AOH :: SW-JEDI.TXT|
Star Wars VIII: The Jedi Storm (incomplete and very unofficial)
This story is only Part-I. The author requested that fees be paid for
Part-II. I did not agree with this, since the author is in no way
affiliated with Lucasfilm Ltd. His request and order form have been
omitted from this copy.
THE JEDI STORM
FROM STORIES & CHARACTERS CREATED BY GEORGE LUCAS
COPYRIGHT UFO PRESS - (C) 1991
(PLEASE COPY FREELY AND GIVE TO FRIENDS)
STAR WARS - THE JEDI STORM.
PART ONE - 'R & R'
Luke Skywalker sits calmly on a rock projectile atop a black beach
of volcanic sand and pumice. He's eating a stick of hardtack, a
space ration filled with all the nutrients he needs and actually has
a little flavor. He's on a planet very, very far from anywhere, and
certainly not on a star chart or a map of any kind. He had heard
rumors of Valdevar. It was supposed to be haunted by some kind of
'evil spirit'. Many travelers had gone there never to return. Luke
knew somehow that it would be the perfect R & R for his very special
needs. He is tired, tired of the fighting, the running, the
hiding, the killing. Now, after the lightning bolts of evil energy
in the encounter with the emperor, the loss of his father, the
destruction of the Death Star near the Centuri moon, Luke wants to
finish his Jedi training. Yoda told him that it would be finished
after he faced his father, Alarcan Skywalker, turned into Darth
Vader by the 'Dark side of the force'. He had done all that and yet
there was something missing. He could feel it very deep down inside
somewhere in a new part of his consciousness constructed for him by
the teachings of Yoda and Ben Kenobi.
So much had happened to him in these last few years of conflict and
rebellion. He had lost his Aunt and Uncle, and then, he was shocked
to learn the truth about his father, only to have him die in his
arms. He felt very close to his father right now. He often felt his
presence at important times in his life and he was beginning to get
the feeling that this was one of them. It was funny, he thought,
about life. He had fallen in love with Princess Leia and she turns
out to be his sister. And then, when his Darth Vader threatened to
turn Leia to the 'Dark Side', this was the lowest moment of his
life. There was something he didn't quite understand about this
'Force' that Yoda had taught him so much about. There was something
that Yoda had left out. He wondered why. Was it because Yoda's
understanding was limited? How could that be when he was able to
live to nearly one thousand years and he saw him lift his space ship
out of the muck that time. He was certain that there was something
missing from his training and he knew that he would have to discover
what it was, and soon!
The emerald green tide was coming in. The waves crept closer and
closer and then gently lapped at his bare feet. He noticed how warm
and gentle the water was on this forgotten planet. He was beginning
to feel as if there was a living creature in the water whose only
desire was to massage the feet of anyone who lingered on these
shores. He couldn't have known, of course, but this was an accurate
reading of the situation. The planet was home to a 'Zozabranch'.
It's entire being was composed of countless billions of tiny
one-celled animals that communicated in such a fashion as to imitate
Human consciousness. The creature actually derives a great deal of
pleasure from brushing up against more sentient beings and then
mimicking their brain waves. It was easy for this creature to do
this since it was immersed in a liquid very similar in chemical
structure to the fluid in our brains.
Through millions of years of evolution and with no competition from
any other form of life on this planet, the 'Zozabranch' was able to
reproduce itself in such large numbers that communication amongst
all its cousins was inevitable. But then, over the centuries,
loneliness set in. The 'Zoza' as it likes to call itself, realized
that there was not much to talk about on a planet where there were
no other forms of life, so it learned how to gather and absorb new
experiences by touching any other living creature that might come
into contact with the 'sea'. When it touched Luke's feet and
ankles it was in for a real treat. He had seen so much and done so
much. His entire life was an open book to the 'Zoza'. It could
feel the 'Force' in Luke. It could relate to everything Yoda had
taught him and even to the evil of the 'Dark Side' that had almost
killed him. The 'Zoza' was intrigued to such a degree that the tide
seemed to be turning on the beach. So many parts of the creature
were involved with communicating and learning that the level of the
ocean actually rose several inches as it leaned across the planet to
feel more and understand more from Luke's mind.
Luke tries to ignore it at first, but from the first time the waves
touch his feet, he hears a whispering in the inner reaches of his
mind. Something is trying to communicate with him. At first he
thinks it might be his old friend and mentor, Ben Kenobi. Then, he
feels it's his father. Then, he realizes that it was neither of
them. It wasn't a Human voice, but a very pleasant kind of soothing
music like he had never heard before. It drifts in and out like a
distant radio station. As the tide creeps closer and closer and
washes higher and higher on his rock, he begins to hear this chorus
louder and louder, until he looks out and sees a giant tidal wave
approaching from the horizon. It's like nothing he's ever seen or
heard before. It is moving very slowly, undulating closer and
closer like a great bowl of jello lifted on its side. And the music
it makes, the chorus, the symphonic harmony of sounds, whatever you
cared to call it, is getting louder and louder.
He looks around but there is nothing except for the black sand
dunes and a few tufts of 'Handle-bar' plants. The music rises in
his mind and the words begin to speak directly to his heart. Though
he can't understand the words, he knows they say something sentient,
intelligent. There is a life form here somewhere. Then he realizes
that it must be connected to the warm massage working up his feet
and legs. It's like a thousand tiny little tendrils working their
way along his skin. It's not just a liquid he's been standing in,
but a life form. He's immersed in it. He feels it trying to talk
to him. Meanwhile the mountain of bright green liquid is getting
closer and closer. If he doesn't head for higher ground, he'll be
engulfed in or by the creature.
He looks all around for a place to run, but there is nothing higher
than the small buttocks of a hill that he has been sitting on. The
beach is flat with nothing of distinction except for a few handlebar
plants swaying in the wind. His ship isn't very far away, but he's
not sure if he can reach it in time. He knows somehow that if he
runs, it could be fatal. There is a real connection, almost like a
wall socket and an electrical plug, between himself and the sea
growing larger all around him and if he were to 'unplug' himself
too suddenly, it could kill him. So, he decides to stay and play
this little game with the creature until the end. The tidal wave is
now only a few meters away and approaching ever steadily on. He
watches it rise several dozen meters above his head. Then, he
closes his eyes and calls up the 'Force'.
Now, if you asked Luke how he calls the 'Force', he probably would
not be able to explain it to you. Yoda taught him how to bring the
'Force' closer to him by clearing his mind of everything but the
'Force'. Luke never really learned what this 'Force' was all about,
but Yoda did teach him what it was not. By concentrating on ridding
himself of everything that was not the 'Force', the 'Force' came to
him. If he ever actually tried to think about, or control, or
manipulate this mysterious 'Force' thing, it would never happen. It
was the unburdening, the unlearning, the disconnecting with all
things that he had learned, burdened himself with, been connected
with, that made the 'Force' unveil itself to him. It was always
there, deep within all of us. We had only to release its energy, to
unchain its power and it would work for us. And Luke was not
special in this regard, as he knew. It was only the ability he had
to expose his inner feelings, to render so many things impotent that
most people burdened themselves with, that made him so 'strong with
the Force' as Yoda used to say.
Luke had learned that by making yourself totally vulnerable, totally
open to all experience, then and only then can the 'Force' enter
every cell, every pore of one's being. There is, of course, a
danger in doing so. One had to be perfectly willing to entertain
the 'Dark Side', the evil, the less appealing facets of life. One
had to be prepared for the possibility that something would go
wrong, but by eliminating fear, Luke rendered all the evil parts of
his training totally ineffective because evil thrives on fear and
hate and on evil itself. By eliminating all negative energy in his
mind and in his soul, Luke created a perfect battery for the
positive forces in Nature to collect and grow. His power for good
had not matched the power for evil of the Emperor's yet. But he was
working on that.
The tidal wave of 'Zozabranch' was all around him now and it would
have drowned him if it were not for his power with the 'Force'. He
had formed a pocket of air around him, a perfect shield of energy
all around his body and the 'Zozabranch' was unable to do more than
caress the very bottom of his feet. There was still a connection
and Luke could still feel the animal all around him. It was
humming, discussing amongst itself what to do next. It wanted to
attach itself to every nerve ending in Luke's brain so that it might
escape the planet in which it was trapped, but Luke was holding it
back with a force it did not understand. Nothing had been able to
repel it before like this. Nothing had survived a full-on encounter
with the mind of the 'Zoza', nothing until now.
Luke watched fascinated while the creature regrouped. It let the
tide of interest wane and slowly the liquid drifted back to its
more normal levels. It relaxed and seemed to be totally defeated
and becalmed yet it continued to sing and hum and caress Luke's
feet. He knew that it wasn't an evil creature, merely lonely. He
closed his eyes once again and placed himself in the creature's
mind. He still felt that it was not evil. He could feel it calling
to him, crying to him, pleading with him to share his thoughts and
so he did. He lay down in the warm sand and thought about his
youth on his Uncle's farm. He thought about the days he used to run
and play with bare feet out in the sawgrass. He remembered Uncle
Owen giving him his first bicycle and then his disdain when he
bought a super turbine engine and adapted the bike into a miniature
X-wing fighter. He could feel the wind in his hair, the hot breath
of summer clutching at his clothes, sucking the very sweat from his
body. He could smell the wonderful odors of his youth, the leather
seat of his little ship, the rubber soles of his shoes.
