Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by blank101, Jun 12, 2009.
Blank! That was simply amazing!!!!!!!!! Best saber duel I've ever read ever!
And so it ends. Not with thunderous applause, but with an explosion ... and a whisper.
This ... all of this was excellent, blank101.
This entire time, Luke held himself back so that his father could still live but the moment Palpatine destroyed him, he ultimately destroyed himself. The irony is, had Palpatine understood what compassion was or even what attachment or a connection to another person truly was aside from being a weakness to be exploited, he might have even saved himself.
But that would not have been Palpatine. And therein lies the real source of his downfall. That, and his inability to let go of anything. What I really like about that quote, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" is that aside from the obvious Star Wars ontological connotations, it mainly refers to an idea: a thing that can never be destroyed so long as someone believes in it. Palpatine seemed so focussed on the material and ontical, that this concept never seemed to seep in ... at least, not on the level that Vader, Obi-Wan and Luke understood it at the end.
Transcending the self by giving up the concept of the self ...
And well, we will just have to see what happens next, won't we.
I can't even begin to describe how powerfully written that was. Wonderful job! I'm so glad the evil Emperor's dead, and that Luke survived (so far ) I'm really looking forward to the conclusion.
A masterly written fic, Blank. You should be proud!
Wow! That was so good!
What??? Vader was dead????
How can you start the chapter of all chapters with...this?
You better brace yourself for my comments after I've finished reading this chapter!
wow...just...Wow. Who would have thought that all this would have resulted from one misplaced comlink?
I'm amazed that this happened this quickly--especially because this story is part 2/3...I guess I always assumed that Palpatine's downfall would be the climax of the trilogy. Now that my assumptions/expectations are completely blown out the window, I can only wonder, WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?!!?!?!
Vader's fall, btw, was one of the most brilliantly written, dignified scenes I've read in a long time. I really, really enjoyed it. And the parallel to Obi-Wan. It would seem that the wayward student finally learned something from his old master.
EDIT: Is it strange that I find parallels between Vader's sacrifice here and Lumiya's Sacrifice in that titular book? Both seemed willing to throw themselves in front of a truck for the sake of their apprentice's progress.
The Emperor is dead. Long live the Emperor.
Hey, loved the new inclusion regarding Mara's emotional rollercoaster. She ultimately made the right choice (atoning, to an extent, for her wrong choice of trusting Palpy), but will Luke acknowledge it as such?
Wow!!! I can only echo the words of those who posted before me - this is one of if not the best lightsaber duel I have read of ... the detail captured, the twists, the ... I'm blown away by this incredible update.
I loved where Palpatine realized what Vader had meant, and when he realized that he himself was the one who unleashed Luke on him ... Incredible!
Hands down that was your best update yet, and I'm so thankful you didn't break it up midway through!
Oops, I shouldn't have given you ideas!
Alright...first of all: It's a damn shame that Vader is dead and gone!
I really liked these parts (the lightsaber duel was awesome - who would expect any different? - but I also found these bits and pieces interesting):
She was dong this for Luke. If she did this, he?d live to fight another day...even if he hated her for it.
She was doing this for Luke.
I am glad that she changed her mind shortly afterwards! What kind of life would it have been for Luke? Being dragged again into that cell, being humiliated again, tortured to death (again)..."no more of it"! Really loved this about Luke's monologue in the last chapter!
She reached out to grab for his arm as he passed and he turned, knocking her hand free. For a second she thought he would turn away and keep walking; perhaps that was what he?d intended. But his fury burst through and he reached out, hand snatching her throat, dragging her about and powering her backwards until she hit the Tower wall hard enough to see stars.
Still he held tight against her neck, leaning in, eyes wild and furious and desolate, a glowing rim of ochre at the edge of glacial-blue. He pressed in, eyes hardening, Mara?s vision tunneling as she fought for breath.
