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Saga - Legends FACPOV: A New Hope – Emperor Palpatine during the Battle of Yavin

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JABoomer, Jun 23, 2021.

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  1. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Title: FACPOV: A New Hope – Emperor Palpatine during the Battle of Yavin
    Author: @JABoomer
    Story Type: Short story (4,500 words)
    Timeframe: 0 years ABY (during the events of A New Hope)
    Recognizable Characters: Palpatine, Vader, Tarkin, Thrawn, Pestage, Screed, Motti
    Background: Intended to fit within the collection: From a Certain Point of View. Answers the question of: What was Emperor Palpatine doing during the Battle of Yavin?
    Canon: Events are within Legends canon, with some new Canon material sprinkled in!
    Feedback: I would love to discuss this with anyone willing to read my story.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  2. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Jedi Temple.

    Emperor Palpatine smiled ironically as he sat within his most secretive Coruscant throne room. The Pinnacle Room, atop the Tranquility Spire – as they had been formally known – was located on the tallest level of the old Jedi Temple. Still the tallest structure in this vicinity of Coruscant, the cityscape view at sunset was magnificent.

    The Emperor’s gaze shifted from the transparisteel viewport, to scan the otherwise empty, dimly lit room. Remembering Grand Master Yoda chortling in his backwards speak to the rest of the Jedi Council in this very room, he chuckled inwardly.

    What fools.

    After the rise of the Empire, the Temple had been robbed of its treasures, which were now safely stored in the Emperor’s vaults throughout the galaxy. For a time, the building had been used as a trap for those Jedi who had escaped Order 66. Later, Palpatine had personally given guided tours to high-ranking Imperials, showcasing just how dangerous the Jedi Order had been. Presently, it housed the throne room, accompanying command facilities, and the offices of the Inquisitorius; meaning the Temple was heavily guarded, but mostly deserted.

    On occasion, Palpatine had visited the Temple to access the Force nexus upon which it was built. Today however, he had chosen its throne room – and it’s reminder of past victory, as the location to revel in a new triumph.

    The past weeks had been the galaxy’s most dynamic since the fall of the Republic and its Jedi Order, and the founding of Palpatine’s Empire. The Death Star had finally been completed, after decades of research, development, and construction. The enormous cost of the battle station, in both credits and lives, had not been easy to hide from unwanted eyes; now that it was operational, these sums were trivial.

    The Death Star is the ultimate symbol of the absolute power of the Empire – and its emperor.

    To test the newly commissioned Death Star and its primary weapon – a superlaser – Grand Moff Tarkin had decided to punish Jedha, whose inhabitants had pestered Imperial forces extracting kyber crystals from the moon. When the last crystals had been removed, Jedha City had been swiftly obliterated. The Emperor had no objection to the destruction; but had wished to keep the Empire’s new weapon a secret until it could be unleashed on the Rebellion.

    Shortly afterwards, the Rebel Alliance launched surprise attacks on Imperial installations on Eadu and Scarif, both of which had been involved in the Death Star’s development. Scarif had seen a surprisingly sizeable Rebel fleet in action, given Armand Isard’s modest intelligence briefings on the Rebellion’s capabilities.

    Despite Tarkin again using the Death Star to destroy Scarif base in an attempt to thwart the Rebels, they managed to steal the technical readouts of the superweapon. Lord Vader had tracked down Princess Leia Organa, who had escaped with the data, but the blueprints themselves had not yet been recovered.

    Back on Coruscant, the “mining accident” on Jedha and the imprisonment of Senator Organa were causing headaches the Emperor no longer needed to tolerate. Since the creation of the New Order, the Imperial Senate had been reduced to an advisory body, which Palpatine had manipulated to his political advantage during the Empire’s early years. Now possessing no real power, many of the senators had forgotten their place as they demanded inquests into recent events.

    Palpatine had personally addressed the Senate in their chamber for the first time in years, dissolving the body. Seeing the outraged and frightened looks of the senators as stormtroopers entered and began ushering them out – many to detention centers – had been quite satisfying.

    The Emperor would have to find a new role for the loyal and capable Mas Amedda, who had presided over the Imperial Senate since its creation, but that wouldn’t be difficult.

