jedi. So add that to the scorecard of useful information not shared with the next generation by the previous. Luke’s too nice; I think my reaction would be more like this:
Post the Last Jedi note: I'm still not un-angry enough to talk coherently about that movie yet, though I do remember Disney-Luke calling out Darth Sidious. Since Ahsoka Tano lives after ROTJ, I'd say she tells Disney-Luke about the Clone Wars and Darth Sidious, but that almost makes too much damn sense for Lucasfilms not-storygroup to come up with.
Wookieepedia informs me that the Emperor’s throne room on Byss was not a replica of the one on the Death Star. I say Sheev really likes the Star Wars industrial decor and puts it everywhere he can, especially on his new objects of fun and terror. My other reason is I don’t have what they drew in Dark Empire (nor do I really want them; the art is not my cuppa) and I have images for the Death Star one.
Mara Jade's predatory grin: Scarlett Johansson has never been one of my choices as a fan-cast for Mara Jade, but someone managed to catch an expression Natasha Romanoff and Mara Jade have in common:
And Luke Skywalker is the only being in the GFFA that finds that expression arousing.
I have put the fanmix soundtrack up at AO3. It's the second work in the series I'm now calling Looking For Home. I haven't planned any other sequel works from this, but at least that has been decided if I ever do. October 19, 2018: I was wrong about never writing any sequels as you can see by the Star Wars Fiction Teasers.
What behind the scenes information is available about how Luke turned Kam back to the Light Side is insulting to Anakin's redemption. I will not write a game to win Kam's soul. And since I see falling to the Dark Side and staying there as making the deliberate choice to do evil over and over again, Kam and Anakin both have to make the deliberate choice to stop.
Ranik Solusar’s lightsaber is a style available at SaberForge. Unfortunately, they don’t offer an image of all the options you can pick to customize your lightsaber and my photo manipulation skills are not that good. There’s the shape of it in the image, so mentally add a black brushed aging over that shiny metal.
Luke’s the fun parent: Was that ever in question? Actually since I refused to read the later books of EU Legends, I have no idea what his dynamic is with Ben there.
Luke recognizes PTSD: And here’s where some of my need to fix it comes in. Luke had active military duty, earned officer rank, commanded people, and had a shit-ton of innate ability in the Force. He knows full well what a flashback is and how to deal with someone having one. Another reason why he should have recognized issues Kyp was having much, much sooner. *Glares at canon.*
So while writing Part of the Night: The One Rule, I found myself annoyed with too many canon characters whose name started with “B” plus I accidentally gave original characters B-names too. This story is apparently sponsored by the letter “S”: Skywalker, Sidious, Sedriss, Solusar, Solo…. And co-sponsored by the letter “K.”
The RPG sourcebooks don’t say anything about the Greater Force Shield glowing, but I wanted a visual. Non-Force sensitives can’t see it if it bothers you. Hmm, the climax might bother you a lot then. You’ve been warned.
“Wermo piholetka” translates into “stupid medical doctor” in Huttese with the Coruscant Translator. I had fun trying to figure out what it would be before finding the Coruscant Translator. According to Complete Wermo’s Huttese Dictionary, they used Hindi and Quechua for the movies dialogue, but I never found anything I liked from them. Considering how prevalent Huttese must be on Tatooine adds an extra layer of insult to Luke’s childhood nickname of Wormie. That just dawned on me while writing this chapter and looking at the translations.
"Dotkohus" is Huttese for "bastard."
“Oh, I remember. The Gamorrean guards kept you imprisoned until the barge left.” — Okay, Zahn wrote himself into a corner with the whole Mara on Jabba’s sail barge thing. Luke’s introduction to her via creepy cave/tree Force vision is powerful stuff, but also in Heir to the Empire Zahn had her explain what happened.
Her lip twisted. “Jabba wouldn’t let me go with the execution party. That was it—pure and simple. I tried begging, cajoling, bargaining—I couldn’t change his mind.”So this worked for the novel and fits Jabba’s character too. I like Jabba’s hubris leading even more into his downfall, especially since I have always thought Luke would have gritted his teeth and paid Jabba had the Hutt given a price. But Luke knew Jabba wouldn’t (I grew up here you know) so we got a Sarlacc feeding frenzy and burnt sail barge.
“No,” Luke said soberly. “Jabba was highly resistant to the mind-controlling aspects of the Force.”
Five years later (publishing order), we see this fiasco of an operation from Mara’s point of view in the short story “Slight of Hand” collected in the Tales From Jabba’s Palace. I actually enjoy the whole fiasco up until she has to beg Jabba for the ride. I have to agree with Frangipani that our girl Mara gives up way too easily.
