A Different Point Of View – Fan Fiction

A Different Point of View

Takes place during Return of the Jedi

****

BREATH. BREATH.

“The Emperor has been expecting you,” he said calmly, though he felt a tingling running down what was left of his spine.

“I know, father,” came the simple reply.

“So, you have accepted the truth,” he continued smiling behind the dark visage.

“I’ve accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father,” Luke said sharper than he intended to.

Anakin Skywalker. Vader let that wash over him momentarily before snapping into the present.

“That name no longer has any meaning for me,” he snapped quickly.

“It is the name of your true self. You’ve only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn’t driven it from you fully. That is why you couldn’t destroy me. That’s why you won’t bring me to your Emperor now,” Luke said turning away.

Forgotton? How could he ever forget? His son couldn’t know the depths of emotion he was stirring up. Is he right? Could I turn away? No…he doesn’t understand.

“I see you have constructed a new lightsaber,” he said instead. Vader ignited the lightsaber and examines the brilliant, humming green-white blade that came between father and son. “Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen.”

For a brief moment, Vader lets a touch of pride wash over him. The pride turns to sadness. Did he really want his son to walk the same path he did. I have no choice!
They stand for a moment, the Vader extinguishes the lightsaber.

“Come with me,” he says trying to pierce Vader’s literal and figurative mask.

Vader’s hand tightened on the lightsaber as he turns away. From the pain. From the anger. From everything that fueled him up until this point. He never allowed himself a moment of doubt. Not since Naboo.
“Obi-Wan once thought as you do,” he said almost wistfully, as did your mother. But that thought went unsaid. A path he couldn’t follow, especially now.

BREATH BREATH.

I want this. I want to leave! Why do I stand here!
Master.

Palpatine would find them both. He would kill them both. Vader was all that stood in his way and if he betrayed his master. His master would surely never let them rest until they were both dead. Is this what he had been fighting for thirty years for? Had he been wrong all this time? Had Obi-wan been right? Had she been right?

No. I refuse to believe that. Luke must be made to understand!
Luke steps close to Vader, then stops. Vader is still for a moment, then sharply turns.

“You don’t know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master!” he says with conviction.

“I will not turn…and you’ll be forced to kill me, Luke said with a suggestion in his voice.

“If that is your destiny,” Vader said emotionlessly.

I will control the anger. I will control the rage.. I don’t want to kill him. Please Luke, listen. Don’t make me destroy you like your mother did.
Luke stepped a bit closer pleading with Vader. “Search your feelings, father. You can’t do this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate!”

Vader felt his shoulders sag.

“It is too late for me, son,” he said. “ The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your master now.”

Vader signaled to some distant stormtroopers. Luke glared at Vader with such pity that for the first time in over twenty-five years, Darth Vader nearly felt his heart.

“Then my father is truly dead.”

Luke was led off by the guards. Darth Vader watched briefly before turning away and leaning over the guard rail, watching the sky very intensely.

I’m sorry Luke…

I’m sorry…

Padme.
BREATH. BREATH.

BREATH BREATH

The elevator door opened and father and son walked into the expansive throne room. Sitting in a throne of a chair almost exactly as he was when Anakin and Obi-wan had “rescued” him from Count Dooku, sat Emperor Palpatine. Paying no attention to the crimson cloaked guards, they glided
across the dark space to stand before the throne, beneath the gaze of the Emperor. Vader bows to his Master.

“Welcome, young Skywalker. I have been expecting you,” he said with a trace of cockiness.

Luke peers at the hooded figure defiantly.

Vader watched with interest as his son and master interacted.

Looking down at Luke’s binders, Palpatine motioned with a hand, “You no longer need those.”

Luke’s binders fall away, clattering to the floor.

Luke looks down at his own hands, free to do whatever he pleases. Vader tightens in anticipation. He knows what he would have done when he was younger.

Luke does nothing.

Vader smiles wryly beneath the dark mask. Already he has matured in the short time between Cloud City and now. He would make a powerful ally.

Palpatine motioned towards the Crimson Guard. “Guarrds, leave us.”

The red-cloaked guards turn and disappear behind the elevator.

“I’m looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call me Master,” Palpatine began.

Vader stiffened. He knew this to be, but it made him angry. But why? Was he angered at the possibility of being replaced? Or was he angered that his son would be subjugated to the fate that was his alone. This was a fine line to walk, but if Vader could succeed with his plan, it would be worth it.

“You’re gravely mistaken. You won’t convert me as you did my father,” Luke stated.

