Hello there. I've written this piece of Star Wars fan fiction, and I thought you might be interested.
Here's the link.
Here's the story, too:
Tears of a Jedi
In one of the Jedi Temple’s countless rooms, Natalya Ooba was meditating. It was something she used to do frequently, but lately she just didn’t have the time for it anymore. Or the right mood.
She liked meditation; the freedom it gave her from the goings-on in the galaxy beyond the Temple walls. She was completely at one with herself and the Force. Let the Force flow through you, Master Yoda always said, and she could definitely feel it do so. It had always come easily and naturally for her, which had sometimes given her a feeling of guilt towards some of her less talented fellow students. Perhaps that was why she was so eager to give them counsel and guidance.
She let her mind expand through the Force, sensing everything in a wide range around her. Padawans nearby were sleeping and others, further away, were training. Several Jedi were meditating like her; their minds acknowledging her in passing. She heard the librarians discussing a rediscovered holocron; elsewhere, a baby being calmed by a Jedi nurse; and two Masters quietly debating the nature of the Force. At the edges of her senses, the eternal city of Coruscant buzzed and hummed to its own intricate melody.
She felt a familiar presence approaching. Without opening her eyes, she sensed Master Yoda enter the meditation room and slowly make his way to the vacant seat across from hers. His cane made a short thud every time it hit the floor; thud, thud, thud. His panting could clearly be heard, too. It seemed to be getting worse, Natalya thought. His age must be catching up with him.
She heard how Yoda tried to climb onto the seat and had trouble doing so. Unlike the one in his own private quarters, this seat was almost as high as Yoda himself. Natalya knew better than to offer help, but she did wonder for a brief moment why he didn’t just do it the easy way and use the Force. She already knew his answer, though – “because it is easy”.
Eventually he settled down and started to meditate.
They sat there together, enjoying the silence, the Force, and each other’s company. His glowing presence was comforting and reassuring to Natalya. His ancient mind touched hers, and they exchanged some minor thoughts. Memories of times past and experiences shared. The time when she was an apprentice. His teachings, and her understanding of them.
That last agonised look in her padawan’s eyes.
She opened her eyes and let out a sigh.
“Master, it’s so hard! I keep thinking of him. Those final moments. They torment me.”
Yoda looked at her. It was difficult to read his emotions.
“I know what you have taught me about death, and about the Dark Side, but it is so hard now that I have faced them. So different.”
“Yes,” the old Jedi said, “easy to learn, it is, when sitting in a safe room you are. But when in real life, easy it is not.”
“I knew that the Dark Side is evil and seductive, but I had never realised just how much so. I was caught off guard - by the depth of his anger and hatred. I never thought for an instant he’d do something like this.”
Yoda nodded. “Nor the Council. Surprised, we were. Upset. But done it is. Over. Move on, you must.”
“But it’s so hard,” Natalya said again.
“Easy being a Jedi, it is not. Warned you, I did.”
Yes, he had warned her. In fact, it had been the first time she met the charismatic old Master. Her mind wandered back to that day.
Being probably three standard years old, she had been crying on her bed after finding out she would never see her parents again. Teachers trying to comfort her had come and gone. She had not wanted to be comforted; she had wanted to see her parents. So what if she hardly remembered them?
Then Master Yoda had entered. Natalya had looked up for a brief moment, tears streaming down her cheeks, and what she had seen was an old, wrinkled creature, barely taller than she was, slowly but deliberately walking past the sliding doors. For some strange reason he had reminded her of an overgrown toad. Using his cane to lean on, he hadn’t looked like a great Jedi Master, but rather like a grandfather of sorts. A little green grandfather. She had decided not to stop crying because of him.
Contrary to the others, Master Yoda had sat down in a chair across the room and had remained there, waiting. He had waited for over a standard hour, until finally she had had enough.
“Aren’t you going to say I should stop crying?” she had asked, angrily.
“No,” the wise old Master had replied.
“Then why are you here?”
“To talk, I have come. When ready you are.”
She had smiled, her crying ceased for the moment.
“You talk funny.”
He had returned the smile, lovingly. Slowly he had come to her bedside. From the folds of his robes he had taken a handkerchief to wipe her eyes with, which she had taken, reluctantly but gratefully.
“Yoda, my name is.”