    Trying to coerce information out of Princess Leia, Tarkin – this time with the Emperor’s permission – had turned the Death Star’s full power on Alderaan. Even threatened with her home planet’s destruction, she had not betrayed the Rebel Alliance. Resisting Tarkin was one thing, resisting Lord Vader’s Force-enhanced interrogation techniques was quite another. She hadn’t surrendered a shred of information to Vader, a first, as far as the Emperor was aware.

    Leia’s resistance to the Force is unexpected. I sensed nothing particularly special about the girl.

    The Emperor had directly interacted with her on occasion, as she and her father before had been Imperial Senators. Although the Imperial Security Bureau had long suspected them as traitors to the Empire, they were careful to ensure no legitimate charges could be made, and remained popular enough with their peers to make any false charges more trouble than it was worth – until now.

    Before Leia could be sent to Palpatine for interrogation, the Rebels attempted to rescue her from the Death Star. To distract Lord Vader, none other than Obi-Wan Kenobi – Vader’s former Jedi Master – had appeared. Leia had escaped, most likely with the Death Star plans.

    Obi-Wan’s appearance onboard the Death Star had been a surprise, as Kenobi had not been reported seen since his final confrontation with Vader on Mustafar, nineteen years prior.

    Where had he been hiding all these years? What had prompted his sudden return – in league with the Rebels, no less?

    From afar, Palpatine had sensed Lord Vader’s emotions during the confrontation. His apprentice hadn’t wavered from the dark side, quickly and easily striking down Kenobi. Palpatine felt a certain Sith pride towards his apprentice. It had been some time since Vader had been confronted by his past, and he had not hesitated. Killing Kenobi should close an old wound and could make Vader even more deadly.

    Age must not have been kind to Kenobi, to be so easily defeated.

    Obi-Wan’s body disappearing after Lord Vader cut him down was also unexpected. Palpatine had sensed Vader’s curiosity at the sight, and his apprentice had later relayed the story. The Emperor was aware of several Force-derived possibilities; but would have to meditate on this matter.

    Kenobi is gone and can no longer mettle. Yoda is another matter.

    Palpatine was certain that he would have felt through the Force if the little green thing had died. Yoda had also not been seen in nineteen years. Palpatine smirked.

    Probably living in a hole on some forgotten world, wallowing in his failures and waiting to die.

    The Emperor wondered if Kenobi and Yoda had been in contact over the past two decades. Certainly, they could not be training young Jedi without the Empire’s knowledge. The great purge had worked, and besides Yoda, no other experienced Jedi remained. The Jedi associated with the Rebellion to date – such as Kanan Jarrus – were middling at best, only an inconvenience.

    The Jedi are no longer a concern.

    After Vader struck down Kenobi, he and Tarkin had decided that tracking Leia back to the main Rebel base was preferable to simply atomizing her ship and the blueprints. Letting a Rebel leader and the Death Star plans back out into the galaxy was a significant gamble.

    A door to the side of the room whooshed open and Admiral Screed entered. He came to a stop, faced the Emperor, and bowed his head before speaking.

    “My Lord, Admiral Motti with a transmission request.”

    The Emperor let out a breath of annoyance but waved a hand in approval. Screed unclipped a remote from his belt and pressed a button. A portrait of Admiral Conan Motti appeared above the room’s holo-projector.

    “Lord Emperor. We have arrived in the Yavin system and are proceeding at maximum velocity. The Rebels are mounting only token resistance. Their base will be wiped from existence within minutes,” Motti said with enthusiasm.

    The Emperor assumed that Lord Vader and Tarkin had the good judgement to be busy onboard the Death Star ensuring success against the Rebels. Motti had no doubt noticed their preoccupation and jumped at the opportunity to update the Emperor, thinking to curry favour.

    Palpatine replied evenly, “Excellent news, Admiral Motti. Inform Admiral Screed when the Rebels are destroyed. Tomorrow the Empire will begin a new chapter, free of their insurrectionist scourge.”

    “Yes, my Emperor,” Motti said with a bow of his head. “With the Death Star’s effectiveness demonstrated, your Navy will ensure peace and order throughout the galaxy.”