One hand to his, still tight about her throat, Mara fumbled her free hand to her back pocket, pulling out the small dart gun and pressing it to his neck and just for an instant he froze?then his eyes iced over and he shook his head fractionally, furious at her for this and himself for allowing it, for forgetting one last time where her loyalties lay.
He is definitely not going to make that mistake a third time!
?Go ahead, Mara?press the trigger,? he hissed. ?I?d expect no less, not from you.?
When she didn?t move, remaining stock-still, he leaned in further, the hostile resentment at his betrayal clear. ?I won?t try to stop it. Take a side?make a choice. You seemed to find it pretty easy when you didn?t have to look me in the eye.?
Cool monologue! You go, Luke!
?And you, Master?are you willing to die today??
?No," Palpatine said, aware that his Jedi was closing the space between them to striking distance. "I have told you before, I am a hard man to kill.?
We know that - but he is not invincible...just takes a dark Luke or two to bring him down!
?The wolf is Darkness and destiny. You are the wolf.?
?Perhaps I?m your wolf, Master. But then you always knew that, didn?t you?? Skywalker held his ground, unmoved, darkly menacing, coldly amused. ?Perhaps we both turn and face our wolves tonight.?
Realization filled Palpatine with cold fury?
This had been in Skywalker?s head: this moment. Every drill, every kata, every advancement and refinement. It had all been leading to this; all focusing down to this moment.
This goal, this objective...this betrayal.
?YOU!? Palpatine spat out the accusation, sulfurous yellow eyes aglow. ?You always wanted my Empire?wanted my power for yourself. That?s why you conspired with Vader!?
Serves you right, old man! You destroyed Anakin's life and good and kind farmboy Luke...it's about time that it all comes back around!
?And that?s it?? the boy yelled, incredulous. ?That?s the limit of your compassion?your connection? You told me you created Anakin. You used the Force to create life and he was the result. You created him! He was part of you...your son.?
?He was flawed,? Palpatine dismissed without a shade of regret. ?His connection to the Force had been weakened.?
?He was still yours! A part of you! You can?t disown that connection, that bond.?
?I?ve told you before?one must be prepared to relinquish the past to own the future.?
For long seconds Skywalker stared, just stared at the Sith, completely beyond words...
Finally he nodded slowly, a veil of cool detachment dropping before those outraged eyes, features bathed blood-red by the saber?s glow, voice low and ragged and charged with deri
that was a great action sequence.
Palpatine was given a crushing defeat, but still proved himself a worthy adversary. Mara's role aside from saving the heir seems to be in peril. So many questions now. Will Luke survive? Re-establish the senate as he erases Palpatine? I loved the threat of obliterating the memory of Palpy and his empire.
thanks for the PM
?I won?t try to stop it. Take a side?make a choice. You seemed to find it pretty easy when you didn?t have to look me in the eye.?
In a way Luke gives Mara another change here. I wonder whether he would have done that unless she?d moved against him, kept the momentum going. But of course, if Mara had had only an inch less gut than she has, she would have lost to Luke already ages ago.
??You could never run from the wolf, it was in you, part of you. You are the wolf.?
?No, I?m not the wolf. But you?re right?it is part of me. Because I doubted. I doubted my own ability, my judgment, my motives, my intent...and no matter how fast you run, those doubts always stay with you?just in your shadow. I think it?s time to turn and face the wolf.? ?
I never understood that at first read (or second or third, or?) but now it all makes sense, actually. Just don?t ask me to explain it!
?He had never truly owned it?not as he would have wanted?to do that would have destroyed it. But what glorious destruction, a trail of fire and desire to burn all other considerations to ash. Perhaps he should have done so anyway, just to know the rapture of possession, because now it was lost to him forever. ?
That?s pretty interesting ? Not sure how much to put into it?
?The need to act?to bring down Palpatine, as Palpatine had once brought his own Master down. Still panting from the last burst of exertion, the Sith gritted wasted teeth against the injustice of this situation?that Vader had finally out-maneuvered his Master; had ultimately found the strength to break the bonds which had held him to grudging servitude for decades?and in doing so poisoned Palpatine?s protÃ©gÃ© against him. ?
