The Night of Revelations.
Leia could not sleep. She was tired as all get out, but her
mind was far to busy to allow her body to rest. Thoughts, dreams,
ideas, and all-out shock pervaded her mind, keeping her tossing and
turning that night high above the forests of Endor in the hollow tree
Neither would she let herself sleep. In the darkness, she
feared a nightmare. Sleeping would allow for dreams, and for her
subconscious to play with the turmoil of her mind, twisting it into
who-knows-what. Reality was bad enough. She did not want to see what
fantasy could turn it into.
Finally she arose, silently, from her place. If she could not
sleep, she would walk, think, meditate. Her shock needed absorbing
and only time would help her do that. She left the quiet warmth of
the treehouse and proceeded out to one of the high wooden platforms
strung from tree to tree. There she contemplated the stars, and in
the stars she was comforted for awhile. Yet her mind did not let her
have peace for long. A bright metallic globe swung into view, and she
knew what it was. The sight of the far-off Deathstar quickly
resurrected those thoughts from which she had briefly found sanctuary.
(Even in the stars, it pursues me) she thought, despairing.
(I'll never be free from it.) Taking her eyes away from the tainted
heavens, she looked down to the shadows of the dark void below.
(If only I could let it swallow me. Then I wouldn't have to deal
with this anymore.) But as she considered the darkness, another part
of her fought back (That's the fool's escape! Such an easy way to
avoid your problems! I'm strong enough to face this!) She looked
back to the stars. (I hope.)
Resting on a wooden railing, Leia put her head on her folded
arms and closed her eyes. She wondered how those who knew her would
take this awfull news, once she was willing to tell them. Would she
even have to? Luke had gone to face Vader; what if he failed? Surely
the Rebellion would never survive if tomorrow's battle was lost. She
did not want to dwell on such an idea. Her thoughts drifted to her
adoptive family, destroyed so callously four years ago. Quickly she
fought to ignore the circumstances surrounding the destruction. (I
wonder what they would think of all this. I wish my father were here,
the man who raised me.) There was silence a long time. Even the
forest creatures ceased their nightly lullabye.
It came to Leia that someone was standing behind her. It
wasn't Han, it wasn't Threepio, and it certainly wasn't an Ewok. She
felt that she knew him, but did not turn around, unsure of who she
would meet at this time of night.
"Leia." the voice was right behind her. Every hair on Leia's
neck and arms stood on end. She knew that voice. She knew it
intimately. She straightened.
"Leia. I need to speak to you. There are some things you
must know." Fearful, yet knowing in her heart what was going on,
Leia turned about.
There, before her, stood a shimmering image of a man she
thought she would never see again: Bail Organa, the man who had
raised her. His face was kind, his manner understanding. His eyes
were full of sorrow, seeing this dear woman whom he had called
"daughter" so distraut over such a horrible truth. He knew why she
did not speak.
"I have been sent," he said softly "to explain some things to
you. And to comfort you. What you have learned would be easy for no
Leia stared. "'Sent'?" Her mind wanted to dismiss what she
saw as an apparition of an addled mind, but her heart said, no.
He really was here, in spirit, for her.
"Meaning, I could not be here on my own, nor can I stay long.
But ever since death, I have worked so hard at contacting you. This
is the time, at last."
"The time for me to know the truth, you mean." Leia said,
beginning to see. Her voice became accusing. "You knew who I really
was. You knew all the time."
"Of course." Organa said gently. He motioned for her to have
a seat on a bit of tree that had been cut out to serve as a bench. He
sat next to her. "Your mother and I knew this day would come. We had
only hoped that it would be under other circumstances."
Leia snorted derisively. "Circumstances that never happened.
When were you going to tell me?"
"I wanted you to know from the beginning." Bail answered,
"but the Jedi wouldn't have it. They said it would be a risk."
"An unessessary temptation. I saw their point, but maybe
things could have been different. It certainly would never have come
"Then what *was* their plan?"
"The *whole* plan, the one drawn up before your birth, was
supposed to have been completed years ago. Four years, to be exact.
It was to begin with your mission to Tattooine.
"It was shortly after the fall of the Republic, that your
birthmother came to me, accompanied only by Obi-Wan Kenobi. She was
pregnant and scared, but far too strong to shy from her role in the
plan. I was glad to take you as my daughter, once you were born."
"On Alderaan?" Curiosity was beginning to eat at her anger.
"Yes, you were born on Alderaan. Kenobi took Luke to
Tattooine to be cared for by some friends. The plan was that when you
reached eighteen years of age, I would send you to Kenobi, who would
return to Alderaan with both you and Luke. There we would explain at
least part of your ancestry, and you would train together as Jedi.
When that was completed, you would be told the whole story, and would
be ready to face the Emporer and Vader. As twins, your shared link
would render you unassailable by the dark side. As the Children of
Skywalker, you would have more than enough strength to succeed. The
Jedi would be avenged, the Galaxy saved, and we all could go on to
rebuild all that was lost."
Again, Leia was silent. This was a change in perspective that
she never expected. Of course, it was obvious now, that even in the
beginning, she and Luke had been meant to meet, to be Jedi, to face
this future. Yet it seemed so strange. The failed mission to
Tattooine was so long ago.