    The sniveling will all be over soon.

    Palpatine waived his hand again, and Screed deactivated the holo.

    “Admiral, have a page sent to me,” the Emperor commanded Screed, who bowed his head once more, before wordlessly turning and exiting the room.

    Alone again, Palpatine shifted in his throne and tugged at a section of his robe that had caught underneath him.

    Apparently, Lord Vader’s plan to let Princess Leia escape the Death Star aboard a Rebel freighter, only to track the vessel back to the Rebellion’s hidden base after its jump through hyperspace, had worked. The gambit was about to pay off in spectacular fashion, with the destruction of Rebel Alliance headquarters, Princess Leia, and the stolen Death Star plans. This success would enable the Emperor to initiate his plans for the next phase of the Empire.

    Palpatine had worked for years to get into a position of influence, many more were required to facilitate the rise of the New Order. His last nineteen years had been spent solidifying the power of the Empire absolutely. These efforts had required a tremendous amount of patience from a Sith Lord, but he had always known that securing his mantle as Emperor would take planning and time.

    Establishing the Empire – slowly changing the old ways into the new – had required Palpatine’s constant attention and presence in the Imperial Court. Creating overlapping government organizations and using promotion to motivate individuals had created a culture of competition and distrust. This had ensured his subordinates were focused on each other, and not the Emperor, while the New Order was still fragile. The Empire now maintained an iron grip on the galaxy.

    Rebellions are inevitable, perhaps one per generation.

    Palpatine knew the first uprising would be the hardest to extinguish, and when it was defeated, the Empire would be truly unstoppable. They were on the verge of doing just that. It had started with the death of Bail Organa, who had been killed along with Alderaan.

    Good riddance, you idealistic pestilence.

    With any luck, more of the Rebellion leadership would be on Yavin.

    Perhaps traitors like Jan Dodonna and Pashna Starkiller will finally meet their end.

    According to Imperial Intelligence, the Rebel Alliance was barely a functioning organization, and Mon Mothma was struggling to keep the Rebellion’s military commanders under the thumb of politicians and diplomats.

    Losing Leia or Mothma will surely doom any chance of keeping their coalition together.

    Even if their cowardice leadership had already fled Yavin 4, the destruction of their home base would make it easier for the Empire to snuff out remaining Rebel concentrations and demoralize Rebel soldiers – evaporating their fighting spirit.

    Destroying Yavin 4 will unravel the Rebellion, I have foreseen it.

    With his Empire established, the insurrection about to be crushed, and the right people available, Palpatine saw an opportunity to implement a new command structure that would grant him what he needed now – time.

    The door to the side of the room opened again. This time a beautiful young woman carrying a datapad walked through the doorway.

    The Emperor’s pages were all attractive human females because that’s what whoever was in charge of pages thought the Emperor wanted. In truth, only power aroused him now.

    The page faced the Emperor and with wide eyes, looked to him expectantly.

    They either hide their fear or are zealots.

    “Prepare this for enactment,” the Emperor commanded.

    The page raised the datapad in front of her and waited.

    Palpatine began, “Effective immediately, Grand Admiral Thrawn is promoted to the new rank of Supreme Admiral and the position of Supreme Commander of Imperial Forces. He holds direct authority over all administrative and operational aspects of the Imperial military.”

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo – currently one of twelve Grand Admirals within the Empire – had caught the Emperor’s eye soon after being discovered near the Unknown Regions and joining the Imperial Navy. He had quickly risen through the ranks, time and again proving that he was the smartest and most capable officer Palpatine had ever known – both a tactical and strategic genius.

    The Empire’s military had also made a habit of politics-based promotion. Thrawn was one of the few members of the Imperial High Command or Grand Admiralty that deserved his position on merit.

    Palpatine had a general distaste for non-humans, Thrawn was a rare exception to this rule. The Chiss, with blue skin and red eyes, were a very capable near-human species. Thrawn had long ago assured Palpatine that his allegiance would lie only with the Empire for as long as the Emperor demanded, and the Force told Palpatine he was truthful.

