1 ; the island
location ; ahch-to
The gushing wind ruffles my hair, my eyes fluttering open. Instinctively clutching the lightsaber in my pocket, my gaze sets on the mountainous hills that surround me. Once again, I realise there is no sign of life as far as the eye can see, letting my guard down by loosening my grip on the lightsaber.
I’m still surprised I found the isolated planet of Ahch-To in the depths of the galaxy. Leia told me her brother would be the solution to all of this — That he would be the spark that ignites the fire that will save The Resistance.
But Luke Skywalker’s pessimism hardly brought comfort. Our first encounter, which was a few hours ago, wasn’t exactly brilliant. Once I spoke to him about my request, Luke grunted under his breath and ordered me to leave. He rushed inside his hut, slamming the door in my face.
Hours have passed since then, though there is still a glimmer of hope inside me. The consistent breeze which runs through the island sends a shiver down my spine, the sound of waves crashing keeping me alert.
I hoped Luke would take the lightsaber. But instead, he tossed it as if it were some foolish childhood toy.
My thoughts are suddenly disrupted when Luke exits his rocky hut, making me sit up. His hood covers part of his face, shadows hiding half of his visage. Standing a few feet away from him, feeling the weight of the lightsaber in my pocket.
“You’re still here? I told you to go away,” Luke grunts, shoving his hands into his coat pockets.
Despite the legend, I can sense Luke Skywalker’s bravery is wearing thin. Since my arrival to Ahch-To on the Millennium Falcon, I immediately sensed his lack of determination and air of defeat.
“You know I’m not leaving without you,” I argue. The existence of The Resistance relies on me bringing Luke to the main ship, meaning I have no choice but to persuade him.
The First Order has cornered us, leaving us begging for mercy with our backs to the wall. Luke Skywalker is our only hope for peace to reign the galaxy, but it seems as if peace were the least of his problems. Luke exhales as if he were an impatient parent after hearing their child say something foolish.
“Nothing will make me change my mind, Rey,” Luke insists, crossing his arms.
“But why? I don’t understand,” I protest, determination washing over me. Chunks of stone crunch at my feet as I approach the man who I once considered an idol.
Luke Skywalker — The legend of the entire galaxy. The man whose strength was so powerful he destroyed Darth Vader; the most hated man in the galaxy.
“There is no hope for the galaxy anymore. The Jedi ways need to end,” Luke says, his words bringing fear to my core. His expression shows nothing but misery, as if all hope had been obliterated from within.
“W-Why?” I stammer, swallowing the knot in my throat. Luke hesitates, his gaze shifting to the clear horizon. Water droplets splash the rocks at our feet, dampening my ankles. The icy wind on my wet feet brings discomfort, but my gaze remains fixed on Luke.
“Because they control everything; they destroy lives. Without the Jedi, the Sith would never exist. There would be no war; innocent people would not be killed every second. Don’t you see that?”
“You’re wrong. Without the Jedi, nobody would be able to fight against evil in the galaxy,” I answer, though my words don’t seem convincing to Luke.
“Why are you here?” Luke asks, tension emerging. He wants me to leave, but I can’t do that.
“Leia sent me. We need your help, The First Order is becoming stronger,” I reply, repeating the rehearsed line. Luke shakes his head, his aged blue eyes fixed on me.
“No. I mean: Why are you here?” he insists. Somehow, his answer leaves me speechless. I don’t know why Leia sent me for this mission. I don’t know why, out of everyone in The Resistance, she chose me.
A sudden wave of emptiness engulfs me, making me lower my gaze. Luke senses my sadness, because he takes a different approach.
“Who are you?” he asks, his tone somewhat defensive.
“I... I don’t know,” I slur, chewing my inner cheek. “There’s something that’s always been inside me. It’s awakened. And I don’t know what to do with it. I want to know where my place is in all of this,” I mutter.
Luke glares at me momentarily, surprise in his gaze. A second of silence lingers before he nods, meeting my gaze.
“Come with me,” he orders, the damp grass crunching as he takes a few steps. Luke walks down the pebble steps towards the bottom of the hill. I follow him, a gust of wind running through my hair.
The island is lightyears away from civilisation, but nonetheless, its gorgeous nature draws me to it. Being raised in a planet where sand dunes and dryness are the only thing that can be seen, the island brings an odd wave of excitement.