And that makes me very, very glad ?!!!
The duel is matchless of course, the verbal as well as the physical, and the intesity with which you tie all high explosive things of two long stories together in this scene! I think I?ve read the like of it only one other place ? and that was in the end of a story called? hmmm? Storm something?
Loved the remembrance stream you?ve added to Mara. It set things even more right than before, putting Palpatine?s lie into clear light.
?It was his weakness and not Mara?s which had caused his father?s death.
His weakness that had set all of this in motion. Had cost him so much and brought him to this.
His Master was right; such compassion was a debilitating flaw yet he?d held to it like a prized possession when the truth was that it was a curse, nothing less. A weakness to be mastered.
Just like Palpatine himself?he too was a flaw Luke had allowed to fester; a drain on his energy and intentions. Another impediment he?d allowed himself to tolerate rather than remove. Well, no more...
No more weaknesses. ?
Oh, Luke. *shakes head*
?He let out a gasping sigh and whispered her name?in that moment nothing else mattered; neither betrayal nor blame. All he wanted was to touch her sense again, to touch that radiant red hair, soft as silk and bright as glowing embers... ?Mara...? ?
Aww? It might come as an absolute surpriuse to you but I love that passage.. And it?s the confirmation that Luke is still Luke!
?There was a long pause... ?Will the Emperor be attending??
Mara sighed just slightly, understanding the question. ?The Emperor is...no longer here.?
Again Reece paused, clearly as unwilling to speak on an open channel as Mara, but recognizing the necessity. ?Hallin?s attendance is...?
?Crucial,? Mara said.
She switched off the comm, knowing Reece would already be on his way. She had an Empire to secure.?
And another of my favourite passages. Isn?t it just Mara to turn from desperate to hard-efficient in a nano-second?
Wow...! That was fast: I mean Luke really went after Palpatine...he didn't even wait for more info! I sort of expected Mara to be part of the battle: Luke + Vader vs Mara+Palpy. Anyway, it was great!!!
I expect there will be one more chapter and you'll begin the third book?
""BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EXCELLENT BEYOND ALL EXPECTION!!!!!!
You can be very VERY SURE I'll be reading this over and over until the conclusion.
The descriptions of Palpatine's thoughts and realizations....FANTASTIC!!
The imagery of the fight.........SUPERB!!!
This has easily become my very FAVORITE Star Wars story, including all of the books that I've read.""
Wow, thank you so very much - i'm so glad you enjoyed it Duels are always such fun to write, I have to admit, and to hear that it all worked so well for you is great! Hope you enjoy the last chapter
""DING DONG, THE EMPEROR'S DEAD, THE EMPEROR'S DEAD, THE EMPEROR'S DEAD......""
LOL! Works perfectly with the real tune too!
""Now, hopefully, Luke won't be dead, too.""
Hmmmmm....answer in this chapter....
""What an intense chapter and Vader's death only brought about Palpatine's destruction. It took him long enough to realize his folly. Now Lukes life hangs in the balance? I can't wait for the next chapter""
Heh,heh. Yep, Palpy's vision came true, and everything he thought he was doing to counter it just brought it closer into being Final chapter coming up.
""Blank! That was simply amazing!!!!!!!!! Best saber duel I've ever read ever!
Heh,heh. Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it Final chapter this week.
""And so it ends. Not with thunderous applause, but with an explosion ... and a whisper.
This ... all of this was excellent, blank101.
This entire time, Luke held himself back so that his father could still live but the moment Palpatine destroyed him, he ultimately destroyed himself. The irony is, had Palpatine understood what compassion was or even what attachment or a connection to another person truly was aside from being a weakness to be exploited, he might have even saved himself."
All so very true. His own greed and paranoia brought him down, and for all his machinations, he didn't have the foresight to see it.