So new headcanon time like I did earlier with The Courtship of Princess Leia. The fiasco happened: Mara’s attempt to shoot Luke in the main chamber is interrupted by Melina Carniss thinking it was an assassination attempt on Jabba, the merry chase Mara leads them on ends with her getting injured and trapped in a dungeon. By the time she breaks out and fights free, the sail barge had taken off. She finds something that will fly out that far and snarls at the burning sail barge. Sources in Mos Eisley cannot find a freighter as distinctive as the Falcon, and Palpatine sends her to Svivren. When Luke later asks about it while they’re hiking on Myrkr, he gets an angry spiel over how everybody on Tatooine must have wanted to kill Jabba. By the end of the whole thing, she wanted to kill Jabba and didn’t even get that satisfaction thanks to Luke. Luke explaining that Leia strangled Jabba before the whole explosion doesn’t make Mara feel better.
I tweaked Luke’s healing of Eppie Belden in the Truce at Bakura to better support what Luke wants to do with Kam. I adore Eppie and wished the feisty old lady had a few more Legends adventures.
The Jeronimos — I never planned on going into too much detail of the monastery religious order that protected and raised Kam for thirteen years. They aren’t Force users and the welcome any and all sentients species and live so far into the Outer Rim they could give Tatooine some competition for the furtherest from the bright center of the universe. I based their buildings on pictures of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Lisbon, Portugal so I named the group after the place. Forgive any mistakes in my crude photo manipulation. I've had to switch to GIMP from my old program and the learning curve is steep.
“Hyon” means who. “Via buliono-Ehin-leg ai nov formo re elshari” translates to “Your brother-in-law’s newest reform project.” In my headcanon, Mara was taught Olys Corellisi as part of her Hand training and relies on it working for Karrde. Translation was provided by the Coruscant Translator; I will never stop singing the praises for this program.
“Lando and the Rogues got those droids working then” — Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Droids said Lando and Wedge Antilles were in charge of the X-1 Viper droids attack. I went ahead and expanded it to all the Rogues because they keep coming up in the narrative.
Jedi with lightsaber keeps us from getting hit and we can blast the stormtroopers: I have no idea if any other EU writers have ever used that as a battle technique, but it struck me as a very Han move to try.
“At least I have the minor satisfaction of knowing I did it to myself,” she told her regret. -- There was a question that I saw on Tumblr in the midst of writing all this naturally: your favorite Mara Jade quote, something she actually verbalized. @viterbofangirl flagged this one from Vision of the Future and I’m just going to quote her now.
This line of hers has always stuck with me in a particularly deep fashion. Mara’s story is all about agency and autonomy. Damned if she isn’t going to fight tooth and nail to keep from dying of course, but if fate and/or prophecy is going to be an utter bitch about it and tell her that a situation is something she literally cannot avoid, at least she goes out on her own terms. Because a) she is MARA JADE dammit not prey never prey and b) fuck destiny anyway. This line reflects the glory and gore--the blood, sweat, and tears--of her journey and everything she set out to accomplish for herself.(http://viterbofangirl.tumblr.com/post/154492201027/favorite-mara-jade-quote)Since Mara’s agency is an important theme here and I already borrowed from VotF earlier, I couldn’t not use this line.
Anakin Skywalker's appearance -- I didn't save the comment so I can't even point to where I read them, but I remember the gist. Palpatine's series of clone bodies is a cheat that undermines Anakin's redemption. Dark Empire throws out the Chosen One prophecy along with Anakin's struggle to turn on his abusive master for the sake of his son. Anakin was always meant to destroy Palpatine and "restore balance to the Force."
Based off that commentary, Darth Sidious' fate was something I had to fix and put his destruction back in Anakin's hands once again. I also think that Anakin’s ability to come out as a Force ghost is tied to the amends he must make for the evil he did as Darth Vader. That does not follow WEG’s rules for Force ghost appearances, but the Chosen One has always been a special case for everything. Any who, the short version is, yes, the grandkids will see Grandfather Anakin a lot in the future.
So who knew Vader was Anakin when in Legends is never stated out right in what I have read. Zahn doesn’t bring it up except for Mara’s lack of knowledge, so I always assumed that Alliance High Command was told and the High Command eventually became the Inner Council with a few new faces of the New Republic. Leia seemed at peace with her heritage at least with dealing with the Noghri. Now there’s a thought for my other series, Vader keeping the Noghri. Truce at Bakura has a understandably jumpy Leia and her interaction with Anakin’s Force ghost, but I’m less satisfied with the peace she finds at the end of that book now. Mostly because she doesn't actually work through anything, she just survives the battle and is like "oh I'm not mad at him any more." I haven't read Tatooine Ghost to see how it is handled there, so this battle is my answer as to why Leia Organa Solo named her third child after Anakin. Unfortunately, she's not a viewpoint character and we're not privy to the pleading argument Luke gives her.
