Disclaimer: I own them not. Get rich I did not. Give them back when done I will... maybe.

Ruminations of a Jedi in Exile

by Linda Bindner

A/N: A very BIG thanks to yeahsuryourbetcha1971 for such a great beta.

Day 1

My name is Luke Skywalker. Some call me Jedi Skywalker. Some still call me Commander Skywalker. Some would like to call me dead.

Isn't that dramatic? Though this is inarguably a time for dramatics. I guess what it really means is I'm a Jedi in exile, for how long, who knows. Why? Because of my nephew Ben Solo and the one who calls himself Supreme Leader Snoke. The minute they started gaining power is when I knew it would be better for everyone if I just disappeared for a while, especially if I want to be alive to help at some time in the future. I don't know yet what I should do to stop them, but I'll come up with something - I think.

Right now, they want me to either join them or die myself - how typical. They're on some wild spree, terrorizing the galaxy, and I'm here. They claim they're liberating the galaxy, but their kind of liberation leaves more innocent people dead than liberated.

I'm here on some island on some planet in some system that I don't know the name of. There's no way for anyone to find me except a map made by my old Astromech Droid R2D2. I told Artoo to choose someplace that's out-of-the-way that might be safe for me, and to make a map to this place, but not to tell me anything about it. Then he broke the map into parts and sent those parts to lots of different people. He even erased one part from his databank so if he's ever captured, he can't tell anybody where I am, even if his databank is somehow downloaded. Then I told him to program a Nav computer drive and give it to Han so that he could take me to this place, but to tell neither of us where here is. Afterwards, he powered down in a perpetual energy saving mode until I return - if I ever do.

Of course, there is the possibility that my enemies will someday find every piece of that map, and show up here to annihilate me. But the opposite is also just as possible. Actually, neither one is very likely at all, so I feel pretty safe here. Yep, that's me, safe and alone.

This is a record of my stay here, and of the Jedi way (as much as I know of it, anyway), in case everything goes completely wrong, and I die. If that happens, the Jedi knowledge will not die with me as long as I record all the instructions. If the Force is with me, no one will find me on this rock.

This is one of those times when I ask myself do I really want the Force to be with me?

Day 2

I spent most of the last several days jumping from system to system in hope that no one will be able to follow such a convoluted path through space to this out-of-the-way planet. Only the fact that I've seen the need for this exile coming for a long time enabled me to get away at all. If I hadn't had so many supplies already smuggled to this island, the fact that I managed to get here wouldn't make much of a difference. I don't know the first thing about wilderness survival. I suppose I would learn, and I'll eventually have to learn anyway, but now I've got the time I need in order to do it. I know that my supplies won't last forever, and I can't rely on the Force to show me how to survive. The Force doesn't work like that, anyhow. It's great for showing me how everything in the galaxy is interconnected, or for showing Force auras, and for protecting myself... and for influencing others... and for a million other things... but really, basic survival isn't one of those things.

I do truly regret not being able to take my students with me. I saw that The Girl was taken to a place that Ben isn't likely to find. I hated to leave her alone like that, but what else could I do? If Snoke gets his hands on her (does he even have hands?) it would be very bad. It's bad enough that he has Ben.

I knew there was something odd about that boy from the first time I held him the day after he was born. His Force aura seemed jagged, torn somehow, and the sense of frustrated anger that poured off him, even at such a young age, is one of the few things that has truly frightened me.

Of course, I couldn't tell Leia any of this. She's my sister! How could I tell her that our father's malignancy - his bloodlust, his anger, fear, evil, aggression (in short, his call to the Dark Side) all lives on in her son? The most I could ever do is protect him from those who will want to use him and his power for their own gain.

And we all know how well that went.

Nothing I did was even close to being enough.

