Star Wars – The Last Refuge

Luke meditated in the center of a large chamber. His eyes were closed as he listened to the urban sounds of Coruscant seeping through the walls of the darkened room. In his mind he felt the pain and anguish, joy and ecstasy of nearly a trillion beings. And yet, he was alone. Completely and utterly.

Leia and Han were halfway across the galaxy, leading some mission of “diplomacy” against some petty “terrorists.” Threepio was with them. Rogue Squadron was with them. Aggressive negotiations, indeed. Obi-Wan had joined The Force. The remnants of the Alliance were consumed by politics. Or violence. And R2. It was still overwhelming the sense of loss he felt when he thought of the little astromech. And the Wookie, too. The senselessness of that devastating attack troubled him deeply.

Mon Mothma had been two years out of office. She was resigned to giving speeches on helping the poor. Why the need to assassinate her? After the Rebellion was won? After the Republic was strong and vibrant? After someone else was running the government?

Violence. He thought back to the first teachings of Yoda. The venerable Master had once taught him an ancient wisdom, lost in vast emptiness of history: Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. And yet, the lesson seemed little more than words. The Rebellion itself was a testament against that lesson. So what had his Master meant by those words?

Violence. It was the chosen means to the end of the Jedi, the Sith, the Empire, the Rebellion … and now the Republic. The cycle seemed endless. He thought he had broken it. How could he have been so wrong?

There he was. Facing the greatest evil the galaxy had ever known. Poised to strike down the greatest agent of evil, the galaxy had ever known. It would have been so easy. Two Dark Lords for the price of his soul. But he knew the price might have never have brought peace to the galaxy. So he heeded the lessons of the Master. He cast aside the violence. He allowed love, strength and purity of character to be his means. And he won. The dark shroud was lifted from the galaxy. There was a promise of hope and light. And love. Evil was vanquished.

But he forgot about the evil within. Within the heart of every being is a seed. Some grow fair and pure. Some cold and ruthless. Most are some twisted combination of the two — like the beautiful, blood-red flower with thorns. He had forgotten the evil within.

And so his vigilance wavered. The shroud once again began to fall upon the Galaxy. And blinded by the attention and devotion that come with being a savior, consumed with trying to restore the Jedi to prominence, he could not see what was right before his eyes. He did not see the subtle changes in the Republic: the silencing of dissenters; the priorities of profit; the consolidation of power; the random, senseless violence; the exploitation of fear.

But now he knew. He realized the utter hopelessness and guilt that Obi-Wan must have felt. To watch good devoured by evil. To be helpless against the beginning of the end.

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