Saga Long Gone – Yoda meets Padmé’s ghost; COMPLETE -- replies for epilogue chapters 12-1

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kahara, Jun 14, 2014.

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  1. Kahara Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    Title: Long Gone

    Timeframe: Saga; post-ANH, pre-ESB
    Length: 9 chapters + 2-part epilogue. The chapters are divided so that they are all about 2-5 pages in 14 pt font.
    Genre: character interaction, drama, hard to categorize
    Characters: Yoda, Padmé, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, mentions of others

    Summary: Yoda is used to receiving ghostly visitors, but this one is a little out of the ordinary. A difficult parent-teacher conference with the luminous brings challenges to the Jedi Master’s routine life.

    Notes: Thanks to Nyota’s Heart for beta-reading this!

    6-26: All chapters are now completed. There will be 9 regular chapters and 2 epilogue chapters. Updates will be scheduled every 2 weeks.




    Chapter One: Cadence

    Dark it is now. The sun has fallen below the tree line hours ago and the moon has yet to rise. Yoda is practicing the last of Faalo’s cadences. There is some small reassurance in the Jedi practice routine that is older than himself.

    Unbound by gravity or the need for his frail physical body to wield it, the lightsaber swoops through the air in ever-changing patterns. Arcs, zigzags, and parabolas of light shift and spin in midair. This emerald aurais all that can be seen of the blade as he directs it to tamp out the candle flames that exist only within his mental construct for the exercise. There is room for improvisation; the complexity of the movements is limited to his imagination alone. Yet it is a closed system: he, the numbers, and the blade moved by his mind. The touch of life’s natural disorder, the hand of the living Force, is absent here and he cannot seem to find it.

    “The heart is the crystal of the Jedi.” Tonight his heart is cracked at the center. There will be no restorative sleep. It is the anniversary of the Empire’s rise. Too close to the surface his memories of the lost younglings are. In the light of day, he will go on to where the Force leads him. The son and daughter of Skywalker are the future of the Jedi. But for this night, forget the other children he cannot. Gone are the young ones he taught to meditate, to perform their first katas, to sense the Force in the movements of the planets and the growth of every living thing in the Temple gardens. That family cannot be restored. Order 66. Flame Night. Such tidy euphemisms for the destruction of the Order’s next generation.

    The dance of the cadences continues and he huffs a short, surprised laugh when he recognizes the pattern of Berltagh’s eighth concerto. Sneaky the subconscious mind can be. The piece has never been one of his favorites – dissonant, plaintive, lacking in the sense of peaceful majesty that marked Berltagh’s usual work. While most of the Vultan composer’s music was inspired by the wonders of the stars, the eighth concerto is an elegy to her destroyed homeworld. Yoda is a Jedi Master, but since beginning his exile he has learned that he must grieve sometimes just as he must eat, drink, and sleep. Must survive for what will be needed. He releases the sorrow to the Force, finds comfort in its serenity.

    “Master Yoda.”

    The Jedi Master looks up. Calling the lightsaber back to his side, he studies his new guest curiously. He is not exactly startled by the intrusion. Since Qui-Gon’s first ghostly appearance years ago, Yoda has become resigned to visitations. A comfort sometimes, to meet with old friends.

    But this visitor! Unexpected she is. Glows with a bluish moonstone light like any other such apparition. Her, though? Never a Jedi was she. Had not the potential, even. Naboo was a wealthy world, even before being admitted to the Republic. Any child of Force-sensitive midi-chlorian levels would have been recorded. His ears sweep out to the sides in confusion.

    This is… not impossible. If impossible, then it would not be happening. A byproduct of the Cave nearby it is not; the Dark Side’s influence reaches some small distance beyond the tunnel, but not this far. Yoda recognizes its phantoms easily and this is not one of them.

    He refuses to blame the sudden manifestation of Padmé Amidala Naberrie Skywalker’s spirit on cyanoberry contamination in his porridge. In that case, his problem it would not be for long.

