Title: Luminescent Spirits and Crude Matter Characters: Anakin Skywalker; Padme Amidala. Genre: Angst; Drama; General. Era: Saga-PT and OT. Summary: Anakin and the burdens of the past and the future. Luminescent Spirits and Crude Matter Days Sweet as Shuura Fruit The morning after their marriage, Anakin and Padme shared a shuura fruit poached in spices. Savoring the juicy softness as he carved into it, Anakin understood why poached shuura fruit was a favorite delicacy of his wife’s. Smiling at her, he remarked, “Today tastes sweet as poached shuura because I’m married to you.” “May all our days taste sweet as shuura.” Padme leaned into kiss him, and he could smell the scent of shuura fruit clinging to her like perfume. Her mouth danced across his, and he could taste the shuura fruit on her lips and then on her tongue. Tortured by the Future The future was prophecy, and prophecy was the future. Anakin had been tortured by the future—by prophecy—since he was a small slave boy growing up on Tatooine. First had been the dreams of freeing all the slaves of Tatooine and slaying the masters with a sunset red weapon. Then, when he left Tatooine there was the crushing burden of being the Chosen One destined to bring balance to the Force and the nightmares that awakened him in the middle of the night soaked in sweat. The dreams of his mother dying and himself too late to save her. Haunted by the Past It wasn’t only the future that tortured Anakin. It was his past that haunted him as well. His past of leaving his mother as a slave on Tatooine and never returning to save her before it was too late. His past of his mother dying in his arms, whispering how proud she was of him and how much she loved him. His past of slaughtering all the Tusken Raiders in the camp where he had found her, including the unarmed, defenseless women and children, because his mother had been unarmed and defenseless when the Tusken Raiders attacked and captured her. Defying Death The moment his mother died in his arms, Anakin became determined to defy death. Not selfishly for himself, but selflessly for those he loved. He didn’t have to live forever. He only wanted eternity for those he loved. That was why when a nightmare of Padme dying in childbirth came to him like a vision of the future, he’d been so tempted by Palpatine’s promise that only as a Sith could he learn to stop those he loved from dying. He had slain the younglings for love, and his greatest grief was Padme didn’t see that, rejecting his greatest gift. Unexpected Resurrection Anakin had never expected to find redemption or resurrection. When he died looking on his son with his own eyes, Anakin knew that he had found a measure of redemption for years spent terrorizing the galaxy. When his eyes shut on life, he expected to be swallowed by the gaping, dark void that awaited all Dark Siders, but instead he was immersed in healing light. Healing light that purged all evil from his soul so he could finally transcend himself, becoming a luminescent spirit who could stand beside Obi-Wan and Yoda, watching his body burn at his own funeral.