"The Jedi are extinct. Their fire has gone out of the galaxy."
-Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Star Wars: A New Hope
You asked your father about the Jedi for the first time when you were ten. Your Imperially sanctioned history book told you that they were a religious order of warriors who betrayed the Republic. The Jedi were said to have mystic powers, but this, according to your textbook, was pure propaganda and superstition.
Even at ten, you were Bail Organa's daughter, a skeptic to the core.
Your father gave you a sad smile and said, "The Jedi were just people, Leia, people with special gifts. They made some mistakes during the Clone Wars--we all did--but they tried to do right by the galaxy."
"So they didn't betray the Republic?" you asked.
"They tried to save the Republic," your father said. "One of them was a very good friend of mine--Obi-Wan Kenobi. I haven't seen him in years...."
Years later, as you stand before a battered and outdated astromech droid, your ship shaking around you from ion canon fire, you remember what your father told you about the Jedi. It cannot be a coincidence, that your ship has been boarded above the very backwater Outer Rim planet where your father last saw Obi-Wan Kenobi. He is your only hope now. The Alliance's only hope.
You will die here, you think, above a sun-seared planet half the galaxy has never heard of. If the Empire has dared to board a diplomatic vessel, they know enough to execute you. This knowledge gives you the bravery to face the Imperial soldiers without flinching.
But you know, with a bone-deep certainty--perhaps it is the Force the Jedi believed in--that the Death Star plans in the astrodroid will reach Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Some of the older pilots who hang around Anchorhead, spice burn-outs and alcoholics, still talk about the Jedi Knights. They speak in the same hushed and nervous tones moisture farmers use for the Sandpeople. No one's seen a Jedi in twenty years--the Empire wiped them out for as many reasons as tale-tellers--but a fair number of the pilots claim to have had a run-in with Jedi justice in the old days, before the Empire.
The Jedi, they said, could see into your mind and twist your thoughts--but that wasn't the worst. They had laser swords that could cut off limbs. The burns never healed right, worse than blaster fire. Bounty hunters were better than Jedi. Imperial justice was better than Jedi.
You asked your uncle about it and he snorted the same way he did when you talked about going to Imperial Academy someday and being a pilot like your dad. Uncle Owen never talked about Sandpeople in hushed tones, either.
"The Jedi weren't evil," he said. "A bunch of damnfool would-be heroes, but decent enough folk. Never had much to do with us out here on the Rim."
Then he told you to stop idling and get back to your chores.
Aunt Beru told you more--that the Jedi were peacekeepers of the Republic, and they had special powers. "I met a Jedi once," she said, with a wistful smile. "He was a good man. Passed away about the same time your father did."
In the evening, after your chores are done, you like to take your binocs up on the roof and watch the stars. Someday you'll be up there, flying.
Surely not all the Jedi are dead--not such beings filled with fire and glory. Someday--you are sure--you will meet a Jedi.