The Will of the Force
Disclaimer - I do not own Star Wars and never will. That goes to Disney...
Return of the Jedi:
Chapter I: The Will of the Force
"We think they may be splitting up. They may be on Level 5 and 6 now, sir." the voice of a Stormtrooper informed his commanding officer as the squad of troopers ran down one of the many corridors of the Orbital Battle Station appropriately titled the Death Star.
Slipping out of the dark corridor from where he was hiding, Obi-Wan Kenobi paused briefly to search his surrondings, as he unhooked his lightsaber from his belt; the lightsaber was the weapon of a Jedi Knight and the blade that he's wielded during the Clone Wars and the Great Jedi Purge.
Lifting the hood of his brown cloak over his head, the Jedi Master proceeded down the corridor to where the hanger bay was. With any luck, Luke and Captain Solo would be there with Princess Leia.
Suddenly, a wave of hatred that pulsed loudly through the Force, stealing the breath from his lungs. The familiar presence that he had not encountered since the climatic duel on the hellish world of Mustafar was nearby and it was looking for him.
Obi-Wan's lips thinned into a grim line when he heard the repeating mechanical breathing of an suit that sounded like similar to that of the late General Grievous.
He felt his hand tighten around the handle of his lightsaber when he heard the familiar hum of an ignited lightsaber.
And he came to a stop when he rounded around the corner to see the dark figure that he's heard about for the past 19 years on HoloNet broadcasts or the whispers from the space pilots of the territories of the Outer Rim.
The young man who was once Anakin Skywalker, the Hero with No Fear and the Chosen One, no longer existed.
In his place, consumed by anger and loss, was the Dark Lord of the Sith and Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces, Darth Vader.
The glow of the Sith Lord's red lightsaber reflected off Vader's armor and the dark durasteel floor and corridors of the small hallway. Vader slowly began to advance on Kenobi, each step he took growing louder than before, and raised his weapon to attack.
Realizing that there was no way to avoid this confrontation, Kenobi ignited his lightsaber, the blue blade springing to life before his very eyes, possibly for the final time.
"I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again at last." The voicebox of Vader boomed loudly. "The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master." Vader stated, arrogantly asserting his own power.
Kenobi raised his blade to match the pose of his former apprentice. "Only a master of evil, Darth." he retorted, mocking the Dark Lord with his Sith title.
He then struck at Vader with speed that surprised the two of them, as Vader took the blow and riposted, speeding up his timing, forcing Kenobi back. Kenobi twirled and blocked a slash, weaving a defensive pattern with his blade.
As they fought, Vader reflected that Kenobi still possessed great skill despite his age, but was out of practice. Though Kenobi's age and lack of practice had decreased his combat effectiveness, Vader mused that he needed to conduct himself cautiously if he was to defeat Kenobi. For though Vader knew his skill and power were greater than Kenobi's, he had boasted similar advantages during his duel with Kenobi on Mustafar, but had been defeated nonetheless. As such, he refrained from utilizing the same sort of recklessness offensive that had resulted in his dismemberment, and adopted a fairly defensive posture.
As the duel progressed, Kenobi found that, while he was still able to anticipate Vader's attacks and defend himself, he could find no openings in Vader's cautious but ruthless assault. As such, all he could do was to simply block Vader's cybernetically enhanced blows, the act of which was rapidly depleting his energy reserves.
Vader sensed Kenobi's failing strength. "Your powers are weak, old man." he derisively taunted the Jedi Master, who narrowed his eyes at the cyborg.
"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." Kenobi cryptically responded. Vader saw this statement as a taunt but refused to be baited.
Kenobi lunged again, but Vader was ready, bringing them into a momentary bladelock. Vader shoved hard, breaking the lock and forced Kenobi to pull back. Vader angled his blade up. "You should not have come back," he stated grimly, but Kenobi did not respond.
After another exchange, Kenobi saw an opportunity to redirect the duel and began backing away. In backing away, Kenobi drew the duel into the open, right in front of the entrance to the main hanger of Docking Bay 327. Vader attacked once more and began to chivvy Kenobi into a wall. Just as Vader was about to deliver a finishing strike, Kenobi unleashed a sudden flurry of attacks that forced a surprise Vader to pull back.
As they rapidly circled one another, the stormtroopers standing guard over the Millenium Falcon became aware of their battle and moved to cover the entrance to the hanger. However, this enabled the odd-looking group of people, who had been waiting for just such an opportunity, to quickly sneak across the hanger to the Falcon.
All except for one.
"Ben?" came the soft voice of Luke Skywalker, who noticed Ben, the man who had taken the young adult under his wing after the not-so recent death of his aunt and uncle, battling a mysterious figure clothed in black with blades of blue and red crossed, and moved in for a closer look. He saw, to his horror, that this dark figure was Darth Vader, the man who was once the apprentice of Ben...
...And the man who murdered his father.
He felt his grip on the E-11 carbine rifle tighten with whispers forming in the back of his head, tempting him to open fire on the small group and end the Dark Lord's life. Briefly, he considered doing that before he realized that he may miss and hit one of the Stormtroopers or even worse, Ben.