""But that would not have been Palpatine. And therein lies the real source of his downfall. That, and his inability to let go of anything. What I really like about that quote, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" is that aside from the obvious Star Wars ontological connotations, it mainly refers to an idea: a thing that can never be destroyed so long as someone believes in it. Palpatine seemed so focussed on the material and ontical, that this concept never seemed to seep in ... at least, not on the level that Vader, Obi-Wan and Luke understood it at the end.
Transcending the self by giving up the concept of the self ...
And well, we will just have to see what happens next, won't we.""
Exactly that. Great point, well made - and in fact we may not be done with that theory yet....
I can't even begin to describe how powerfully written that was. Wonderful job! I'm so glad the evil Emperor's dead, and that Luke survived (so far) I'm really looking forward to the conclusion.
A masterly written fic, Blank. You should be proud! ""
Thank you so much! It's great to hear that you enjoyed it, and thanks for all your posts for so very long!
Will Luke survive? More this chapter...
""Wow! That was so good!""
LOL! Glad you liked it
""wow...just...Wow. Who would have thought that all this would have resulted from one misplaced comlink?""
Heh,heh. Remember Luke looking round the room that morning and thinking that twist in
Th conclusion. To think it's almost over.
My question is will Luke find out Leia's relation and figure out that not all Skywalkers are cursed with being Sith? Or will he be killed?
In the event, Mara had very little to do. Everything was apparently already in place, and it was Reece in the Palace and Admiral Joss onboard the Patriot who moved everything forward with the kind of planning and precision which had clearly been months if not years in the making.
She was in fact, politely but firmly excluded; sidelined?advised that she would be of most value staying with The Heir and keeping Reece updated on his condition?and even that tentative, since by the time they arrived by back corridors and covert passageways at Hallin?s dedicated medi-center, a group of ten plain-clothes men, all obviously military but none of whom Mara recognized, were waiting outside the surgery by Reece?s command, appointed as The Heir?s new bodyguards.
So it came as no surprise to Mara when Reece was already waiting in the recovery room by the time Luke left surgery; thoughts only on Luke, she hadn?t contacted Reece yet, but there were clearly several others who had.
Members of the 701st, easily recognized by the dark blue pauldrons on the shoulders of their white armor, were scattered about the area now, concealed just inside the medi-center doors out of sight of casual passers-by, the ten plain-clothes bodyguards in the corridor beyond doing their best to look inconspicuous.
How many more were in the Palace, Mara wondered, already smuggled down from the Patriot in orbit? How many more were alerted, ready to move at a moment?s notice; how many had already responded to coded messages?
She stepped quickly forward as Luke was moved from the gurney onto a high-dependency bed, eyes and thoughts only on him. Deathly pale, covered with cuts and bruises, still connected up to life-support following surgery, he looked terrifyingly fragile.
?Well?? Reece asked tightly as Hallin activated the scanning monitors over the bed.
?Well, he?s just had five hours of surgery,? the medic said distractedly, eyes locked on the readouts. ?There is, not surprisingly, very little information available on how to treat lightsaber wounds.?
?Surely they?re similar to any laser wounds,? Mara prompted, making Hallin glance up at her momentarily.
?You?d think, wouldn?t you?? he said, voice dripping with patronizing sarcasm. He wasn?t a shy man at the best of times, and had great faith in his own medical abilities?fortunately he was right. ?The wound left a sloping exit high enough to puncture his left lung, introducing air into the chest cavity every time he drew breath. Air was filling the cavity into which the lungs normally expanded and restricting lung capacity; he was suffocating with every breath.?
?Nathan,? Reece cut through the irrelevant explanation, greater things on his mind. ?I need to know whether to send the transmission out.?
Hallin sighed, turning back to the unconscious man. ?I really can?t tell you at this point.?
Mara frowned. ?What transmission??
Both men ignored her. ?That?s not good enough. I need an answer.?
?I can?t give you one. He has severe abdominal trauma?I?ve just packed a hole through his stomach which ran front to back, patched his lung back together and directed three surgical droids tying up the loose ends for the last two hours. I have no models for this kind of surgery?the only remaining information is kept by the Emperor?s medical staff and I think they?d be understandably reluctant to part with it, don?t you??