    Notes:
    Faalo's cadences (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Faalo's_cadences)
    Crystal code (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Code#Crystal_Code) A really interesting version of the Jedi code that I suspect may pre-date the Jedi/Sith split in-universe. It makes absolutely no mention of the dark side whatsoever, which leads me to think that it may be very old indeed.
    Cyanoberries (http://starwars.wikia.com/Cwiki/Cyanoberry)
    Last edited by Kahara, Dec 1, 2014
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  2. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    I like the tone of Yoda's musings. =D= You can feel his strong connection to the Force and also his regrets over how the Jedi Order has fallen on grievous times. I have a feeling his 'chat' with Padme will be very illuminating.
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  3. earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Perfect beginning to an interesting story
    tag please[face_dancing]
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  4. Thuro Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2013
    star 4
    Please tag me when part two is ready. An excellent read.
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  5. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8
    please put me on the tag list great read
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  6. Raissa Baiard Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 3
    I'm quite interested to see what Padme has to say to Yoda.

    You do a great job of portraying Yoda's inner voice. There's a nice balance of Yoda's trademark grammatical inversion in the prose, enough to give it the flavor of his speech without making it difficult to read.
    These last two paragraphs made me chuckle :)
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  7. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    Yes, I'd also like to chime in on what a superb job you've done capturing Yoda's distinctive speech patterns in his stream of thought. And nice touch including the reference notes at the bottom! I love that sort of detail. Unique stories are my favorite, so I'll definitely keep an eye on this thread. ;)
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  8. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2006
    star 2
    This looks really interesting. I'm looking forward to more.

    Poignant look inside Yoda's head. The bit about the necessity of grieving even for Jedi Masters rang so true.
  9. Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2014
    star 1
    Very well written story. I now wonder just what Padme's ghost has to say to Yoda and over which eras this story is going to take place.
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  10. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    I also would like to read about "the sudden manifestation of Padmé Amidala Naberrie Skywalker’s spirit on cyanoberry contamination in his porridge".
    Had an Ebenezer Scrooge moment here.

    [face_blush]
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  11. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I, too, would like to read about what Padme has to say to Yoda. Very interesting premise!
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  12. Kahara Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    Thank you all very much. :D Anybody who doesn't want to be tagged in future replies, please let me know! Likewise, if any of you who didn't say so last time want tags/PM's for updates, let me know. :)

    @Nyota’s Heart: Thank you for the comment, and for beta-reading this oddball of a story. :)

    The Jedi Order was Yoda’s everything in the Old Republic, so the loss of that would be difficult to bear. That he’s too mature to go Sith and too stoic to cry – often, anyway – doesn’t mean it’s easy, and I think he had to take a hard look at his own faults after the events of ROTS. As for the chat, yes. Hopefully, it will prove illuminating. ;)

    @earlybird-obi-wan, @Thuro, @Falcon: Thanks for your kind comments, and consider this your tag since the update is in the next post (replies ran a little long.)

    @Raissa Baiard: Thank you! As I replied to someone further down the thread, I was surprised and curious myself at how their conversation went.

    And I am thrilled that you find the Yoda-POV readable. I was really worried that it would put most readers off to wade through pages of Yodaspeak. He does use a mixture of “normal” sounding speech, along with the trademark reverses and some really strange fragments. Not sure if I have the proportions exact, but it’s the closest I could manage in overall feel.

    @ThreadSketch: Thank you; the speech patterns were fun but a little terrifying to write. Once it was clear that this story wanted to be told from Yoda’s perspective, I wondered if everyone would find it too annoying to plow through all that odd grammar. Glad that you liked it. :) The endnotes are one of my favorite things to do, since I get to share odd bits of Star Wars or real-life trivia. So it’s nice to see that some people enjoy them!

    @Cael-Fenton: Yoda seems a bit out-of-touch and maybe even callous about death and grieving in ROTS, so my characterization here may be a little unusual. Needless to say, it’s all my subjective opinion! But I think the “rejoice for those who pass into the Force” and no-grieving philosophy that he had at that point was the result of his lifespan.

