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Long Time Gone - A ROTJ one-poster

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by DarthLothi, Feb 12, 2003.

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  1. DarthLothi

    DarthLothi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Before you pass out, yes, this IS Darth Lothi, and I am actually posting a story written outside the prequel timeframe. No one else has taken possession of my body. ;)

    -------------

    Long Time Gone

    A soldier stationed far from home draws hope from an unlikely encounter.

    Disclaimer: All things Star Wars belong to George - I'm just having some fun with the characters.

    ----

    The air is still but not silent, filled with the chirping of insects and the snarls and howls of the nocturnal creatures that occupy the giant trees of the Endor forest moon. The branches soar above me, woven together in a tangled web that almost obscures the night sky. Movement in the trees draws my attention as the leaves begin to sway back and forth, blown by a gentle breeze.

    At least I assume it?s a gentle breeze. I cannot feel it on my skin. The white armor I wear keeps any outside sensation from reaching me. I can only feel the stickiness of my sweat trapped beneath the armor?s undersuit. A gift from the humid evening, and it is the only one that I can truly experience. The rest of my perceptions are filtered through the artificiality of my stormtrooper?s uniform and helmet.

    Endor is a beautiful place. A lush forest of towering trees and dense undergrowth covers the surface. It has a primeval magnificence that appeals to something deep within me, and I wonder what it would be like to explore its secrets unfettered by armor, weapons, and technology.

    A rustling in the undergrowth catches my attention, and I turn to see a flash of brown fur move just outside the perimeter lights. It is one of small furry creatures that inhabit the trees here ? Ewoks, I believe is what they were called in the mission briefing. The brass generally regards them as pests to be eliminated. I find them amusing. They remind me of the cuddly stuffed toys that my wife buys for our son.

    I wince as I think of my son. Eiren was a baby when I last saw him, a bright-eyed toddler who had just taken his first wobbly steps. The last holo that arrived showed an energetic little boy, golden-haired and blue-eyed, who talks non-stop and never walks if running is an option. The holos from my wife arrive in random order, sometimes several in a week, sometimes none for months. I guess it depends on how busy the censors at headquarters get. My return holos go out just as sporadically ? our location is classified, and sometimes messages are not permitted at all. I wonder if I will be able to return to Eiren in time to make his memory of not having a father vague and fuzzy.

    I wonder if I will be able to return to Eiren at all.

    I let out a long sigh, thankful that the helmet vocoder does not transmit such random sounds. My lack of focus bothers me. Our mission here is of vital importance, and I should not be dwelling on personal matters. I should not look beyond the base and see the teeming wonders of the forest, begging to be explored. I should look out there and see the hidden avenues of approach, the easy cover and concealment the growth would provide for the rebels that are rumored to be on Endor. I should see the obstacles to mobility and dwell on the wreckage of six speeder bikes that were found just today.

    But more and more, I find my thoughts turning to home, to my wife, who I miss terribly, and to Eiren. I remember how big his smile is, and the wistful look in his blue eyes as he faces the holo-cam and says, ?Miss you, Daddy. You?re long-time gone.? What is he really like? Is he good-natured and sunny, like my wife, or more serious, like me? Is he easy-going or strong-willed? Will he enjoy the excitement and bustle of the city or revel in the quiet beauty of the countryside? These are the things I long to know, and as this war drags on, they seem to take on more and more importance. I long for a change, but I cannot figure out exactly what kind.

    I try to shake off these thoughts as I go to inspect my squad?s positions. I am not generally given to such musings, but it happens with more
     
  2. JadeSaber

    JadeSaber Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Lothi, this is just an absolutely beautiful piece!

    The emotions of the stormtrooper are palpable. It's evident how much he misses his family.

    I love how he's one of the troopers that brings Luke before Darth Vader, and how much that affects him.

    Truly a wonderful piece, even if it's not PT. ;)
     
  3. Melyanna

    Melyanna Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2001
    Wow.....

    You know, I remember reading a very early draft of this almost a year ago, but this is magnificent, Lothi. All of the story about the soldier's son makes me want to cry, and it's especially poignant now, with so many men leaving their sons to go overseas and serve their country. I love how he wonders if Luke's fate will be his son's fate, because he's right in a way - it could happen to him, though perhaps not on such a galactic scale.

