Saturday, February 12, 2011

Star Child

It takes a little getting used to. He knows me as "Old Ben." Until I came to this desert planet, I'd never really thought of myself as old. I suppose if I hadn't initiated into the Jedi program at such a young age, I probably would have had a lot of people telling me I had an old spirit. But I think I aged twenty more years than I actually did, watching over Luke. He's always getting into trouble. And those foster parents of his, they're constantly denying him everything. I sometimes pray for guidance, for wisdom. I think in those moments, Yoda definitely hears me. I wonder what he's up to every now and then, but I suppose, holed up somewhere, off in his own little world, more literally than he's been able to say for hundreds of years. I often wonder what he was like as a child.

The more I've watched Luke grow, the more I've reflected on a lot of things. I try to shield myself from the outside world as much as possible. I know that's no longer my problem. I know full well that the Empire dominates, that there hasn't been a glimmer of democracy for what probably seems to everyone else far longer than I've felt older. I wonder how things could have played out differently. I sometimes want to ask Qwi-Gon personally, but he's always so distant, whenever he chooses to appear. He's a far more pure Jedi dead than he ever was alive.

I want to ask him, all the same, what kept him from fulfilling his potential. I think it was the same kind of poison that kept the rumors of the prophecy alive for so long, that started all of this in the first place. He was lost, and there was no one to guide him. As wise as Yoda is, he cut himself off far too much from the rest of the Council, when there was a Council, never able to trust anyone, beyond Master Windu, perhaps. It was all about trust. They refused to treat Anakin the way he deserved, because they didn't trust him. Then again, I'm not sure Qwi-Gon did, either.

Or maybe it was that he trusted his fellow Jedi too much. I sit here and watch Luke, and can't help but wonder what might have been if Qwi-Gon had trusted himself a little more, if he would have taken Anakin under his wing, defied the Council in the most complete way he ever could, and stayed here, all those years ago. Just stayed here and watched over Anakin as I watch over Luke. That boy would have known what it was to grow up, untainted by the Jedi.

I say it like that because more and more, I think the Jedi themselves were cursed. The more I reflect on the prophecy, about how Yoda's hope seems to lie in Luke, that we hadn't all fallen into the trap of some ancient prediction, just as Palpatine did. I prefer never to think of the Emperor. His only real strength is in those he is able to manipulate. Including Anakin. I think he knew from the start, perhaps out of some Sith sense, what he could do with that boy, the moment he first saw him. Would Palpatine have been dangerous without Anakin? He was still the immortal Sith Lord. He would have swayed more Jedi to his cause, one by one, each as disposable as the last, and would have fallen to us, or found some other way to discredit our cause.

If only Qwi-Gon had trusted himself...I pray that I am stronger than him. I don't often feel that I am. I watch Luke grow and I wonder, constantly, if ther's more I can do. I try to support him as best I can, but to him, I'm just..."Old Ben." I wish I could be more.

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