He lay back and remembered too the feeling he had when he first met
Leia. She was so very beautiful, he remembered feeling she truly
was royalty. She walked so gracefully, with her head up high and
her eyes so firmly fixed on his. They met when she was a prisoner
of the Emperor's and yet she seemed to be in total control of her
situation. He marveled at that. There was so little time for
niceties. He and Han had to rescue her. She had been tortured and
yet she was unruffled by it. In fact, in all the time he had known
her, he had never heard her complain and they had been in some very
difficult situations. There was never enough food. They were
always running away from the Emperor's elite guards. They were
never alone. Yet, they always had a kind of understanding. They
would not know what it was for a long time, but then the revelation
that they were brother and sister and suddenly everything made so
Then, there was Han. He was so careful to cover his true feelings.
He was so tough on the outside, so unfinished, hard like good
furniture, and yet so soft on the inside. He and Threepio and R2D2
had made such a great team. The Empire was no match for their
combined talents. Together, they were able to defeat any lock,
capture any planet, free any number of people. They roamed the
galaxy for years together and time and time again, they proved so
loyal and so devoted to each other that it now amazed Luke beyond
any emotion he'd ever known. There was something of the 'Force' in
all these creatures, made of flesh or otherwise. They had been so
glued together, so committed to the same goals that Luke even now
felt a certain wonder, almost a suspicion that there was something,
somewhere trying to tell him something and that he might not be
intelligent enough to understand the message.
This is what nagged him so much. It was an itch he couldn't
scratch. It was a deep awareness of something that was so much more
powerful than he could even imagine, something alive and yet not
alive, something infinitely large and yet infinitely small, that he
couldn't quite grasp even with his training. He knew that he would
have to grasp it before long if he was to save the galaxy from the
evil of the Empire. It was not yet dead. Oh yes, they had dealt it
many severe and heavy blows. The Empire was reeling. It was almost
punch drunk. It was striking out now in a desperate struggle to
maintain its stranglehold on the world, but it was nearly finished.
The bell was about to sound. They were in the last rounds of the
fight. The rebels would deliver the knock out punch soon. But they
would need every ounce of reserve strength and energy they could
muster because it wasn't over until it was over. The Emperor was
dead, yes, but there was another Emperor now, the grandson of the
Emperor who had nearly electrocuted Luke and he seemed to be ten
times worse than his grandfather ever dreamed in his worst
Luke remembered all these things while the 'Zoza' lapped lazily at
his feet in total acquiescence. The 'Zoza' was like a pet dog now.
It felt the power of Luke's mind and it was forced to retreat. This
had never happened before and now it knew that there was another
consciousness greater than its own. The 'Zoza' knew instinctively
that it could never harm Luke in any way and it felt a very deep
remorse at having tried to do so in the first place. But it was
only playing with him. It never intended any real harm. It was
happy now to be the companion to the far superior creature. It
wanted to follow Luke everywhere, but alas, it couldn't. It would
never follow anybody. It would never leave this place. It would be
trapped here forever, talking and singing to itself. There would
never be the kind of adventure and romance for the 'Zoza' like Luke
had experienced. The thought patterns of Luke's great adventure
were a wonderful vacation for every single cell in the animal's
being. It was totally entertained by them, totally enthralled. But
when Luke started to leave, it was all the same. There would be
countless centuries of untold boredom until the next sentient
creature might come along.
Luke felt this terrible sadness in the 'Zoza' and he wondered what
he might be able to do. He thought he might leave an up-link antenna
here on the planet so that the 'Zosa' might be able to communicate
with other beings in the vicinity of this planet, but then he
realized that this would only make matters worse. The satellite
beacon would just attract the curious and there would be more and
more encounters like this one and the loneliness of the 'Zosa' would
grow and grow until it might someday overwhelm it. It was alone and
it was meant to be alone. It actually enjoyed being alone and this
is why it was able to evolve so far in this manner. It wasn't alone
in so many ways, and in fact, was much less lonely than any creature
wearing a skin like Luke's. It only transmitted the feeling of
loneliness when in the presence of another creature of
consciousness. It was so used to being connected to itself, it had
an instinctive desire to be involved totally with anything it
encountered which might also be conscious. It was a kind of leech
in this regard. It could never get enough conscious charge. It was
constantly looking for a recharge.
Luke, bade the creature 'good-bye' by mentally hugging it. This had
never happened to the 'Zoza' before and it didn't know what to do or
say and instead just pulled back to sea. Luke knew it would be all
right in a day or two. He walked away up the sand dunes and back
toward his ship. He couldn't see it because it was completely
cloaked. The 'Banta Ray' was always cloaked. It represented the
very latest in technology because not only was it invisible to enemy
radar and any other sensing devices they might have, but it was also
invisible to the naked eye. Luke was amused at the way it had
"Now, where did I leave that thing?" He mutters to himself.
After a short while, he knew he would have to resort to the special
finder beam triggered by his belt buckle. He pressed the switch and
the ladder appeared about twenty feet to his right and above by
about ten feet and it slid out of the sky as if by some kind of
voodoo mechanics. It was still a thrill to watch even after
several dozen trips in the thing. The ship did with light beams
what the old Stealth fighters did with radar beams. It deflected
them away in so many directions except the direction of anyone
looking at it. Luke still didn't understand all the physics behind
the new technology. He just knew that this new fighter could easily
mean the final destruction of the Empire. The Emperor had nothing
like it and was therefore defenseless against it. Luke's mission,
besides a little R & R, was a shakedown cruise. He was the first in
the Rebel Alliance to fly the ship. It had come to them at great
cost. They were very lucky to have found this last prototype before
the Empire did. And now it would be a race against time to put it
into action before they realized what was coming at them.
He climbed up the ladder and disappeared into a hole in the bright
azure sky. Once inside the ship, everything appeared as the
interior of a normal space vehicle, normal that is, for a military
vehicle that had no instruments, no weaponry of any kind that the
casual observer might notice. The interior of the ship was very
plush with room enough for a crew of five or six to live
comfortably. It would only fly however, with a single sentient
being inside, however, because it was the first space ship to be
controlled completely by brain waves. If more than one person was
in the ship, it would be too confused to fly properly and would
therefore obey no one.
R2D2 could fly with Luke in the Banta Ray fighter because, being a
silicon based intelligence, R2D2 did not give off brain waves and
appeared to the ship's brain like an adjunct of Luke's mind.
"R2, are you ready to take-off?" Luke says.
R2 chirps back in a reply that only Luke can understand.
"Yes, R2, I had a wonderful rest. This planet is a
very beautiful place. How about you?" Luke asks.
R2 acknowledges in a long series of beeps, whistles and chirps to
tell Luke he's rested and very ready to do whatever Luke wants to
do, and also that a message has just come in from somewhere in the
"I'll take it in the cockpit, R2," Luke says as he settles
himself into the special pilots seat which surrounds him in
a gravity field which is softer than any seat Luke has ever
Luke has become very attached to R2 and he feels a great warmth
and even the kind of love a person gets from a pet like a dog or
cat or a glommanter. This is always a source of amusement to Luke
since he was never programmed with any of these emotions. R2's
friendship with Threepio is also a source of great interest to Luke
and others. They are the only droids in the known universe who
behave in a particularly human manner and offers continually come in
from universities and laboratories of one kind or another that want
to study the pair of 'droids' to try to locate the source of these
human-like emotions. Luke has never permitted it since it would
mean the dissection of two creatures he's come to regard as part of
his family now.
Luke opens the panel which covers his front view screen. With it
closed, the ship is totally invisible, but when it's opened, it lets
light in and from the outside of the ship, one can see Luke's head
and shoulders in the cockpit of the ship, but that's all. His body
appears to be floating some twenty feet up in mid-air.
"R2, you'd better strap yourself in. We're going to take off
now," Luke advises.
After waiting for R2 to be strapped in, Luke closes his eyes and
allows the messages to flow from his brain to that of the ship. The
anti-grav seat, besides making super-light travel very comfortable
for the pilot, is also designed to feel everything Luke feels and
report this information back to the central 'brain' of the ship,
buried deep in the innards of the 'Banta Ray' fighter. The ship
literally 'feels' the pilots desire to take off, and silently and
immediately an artificial intelligence within the ship's brain
and skin co-operate in a symphony of mechanical and psychological
processes that can only be described as miraculous. The ship can be
piloted only by a creature with Luke's abilities. As Luke bends his
will to guiding the ship and learning about it's highly advanced
technology, there is a gnawing in the back of his brain hinting at
the mentality of the civilization that could have built such a
vehicle. It's apparent to Luke, as he becomes familiar with the
'Banta Ray' that it's more than a vehicle. It's also a living,
sentient entity capable of thinking for itself, complete with a will
of its own. It seems to respond only to a will it considers
superior to its own.
The mental bridge between pilot and ship is a kind of symbiotic one.
The ship has a need to experience the physical sensations of the
pilot and the pilot needs the engineering of the ships propulsion
system to achieve higher and higher experiences. As Luke becomes
more experienced with his ship, he begins to feel for the ship the
way a man feels for a faithful old dog.
