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Flickering Swords: A Strange Star Wars AU Fanfic

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 (Edited)

Alright, my unease with the entirety of SW hasn’t been going away, even despite me really liking “The Village Bride” from SW Visions. Given that it perhaps is one of the few ties, if only the only one, I have left to liking this dumb franchise, I came up with this weird AU fanfiction idea where “The Village Bride” is pretty much the only good thing I can think of in recent years (though cherry-picking bits of the old EU and Disney canon). Everything else in SW (its story, products, its makers and managers, and the fan in all of us) gets the biggest middle finger I can give. I have no idea if I will actually write it, but I hope it’s interesting.

The premise is that it takes place in an AU SW galaxy that criticizes EVERYTHING I find wrong with the franchise as a whole. The main character would have been F (the masked Jedi from “The Village Bride”) traverses a galaxy now ruled by the Empire. Sounds familiar, of course, but there are major differences about the galaxy’s history, which would be reflected throughout the story. The more F travels from planet to planet, the more she realizes just how things are different than from what she initially assumed (just as the readers would realize that later down the line). It takes place 10 BBY-15 ABY, beginning with F’s planet-hopping adventures, continuing into another great galactic conflict where she finds herself helping certain parties involved in said conflict, bringing about a reformed Empire, and ending her journey by having helped to restore the Jedi Knights (she does not overshadow or replace Luke, mind you).

Like I said, this is an AU (alternate universe) so there would be major differences. There would no doubt be more, but here is what I have so far:

  • Have Vader NOT be a Chosen One and just have him be an egotistical maniac. Maybe the Chosen One thing is really from the Sith - Look, as much as I might have been okay with him in the EU, I don’t really like Anakin in the prequels. I also don’t like how so much emphasis of SW’s entire narrative has been placed on Anakin/Vader (what with the whole Chosen One aspect), practically making the galaxy revolve around him. It’s not helped that he was shown to be a crazy maniac in AotC, having killed an entire village of women and children. Thus, I’m writing in this story that Vader was always just some egoistical maniac who wanted power (maybe he was once bullied but has thus become the bully himself), with the Jedi unable to limit his ambitions. The point he is awful, mostly irredeemable, and should not be given much sympathy.

  • Have Obi-Wan, an old man here, be done with it all - Look, Obi-Wan has been called out as a liar and hypocrite, even if you just look at the OT (and it’s not far of a stretch). That being said, the ways his deeds have been called out make it seem like what he has done is worse than Vader in the long run. At the same time, it makes me wonder just what exactly Obi-Wan was doing on Tatooine, let alone having Luke being on the same planet Anakin knew of (without any real explanation given in the movies and not much of a better one in the EU). I’m tired of seeing this, so I just want put it like this: Obi-Wan was a Jedi who found Vader (maybe with Qui-Gon if you want to keep him in) and trained him to be a Jedi but failed to foresee Vader’s ambitious nature. Also, Obi-Wan possibly could have been manipulated by Padme, as well, but he recognized it and got out with the then-baby Luke. As such, Obi-Wan could simply want Luke to have a normal life in the midst of the craziness, going as far as to threaten Owen and Beru to take him in.

  • Make Palpatine a good guy, or at least just a dude with compelling points - Yeah, this one is more for myself. I get Palpatine’s supposed to be Satan/Hitler in the SW galaxy but the way he runs his Empire makes me wonder how he even could do so in the first place (especially with the mismanagement of funds regarding the superweapon projects). Plus, there’s this whole thing about Palpatine coming back from the dead (which the sequels took from Dark Empire-a bad move nonetheless) and being this an incredibly evil guy who follows the ways of the Sith (to that, I’d say he was already bad and didn’t need to adhere to the Sith nonsense to do so in the first place), so I’m just done with that. In the end, I’m writing it so that Palpatine did try to use the Republic’s corruption to his benefit but never foresaw himself becoming emperor, let alone being controlled by the very corrupted Senate members he once used to strengthen his terms as Chancellor. He is unable to do much for many years as emperor, until he finally notices F and convinces her to work for him in some small capacity by gaining information and unveiling the Empire’s corrupt officials.