She had nodded, and then realised that he was waiting for a reply.
“Natalya,” she had spoken softly.
“Good,” he had replied, suddenly making ready to leave. “Return to your class, you will, then?”
“Talk, we shall. Later.”
With that, the Jedi Master had departed, leaving her dumbfounded. Who was that strange creature?
She smiled to herself at the thought. The Grand Master of the Jedi Order had a way with people.
Later that day, after her classes had ended, he had returned to talk with her. She had calmed down, but still had many questions. After some idle chatter, he had gotten to the heart of her concerns.
“Your parents; see them you can not.”
“But Master, why not?”
The short but powerful Jedi had looked at her with a look she hadn’t recognised.
“Know you what a duck is, Natalya?”
She had nodded.
“Like a duck, you are. Learn to swim, you must.”
“And my parents?”
“Follow you, they should not. For swim, they can not. If follow you, they do - drown, they will. And you, too.” Yoda had sighed, closing his eyes. “The life of a Jedi, hard it is. Difficult. Not without dangers. But the best life there is.”
“Why is that?”
His eyes had opened again and focused on hers. “By letting go of them, help many more, you can. If the will of the Force it is.”
If the will of the Force it is… Natalya wondered what the will of the Force really was. Did it want her padawan to turn to the Dark Side? Did it want her to face him? Did the Force even have a will? Was it perhaps just some random pattern? To test her; to torment her?
“Yes, you did warn me, Master. But I couldn’t make such a decision at that age, could I? To become a Jedi – I had no idea what it would mean. That this would happen.”
She regretted the harshness of her words, but they had been spoken now. Too late to take them back.
“Big decisions – wait for the right moment, they do not.”
“But you forced it on me!”
“Regret your decision, do you?”
Natalya started to form a reply, but realised she didn’t know what to say. Did she regret her decision? Had she rather become something else; a common girl with a common job, a common house and a common life? Or was the life of a Jedi, difficult as it was, the way for her?
“I – don’t know. This life is the only one I know. I mean, I know about how other people live, but it’s always been something that happens to others. I haven’t got a clue how to live any other way, but I think, sometimes, that it could be so much easier. Less complicated.”
“The trials we face – large they seem. Huge. But only in your mind. Take a step back, you must. These obstacles – insignificant they are.”
“But I wouldn’t have to face them if I wasn’t a Jedi.”
“Think you that other people have no difficulties? A life of bliss and peace, they lead? Not so, Master Ooba!”
With that, Master Yoda closed his eyes and started to meditate again.
“That’s true, I guess,” Natalya said. “It just seems so impossible to handle. I mean – why did he have to do this, Master? Was it just an ‘obstacle’, a trial? Was it the will of the Force? I have difficulty believing that, to be honest. He was a good student. A potentially great Jedi. Why did he throw all that away?”
The old Master didn’t speak. He had heard her, hadn’t he? Did he expect her to figure it out herself? She decided to try.
“I know what the Jedi code teaches us. There is no emotion; there is peace. But I have seen emotions in my padawan that were real, and deep, and frightening. Anger, and hatred. Jealousy. And I don’t even know why.
“There is no passion; there is serenity. Well, I have seen passion in him; a burning fire. The calm and serene lake that was his nature had made way for wild oceans of chaos and turmoil. Dark emotions running wild. I was scared like a youngling.
“And as for there being no death: I have seen him die; I am the very person who brought about his end! How can I not mourn, or miss? How can I rejoice for him, now that he has become one with the Force? I – I can’t. I just can’t.”
She didn’t know what more to say. All the things she had learned seemed so far away from her, like the tiniest of lights in a pitch dark world. Like she had woken up from a dream, and real life was a nightmare.
“Natalya,” Yoda said, whispering, “ages have I lived. Thousands of Jedi trained. Countless mistakes made and witnessed. Follow the Force, I say. Tell you its will, it does. The Jedi way, that is.”
“To blindly follow the Force? But then what’s the point? How do we even know we’re doing the right thing?”
Yoda opened his eyes and looked into hers, worried. Wary.
“Mindful of your feelings you must be, Master Ooba.”
“I’m sorry, Master. I guess I haven’t come to terms with all that has transpired yet. I keep thinking of how things could have been different. Of how I could’ve prevented his fall. But I can’t figure it out.”