After Snoke rose to power, I knew there was no hope for Ben. Snoke would get to him, then do his best to kill me and get rid of any who hoped to oppose him. I'm sure I can handle Ben, and even Snoke, but I'm not sure at all about handling the two of them together. And as Snoke got to Ben first, manipulating him, telling him what he wants to hear, it was only a matter of time for Ben. It was then that I had Artoo start getting this island ready for me, and when I moved The Girl. But I couldn't move the rest of my students. Ali, Bambo, Greyson, Big Ali, Thefta-ka, Rey, Analise... I left them with the best instructions I could think of on how to save themselves, but for all I know, they're dead now. I warned them to get away and to help others as much as they could. They insisted on creating a distraction so that I could slip away in order to better plan and prepare, but if we all left at once, it would look suspicious.

Now, innocent people are going to die, and I can't do a thing to help them without getting killed myself. I probably shouldn't even have had Artoo make that map leading to here, but I couldn't stand the idea of disappearing without a trace. If I did, then there wouldn't be any hope for Leia.

But I guess that's what I've done, isn't it? There's a distinct possibility that I'll never see her again.

In spite of that map, I feel so empty now.

I wonder... is this how Master Yoda felt when he had to go to Dagobah?

Day 10

I have a sort of shelter set up in the cave. I thought I had Han smuggle a lot of stuff here for me, but it looks like I don't have much of anything. There's no radio for contacting anyone outside, no computer, no kind of a Net link, no droids, no X-wing, no shuttle, no companionship. Master Yoda would have said: A Jedi needs not these things! But I would do anything for just one chunk of ganra chocolate right now. I didn't realize how addicted I was to that stuff, but I wouldn't let Han bring any. I wouldn't even bring a recorder. That's why I'm keeping this record the old fashioned way, by writing it. I even had to leave Artoo behind. But if I brought him, I would have needed a charging unit (the same goes for the recorder), and there just wasn't room... or time to get one.

I've never run away before. I prefer facing my problems more than running. But if something happened to me...

I only hope some of my students managed to get away.

Some Jedi I am. More like a jerk who lies to his sister about the fact that I couldn't save her son.

Day 20

I owe Han more than I can ever repay. It's because of his help and his promise to keep my secret that I'm even here. It's ironic that one of the people we're fighting is his and Leia's son. My nephew. All because Snoke tells him what he wants to hear.

Is this how it happened with my father? Was it simply a matter of Emperor Palpatine telling him what he wanted to hear when he needed to hear it? Is that what led to the fight between Father and Obi-Wan? I've always wondered, but any record about the feud between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi that led Father to becoming Darth Vader was destroyed. That's why I'm keeping this record now; you can't destroy paper with the push of a button. And also so I don't go crazy with all this talking to myself. How did Master Yoda stand all the silence? But who do I have to talk to besides myself? Nobody else is here except the birds, and they're not very good conversationalists.

Up till now, I always thought I preferred to be alone, that I was good at it, that it was the Jedi way.

But nothing prepared me for this. There is nothing to hear but the ocean waves crashing on the rocks, the cries of birds, the scurry of rodents. I don't even have a lightsaber to practice with to take up some of the time. I've never felt so helpless.

Or bored.

I hope I did the right thing.

Day 29

Why am I bothering to keep this record? Nobody is ever going to read it. Nobody bothers with learning how to read anymore, anyway. The only reason I learned to read was so I could read the Ancient Accounts of the Jedi as I found them. Those accounts describe everything (how to use a lightsaber, how to manipulate the Force, how to move things like rocks with your mind, how to use your voice to its best advantage) I wanted to be sure that I could read them.

Not that knowing how to channel the Force to move a rock does me any good now. Rocks won't stop Snoke - or Ben.

All there is to do here is stare at the ocean and think about all the things I've done wrong in my life.

Day 30

I sat so long under a tree, missing ganra chocolate, that I fell asleep in the sun and got sunburned.

That was when I remembered that I forget to bring any burn cream.

I may be a Jedi, but sometimes I can be such an idiot.

And my right hand itches... the one that Vader cut off all those years ago. How can it itch if it's not even there to begin with?