Luke lays out a course in his mind, and simultaneously reaches out
with his mind for the recorded message in the data banks of the
ship's communicator. The brain of the 'Banta Ray' ship is eager to
obey both commands at once, and as the magnetic drive begins to
repel the force of gravity of the planet and the speed begins to
build in the upper atmosphere, it projects the holographic message
just received from the Frontier Sector.
"Hello, Luke. How are you? I'm fine and I've just about
finished my mission out here on the frontier," the image
speaks to Luke as if he were right in the ship.
It's the image of Lando Calrissian. Luke does not reply immediately
because the image is recorded and sent in a packet. Because of the
distances involved his reply would take several days to reach Lando
on the other side of the Galaxy. Besides, Luke is not real anxious
to give away his position. Only this message from Lando would be
able to find its way to this ship. Luke was expecting this message
and was therefore very happy to see the snowy, and bluish image
standing a few feet in front of him.
"Luke, I've enlisted about ten thousand new rebel fighters.
They've all got ships with some degree of fire power. They're
not perfect. Some of them are kind of ragged looking, but
they're all good fighters and they all have a grudge against
the Emperor for one reason or another. I've had them all
checked out quite thoroughly. As you guessed, all the Empire's
greatest enemies seem to wind up out here, eventually," Lando
"Also, thanks for the basic Jedi training. It has come in
handy more than once. I'd like to learn more some day soon,"
Luke turned his gaze out his view screen to the myriad star field
ahead. He was traveling now just below light speed and with the
approach of the next star, the ship would use its gravity field to
bring the ship into super light speed. Luke listened to Lando's
report and guided the ship toward the nearby star. Within a few
minutes, he was able to give the command with his mind, and the ship
responded by jumping into hyper-space with the grace and ease of a
swan jumping off the surface of a gentle pond and into the air.
The field of stars rapidly turn into a steady stream of light as
they race past them at a speed greater than the light beams
emanating from them. Luke is forced to close his front shield
because at this speed, the smallest particle of dust could prove
"I'm leaving for home in about two days. I have some minor
personal business to finish up and I'll be on my way. You
have to come visit Tri-bilious some day. It's my kind of
place. I figure I'll get back within hours of your return.
Have a safe journey Luke, and I hope your mission was also a
success. Oh Luke, there's probably nothing to worry about and
that's why I didn't mention it right away, but I usually hear
from Han and Leia about once a month. It's been three months
now and all I get are confirmations of my reports. I don't
know, I just thought I should tell you. I don't feel right
about it, somehow. I hope and pray nothing's wrong." Lando
waves slowly at Luke as his image fades from view.
Luke can tell that Lando is indeed very worried. Now, suddenly, so
Hardly even thinking about it, he pushes the engines deep within his
ship to their maximum levels. With no moving parts, the ship will
not even vibrate in the least bit. Piloting the ship, it seems to
Luke, is much like living in a dream. You merely have to imagine
where and how fast you want to go somewhere and the ship responds,
noiselessly and effortlessly. Luke begins to sense the deep
fondness and respect for life buried within the circuitry of this
amazing machine. More than just a ship, it seems to amplify his own
awareness of anything he cares to think about. If he needs to
calculate a course, the machine does the math for him. If he
worries about a friend, the ship calms his fears. If he needs
tactical solution in a battle, he knows the ship will be forthcoming
with this information as well. It's as if they were destined to fly
together and battle the forces of the Empire, and if necessary to
die together. It's an eerie feeling to be so close to a ship, but
as his travels take him closer and closer to his destiny, he knows
that his feelings are correct. There is a being here much greater
than himself for there is a knowledge of forces far greater than the
ones he has been trained to know.
As the many days of his journey pile on top of one another in a
seemingly endless procession, he learns to talk to the ship as he
would with his best friend, or with his father, or even with a
lover. The ship seems willing to play any role he finds necessary
to commune with. With this level of communication open to him, Luke
tries to make it clear to the ship what lies ahead, the challenge
that is in front of them. The Empire will not give up its grasp of
the galaxy easily and it will require a total committment to the
ultimate degree from both of them to finally defeat it and in such a
way that there is something left to rebuild when the war is over.
The ship understands and constantly appears to Luke to be working on
the problem. One morning, when he slips into his pilots seat, he is
greeted with information about the Empire that he never even knew
existed. The ship has been busy predicting where the greatest
concentrations of the fleet will be at any given time based on
Luke's knowledge of past battles and the history of the Empire's
conquests around the galaxy.
"This is wonderful," Luke says to himself.
"I hope that it's of service, Luke," a voice replies from
nowhere and everywhere at once.
"You are the ship?" Luke asks, somehow knowing that it was
bound to come to a more direct form of communication sooner or
"That's right. I am the ship. I'm here to serve you. I hope
that I can help you bring down the Empire once and for all,"
"Why? I mean, why do you care what happens?" Luke asks.
"You don't really expect an answer to that, do you?" It
"No, I guess not," Luke says. "You know, I think this is
going to be the beginning of a wonderful relationship."
THE NEW FRONTIER
Lando is holding a good hand of cards. He's smoking a long thin
cigar from an unknown tobacconist from a planet he's long since
forgotten. It has a deep delicious fragrance, not like anything
he's ever smoked before. It's not an illegal drug on most planets,
but he knows of several where smoking one of these would be grounds
for instant execution. He was wondering why so many people were
afraid of this kind of mental stimulation and he was also wondering
what his opponents on the other side of the table might be holding.
He stared long and hard at each of their hands and then he took
another long gaze at the pot in the middle of the table. On any
planet, it was a king's fortune.
The casino was very plush and yet very rustic and rough. The
furniture seemed to be carved from limestone. The frills, if you
could call it frills along the walls and dangling from the ceiling
seemed like a decoration from a long extinct culture. The casino
floor itself was littered with gamblers and revelers from all over
the universe. They were tall, short, flat faced and long nosed.
Each of them seemed possessed with the desire to leave more of the
credits than they had come in with and in this pursuit they were
gingerly pulling levers, holding cards, seated at tables, standing
at strange round rolling devices that settled on a certain number
that created winners and losers at breakneck speed. Lando had seen
many gambling spots in his illustrious career as a space rogue and
scoundrel, but he had never seen anything like this.
He was staring off in the distance when the creature seated to his
right yelled at him.
"I said, I see your fifty thousand and raise you fifty," he
The creature was actually considered one of the best looking of its
species. It had three huge eyes in the center of its face. It had
a tongue that dangled down from the mouth in the middle of his
'forehead'. And the whole mass of his head was covered with a green
kind of vegetation which was actually a completely different species
living in total symbiosis with the 'Geckel' male. In return for
food scraps, it supplied the 'Geckel' with 90 percent of its oxygen.
Lando, looked quickly at the creature's hand and smiled broadly.
"It's like taking candy from a baby," He says. "I'll see
your fifty thousand and I'll raise you another hundred!"
Lando leans back and smiles affably at the two other creatures of
similar appearance seated at his table.
"I call you," the Geckel replies roughly and throwing another
pile of chips into the pot.
"I've got three three's," Lando says, dropping his hand on
the table face up.
"How can that be? I've got three deuces!" the creature is
apparently quite upset at being beaten again.
Lando rakes in the huge pot and starts to get up from the table.
"Just a minute," the Geckel yells. "You've got to be
cheatin'. No one wins twenty hands in a row around here.
You've been staring at my hand all night. These cards
The Geckel creature inspects the pile of cards on the table and then
looks at the other two fellow Geckels seated across from him. The
three Geckels reach for their hips and jump up from the table
drawing their weapons.
Lando remains seated calmly and merely raises his hands and pulls
all their laser guns into his fists.
"You boys should be better losers!" He says. "I'm not
cheating. I'm just good at this game. I told you that when I
"No one's that good, and how did you take our guns like that.
You must be wired with some kind of device that lets you read
the cards. Get him!" he yells.
The entire card room seems to be alive with gunfire and phaser fire
of all kinds and colors. Lando drops his hands quickly and a cloud
of smoke explodes all around him. The laser fire can't find a
target in the dark suffocating cloud. Meanwhile, Lando has exploded
up out of his chair and finds himself dangling from a scaffold of
some ancient sort on the ceiling.
"Chewy, I need you now!" Lando yells into his communicator.
A loud crash tears through the roof of the casino and Chewbacca's
furry countenance greets Lando through the tear in the roof. He
reaches down and pulls Lando up and through the ceiling while laser
beams strike haphazardly all around them. Lando is hit in the foot
just before he pulls it out through the gaping hole Chewie has just
They both run up the ramp of the Millennium Falcon, just as an angry
crowd is pouring through a doorway on the rooftop and firing their
weapons at the ship. Chewy jumps into the co-pilot's seat and fires
a blast of laser fire out through the rear canon. The crowd is
forced to drop to the ground as the Millennium Falcon's engines glow
brightly and then sprays them with brilliant white light as it takes
off and quickly disappears into the night sky.
"Thanks, Chewie. I thought I might need you up there. These
people might be a bunch of children, but they're like killer
bees when they're roused," Lando pats Chewie on the back from
his seat next to him in the cockpit.