All he could do was watch in dismay as the two titans clash in a spectacular view of sparks and determination.
He froze when he heard that familiar voice. It couldn't be, he should have been in the ship by now, not out here in the open like a sore spot.
Kenobi risked a glance into the hanger, where he saw his companions had reached the ship. The Wookiee, Chewbacca, had disappeared into the YT-1300 light freighter with Captain Solo standing on the ramp with Princess Leia. 'By the Force, she looks just like her mother.' Obi-Wan thought with a pang in his heart. He suddenly felt old.
But his attention was on the young man staring at the scene before him with alarm: Luke...
Understanding that he was doomed but knowing that his defeat might serve to distract Vader from finding out about both of his children, he resolved to end the duel on his own terms.
He turned to Vader and, to Vader's bemusement, smiled, and raised his lightsaber so the tip pointed straight up in the gesture of surrender, deliberately lowering his guard.
This action was so totally unexpected that Vader stood for a moment in bafflement, trying to reason out how Kenobi's apparently suicidal tactic could possibly benefit the Jedi Master. However, Vader quickly decided that even if Kenobi was attempting to ensnare him in a trap of some kind, Kenobi would not be fast enough to effectively employ such a tactic.
"NO!" cried Luke Skywalker, as he watched Vader cut hard at Kenobi's neck, but just as Vader struck, Kenobi vanished, becoming one with the Force.
A bright light had blinded everything in the sight of the Negotiator, before it died down completely. Obi-Wan opened his eyes and blinked twice as he surveyed his surroundings. He found himself in a place of where it was nothing more, but an endless white void that seemed to have no beginning nor ending.
The familiar voice caused Obi-Wan to freeze in his place. He had heard the voice during his new training during his exile, but not in this way. It almost sounded like he was... alive. He slowly turned around to see the form of Qui-Gon Jinn standing behind him, smiling as gently as he always did.
"Qui-Gon," Obi-Wan breathed, the air in his lungs gone once again. "How is this possibly? Am I... dead?"
Qui-Gon shook his head. "No, my young padawan, you are not dead. You are in the void that is connected to both the living and the Force."
Obi-Wan's brow furrowed in confusion. "But why am I here?" he asked slowly.
"You have been brought here for a purpose. I am here to tell you that the Force has given you a second chance."
"A second chance of what?"
Qui-Gon looked amused. "One of the brightest Knights of your time and you haven't even figured it out."
It finally dawned on Obi-Wan, as his face took on one of astonishment. "You mean... time travel?"
"Yes, Obi-Wan. You will be sent into a new timeline and should arrive around the time after your mission to Ansion."
Ansion. The last mission both he and Anakin had been sent on right before the attempted assassination of Padme and Geonosis... and the Clone Wars.
"I'm afraid to say that you may not be able to stop the Clone Wars from erupting," Qui-Gon stated sadly, as if he read Obi-Wan's mind, to which he probably did. "Though you may be able to change other events."
Qui-Gon shook his head. "It will be the will of the Force to show you what events you can change. I am here to ask if you will take this new task and save the galaxy from the darkness that now consumes it?"
Obi-Wan was silent for a long time. A second chance in life? A second chance to save all those he's failed before in the past. Luke, the Jedi Order, Padme, Satine... Anakin.
Obi-Wan bend down on one knee with his head bowed. "Yes. I, Obi-Wan Kenobi, will uptake this mission and save the galaxy from the darkness and I am ready for what lies ahead."
"Good, good," Qui-Gon smiled. "Ahead of you is a difficult path, Obi-Wan, and I believe that you can succeed." He slowly started to disappear, causing Obi-Wan to gasp in shock. "And now I bid you farewell, but know that I have loved as a student, a friend... and a son." His form disappeared completely, but his voice gave one last whisper.
"Until we meet again, May the Force be with you. And with that, the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn trailed off into silence, leaving Obi-Wan standing alone in the void.
Then, Obi-Wan felt himself feeling tired and weary; he looked down to see the lower part of his body slowly start to fade like Qui-Gon did and closed his eyes, letting the Force lift him from the void and back into the world of the living.
On the consular ship in hyperspace, on route to the planet Coruscant, an auburn Jedi Master in his mid 30s meditated. He felt at peace with the Force, letting the emotions of calmness and serenity wash over him like a warm blanket over a young child.
Suddenly, he groaned in pain as a sudden wave of pain overcame his senses. He tried to call out his Padawan's name, but only managed to get out a yelp of pain. Images of memories slowly came into his mind; the Mission to Kamino, the Battle of Geonosis, the Clone Wars, Satine's death, Coruscant and Utapau, Order 66 and the Rise of the Empire, the Duel on Mustafar, his Exile on Tatooine, the Death Star, his duel with Vader and Qui-Gon informing him of his new mission.
He collapsed into a heap onto the cold floor, sweat pouring down his face at an alarming rate, before he took a deep breath and calmed his senses. He was back in the past and he knew what he had to do. It was time to change the future.
And with that determined thought, Obi-Wan Kenobi opened his eyes for the first time in this new timeline.