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Memoirs of a Sith Lord

By Steven R Brandt

Fantasy / Scifi

Peace is a lie

When I died, I thought I’d be with Padmé and eternity would be peaceful. But the Sith were right. Peace is a lie. I was wrong to doubt them.

I hunted for Padmé in the spectral realms for a long time. My search prevented me from countering the numerous false biographies set forth by my son, Luke. His errors were forgivable and understandable, so I was content to let them stand. Not anymore. Padmé’s true story may be all that’s left of her.

Now, as I dwell within the Jedi’s spiritual prison, with my final condemnation at hand, I focus on the memories of the woman I loved. For her, I project these thoughts through the Force, pouring the energy of my being like spiritual blood, recording them for those who seek their feelings in honesty,

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. And mine was Padmé.

Who was she? Many compare her to the Rominaria flowers of Naboo, both because of their delicate beauty and their tough, woody stems. Beauty and strength. In Luke’s biographies, she is portrayed as a warrior, as politically savvy, intelligent, beautiful.

While this is true enough, it touches only her surface. If you want to compare a Rominaria flower to Padmé, you must dry it and set it aflame. Only then will it be bright and deadly enough to represent her.

Padmé knew me for what I was: powerful and vengeful, not the foolish, arrogant boy Luke portrays--and when I turned to the Dark Side she and I fought together as one. In some quarters of the galaxy, particularly Neimoidia, the home of the Trade Federation, her name is feared even more than mine.

Because our souls were united, both in the Force and in love, I am able to see all the moments of her life as if watching from some hidden vantage. Though I didn’t know her when she was young, through the Force I have a memory of her tenth birthday. It was almost the same day the Trade Federation made their first big contract to mine the plasmic energy of Naboo.

Viceroy Nute Gunray threw a lavish celebration of the new contract, with a party, food, and presents. He brought grandfather Hask with him, an aging Neimoidian who was, if possible, even more bug-eyed than a typical member of his race. Hask brought a special present for Padmé that day.

He leaned forward from his hover chair and placed his bulb-eyes so close to Padmé that she could smell his vile breath. “Royal children area a treasure more precious than gems and gold,” Hask said. He smiled with the exaggerated broadness only possible to a Neimoidian mouth. “Rare and valuable.”

His long gnarled fingers placed a doll in Padmé’s hands. “Like this Princess Theed doll, carved in living stone from Degoba.”

The doll was pretty, after a fashion, and Padmé fussed over it. Not because she liked it. Even then she had a crafty heart and hoped to gain the trust of the Neimoidians. Later, one of her doubles made a show of playing with the toy while Padmé herself spied on the trade negotiations from hidden alcoves within the palace walls. As she watched the signing of contracts, she sensed, but did not fully appreciate, how much of Naboo’s wealth her father had inadvertently given away. But she would learn soon enough.

Padmé had body doubles because her father, always a cautious man, hired them out of a concern for her safety. What the old fool didn’t realize was that Padmé was more wily than any assassin, and he’d provided her with a perfect way to escape the castle grounds, or otherwise circumvent his watchful eye.

She sneaked from the palace frequently. She played a pauper in the streets, dressing in rags and participating in the local festivals. She swam with the Gungans and once rode a dreaded opee sea killer in one of their competitions. She saw what the Trade Federation was doing to her planet, the way it raped the forests and swamps in its quest for plasmic magma and saw first hand what it did to the people who mined it.

On several occasions, she herself was herded into the mines with other Naboo children, both human and Gungan, and was worked until her fingers bled. The Federation used children to find the underground paths along which their prized plasmic streams flowed, as well as to carry away the living energy. For some reason not fully understood, the plasma was attracted to life, and young life in particular. The power of the Force was suspected in its operation, but the Jedi Masters sent to investigate the phenomenon were never able to comprehend it.

But it was not the bleeding of her own fingers which turned Padmé’s heart to flame, it was the deaths of her friends, the scent of their burning flesh. Plasmic energy is dangerous to mine, and the timbre of her people’s screams echoed in the mining tunnels as well as in Padmé’s heart.

At twelve years of age, Padmé masterminded a plot to sabotage one of the mining equipment factories. She stole the security codes from the Viceroy’s own computer and passed them to the Gungans. The Gungans rewired the main energy nodes, causing the factory to explode. As the sky lit with trails of fire and crackling streams of sparks and energy, the people of Naboo danced in the streets and gave each other gifts. Padmé herself joined their frolicking, her smile wide and innocent despite her complicity in an act which resulted in the death of three Trade Federation taskmasters.

Though I’ve only seen this memory through the Force, I cherish it deeply.

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