Luke approaches a cave, which goes through one of the many hills of the island, following him inside. Walking down the dark and narrow tunnel, droplets of water from condensation land on my cheek. At the end of the tunnel, a clearing emerges.
A singular platform made of stone stands in the centre of the clearing, the edge of the cliff overlooking the violent ocean.
My eyes light up from the immense beauty of the two suns in the horizon, silence lingering around us as we assimilate the scenery.
“You said you wanted to know what your place is,” Luke says, pacing towards the elevated platform. He pats it with his hand, gazing at me. “Have a seat.”
Following his instructions, I place myself on the cold platform, feeling the bare stone on my crossed legs.
“What’s this about?” I ask, puzzled.
“This is your first lesson,” Luke explains, grabbing some tiny pebbles from the ground. He rests them on the platform, instructing me to rest my palms over the pebbles.
“What do you know about the Jedi?” Luke asks, his tone lacking seriousness. My mind goes blank, but I manage to mumble an answer.
“Well... They have The Force. They control people and they... Make stuff float,” I answer. The instant Luke lets out a chuckle, I realise I’ve said something stupid.
“Lesson number one: The Force does not belong to the Jedi,” Luke explains, pressing my hands against the pebbles, which dig into the flesh of my hands. “Close your eyes.”
Following his instructions, I suck in a breath before screwing my eyes shut. Somehow, I’m expecting something to happen immediately.
“Now, reach out with your feelings. Take a deep breath.”
Luke’s voice seems to smoothen with the sound of waves crashing in the distance, making me take in a deep inhale.
“Take it all in. Everything around you is significant. Do you see it?” Luke’s muffled voice floods my mind. In that instant, an overwhelming connection strikes me, images flashing before my eyes.
“I see the island,” I answer, a smile curving on my lips as the vision takes place.
Flowers bloom from the damp soil, forming new life. Underneath, the remains of dead animals lie under sediment.
“Life, death and decay,” I add.
The ocean water crashes into the cliff, the image blurring seconds before it shifts to the local creatures that live on the island. The alien creatures chuckle at each other whilst they clean their huts, completely at peace.
“I see violence. Peace. Balance....” I add, a smile forming on my lips. It’s as if a sudden satisfaction had taken over me, soothing my core.
“And inside yourself?” Luke asks.
“That same balance,” I beam, my eyes still closed as the images continue. In that instant, a wave of coldness strikes me. A large black hole underneath the cliff catches my attention. There is something about the sombre nature of it that entices me.
“There’s something else,” I stammer, my tone filled with worry. “There’s darkness, lots of it...”
Muffled voices begin calling my name, drawing me to the black hole. The overwhelming feeling of entering the dark hole consumes me, the image bringing me closer.
“Stay away from it, Rey!” Luke exclaims. But the darkness draws me in, pulling me towards the hole.
“Control your mind,” Luke yells but his voice becomes distorted inside my head. In that instant, an icy cold breeze sucks me into the hole, seconds before entering a state of darkness. An ear-piercing scream rings inside my head, my eyes snapping open. Luke stares at me with wide eyes, his lips parted from shock.
“You... You didn’t even stop yourself,” he mutters, terror in his tone. His body tenses, turning around to face the cave entrance as if he were at the brink of running away.
“It wanted me to see something!” I argue, chasing Luke a few steps behind. I grip his arm, forcing him to turn around. His intimidating eyes set on me, anger in his stance.
“I don’t want to teach you. It’s dangerous,” he barks.
“But why? What did I do?” I ask. Luke hesitates, cussing under his breath.
“I’ve only seen that energy in another person. And that was Kylo Ren,” Luke answers, his tone unsteady with worry.
The image of the most hated man in the galaxy comes to mind, his jet-black hair covering part of his face as he glares at me. His red lightsaber illuminates his face, his body on the snowy floor of the forest.
That was the last time I saw Kylo Ren. Seconds before I struck the lightsaber against his cheek, the entire world coming to a halt before I fled the scene.
“No buts. This is why the Jedi need to end,” Luke insists, his brows furrowed.
I gulp, gazing at Luke with tear-filled eyes. Luke is broken because of his history with Kylo. He thinks he let Kylo down, but in fact, Kylo let him down.
“I am not Kylo Ren. I won’t let you down like he did,” I say, my tone filled with determination. For a few minutes, the only sound that can be heard is the sound of the waves crashing against the cliff. Luke lets out a sigh, as if he had caved into my persuasion.
For a second, he looks at me as if he were going to speak, but instead, he walks away.