Oneshot: based during the ending of The Last Jedi Summary: The Last Jedi is on Ahch-To, reconnected to the Force, aware that the time has come for him to act; through the inner workings of his mind and will, he battles against his own insecurities and fears, seeking out total enlightenment and freedom from the woes of the earthly world through the connection of the Force and what is left to come. His heart raced as he stood out from the cave, entering onto the highest peak of Ahch-To. Coming back to the battle was never going to be easy – he knew that, he accepted that, and still, his body urged him to resist despite the great focus inside his head. It was time to make his grand return. The earth trembled beneath his feet as waves rippled across the air, currents and gusts of wind encircling him as his sweat-beaten brow flinched in focus, eyelids shut and twisted tight as he concentrated all of his being into the projection of himself lightyears away from his present self. “Balance,” he whispered to himself, rocking his head back to absorb the heat of the sun pouring down upon his head. “They need me – all of them. I owe them this.” Luke Skywalker groaned as he felt the image of his past being duplicated, tears flowing through the cracks of his eyes as the pain rocked against his skin. The hair on his body shot up and jerked up from his arms, legs, and face, shooting out and stabbing into the pores like thousands of knives twisting and turning. Heavy weight pushed down into his skull, throbbing his head and begging for him to let go. This was fear – buried fear that lied deep in the belly of his being. “Let go, Luke.” The words of his first Master, Ben, rang alongside the piercing cries and anguish that labored within. Just as it had all those years before, as he shot the deadly fire against the Death Star, the smooth baritone of his mentor brought soothing relief and clarity to his pulsating brain. Pain fought against that beam of light, but with his mind made up, he resisted it with all his might. The last Jedi struggled next to those dark thoughts that were suddenly being exposed into the open – his weaknesses, his flaws, his mistakes, all being let out into the open for all to see. There were images that haunted him; the desperate look of his nephew, lightsaber in hand, the fire of vengeance and rage burning through his deadened eyes. Inside those deadly and concentrated eyes, he saw the reflection of his own doubt and grief. Luke saw his hand shake as it held the core of his emerald lightsaber, the light wavering as it was struck by the blue of his nephew. How he hated himself for that. It wasn’t the same burning rage that he sensed within Kylo Ren, Ben Solo, but a melancholic and desperate self-loathing for what he perceived to be his greatest failure. He didn’t know what he would have done if he could have gone back in time – the pieces were set, Snoke’s wedge had been driven. What could he have done to save his nephew? Even after all these years, his heart sank as he realized he still couldn’t come up with the answer. He could save his father, a man so broken and destroyed by failure, but not able to recover the innocence of the young boy he once knew. That was the worst form of frustration – not knowing. Perhaps it was because Ben chose to seek out that darkness first, instead of the darkness seeking him out, that made it so difficult. That was the test that changed the last few years of his life. The cabin collapsed atop Luke, shadows and ghosts surrounding him as his nephew faded from existence. Light, suddenly, appeared. There, too, was Leia. There wasn’t any malice or wrath in those beautiful brown eyes he had known for so long – just sadness, regret. He was apologetic, he was devastated, how he wished to comfort her and remind her of his love for his sister. Luke wanted to wrap his arms around her once more, cling to her tightly, and beg for her absolution. But were those images reality or just the failures he perceived in his head? The fear of loss, a tradition within the Skywalker bloodline, ran through his veins as much as he tried to deny it. Family was everything to the weathered Skywalker; and just within the past few years, after they had spent all that time trying to rebuild and make something of it, he ruined it all. Shame: that dangerous feeling had swelled in the undercurrent of his thoughts for years now, choking him into a sharp collar of self-hatred. This wasn’t Leia – this was what he wanted Leia to think of himself. The figure nodded in response, her brow lifted and her lips parted into a generous smile. Memories came flooding back to him at the sight of that beaming face; an arm so gently placed on his shoulder, her hand soothingly playing with his hair as he mourned the loss of his Master. She was the first one to show him any form of affection like that outside of his Aunt, the first one whom physically cared for his emotional wellbeing. Luke’s head cocked back as another memory flashed in his vision, staring in the illuminated presence of his young battered self being carried by his sister, rescued thanks to her selfless heroism. She laid him down on the medical cot and carefully examined the stump of his amputated hand, holding his left with great urgency and care. The young Jedi didn’t know it physically then, but the comfort of his friend, assured him of the family that loved him and would fight for him. “Feel the Force flowing through you.” He reached out for the lingering call, a smile delicately pervading onto his bearded lips, opening his mouth and exposing joyous white teeth