    To say that Thrawn was not politically savvy would be a grievous understatement, but he was not easily fooled. This also served the Emperor, as there would be no risk of a military coup.

    The page stopped tapping on her datapad and Palpatine continued, “Grand Moff Tarkin is promoted to the new position of Supreme Moff. He holds direct authority over all territorial governance throughout the Empire.”

    Wilhuff Tarkin was a blunt and direct man. Molded by the military prior to entering politics, his preferred tools were fear and force – as his recent order to destroy Jedha City demonstrated. He had even authored a formal doctrine on the subject.

    A child of the Outer Rim, Tarkin despised Coruscant and what it represented. He came to the capital so infrequently that he often didn’t appreciate the political ramifications of his actions, something that would no longer be of concern. He had been a loyal servant of the Empire since the founding of the New Order, and understood that he could never defeat the Sith, even with command of the Death Star.

    The page finished and looked to Palpatine again.

    “Grand Vizier Pestage is promoted to the new position of Supreme Vizier. He holds direct authority over all administrative and bureaucratic branches of the Empire’s central government.”

    Sate Pestage had served the Emperor since before Palpatine had been elected the Senator representing Naboo. He had performed a wide variety of activities during that time: assassination, espionage, acting as the Emperor’s personal assistant, and overseeing the Imperial Court and Ruling Council. As Grand Vizier he had overseen the day-to-day running of the Empire, a role that would continue and expand as Supreme Vizier.

    The Emperor was not ceding control of the Empire, only the management of it – untethering him from the demands of the Empire to pursue other important matters. These positions would not be permanent. Tarkin, Thrawn, and Pestage were unique in being unquestionably loyal, each distinctively talented, and among the only men in the Empire who had successfully worked with Lord Vader.

    The Emperor waited for the page to finish scribing before concluding, “Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, shall be considered the executor of the Emperor, with the sole ability to speak and act on his behalf.”

    The relationship between the Emperor and Vader was long and complicated. Palpatine remembered when the Jedi had reluctantly introduced young Anakin Skywalker after the Battle of Naboo. What they hadn’t told Palpatine – but he had quickly uncovered – was that they considered the boy to be a vergence in the Force; the ‘Chosen One’ who according to prophesy would bring balance to the Force.

    Perhaps the Jedi should have meditated further on what balance might mean.

    The discovery of the boy had changed Palpatine’s long term plans, as having the most powerful Force wielder alive as his apprentice would aid in his ambitions. He had cultivated a friendship and mentored Anakin, quietly steering the young Jedi’s life towards the desired endgame. Anakin’s childhood slavery, late start to Jedi training, and attachment to his mother had helped greatly. By the time Palpatine revealed his true self, Anakin was already living a life secret from the Jedi with his forbidden wife, Padme.

    The Emperor had subtly poisoned Anakin against the Jedi while manipulating him into believing that Padme – who was with child – was dying, and that Palpatine and his Sith knowledge was the only hope of saving his family. When it came time to pick sides, Anakin had turned to the dark side of the Force and become Darth Vader.

    Shortly afterwards, Vader dueled Kenobi. With Vader overconfident and embroiled in emotion, Kenobi had seized the opportunity and cut Vader into pieces. Palpatine had arrived just in time to save Vader’s life and cement his fall to the dark side, by ensuring every part of his apprentice’s former life died. It would forever disappoint the Emperor that Darth Vader could now never reach his natural potential.

    Kenobi butchered him and left him for dead. Not very Jedi like.

    With what was left of his damaged body filled with rage and hate, and assisted by a mechanical suite, Darth Vader became a destructive tool for the Emperor as they forged the New Order. Palpatine had tested Vader often in the early years of the Empire, ensuring that he was still willing and deserving to be a Dark Lord. As years went on, Vader became less of the general Anakin had been during the Clone Wars and more of a tyrant who was indifferent to the lives of others.

    It is the way of the Sith.

    Lord Vader had become well-known for murdering incompetent Imperial officers. Palpatine’s favorite death was also the highest-ranking Imperial to die by Vader’s hand. A drunken Grand General had dared put his arm around Vader while attending Imperial Court. The General’s blood pressure had spike so violently that his eyes had literally shot out from his skull before his body slumped to the floor. The Court’s festivities had continued as the corpse was removed.