“Bek-nalu” -- I’ve given Luke a smattering of Huttese because it makes sense that would be one of the languages he grew up learning on Tatooine. But I didn’t like the translation I found for beloved, so I borrowed the Amatakka term that means soul-touch from Fialleril. It works considering the bond Luke and Mara have now.
“Ghost dressed like a Jedi from the Clone Wars” -- Karrde is old enough to remember the Clone Wars. He may not have actually been present for any of the battles, but I’m sure he saw HoloNet footage.
Millennium Falcon’s layout -- I had no idea just how many of those exist. I settled on the milleniumfalcondecklayout’s corrected layout. And I was inspired by the changes made to the Falcon that the Force Awakens justified by Han presenting a new bunk and a new galley as a wedding present to Leia. So currently in the timeline, the Forward Hold (9) has already been divided into a bunk room for Han and Leia and a separate bunk room for Chewie. The new galley is in the Main Hold (7) in the corner across from the Dejarik table.
“Trader Jade’s designation” -- I’m ignoring that Threepio refers to Mara as “Mistress Mara” in Heir to the Empire. It’s too familiar address for our favorite fussy protocol droid. Artoo is now referring to her as "Mistress Mara" because he knows now she loves Luke and doesn't want to permanently shut him down. That it's a new way to torment Threepio is a bonus feature.
So ancient Jedi had an influence on this story as well. And by ancient I mean the first Jedi on Jedha or Ossus or Ahch-To or wherever they actually sprang up. (I like Jedha—ancient crumbling statues in the landscape; ask me what are my favorite design elements of Middle Earth on screen.) My question was what made the Jedi Jedi before the Order developed and codified things.
Tales of the Jedi comics were less helpful to this question because the codification had already begun. Granted not as rigid as we see in the prequels, but we have master Jedi training apprentices and declaring them knights. We also have what Yoda does and tells Luke and what we see Luke do with this information. Stripping away the religious trappings and the focus on making Luke a father-killer, we get: “You must confront Vader. Then, only then, a Jedi will you be. And confront him you will.” And the climax of the Return of the Jedi shows Luke confronting evil, rejecting it and violence against its sentient tool, and declaring himself a Jedi in the moment, which evil handily confirms through Palpatine.
So my headcanon of the ancient Jedi: they confronted evil, rejected it, thwarted its plans, and in return gained greater synergy with the Force. Then they found kyber crystals and started making nifty weapons. Ryan Church says the one on the right is “the most primitive lightsaber there is.” (18 The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Tying this headcanon into the story, Mara’s character arc is all about her establishing her own agency after coming to the sickening realization she had none and was less than a pawn to the man who had raised her. I wanted to show her—at a greater personal loss than just a ship no matter what the ship symbolized for her—rejecting evil for the greater good of the galaxy and the Force recognizing that. Kam Solusar’s journey mirrors hers.
And basically, Luke’s starting the Jedi Academy with four Jedi Knights: himself, Mara (who knows what skills he knows but needs more practice), Kam (who is still at beginning stages with so many Force skills and has holes in his training to patch), and Leia (who’s focusing on diplomacy and politics as a way to safeguard the galaxy right now and less swinging her lightsaber). Consequently, they are in a much better position to deal with Kyp before he goes genocidal.
“When things calm down, we’ll talk about Columex.” — At some point between the last chapter and the epilogue, Karrde does get the whole story about Anor and Mara’s past. There is drinking and Luke shows up when Mara gets upset over what happened to her, but Karrde can’t figure out how he knew to come in. A few weeks after that Karrde brings Luke a bill. “Just the expenses. The holovids were confiscated along with the rest of Anor’s estate and luckily, no one had the bright ideas to copy and disseminate them. They’re destroyed now.” Luke pays the bill.
"He used Princess Leia’s message to put Master Luke in a frightful state after he acquired us." — And I wrote this before TLJ was released and we see that Artoo is still dicking with recordings to get his point across. :p
This Epilogue gave me fits! First off, I reached it just when the busy time started at my paying job. They're okay with me writing as long as my job duties are done but my amount of free time shrank. Second, once I figured out how to expand what will happen on Naboo without a trip out to Varykino and got the chance to write it, I set it all on the ship. I did realize that wasn't working so I moved the first scene to their hotel room. I really don't get why the last scene of the whole story is the one that gave me the most fits after Anor.
General Skywalker -- Yes, Luke re-enlisted. Partially inspired by Dark Empire canon and partially from my own developments. Luke would do it to spare Mara and Kam from dealing with scanning for and fighting with Dark Side users and the New Republic military.