as he summoned more of the energy around him. The Jedi Master now sensed he was in two places at once, his physical manifestation acting out the will of his conscience, while he subconscious and will battled with one another inside his brain. This was his chance to make a final difference, to comfort his sister, to confront his nephew, to restore peace, hope, and balance within this war-torn galaxy. Everything that he did on this foreign planet, however many lightyears away, were so crystal clear but so distant. It was as if he were watching himself do these last great acts. Luke was in command but as if a puppet-master, feeling those thoughts and voicing the words to his generated self, split into two separate beings. How he adored seeing his sister, his lips pressed against her forehead. The Jedi knew Leia was no fool; she was aware that this image wasn’t really him, but a representation of his will and drive. There were so many familiar faces that still followed his sister. Threepio, of course, and many old faces from the rebellion that still fought. Like them, he, too, had his own battles to face. But they were not to form in a battle with Kylo Ren. True, though he held to his lightsaber, he stood firm to face himself and what he believed to be his greatest failure. It wasn’t about Ben – it wasn’t even about the legendary Luke Skywalker. It was about Luke – the boy that still resided within the man, the one that struggled to move on. “Ben,” he saw himself state. The fiery rage that shook the core of his nephew erupted at the mention of his name, his unstable lightsaber swiping into the air only to be dodged at every second. People had once protected Luke, pulled him out from the jaws of evil and death. They weren’t just morally good people – there were also some despicable ones, in the eyes of the common man. But the peace and order resided within them all deserved to be preserved, and that was something that Luke was willing to hold on for. Even the under the great physical and spiritual strain, he persevered. It wasn’t that long ago that he acted as a distraction for his friends to escape, to fight, as he took on Darth Vader and the Emperor. He could do this for them, for their hope, for his hope, to keep pulling along. The Resistance must survive – and with the young girl he had met, the Jedi, too, would survive. “I will not be the last Jedi.” After that, everything became blurred. That physical manifestation began to waver, fading in and out, as he sensed his friends and family make their final escape. Luke smiled at them from afar, closing his eyes and allowing his mind to take control once more. For a second, Luke was trapped within his own head, as his clone disappeared. “That’s two you owe me, kid,” said the words of his favorite smuggler, the greatest friend he had ever known. How many times had that man put himself at risk just to save that young fledgling Jedi Knight? Han Solo was no longer here but the consequences of his actions could still be felt, the ripples of his sacrifices and moral strength ringing constant to that very moment. The face of Han Solo morphed into a circular wave, spinning the Jedi Master around and around. “Luke,” whispered out of the lips of a young Princess Leia, her physical form taking shape in the shadowy recesses of his mind, taking command of the Millennium Falcon and flying back into imminent danger as she attempted to save her friend’s life. He wouldn’t have blamed her if she ignored his call – but still, he remembered, how desperate he hoped for her to return. She and Lando comforted him, kept him safe, warm, during his greatest physical trauma. Her comfort in that moment was still as soothing as ever. The Jedi Master saw his sister twist and change shape into the form of Darth Vader, standing over his young body and watching as his own flesh and blood was slowly being tortured to death. He watched his father take command and show some of the greatest courage imaginable by owning up to his own fears, saving his son, falling to the floor as electricity fried the suit that kept him alive. “I will not leave you here,” he whispered to his father at that moment. “I’ve got to save you. I’ve got to save them.” “You already have.. Luke.” He was back to reality and out of the confines of his skull. Luke’s body fell to the earth and rock below, his soul peeling out from the top of his head as his physical self crumpled under the weight. The darkness, the fear that pervaded inside his head, was stripped away – there was nothing but shining warm light ringing within. His eyes opened, the blue hues of his eyes hypersaturated as they stared deep into the rays of sunshine above, tears glistening off of the lids and dripping down over his cheeks. This was what it truly felt like, to cast everything aside, to fully let go. The bones felt broken, his skin torn, the internal organs of his humanity weighing down with an intensity he had never felt before; Luke thought of how his broken boyish self would have been at the pain. But it didn’t matter, after all, the physical parts of himself were not what would last. “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” Luke looked down at his cybernetic hand and groaned, watching the delicate fingers crawl into a fist in the dirt, smiling at the simplicity of the machinery and how it was the only part of his body that still acted according to his wishes. Ironic – but it was also the truth. There was so much more to this universe than just the sights, the lessons, the adventures of flesh and man. His soul, prying away at the top of his scalp, was