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Saga Conspiracy Among Enemies

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Hoplite39, May 18, 2014.

  1. Hoplite39

    Hoplite39 Jedi Youngling

    May 18, 2014

    A/N: This is a story I wanted to write to feasibly explain the apparent incompetence and inaccuracy of imperial forces on the Death Star during Leia's escape. You may notice that some of the dialogue is lifted directly from ANH.


    As soon as the smuggler ship arrived, Darth Vader knew there was something wrong.

    Imperial intelligence confirmed that it was the same ship that had escaped with the two droids from Tatooine. The guards in the docking bay reported that the ship was unoccupied; the occupants had apparently ejected in escape pods. But Vader knew that wasn't the case. He was sure there were people on that ship. And he could sense something in the force he had not felt for a very long time.

    Vader went to see Grand Moff-Tarkin and immediately reported his suspicion that his former Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was on the Death Star

    "He is here." Said Vader as he stood in Tarkin's office.

    "Obi-Wan Kenobi?" Tarkin frowned in disbelief. "What makes you think so?"

    "A tremor in the force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master."

    "Surely he must be dead by now." Tarkin was clearly not convinced.

    "Don't under estimate the force."

    Tarkin stood up and walked round the desk towards Vader.

    "The Jedi are extinct." Tarkin asserted confidently. "Their fire has gone out of the universe. You my friend are all that's left of their religion."

    The Comm on Tarkins's desk sounded indicating that there was an urgent message. Tarkin moved over to the comm link and activated it.

    "Yes?" Tarkin frowned. It was rare for him to receive urgent messages. Whatever it was had to be important.

    "We have an emergency alert in detention block AA23." Said a male voice formally over the comm.

    "The princess?" Tarkin's frown deepened. "Put all sections on alert."

    "Obi-Wan is here." Vader was certain that the alert in the detention block had something to do with the presence of his old master. "The force is with him."

    "If you are right, he must not be allowed to escape." Tarkin's voice was calm but insistent.

    "Escape is not his plan." Said Vader with conviction. "I must face him alone."

    Vader turned and swiftly left the room.


    After leaving Tarkin's office, a man wearing the black uniform of a stormtrooper officer fell into step with Vader. Vader had ordered the officer to accompany him to Tarkin's office and to wait outside while he spoke to the Grand-Moff. Vader sensed that he would need to take immediate action after the meeting with Tarkin. And his instinct had proved right. Vader intended to deal with Kenobi in good time. But first he had to take action with regards to Princess Leia.

    "What is the situation in the princess's detention block?" Vader got straight to the point.

    "We are not sure, my Lord." The officer walked swiftly to keep up with Vader's rapid pace. "The footage from the security camera suggests that at least three intruders entered the detention block and attacked the guards. Two were equipped in stormtrooper armour. The third appears to be a wookie. We have sent a squad to investigate. They have orders to shoot or detain any intruders found there."

    For a few seconds, Vader continued walking without saying anything. Vader was deep in thought as he considered the possible link between Kenobi's presence on the station and the alert in the detention block where Princess Leia was held. The officer walked alongside, expectantly waiting for a reaction.

    Vader suddenly came to a halt. The officer dutifully stopped as well and waited attentively.

    "No." Was all Vader said.

    "No, sir?" The officer asked perplexed.

    "Order your men to ensure that they must not harm the intruders. They must ensure that the intruders and the princess escape from the detention block unharmed."

    "Yes, sir." The officer was confused by the unusual order. "Shall we call off our men?"

    "No." Said Vader again. "The intruders must believe that we are trying to prevent them from escaping the station. You must order your men to pursue the intruders, but ensure that they reach their ship unharmed. You shall also ensure that a homing-beacon is attached to their ship so that we can track them once they leave."

    "Yes, sir." Said the officer. "Shall we remove the guard detail around their ship?"

    "No. Leave a small detachment of five men as a token guard" Replied Vader. "But the intruders must be allowed to escape. Understood, commander?"

    "Yes, sir." Replied the officer. He understood very well that the five guards would have to be sacrifice to let the princess and her rescuers escape. "But what of Grand-Moff Tarkin's order to put all sections on alert."

    "Do not concern yourself with that, commander." Vader pointed a gloved finger at him. "Just ensure that the intruders reach their ship unharmed. I will deal with Grand-Moff Tarkin myself."

    Vader turned and strode away. The officer immediately activated his comm and contacted stormtrooper command to relay Lord Vader's orders that the intruders in the detention block should be allowed to escape unharmed. Stormtrooper command acknowledged the order.

