When they reunited with their friends on a lush forest planet, Jar Jar and Claire were met with a hero's welcome. It was kind of strange that this temperate biome was within the same solar vicinity as a lava planet, but no one questioned it. As soon as they landed, a horde of Eewoks swarmed Claire, giving her a billion fur-lipped kisses. Although they had no reason to (indeed, they hadn't done anything to help defeat George Binks), the Eewoks sang a cheerful round of Yub Nub. As they danced across Rey's back, she tactfully reminded Claire that she had promised to change her back, so she did exactly that, and she was positive that she had never seen anyone so relieved.
As the party continued, Jar Jar and Claire wandered away from the crowd. They passed E- (who was flashing some Eewoks for money), and made their way into the forest. Owen's body was lying on a pyre in a small clearing. Claire used magic to ignite it, and they watched the sparks rise towards the stars.
"He was a good friend," Jar Jar said.
"Yes," Claire agreed, "A good friend, a good father, and a good husband. I hope he knows how much we'll miss him."
Jar Jar stared at the sky with a numb sorrow.
Claire stayed in the Star Wars universe for an extended period of time after the incident. She dropped Rey off at her own planet after three days, promising that she'd offer her a position in the Fictional government if she should ever choose to be a part of what lay beyond her own franchise. For the time being, her memory had to be erased. Claire wiped all traces of her interference, then returned to Coruscant with Jar Jar, where she spent the next few weeks. She made sure that the world ticked along as planned, just as though she had never entered it. Jar Jar had become so accustomed to her presence that he never expected her to leave. Unfortunately, he awoke one morning to see her packing a small bag.
"Yousa leaving?" he asked.
"Yes. I have to go back. I've done everything I can for this franchise, and besides, I have a baby on the way. It would be irresponsible to ignore the people who are waiting for me back home."
Jar Jar nodded sadly.
"Mesa sorry my put you through this."
"You know better than that, Jar Jar. If you hadn't found the lightsaber, I would have never been able to discover your father's plan. You saved us all."
Jar Jar shook his head.
"I am not a Jedi. A Jedi would have been able to help you for real."
"Jar Jar, do you want to know a secret? I got that pink lightsaber at Walmart. It's a fake. I'm pretty sure it wasn't even licensed. But I made it real with magic, and that's why it's special. Understand?"
Jar Jar sighed.
"Is this goodbye?"
"For now," Claire said, "But we're friends, and friends never truly leave each other."
Jar Jar sat down on a nearby sofa and put his head in his hands.
"I wish I could come with you."
"Me too, but it's against the rules. I can't risk taking you away, in case the real Abrams has something in mind."
Jar Jar's lip quivered.
"The world hates me. If my destiny is planned, good things do not await me."
"Yes, well, what does destiny matter, anyway? We have the power to change our fate."
Jar Jar stood up and gave her a hug.
"I'm going to miss you."
"I'm going to miss you too, but don't be sad. We'll see each other again someday. I know it."
There was an agitated tapping sound, and they turned to see E- hovering outside of the window.
"Claire, can you hurry it up? We have to go."
Claire sighed and turned back to Jar Jar.
"I guess this is it."
She patted his upper arm unceremoniously.
She turned to leave, but paused at the door. Sitting back on her haunches, she bit her arm and pulled out a single scale. She let it drop into her front foot and held it out for Jar Jar to take.
"I'm not supposed to change anything about this world, but you should keep this to remember me by."
"I could never forget you."
She gave a half-smile.
"Take it anyway. I know it's not a lightsaber, but it's something."
Jar Jar took the green scale and placed it in his pocket. He gave Claire one last hug, tears brimming at his eyes. When they pulled apart, he was surprised to see her crying as well.
"I get emotional, sometimes," she sniffled, "Hormones, you know."
Jar Jar nodded.
"I think I know what you mean."
Claire laughed quietly.
"Alright. See you later."
He closed the door behind her, then reached into his pocket and rubbed her scale between two fingers. Slowly, he walked over to the window of his apartment and watched the yellow figure of an impatient dragon disappearing into the vast, vast sky. He wasn't sure, but he thought that Claire might have been waving to him as she left.
Six months later, Claire returned from an advance screening of a major blockbuster. She entered through the front door of her house with slow steps. When she sat down on the living room sofa, she gave a tired sigh and leaned back with exhaustion.
"How was it?"
Claire shrieked. E- was sitting in the corner of the room, and she had probably been waiting there for a very long time.
"What the hell?!" Claire spat, "What are you doing here?"
"I came to investigate something. You invited Voxlemnion to Isla Nublar, yes?"
"You've been out of control, lately, and I figured having your son around would help. He's glad to put his work on hold to keep you company."
"You shouldn't do things behind my back."
"I know. I'm sorry."
E- snuffed, unwilling to give a proper response.
"You never answered my question. How was it?"
"It was alright."
The dragon turned away and slipped out the open window.
"Everyone's asleep. I told the sitter she could go. It's only been about fifteen minutes, so don't go blaming me if you discover something went wrong tonight."
"Then I won't worry."
When the dragon was gone, Claire lumbered up to her room. She spread herself across the bed, stretching out her aching limbs, and closed her eyes. Try as she might, she couldn't get to sleep. It was a real pain, because she was incredibly tired.