Day 40

Again, I have to wonder why I'm keeping this record? No one will read it. No one can read.

No, I take that back. Han can read. He's the one who taught me.

Chewie can read. He's the one who taught Han.

I taught Rey, because she was interested in learning. She's always interested in learning, about everything. She can speak more languages already than I can, and I'm more than three times her age.

But instead of teaching Rey to read, I clearly should have been instructing Ben on how to oppose the Dark Side of the Force. Why do I always waste my time like that when there are more important things to do? It's not like I have all the time in the galaxy to accomplish all the things that I have to do. I'll die someday. Even Master Yoda died. True, he was over 900 years old, but still...

I wonder what Leia's doing right now.

Huh! Cursing out her brother, no doubt.

Day 60

I've got to stop feeling like this. Things aren't so bad. I'm alive, I have food to eat (even if it's not ganra chocolate), and Han was here for a visit just yesterday.

Han came in a shuttle that he won from someone in a bet over something I don't want to know about. It was smart of him not to come in The Falcon. It's too easily recognized. He didn't even tell Chewie where he was going. He just plugged the drive into the shuttle's Nav computer, and the next thing he knew, here he was. Neither of us know where here is, though, which is good, so if he's ever tortured about where I am, he can't tell anybody anything.

But then, I can't get off this rock to come rescue him, either. Maybe this wasn't such a perfect plan for us to use?

It's too late to second guess ourselves now. Besides, I was really glad to see Han. I hadn't realized how much I miss him until I saw him.

He says that Leia's good, busy with organizing the resistance to Snoke. But organizing rebellions is what she's good at. By now, she's organized so many rebellions that she must know exactly what to do.

Ben is still with Snoke. He's head of the Knights of Ren now and calls himself Kylo Ren, maiming and killing and causing havoc, all in Snoke's name. Han begged me to come back and stop him. But if I did, someone else will just take his place, and I would be fighting until someone kills me. What good would I be if I were dead? There would be no one left to restore balance to the Force. That's why I had to tell him no, though it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do... except coming here... except dealing with Palpatine... except fighting my own father... except training to be a Jedi (I still have damp underwear).

But I had to say no. I don't see how I have a choice. It's kind of like how Ben Kenobi hid me on Tatooine until it was the right time to move against Vader so that he had the best chance of dealing with him. Isn't that how all this began?

Snoke reminds me of the Emperor. He isn't quite as good at manipulating people, though he's just as ambitious. Why do the really ambitious people always want to rule the galaxy, and be so evil about doing it? They always seem to be Force sensitive, too, and that makes them ultra powerful, and hard to depose. I guess I'm lucky that I'm not ambitious, or Snoke could be me.

Except that I wanted to be a Jedi.

In hindsight, I should have stayed on the farm on Tatooine.

Day 65

Ever since Han left, I've felt so guilty. And I know that a Jedi shouldn't feel guilty, or feel any strong emotion, negative or positive, but I can't help myself.

The Girl is a decoy. In fact, there is no Girl.

Well, yes, there is a girl, but not the one that I've been referring to. I've kept this girl as hidden as I possibly could so that no one would ever think that she's one of the Focal Points of the Force. I hope that hiding her in plain sight was the right thing to do. I also hope that she's okay, that Han somehow got her where she needed to go, that she'll never know about any of this until it's the right time, that I'm up to training her in the ways of the Force when that time comes.

The girl who's important is Rey.

I feel bad that she's so important, even if it's the Force that says she's a Focal Point. I know it isn't easy being a Focal Point. I've always been one, too ('Luke, you're our last hope' - does that sound familiar? Ben Kenobi had no idea how much pressure he was putting on me when he said that). I feel like I've ruined her life.

But it wasn't really up to me, was it? The Force chooses whoever it wants for its Focal Points. And since I'm the only Jedi Knight in the galaxy, It's up to me to train her, to make sure that she stays with the Light side of the Force.

Though I don't think that particular aspect is going to be a very hard job. There isn't a Dark bone in her body.