    The officer hurried to the command centre. The execution of Lord Vader's order to allow the rebels to reach their ship unharmed would take careful planning and deployment. His stormtroopers would have to ensure that they pursued the intruders with enough intensity to make them believe that they were in danger of being killed or captured. Also, his men would have to shoot to miss, while exposing themselves to enemy fire. The officer reflected with regret that there would almost certainly be casualties among his men. But he also knew that his men would not hesitate to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the Empire.


    The execution of the order would require deployment of his most reliable and accurate stormtroopers. Shooting to miss in an intense combat situation was not straight forward. If the men panicked or were undisciplined, they could hit the enemy by mistake. The officer would have to choose the units who would engage the enemy very carefully. Unfortunately, the rebels would not shoot to miss. The Empire would lose many fine soldiers today.

    After the intruders, accompanied by Princess Leia, successfully reached the ship and blasted off from the Death Star, Tarkin summoned Lord Vader to his office.

    "You let them escape, Vader." The frown on Tarkin's forehead indicated he was angry. But as usual, Tarkin did not raise his voice. Even a Grand-Moff had to be tactful when dealing with Lord Darth Vader. "I hope you have a good explanation for this."

    "A homing beacon is attached to their ship." As usual, Vader did not waste time with unnecessary explanations. "The princess has the plans to the station and will lead us to the rebel base." Vader's voice was authoritative and without doubt. "We will destroy the rebel alliance once and for all."

    "How do you know she will lead us to the base?" Said Tarkin. "The princess is very astute and may suspect your deception. She may go into hiding."

    "No." Replied Vader. "The princess will fear that we may capture her or identify and remove any weakness that the station may have. She will not delay."

    Tarkin stood for a moment looking thoughtfully out of the viewing port. He knew he was taking a risk in letting Princess Leia escape with the plans. But he was also confident that the rebels would not find a weakness in the station that could realistically be exploited. If Vader's plan worked, then they would destroy the rebel base in a matter of days and the rebellion would effectively be over. And of course, Tarkin would get all the credit.

    "Alright, Vader. We'll go along with your plan. I had ordered five squadrons of fighters to pursue and destroy the ship. I shall call them back."

    Vader nodded in assentment."I will order four of my most reliable pilots to engage the ship. The rebels must believe that we intend to stop them. But my men will ensure that the ship escapes without significant damage."

    Vader turned and left the room to relay his new orders. He was aware that he had already lost some good men in this mission. He was about to lose four more. But he knew the sacrifice was necessary if the Empire was to gain a quick victory. The loss of a few good men now would save thousands more if the Empire could avoid a long drawn out war. This was a unique opportunity to crush the rebellion once and for all. Vader was determined not to miss it.


    After the Falcon destroyed the four tie-fighters, Vader entered Tarkin's office again. Tarkin was looking at the view screen.

    "Are they away." Said Tarkin. It was a rhetorical question. Tarkin already knew the answer.

    "They have just made the jump into hyperspace." Confirmed Vader.

    "You are sure the homing beacon is aboard their ship." Tarkin was clearly nervous. "I'm taking an awful risk Vader. This had better work."


    As the Millennium Falcon made its way through hyperspace to the rebel base in the Yavin system, Han Solo was sitting beside Leia in the cockpit.

    "Not a bad bit of rescue. Huh?" Han grinned widely. "You know sometimes I amaze even myself."

    "That doesn't sound too hard." Replied Leia. "They let us go. It's the only explanation for the ease of our escape."

    "Easy?" Han looked at her incredulously. "You call that easy?"

    "They're tracking us."

    "Not this ship sister."

    Leia shook her head and sighed. "At least the information in R2 is still intact."

    "What's so important." Han was genuinely curious. He wanted to know what he had risked his life for. "What's he carrying?"

    "The technical read-outs of that battle-station. I only hope that when the data's analysed a weakness can be found." Leia's voice betrayed that she was worried that they may not find anything. She knew she was taking a big risk leading them to the rebel base. "It's not over yet."

    "It is for me sister." Said Han. "Look, I'm not in it for your revolution and I'm not in it for you, princess. I'm in it for the money. I expect to be well paid."

    "You needn't worry about your reward." Sneered Leia in return. "If money is all you love. Then that is all you will receive."

    Disgusted, Leia stood up and walked to the exit of the cockpit. As she was about to leave, she passed Luke who was coming in the opposite direction.

    "Your friend is quite a mercenary." Leia said to luke. "I wonder if he cares about anyone. Or anything."

    "I care." Luke replied.


    A while later, Leia was sitting in the common area of the Falcon. Luke entered the room and sat down beside her.

    "Han says that you think the imperials let us escape." Said Luke

    "Yes." Replied Leia.

    "What makes you think that?" Asked Luke. "Han doesn't believe it. They seemed pretty intent on capturing or killing us."

    Leia glanced up at Luke. She was expecting to see the same skepticism on Luke's face as Han had displayed. But instead she only saw curiosity.

