Well dear readers this is the end. It's been a long ride, the longest one yet. I am grateful for the support I've had for this story, which, as some of you may recall, I hesitated about writing. I'm glad I did it now. :)
About the EU elements I've put in this chapter- I do not read EU nor do I subscribe to any of it. Sorry, I'm a purist. So if some of the 'facts' don't jive with what is in those novels, sorry. Mara Jade doesn't exist in my Star Wars universe. :)
May the Force be with you, and thanks for reading.
Peace: a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from civil disturbance; a state of security or order within a community provided for by law; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations; a state or period of mutual concord between governments; a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity.
Peace: a word which many like to bandy about, but one that few actually truly understand. An entire generation in fact, knew nothing of this seemingly unattainable concept. Those born at the dawn of the Empire, those who had dedicated their lives to fighting said Empire, for them, the pursuit of peace had become their raison d'être. Many had died for the Cause, many had killed for it. And yet peace remained an unattainable goal. Until the redemption of the Chosen One.
Anakin Skywalker, conceived in the mysterious, awesome power of the Force, born amid poverty and depravation, destined for greatness. Yet that greatness was not without its price. His descent into Darkness, the agonizing loss of his mother, his wife and unborn child, his own dehumanization amid the fires of Mustafar, caused many, even he himself to wonder if there was any truth to the prophesy of the Chosen One. For two decades Skywalker lived in darkness, in the Hell that his master created for him. Ruthless, sadistic, delighting in nothing but power and cruelty, Skywalker seemed beyond redemption. Until his child found him.
Raised to be a princess, born to be a leader, Leia Organa had been raised to despise Darth Vader, her biological father. Bail and Breha Organa had done their best to shelter her from the truth of her paternity and raised her in a vacuity of information about her real parents. They had loved her as though they were her real parents. Leia's sense of justice had led her to become heavily involved in the Rebel Alliance, a cause she threw herself into whole heartedly. As Destiny often does, it changed Leia's life forever one day when she met her real father, the man she had been raised to hate. She was able to see beyond the darkness to the man he had once been, the man he was destined to be again. Her love and belief in him was what brought him back, never to succumb again to the terrible Darkness that had defined his life for twenty years.
And so the Prophesy is fulfilled at last. The Chosen One had destroyed the Sith, and now, with the help of his children and grandchildren, has reestablished the Jedi Order. He knows that he can never atone completely for what the Darkness lead him to do; but he has devoted the remainder of his life to doing all that he can to try.
Anakin walked through the corridors of the hospital, a bouquet of flowers in his hand. I'm a grandfather again, he thought with a smile. For the fifth time now.
His first two grandchildren, Jacen and Jaina, the twins of Han and Leia, were already Padawans. Luke's two children, Ben and Adaira, were as well. The third Solo child had been born two days earlier, and Anakin had only now had the chance to come and see his newest grandson for himself.
Anakin stood outside the doorway, unsure if he ought to enter. There were always so many visitors in Leia's room, it was difficult to find a time when he could just have her all to himself. He was rarely afforded this privilege; as a mother, a Senator and a Jedi Master, Leia Skywalker Solo's life was a busy one. Anakin missed the days when the two of them could just spend time together alone, talking or simply being with one another.
He opened the door tentatively, expecting to be greeted by one or both of the twins, only to find the room unusually quiet. He looked over to the bed to see his daughter looking up at him with a smile on her face, her newborn son in her arms.
"Hi Daddy," she said. "I'm so happy you came."
Anakin returned her smile and walked over to the bed. "More flowers," he said, noticing that the room was fairly bursting with them. "Just what you need," he added wryly.
Leia laughed. "They're beautiful, thanks," she said as he bent to kiss her cheek. "Where's Mom?"
"Home," Anakin said, looking at his new grandson. "Ruwee has a pile of homework. I delegated."
Leia laughed again. "I'm glad you're here alone, actually," she said, looking down at her baby. "Everyone has been bugging me about what his name is. I wanted you to be the first to know."
"Oh?" Anakin said, setting the vase of flowers on the few small space left on the table beside her bed. "Why is that?"
"Because I named him after you, Dad," she said with a smile. "Meet Anakin Solo, Dad. Your namesake." She held the baby up to him.
Anakin was speechless as he took the small boy into his arms. "You named him after me?" he asked in amazement. "Han didn't object?" he added with a smile.
Leia laughed. "You know he thinks so much of you, Daddy," she replied. "Even if he doesn't always show it."
Anakin smiled. "Well, I'm not sure about that," he said, sitting down with the baby. "He's beautiful," he told Leia, and then kissed the boy's brow. He examined him for a moment, feeling a strong connection to the boy. He felt something else too. "Have you had his levels tested?"
Leia nodded. "He's higher than both the twins," she told him. "Even higher than me."
Anakin nodded. "I'm not surprised," he said. "I can feel it within him already. He'll be a great Jedi one day."
Leia smiled. "Like his grandfather," she said.
Anakin was pensive for a moment. "Like his mother," he added, looking up at her.
Leia reached a hand out to him, moved by his praise. "Thanks Daddy," she said, tearing up. "That means a lot coming from you."
The door opened just then and Padmé and Ruwee walked in, followed shortly thereafter by Luke and his family, as well as Han and the twins Soon the room was boisterous again, with the entire family together in the small room.
"So? Did you tell him?" Han asked his wife, looking up at Anakin.
Leia nodded. "Yes, I did."
"Does that mean we can finally know this little guy's name?" Luke asked.
Leia nodded. "Yes," she replied. "His name is Anakin," she said, looking at her father with a smile.
Everyone highly approved of the choice, and congratulated Anakin Senior.
"You knew, didn't you?" Anakin asked his wife as she came to stand beside him to admire their newest grandson.
Padmé smiled. "Maybe," she said. "In any case, I highly approve."
"You know, kid, you were supposed to be named Anakin," Luke told his little brother.
Ruwee was surprised. "Was I?" he asked. He looked up at his father. "How come I'm not?"
"I wanted your mother to name you after her father," Anakin explained. "Your only grandfather."
"Grandma Jobal's husband?" Ruwee asked.
"That's right," Anakin replied. "But I have to admit that it's nice to have someone named after me," he added, looking back down at the baby in his arms. He walked away from the rest of the family and sat down, absorbed by the face of his namesake. "Some day I'll have lots of stories to tell you, young Anakin," he said. "Stories about your family, about your heritage, about your mother. She is a great woman, you know. Don't ever forget that. Just like her mother." He looked up at his family as they laughed and joked with one another, the four elder grandchildren playing games that only they understood. He had never dreamed that his life could be so good, never imagined he could be so blessed. I owe it all to you, my daughter, he thought, looking at Leia with pride. My precious daughter.
Leia looked up at him, sensing his thoughts. She smiled at him. Come back here with that baby, she told him with a grin.
Anakin laughed and stood up and returned to his family, warmed by the love of them all.