Naboo's naming tradition was born out of another fic idea, which will become Unexpected Consequences when I get around to writing it. When I reached this scene I thought I wouldn't write it, so I incorporated it here. The monarch’s birthday becomes their Name Day. If it was already a Name Day, it now belongs to the new Monarch. The second name can be anything that honors the Name Day person: the birth name, the regal name, a shorter version of either are the most commonly used. The second name is a lot like we treat middle names, and it’s up to the family and individuals how they want to use it on official identity paperwork. Anakin Skywalker is the only non-Naboo to ever be honored with one, and Queen Amidala never informed the Jedi Order that she was doing it.
Battle of Naboo -- The events of the Phantom Menace begin on 3:4:14, Fourteenth Day of the Fourth Month 32 BBY, but I couldn't find how much time the events of the movie covers. So I gave it a month between the invasion and Anakin destroying the droid ship.
Varykino -- I ignored the EU Legends bit about the mansion being the Naberrie family property. Mainly because it doesn't make much sense for Anakin and Padmé to hide there in Attack of the Clones if assassins just have to look up property records. And "the green place with all the falling water" that Korora was so insistent about going to?
She had a Force vision of Mara and Luke taking her to this meadow as her Mommy and Daddy, which happens on this trip. The Naboo nursery mural is also this location, which led to lots of fun conversations of Korora insisting to go there.
Korora Jade-Skywalker -- Since my story is more about Mara and Luke's relationship, I didn't plot out the headache case for the New Republic Children Services bureaucrat. I'm sure you can image how this gentlebeing's day went. They're told the next case is a battle rescue with a celebrity attached. It happens, people get attached to a war orphan they saved, just had a major incursion with the Imperial Remnant, and most of the ranking military members are celebrated Heroes of the Civil War. In walks Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade, and Korora. Yeah, celebrity didn't quite cover this case. And Luke insists on telling the whole truth, which doesn't start sounding crazy until he gets to the freed slave child having Force visions of the unmarried pair parenting her. Mara sees the poor non-Force Sensitive bureaucrat getting lost and attempts to put the issue in a less mumbo-jumbo area by presenting the bill of sale Artoo found and explaining how Korora told them her birth mother was killed by the Karazak Slavers Cooperative. There's no way to find any family to return Korora to, and as a Force Sensitive she needs protection since she was bought to have that exploited. Mara and Luke can protect her from that exploitation and raise her to a well-adjusted adult. That reminds the bureaucrat of how the Jedi Order would take in children, but both Luke and Mara protest that. "We want to be parents," Luke stresses. "And it has to be both of us because I will be re-enlisting into the military until this last crisis settles down. If something happens to me, she still has Mara." And so on. They don't use the mind trick, but the bureaucrat eventually decides it's easier just to give them what they want with scheduled check-ins to see how Korora is adjusting.
Future Ideas -- Since I’m having so much fun changing things up in this AU and I don't have an issue writing children, Luke and Mara have a lot of future Skycrawlers coming along. Okay, my third reason for doing it is naming kids after more people. So Korora is adopted and in the following year (11 ABY), Luke and Mara have a wedding ceremony before they have their second daughter Padmé Jade-Skywalker. (Mara got too busy to keep her fertility blocker appointment and Luke's failed on them.) The hyphenated name was kept so Korora wouldn't feel alienated from hers. Talon Jade-Skywalker, their first son, comes along in 13 ABY. Beru, their third daughter, is born 16 ABY. She grows up to look a lot like Daisy Ridley. The adventure written up in “Jade Solitaire” happens. Biggs Jade-Skywalker is born 18 ABY. It was Mara's turn to name, but there were complications and by the time she was coherent enough to consider a name Luke had given the child one. She let Biggs keep it since everyone was already calling him that. Talon Karrde jokes that he's not sending Mara on Yavin 4 supply runs anymore because she keeps returning pregnant. Sansia Jade-Skywalker, their fourth daughter, is born 20 ABY. Han asks with all seriousness if Luke and Mara are trying to colonize Yavin 4 all by themselves. Owen Jade-Skywalker, their third son, is born 23 ABY. Ben Jade-Skywalker is born 26 ABY. Luke says he's named after Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mara says she knew a Ben who wasn't a complete shavit as a trainer. Lando sends the couple a medcenter package so Luke can have a free vasectomy as Ben’s natal gift.
I have never liked Yavin 4 ruins being built by the Sith, so out that goes. I do like Yavin 4 being a colony and eventual home of one Poe Dameron, so the Jedi Academy and colonizing efforts develop at the same time. Families are invited to relocate with their Force Sensitive candidate. There are children everywhere (not just Jade-Skywalkers) and enough adult Jedi apprentices to keep an eye on them.
Looking For Home: My Home Is You was published on Ao3 on December 16, 2017. It was only while I was posting there did I realize thatit would be the first of a series. I finally published it on the Library on march 26, 2022. I hope you enjoy it.