Part One: The Tempest
Time: one year after the events in "The Phantom Menace"
The turbolift ride to the top of Coruscant's Jedi Temple seemed unusually long. Master Yoda had summoned me to the Council Room, and I had the feeling that our meeting would not be brief, or perfunctory.
Something was wrong.
My stomach turned and I began to wonder what I had eaten for breakfast that had made me so queasy, then I remembered that I had been too nervous to eat anything at all.
The turbolift stopped and I stepped out between the sliding metal doors and into the lighted hall. A long, transparasteel window lined the outer wall, and I could see the gray urban cityscape outside. Clouds hung heavy in the air, and here and there it rained in patches on the metropolis. The weather on Coruscant had been growing progressively worse as of late. In one incident, a lightening bolt from a thunderstorm struck one of the planet's mile-high buildings, and, despite all of the lightening rods and surge protectors, it had completely fried the entire complex. The populace was shocked-- if you'll pardon the term-- that all their technology had been for naught in the face of the destructive electricity's power. It was definitely unsettling.
Not that I needed to be any more unsettled than I already was.
Turning from the window, I entered the Council Chamber quickly, not allowing myself time to think or hesitate. Inside, Master Yoda sat alone on his specially crafted chair, gazing out the window at an approaching storm. I walked to the center of the circular room and stood there silently, waiting.
After nearly a full minute, Master Yoda finally turned and regarded me. He looked me over carefully, as if to judge whether or not I would be able to handle what he had to say next.
At long last, he spoke.
"Know you the reason I called here you?" he asked.
"No," I answered honestly. "I don't."
"Ah, but you do. Yet you do not know that you do." The Master's gaze was probing.
I frowned. "Is it Anakin?"
Yoda nodded once. "In part, yes," he conceded. He lifted himself from his seat and, after picking up the cane that lay on the floor beside him, walked to the window. The storm was closer now, and blue-white flashes of lightening burst from it almost rhythmically.
"Yes, break soon the storm will," he muttered to himself. "Soon."
He half-turned to me and continued. "Wondered, Master Mace Windu has, if your apprentice will bring balance to the Force. Now, I know that he will not."
I opened my mouth to speak, but Master Yoda continued.
"Much good there is out there, much evil, too. And it is yet undecided which Anakin will be. That is why arrived here has this." He looked again to the sky. The storm was ominously centering itself over the Temple's spire, growing larger with each breath it seemed to take.
"I don't understand," I broke in. "What is--
"Balanced must the Force be. And now, it has come itself to ensure that balance."
Suddenly, thunder louder than anything I had ever heard rocked the Temple. A large crack appeared in a window, with hairline cracks stemming from it like branches.
"Master!" I said sharply in alarm. But Yoda continued to stare out the window, unmoved.
A lightning bolt arced through the blackening sky, followed by another roar of thunder. A second window shattered.
"Master Yoda!" I cried, but he did not hear me. I looked about hopelessly for an escape.
A window behind me burst, transparasteel flying into the room. The wind, like some demon creature from hell, whipped around the chamber, knocking over the heavy chairs and blowing out another window, shrieking like an unholy banshee.
The wind tore at my face and my robes, threatening to throw me down as easily has it had done the unwieldy Council chairs. I looked in vain for something to cling to, and braced myself for the next powerful gust. Yoda remained by the window, calm and steady, looking for all the worlds like the eye in the center of the storm. The ceiling groaned under the strain the tempest put upon it.
The whole building seemed to sway. A fracture appeared in a wooden support beam, with a sharp pop, like one breaking a stick over their knee, if that person had been a giant and the stick a log. Near the floor, the wall began to crumble, and the ceiling shifted dangerously.
I could barely hear Yoda's voice through the screaming wind. "You, and the others, bring balance to the Force will you-- together."
The wind knocked me off of my feet and threw me to the floor. I lay there, stunned, the breath knocked out of me, staring up at the ceiling. The ceiling shifted once more, broke free of anything that was left to support it, and fell.
All I could remember before the darkness was the sound of wind, and Yoda's voice.
Part Two: Brave New World
To say that I woke up with a splitting headache would be a gross understatement. I regained consciousness many seconds before I actually put up the effort to open my eyes. When I finally did, I was greeted by a harsh, glaring light. I shut my eyes again.
The Temple... I thought groggily. Why aren't I in the Temp--
The memory of the destruction of the Jedi Temple hit me hard, making me sit bolt upright with a start. Forget the Temple, why aren't I dead?
I looked around myself hastily. I was in the middle of some desert, my robes covered with gritty reddish-brown dust. The air was still, and the rays of two yellow suns beat down on me mercilessly. Where was I?
A dozen or so meters away, I noticed that the still form of a girl lay with her back to me. From what I could tell by squinting, she had long brown hair and seemed to be in her teens. I pulled myself up and slowly, as my entire body ached, slowly made my way over to her. Could it be...?
"Amidala," I called weakly. What was she doing here?
The young woman stirred and rolled over to face me. "What?" she asked fuzzily.
It was not Amidala, that I could be sure of. Yet she looked so much like her it was uncanny. I stopped in my tracks. "Who are you?" I asked suspiciously. Maybe it's one of her handmaidens...
"Jaina Solo," she said, sitting up. She wore a plain khaki flightsuit and had something clipped to her belt... No, it couldn't be.
"Who are you?" she queried, putting a hand up to shield the sun from her eyes. Once she got a better look at me in my brown cloak and beige undertunic, she asked. "Are you from the Jedi Academy?"
Jedi Academy! I had never heard of such a thing. We had our Jedi training schools that we attended before apprenticeship, but no "Academy".
"No, I'm not from the 'Academy,'" I said.
"But aren't you a Jedi?" the girl pressed.
"Yes, I am." I looked her over she stood up and stepped toward me. "My name is Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Jaina gasped. After a moment, she ventured, "The Obi-Wan Kenobi?"
I frowned. "I can think of none other."
A look of utter amazement crossed Jaina's face. "Uncle Luke's teacher..." she whispered.
"Look, now, I don't know anyone by the name of Luke--" I began, but I was cut off by the sound of approaching footsteps. The both of us turned to see a young man coming up over a rocky escarpment.
"Hello, there," he called, brushing a fold of a blue cape over his shoulder. He had dark hair and a dark mustache. When he was closer he continued, calling, "My name's Biggs Darklighter. You two seem lost."
"Where are we?" I called back. The place seemed familiar, but I wanted to be sure.
"Tatooine," he replied, confirming my suspicions. He stopped at my side.
Jaina looked at Biggs confusedly. "Biggs... Luke's friend from Tatooine..."
"Why yes, I know Luke," said Biggs, smiling. "How do you know him? I haven't seen you around here before."
But Jaina was backing away slowly from the both of us. Her hands were up, palms forward, and her expression was the same as if she had seen a ghost. "But you're..." she murmured. "You're both... both... dea--"
With that, she fainted in a heap on the dusty ground.
WHO PICKS UP THE STORY NEXT?
1. Captain Panaka (Prequel)
2. Chewbacca (Classic)
3. Mara Jade (Expanded)
4. A Prequel character of your own choosing
5. A Classic character of your own choosing
6. An Expanded character of your own choosing