    You're getting good at using adjectives too. :p ;)

    Mel
     
  4. Sock_of_Darth_Vader

    Sock_of_Darth_Vader Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Hi Darth Lothi!
    This was cool! I loved the parallels between Luke/Vader and the trooper and his son--and the image of Vader bouncing ickle Luke on his knee, lol.
     
  5. Mcily_Nochi

    Mcily_Nochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 23, 2001
    *bounce bounce bounce* YOU POSTED IT!!!

    I love it, but you already knew that. More importantly, I love the title. Not exactly what I was thinking of, but it works really well.

    Great job! I really like how you give character to those blank faces we see in ROTJ. I've always wondered what stormtroopers are thinking behind their masks.
     
  6. Shaindl

    Shaindl Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2002
    That was really beautiful and very powerful. What a way to interpret the meeting between Vade and Luke. So original. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Shaindl
     
  7. Jedi_Anakin_Solo

    Jedi_Anakin_Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2001
    That was amazing...

    It's really weird to actually see a stormtrooper conveyed as a person, I'm so used to seeing them as those nameless bad guys in white armor. I absolutely love the way you handled the character of the storm trooper, giving him a family and actual FEELINGS really showed the stormtroopers in a new light. Well done :).
     
  8. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2002
    If the ties of family can bridge a gap that wide, then perhaps war will not be the only constant in this galaxy.

    Excellent, totally unexpected piece, Lothi. :) I love your characterization of the stormtrooper, a rebel in his own way; I love that you used his POV to take an event that doesn't look too promising in a first viewing of ROTJ and make it a symbol of hope. Very spiffy. ;)
     
  9. Jedi-Jae

    Jedi-Jae Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 12, 2001
    WOW, Lothi!!

    This is incredible! You've taken a background character and fleshed him out, making us want to like someone who is a cog in the machine of evil. I love the portrayal - a man who is professional and does his job, yet seems to have no great love for what he represents. Makes us remember that there are two sides in every war, and that the Imperials had lives and families as well as the Rebels.

    Great job taking a rather bleak moment in the movie and injecting it with hope. :)
     
  10. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    WOw, Lothi, I'm crying here... because he WON'T see his son soon :( (Unless he gets off the Death Star in time...) I loved how he thought of his wife and son. And about Lukie and Vader.

    Beautiful story, Lothi!
     
  11. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Well I have to say that that was pretty impressive, Lothi. Although there is not much more to say than what has already been said, you did a really good job of fleshing out that soldier's character and what his thoughts were as he took Luke captive then helped to turn him over to Vader. Here's hoping he lived on to see his son again. Well done.

    Keep doing Original Trilogy stuff. You're really good at it. :)
     
  12. Marawannabe

    Marawannabe Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2001
    *is having an extrememly hard time forming words* Lothi, that was amazing... I really can't say much else. The emotions are so real, and the last paragraph really just makes me want to sit down and burst into tears. *is blaming that on her extremely exhausted state*

    Incredible, absolutely incredible...
     
  13. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    **claps wildly**

    Okay, first of all... I'm going to have the Dixie Chicks in my head for the rest of the stinkin' night :p ;)


    Such an original concept, Lothi. Way to get behind the mask of all those millions of nameless white and black faces. I loved the pacing of it, and the way the thoughts flowed along. Especially the final parallelism between himself and Vader.


    I'm going to be incredibly optimistic and assume he survives the battle of Endor. Though how exactly he gets back to Eiren is beyond me. :p

    **whispers** You don't happen to know, do you? ;)
     
  14. Marawannabe

    Marawannabe Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Okay, first of all... I'm going to have the Dixie Chicks in my head for the rest of the stinkin' night

    I've been singing the song since I read thisSache ;)
     
  15. DarthLothi

    DarthLothi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Jade: Thanks! Must have something to do with the great beta I got on it. ;) And don't worry, I haven't given up on the PT.

    Mely: I never thought of it from the perspective of our troops going off to fight, but I imagine they're feeling a lot of the same thing. And I've been working on my adjectives. :p

    SODV: Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)

    Emmy: Give Jadey title credit. And who knows what stormtroopers are really thinking behind those masks? Probably something like "Man, it's really hot in the get-up," or "What am I gonna do when I hafta take a whiz?" :p

    Shaindl: Thanks for reading. I thought it would be interesting to see that encounter from another perspective.

    Kev: I really hate the idea of stormies as clones. I always wondered who they are and how they came to be in the Empire's service, whether through conscription or volunteering. Somehow their being clones just kind of detracts from the mystery.

