Sunday, October 19, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 85: Alias Antilles

The survivors of Alderaan were on the run.  Some of them wanted vengeance.  Wedges Antilles could think only of his duty.

As a long-time officer of the space fleet, Wedge was one of the best X-Wing pilots around, but it wasn't his own history of service that he kept alive in this manner.  When he was a boy, he'd heard the same stories as everyone else about the remarkable political career of Bail Antilles, who at one time was on the short-list for Chancellor of the Republic.  Bail Antilles came from a different line of a widespread family, so that there was hardly any direct relation between them.  The truth was, Wedge's surname was originally something else entirely.  He was adopted.

His reasons for admiring Bail Antilles were different from other youths.  Where they saw only the public career of the man, Wedge began extrapolating a secret history of daring.  While he investigated his birth parents, the exploits of the Antilles kept cropping into the picture.  The people of Alderaan generally knew all about what the Organas had done during the Clone Wars and in service of the budding Rebel Alliance, while the Antilles remained under the radar.

Bail Antilles had served as a spy early in his career.  This was the discovery that set Wedge's imagination afire.  His own parents had been spies, too, part of the legendary Bothan network, and that was how they had come to their early deaths.  Bail Antilles worked alongside them, exposing the corruption at the heart of the Galactic Empire, making public knowledge for the first time the existence of the Sith and their significant roles within it.  His whole political career had been a gamble to learn as much about a certain Senator Palpatine from Naboo as he could.  For the rest of his life, he struggled to convince others of the truth.  Only Alderaan did they believe him.

Wedge had a gut-feeling that he wouldn't find his calling in politics, that he would be needed in the fleet some day.  That day came when he met the young Luke Skywalker.  By that time the Jedi, the one-time rivals of the Sith, were all but extinct.  Wedge realized that Skywalker was the last of their kind, and it would be his mission to ensure that the Jedi survive long enough to finally complete the mission of Bail Antilles.

Maybe it was a small role in the grand scheme, but Wedge felt honored to perform it.  In his own way, he was a great hero.

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