    "Have you ever faced imperial stormtroopers in a real combat?" Asked Leia. "I mean before coming to the station?"

    "Not in battle." Acknowledged Luke. "I have seen them on Tatooine. But only on patrol or on guard."

    "Do you not think it is strange that not one of their shots hit us while we were trying to escape." Said Leia. "We didn't even receive a flesh wound."

    Luke shrugged and smiled. "I just assumed they were bad shots."

    Leia shook her head. She also smiled, but it was a melancholic smile full of sad memories.

    "Imperial stormtroopers are the elite of the Empire." Said Leia. "They do not miss. I have seen them in combat before. They come hard, fast and in overwhelming numbers. And they are accurate. I know because I lost many friends and comrades to their assault on the Tantive."

    Leia paused a moment as she remembered how her people were ruthlessly gunned down by the stormtroopers on the Tantive. But she had to be strong and put things in perspective. With the destruction of Alderaan, the tragedy of the Tantive was almost insignificant. Luke watched her intently with a concerned expression on his face, but waited patiently for her to compose herself and continue.

    "But the stormtroopers we faced on the Death Star were different." Continued Leia. "They were far too passive and inaccurate for imperial stormtroopers. They seemed to be holding back and inexplicably missed every time. There is only one explanation. They did not intend to hit us. They intended to miss us and let us escape."

    Luke sat thoughtfully for a moment and nodded his head. At the time, he had really felt in danger. But now he thought about it, the stormtroopers had seemed incompetently inaccurate. There were at least two or three times during the escape when he was standing motionless and should have been an easy target. Yet the stormtroopers had miraculously failed to hit him. At the time, he assumed that he was lucky. But now he realised that Leia was probably right. The stormtroopers were accurate. But they had employed their accuracy to ensure that they missed their target.

    However, there was one event that did confuse Luke. He turned to Leia frowning.

    "But what about the garbage compactor?" As Luke. "We almost died there."

    Leia shrugged. "I don't know." She admitted. "But I assume it activated automatically. It was something that the imperials didn't foresee. Just as they didn't foresee the danger from the creature that attacked you."

    Luke nodded again. He found it ironic that the only real danger he probably faced during the escape from the Death Star was in the trash compactor where there wasn't an imperial in sight. On the other hand, the stormtroopers with blasters he had faced had probably presented no danger to him at all, although Luke didn't realise that at the time.

    "But why would they let us escape?" Asked Luke.

    "They hope we will lead them to the rebel base."

    "But that's where we are going." Luke frowned in confusion.

    "I know." Said Leia nervously. "It is a big risk. But if we don't go now, we may lose our chance forever."

    Luke nodded and realised that the imperial plan was working. Even though Leia suspected the deception, she was still willing to go to the base in the vague hope of finding some weakness in the Death Star the rebels could exploit. He understood Leia was taking a big risk. And for that very reason, he also believed that Leia's theory about their escape from the Death Star was almost certainly true. The Empire had correctly guessed what Leia would do and thus facilitated her escape.

    With a feeling of sadness, Luke realised that he was not the great hero he believed himself to be. After the escape, Luke felt proud of himself, believing that he had somehow thwarted and survived the might of the Empire. But now he realised it was all a lie. The imperials had never intended to shoot or capture him, or at least not after they rescued Leia. He had never truly been in danger. If they had intended to kill him, he was sure that he, Han, Chewy and Leia would all be dead or captured. And the plans would be in the hands of the Empire. That made him doubt his own ability and courage.

    "Are you going to tell the others in the rebel alliance that the imperials let us escape." Luke gazed down at the floor as he spoke.

    Leia move beside him and embraced him warmly.

    "No, of course not." Leia smiled warmly. "You came to rescue me at great risk. You showed great courage and bravery. You are still a hero. That is all the others need to know. We will let Han do the talking. He will tell the others how he, you and Chewy rescued me from the clutches of the Empire. We will keep my theories about the imperial deception to ourselves. That will be our secret."

    Luke smiled up at her shyly. "A secret. Just like between brother and sister?"

    Leia laughed gently. "Yes, Luke. Just like brother and sister."


    Two days after the Death Star was destroyed, Emperor Palpatine summoned Vader to his reception room in the imperial palace on Coruscant. Vader knelt down in front of his Emperor.

    "Master." Said Vader humbly.

    "You have failed me Vader." Sneered Palpatine. "You deliberately allowed the rebels to escape with the plans when you could have prevented it. You are to blame for the destruction of the Death Star."

    "Yes, Master."

    "How could you be so incompetent?" Said Palpatine angrily. "How could you let the Death Star be destroyed?"

    Vader rose to his feet. Despite the loss of the Death Star, Vader was unrepentant. He had information that would justify his decision.

    "The rebel pilot who destroyed the station is strong with the force." Said Vader.

