Friday, October 31, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 98: The Brother's Son

On a desolate desert world, two brothers become separated at a young age.  Until that point they are inseparable.  One is named Anakin Skywalker and the other becomes known as Darth Vader.

You'll know Anakin's journey well enough, but the one who would be called Vader?

He was torn away from family, and he felt torn away.  He felt rejected.  Every day he felt the burden of what his life was becoming, a tragedy.  Until the day his old life ended, he had believed it was headed in one direction, a happy one, and all of a sudden, it went elsewhere.

He could never explain what happened.

In time, he came to view his brother differently.  He forgot the loving companion of what he would call his innocent days, and came to resent him.  Anakin had every advantage.  Anakin was good with machines.  Anakin had special instincts.  Anakin, in short, excelled.  Everyone noticed Anakin.

Everyone just felt sorry for the one who would be called Vader.

Vader considered himself special, too.  That was the single tormenting thought he held onto.  There would always be moments, when others seemed to notice, but no one acted on it, until Palpatine, until the man who took him under his wing, believed in him.  Corrupted him?  It was too late.  He knew what was happening, and was okay with it.  He couldn't lose his way.  He had already found himself.

He had special abilities, too.  In most respect, they were the same his brother possessed, but like the opposite form.  He could never explain it.  He only hoped one day someone would notice, and so that was all he cared about when Palpatine introduced himself to him.

He became the Sith Lord's apprentice.  It wasn't a demanding life at all.  He observed his brother's Jedi training from a distance, scoffed all the more, hoped one day they would reunite.  He considered that he had finally discovered what he truly was, and hoped his brother would understand.

But Anakin didn't.  As usual, he didn't understand at all.  It led to a tragic encounter, a duel.  Anakin's death.  But Anakin had a son.

This was what changed Vader.  He realized he had another chance.  A shot at redemption?  A chance for someone to see him as something other than what he was?  He no longer saw the difference.  He saw himself as a monster.

Anakin's son thought differently.  It was astonishing.  Vader had no idea how to respond, except to accept what the boy believed.  That Vader was good.  That he deserved the boy's attention.  Not the way he'd gotten Palpatine's.  Not because he was willing to compromise himself.  But because of himself.  And nothing more.

It was a comfortable way to die.

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