Her padawan had been a young and eager Chiss called Rhigo. His interests in the lore of the Jedi and the nature of the Force were extensive, but sadly his skills were lacking. He was more of a philosopher than an active Force user. And fine with that.
Natalya had always felt close to Rhigo, and it had come as a complete surprise when he had suddenly turned against her. It had happened on their first mission together on Alderaan; a simple border dispute.
On the last day before their return to Coruscant, he had confronted her.
“You’ve never wanted me, did you?”
He had entered her quarters without her noticing, standing just a few steps away from her. He had had an angry look on his face, his red eyes burning. She had been overwhelmed by his feelings of hurt and fury.
“Please don’t sneak up on people like that,” Jomm Bibla had said, getting up. He was a handsome Jedi Knight of barely two years younger than her, whom she had known since he had come to seek her counsel several years before. They had met him upon arriving and had spent several evenings with him.
“Never wanted you?” Natalya had also gotten up from the bench she and Jomm had been sitting on. Rhigo had looked so frightening to her. “I had specifically asked the Council for you to be my padawan!”
“It’s not that and you know it,” Rhigo had whispered. His hair had been all messy; his braid undone. Sweat had tainted the edges of his tunic. “You’ve never wanted me. Not the way I’ve wanted you.”
Rhigo had switched on his blue lightsabre, its glow illuminating the dark room. Natalya had started crying.
“What are you doing,” Jomm had said, “turn that off. You don’t want to –”
“Don’t tell me what to do!” Rhigo had turned to him, pointing his sabre to Jomm’s throat. “You, of all people!”
“Rhigo,” Natalya had screamed, tears flowing freely now. “Don’t do this!”
He hadn’t taken his eyes off of Jomm. “I’ve seen the way you look at him. The way you two act. Those pathetic late night ‘conversations’. Don’t take me for a fool; I know very well what’s going on!”
“Rhigo,” Jomm had ventured uneasily, “I can assure you; nothing is going on!”
Rhigo had turned his eyes towards Natalya. She had seen how he had fought his tears back. Jomm had seized the opportunity; grabbing his sabre and igniting it.
And very soon after had had his head cut off.
The rest was like a dream to Natalya; a collage of images and feelings. She had screamed, Rhigo had screamed; they had fought. Eventually her superior skills had won from his raw hatred.
She hadn’t meant to kill him, but he had kept on attacking her. Hurting her, both physically and mentally. She had had no choice. It had been the only way. But she had regretted it ever since.
“How did it come to this, Master?” Natalya was crying softly. Reliving those moments was hard, but she knew it was the best thing to do. Trembling, she looked down at her left hand. Its scars were starting to heal. It made her feel even guiltier. All physical evidence of the events was fading.
“A dark Jedi, Rhigo met on Alderaan. Stirred up his jealousy, she did. Told him lies about you. Infuriated him.” Yoda looked at her, saddened.
The Council had told her about this woman, and how after these events she had been confronted by a young Master called Mace Windu. She was no longer a threat to anyone.
“Loved you, he did.”
“How could I have known,” Natalya replied. “No – how could I not have known! It was so obvious!”
“Foresee this, you could not have. For now, one question remains,” Yoda said, getting ready to leave.
“What is that, Master?”
Natalya watched him climb down from his seat awkwardly. Some other time she might have laughed, but it didn’t look nearly as funny through tear-clouded eyes.
He moved towards the doors; thud, thud, thud. Then the old Jedi Master paused, and without looking back, said: “What decision you will make. A Jedi, will you be?”
As Yoda left the chamber, Natalya remained quiet. Contemplating.
A Jedi, will you be?
Just the one decision.
Keep being a Jedi, living the life you know and love. Get to terms with all that has transpired and become a better person.
Or leave the Order to become someone else. To avoid the past. A simpler life.
Move on, or move away.
A Jedi, will you be?
He made it sound so easy, but it wasn’t! There was a lot more to it than that! But then again, it was a start. Big problems are best solved piece by piece. Once she had made this decision, her path might be clearer.
In one of the Jedi Temple’s countless rooms, Natalya Ooba started crying again. Tears of pain, of loss, of joy.
She smiled. She had made her decision.
“Yes,” she whispered. “Yes…”