Is this anxiety the way that Palpatine felt about Anakin? How Obi-Wan's master felt about him? How Ben Kenobi felt about me? I know what it's like to be humanity's last, best hope, and it's not much fun!

At the same time, I've never met anyone else who has so much natural ability in the Force. It's almost like Rey knows what to do before I teach her how to do it. I wish I'd been like that. I don't feel like I'm much of a master to her.

I wonder why Han is lying to me about Leia? Things are as bad between them as they ever have been. His Force aura is practically screaming about it. Why does he think that he shouldn't tell me? I wish I could help them, but this is something they'll have to work out on their own. I know that.

But still, I worry. Han's my best friend. Leia's my sister. I care what happens to them, whether they think so or not.

Is it because of the way I was with Ben? Because of Ben's fall to the Dark side? Because of something else I did? Or something that's not about me at all?

I need to talk to Chewie. He'll know. I wonder how I'm going to do that?

Day 120

I didn't talk to Chewie. I didn't have to. It's all over the Force, little broken rips and tears everywhere. I can hear Leia crying all the time, but I don't dare respond. If I can hear her through the Force, so can Snoke. Then he would hear me communicating with her, come find me, and then... I don't know.

If he sent Ben here, Ben would try to kill me. To stop him, I would have no choice but to kill Ben instead. I don't need a lightsaber to do it, either. Knowing that doesn't please me.

I doubt that either Leia or Han would ever forgive me if that's what happened. I don't know if I would ever forgive myself.

So I listen to Leia cry, and I don't do anything.

Han's not much better. He doesn't cry all the time, and I couldn't hear him if he did since he's not Force sensitive, but I can see how unhappy he is. His pain is written all over his Force aura. I have to wonder why it is they're doing this to each other? I know they love each other, but that obviously isn't enough.

Day 150

I've been thinking about lightsabers a lot lately, specifically about what color the blade is for each different saber. The first one I made was green. I loved that lightsaber. It was almost alive, like it was a part of my hand. It seemed like it responded to just my thoughts.

Then I had the purple one, then the yellow one. Neither was as good as that green one, but they did what they were designed to do.

Then came the gold one. Or was the dark blue one next? I don't remember anymore. I've had a lot of lightsabers.

One would think that a good Jedi wouldn't need so many different lightsabers. Maybe I'm not such a good Jedi.

Or maybe having a lot of lightsabers is just part of being a Jedi. It means that I use my lightsaber a lot in defending the innocent. I've even had a red lightsaber.

It seems silly now how lightsaber color is supposed to be linked with one side of the Force or the other. But in a way, that makes sense. Vader used a red saber as long as I knew him. Did he find that color particularly useful for some reason? I've never known one color to be better than any other. I think that he used red sabers just because he liked how intimidating they look. I know his red sabers were enough to scare me!

My red saber didn't stir up longings to join the Dark side, though. It just looked intimidating when I waved it around, so I waved it around a lot, and probably scared plenty of people with it. That's just what it should have done. If it scared them enough to make them run away, then I didn't have to fight them. I always know going into a fight that I might have to kill someone, and I really don't want to kill anyone! I always leave that as a last resort.

It's amazing how often someone tries to kill me, though. It seems like every evil doer in the galaxy wants to make a name for himself by being known as the person who killed 'the Jedi.' But why? Being mean enough to kill someone isn't a reputation I would want.

I guess that's the difference between me and people like Snoke.

Does that mean that Ben actually wants to kill people? No wonder Leia cries!

Day 164

I can't stand it anymore. I feel like such a fraud.

The last time I saw him before he died, Master Yoda told me that I wouldn't be a Jedi until I defeated Darth Vader. 'Only then a Jedi will you be.'