Giving up, she sighed and rolled over. Without really knowing why, she walked over to the window and stared up at the parting clouds. The stars twinkled so brightly that it would have made an astronomer furious because of the atmospheric interference. Oddly enough, one particular star was shining brighter than all the others. This wouldn't have bothered Claire, but after a few seconds, she started to worry. The star was not actually a star, and it was moving towards her. As it approached the house, there was a loud noise that sounded like a plane engine. Claire stared at it with wide eyes, not knowing what to do. She didn't have to wonder for long, because the object landed in the field in front of her house, kicking up a massive geyser of dirt. When the silhouette of a human being became visible against the fire leaping from the crater, Claire dashed out of her room and pattered down the stairs. She reached the door at the exact same time as the man, opening it just as he was about to knock. He seemed a bit dazed, and rightly so, because plumes of smoke were still wafting off of his clothing. When he saw Claire, however, he perked up almost immediately.
Claire blinked in surprise.
"H-Hi? . . ."
"I . . . I noticed."
"Are you surprised to see me?"
"You died, Owen."
"I did. But I'm back now."
"That's a funny story, actually . . ."
He stepped into the light, bowing deeply to make it through the doorway, for on his head was a pair of antlers. Claire stared at his rack with shock.
"You . . . You have things on your head."
"They're called antlers."
"Y- Well, yes, I know what they're called. I'm just wondering why you have them."
Owen exhaled calmly.
"While I was . . . gone . . . I met someone. Reunited with him, technically. I was surprised to see him. Turns out, he died a few years ago. No one contacted me about it. I guess they couldn't have known . . . Anyway, we had a talk, and we sorted out a few things. It was good for me, I think. I have closure now. I still wish things had turned out differently, but . . . No, I don't, actually. I'm glad my life played out exactly the way it did, because of you and Lily. But seeing him up there with nothing to be happy about . . . well, it got me thinking. He had a chance to be part of a family, but he gave it up. I did the exact opposite. We both ended up in the same place, but I had something to be proud of . . ."
Claire nuzzled his chest. He smiled and stroked her snout.
"I don't know why I thought he was the be-all end-all," Owen continued, "Seeing him up there . . . I mean, he was pathetic, Claire. I hate to say it, but it's true. I don't fault him for it, because he knows now. He knows that he never should have left me. He said that he came to visit our house once he had passed. He saw us having dinner. He . . . He tried to sit at the table with us. Can you imagine that, Claire? He wanted to be a part of our family."
Claire frowned suspiciously.
"Are you sure he was telling the truth?"
"I'm absolutely positive. I know he was being honest because he started crying. And . . . well, you know. But he looked at us and saw what he had lost . . . what he had given up . . ."
Owen took a deep breath.
"You know, every time he yelled at me, every time he hit me, I thought it was the end of the world. None of that seems to matter now. All of the shit he put me through will never outweigh his sorrow. He has nothing, Claire. Nothing. But I have something. I have a family, I have a home . . ."
"You have antlers . . ."
"You haven't explained that part yet."
"I'm getting there. See, he was looking at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen. He begged for forgiveness. I know it sounds impossible, but it's true. I never thought . . . I mean, I had this fantasy where he would come back and say he was sorry and make things right, but I never thought . . ."
He shook his head.
"Well, the short version is that I forgave him. I mean, I already forgave Jar Jar Binks for ruining Star Wars, so it wasn't that hard . . ."
"And he did something I never thought he'd do. He put my needs first. I knew he wanted me to stay, because I'm the only person who cares about him . . . who remembers him, but he sent me back. I don't know how he knew about the magic . . . I mean, I didn't even know . . . so he said to me: I can't give you wings, but you never needed them anyway. You have so much waiting for you down there, because you have friends and family who will never forget that you were a part of their lives."
Claire felt tears pricking at her eyes.
"Oh god . . ."
"That's what I thought, too. It was worse in person, because . . . if you could have seen him . . . how crushed he looked . . . and I knew that once I was gone, he would have no one. Maybe he deserves to be alone. I don't know. But I couldn't let that happen. Before I left, I told Flower and June and Blue to keep him company. They said they'd visit him once in a while. I'm glad. No one should have to be alone."
"That's right. I agree."
Owen smiled and placed his hand on her right horn.
"I knew you would. You were always compassionate, even before I was."
"Deep down, you were."
"How do you know?"
"Because you're Claire Dearing, and you are amazing."
They shared a kiss, then gave each other a hug. Claire sniffled and felt tears sliding down her cheeks as she rested her chin on Owen's shoulder.
"God, I missed you . . ."
"Me too," he whispered.
They pulled apart. A quiet sound caught their attention. Across the room, at the base of the staircase, was a small child, who was both human and dinosaur. He stared at his mother with wide, innocent eyes, sucking on his fist. She walked over to him and let him crawl into her arms. When she brought the boy to Owen, they both seemed timid.
"Luke, I want you to meet someone very special," she said, holding the baby up so that he could see his father, "He's been gone for a while, but we just couldn't shake him, could we?"
Owen reached out and held the baby's hand.
"No, you couldn't. You really couldn't."
The infant blinked, then poked his father's nose.
And so, after a long period of mourning, things were made right again. But that's how it is for every story, isn't it? Not matter how much sorrow fills a person's life, there will always, always be something good to look forward to. Some people may attribute this to a dinosaur deity, or perhaps an unseen force that governs the galaxy. In truth, happiness comes from within. This is true of Claire, who learned the meaning of sacrifice. This is true of Owen, who learned to let go of the past and embrace his good fortune. Most of all, this is true of Jar Jar Binks, who learned to trust in his ability to do the right thing.
In the end, Jar Jar's greatest treasure was not an overpriced towel or a lightsaber or even the knowledge that he had defeated an evil army. The most precious thing he owned was a small, green scale, which was not special in and of itself, but because it had meaning that only he could understand. The relic was proof that he had friends, that he would always have friends, and no matter what hardships he had to face, that would forever be true. In his life, he had loved and been loved, and that is the most wonderful thing he ever could have hoped for.