NOTE: This vignette takes place two years before ANH.
The weathered old man stood alone atop one of Tatooine's countless dunes. He was a dark silhouette against the brilliant magenta sky of the binary sunset - the planet's sole claim to natural beauty.
The wind, harbinger of the cold night air, whipped at the worn robes, savaged his hair and beard.
It was a terrible anniversary of a day sixteen years ago, when Obi-Wan Kenobi had stood alone, much as he was standing now, in the stifling heat of another harsh planet.
On that day, he had peered down over the rim of a huge crater into a churning, fiery hell.
Anakin had fallen despite Obi-Wan?s reaching out and grabbing his hand. Anakin, unable and unwilling to allow himself to be forgiven, had let go, plunging to his death.
Wave upon wave of unbearable agony battered his mind through the Force, the savage blows rendering him incapacitated and unconscious. When he had recovered several hours later, he had walked to the crater's edge, retrieving the object he now held in his hand:
Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber.
The weapon was all that remained of the man who had once been not only one of the galaxy's brightest stars, but a dear friend, the son or younger brother Kenobi had never known.
He knew that a half-human, half-mechanical Sith Lord, a creature of hatred, bitterness, and thirst for revenge now occupied what was left of Anakin's body. But Obi-Wan reminded himself that the monstrosity known as Vader was no longer Anakin, could not be. He refused to acknowledge it.
After retrieving Anakin's saber, he had gone to Padm?, now pregnant, to inform her that her children would never know their father. Such a burden only added to the agony with which Kenobi was overcome.
So many tragedies that fateful day. A man doomed to a fate worse than death; a once strong woman left devastated, never to recover; two children born into unspeakable danger from their father's evil Master.
Kenobi, the great Jedi warrior who had once defeated a Sith and who might have been a leader of the now-extinct Jedi Order, now stood alone. His friends were either dead or hidden far away for their protection. He was isolated on a desert planet, sent to watch over a young boy who could not yet watch over himself.
Luke was much like his father at that age: a brilliant, reckless pilot; an irrepressible dreamer; a naive idealist; a young man of incredible potential and destiny.
He looked again at the lightsaber, holding it with a combination of tenderness and reverence. The weapon was now all that remained of he who had once been a great man and would soon pass, through the will of the Force, to Anakin's son, again to be used for its intended purpose - defense against evil: to be the weapon of the first of the new Jedi.
The saber, like the boy, represented a new hope for the future. For Obi-Wan, who had long felt responsible for Anakin's demise, it held a chance for redemption. For the galaxy, it promised a much-needed glimmer in the darkness.
NOTE: much appreciated. Also, thanks to Cynical21 for a couple of ideas.
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