No Turning Back: A Star Wars Fan-Fiction Poem

NO TURNING BACK: A STAR WARS FAN-FICTION POEM

By Ellen Virginia, August 31, 2016

Word Count: 1595

Rating: PG for mild thematic elements (threat of death)

Summary: Luke Skywalker considers his life and decisions leading up to the moment he faces Darth Vader.

no turning back
Image credit: 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: Ep. VI – Return of the Jedi

I can’t turn back.

But how I wish I could!

I leave behind my sister,

Who wonders why I go.

I long to stay and hug her,

Promise to keep her close,

And never leave again.

Instead –

I turn my back and walk away.

Leia, can you hear me? Do you know why I have to face him? Please say you understand!

Wood creaks underfoot,

With each heavy step I take.

The bridge sways beneath my feet;

My pulse pounds in my ears.

The night is grim and still,

With evil brooding in the air.

The darkness that surrounds me

Seeps into my very soul.

I know I won’t return,

And fear my will is going to crack.

Leia, you’ve always been strong. I wish I had your courage – I don’t want to let you down…

I go to face the destiny

That’s beckoned to me all these years.

I’m all alone,

Without a soul to help me.

How do I know I’m ready?

I see an image from the past –

A young, impulsive farmboy,

Gazing at the sunset,

Desperate for adventure.

How foolish that seems to me,

As I look back from the abyss,

Over which I’m standing now.

I didn’t know what I was asking for;

I didn’t know what it would cost.

Everything looks different

From the threshold of eternity.

Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru, how I miss you! The grief has never left me . . . You were the only family I ever had. I want to run to you for help, like the little boy I used to be . . .

Ben gave me hope and purpose,

As I struggle with my loss.

I thought my course was set,

Secure in the footsteps of my father –

The noble father I never knew.

I’ve never been so wrong.

So very, very wrong.

I see the dark, menacing figure,

Feel the slice of fire in my wrist –

And hear the dreadful voice.

It crushes all my dreams,

Shatters my life,

And plunges my soul into despair.

Ben, do you still hear me? You’ve been silent since Cloud City. Why didn’t you tell me the truth? You let me build my life upon a lie . . .

And now I have to face the truth.

I return, on my own volition,

To the foe who is my father.

My footsteps carry me on,

Closer to my destiny,

Certain death – or worse.

I know I’m walking towards another trap –

Every nerve within me screams to stop –

But I draw a breath and carry on.

Why?

Why am I even here?

To pour out my life like water,

All in vain?

Artoo, I wish you could hear me now . . . You’ve always been beside me . . . I can’t go on alone and face this darkness . . .

It was a decision made in agony,

From the depths of my abandonment,

In solitude on Tatooine.

I reviewed my whole life’s course,

And recognized my one and only choice.

A few dear friends would miss me,

But in the end, why would it matter

If I was never seen again?

But now I know even more –

It makes my heart catch in my throat –

Leia.

This was a different revelation,

It came from within.

Inexplicably, I knew.

It filled my mind with awe,

Followed by a surge of joy.

The woman I’ve always admired,

The courageous princess –

Strong and unyielding

But also warm and kind –

Is my twin sister.

She shines with regal beauty,

Both inside and out,

And I tremble at the knowledge

That we share each other’s blood.

We’re linked more closely than we knew,

Yet this also comes with stabs of pain.

I longed to bear the burden alone, and spare you all the pain. It was hard for me to tell you, but you deserved to know the truth.

This means my heritage is hers –

She had to know the truth about our father,

Who snuffed out Alderaan

Before her very eyes.

I had to set its weight on her,

Since I refuse to lie.

And with that pain comes fear,

More intense than ever.

My choice is truly torture,

Now that I leave behind my sister.

We were robbed of time together,

And now my time is running out.

If only we had grown up together, like a normal family. We lost so much time, and we can’t get it back. At least you have a brother now, for as long as I’m still alive . . . I love you dearly. Please, remember that when I’m gone.