    He had seen so many generations come and go. So he came to focus on the Force and, more personally, on the Jedi Order as the points of stability. Being a bit alien in mental makeup, this was doable for him. I think the problem was in trying to apply it to others – there was no way Anakin Skywalker was going to be Zen about the possibility of losing his wife and kids.

    Post-Republic, Yoda – this version, at least – had to re-learn the art of grieving. Losing one person at a time over the centuries is one thing, and the way he was coping probably worked for that. Losing a whole world and way of life? Not so much. So I think he had to eat Dagobah corvine on that topic. ;)

    Thanks for your comment!

    @Theodore Hawkwood: There is a time jump before the epilogue chapters – more than that I don’t want to say because of spoilers. ;) Thank you!

    @AzureAngel2: Ha, so did I! But not until you mentioned it. Good catch. That was probably in the back of my mind. Thanks. :)

    @ginchy: Thank you! All I’ll say is that I was also very interested to see what Padmé had to say – especially once she really got into it. The Queen of Naboo has depths that I had forgotten and not credited in my early plans. ;) I found she was full of surprises, at least to me.
    Last edited by Kahara, Jun 28, 2014
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  13. Kahara Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter Two: Phantom

    Yoda regards her with a neutral face, neither hostile nor quite welcoming. “Senator Amidala, a long time it has been,” he says, taking the formal option rather than choose between her public surname and her husband’s name. Appropriate it seems, since she has chosen to appear in her formal Senatorial garb. Not the Queen, not the Padmé who went running after a Sith apprentice in vain hope, certainly not the exhausted woman who had drifted out of life in spite of all their efforts. Come to negotiate she has, he thinks. Why and what for, these are uncertainties.

    She inclines her head and smiles; the gift she has always had, he recalls, of assuring any being that she is not only determined to deal fairly with them but actually cares for their success. Spent much of her time in the Senate making peace among those who were afraid to trust their peoples’ well-being to the Republic. Lines of stress he can see around her eyes. Looks as she often did late in the war, burdened by the weight of the galaxy’s troubles.

    Some difference he finds, though. The sorrow that shades her presence does not smother the unyielding look in her eyes. Amidala did not lack courage before her death, but now he senses that something in her spirit has been tempered into stronger steel. Grown older in mind he thinks she has. Yoda knows little about what passes after death for a Jedi, and nothing of what happens to other sentients. Completely devoid of the Force no living thing is, so surprise him that others might continue in some way it does not. But to be able to appear as only few Jedi ever manage, and they only by studying the writings of the Whills? Hmm.

    He sits down and gestures for Amidala to do the same. Somewhat rusty his memory of this routine is. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan both prefer to communicate by voice most of the time, since images take more energy. However, he recalls that most humanoid sentients find it easier to speak to him on a more even height level. Closer to the normal distance of speaking and more calming. Yoda learned long ago that the difference between his stature and Force presence leaves many beings unsettled. Minimizing the distance tends to reduce the problem. Paradoxical it seems to him, but strange Humans and their cousins are in many ways.

    “It has been many years, yes,” Amidala agrees. Sighs under her breath, beneath the level of human hearing but not that of Yoda’s species. “There has been so much that I -- feel my words are not up to the task. The universal nightmare of all Senators,” she says ruefully. “You already know, I think, what I would say if mere apologies on another’s behalf were of any proportion to what happened before I died.”

    No hesitation in mentioning her state. Yet her eyes dart to her hands and she looks perplexed, as though she had not expected the faint radiance and the outlines of the physical world that show through her flesh as though it were a hologram. “What a shlethip mess.” She blinks in surprise at her own words.

    “Heh. New you are to this, hmm?” Theories he is beginning to have, but he decides not to mention them yet. Many strange phenomena there are in the galaxy. If that includes certain beings engaging in a bit of meddling – hmmph. Allows what it pleases, the will of the Force does. His opinion it asks not. Never has.

    “Difficult it is to learn filtering one’s speech from the places beyond the material world. Things I have heard from my former pupils. Much honesty expressed without the grace of our Negotiator from Obi-Wan. Old transgressions – knew I always did that Qui-Gon stole those cookies when he was young.”

