Star Wars fan fiction is a new one for me, I must confess. I've never written fan fiction before, and to be honest I wasn't in any hurry to start- I mean I'd rather tell my own story than write fan fic about someone else's universe- although having said that, I don't want to imply that there's anything wrong with fan fiction. In fact I think it's fine, generally. I just never really had a desire to do it myself.
So what changed? Well it's no secret that I wasn't a fan of Star Wars The Last Jedi. They're taking the franchise in a totally different direction than I would, and I decided to write a quick story just to indulge myself. The biggest changes for me are- Luke, Han and Leia play a much more active role, and are still in regular contact with each other. None of this being separated for years stuff. So, try not to laugh too hard as I take my stab at it! It was kind of fun. And let me know in the comments what you think- where would you take the story?
The More Things Change...
Artoo Detoo was rolling up the ramp of the Millennium Falcon as Han approached. Republic flight crews were finishing up their pre-flight checks, and as always he felt a twinge of annoyance when someone else worked on his ship. But that wasn't why he was here. Looking around the flight deck, he spotted Luke standing a ways off, and headed in that direction. Luke was in his customary black, with his cowl thrown back, and though his sandy hair was streaked with gray, he still looked like a kid to Han. A very dangerous kid.
"Han," Luke replied. He didn't seem surprised to see the Corellian, and not for the first time Han realized that Luke had probably sensed him coming a mile away. You never got used to it though.
"Listen, kid, are you sure you don't want me or Chewie to come along? I'm sure one of us could get out..."
"No, it's okay, Han. I'm good," Luke replied. "Besides, I'll need to focus on this one, and while the company would be more than welcome, it would affect my concentration a bit. And I've got Artoo with me."
"Alright," Han said grudgingly.
"Thanks for letting me use the Falcon," Luke added, turning to face Han for the first time. "I know it must be hard. I can take a Republic ship..."
"No, take her. I want you to take her. She's still the fastest lug in the galaxy, no matter what anyone says. And with that new anti-sensor array package we installed she'll get you there quieter than any Republic slug could. Just... be careful, you know? With her?"
"With her?" Luke smiled. "You know, she may be the fastest ship in the fleet, but supposedly I'm the best pilot this side of... well, Beggar's Canyon, so no need to worry," he said with a twinkle in his eye. And it was true. Luke's legend had only grown since the Battle of Yavin all those years ago, and while the Jedi rarely traveled alone anymore, he still flew better than just about anyone Han knew. Including maybe himself? He pushed that thought away with a scowl.
"Yeah well there was that time off of Ord Mantell," Han pointed out with a raised eyebrow.
"Ord Mantell?" Luke repeated with mock offense. "You try having a dozen TIE fighters and an Imperial cruiser on your tail and coming back with no more than a little scuppering..."
"A little scuppering?" Han scoffed. "Your little scuppering meant a weeks' worth of repairs! And I have been there, as you may recall."
Luke opened his mouth to reply, and then laughed. Han did the same, and threw his arm around Luke's shoulder. For all the training Luke had undergone, all the missions and secrets Han wasn't allowed to know, it was times like these that they were just Luke and Han. Friends first.
"Well, it's about time," Luke said as the pre-flight crews gave the go-ahead.
"Watch yourself, Luke. And... may the Force be with you."
"And with you, Han. See you soon." And with that he strode away, his cloak billowing behind him, and Han felt a twinge as Luke ascended the ramp into the Falcon.
Luke felt a flutter in his mind as he entered the Falcon's cockpit. "Hello, Leia," he said as he ran through his pre-flight routine and started up the engines. No matter how many times he flew her, he never ceased to be amazed at how a ship that looked so nondescript could be so sharp. It was a testament to Han's skill, no question about it.
"Luke," replied Leia. "How are you doing?"
"I'm good. And you?"
"I'm fine. Have you seen Han?"
"I just left him. I think he's a little worried about the Falcon."
"That doesn't surprise me." Luke could sense Leia's smile. "I'm worried about this mission though, are you sure you want to do this alone? There are a lot of variables in play, lots of things that could go wrong. We can back you up on this one."
"It's alright, Leia. I've got this. And if I do run into anything I can't handle, trust me. You and Han will be the first to know."
"Okay, well be careful. And remember, you're not invincible, Luke."
"Believe me, I know that only too well," he replied with a wry smile. "Take care while I'm gone, and give the twins a kiss for me. I'll be back before you know it."
A few minutes later the Falcon was aloft and heading for orbit, and although Luke had spent years on Coruscant he never ceased to be amazed at the sheer volume of traffic, the billions of people who made the city-planet their residence. As he settled comfortably in the pilot's chair he heard Artoo roll into the cockpit, and the little droid was clearly curious about where they were going, judging from his long stream of beeps and boops.
"No worries, Artoo. I've got everything logged into the navi-computer. We should be fine. Although," he said mischievously, "we are going to make a little stop at one of your favorite places. Just a little something I have to do there." Artoo let out a long, querulous trill. Luke couldn't help but smile.