?So there is information available? If I sent a team over there now??
Hallin shook his head. ?And tell them what? You?d never contain that kind of information request?they wouldn?t release it without Palpatine?s express permission and even if they were willing, I?d bet it?s code-restricted to Palpatine, Pestage, Amedda and a few others, and when you couldn?t get that code people would start asking questions. You may as well announce to the whole galaxy that the Emperor is dead and The Heir?the only person capable of standing against him?is seriously wounded. It?s hardly a stretch to put that information together
Actually, what I meant to say is that aside from the Star Wars ontological implications of Obi-Wan's words, even to become just an idea to a person is the most powerful thing of all ... because you cannot destroy an idea.
And it can only spread.
There. I'm glad I phrased that more efficiently this time around. So, our two Sith are now dead. The Empire seems to be in crisis now, for all of its other strength. The easy way would be for Luke to simply pass into the Force, having left contingency plans in his wake (of which I am sure he has), but something tells me that it is not so simple. This really isn't a game of Light and Dark anymore. You changed the rules, blank101, or at least accentuated something that underlay them for quite some time now.
Now that the veil of the Dark Side has been compromised, even for this moment, I wonder if a little light might not shine along the way. I somehow have this feeling that certain people's jobs are ... not quite finished yet.
Also, I find it interesting that though Palpatine exploded into dark Force energy when he died, his body still remains. That is very interesting. Well, if Hallin wanted a DNA sample ... he can pretty much take one at his leisure.
Wow, that was quick! I was just about to post a few thank you's in that gap and you bet me to it!
Okay, let me just say this and I'll get back to you
So there it is folks, the second story in the trilogy complete! Hope you all enjoyed it
As ever of course, a great big thank you to my beta, Jedi-2B who helps get all this out to you on my impossible tight schedule. My thanks always
And of course, to everyone who posted, both new faces and those who've been with this from the very beginning like dancing star, PonyTricks, Jade-eyes, Kataja (of course!) and The Solo Smirk (who hopefully is talking to me again now after I killed Vader)
You're the reason I keep going - seriously! I'd like to say I do it for the love of it - and thinking of stories, I do - but the actual writing it all down... that's tough! So every single post has been welcome
Hope you'll all stick around for the sequel Give us a few weeks to get going, then normal(ish) service will be resumed!
Wonderful conversation -- Mara's points and Luke's hesitations were very well detailed and understandable. He will make a brilliant and very different leader than Palpatine The final scene with Amaeda shows that.
Looking eagerly forward to the third part of the trilogy!!!!!!
An Epic, of Epic Proportions! And even MORE to come! *falls over in a faint* (the sequel comes with some Han and Leia included, right? )
? It was fitting really, Mara reflected numbly; that Palpatine had lost his Empire in very much the same way that he had created it?by force, in a blaze of passionate fury, all twisted through with Vader and Skywalker?s line and her master?s precious prophesies, Sith and Jedi both.
And now the sun was dawning on a new Empire?and a new Emperor?
And as much as she liked to think that she knew him, Mara realized now that she had absolutely no idea?none whatsoever?what this new Empire would be. ?
Clearsight indeed ? for better and for worse?
The Hallin/Mara scene is so absolutely wonderful. Finally these two stand together without animosity, without distrust! A beginning of a beautiful friendship?
?The Empire that Reece so venerated would be better served in Skywalker?s hands; it was as simple as that. ?
?Mara and Hallin stood at a discreet distance, knowing they should go no closer but somehow wishing to be there, aware of his grief without understanding or sharing it.
?He used him,? Mara murmured at last of the limits of Vader?s relationship to his own son, unable to hide her disgust, incensed at the injustice of it all.
?He knows that,? Hallin said of Luke, bringing Mara?s eyes to him. The medic shrugged, his attention remaining on the lonely, melancholy, scene. ?Some ties are deeper,? he murmured simply, offering no more.
