Tale as Old As Time Author: aleja2 Timeframe: After The Empire Strikes Back but heavily AU Genre: Romance, Fairy Tale, Angst, Mash-Up Fun Summary: While on a mission to the planet Diswalt, Luke is held prisoner by one of the Emperor’s Beasts. * * * Author’s note 1: I wasn’t writing fan fiction at the time, but I recently saw the August 2013 SJRS Challenge mentioned and, well… The inspirational challenge: Write a Star Wars story based on a classic fairy tale (Grimm or otherwise) and insert Luke and Mara into it. The following words need to be included: -Popsicle -Catastrophe -Pittance To make things a bit interesting, don’t name the fairy tale and see if people can guess. Although anyone familiar with 90’s Disney animated films shouldn’t find it too hard. Author’s note 2: Several lines are intentionally borrowed from a certain Disney film. The prologue especially is borrowed from Linda Woolverton’s screenplay and is intended as a loving homage. There may also be lines borrowed from Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn and from lyrics written for the Broadway musical version of the Disney film. Again, only meant as a loving homage. Author’s note 3: Set after The Empire Strikes Back, but heavily AU. Author’s note 4: Disney owns it all. ALL. * * * Prologue A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a hideous Emperor lived on a shining planet. He used the dark side of the Force to obtain nearly everything his heart desired. Soon the entire galaxy was held tight in his grip. But the Emperor remained spoiled, selfish and unkind. And then, one night, a desperate young mother, hunted down for being a hated Jedi, was dragged into his throne room. And the mother offered him her young child to raise as he wanted, if he would just spare the child’s life. The Emperor sneered at her gift, and ordered both mother and child to be put to death immediately. But the mother warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for true power could be found within her child. The Emperor forcibly entered the mother’s mind, ripping through her Jedi defenses. And her child was revealed to be, in truth, strong in the Force. The Emperor had the mother killed, for there was no love in his heart. But he spared the child. As revenge on his enemies, he would transform this Jedi youngling into a hideous beast of vengeance. And he used the dark side of the Force to place the child under his powerful spell. But the child the mother had offered him was indeed an enchanted child. Her mother had hidden, deep inside the child’s mind, a way for the child to escape the Emperor’s control. If she could learn to love another, and earn his love in return, then the hideous Emperor’s power would be broken. If not, the child would be doomed to remain a hated and feared beast for all time, hunting down and destroying the Emperor’s enemies. And the years passed, and the star systems under the Emperor’s control fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever hope to love…a beast?