ready to begin the next adventure. That was what would always live on; his acts, his thoughts, his conscience. This legendary life of his had offered so much pain and heartbreak, but also love, joy, purpose. Those feelings were not be ignored, nor embraced, but rather just left to being. Here, as he lay crumpled under his own weight, Luke Skywalker felt like he had reached a point in his understanding of the Force that few had ever witnessed. It was so much more than just himself, his friends, the life around them, the light, the dark. Everything had become peace, as if his life were a constant wire, balanced, and unbroken. “I am a Jedi,” he recalled saying in defiance so many years ago. That Luke Skywalker was just a young boy, barely even into his life as a man. How brave he was to stand in the face of certain death like that, staring at the jaws of the Dark Side; foolish, to some, he assumed. Those same words echoed around him as he strained his neck upward, the light embracing his widened eyes. He nodded as his eyebrows lifted, a sense of content flooding through his entire being. His mouth slowly opened as the pillows of clouds that adorned the sky swept out into the atmosphere, revealing the startling image of a twin sun illuminating the shadows around him. The corners of his lips turned upwards as he recalled a young boy from many decades ago, looking to a similar set of suns. How he longed for adventure – how he so desperately hoped for greatness, thrills, purpose. “This was it,” he thought to himself, allowing himself to totally collapse and free himself of the weight of his earthly self. It only took a matter of seconds before his bones and skin sank into the air around him, everything else falling and flying. Dust, he became. Luke felt completely free as he floated above, turning back to see his cloak fly off into the stormy winds of Ahch-To, hearing the rattling of his cybernetic right hand collide into the rock below. His soul, the energy of his entire being, ascended higher and higher into the waves of sunlight. The world behind him began to vanish, fade, absorbing into this new and higher plane of existence. There was only light in this realm, the shadows around him dissipating the closer he approached. Memories, pleasant and unfortunate, made themselves physical in the form of many colors all around him. Blue reminded him of the loss of his Jedi temple, the melancholia still existing but the weight of fear and regret, gone. There was also pink, sweet memories of the adventures he went on with Leia and Han throughout the war, bringing cheer and comfort to the Jedi. Yellow, to his side, spoke to him in the form of all his teachers and parental figures, the people who gave him foundation and structure. There were more colors too, with equally as much importance, blending into a rainbow that emptied out into a sea of white. This was everything – and, he assumed, it was also nothing. “The Force is with you, Skywalker.” The phrasing of that sentence was so familiar to Luke but not through the tone or texture he had been used to hearing. Though unfamiliar in the most superficial of ways, he instantly knew whom that voice belonged to. The spirit of his father – Anakin Skywalker – stood in front of him plainly. Faces surrounded the man that were so assuring to be near: the green and wrinkled face of his last master, Yoda; the wise and whiskered face of his first master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, beaming back at him. This was the Force. He turned back around and peered through the white below, staring down at the people he had once communed with. He saw the caretakers of Ahch-To wash and scrub the decayed buildings and monuments that once stood triumphant, hearing their great displeasure at their tree that held the sacred Jedi texts burned to the ground. Luke saw his sister, Leia, assured and comfortable with an arm draped over the young girl that had pulled Luke away from his exile; Rey. The girl’s persistence reminded him a bit of his own at a similar age – he promised himself that one day, and one day soon, he would return to her and provide her with her final lesson. The Jedi Order would be safe in her hands, as long as she stayed true to herself. How he wished he could thank them both in person, for reminding him of what was needed to be done. There was also his nephew, collapsed on the floor, his mind broken as everyone had pulled away from him for good. The man no longer had a father to seek guidance to, nor a mother with arms opened wide ready for his return. He had nothing but his own fueling rage. Luke didn’t hate him – nor did he feel the weight of guilt for the actions of Kylo Ren. There was nothing but pity and quiet acceptance. The physical life of Luke Skywalker had ended; his weathered body had faded into the gusts of wind, leaving behind nothing but prosthetic limbs and a torn cloak. Though he didn’t feel quite ready to enter that old plane, his whispered at the white end of the sea, telling his sister to not worry. That this was not death, nor was it the end. Like his former masters had done to him so long ago, he reminded his sister of what was left to come. He was always there – always by her side, from now on. And with that, this new vessel closed his eyes, and felt the true embrace of the Force close around him as all his past mentors swarmed him; his father’s arms wrapped around his shoulders, Obi-Wan’s hand resting on his back in pride, Yoda poking and prodding at his side with a gleeful smile. There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force.