Mara turned back to the solitary figure. ?I couldn?t forgive,? she said, very sure.
?It?s a rare thing, the willful determination to look beyond the obvious,? Hallin said, turning to leave his friend in peace. Before he did so he paused to look pointedly back at Mara, though his voice held no censure when he spoke. ?I would have thought you of all people would appreciate his ability to do that.? ?
Poor Mara, she still has a long way to go. But at least she has opened the door now.
??I?m not an Emperor, Mara?I?m a nobody from Tatooine.?
?Who changed the course of a galaxy!?
He looked away, unmoved. ?I?m not an Emperor.?
?You are now.? ?
Something so utterly bizarre over that dialogue ? I love it!
?He turned, mismatched eyes locking on her, drawing Mara in as completely as the night sky called him. ?Come with me.?
In that moment, she almost would have?would have followed him anywhere. But something held her back: loyalty to her old master, the desire to see Luke rule, to be with him?she didn?t know. She blinked, looking down, caught between conflicting desires. To run?to tell him to fire up the ship and just run with him, wherever he wanted to go?or to stay, a lifetime?s investment and familiarity here, her knowledge of what Luke was capable of, her image of him as that person. ?
A long way ? indeed?
?in the end, Luke knew he?d faced Palpatine for his own reasons. The truth was that Palpatine had hurt him and he?d wanted retribution. Even when he?d told Palpatine that he intended to tear down the Empire the Sith had built, that he would scour any trace of its creator from history, it had been for his own reasons?hadn?t it?
He couldn?t quite remember any more?couldn?t trace where the desire for revenge ended and the desire to create a better order began. They merged and muddied, and in truth?he didn?t remember anymore whether that mattered. ?
One of the things I love most with this story is how the characters forget, get confused ? it makes them so real!
She turned, forest green eyes regarding him as he spoke again, the slightest of smiles on his scarred lips. ?That includes the two you hold.? ?
A great end to a great story.
Really I don't know what to say - this story has been so good, and I just don't know how to express it. Going to be hard waiting the few weeks till the sequel comes out!
I hope Mara and Luke can weather this part in their relationship, and come out stronger for it. I think they will, but knowing you you'll have some hardship for them in the third part.
I wish I had more to say, but at least for now I don't.
What a great ending. The spectacular saber fight and then the sscension to the throne. I liked that Luke still saw himself as a nobody from Tatooine the night before the coronation and that Han recognized the star pattern as being from Luke's home planet. Somewhere inside him is still the farm boy and jedi knight. He is much changed courtesy of surviving Palpatine, but the essential Luke still exists.
The plans were in place to consolidate power. Luke was quite forsighted. Now let's see how as Emperor he deals with the Rebels and governing the Empire.
Brillant story. I await the next installment.
Can you place me on pm list? Thank you.
I would like to be placed on the PM list for the upcoming story if you please
Amazing work, Blank
I loved Mara and Luke's conversation aboard the advanced scout ship.
I also feel like a lot of this last chapter is meant to foreshadow some of the conflict coming in the next piece of the trilogy. Two things in particular: the scene focused on Reece and that last scene with Luke sending Mara out as Reece's "watcher." The explanation of Reece's motivations and the further fleshing out of his background seems to suggest, at least to me (and maybe I'm reading too much into it =P) that he will become somewhat of a moral compass. And Luke's mirroring of Palpatine (even in Amedda's eyes!) shows that Luke will inevitably become corrupted and turned and warped by the trappings of his new office.
Somewhere, in the sad irony of it all, I see an allegory about institutional decay. The new boss, same as the old boss. I'm sad (and, I guess, a bit mad) that we didn't get to see Leia or Han's reaction to Luke's ascension in this final chapter. But I suppose we have another 30-chapter story to explore that, don't we?
I am extremely anxious to see what happens in At the Brink of Dawn and Darkness. Count me in for the PM list, Blank! And don't keep us waiting to long, either =P