Relaxing, Vader almost imperceptibly shook his head. He was his son alright. So sure of himself.
In a different time and place…

BREATH. BREATH.

The Emperor stood up and seemingly floated down to wher Luke stood. Looking into his eyes Luke can
fully perceive the evil visage within the hood that his father first witnessed so long ago.

“Oh, no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken…about a great many things,” he said with a sneer.

“His lightsaber,” Vader said offering his son’s weapon to his master. He didn’t trust his voice at the moment to say more than that at this moment. A lot of emotions were swirling threatening the rage that had for so long sustained him.

“Ah, yes, a Jedi’s weapon. Much like your father’s. By now you must know your father can never be turned from the dark side. So will it be with you,” Palpatine snapped.

Vader turned towards his son, and back towards his master. His rage began to return, but directed elsewhere.

“You’re wrong. Soon I’ll be dead…and you with me,” Luke said with a trace of a grin.

Oh son, Vader thought. He’s played you all for fools!

Palpatine laughs out loud, “Perhaps you refer to the imminent attack of your Rebel fleet.”

Luke looks up sharply in surprise. Vader looks in almost pity. It was times like this, he was glad for the mask. He could hide his face from the world.

“Yes…I assure you we are quite safe from your friends here,” Palpatine snapped.

“Your overconfidence is your weakness,” Luke states trying desperately to regain the upperhand.

“Your faith in your friends is yours,” Palpatine retorts just as quickly.

“It is pointless to resist, my son,” Vader said slowly. He needed this. He needed Luke to join the dark side but on his terms, not Palpatine. If Luke turned too quickly, he would be lost to Palpatine forever. Vader focused on shielding his thoughts from his master.

The Emperor turned to face Luke.
“Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. Your friends up there on the Sanctuary Moon…are walking into a trap. As is your Rebel fleet!”

Luke reacted to the thought of his friends on Endor. Vader noted this. Could it be that easy? Of course. Luke will join me to save his friends! All too well did Vader know the lure of saving loved ones from falling. Palpatine had continued,
“It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them!”

Luke’s look darts from the Emperor to Vader and, finally, to his lightsaber which sat next to Palpatine’s resting hand.

Vader tensed. Not yet, Luke. You must be fully trained in the dark side to be able to kill him. You will lose if you strike!

“Oh…I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive,” Palpatine said cackling.

Vader began caressing his own lightsaber.

BREATH. BREATH

BREATH BREATH

Through the large spiderwebbed window encircling behind the Emperor’s throne, Palpatine watched with glee at the distant flashes of the space battle in progress. He turned to Luke and with a slight sneer he said, “Come, boy. See for yourself.”

Luke stole a glance at his unmoving father before he looked beyond the withered, yet powerful old man towards his friends.

Vader sat there knowing that Luke would be goaded into attacking Palpatine and fidgeting about how to handle it. He wanted to watch Luke cut Palpatine down, see the old man’s face as he realized that he had not forseen this. Revenge! But he could not. For all the power that Darth Vader had inside, Palpatine had one power that Vader did not have. The power of manipulation. Vader could not turn Luke, even with the bond of father to son. Vader could not turn Padme, could not make her see. Palpatine could turn anyone around with the twist of a word. All he needed was a turning screw.

No, Luke would attack Palpatine and Vader would have to stop him. Only a full-fledged Sith could truly kill Palpatine. He’d have to bide his time.

Vader slowly moved to stand next to his master, hand still straying on his lightsaber.

Luke walked towards a small section of the window.

“From here you will witness the final destruction of the Alliance, and the end of your insignificant Rebellion,” Palpatine spat, and then grinned.

Luke stood in silent torment. He glanced at his lightsaber sitting on the armrest of the throne. The Emperor watches him and smiles, touches the
lightsaber.

“You want this, don’t you? The hate is swelling in you now. Take your Jedi weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to
your anger. With each passing moment, you make yourself more my servant.”

Vader watches Luke, as they both are in separate agonies.

Luke takes a deep breath before facing up to the Emperor.

“No!”

Palpatine looks slyly upon him.
“It is unavoidable. It is your destiny. You, like your father, are now mine!”

Vader bristled almost imperceptibly at his master’s taunt.

BREATH BREATH.

The Emperor, Vader, and Luke watched the aerial battle fireworks out the window and on the viewscreens, with differing emotions. Luke was horrified and felt a need to help anyway he could, Palpatine was grinning ear to ear with nothing to fear, and Vader watched with none whatsoever. Another Rebel ship exploded against the protective shield, sending another of Luke’s friends into the emptiness of space.

