I know it’s traditional to receive gifts on your birthday, and I know you’re going to give me
one. I know you that well by now.
But Luke, I’m the one who must give you a present.
I have so much to thank you for, Son. All the presents in the Universe are not enough to show you my respect,
my gratitude, my admiration. My love.
I’m so full of it that it hurts to breathe. If I could take my heart out somehow, I know it would continue
beating out of my chest, that much I love you.
You gave me a second chance at life, and even if it still feels wrong being alive when I caused so much pain
and destruction, there’s also a sweet hope in the knowledge of being alive. Every new day renews my determination to
make up to you, to everyone. And even though I know I’ll never do enough, having you by my side, having your love, is
the one precious treasure that gives me strength.
You’re so much better than I, little one. You’re the mirror I try to see myself reflected in.
I look into your eyes, and my mind and my heart are full of Light. Every new morning I promise myself to never disappoint
you, to always see that proud, loving spark in your eyes every time you look at me.
You teach me something new every day, and every day I wonder what I ever did to deserve you.
You’re an adult now, a grown man. And yet, so often, I wish I could cuddle you, and hold you, as I
know I would have done if...
But we have each other now, and I thank the Force that it is so.
I’m not Anakin Skywalker. That’s not the way I envision myself and my place in the universe anymore.
I am the father of Luke Skywalker. That’s who and what I am.
I’ve done some good and a lot of evil, but there’s only one perfect thing I’ve done in
my life. And that perfect thing is you, and your sister.
I love you, Luke. My beloved Son. My guiding star. My beautiful angel. Thank you for bringing me back, so
I can devote the rest of my life to being worthy of you.
P.S. I know you will be wondering why I chose to write this letter as my present for you. You see, I’ve
been observing you this past year. Watching you. Knowing you. Your tastes, your moods. What makes you happy. What makes you
sad, so I can keep you away from it. I wanted to find something you might want or need. Something special you’d like
to have. But you always got it yourself before I had the chance to find out.
It took me some time, thick man that I am, but I finally figured out that it’s not material things
you want. You never needed those. You only need the most essential, basic things to be happy. I finally realized that this
letter will mean more to you than all the riches in the galaxy.
Still, I am the richest man in the universe, Luke.
I have you.
Luke put down the paper and stared at it for an eternity. He couldn’t stop looking at it, reading it
over and over again, learning those words by heart, feeding from them. Tears trickled down his cheeks, but he read
until his vision got blurry and his thoughts became just as blurry.
When he returned from the warm place where he had retreated into, he blinked and wiped away the moisture
on his face.
His most precious treasure.
Finally, he put the letter on the centre of the table, and stared at it for another eternity, getting lost
in his father’s beautiful handwriting and the love every word radiated.
Sometime later, he smiled tenderly and forcing himself to stand up, began the search for a sheet of paper
and his best pen. The best of the two he had.
Taking a deep breath and holding the pen firmly in hand so his writing didn’t shake, he wrote a short
letter that he promptly gave the mail droid.
Fifteen minutes later, Anakin received the letter in his quarters.
Immediately recognizing the lively handwriting, Anakin sat down at his desk and caressed the sender’s
name on the envelope.
"For the Attention of Anakin Skywalker, Vice-President of the Republic"
Anakin’s eyes drifted closed and he smiled, shaking his head. Those words were a statement in themselves.
Even in an internal letter, Luke always deferred to his father’s importance, always putting him and his dignity first.
His chest constricted and his eyes misted at the selfless, generous gesture. Indeed, what had he done to deserve it?
With trembling fingers, he used a silver paper knife to open the envelope, the same knife he used to open
He took out a folded sheet of paper and cradled it in his palm before reading it.
And here I was, agonizing about not knowing what to get you to honour the happiest day of my life. Or rather,
the first of the happiest days of my life.
I was embarrassed to ask, because I thought I was too old to need something that at age ten people claim
to be too old to want.
I may be 23 years old now, Father, but I will never stop needing you. I’ll never stop needing your
hugs, your constant displays of affection. I need them like the very air I breathe.
I’m not worthy of your words, but I’ll spend the rest of my life striving to be worthy of the
most beautiful gift I’ll ever receive.
It’s my greatest honour to be known as your son. Having your name defined my identity when I was too
young to know who Luke Skywalker was. I’ll always define myself in relation to you.
I love you, Dad. Words cannot express what I’m feeling in my heart right now. But you are in my heart.
You live in it. You know how I feel.
I understand now. No tokens are needed to celebrate this day. A hug from my father is all that I need. It’s
what I prayed for since I was old enough to dream, and what I resigned myself to never have.
I’m afraid I disagree with you, Father. *I* am the richest man in the Universe. For how’s a person
supposed to feel when their one dearest, impossible dream comes true?
Luke Skywalker, son of Anakin.
"No, Son. *I* am," Anakin whispered to himself, putting the letter down, his voice thick with tears.
The door buzzed, shaking him out of his highly emotional state. Still, knowing he wouldn’t be able
to disguise it from whoever was knocking, he prepared to excuse himself with the first pretext that came to mind.
"Come in," he invited, averting his eyes a little when the doors opened.
Luke walked in, cheeks already flushed in embarrassment, twisting his hands like a nervous five year old.
He was biting the inside of his pursed lips and his eyes avoided meeting Anakin’s, in obvious self-consciousness.
Anakin felt that his insides were melting as the image of a tiny, dishevelled, agitated little child filled
"Happy birthday, Dad," Luke whispered, his voice hoarse and trembling with emotion.
"My little one," Anakin sighed, holding out his arms. "My brave, precious boy."
Luke’s eyes met his father’s at last, and a universe of childish, palpitating need swept Anakin
Together, they took one step forward. Arms enveloped their cherished prize, and they submerged in the soothing
waves of warmth and comfort their minds rained on one another.
‘Bless the Force that I’m alive,’ Anakin thought, ‘so I can give him this.
So I can give him everything he needs, for as long as he needs it. I love him so! My beautiful baby! So much to make up to
you! Always. Always!’
Luke buried his face in Anakin’s shoulder, cuddling up to him like a hungry cub, getting lost in the
feelings that floored him every time his father welcomed him into his arms. His mind touched Anakin’s tentatively, and
Anakin opened up to him, offering the deepest, most intimate part of him for Luke to snuggle and curl up to.
Forever safe. Forever loved. Forever home. Both of them.
And in that single, perfect moment in time, no being in the Universe had ever been richer than those two
hearts forever bonded to each other, beating as one.