    Palpatine knew that Vader had always been suspicious about his premonitions regarding Padme and her later death, but he had never directly confronted the Emperor. Their relationship was different from Palpatine’s previous apprentices, retaining some elements of their former friendship. There would always be a distrust between them, and Palpatine knew Vader would strike him down given the opportunity, but that was natural for the Sith. Fear of the Emperor’s power kept Vader in line, and Palpatine would need Vader’s obedience now more than ever.

    Despite Lord Vader’s cruelty and his fearsome reputation throughout the Empire, the Emperor wondered how much of that good-hearted boy remained buried somewhere deep within his apprentice. Vader had served the Empire well, but Palpatine felt it was guilt and self-pity that motivated him. Vader had never shown much interest in mystic Sith teachings, although that may have to change.

    The Emperor required time away from his throne to tend to other, Sith matters. Prolonged use of the dark side slowly consumed a body. The damage Palpatine sustained when Mace Windu reflected his Force lightning back to him had caused this deterioration to accelerate, but the sacrifice had been necessary to ensure Anakin’s fall to the dark side.

    Palpatine had extensively researched the options for extending his life: using the dark side to steal the lifeforce from other beings, transferring his essence into another body, and cloning a new body were the most obvious answers. More research was required for any of them to be viable options. The Emperor also wondered if there was some forgotten Sith technique hidden away somewhere in the galaxy that could solve the problem in an unthought of way. In any case, he required time to explore the galaxy’s dark side locations.

    Ancient Sith worlds such as Ziost, Korriban, Dromund Kaas, and Exegol were the most obvious starting points. He had visited them briefly in the past, but would need uninterrupted time at each location to fully unlock their secrets. Lord Vader’s still considerable powers may be required to aid the Emperor in his research. Palpatine had not yet discussed these plans with Vader, as he suspected his apprentice had no interest in prolonging his own life, nor the Emperor’s.

    According to ancient legend, Sith Emperor Vitiate had achieved immortality.

    Vitiate achieved immortality but not galactic domination. I have the later and now seek the former.

    Vitiate had sacrificed an entire planet to prolong his life.

    There’s not a planet in this galaxy I wouldn’t sacrifice. Imagine the energy to be gained from Coruscant itself.

    Palpatine was confident a suitable method could be found, with time. He already had several secret Imperial labs working on different cloning programs.

    When his physical decline had been solved, he would then investigate options for increasing his powers, as Vitiate was also said to have done.

    What could I achieve by sacrificing a sector, or .. the entire galaxy?

    Dictation finished, Palpatine was about to dismiss the page when he felt a trembling within the Force. The Emperor focused on it. Something important was occurring .. something that he had never felt before. His eyes went distant, and his mouth fell open as he added his consciousness to the Force nexus at the base of the Temple and stretched out with his feelings.

    Seeing the Emperor’s distraction, the page looked uncomfortably around the room.

    Palpatine felt .. an almost imperceptible shift in the Force. It was so subtle that he almost missed it, but it was there. He focused his considerable attention upon the miniscule recalibration. It felt as though he was gazing up at a grand sky, as the peripheral ground below silently shifted by only a single inch.

    What Palpatine felt next he had felt before, but on nothing close to this scale.

    An awakening to the Force.

    For the first time, someone had truly opened themselves to the Force. In return, the Force filled this new presence like a tidal wave filling a bucket. Palpatine had sensed an awakening many times: when he had been nearby Jedi younglings or his own dark side acolytes the first time they really touched the Force. The Force power he could sense exchanging was orders of magnitude greater than these past experiences, yet it was occurring halfway across the galaxy – near Yavin.

    The Emperor was now gripping his chair, body rigid, jaw clenched, eyes piercing the opposite wall.

    The page finally gained to courage to ask, “...my Lord?” but Palpatine gave no response.

    Who is it?

    The presence was somehow familiar. Palpatine delved further into the Force for answers, which finally came to him. The presence was like a young boy he had once known.

    Anakin?