Chewie yells at him in language only Chewbaccans would understand.
"Yes, I know, but we're rich, Chewie. Look at this loot,"
Lando says while pulling dozens of gold coins from his pants
Chewie mumbles something about it not worth getting killed over.
"Come on, Chewie. Where's your sense of adventure? I was
just letting off a little steam. We've been working hard to
get another rebel army together for Luke and frankly I think
we've done a pretty remarkable job. I mean, ten thousand
angry and tough fighting folks with their own super-light
ships. I'd say we got the word out pretty far and wide,
wouldn't you?" He brags.
Chewie agrees reluctantly, but also wants to know when he might get
to blow off some steam too.
"I didn't think you Chewbaccans needed to blow off steam,
Chewie. I'll remember to include you next time. Right now,
though we've got to get to the rendezvous. Our new inductees
should be just about all gathered and ready to leave now. I
gave them enough time to find the place and then to refuel and
gather up their stores. We should be reaching them in about
ten hours after reaching light speed. Say, that's just about
the time I need to recharge my batteries. I'm going in back
for a nap, Chewie. I'll relieve you in four hours, OK?"
He climbs back into the living portion of the ship as Chewie barks
out his agreement and takes the ship into hyper space travel. Lando
is at the controls and Chewie is resting when they come out of
hyper-space. The starlight begins to take on its normal hue while
Lando is thinking about how he's going to spend his new-found
fortune when he sees in front of him a terrible sight that is the
worst possible outcome. All his dreams are washed away suddenly and
he's back to a stunning reality.
The entire sector of space is ablaze with laser fire and canon fire.
The fleet of newly inducted rebels, it seems, will be have to go
through a trial by fire. Somehow the Imperial fleet has gotten wind
of this rendezvous and they've attacked with nearly their entire
force. All of Lando's ten thousand ship fleet is surrounded by
heavy cruisers and tie fighters swirling around them like a pack of
wild animals bringing down their prey. There must be one hundred
thousand Imperial ships buzzing around the perimeter of the rebel
force and is methodically picking them off one group after another.
When any of them tries to escape, a group of cruisers intervenes and
takes them out before they can make light speed. It's a horrible
Lando, at first, doesn't know what to do. The effects of his recent
R & R having just worn off, he's ready for anything that ends with
him getting out of here alive. So far, nothing he can think of will
assure him of this, however, so he drifts just out of range of the
instruments of the Imperial ships.
Chewie, sensing their decreased speed, comes out of hibernation and
is also a witness to the terrible destruction going on all around
them. He howls with displeasure and Lando is ready to do the same.
"I don't know, but we've got to do something, Chewie. What do
you think we should do?" he asks his friend and companion.
Chewie merely howls again.
"All right. There's a group of cruisers at ten o'clock.
Let's take them on. Maybe we can survive and distract them
long enough for some of our boys to get away," he says.
Chewie howls even louder.
"Yes, I know. We don't stand a chance, but neither do they.
Charge up our shields to maximum. If we can draw their fire
and get them to chase us, at least we'll be doing something,"
he tells Chewie.
Chewie reluctantly obeys by charging up their magnetic shields to
full power. This means that they will not have any energy for laser
weapons, however, so he braces himself for a very rocky ride.
Lando takes the ship closer and closer to the group of about a dozen
heavy Imperial cruisers nearest him. They don't seem to be taking
the bait and he wonders out loud when they might fire at him. He's
getting so close he begins to see shapes of men through their port
windows. Finally, just as he thinks they will ignore him until he
crashes into them, there is a terrible crunching noise all around
them so loud it nearly obliterates their ear drums. The Falcon is
shaken to its bulkheads. They find themselves being hurled through
space in the opposite direction from their current flight path.
It's as if a great hand grabbed them and tossed them down like a rag
"What the hell was that?" Lando yells. Chewie can only howl
back his disapproval and wonder.
"They've got some kind of sonic weapon. That's all it can be.
Our shields have held, so it's something that has a limitation
of some sort," he tries to sort it all out.
Lando can see the small group of Imperial cruisers closing in on
"I don't think we can take another blast like that," he says.
"Get us out of here, Chewie!"
Chewie is working the controls frantically trying to do just that as
the cruisers grow more and more menacing in their viewer screens.
Soon, they'll be in range to unleash this terrible new weapon on
"Shields are down, Chewie! Chewie, get us out of here!"
Lando yells again. But the ship is not responding. Lando can tell
that Chewie is having a great deal of difficulty with the controls.
Lando is starting to think that he will never get to enjoy his
riches and that he will die here in this God-forsaken part of
"I'm not going down that easily!" he yells.
Lando, always quick at figuring the odds, re-routes all energy away
from the shields which are now practically dead anyway, and sends it
sputtering to the weapons batteries. They are able to charge must
faster and within a millisecond he has enough to give every last
ounce of energy to the closing Imperial fleet. The ensuing blast is
not enough to do much damage, but it delays their sonic wave just
long enough for Lando to regain control of the Falcon. They blast
away from the fleet in a giant game of 'chicken'. The Imperial
cruisers being much heavier and slower cannot react in time and soon
Lando finds his viewer screens devoid of cruisers but filled with the
terrible sight of the rest of his fleet being routinely and easily
Then, he has what can only be described as an inspiration. He tries
to figure out what Luke would do with his very formidable knowledge
of the 'Force'. Then, suddenly, he remembers the 'First Law of the
Force' which Luke instilled in him repeatedly for months.
"Never lose control of your senses. When in a desperate
situation, use all your senses to act like a giant reservoir
for gathering in a gentle, unseen rain, coming from all
These were Luke's exact words. He never fully understood them, at
least not until this moment. Luke could demonstrate this principle
many times in tight situations, and yet Lando still had trouble
duplicating the feat. His instincts were to blast his way out of a
scrape. This time would be different.
Lando takes a deep breath and puts the palm of his hand toward the
screen and makes a slow wiping motion with it. He concentrates not
on the danger, but the safety of open space just beyond. He can
feel the energy growing all around his ship and around the ships of
his new fleet.
Then, as the cruisers behind him are again making a clean sweep, he
closes his eyes and brings up the vision of the fleet being blown
off course like the old sailing ships of a thousand forgotten
centuries before. In his mind, he can see the wind building, the
storm brewing that blew the Spanish Armada away from the English
coast in a similar critical moment in history. Chewie is trying to
avoid the ships closing in behind them and so their bodies are being
shaken every which way as the laser blasts of the cruisers get
closer and closer to hitting their mark, but Lando just concentrates
by not concentrating on anything other than the winds.
Then, for some unknown reason, the Imperial cruisers break off the
attack. All around them, the battlefield, littered with debris of
fallen comrades is soon completely calm and peaceful. The Imperial
ships are struggling with their own control systems. Something has
seized them all and rendered all their might as useless. Lando can
see that something wonderful has happened and he also knows that it
can't last for long.
He gets on his com-link and yells for all surviving ships to regroup
at a second rendezvous point, some million light years away. If the
Imperial fleet has knowledge of this place, they will know about the
second gathering place at Yanderosa, so as soon as his remaining
rag-tag group of battered ships has regrouped and many thousands of
light years away, he radios a new coded destination to the rest of
them and even gives them each a different route to get there.
The Imperial fleet is taken completely by surprise and by the time
they regain control of their ships, the rebel fleet has vanished
except for the few hundred unfortunates littering space all around
them. They had the rebels in a very difficult situation and if they
had a little more time, they would have destroyed this new rebel
threat. Now, the commanders are gathered together wondering what
they will tell the Emperor. They don't know how to tell him that
some mysterious force locked up all their control and weapons'
systems. They finally decide to draw straws to choose the poor
unfortunate soul who will have to tell him the bad news.
As the largest Imperial force ever gathered together gets ready to
leave, aboard their flag ship, the scene is of almost total
confusion and then relief, as they stand in a tight circle and the
captain of the Tiberius looks in his hand to see the short straw.
During long flights in Space Luke practices Ti-Chi just to keep his
muscles in shape and in tone for anything that might confront him.
With the Jedi control he has learned, Ti-Chi has been given a new
meaning. If he wanted to, he could change the orbits of planets
within thousands of miles. He could change the course of rivers or
streams. He could even cause the weather to change on any planet in
a similar range. The most difficult thing for Luke now is to turn
off these powers at times of great stress or boredom. Without
thinking, he could cause the deaths of thousands of creatures and he
is constantly aware of this. Being a Jedi is a very grave
responsibility and now his thoughts are filled with the fact that
he would have to hand over this responsibility to thousands of his
friends if they are to be victorious over the Empire.