    “It does seem that my thoughts go more directly to words now.” A sliver of a smile from the Senator, gone in the blink of an eye as she turns serious. “Unfortunately, I am not just here to express my regrets.” She folds her hands and looks at him with implacable solemnity. A twinge of apprehension Yoda feels. Difficult this is going to turn, and quickly.



    Notes: Since @Theodore Hawkwood asked, this is set a few months after ANH (Episode IV.)
    Last edited by Kahara, Aug 24, 2014
  14. Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2014
    star 1
    Ooh, nice cliff hangar at the end. I wonder what Padme's reasons are, but I suppose I shall have to wait.

    I love the imagery in the beginning, of how Padme's cares seemed to have aged her. This seems to take place around the between times, before Episode IV or Episode V, right?
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  15. Thuro Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2013
    star 4
    I love that

    "Old transgressions – knew I always did that Qui-Gon stole those cookies when he was young.”
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  16. Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2014
    star 1
    @Kahara. Thanks for clearing that up.
    Last edited by Theodore Hawkwood, Jun 28, 2014
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  17. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    I like Padme's forthrightness and Yoda's fond remembering of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. :D I can imagine Padme's sense of grief over Anakin's choices. [face_thinking]
  18. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    Seconded, ROTFL. [face_laugh]
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  19. earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love Yoda observing her. He is small of stature yes but powerful. And Qui-Gon and the cookies. Great even Jedi are naughty. What has Padmé to reveal?
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  20. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2006
    star 2
    Very nicely done! I love your characterisation of Padmé and seeing her politician-ness through Yoda's eyes.

    Your Yoda is awesome. Great how you gave him such a distinctive, palpably alien voice, with perceptions and insights that are close enough to ours to be identifiable and sympathetic, but also clearly different. I'm in admiration of how you manage to get across his wisdom and age so well!
  21. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Amidala did not lack courage before her death, but now he senses that something in her spirit has been tempered into stronger steel.

    Thanks for pointing THAT out. I love you even more for that.

    I also liked Padmé cursing heartily.
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  22. Tarsier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2005
    star 3
    I love the descriptions of Padmé:
    the gift she has always had, he recalls, of assuring any being that she is not only determined to deal fairly with them but actually cares for their success

    Amidala did not lack courage before her death, but now he senses that something in her spirit has been tempered into stronger steel

    It's interesting that Yoda rests his certainty that Padmé is not a Jedi on the fact that she comes from Naboo, not on his own observations of her in life.

    And I love the idea that ghosts have less of a filter to their words. :D
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  23. Raissa Baiard Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 3
    So good to see the second post for this story! I wanted to post sooner, but my internet has been flaky, however, it did give me a chance to reread the story and notice new details. I think you do an exceptional job capturing Yoda and Padme's voice. I can practically hear them as I read. :)

    Love this paragraph
    It's cool to see Yoda's sense of humor. Yes, he's a wise Jedi master, but he's also the Yoda who puts on a masterfully silly performance the first time he meets Luke.
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  24. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Beautiful work, @Kahara! Love the way you've crafted a "writerly" style of Yodaspeak that combines deep insights with gorgeous moments with the quirky humor of Our Favorite Diminutive Jedi Master. Also love the oh-so-understandable moments of awkwardness on both sides—Yoda getting used to grieving, and Padmé getting used to being a ghost. Because why shouldn't these big important things take time? This story seems poised to bring new dimensions to Padmé, whose potential (I always felt) was never quite fully reached in the movies.