“As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed.”

Vader paused for a second, confused before realizing that Palpatine was talkign to Luke. This angered Vader. The one thing he had left, was being Palpatine’s apprentice. Now Palpatine himself was throwing him away!

“Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!” He flipped a switch on his chair, “Fire at will, Commander.”

Luke, in shock, rushes to look across the surface of the Death Star to the Rebel fleet beyond.
Out of the window and on the view screens, the Rebel fleet is being decimated in blinding explosions of light and debris. But in here there is no sound of of the death and destruction. The Emperor turns to Luke.

“Your fleet has lost. And your friends on the Endor moon will not survive. There is no escape, my young apprentice. The Alliance will die…as will your friends,” he finished slowly, throwing a quick, knowing glance at Vader.

Luke’s eyes are full of rage. Vader watches him intently and thinks he is looking into a mirror. The thought makes him proud and scares him to death at the same time.

“Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon! Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the dark
side will be complete!” Palpatine intensely spits out towards Luke.

NO! Vader has heard this speech before before making the decision! The decision that led them all here to this moment.

But Luke, like Anakin before him, can resist no longer. His lightsaber flies up from the throne and leaps into his hand. He ignites it in an instant and swings at the Emperor.

Anakin won’t let Luke’s saber hit it’s mark. He ignites Vader’s saber and blocks it before it can reach the Emperor. The two blades spark at contact. Luke turns to face his father again.

You must defeat me son. I must fall. It is the only way to save you

But Anakin wouldn’t fight his son.

Darth Vader would.

BREATH. BREATH.

BREATH. BREATH.

Green and Red are engaged in a test of wills.

He is more polished then he was in Cloud City. Vader thought, but ultimately, still a kid. He has the power of the Jedi, but lacks the refinement to be a true master of the lightsaber.

Vader toyed with Luke for a moment until Luke presses a flaw in Vader’s style that his lackadaiscal approach had offered. Luke steps in and presses Vader back, losing his balance, near the steps and Luke takes this moment to send a kick to his chestplate. Surprised, Vader flips down the stairs and quickly regains his footing.

Luke stands at the top of the stairs, as if deciding whether he should press this advantage or not. Before he can, Palpatine stands.

“Good. Use your aggressive feelings, boy! Let the hate flow through you,” he intones.

Luke looks momentarily toward the Emperor, then back to Vader, and realizes he is touching the dark side.

Vader stands unnerved. He has heard this very speech before, almost word for word. A small part of him is rooting for Luke to fight back. He snarls at this disembodied voice until it is consumed by his anger. He simply needs Luke dark so they can rule the galaxy as father and son! Nothing more. Nothing less.

Luke steps back and turns off his lightsaber. He relaxes visibly to Palpatine’s disappointment, and Vader’s concern.

“Obi-Wan has taught you well,” Vader says slowly hoping mentioning both their former master might re-spark his rage.

“I will not fight you, father,” Luke says.

Vader walks back up the stairs to Luke. You will son. You must.

“You are unwise to lower your defenses.” Vader attacks with a flourish and Luke is forced to re-ignite his saber to defend from his father’s fury.
Luke has never seen Vader in full strength before. He still hadn’t.

Despite the increased intensity, Vader still was only toying with Luke. At anytime Vader could end this conflict. Luke simply wasn’t in his league yet. This wasn’t a surprise, he hadn’t had the time to truly develop fully.

The young Jedi leaps in an amazing reverse flip up to the safety of the catwalk overhead. Vader
stands below him, looking up in appraisal.

Good, son. Better than I gave you credit for

“Your thoughts betray you, father. I feel the good in you…the conflict,” Luke said intently.

Vader was shocked. What? “There is no conflict,” was all he could say.

“You couldn’t bring yourself to kill me before, and I don’t believe you’ll destroy me now,” Luke said slightly hesitantly.

Vader shook his head. You still don’t understand. I must make you.
“You underestimate the power of the dark side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny!”

Vader arced his lightsaber towards his son and let go. The saber flew threw the air and nearly cut Luke in half, before slicing through the support beams of the catwalk. The catwalk tumbled off balance, unceremoniously dumping Luke to the ground in a shower of sparks and flickers. He rolls out fo sight underneath Palpatine’s platform. Vader uses the Force to retrieve his lightsaber and moves to find him.

“Good. Good!” the Emperor laughs.

Vader stalked the low-ceilinged area on the level below the throne, searching for Luke in the semi-darkness, his lightsaber held ready. Luke hid from view. Vader began to grow impatient.