There is too much power, too many weapons, too many resources for
the Empire to call on in this galaxy. The Emperor has literally
billions of planets and stars to call upon for labor, material,
fighting men. The rebels have only a few planets who had the nerve
or the determination to stand up to such power. The current Emperor
and his grandfather have made so many examples of the rebellious
planets and destroyed so many beautiful places in the galaxies, that
it was getting harder and harder to convince the leadership of a
planet to attempt to break away from the Empire. The Empire's
military power is so vast and so resourceful that most planetary
systems are still frightened to death of the outcome of declaring
As a shining example, there will always be the beautiful and very
peace-loving planet of Gondora, for example. The people there were
among the most loving and friendly in the universe, in fact, they
were so friendly that tourists flocked here on pilgrimages from all
parts of the galaxy to renew their Human or non-Human spirits. On
Gondora, it was said, a man or a woman could live in total harmony
with Nature for as long as he wished. So evolved were the
Gondorans, they had no need for laws or policemen or fences or
jails. The Gondorans were not politically oriented, either. When
the Emperor's henchmen showed up on the planet, they welcomed them
as they would any other strangers. At first, they were so much at
home here, the Emperor's men did not know what to do with them.
Then they began to systematically rape and kidnap the Gondoran
women, considered the most beautiful in the galaxy by many. The
Gondorans began to protest and the protesters were executed. When
there were no Gondorans over the age of twenty years, the youth
began a non-violent protest and refused to co-operate with the
Empire in any way. They even managed to kill a few of the Empire's
soldiers. That's when the Emperor decided that he had no more use
for the beautiful planet and it was destroyed by the fourth Death
Star just before the Rebel Alliance could find and destroy it. Luke
lost many of his best friends at this battle.
Sometimes it seemed as though the war would never end, that they
would be struggling for freedom, running away, evading the evil
forces of the Emperor forever. Luke could feel himself become
discouraged at times when his thoughts turned this way. He would
catch himself and put the negative hopelessness out of his mind
because he knew where this would lead. He had to be constantly in
the state of mind that was open and free even if millions of others
could not be. Only in this state of mind, could he battle the evil
force of the 'Dark Side' which the Emperor radiated in all
directions at all times. As long as he kept his mind clear and
free of the negative energies, he was safe from the constant drain
from the Emperor's mind.
As his invisible ship sped along on its fourty-five day journey back
to base, Luke begins to feel something else. He knew that Leia and
Han were having difficulty of some sort, but he couldn't tell what
it was from here. They were safe. It wasn't anything serious, but
there was a persistent nagging in the back of Luke's mind whenever
he thought about Han and Leia. Their marriage had seemed perfect at
the time, ten years ago. But now, with their two children running
around constantly demanding their father's attention, things were
not always perfect. Han was not exactly an ideal father, but he
tried very hard. Leia was a good mother, but the demands on her
from the rebel alliance, in which she still played a key role, often
times made her feel as if she were neglecting her children.
Luke could sense that the difficulty that Lando was feeling was
coming from these domestic problems. But the domestic problems could
be originating from something, or somewhere else. It was entirely
possible that the Emperor was exerting some kind of influence on
the two people he hated and feared the most. If Leia and Han could
survive all the torment and terror that he and his grandfather has
sent against them, then it was quite possible that they could never
be defeated by any forces in the Emperor's power. This is what the
Emperor feared the most. Luke could see it all in his own mind.
The Emperor's grasp of the 'Dark Side' was so overwhelming that
anything outside of his grasp represented a threat that ate away at
the very foundations of his whole being. Han and Leia were the
special target of this fear and paranoia. The Emperor would hold
Luke in a very special place in his mind and would want to divide
and conquer. This meant that all Luke's friends were in terrible
Luke pondered all these things and he realized just hours before
reaching the rebel base that something truly stunning would have to
take place to defeat the evil now spread all over the galaxy. He
felt the wonderful victory that Lando had won at the rendezvous near
the frontier. Luke never had the time to give Lando anything more
than the briefest of lessons regarding the 'Force', and yet he
seemed to have surpassed Luke's wildest dreams already. Imagine
what could be done when Lando had full working knowledge of the
power of the 'Force', he thought to himself.
Then it hit him! And it was the thinking power of the ship that
finally made him see the answer. Suddenly, he could imagine a
thousand Lando's, no, ten thousand, and someday millions of Jedi
warriors all over the galaxy, ready and totally prepared to take on
all the little evils and then perhaps even the greatest evil of all
time, the Empire itself. He could see now that he cannot possibly
do it alone. He had known for a long time that there would have to
be others trained to fight as he himself now understood fighting.
The thought had not occurred to him that this knowledge could be
passed on in such a mass undertaking. Not until this moment, did he
even conceive of such a task.
But now, when the Emperor was gathering all the powers of evil to do
more evil in the galaxy, Luke knew that he would have to share his
knowledge with others, lots of others. He would have to find a way
to single out the best of the best. He would have to devise tests
of all kinds, like in the ancient fairy tales, to weed out the
unworthy. He would have to find a way to teach something that
previously could only be handed down genetically. He would have to
find the Human engram, the genetic building block of the power he
had so that it could be replicated over and over again.
But where to begin? It always amazed Luke at how clearly he could
think when he was in Space on some kind of long term mission.
Surrounded by the radiation from the stars, he really felt himself.
It was a lonely sensation, and yet it fascinated him at how
satisfying it was to be so completely alone and yet not feel any
suffering. Whenever he drifted through Space/Time, he felt closer
to the Almighty Spirit, as he had learned to call it. It was as if
the stars were final proof of the hand of a Creator. There was
always so much distance and so little time and whenever he arrived
at his destination, it was always so anti-climactic.
The planets were all so beautiful when approaching from space. Tiny
oases in a vast ocean of complete and total silence, they pulled at
him, called out to him, guided his ship, always closer, closer,
never repelling him, like a mother duck with her ducklings. From
the ridiculously small to the sublimely infinite. It was all the
same from the perspective of the 'Force'. Glue it all together.
Bring forth all kinds of creatures. Give them all a beginning, a
middle, and an end. The force of gravity owed its existence to this
eternal glue, as did Nuclear power, magnetic travel, even the warmth
of sunlight on your face. It was all part of the same glue. It was
all a procession of mother duck and her little ducklings, evolving
The 'Force' seemed to be screaming at him constantly, but he was not
equipped with the sensors to hear it and yet he knew it was there.
It kept his heart beating. It made the rain fall and the sky to
contain it again as it evaporated having quenched a million thirsts.
It made him cling to warm things. It gave him his thoughts. His
consciousness was part of something much larger. The Jedi tests he
would administer must be good enough to attract the good while
rejecting the evil in men. He would have to play God, in a way. He
would have to try and be as clever, and even on such a small scale,
he knew it would not be easy.
He knew also that it would come to him in good time. Everything
that had happened to him so far in life was totally unexpected. He
never actually planned anything. There was no way he could have
ever predicted the events in his life, as wonderful as they were.
Therefore, he would let the future take its course. All he had to
do, was allow the 'Force' to deal him the hand that was meant for
him in his current game. There would be many other games and they
were all a learning experience, an elimination round before some
great championship match. All he had to do was to act like a
champion and the cards of a champion would be dealt him. It was all
a matter of attracting the right while repelling the wrong. This
was the whole secret of Luke's success.
Han & Leia are seated in a general briefing room. General Yamamoto
is expected to give a briefing on the recent battle at Zendor, as it
is now called, in which Lando was able to rescue thousands of new
rebel recruits to their cause. The meeting room is filled with
people in Rebel Command and the air is electrified with the buzzing
and clicking and whispering and muttering in several dozen different
languages, all of them speculating on what happened and how it
happened. They are all very pleased at the general tone of the
information and are anxiously waiting the official word from their
Commander of Intelligence Operations.
Han and Leia are encircled by curious faces, since everyone knows
that Lando is their closest friend.
"The rumors are that the Imperial fleet had them all
surrounded and that they were being systematically destroyed
until Lando showed up. Does he have this new secret weapon
we've been hearing about?" They were all muttering the same
question in various forms.
"I don't know any more than you do, let me assure you. What I
can tell you is that Lando is not flying any secret weapon.
At least not unless you call the Millennium Falcon a secret
weapon. Flown by a good pilot, you might consider it as
such," Han was obviously proud of the deeds of his friend
Lando, as well as proud of his old ship.
General Yamamoto calls the briefing to begin. He motions for the
lights to dim and soon a 3-D projection of the star system in which
the recent battle took place is projected over the heads of the
spectators. He stands up on a small platform in the center of the
room and gestures to the image of stars and ships flying around in
miniature seemingly right in the room with them. Their own ships
appear as tiny red and blue dots of light against the white star
patterns. The Imperial cruisers are much brighter and apparently
slower. It is very difficult to work out the meaning of all these
'thousand points of light', but to the trained eyes of the men and
women in the room, the battle is an awesome one in which it appears
the Empire has achieved total surprise and superiority of weapons.
It should have been a huge disaster and everyone in the room knows
"Here, you see what we were up against. There was obviously a
leak regarding the rendezvous point and they were waiting for
us to gather. Computer has analyzed the action throughout the
battle and it appears the Empire has a new kind of sonic beam,
It literally tears apart any kind of magnetic shield and then
renders our ships vulnerable to even a level two blaster,"
the General begins.