So, cocky little me went off to the second Death Star where I had it out with Vader and the Emperor. I somehow managed to avoid completely falling to the Dark Side, and came out with my skin intact. But it wasn't before doing what I still consider the cruelest thing I've ever done - I got so angry at Vader when he said that if he couldn't turn me, then he'd turn Leia to the Dark Side that I channeled the darkness within myself in order to overcome him - and I think did it on purpose. I've never been quite sure of just what went on during those moments. It's like I can remember them, but I was dreaming at the time, so my memories are foggy. It was fortunate that I woke up enough to stop myself before I did any real damage to Vader - and to myself. Later, I realized that I had sort of lost sight of trying to find the Good in Vader when he mentioned going after Leia. I decided that it was Anakin who overcame the darkness in Vader, not me, and it was Anakin who killed the Emperor. I barely got out alive.

But ever since that day, I've called myself a Jedi. Not that I was doing it with evil intentions in mind, but, really, who was going to contradict me? Palpatine was dead, Vader/Father was dead, and the only other person who knew about that whole 'defeat Vader' thing was Yoda, and he was also dead. The only one alive was me, Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight.

Except I never defeated Darth Vader. I cut off his hand, and he lost his lightsaber with it, and he was wheezing and near death. But he wasn't finished. Palpatine was torturing me, and I had to appeal to any Good left in Father to save me. He was the one who killed the Emperor. How could something like that end with me being a Jedi Knight? But no one knows what really happened on that Death Star except me, and I've never told anybody the full story, not even Leia.

Truth is, I'm no Jedi. I was almost a Jedi. But in the end, it was Anakin who was the true Jedi, not me.

So now, the secret is out.

Now, will people please stop trying to kill me? I'm not important enough to kill. I'm not important enough to even sneeze at. I'm just Wampa food, Bantha fodder, Falcon grease. But no Jedi.

Day 170

I had the strangest dream last night. I had this long conversation with Master Yoda. But when I woke up, I couldn't remember any of it. I know it was about the Force, but Yoda was always talking about the Force, so that wasn't anything unusual.

But I also remembered something that happened years ago, when Yoda was still alive. The last time I talked to him, I've always thought he'd said that I had to defeat Darth Vader in order to become a Jedi. I just talked about that last time in this journal, and that I wasn't a Jedi and never had been. I've been so depressed about it ever since.

But that isn't what he said. He said that I had to confront Vader in order to become a Jedi. There was never anything about defeating him.

Well, I certainly confronted him! In fact, I did it so well that I sliced off his hand, though like I told you, I didn't kill him. And then I did something that I've never been sure was a the right thing to do or not. I tossed away my lightsaber and told the Emperor that he had failed in his grand scheme to turn me to the Dark side. That sure made the Emperor angry! He didn't like being called a failure. So he tortured me until Vader killed him. Then Vader died, I escaped with his body, and I've called myself a Jedi ever since. But I thought I wasn't one. Turns out I am.

This is such a relief! And to think, if I hadn't come here and had the time to think about this, I might never have remembered that part about confronting instead of defeating. I'm not a fraud, I just have a rotten memory.

Thank the Force!

Day 200

The ocean crashes, the birds call, the insects buzz, and the moss grows on the stairway to the top of the island where I spend a lot of my time. Most people would see this as a lonely way to live, I know. But I'm not lonely. I'm not even bored now.

The Force amazes me! It's so powerful. I've only ever been using about half of it. I was just being too loud to know what it can really do.

It's ironic that I've always thought of myself as a quiet individual. But I had to come someplace that's even quieter in order to hear It.

'Hear' isn't the right word. It's just the only word I can think of. Maybe what I'm talking about is the link that's between things in the Force more so than hearing the Force. It's not like the Force is actually saying something, anyway.

Well, yes, it is. It's saying that everything is so tightly connected that it's impossible to break that connection. Any Force sensitive can bend that link, but they can't completely sever it. Even if a lightsaber cuts off your arm (or hand), it's just altering what is the best order of things, making room for the second best. It's not ruined, just different. Rearranged.

I feel rearranged, too. Not just because of my hand, but because of finally knowing for sure that I'm a Jedi. Now I know that I'm not lying when I say that I'm a Jedi like my father before me. I can't even begin to express how great that makes me feel.