    That one sentence was enough to dim the anger flaring in Palpatine's yellow Sith eyes. That was news to him. Palpatine's anger quickly turned to curiosity. "Are you sure, Vader?"

    "Yes, master." Replied Vader. "Even with the information the rebels had from the plans, their chances of destroying the station were still very low, especially with our fighters pursuing them. The rebel pilot used the force to direct the missile onto its target. That is why the station was destroyed."

    Palpatine pondered that information for a moment. Vader's argument seemed plausibel. Palpatine had seen the reports describing how the station was destroyed and knew that the probability of the rebels succeeding was indeed very low. But if one of the rebels pilots used the force, that would explain their unexpected success. Palpatine realised that the destruction of the Death Star may have brought him an unexpected benefit that would be worth far more to him than a battle station and a few hundred thousand imperial servants. It would bring him a new Sith apprentice. One that would at last replace Vader.

    Palpatine reflected that Vader had become a danger to him. Age and his many cybernetic implants had not reduced Vader's impulsive, emotional and indeed rebellious behaviour. Palpatine would need a new more obedient apprentice to replace Vader. And this young rebel would be perfect for that.

    "What is the name of this...rebel?" Asked Palpatine.

    "Skywalker." Replied Vader.

    Palpatine grinned at the answer. He knew that could only mean one thing. But it changed nothing.

    "You will find young Skywalker and bring him to me." Ordered Palpatine. "And then perhaps you can atone for your failure."

    "Yes, my Lord." Vader Bowed and then turned away.

    "And one more thing, Vader." Said Palpatine.

    "Yes, master." Replied Vader, turning back.

    "We must never admit that we deliberately allowed the rebels to escape rom the Death Star." Said Palpatine sternly.

    "Yes, master." Replied Vader, before turning away and walking from the reception room.

    Vader knew that Palpatine was right to insist on concealing the truth. With the destruction of the Death Star, the Empire could never admit that they deliberately allowed Leia and her rescuers to escape with the plans. Such an admission would indicate that the Emperor and his most trusted senior commanders were fallible in their decision making. Since the very basis of imperial society was founded on the infallible will and wisdom of the Emperor, such a revelation would not only cause untold damage to the moral of the imperial military and populace as a whole, but would give courage to the rebels and their would be allies. The truth must be hidden at all costs. Fortunately, that would not be difficult. Most people who knew about the deception died when the Death Star was destroyed.

    Of course, the fact that a handful of rebels had managed to rescue Princess Leia from the Death Star was also damaging to the feared reputation of the imperial military, and especially to that of the stormtrooper corps. But that was a much lower price to pay than undermining the whole foundation of imperial society.

    As Vader walked down the corridor, he started making plans as to how he could find and capture Skywalker. Then he could depose the Emperor and rule the Empire himself along with his son. A son who was already a legend.


    Leia Organa was also anxious to cover up the truth about her escape from the Death Star.

    After the destruction of the Death Star, the rebels enthusiastically spread the story on how Luke Skywalker and Han Solo had rescued the Princess Leia from the Death Star despite being relentlessly pursued by imperial stormtroopers and tie-fighters. The rebels had found their heros. Heros that would give courage to their depleted forces and encourage hesitant recruits to join their ranks. Revealing the truth about the escape could only diminish the status of Skywalker, Organa and Solo as heros in the eyes of their followers, while causing little damage to the Empire. So the truth was readily discarded.

    The rebel forces loved the story of Leia's escape from the Death Star. It made them believe their newfound heros were invincible, while the imperials were incompetent. Of course, it was a lie. A beautiful lie that would cost them dearly in the future. But it was also a lie that gave the rebels a new hope that victory was possible. A new hope they never had before.

    So the Empire and the rebel alliance found themselves agreeing on one thing. Neither would reveal that the Empire had deliberately allowed Leia and her rescuers to escape from the Death Star. The inconvenient truth was quietly and ruthlessly executed and buried by both sides. Although unaware of their family ties, the three members of the Skywalker family found themselves inadvertently embroiled in a joint conspiracy.

    A conspiracy between enemies.

  2. Luminous beings are we...

    Luminous beings are we... Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 19, 2013
    A very plausible concept. You've done a nice job of reading between the lines of the movie and then extrapolating scenes.

    It's good to have some basis for the Stormtroopers' incompetence, apart from the usual bad-guys-are-bad-shots tripe trope. And I particularly liked your moment on the Falcon between Leia and Luke: his reevaluation of the escape, and his chagrin.

    This –

    Of course, it was a lie. A beautiful lie that would cost them dearly in the future. But it was also a lie that gave the rebels a new hope that victory was possible. A new hope they never had before.

    – was an interesting play as well.

    Welcome to the boards, Hoplite39.