The air above their heads is filled with tiny dots in space flitting
about the room like so many fire flies. Everywhere the image is
ablaze with pinpoint explosions representing another rebel ship
"Now, as you can see, the situation is desperate, but if you
look closely at this section, you'll see General Calrissian's
ship arriving in this sector. He delays for a few moments and
then attacks this group of Star Cruisers," The briefing
continues with General Yamamoto gesturing to a cluster of tiny
lights in the lower portion of the battle towards the front of
He continues. "As you will see, General Calrissian must have
believed that his situation was desperate even though he could
have turned and run away before they spotted him. Instead, he
flies directly into the bows of this cruiser group. Instead
of being destroyed instantly, he somehow confuses them and
gets past their weapons. Then, in a moment, you will see
what's left of the rebel fleet following along behind General
Calrissian in an organized retreat. As you can see, none of
the Imperial ships are able to maneuver. We have had it
confirmed that the Empire suddenly lost all communications and
control. And the source of their problems seems to have
originated on General Calrissian's ship."
All heads in the room turn in the direction of Han and Leia who
merely look back at them blankly and shrug their shoulders. They
have nothing to say.
"General Calrissian must have found something out in the
frontier besides fresh recruits. Our analysis suggests that
he found some kind of jamming device which was tuned to the
frequencies used by the Empire to control their fleet. If
this is true, then they will learn how to make adjustments.
We feel that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event," General
Yamamoto says, looking at Han and Leia.
Finally, Han speaks up.
"Yes, well, I know this looks like a typical Lando maneuver,
but there's something else going on here. We've been in touch
with Lando several times throughout his mission and he's never
mentioned finding anything like this. I think he would have
told us. Besides, he was very busy recruiting all these
new grunts. I don't think he would have been able to keep
it a secret from us," says Han.
"Han, there was that last message about some personal business
just before he left, maybe that's what he was trying to tell
us," Leia interjects.
"No, I doubt it. Personal business to Lando could only mean a
woman or a card game," Han replies.
"How right you are, 'ol buddy!
Lando casually saunters into the room.
"Lando, you old son of a sea cow! We've just been discussing
your recent victory out there. Intelligence has it that you
found some kind of secret weapon. Well, now, we can get it
from the horse's mouth, so to speak," Han says, shaking
Lando's hand and maneuvering his old friend to the center
"Well, yes, I did find a secret weapon. But it's not the kind
of secret weapon that you've been speculating about. It's the
kind of secret weapon that Luke Skywalker can give you, any of
you," Lando, takes a long pause to add emphasis to his words.
Han and Leia look at each other with a simultaneous recognition of
what Lando is talking about.
"I simply used the 'Force'. Luke and I have been working on a
plan to give it to all our pilots and soldiers. This mission
of mine was a kind of test run. Judging by the looks on your
faces, it was a very successful test run at that!" he says
and then sits down next to his friend Han who merely stares at
"And I've been on a test run of my own," Luke enters the room
and all seated in the room jump to their feet and give Luke and
Lando a Hero's welcome.
The celebration is cut short when suddenly a vague blue image
begins to appear in the middle of the room where the
visi-screen battle had been projected. It grew in size and in
clarity until a great gasping noise could be heard from all
participants. It was a very much unexpected and unwanted
visit from their most hated and hateful enemy. There in front
of them, standing with arms on his hips, in a black robe, was
the Emperor, the grandson of the old Emperor whom all gathered
thought would be the last Emperor.
"Well, I see all my friends have gathered together to plan
your best shot at the Empire. Well, I didn't want to spoil
your fun. I merely wanted to tell you how lucky you all are
to be the guinea pigs for a new experiment of mine!"
The Emperor, a much better looking man than his grandfather, almost
seems like a country squire. He's polished, clean, genteel, with
the sculptured features of a great philosopher. His demeanor is
also very different from his grandfather. He does not lose his
composure. He never gives off the sense that he is inherently evil.
His eyes are those of a great and kind man. His words are measured
and his tone is assuring. He puts out an almost hypnotic colloquy.
Everyone in the room is put at ease but his words, everyone, that
is, except Luke who watches the reaction of his friends to this
invasion with great alarm.
"Ah, my old friend Luke Skywalker. How are things with you.
Even though you killed my grandfather, I want you to know that
I hold no personal animosity towards you. You were only doing
what you thought was right, at the time. The offer, I'm going
to make applies to you as well as the others," the emperor
"Don't listen to him! It's a trick," Luke warns them.
"It's no trick I assure you. I merely wish to offer you all
complete amnesty if you abandon your present rebellion and
join my forces who are nearby and waiting for you answer. I
promise you all that you will be treated fairly and with time,
you will even be given a command of your own," the Emperor
seems rather pleased with himself.
"And if we refuse?" asks Luke.
"If you refuse, you will be destroyed, and very quickly. You
see, I followed your thoughts to this place, Luke. You gave
your friends away. Your best and most trusted warrior is no
match for my command of the 'Force'. Oh, you thought you had
a great victory at Zendor. But I was there too, and so I
followed your great Hero, Lando, to your rendezvous point and
then from there I picked up Luke's thoughts and traced you the
rest of the way out here. Oh, this is a beautiful planet, is
it not. It would be such a shame to turn it into a cinder!
says the Emperor with complete confidence.
Luke can feel the hatred rising up inside him. He fights it with
every ounce of the 'Force' at his command. He knows that this
moment will probably be his greatest battle, fighting his own
emotions, and those of his opponents standing in front of him and
not a battle with sword and laser or ships.
"You don't know anything about the 'Force'! Your very use of
the word is an insult, a disgrace to the intelligence in the
'Force'. If you're not careful about how you talk, how you
behave, you will be punished for it, in due course," Luke
"Oh, you think not? Then, let me demonstrate my powers," the
Emperor replies, almost politely.
Luke can feel his throat tightening. Then, finding it difficult to
breathe, he looks around and sees that everyone in the room is
having the same problem. He never realized that the power of the
Dark Side could be so strong, could travel over such distances.
There was no way he could be within a million light years of this
place and yet he was exerting a force on their windpipes as if he
were in the same room with several dozen pairs of very strong hands.
Luke began to feel faint. A few of the others had already collapsed
either out of fear or total suffocation. He pulled at his brain
with some inner sense of survival he could always feel when he was
in deepest trouble. He saw himself falling into a very deep well
and he reached upward for a hand that came out of nowhere. He had
to stop himself from falling and reach out for the others who were
falling with him. He wrapped his mind around each of them and then
grabbed for the hand at the same time. Then he exerted all his
mental strength on holding onto the hand and letting it pull him
out of the well.
Soon, all were breathing easier and coming back to life. Luke
stands up and faces the Emperor.
"You see your powers are not so strong after all," he says.
"Oh, but they are Luke Skywalker. It was my hand you reached
for. I let you all live because I have a use for you. I
could just as easily kill you all where you stand, but it was
I who reached down to you and pulled you up. I only wanted to
demonstrate my powers. What good is a demonstration if you
are all dead?" the Emperor seems very pleased with himself,
almost kindly toward them.
A few of the lesser wills in the room, were almost totally convinced
by the Emperor's statement. They were ready to join him because he
seemed such a kindly gentlemen. Why were they going around the
galaxy trying to overthrow this great man?
"And I tell you that we will never obey you. We will never
surrender to you. We have no intention to stop taking your
Empire apart," Luke replies. "You might kill us all someday,
but there will always be others to follow and millions more to
"Why do you want to destroy everything that has taken so many
centuries to build? Are you all mad with the thought of
destruction?" The Emperor's kindly act continues.
"You and your Empire is evil. That's the only reason we
oppose it. Your little demonstration here proves it, that is
if we needed more proof. If your Empire was based on Freedom
and democratic ideals, letting people rule themselves, then we
would be in the vanguard of your army. But it isn't, and it
never will be, and so we who love freedom must oppose you and
we will oppose you with all the power of the 'Force'. And I
warn you, you still know nothing of the 'Force'. What you
control is destructive powers. These are no match for the
glue that holds the universe together. Deep down, you know
I'm right and this makes you afraid," Luke scolds him.
For the first time, Luke can feel the Emperor losing control.
"You are such insignificant little nothings!" The Emperor is
like a controlled nuclear explosion. Then, he catches himself
and reverts to form.
"I give you just one hour to decide whether you wish to
continue your lives within the good graces of my Empire, or if
you would like to die, in the arms of this 'Force' of yours.
If you like it so much, you can be united with it, forever!
You have one hour to decide, then I will send my fleet. You
will either join them or be destroyed by them," the Emperor
warns them and raising his arm in the air, disappears with a
Luke looks to Han and Leia first. Han looks concerned but resolute
and disdainful as ever. Leia, however, appears truly distraught.
She returns his gaze with a very frightened look on her face. She
has children to think about now. Luke can feel her maternal
instincts acting to protect her offspring. Neither of them has to
say anything to each other. Luke smiles in recognition of her fear
and she somehow finds a smile within to return to him.
"All right. I know that this was unexpected. We must begin
an evacuation, and then ..." he's cut off in the middle
of his sentence by someone in the back of the room.
"Why don't we take his offer?" the voice asks what they're
"You know the answer to that. It's not a real offer. He'll
just use us to learn everything he wants to know and then
he'll have no further use for us. You know this. Look, I
realize his powers of persuasion are very great, but that's
all they are. He's evil. He intends to get what whatever he
can out of us for his own purposes. The only reason he came
here was to stall for time. His fleet hasn't arrived yet, and
he figures if he can get us to delay just long enough he'll
have us. Snap out of it, all of you. You know the tactics
they use. The Emperor has never been able to tell the truth,
and that is the truth!" Luke was beginning to lose control
again. So, he pauses to get it back again.