Day 330

I've been here for one Tatooine year (I've lived on so many planets by now that I can't keep track of all the ways that the inhabitants mark time. Sticking to Tatooine-time just makes things easier).

But I'm not thinking about how long I've been here. I'm thinking about my right hand, the one that's been amputated so many times. It's happened so often that it's become something of a joke among my students over the years. The first thing they always ask about when I come back from a mission is if I'm sure my hand is still there and if it's all right. Then we all laugh, even if it's most definitely not all right. One time we laughed so hard that the medical droid couldn't attach the nerve endings properly to my wrist because I kept jerking. It had to ask everyone to leave.

The first three times my hand was severed, I was vain enough to want to graft skin onto the metal of the prosthetic so that it would look like everyone else's hand. Looking normal was the point, wasn't it? Leia once told me that seeing someone as prominent as I was with a metal hand made people uncomfortable. It's a subtle reminder of who my father was, and because of it, of what I can do. It made me appear more powerful, but also more willing to do bad things to people.

I don't know if I agree with her. I think that I was just vain. Now I think that all that skin grafting was just a waste of time. I'm not as worried about appearance as I was when I was younger. As I got older, it just made sense that I was probably going to lose that hand again sometime, anyway, so why waste the time replacing the skin just to lose it again?

This is my fifth.... no, sixth prosthetic hand. Because I hold my lightsaber with my right hand, that hand is a natural target. I'm just lucky that I've thought to practice so often without a lightsaber, or each time I lost that right hand could have been my death warrant. I would have been out of luck.

Leia says that luck doesn't have anything to do with it. No matter how often I ask, that's all she'll say on the subject of luck. I don't know if she just doesn't believe in luck (like Ben Kenobi didn't) or that I'm not really lucky, I'm just well prepared.

Sometimes I feel well prepared, and sometimes I don't. Whenever I consider this island hideaway, I feel prepared. Whenever I consider taking on Ben and Snoke at the same time, I don't feel well prepared at all. Should I be taking this time to practice with the Force so that I can use it when I need to? But I can already use it when I need it. So that I could maybe use it better, then? But when would better be good enough? And who would decide?

Day 400

It's funny that this written journal was supposed to record the ways of the Force and how to use it when I've never even mentioned how to use the Force. What am I supposed to say, anyway? “To lift a rock, you concentrate on the rock, noting how it feels - you feel its weight, sense its contours - then you think about lifting it into the air, and then...” That would get really boring really quick!

The main point is that you think about the shape of the rock, think about lifting it, and then BAM! The rock's in the air, and everybody cheers. The more you do it, the easier it gets. That's the key: practice, practice, practice.

I bet Master Yoda is turning over in his grave right now. (I don't think Master Yoda has a grave. He's a ghost. Force ghosts don't have graves. Do they? If I don't know this stuff, who does?)

Day... I don't know how long I've been here anymore

And does it matter how long I've been here? I'm here. No one knows where here is, so no one knows where I am. If no one knows I'm here, then how can I be sure that I'm here? Or am I just a Force ghost, too, and don't know it yet?

Is this getting too philosophical? Should I just shut up? Okay.

A long time ago, Threepio told me that one of the first things Uncle Owen told him to do after he bought him on Tatooine was to shut up. I can't believe I still remember that. I also remember when Artoo played a part of Leia's message to Obi-Wan Kenobi ('old Ben Kenobi' according to me, 'that old wizard' according to Uncle Owen, 'that crazy old man' according to everyone else in Anchorhead). I thought Leia was beautiful the first time I saw her. Is it okay to think that your sister is beautiful? Of course, I didn't know she was my sister then. I didn't find that out for another three years.

And if I remember this, then maybe my memory isn't so rotten, it's just... misguided? Yeah, maybe.

I'm rambling, like I don't have any topic I want to discuss, but am just talking about my memories.

