Sunday, November 2, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 99: The Sadness

I don't remember my mother well.  She died in childbirth, after all, but I remember the sadness.

The sadness overwhelmed her.  The attending droid said she lost the will to live.  It had come to consume her, and as such as been with her for some time.  The sadness is all I know about her, except for what resides in the public records, which is about as far from personal as you can get.

I know much more about my father, and because of that, I know why my mother was so sad.  You see, Darth Vader was my father.

I could always feel it, as if she had suffused me with it in the womb.  I don't curse her for it, but there were times, when I was younger, when I thought it would consume me, too.  As I grew older, I learned to incorporate the sadness into my life, to channel it, to do what I could, the things I thought would have made my mother...happy.  The public record had much to say about what she believed in, and that shaped my formative interest in the Rebellion, risking everything to strike back at the Empire, even though for all intents and purposes I was just another loyal citizen on one of its many worlds, a prominent one expected to toe the line, give it the support that it in truth badly needed.  I knew how to do that because the whole time, I wished I could have done the same for my mother.  I wish there had been someone in her life who was always there, to give her strength.  That someone should have been my father.  But it wasn't.

I don't know what really happened, but I can imagine.  The last records of my mother relate how she followed Vader to Mustafar.  This journey was in secret, and the records were something buried deeply in the annals of Alderaan, a world that was to become my own but had in those days given a measure of support to my mother.  Not enough, and don't think I don't think about that.

I imagine in these moments that she isn't sad, perhaps for the first time in a long time, but rather angry.  Anger is something she would know intimately, for anger stokes the fire of a Sith Lord, which in the end was what my father became.  The man who should have been the strongest pillar of her life instead corrupted her.  In her final moments, she was no longer strong enough to resist.

Alderaan is a peaceful world, and so was my mother's Naboo, which famously withstood a blockade of the Trade Federation without giving in to violence until circumstances, and a handful of Jedi and an army of Gungans, forced it to act otherwise, as well a Sith, Darth Sidious, who was also responsible for the corruption of her husband, Darth Vader.  She would have become familiar with weapons, during the Clone Wars.  Few could have said otherwise in those dark days, when the entire galaxy tore asunder.  Usually, however, she would never have thought of violence as a solution.

Except this time.  This time she brought with her a weapon, and she trained it on her husband.  Too often in the past she had heard his equivocations, his lies.  She knew now that he was evil.  I've seen hologram that recorded his slaughter of Jedi younglings.  These would have been enough, surely.

She probably never gave him a chance to explain.  Why would she?  She was brave.  She would have shot him more than once, to ensure that the deed was done.  Mustafar is a volcanic world.  Vader burned.  There's no question that he died that day.

Darth Sidious saw to it that something else happened.  He was in possession of dark powers.  He brought Vader back from the dead.

And at the same time, I was being born.  The sadness came back to claim her.  New life was something that she couldn't handle.  It was tied up in too many implications.  She could sense what was happening to Vader.  This was something she couldn't overcome.

I don't blame her at all.  I pity her every day.  I've tried to dedicate my life to her memory.  I've never been able to escape her, or her sadness.

Strangely, I consider this a good thing.

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