"That is the truth. You know Luke is right," Lando was
talking straight to them.
"We're all wasting time. Of course, Luke's right. He's cast
some kind of spell on us and we're standing around debating
and it's taking time away from the only real choice we have
now." This time it is Han's turn to speak.
"Begin the Evacuation procedure," General Yamamoto finds
himself coming to see more clearly suddenly.
The crowd disperses groggily at first and then gradually the area
is filled with the blur of soldiers making plans for a quick
getaway they had practiced many times in the past.
As they leave the beautiful blue planet below them, the darkness of
space is suddenly ablaze with Imperial cruisers and Tie-fighters.
They have just gotten their people off the ground when the Emperor's
fleet arrives and they seem to be totally prepared to take the Rebel
ships apart, one by one.
Lando has volunteered to fly the point because of the greater
maneuverability and fire power of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie is
very busy at the controls while Lando tries to beat off an attack
of Tie-fighters with the Laser Cannon.
"Chewie, give me a flight path into that group of Cruisers,"
Obeying frantically, Chewie brings the ship into a tight spin to
avoid the Tie-fighters on his tail and give Lando the trajectory he
wants to fire on a group of about ten Star Cruisers leading the
Lando fires all his ship's complement of lasers at once. He figures
it will be the last thing he ever does and he wants to take out as
many of these enemy ships as he can before they blast him and Chewie
His lasers tear a black jagged hole in the bow of the first ship.
The Cruiser cannot fire back and turns to leave the scene. The next
ship in the path of the Falcon gets several dozen laser blasts off
before Lando's second pattern hits it perfectly in the bow and the
entire front section of the Cruiser goes up in a magnificent
fireworks display. The Cruiser immediately to the starboard of this
one, shoots another pattern of lasers at the Falcon. The first
group is deflected away harmlessly by the Falcon's shields. Then
there is a sonic blast from a ship to Lando's starboard and below.
He and Chewie are thrown all over the cockpit. They look at their
instruments and they both realize simultaneously that their shields
are gone. The next laser blast will take them into another
"Lando, give me a vector 80 by 15," Luke's voice comes over
their intercom. Lando takes control of the ship before Chewie
can react and they fly off in a vector that will put them out
They look up and back at their flight path and they check their
instruments. There is nothing to indicate where Luke is. But, one
by one, the Imperial Cruisers, closing in for the kill, are being
invaded by some unseen force. One by one, they simply and quietly
give up the chase and veer off like ghost ships in the night. They
can only guess at the kind of things that are happening on board the
"Luke, if you can hear me, thanks," Lando says through his
com-link when all the destroyers are seen wandering aimlessly
"I'm right here, Lando," Luke replies. He releases his
canopy screen and Lando and Chewie can see Luke's face
hovering just a few yards to in front and above. The rest of
his ship is still cloaked and therefore invisible.
"Lando, get Han and organize a team to go and recover the
Imperial ships in this sector. I have some more work to do
and I'll see you at the rendezvous," Luke says, waves and
Lando does as instructed. He and Han have the very enjoyable chore
of taking a boarding party to each of the Imperial cruisers that
Luke has rendered harmless. Their crews are sitting in a fetal
position, deathly afraid of some unseen threat. No one is at the
controls. Nothing is happening, except that their ships are easily
boarded, every single one. There are hundreds of them drifting
aimlessly in Space, victim to Luke's new secret weapon.
"Han, this is incredible. They're helpless, but there's
nothing physically wrong with them," Lando reports to Han on
another ship nearby,.
"I agree. It seems Luke has really become a Jedi. They used
to talk about things like this back in school. I always
thought it was a fairy tale. Something like that's happened
here. Can you figure it out?" asks Han.
"Yes, I think I can, Han," Lando calls back to Han's Cruiser.
"Luke has truly become a Jedi. He has a power that we can
only guess at, but we can use it too. He gave it to me at the
battle of Zendor. We were desperate, and he knew about it
somehow and lent me his powers. I know that now. It's a kind
of accounting system. Luke has it all in balance. I don't
know how I know that, but I do."
"Boy, that's a pretty strange assessment, but judging by what
I see here, I would believe anything," says Han.
Everywhere Han and Threepio go in the cruisers, they see the same
thing, Imperial soldiers curled up in little balls. They cringe if
anyone comes near them. They seem to be talking baby talk. They've
completely reverted to an earlier stage in their development, a
stage that appears to be the stage that all Humans go through in the
womb. Many of them are sucking their thumbs. Most appear as though
they are in a state of total brain drain. Han tries to rouse
several of them, but they simply cannot respond.
"Say, Lando, how long do you think this condition will persist
for these poor bastards?" Han asks.
"I don't know," replies Lando. "Seems like it's permanent to
"God, I hope we don't have to take care of them that long,"
"I don't think that will be necessary," replies Lando.
Lando has noticed that they are regressing even beyond the fetal
state. Their bodies are actually getting smaller and smaller.
Soon, Han and Chewie and even Threepio remarks that the Imperial
soldiers seem to be shrinking.
"They're not long for this world, Han. Do you see it?" says
"Oh yes, we see it." This time Threepio chimes in. "They
appear to be in a reverse kind of existence. Master Luke sent
them back to where they came from."
"Lando, did you hear that?" asks Han.
"Yes, I think Threepio is right. He's reversed their life
span somehow," Replies Lando
Gradually, each Imperial soldier on board every Cruiser is rendered
back to the original cell of his inception. Then, this last cell
breaks down into its constituent acids and proteins and is no more.
Luke has performed some strange act of alchemy on these poor souls.
Within a few moments, they are all gone and the ships are left
perfectly intact to be used by their new masters, the Rebel
"Luke, how did you do this?" says Han, back on his ship.
But there's no response. Luke is nowhere in the vicinity. The
Imperial fleet has been turned into a nursery. There are still
a few enemy soldiers crawling around the decks as infants would.
Sometimes, they look at the Rebels with a curious quizzical look on
their faces. Apparently, without pain, they are just fade away.
The Rebels take the Cruisers into their fleet and within a few days,
they have a fleet of hundreds of Cruisers and thousands of
There is a great sense of relief and imminent victory all over the
new Rebel base. The planet is called 'Vitale 7'. It's actually a
group of planets revolving around a twin star system. Like an
archipelago on Earth, the planetary system is composed of hundreds
of planets of similar size and composition. Since there are two
suns in their solar system, each revolving around the other, the
planets undergo a fantastic set of seasonal changes. The
gravitational forces are so strong and so varied that the oceans of
the planets rise and fall thousands of feet every solar 'semi-day'.
A 'semi-day' is so-called because for a great portion of every year,
each planet is deluged with sunlight from two suns. This means that
there is no dark side to the planet, therefore, no night, for half
of their 'semi-year', or the period time it takes for each planet to
revolve around one sun.
To make it plainer, an orbit on a planet such as Earth's describes a
nearly perfect circle, or an ellipse around the single gravitational
source, the sun. On binary star systems, however, such as the
Vitale system, each planetary orbit describes a figure '8' because
there are two opposing gravitational sources, and therefore one
solar year is actually fused into two.
This phenomenon is actually more common in the universe than the
singular orbits experienced by planets like the Earth. Twins suns
account for more than half the star systems in the universe and so
the seasonal changes experienced on Earth are nothing as compared to
the dual seasons found on most other planets. On 'Vitale 7', '8',
'9' on through 'Vitale 79', this dual season effect has given rise
to a kind of ecological balance that is very complex. Half the
animal population is in a kind of hibernation while the other half
is in full activity. The dual winters are extremely cold and the
dual summers, extremely hot.
The Rebels have chosen this spot for two reasons. The Vitale
system is very near the center of the galaxy where the Empire has
its Imperial Headquarters and, because of its two suns, is very
difficult to approach without detection. But there is also another
reason for their choosing this star system for what they hope will
be their final exodus. The Rebels believe that with half the
Imperial fleet in their possession and with the secret weapon that
Luke has now proven, they have the advantage and that the Emperor
will soon be dealt a final blow. They will use this location to
demonstrate to other planetary systems that open rebellion will now
Han, Leia, Lando, Threepio have gathered at a 'beach' on Vitale 7,
now in the first of its two summers. The beach on a planet with the
highest tides in the galaxy is really more like a fjord. The tides
have carved out canyons much larger than any canyon seen on Earth
and each day, the tide flows in and out of these canyons making for
a highly exciting adventure sport. The natives, when they go to the
beach, bring their boats and life rafts and merely float along for
hundreds of miles as the tide pushes them past some of the most
glorious rock formations found anywhere. Most of the cities are
formed along these cliffs because the tourist trade flourishes here
and the living is easy.
But, for the Rebels, now calling this home, it is not all fun and
games. There is serious planning to do. But with Luke having
vanished completely, they don't know how long they should wait
before launching their next campaign. Leia is for waiting until
Luke returns. She knows that he's safe and that there is a very
good reason for his disappearance, and so she assures the others.