    Wilhelmina: Thanks. I think anyone in a rigid system like that probably carries out their own small rebellions, just to stay sane. Glad you liked it. :)

    Jae: Thanks! I'm glad he came across as I meant him to - professional and loyal to his men, if not consciously so to the Empire. I didn't really see that moment in ROTJ as bleak - I thought it was something of a turning point for the better.

    Luney: Awwww.... *hands her a handkerchief* Who knows, he might see his son again.

    Ander: Thanks for reading. I never tried writing OT before, but maybe I will write more. But I'll probably use original characters a little more than canon.

    Jalen: Sounds like you need more sleep, babe. ;) That last paragraph kinda got me too....

    Sache: I never heard that song before today. :p Jadey suggested it as a title, and I thought it fit. Interesting song... And yes, I do happen to know whether or not he gets home. ;)
     
  16. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    Ah yes, well... the funniest thing about the song is that it has, well... absolutely nothing in common with this story ;)
     
  17. DarthLothi

    DarthLothi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Nope, nor was it intended to.
     
  18. Marawannabe

    Marawannabe Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2001
    I actually wne straight to bed after I talked to you last night Lothi... Now I'm only slurring sometimes, not constantly ;)
     
  19. DarthLoreley

    DarthLoreley Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 15, 2001
    I thought I'd drop by and tell you again what a fantastic story this is, hon. Sad, poignant, yet full of hope for the future.
     
  20. CYNICAL21

    CYNICAL21 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2001
    Well, Lothi - not only do you not WRITE anything other than prequel - I don't usually read anything else either. But this caught my eye, and I figured, if YOU thought it needed writing badly enough to drag you away from your primary interest, it was probably worth a look. And, my, oh my, was it ever? This liitle peek into the mind and conscience of a Storm trooper is truly masterful - and serves to remind us all of something we tend to forget: friend or enemy, hero or villain, in the end, all soldiers (from our perspective anyway) are simply human beings, embroiled in a war probably not of their choosing, fighting for a cause devised by movers and shakers who never know what it's like to be down in the trenches, facing death and desolation.

    Which is one reason that some people (and you can count me among them) find the concept of war to be completely unfathomable; I just don't understand why people want to fight. I understand defending one's own - but starting a war, for political or ideological or religious reasons? I just don't understand it, and I never will. What is it about a belief - or a political philosophy that can possibly justify the sacrifice of young lives, like that of this young father? I don't get it - and I love the way you've opened up this subject and brought it to a human - and humane - level.

    Very well done and thought provoking - and isn't that the aim of every writer?

    CYN
     
  21. Jedi-Jae

    Jedi-Jae Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Pushing this up - it's well worth a read, people!
     
  22. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Just cruising before I go to work this morning and find this.. what a lovely piece!

    [face_love]
     
  23. Darth_Tim

    Darth_Tim Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Wow...amazing, Lothi! It's always cool to get a "human" look at the Empire, which is not entirely made up of necessarily evil men, but ordinary soldiers as well, not much different from their Rebel opponents in many respects.

    As for "what they are thinking beneath the armor" how about "oh, man, I hate it when I get an itch..." LOL

    -Tim
     
  24. DarthLothi

    DarthLothi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Jalen: You're still slurring... ;)

    Loreley: Thanks, babe [face_love]

    Cyn: Thank you! High praise that you actually ventured into an OT thread to begin with, much less all your kind words. ;)

    friend or enemy, hero or villain, in the end, all soldiers (from our perspective anyway) are simply human beings, embroiled in a war probably not of their choosing, fighting for a cause devised by movers and shakers who never know what it's like to be down in the trenches, facing death and desolation.

    I'm glad that what I was trying to portray got across. Part of my idea for this came from the scene in ANH, where Ben had just finished disabling the tractor beam and the two stormtroopers were standing around. One says, "Do you know what's going on?" and the other answers, "Maybe it's another drill." That's when it hit me that those guys were just like every other soldier I've ever encountered - waiting for orders they don't always understand. I hope that our nation's leaders are giving this some consideration as they send our troops overseas.

    Breezy: Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    Tim: Thanks! I bet if you lined up a platoon of stormtroopers and had them remove their helmets, they would look a lot like typical platoon of American infantrymen.

    Man, I didn't even think about the itch...



     
  25. anakin_girl

    anakin_girl Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2000
    Great story, Lothi. I love the way the trooper saw his son's eyes in Luke's..."Miss you, Daddy." :_|
     
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