“You cannot hide forever, Luke.” he said sharply.

“I will not fight you,” Luke said piously.

Vader felt the need, out of Palpatine’s sight to try again to gain Luke’s loyalty using the only manipulation he knew…because it was used on him…

“Give yourself to the dark side. It is the only way you can save your friends,” Vader said searching to pinpoint his son. There are his friends. Almost as strong as my love for…FOCUS

“Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong.” Wait…what is this?

“Especially for…”

Vader stops and senses something. Luke shuts his eyes tightly, in anguish.

No! Vader thinks in complete shock.

“Sister! So…you have a twin sister!” A sister? But how? I mean…who…What. FOCUS!
“Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan
was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete,” he snarled rekindling anger for Obi-wan. Then suddenly he held the key in his hand. Fear of loss to death is NOT Luke’s weakness…Fear of something else entirely…Becoming… Vader thought hard. Becoming…

Me?

This shook him momentarily. The Dark Side is worse than Death…FOCUS!

Vader was starting to wonder whether the focus of rage really came from him or his master…Either way, he knew how to turn Luke. Forgive me Luke

“If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will,” he intoned almost lustfully.

Luke screamed almost inhumanly, “Never-r-r!” and ignited his lightsaber.

With screams of anger, he rushed from his hiding spot and attacked his father with a frenzy we have not seen before. Sparks fly as Luke and Vader
fight in the cramped area. Luke’s hatred forces Vader to retreat out of the low area.

His anger has made him powerful. I can end this now and stop it all. Stop him from turning. But…I need him. I can’t let go of him. He has already left himself open more times than the entire first battle! I can kill him now!

But Vader doesn’t. He simply blocks each blow and moves defensively across the room, letting his son slip further and further into the dark side. They cross a bridge overlooking a vast elevator shaft.

Now is the time. I must fall. His turn will be complete. Then together we can destroy Palpatine!

Vader was counting on Luke not to kill him entirely. Counting on Luke to realize he needed help deposing the Emperor.

Vader raised his arm, ducked under one blow and dropped to one knee. Watching Luke’s face he blocked one blow, blocked a second, and finally relented, letting Luke knock the saber out of the way.

Then he sacrifices a hand he already sacrificed a long time ago.

In a shower of sparks, Vader’s mechanical hand and lightsaber tumbled over the edge into the chasm below.

Luke held his green blade at Vader’s chest plate.

“Good! Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny and take your father’s place at my side!” Palpatine forcefully spoke.

Vader looked at Palpatine with a mixture of abandonment, and anger.

Luke, don’t. You need me.

Luke glanced at his father’s mechanical hand, then to his own mechanical, black-gloved hand, and realizes how close he is to his fears. He took a deep breath.

He then made the decision for which he has spent a lifetime in preparation. The decision, Anakin never made. Luke steps back and hurls his lightsaber away.

“Never! I’ll never turn to the dark side. You’ve failed, Your Highness.”

Luke had spared him…but not for the reasons Vader thought he would. Vader was in awe. What is this?

“I am a Jedi,like my father before me.”

A single ghost of a tear rolled down Anakin’s charred face as Vader gasped for breath from his damaged machinery.

The Emperor’s glee turned almost immediately into rage.

“So be it…Jedi.”

Luke stands still, as the Emperor reaches the bottom of the stairs. The Emperor’s laughter has turned to anger. His vision has turned to stone. His benevolence has turned to hatred. He raises his arms toward Luke.

“If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed,” he snarls sending, blinding bolts of evil lightning from the his hands towards Luke.

The young Jedi tries to use the Force to deflect them. At first he is half successful, but after a
moment the bolts of energy are coming with such speed and power the young Jedi shrinks before them, his knees buckling. He doesn’t have the power to stop the onslaught. He falls.

The wounded Vader struggles to his feet, and moves slowly to stand at his master’s side again overawed by the simple power of the dark side.

“Young fool…only now, at the end, do you understand,” Palpatine says simply without fear or trepidation. Luke is almost unconscious beneath the continuing assault of the Emperor’s lightning. He clutches a canister to keep from falling into
the bottomless shaft as the bolts tear through him.

Vader watches, his insides screaming from a mixture of rage, pain, suffering, and something he had long forgotton.

“Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side. You have paid the price for
your lack of vision!” Palpatine spat increasing the intensity of the blasts, enjoying the young Jedi’s pain.

Luke writhes on the floor in unbearable pain, reaching weakly up toward where Vader stands watching.