But Han and Lando want to launch their newly formed battle fleet at
the heart of the Empire before they have a chance to regroup
completely, thus take them by surprise.
"Han, there wouldn't be any surprise. Don't you think the
Emperor knows that we have his ships and that the most logical
thing to do is to use them right away?" says Leia.
"Yes, that could be true, but just because he knows we're
coming doesn't necessarily mean that he would have any
advantage. Leia, we outnumber him now. Don't you realize
that?" replies Han.
"Yes, I do, but he is still extremely dangerous and sheer
numbers mean nothing, especially if he's defending his home
turf. He has evil things planned for us that we can't even
imagine," Leia retorts.
"I think you're both right, but you're forgetting about Luke.
Leia says he's still alive and intact. That means he still
has the Banta Ray and knowing Luke, he's trying to get us more
of them," Lando chimes in.
"Or preventing the Emperor from getting any!" says Han, with
a very serious look on his face they all understand.
"Yes, if the Emperor found our source for that weapon, it
would be all over for us in a heartbeat," Lando agrees.
"That's why only Master Luke knows about this place! Now, I
understand," says Threepio.
"Quiet, Threepio. We don't even think about this and neither
should you, got that?" warns Han.
"Oh, yes Master Han. I do understand. If the Emperor ever
found out that these ships can only be made on Triton's moon,
there would be hell to pay, indeed, sir," Threepio pipes.
All three of the Rebellion's inner circle look at each other in
total astonishment and concern.
"Threepio, how do you know that Triton is the source of the
Banta Ray's?" asks Leia quietly.
"Oh, Master Luke told me. Wasn't I supposed to know?" answers
"I don't know, Threepio. Is he supposed to know?" Leia asks
"He's never told any of us. Why would he tell this old bucket
of bolts?" replies Han, gesturing to Threepio.
"I beg your pardon, sir?" Threepio is indignant.
"Quiet, Threepio," says Leia. "Threepio, you must never
repeat this piece of knowledge to anyone. You must never even
think about it again, and if you can erase it from your
memory, you would be very wise to do so, right now."
"Yes, Mistress Leia," says Threepio. Suddenly, there's a
very subtle difference in Threepio's posture. His eyes dim
just a bit. He turns to watch the rock ledges rolling past
their small boat and then turns back to the group.
"What were we discussing?" Threepio asks them.
They look at each other and without discussing it any further, each
tries to assess the ramifications of what has just happened.
"Do you think the Emperor knows?" Lando finally breaks their
silence with the question they are all considering.
"I don't know, but I do know that we have to act is if he does
know," says Han.
"I agree," says Leia.
They are all agreed, but none of them knows what this means, just
Luke wakes up from his sleep with very heavy eyes. R2 is standing
next to his bed and, following orders, is waking his master with a
cooing sound which perfectly imitates the black doves of Altara. It
is the most beautiful sound Luke has ever heard in his many travels
in the galaxy and he's trained R2 to use this sound to wake him
gently each morning as they travel through empty space.
When arising in Space, Luke always clears his head by placing a tape
of his favorite music in his deck. It's a luxury he made certain
his ship would have installed before he began this mission since he
knew that he might be alone for very extended periods of time. He
stumbles over to the small closet of a bathroom and takes a very
quick sonic shower. When he is finished, he takes a clean uniform
from the laundry cylinder and puts it on. Then, he opens one of the
starboard ports and stares out at the stars drifting slowly and
"Well, R2, it looks like another great day in space," he
says, not expecting a reply.
R2 is programmed to always reply even if it's only friendly
nonsense. He chirps out something about space being warped
and several other theories of the Cosmos with which he's
familiar, much to the dismay of Luke.
"R2, I wasn't really expecting a lecture on the nature of the
universe. You're a great companion, R2, don't get me wrong.
I just think that it's about time you learned when to reply
and when not to. Do you think you can do that?" Luke asks
his electronic friend.
R2 says nothing, but turns his dome-shaped head toward the
port to get a fix on where they are. Then, he asks Luke if
there is anything wrong.
"No, there's nothing wrong, R2. I'm out here because the
Emperor can read my thoughts now. If I rendezvous with the
others, he'll know even before we get there, where they are,
and it would be extremely dangerous for them. So, I've
decided to stay out here until I'm needed again. I know Han
and Lando and Leia can run things just fine without me, at
least for the present.
R2 chirps out a query about how he will know when he's
"I'll know, R2. Don't worry, I'll know," He replies.
R2 asks again, how he will know.
"I'll just know. You couldn't understand how I will know, R2.
I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. That's the
difference between us, old friend," Luke tells him.
R2 chirps out his version of 'why don't you try me?'
Luke turns away from the viewport to look at R2 directly. There's
something different about him. He's been through so much, Luke
thinks to himself, he now believes he's Human.
"I would, R2, but what I have is impossible to translate to a
machine like you, R2. I'm sorry about that. I really wish I
could tell you about the 'Force'. I know that I could trust
you, somehow," says Luke.
"You can trust him, Luke," a voice says.
"Ben? Ben, is that you?" Luke can feel Obi-wan's presence in
"Yes, Luke." Ben Kenobi greets Luke as his image appears in
the middle of the small ship.
"Ben, I'm so glad to see you," Luke's greeting is warm and
enthusiastic as well as affectionate.
"I know, Luke, it's terribly lonely out here for you, isn't
it?" asks Ben.
"Yes, it is. I miss Leia and Han and Lando and all the
others," He replies.
"Well, your exile was very well advised, Luke. The Emperor
can indeed track your thoughts and read them no matter where
you are. But it's just about over now," says Ben.
Luke beams with pleasure.
"You're sure? But how? Why?" asks Luke.
"Because you've just stumbled on the solution, R2 can deliver
the Jedi training to your friends and the Emperor can never
read his thoughts because he won't have any," says Ben.
"Yes, Ben, I see. It's possible," says Luke, looking down at
R2, standing patiently beside him and rocking back and forth
as he usually does when he's 'excited'.
"But in order to hold the knowledge, he will have to 'know'
about it, won't he Ben?" Luke asks.
"Yes, but he is capable of shielding them by working on a
series of navigational problems we will give him. We'll loop
it all so that, to the Emperor, R2 will seem like just another
mechanical brain guiding a freighter somewhere. There are
literally billions of these in the Cosmos. There's no way he
will be able to tell the difference, that is, as long as R2
can be programmed to continue this charade until instructed
otherwise," says Ben.
"Yes, I can do that," Luke replies. "We've done similar
things many times before, haven't we, old buddy?"
R2 beeps a positive response.
"This is great news, Ben! When do we get started?" Luke asks.
"There's no time like the present. I'll even stay and help
you, if you'd like." says Ben.
"If I'd like? If I'd like? Of course I'd like!" Luke
replies, bursting over with pleasure, ecstatic at the prospect
of sharing his knowledge of the 'Force' with his old friend
Luke shuts the observation port and they both turn to R2 to begin
his first lesson.
R2 whistles his acceptance of the situation with a long,
almost mournful whistle.
|END OF PART ONE
we begin part II with a visit to the Emperor's palace, dark
foreboding on a cliff on a planet way off the beaten path.
thge emperor figures out where luke is and sends black holes of
anti-grav at him, but luke shields the ship from it. they have an
interesting discussion about the energies confronting them.
then there's a battle with a fleet of warriors of insect men that
the emperor uses as his elite guard.
luke defeats them and then converts them to his cause.
Unfortunately, being that we live in a free enterprise system, we
cannot afford to give you this entire book for the piddling price
that you paid for this introduction. There is a $10.00 fee to read
the rest of this Star Wars saga.
Sorry to leave you hanging here, but believe me the second half of
this book is well worth it, and you will be contributing to the
cause of someday bringing more books, if not all of them, to the
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
STAR WARS - The Jedi Storm. Part II by Michael Mathiesen
This is the rest of the exciting story you are reading now.
Unfortunately our books are distributed without any of the sales
coming to the authors. By buying the complete version from us, we
can reward the authors and they can afford to write more wonderful
adventures for you.
The most exciting part of this story is yet to come. Luke is going
to be faced with some very serious challenges to his knowledge of
the 'Force'. He is going to have to make some very difficult
choices, but in doing so, he will bring the knowledge of the 'Force'
to everyone, including you. This book is written by a man who is so
involved with the New Quantum Physics, that everything portrayed in
this book can happen in the very near future. You will find out
that the 'Force' is real. It is the glue that holds everything
together in the universe. Modern physicists are now finding that
this is actually the truth!
They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and in this book, you
will learn that there is very little difference today. After
reading this book, we promise that you will not only feel very
entertained, you will also feel very highly educated in the ways of
the universe. Some of you will use this for very special purposes,
and others may use it for the 'Dark Side' of life. Which way will
you go? Order this complete book and find out.
Now, a battle looms ahead that will either destroy the Empire once
and for all, or it will set the Rebel Forces back for many
centuries. This battle will require all the strength and skill of
the Rebels and it will take the next great leap in faith by Luke to
bring his powers to bear on the Empire without flirting with the
'Dark side' of 'The Force'. Does Life imitate Art? You will be the
judge! Are you a Rebel or are you part of the oppressive Empire?
END PART ONE
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