"But it didn't work out that way." she said at last. "Kenobi
was killed, and you...Alderaan was gone before Luke and Han got out of
hyperspace, or so they tell me."
"No, that's the strange part. Two out of three elements of
our plan were destroyed, but you and Luke were the key, and you
survived. You met anyway. It's not a coincidence. The Will of the
Force was in control.
"The Dark Side controls the Empire, through the Emperor and
Vader for the most part, yet it manipulates others from time to time.
Vader hunted down Kenobi, but it was Tarkin who had Alderaan destroyed.
Yet the Will of the Force stepped in, using that trajedy to guide Luke
"You make it sound like we're pawns in some Galactic chess
"In a way, we all are. We have freewill to choose between one
path and another, but in the end, the Will of the Force decides the
ultimate outcome. Luke didn't have to go with Kenobi. Han didn't
have to fly them to Alderaan. Han also didn't have to go after that
TIE fighter that brought them to the Death Star.
"I didn't have to adopt you, but I did."
Leia's mind was full of the might-have-beens the sheer breadth
of which Organa had only hinted at.
"I didn't have to trust Luke when he unlocked my cell" she
"Yet you did."
"My whole life has guided me to this, then."
"It was bound to happen eventually."
Leia paused, considering. "May I ask something?"
Bail smiled. "Anything."
"How did it start? What is the whole story, from the
beginning? I know how Palpatine was elected Chancellor, and all the
political reasons, but..."
"How did your parents meet, how Anakin fell, all that?"
"Yes, all of it." Leia said.
Bail thought a moment. "Let's see. I think it started with
the blockade of the planet Naboo, your mother's home, by the Trade
Federation..." And he told the whole tale, all of it from the fall
of the Republic even up to the present day. Leia was entranced.
Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined a tale like this.
Bail's description of Anakin was most moving.
"He wore the robes of a Jedi, had a Padawan braid and a
lightsaber, but he didn't behave like a Jedi. He was personable,
kind, very intelligent, eager to help and to do... I liked him from
the beginning, even if I didn't show it. He hated injustice, in all
its forms. He was impatient, but he always meant well. His loyalty
to whatever side he chose was fierce. He and Amidala were a good
match, even if he always preferred action to discussion."
"Like me..." Leia mused.
Bail looked at her closely. "You would have liked him, I
He continued his story as Leia considered this. Very
suddenly it occured to her not only how much she was like the Anakin
who had been destroyed, but the Vader she hated. The rest of the
tale went quickly: the romance of Anakin and Amidala, marraige, the
Clone Wars, Anakin's betrayal, the fall of the Republic and the
destruction of the Jedi, Amidala arriving on Alderaan, the sacrifice
she made for her children.
Leia shook her head. "This is my inheritance?" she asked
hoarsely. "A history of suffering and betrayal? How do I know my
life won't be like that? It already has."
"It is true your family has suffered much already," Bail
conceded, "but it wasn't from some inherant curse. Palpatine has
been behind it all for years."
"And now he threatens to take Luke, too. After all this."
"Luke's fate has yet to be decided. You can't give up hope.
He *is* the Son of Skywalker."
"I wish there was a way to know, to see at least what could
happen." Leia said, looking up to the stars.
Bail paused. "I think there is."
Leia glanced at him in surprise. His eyes were fixed on the
stars, as if listening forsomething. At last he turned to her.
"Leia, you are a Jedi's daughter. The Force is strong with
you. Unusually strong. There is no reason why you cannot look into
the future yourself, to see what might happen tomorrow.
"Now I've stayed as long as could, Leia," Bail continued,
looking into her eyes. "I wish it weren't like this, but my time here
Leia nodded mournfully, she knew what he meant. "Thankyou for
coming," she whispered. "It helped." It had helped; in some small way
her pain had been eased.
"I love you, Leia," Bail said, standing, "Don't forget that."
Leia smiled, but she did not speak. "Things will work out, in the
"Is that what you told yourself all those years as you
raised Vader's daughter while the Empire destroyed everything around
you?" Leia asked.
"No" Bail admitted. "I remembered the words of a wise old man
from a time long past, of why we should *never* despair: 'Despair is
only for those who see the end beyond all doubt.' Not even a Jedi can
see that much. Remember that."
"I will. I promise."
There was a shimmer in the air, and the form of Bail Organa
was gone. Leia gazed back up at the stars, reflecting on all that had
happened. It was a lot to digest, but at least some of the pain and
shock were gone. Vader was her father, certainly, but he *had* been a
Jedi once, and her mother had been a brave and honorable woman. Leia
had nothing to be ashamed of. As for sharing all this news, well, it
seemed a number of older Rebels might already have an inkling. It
would be hard to tell Han, but with a past like his, Leia doubted he
would hold such a parentage against her. And as for the future, that
was still undecided. She closed her eyes and meditated, wondering if
she could get a glimpse into coming events.
One image came to her mind, fleeting and bright: it was Luke,
descending the ramp of an Imperial shuttle, onto the forest floor of
Endor. He was beaten, bruised, and weary, but as he lifted his head,
she could see such peace in his eyes that Leia had no doubts. The
Will of the Force was behind them; they would win in the end.