    For an instant, the Emperor thought that Vader had turned away from the Sith and the dark side; but he would have more clearly sensed that change from his apprentice. The awakening was a strong, new connection to the Force, and Palpatine could sense Lord Vader’s separate presence and surprise as well.

    The Emperor began to shake and perspire in his robes as he pressed with the Force. Finally, his powers burned through the cosmos.

    A young man, in a Rebel starfighter cockpit…

    An instant later the Emperor felt more than a million lives extinguish in the Force.

    The Death Star!

    Enraged, Palpatine poured all of his strength into the dark side, searching across the galaxy to the Yavin system. He strained and struggled but the Force was not cooperating.

    Is it resisting me?

    As the Emperor’s energy waned, his last awareness was of the Force itself, subtly reacting to his own efforts and frustration.

    Palpatine slumped into his throne with exhaustion. In all his years, he had never felt an awakening to the Force remotely this powerful, nor these subtleties within the Force itself.

    Were my perceptions of the Force real, or imagined?

    Only a few seconds had passed for the young page. “My Lord?” she inquired again.

    Palpatine’s eyes regained focus and drifted to the girl as he slowly sat upright. Unleashing an inhuman scream, he reached out towards the page and Force lightning erupted from his fingertips, enveloping the girl. He held her with the dark side as the lightning ravaged her body. She writhed in pain, screaming madly. The Emperor’s guttural scream transitioned to a deafening howl before he ceased the lightening attack.

    The girl hung unconscious in the air before Palpatine suddenly motioned his arms apart. The page and her datapad exploded violently outward with dark side energy. The throne room was graffitied with blood, bone, and plasteel while a red mist prevailed.

    The boy .. the familiarity to Anakin.

    The Emperor had assumed that Anakin’s unborn child had died with Padme. He had felt her life fade from the Force all those years ago. Could the child be alive, could it be this boy?

    Vader.

    Palpatine had felt Darth Vader escape the Death Star’s explosion. Vader’s plan had failed, spectacularly. He would have to answer for his incompetence and prove himself to the Emperor again. Still, it was better that he had survived. Until the Emperor found a more significant apprentice .. Vader was needed.

    The monetary loss of the battle station was insignificant, as were the million dead Imperials. The loss of material and time was not. Another, even larger Death Star had already been designed and was under construction; but would not be operational for several more years.

    It would be some time before the Empire would get another chance to snuff out the Rebellion so completely. The Rebels would be emboldened by their victory, the Empire’s failure would draw others to their cause, and more Imperials would defect. The Rebel Alliance was still an insignificant force, but until the threat stopped growing, Palpatine could not rest easy.

    Palpatine had required all three of Tarkin, Thrawn, and Pestage to balance the power. With Tarkin dead, the Emperor’s plan was foiled.

    Everything is undone.

    Palpatine would continue to be needed on Coruscant and his dark side research would be delayed further.

    The door to the throne room slid open, but no one entered. Palpatine could sense Screed examining the gory sight with his natural and cybernetic eyes. The Admiral’s still shadow projected into the throne room until the door closed.

    Moments later, the commlink built into the armrest of Palpatine’s throne chimed. “My Lord, we have lost communications with the Death Star,” Screed informed.

    The Emperor simply reached down and ended the conversation.

    Palpatine had thought that the difficult tasks of taming the galaxy and controlling the Force were almost complete. Now he realized these tasks were just beginning. He required dark side meditation to analyze all that had occurred.

    For the first time in many years, the Emperor thought about the possibility of his death and the end of the New Order. His mind’s eye went back to the Death Star, its destruction, and the embers that were the only remnant of decades of planning and effort. Perhaps he required a backup plan, a directive for the incomprehensible – Palpatine failing. If that were to occur, the Empire would need to be punished for failing him; and whoever sought to control the galaxy afterwards, should have nothing but cinders to rule over.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  3. study888

    study888 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 1999
    That was amazing! Bravo! That was totally satisfying.
     
    JABoomer likes this.
  4. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Thank you for the kind words!!! Glad you enjoyed it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
  5. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Finished my final edit on this one. I always post on here when I think I'm done, but there's also more editing to do :).
     
  6. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Revised. The editing process is never complete!