    Definitely looking forward to more—I too would love to be tagged for updates, please. @};-
    Last edited by Findswoman, Jul 3, 2014
  25. Kahara Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    @Theodore Hawkwood:



    Thank you. There’s something that I really like about the idea of a Padmé who stuck around for the Rebellion and her kids, and grew wiser with the years. In this case, she didn’t actually survive physically, but it seemed more interesting to have her a bit marked by time nonetheless. :)



    @Thuro, @ThreadSketch:



    Thanks. I had fun with the “old transgressions” line, so I’m glad you enjoyed it. ;)



    @Nyota’s Heart:



    Yes, I think Anakin’s choices are always a presence in this Padmé’s mind. It’s not a fresh wound anymore, but it’s still got to be painful to face the others that Vader hurt. Thank you. :)



    @earlybird-obi-wan:



    Thank you! I was hoping to give Yoda a bit of that ESB presence that I remember so well, so I’m thrilled to see that the “small but powerful” was noted. As for even Jedi being naughty, well, they all started out as kids. And Yoda had seen all of them grow up from the age of childish mischief. :p



    @Cael-Fenton:



    Yay! I’m very happy to see those themes were noticed. [face_dancing]

    Padmé was a fascinating character to write – some time after the epilogue is posted, I will have to tell the tale of how a warrior-queen senator hijacked my fanfic that one time.

    I’m still never quite convinced that I’ve got Yoda right, since there’s so much complexity and ambiguity to his character. “My” version of Yoda that I think of as the template is the one we meet in ESB, but there’s inevitably a lot of other canon and fanon mixed in there. And ESB Yoda is an odd bird. I am frankly gleeful that he seems at all genuinely alien as well as sympathetic to you. While writing, I wondered about over-humanizing him with all these emotions (which he does undoubtedly have in canon, but less is often more when it’s a very old and very self-controlled character.)



    @ AzureAngel2:



    Oh, I have loved getting to write that stuff! :D Thank you. It’s been very enlightening to revisit a character whose fate was disappointing to me. In writing this, I learned all kinds of things about how I would have liked to see her story go – and still can in fanfic.



    @Tarsier:

    Thank you! I enjoyed seeing how Padmé’s character turned out to have new angles in the process of writing this story; it was a bit of an unexpected revelation. :)

    Regarding the thing about her being from Naboo: The factor that was in the back of my mind was that Palpatine had been revealed to be a Sith all along and nobody noticed. So Yoda has become a little more skeptical of his own perceptions when it comes to Force-sensitivity or its lack. However, that does bring the question of why he trusts that testing would have picked her out – after all, Sidious dodged it somehow. I think it’s that she had such a high-profile life on her homeworld, being in young politicians’ programs and basically well-documented from early childhood. Perhaps Yoda thinks that is reliable enough, along with the fact that she has always seemed not to be hiding anything like that. (Can you tell that this was something I hadn’t entirely thought through to its conclusions? :p)

    The ghosts having less of a filter was an odd thing to add, but I can’t recall that we ever see a non-Sithly ghost outright lie. Bend the truth, yes, but not lie. So I thought that if there was something that prevented them from doing so (other than their moral compass), it would be more pronounced when they were new. ;)



    @Raissa Baiard:

    So glad to hear that they sound like themselves; that is one of my big concerns with writing canons. :)



    Exactly what I was going for, so that’s great to know. Yoda’s wry, trickster-ish qualities in ESB were a major influence there. :D

    Thank you for reviewing!



    @Findswoman:


    Thank you; it’s wonderful to hear positive feedback on the speech-style and Yoda POV. :) (I think I already commented in previous replies that those were things that I was unsure about – that was actually the main reason why I sought beta-reading, which Nyota’s Heart has generously provided.)

    There is a lot of awkward to go around. I can hardly imagine, but I did my best. Its both better and worse that they are both normally so composed and used to being responsible for others (which has its good side and its not-so-helpful side when dealing with the past.) Padmé finding the ghostliness a bit weird, if only for a brief moment, seemed like something that might happen to someone who wasn’t a Jedi Master. ;)

    Padmé as shown never seemed to get the chance to be quite as awesome as we were told, especially in ROTS. I’ve enjoyed a lot of fanfiction that was written by people who gave her character more oomph, which certainly influences how I ended up portraying her! Anyway, it was a blast to write her character but there’s no telling with 100% certainty whether she’ll ring true. Here’s hoping. :)
    Last edited by Kahara, Feb 18, 2015
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