  • Have Jar Jar actually be good - I don’t think I have to explain why. In this story, I might make him a military commander or politician who gets stuff done. He won’t be comic relief anymore, let alone Lucas’ so-called “key to everything.”

  • Simply have the Empire be evil and EFFICIENT - Again, I shouldn’t have to explain why. Empire’s supposed to be evil but we don’t really see much of their oppressive rule on a galactic scale in the movies (and that’s not going into how the sequels tried to recreate that stupidity with the First Order). As such, the Empire is more or less like you’d expect: a tyrannical version of the Republic from the time of the Clone Wars (which here, would have began with the Separatists being squashed swiftly to the Republic expanding their rule to other unruly planets). Only here, they’re actually shown to be competent with logical methods to their ruling, efficient ruthlessness in disposing enemies and traitors, and so on and so forth. The stormtroopers would be made of an elite clone corp and everyday footsoldiers to help “maintain the peace.” Vader here could be the public face of the Empire, as he already was, but more in the public eye as many could fear him using the Force to bombard their planet with asteroids (more on that further down in the list). In fact, Vader could create the First Order as a rebellious splinter of the Empire, causing civil war across the galaxy using terror tactics.

  • Debase SW’s so-called mythic status - What I say next may be blasphemy but it’s also very true: As much as it helped to inspire other creatives to do their own thing and make other sci-fi franchises, Star Wars as a whole isn’t special like Lucas and Lucasfilm hype it up to be (at least not anymore). I can appreciate the original film being a passion project and the rest growing from that, but a modern myth? Not so much. This could be conveyed through the Republic/Empire, with many people believing it the greatest thing to exist in the universe when there is clear evidence to suggest otherwise.

  • Debase Jedi vs Sith, and light and dark - This is a problem that may have started in the prequel, but it really took form in the EU before appearing in the sequel trilogy. These days, you can’t look at SW without seeing this show up even in something like the High Republic. I’m just tired of seeing it so much (just as with another “versus” thing I will mention later on), so I’m writing it in such a way that the whole Jedi vs Sith hasn’t really happened that much to the point it is mentioned very little, along there being no more Sith for many centuries (meaning Palpatine and anyone else are not Sith).

  • Debase TCW, by pretty much having the Separatists be completely destroyed by their incompetence - The Separatists were idiots. They were that in the prequels and certainly were that in the 2008 Clone Wars cartoon. We rarely got to see a long-lasting victory on the Separatist side, or any sympathetic military commanders (heck, we barely got to see a thing of the Separatists’ view aside from an episode or two about the Separatists parliament with Mina Bonteri). There is no way a group like that would have lasted long, so I’m writing in this fanfic for the Separatists to not have lasted even a year, even with Dooku leading them. This could be due to the government being divided by personal grudges and biases towards each other, very much to a racist degree. Though being swiftly and soundly crushed by the Republic, the rest of the galaxy would look onto the Republic in fear as a result.

  • Maybe Padme is an unfaithful, manipulative woman who fed Vader’s horrible attitude - Okay, I may not necessarily mind Padme as her role is more or less to explain why Luke and Leia are around, and I have nothing against the actress, but there is just not enough done with her character in the movies (heck, the most she does anything is in TPM!). So, I’m writing Padme to be this woman who (after seeing her planet being invaded and no one in the Republic Senate caring at all) learns to manipulate people and pretty much help to bring about the Empire. Maybe she is in exile on Naboo within this AU’s story but she still manipulates people.

  • Have the Jedi Code so broken that everyone agrees it’s ridiculous - I get certain religious groups and orders have a rule of celibacy (which I don’t agree due to my own religious beliefs), but the idea just doesn’t make sense in SW. The lack of clarity and the problems such a rule brings (to not only the canon of the extended material as so many retcons have been made to accomodate for that but in universe with the rule being a major reason why Jedi fall to the Dark Side in the place!) makes me roll my eyes. Therefore, I’m writing it so the Jedi themselves see it that way too, often questioning the necessity of a rule on no attachment. Heck, maybe in the High Republic era (for this story, which is 200 BBY), the Jedi were facing low funds so a few on the Council could have made a rule in which the Jedi would whore themselves around to get some funding from some planets, which would lead into more Jedi wanting to marry and such. Doing so did get rid of the rule but may have also upset Yoda to the point he went into hiding and rarely appeared until around the invasion of Naboo (32 BBY).