Talking about memories... am I living in the past? Isn't that one of the first signs that you're growing old? How can I be growing old already? Yoda was 900 before he died, and I'm not even 100 yet.

It's this place. It's driving me crazy before my time!

Day... two years later

Those supplies that I had Han so carefully smuggle to this island have all but run out. I thought I had enough supplies to last five years, and here it's only been... well, not five yet. I don't know for sure. I wasn't really convinced that I would be here for that long, anyway. Somehow, the problems of the galaxy would solve themselves without me. Ben would see the errors of his ways on his own and come back to the Light side of the Force. Leia would somehow defeat Snoke (because defeating maniacal evil beings is what she does best), and everything would be fine again.

I thought I had moved beyond such naive thinking years ago. It's depressing that I slipped into that train of thought without even realizing it. This is probably one of the dumbest things I've ever done. I've been so wrapped up in watching the Force that I haven't been aware of my surroundings like I should have been. I'm just lucky no one has come calling. I would have been poorly prepared to defend myself if I'd had to. Yoda wouldn't even bother to say anything to me right now. He would just give his head a mournful shake and look disappointed in me.

He couldn't be any more disappointed than I am in myself. I haven't even begun to learn how to survive on my own like I said I would. Either I should have rationed my food from the day I got here, or I should have included a survival guide. I probably should have included a guide no matter what I did.

I'm too angry at myself to keep writing.

I can hear Master Yoda now: Anger leads to the Dark Side.

If that's the case, then the Dark Side is going to have to induct one starving Jedi into its ranks.

But hey, at least I'm a Jedi. This is small consolation.

The next day

I found a survival guide packed in with the last of my food with a note from Han written on the front page: 'Leia likes you the way you are. So do I. Don't you dare die on us... from starvation, or anything else!'

Han certainly has a way with words. He also knows me better than I know myself. In spite of how much older we are than when we met, he still calls me kid. The term is very appropriate.

Weeks and weeks later

Surviving on your own without a weapon of any kind is a lot easier with a guide to tell you how to do it than without. I owe Han again. I hope he's keeping track of all my IOUs. I hope I get the chance to repay them.

Day Whatever

I haven't written in this record for a long time. I was out of ink, and finally remembered that after I mashed some juju berries, I needed to let the mash dry in the sun before mixing in just the right amount of liquidizing agent in order to make ink. I forgot the part where I need to let it dry in the sun. My ink kept coming out all runny and wet and sticky. Not good if you want the bugs to stay out of your journal.

Listen to me! I've become such a rustic. Luke Skywalker, the Rusty Jedi.

What was my point? Ah, yes, I saw Han this afternoon. He flew in yet another shuttle. What is this, his fourth or fifth shuttle? His first words were: I see you found that guide thingy, since you're still here.

And that was the last irreverent thing he said. He's going away for a while, and maybe I won't see him for a long time (it's a good thing he saw to it that I won't starve).

Of course, I already knew all of this. I've been seeing through the Force for a long time that he and and Leia are having problems again. This time, he decided that he needs to vanish for a while, maybe forever. He seemed surprised that I knew, but he shouldn't have been surprised. I am a Jedi, right? I can read the Force much better than I can be counted on to take care of myself.

The question we should be asking is: If I can read the Force, can Ben? Does he know what's happening to his parents? Does he care?

I thought Han and Leia would be together forever. They're like a fixture in my world, part of who I am. I met each of them separately, but they both mean so much to me, individually, and as a couple.

This is like cutting off my arm along with my hand. Han said that I don't have anything to do with any of this, and if I thought I did, that he was going to beat me to a pulp until I agreed that I didn't. I reminded him that you don't just beat a Jedi to a pulp. Then he said he would fly The Falcon right over the top of me, and we would see who was a pulp then, Jedi or not. And if that didn't work, he was going to let Chewie rip my arms out of their sockets.

Won't I be halfway to being like Vader if Chewie does?

