By : Valeda Kor
Sreya's account of a chance meeting between Princess Leia and Darth Vader is fraught with implication, and excellently told. The young princess, 14 years old, has joined her father at a Republic banquet on Coruscant. Bail Organa is called away for a moment, long enough that she has a...visitor. The author's description of a young girl's emotions and of Bail Organa's panic at his daughter's companion is perfectly believable. Her use of characterization is excellent, the story's pace rapid. Much is told in a few short paragraphs.
One must assume that circumstances force the Sith Lord further over to the dark side at a slightly later date than this story, for Sreya does not portray him as a consummately evil villain in this particular meeting with Leia. The image we know is certainly lurking, however, in her brief description of "a bipedal being...encased in black," and "his deep voice reverberating inside her [Leia's] ribcage." Does he know who she is? Of course. What triggers his hateful episodes later? One can infer that Darth Sidious has worked his diabolic magic well.
The author includes a short but telling moment. Leia is surprised that the crowded banquet room is full only of humans. Is Sreya hinting that the un-proclaimed Emperor has already begun his "racial cleansing?" Readers may draw their own conclusions. It's a fine bit of foreshadowing, in a delightful story.