  • Simply have the Force be broken, resulting in fluctuations of power depending on who uses it - Okay, can we all agree the Force is absolutely bonkers? I understand it can pretty much be whatever the writers want it to be, but the fact there is little-to-to cohesion in a lot of SW media (from the crazy stunts and powers in Disney material and others like TFU to) just shows it makes no sense. To that extent, I’m writing the Force in a way that it “fluctuates,” and its users have to figure out how and when to use their power at the right time (also connecting to the title “Flickering Swords” as the Force is used to control, if not just power, a lightsaber through the crystal). This would also dispel the notion of the Force being some god as material over the past decade or so wants to propagate.

  • Take a snipe at Han Solo - Let’s face it. Ford never cared for the character, and I always saw the guy overrated to begin with. Heck, I’d probably kill him off in this story like Ford originally wanted in RotJ (he went out like a sucker anyway in TFA).

  • Keep saber duels to something more like in ‘To the Death’ or the OT - Seriously, SW duels are just fancy baton twirling these days. I understand the choreography that goes into it, and that you need to suspend your disbelief at times, but sometimes, the stuff that we see on screen doesn’t make sense and kinda loses their meaning. Keeping “realistic” enough for it and having it make sense for the universe can give that sense of danger, as seen in “To the Death” a “realistic” lightsaber duel made by the Corridor crew (look it up on YouTube).

  • Include time travel and a multiverse - I often quite seen fans and general viewers not want to include time travel, let alone branching timelines in a multiverse. However, I think it can be done by having people from the past (appear as Force Ghosts and projections, or be kept on stasis in a lightspeed/hyperspace incident) and from the future (World Between Worlds and Flow-walking). This could allow for characters to see and maybe even interact with figures from the past and future, learning from old mistakes and preventing mistakes-to-be.

  • There is no Rebel Alliance - Yeah, I’d be crucified for this one, but there is a reason why the Rebel Alliance in the OT has been scrutinized by other fans. We’re not really given a reason what the Rebels’ goals (we just know they’re fighting the Empire and nothing else), nor do general understand its inner-workings that well for many years (sure, there are the books but movie goers won’t spare a glance at them, nor are the extended material meant to justify the movies’ mistakes). There’s also the whole Rebels vs Empire schtick going on in the franchise, showing up in Disney Star Wars as The First Order vs the Resistance and the Empire in the tv shows, as well as existing even the 90s (which Timothy Zahn thankfully ended with his Hand of Thrawn duology). I’m tired of it all, so there is no grand rebel alliance (at least not in the beginning). There are just rebel star systems fighting against the Empire while other worlds try to make change from within it, and both groups see their opportunity with Vader’s First Order causing civil war in the galaxy (which may lead the two groups to join up?).

  • Have Leia and Han NOT hook up - Seriously, in both Disney and the EU, the couple is cursed to have a son fall to the Dark Side, and given how their characters have been treated, why NOT keep them apart? In fact, I’m thinking of killing them both off.

  • Luke’s journey but better - Alright, Luke Skywalker had been one of the few good things I liked of the OT and even parts of the franchise, before TLJ that is. Even then, there are bits of character I do question throughout the entirety of the OT (questions which include “How good of a pilot is he if we don’t really see it before the Death Star trench run?”, “Why is he so adamant that his father is still good when the guy destroyed planets, hurt his friends, and cut off his hands, let alone even forgive the guy?”, and so on). This is meant to showcase that as Luke does still leave home to become a Jedi (albeit under different circumstances as Obi-Wan could be forced to train Luke despite his hesitation), learn about his parents (both of whom are terrible people here), and figure out his emotions about them. In the end, he would ultimately replace Palpatine as the new emperor, instilling reforms, removing the Empire’s corruption, and even helping planets to become independent if they want to.

Screw lightsabers, I’ll stick with regular swords. At least they won’t blow up in my face like this franchise has.