The point is that Han's going away, and he's taking Chewie and The Falcon with him. And I'm going to miss him like crazy. I'm going to miss them both.

An even bigger question is won't Leia be missing Han more than I will?

Han says that no, she won't miss him at all, that he's been away so much lately that it already seems like he's gone. Besides, she wants him to go. The Force tells me that she doesn't, but try convincing Han of that.

Han's the only one who knows where I am. Even I don't know. Actually, it's Han's Nav computer-of-the-moment that knows where I am, not Han himself. He just plugs the drive into his Nav computer, then pushes what he calls 'my Luke button,' and it plots a crazy course through space that (hopefully) no one can follow, and he ends up here. So even he doesn't really know.

And once again I'm back to that question: if no one knows where I am, am I really here?

The BAD Day

I can see it through the Force - Han's dead.

Or at least, his Force aura has disappeared. For most people, that means they're dead. So I can only assume that Han's dead.

It hurts so much, it feels like my soul is blasted apart. If it weren't for the Force, I wouldn't know how awful Chewie is feeling right now. Even with the Force, I can barely understand how badly this is making Leia feel.

Sometimes, I wish I couldn't sense the Force at all.

The day after The BAD Day

I don't have to imagine how Leia's feeling about Han. I can tell through the Force. I expected her to still be shattered, but she isn't. I can't tell for sure if it's because she's trying to be strong for the Resistance, if it's because she didn't care about Han overly much in the first place (I don't believe this at all, but feel I should write it down as an option), or if she really is terribly sad, but is going on because that's what she does. Wasn't she like that when she lost her entire planet?

Even after all these years, I don't know how she managed to live through that so well. Tatooine wasn't as important to me as Alderaan was to her, but it would still bother me a lot if someone suddenly decided to blow it up right in front of me. Back then, she had all of us in the Alliance to distract her. I've never thought of myself as a distraction, but I guess that's what I was. Han used to call me The Royal Watchdog because of how I would follow Leia around like a lovesick puppy. But I was just looking out for her. I was never a puppy!

Was I? I hope that's not how she saw me. More importantly, I hope that's not how everyone on Base saw me. It's okay if Han saw me that way. Han wouldn't be Han if he isn't teasing me.

I mean, Han wouldn't HAVE BEEN Han if he WASN'T teasing me. He won't tease me anymore.

Wow, I never knew a thought could hurt this much.

The DAY OF DISCOVERY is coming.

I'm not so distracted by Han that I don't know. Sometimes I wish I didn't.

The DAY OF DISCOVERY is soon, tomorrow maybe. I can't be this depressed when it happens. A Discovery like this is a good thing. Isn't it?


Rey found me. So I guess you could say the galaxy found me, too. My exile is over.

Should I be happy about this, or sad?

Resigned. That's how I feel.

I think I'm ready for this. I'm determined to do this right.

But as Yoda would say: Ready are you? What know you of ready?

Once I was the apprentice. Then I was a Jedi, but wasn't. Now, I'm not just a Jedi, and not just a teacher, but I have to be the Master.

Rey assumes she knows who I am. But she doesn't. Until she reads this record, she doesn't know how I became this person. So maybe it is a good thing that I taught her how to read.

So who am I, really? I'm Master Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. I'm also just plain old Luke Skywalker, farm boy from Tatooine. I'm Anakin Skywalker's son. Leia Organa's brother. Han Solo's best friend. Ben Solo's uncle. I was almost Emperor Palpatine's apprentice. I guess the most important part of that sentence is the word almost.

Just like I was almost on this island forever. Almost lost and forgotten.

I'm not 'almost' anything anymore. I'm back to being who I was, and who I have become.

I guess that answers the question about if I'm really on this island or not. I'm really here. I won't be for much longer.

I can train Rey in the ways of the Force. I'm sure of it.

I can handle Ben and Snoke at the same time, just like I handled Vader and the Emperor. I'm sure of that, too.

As Master Yoda would say: Do, or do not. There is no try.

I'm done trying. It's time to start doing.


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