"I will not turn. And you’ll be forced to kill me."
"If that is your destiny..."
Luke’s soul recoiled from the chilling coldness of that statement.
‘Do you really care that little about my life? Can really a father feel nothing about his child? Force,
it’s so against nature! If all parents felt like that about their children, there would be no life in the universe.
I care about you despite what you did to me. Despite the nightmares that still plague me. I am ready to die to save you. And
there you stand, telling me that you will kill me if I don’t turn. What happened to you, Father? There’s passion
in you. I know. I felt it. It almost consumed me with its fire. Where did that passion go these past few months? Why can’t
you accept me as I am, with the choices I’ve made, and love me the same way I love you, despite what you are? Why can’t
you hold me, and protect me, as parents do? I would die for a hug from you! I would die for you!’
Luke closed his eyes, emotionally exhausted momentarily.
Out of the blue, his mind lit up with a vision of himself walking up to his father fearlessly and pressing
his head to his chest, cuddling up to him.
Miraculously, the handcuffs disappeared and he was free to wrap his arms around his father’s back,
burying his face in the leather next to the chestplate.
And then, all his dreams came true when, hesitatingly, he felt Vader’s arms moving up oh-so-slowly,
and enveloping him in their warm embrace almost shyly.
Letting out an incoherent moan, Luke pressed up to his father’s body, as Vader’s hold increased
to the point he was crushing him to his chest. His tears ran down the front of his father’s padded suit, and he wished
to lose himself in that so longed for embrace and never let go.
One of Vader’s hands moved again. His gloved fingers tangled in his hair, cradling his head and pressing
it against him ever harder.
Luke’s mind exploded with love, and his arms returned the pressure, clinging to his father and releasing
all the need for him he had bottled up all of his life. Sometimes, he felt he had been born missing him, needing him with
every spark of life he had.
The sublime beauty of the moment was everything he had prayed for, and more.
Father and Son, together at last. Free to love each other the way a father and his son should love one another.
But when he blinked his eyes open, he gave a small start. Nothing had changed. Vader’s unfeeling words
still echoed in the corridor. Final. Terrifying.
Emboldened by the beauty of the vision, everything in Luke rebelled against them.
"Search your feelings, Father. You can’t do this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate!"
he half-pleaded, half-demanded.
Something changed in Vader’s aura. The Darkness around him shifted somehow, and his stiffened body
seemed to unbend a little. An infinite weariness came out of him in waves.
And maybe... Sadness? Regret?
His next words seemed to confirm it.
"It is... too late for me, Son."
‘No! It’s never too late! You only have to want it and come with me, Father. We make our own
destinies. Don’t surrender to what you think is inevitable. Fight beside me instead of against me. Want it! Want it!
But Vader didn’t want. Everything in his stance told him so. He had submitted totally to the wishes
of his master. He had made them his own. He regretted things, but did nothing to change them. He didn’t have the will
And Luke mourned the loss of the indomitable spirit that had once been.
"Then my father is truly dead." The words left his lips of their own volition. And at that single moment
in time, he meant them.
His eyes met those black pools of nothingness one last time, before walking away.
But he would never give up. He would fight until his last breath. He would show his father that he still
had faith in him. That he still trusted the man who had fought in the Clone Wars, defending freedom and a system that, albeit
flawed and in urgent need of some drastic changes, was infinitely better than the reign of terror he had known all his life.
The fire in his eyes burned Vader as the door closed and created a physical barrier between them.
When the young man couldn’t see him anymore, the Sith Lord walked up to the railings and grabbed them
He could still feel the warmth and the overwhelming sensation of holding his son in his arms. He didn’t
know what had triggered that vision, but it had shaken him to his core.
He knew how Luke’s face felt all pressed up against his chest as he cuddled up to him needfully. He
knew how his hair felt in his hands, how it was to cradle his head in his hand as if he was a baby.
He knew how a father felt, being embraced in return by his child. How it was to feel arms wrapping themselves
around his back, so generous and giving.
He had felt his son’s strength holding him, cradling him. Protecting him.
And he wished to be worthy of so much courage.
‘Be strong for me, Son. Be strong for me, for I don’t know if your faith in me will be enough.’
Up on the landing platform, the young Jedi walked up the ramp into the Imperial shuttle.
‘Wake up inside, Father. Be strong! Have faith in my faith in you. Trust me to save you. To save us