She asked me why I need to go,

A quaver in her voice,

Tears in her eyes.

It tore me apart.

Yet somehow, I told her.

I told her everything –

All that I could manage

In our precious little time.

I’m glad to be her brother,

And yet she deserves much more than me –

A man without a future.

That’s all I really am,

And we both know it now.

She looked so small,

Alone upon the bridge,

Enveloped in the mist.

I longed to protect her,

But instead I had to leave,

To turn my back and walk away –

The hardest thing I’ve ever done.

What will happen to her when I’m gone?

That’s what hurts the most –

I can’t protect her anymore.

Does she truly understand?

Or does she think it’s all a waste?

I can save him, I can turn him back. I have to try. Leia, he’s our father!

My footsteps thud softly

Upon the forest floor,

And I ponder all my words,

Reflect on why I go to die.

He’s my father –

Is there any more to say?

I share my blood with Leia;

If that means anything at all,

Then how can I ignore

The blood I share with him as well?

He is not who Ben said he was,

And I abhor his evil deeds.

Yet in spite of all he’s done –

Still –

He is my flesh and blood.

Ben, are you even there? I can’t do it, Ben. I can’t kill my own father! What would become of me? I don’t want that kind of future – I’d rather have none at all.

What if I prove too weak

And fail the test?

The question lurks

Within the darkest corners of my mind,

And haunts me more than death.

He will surely try to break me –

What if I capitulate?

Betray the goodness of the light?

What will become of me?

I know the dreadful answer:

If I turn, my soul is lost.

My footsteps falter.

I force my legs to move.

All I can do is struggle on,

And face a nightmare come to life.

Each footstep brings me closer.

Cold sweat trickles down my neck

My stomach churns,

My fists are clenched with fear.

I’m walking to my death –

But still, I can’t turn back.

Ben, there is still good in him. Can’t you sense it for yourself? Will you not believe his son? I have to take the chance. Not for my sake, but his.

For in the end –

And the end is where I am –

No other reason matters.

There is still good in him.

I’ve felt it.

It’s such a tiny spark,

But still, it’s there.

What is a Jedi’s duty

If not to seek out wrongs and right them,

Shine a light into the darkness,

And make a leap of faith?

It’s my duty as a Jedi,

And my duty as his son.

In every human being there’s a soul –

Yes, even in Darth Vader, too.

He is more than mere machine.

Father – I’ve never called you that before. You don’t hear me now, but you will soon enough. I feel the good in you. You won’t convince me it’s not there. I’ll stay beside you till the end.

Now I understand my destiny,

And I must see it through.

It’s far from what I used to dream,

But the boy from Tatooine is gone.

Instead of gazing at the sunset,

I stare into the darkness,

As a man,

With life behind me.

The battle for my father’s soul

Will be the battle for my own.

I don’t know what will happen,

But one thing truly counts –

To do what’s right.

To save my father and my soul,

I will freely give my life.

For good will triumph over evil,

Whether I live to see or not.

I may not have a future,

But I will make my present count.

And I won’t turn back

Now I’m far beyond my sister’s reach.

There’s a clearing up ahead,

Flooded with blinding light.

I draw a shaky breath.

Twigs snap underfoot,

Voices orders me to halt,

And blaster rifles jab my back.

My lightsaber is seized,

Binders clamp my wrists.

I’ll soon be at my father’s mercy.

Fear still gnaws within me,

Sick and frozen fear.

But I think of my sister.

I set my face like steel,

And prepare to meet Darth Vader,

In the service of the light.

My life is all I have to offer,

So offer it I must,

And pour it out like water.

It will not be in vain.

I love my friends, I love my sister –

I choose to love my father, too.

I hope my love will stand the test,

And I surrender everything.

Except, of course, my soul.

Blaster muzzles prod me on –

No need for that.

I move on my own accord,

I carry on until the end –

There is no turning back.

By Ellen Virginia

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