“Father, please. Help me.”

BREATH BREATH

Vader does not reply. He simply watches. He is unable to act. He is paralyzed by the moment. Much as he was so long ago.

Son. I failed you. Just as I failed Obi-wan, Master Yoda and Master Windu…

BREATH BREATH
He looks at his master then back to Luke on the floor.

Like I failed my mother. I have always failed. Like I failed YOUR mother…

BREATH BREATH
“Now, young Skywalker…you will die.”

Luke’s body writhes in pain as his screaming grows even more and more animalistic.

Vader is suddenly transported to scenes from his distant past as he trades glances towards his master and his son.

Scenes like his first time in the Jedi Council, his first meeting with Obi-wan, his first meeting with Padme, his first meeting with Palpatine. He remembers long nights on Naboo and Coruscant, He remembers the Clone Wars, he remembers killing Dooku. He then remembers palpatine turning in a scene which is a carbon copy. Palpatine shooting lightning at Mace Windu who is in this position because of HIS failure to act.

BREATH BREATH

ANother glance at his master and at his son.

BREATH BREATH
He thinks back to her. Padme. He remembers why he first fell in love with her that went beyond her beauty. Her selflessness, her willingness to give all without reward…what he once was. What he wanted to be but couldn’t! That was what turned Anakin into the monster he had become! Not the Jedi! Not even Palpatine! That would give him too much power!

Anakin turned to the dark side, because he simply was too selfish to give up what wasn’t truly his in the first place. There is only ONE thing that is his to give.

His life.

He didn’t do it before…not even for the love of his life.

But it wasn’t too late for his son.

Looking one last time at his dying son, Anakin snapped and finally was able to defeat the cancer that Darth Vader had been on his soul.

Like his son after him…and in turn before him, he was a Jedi again…

Return of the Jedi.

Anakin turned to Palpatine and saw him for the first time, an evil old man, who’s only goal in life was to selfishly control the Force in its entirety. The very thing Anakin was created to destroy.

Anakin chose compassion and selflessness. Anakin chose to be what he was born to be.

The Chosen One struck.

Lunging at his former master, Anakin grabbed the powerful Force user from behind and lifted him over his head.

Palpatine, in complete shock, takes a moment to realize what is going on, and he turns the most strongly charged lightning bolts he has ever unleashed upon his former apprentice.

Anakin buckled underneath the attack, white sparks cascading around his black helmet and cape, almost making them look lighter, but using the his resolve he staggered to the edge and launched Palpatine down into the reactor core at the bottom of the abyss.

Out of control, the body explodes into a fury of Dark Side Power.

It causes a vacuum that nearly sucks Anakin into the void, but he is able to hold onto a nearby structure before falling to his knees. Crawling over, Luke is able to help the old jedi master maintain his balance.

Anakin looks up with great pride in Luke. Luke begans helping him up as the two can feel the rebels inside the fortress. This Death Star would soon meet the fate of its predecessor.

Neither spoke during their journey as they saved their strength for moving until finally Anakin can walk no further and Luke collapses under his father’s weight.

“Luke, help me take this mask off,” Anakin whispered to his son.

“But you’ll die,” Luke said in alarm.

“Nothing can stop that now. Just for once… let me look on you with my own eyes,” Anakin pleaded truthfuly.

I need something real again, he thought but that went unsaid.

Luke finds the workings of the helmet, and a hiss of releasing air accompanies the removal of the dark mask.

Anakin looks on Luke and sees his wife. He smiles for a moment before the weakness begins to overcome him.

“Now…go, my son. Leave me,” he says weakly.

“No. You’re coming with me. I can’t leave you here. I’ve got to save you,” Luke says quickly with intensity.

With a focus, Anakin makes sure Luke hears his next thought, “You already have, Luke. You were right about me. Tell your sister…you were right.”

Anakin thought of Luke and his sister…It’s Leia. He knew. He should have known years ago. Too much of her mother in her, he thought with a smile.

“Father…I won’t leave you,” Luke says grabbing at straws.

Anakin, knew Luke would eventually understood as he did now.

The Chosen One rejoined the Force.

Opening his eyes, he saw a bluish white light that seemed to emanate from nowhere but everywhere at the same time. Shaking his head he looked around.

and then he saw.

Obi-wan.

Anakin walked, for lack of a better word, to his former master. he had so much he wanted to say.

He began to sob uncontrollably.

He looked at his former master.

Obi-wan smiled at him and shook his head. Nothing needed to be said.

“Welcome home, brother. Welcome home.”

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