Luke walked into the small house, folding his cloak over his arm. It had lain vacant for four years. The door and windows were intact--the place had not been raided. No surprise there; locals, even the sand people, thought it was a place of ghosts, that the crazy old wizard had cursed it.
Fine, gritty dust covered everything. The whitewash was flaking from the sandstone. Many of the lights had malfunctioned, and the furnishings were in a disarray that recalled the speedy evacuation.
Luke hung his cloak by the side of the door and found the usual sand broom and dustpan on another hook. He brushed off the low table in the main room and began setting up his communicator.
He felt unsettled, to say the least. Returning to his erstwhile home had given him a profound sense of dissonance. Strange to think that the vast majority of his life had been lived here. It felt like he had been asleep all those years, compared to the activity of the past few. But he had to wonder if his uncle was right, and a quiet
life of farming was indeed more worthwhile than adventure and the pain and loss he found in it.
He sneezed once--twice--three times from the dust raised. "Luck turns to dust, and dust turns to luck," he recited, and laughed at himself for remembering the old rhyme.
Luke stood and plugged the terminal cord into the antenna socket in the ceiling. He had checked the outside antennae already, and found them intact.
He turned on the comm and listened to it warm up. It sounded good, fortunately. He had been worried when he found sand in the carrier--off-planet goods weren't made to stand up to the persistent sands of Tattooine.
Luke typed in the code for Leia's encrypted private channel. His eyes played about the room as he waited for the comm to connect. Obi-Wan's home was typical of a Tattooine farmer, with nothing that would betray any other life. Except--for the chest that stood on the other side of the table, under a decorative dagger. Luke recognized it as the chest that had held his father's lightsaber and decided to investigate later.
The communicator connected and signaled. Luke brought his attention back to the screen as Leia's pretty face filled it at last.
"Luke. I'm glad to hear from you, we were getting worried. Is the house everything you expected?"
"It'll do," he said, smiling. "It's undisturbed, and I haven't seen any of the locals nearby. They think it's haunted. I should be safe here."
"I don't understand why you can't stay with us," Leia said, her brow creased.
Luke sighed. "I just--need to be away for a while."
"If you insist. Keep in contact. Lando is infiltrating Jabba's palace now; I'll let you know when we hear from him."
"Thanks. I'll tell you if anything comes up. Out."
"Out," she replied, and the connection broke.
Luke shut down the communicator, sealing the case to try to keep the dust out. He then went back to work with the broom, sweeping the surfaces and the floor and shaking out the seat coverings and bedding. The work was intimately familiar; his body fell into it automatically.
The first sun had set and the second was on the horizon by the time he finished cleaning. Luke checked the perimeter alarms along the path up to the house and secured the speeder mask, returning to the house just as night fell. He sealed the windowless house against the lurking cold of the desert night.
Luke paused for a moment, looking around the house. He needed still to repair some of the lights, and wash everything. Sweeping wasn't quite enough. The stove needed to be scrubbed before he could cook anything. He would have to check the water vaporator in the morning--lots of things could go wrong with that sort of machinery, as he well knew. If he stayed long, he should really re-paint the walls. He thought about what Aunt Beru would have to say about people with flaking paint--"shabby, just plain shabby"--and smiled sadly. So much of his history was still here.
His gaze fell again on the chest against the wall. Now is as good a time as any, he thought, and crossed the room to open it.
Inside was a jumble of personal objects, the sort of things that only make sense to the owner. Luke felt strange about going through the old man's possessions, but was riveted nonetheless. A rock, for example--just a rock, nothing unusual about it. A strip of woven cloth. A long, thin braid of reddish-brown hair, another of gold, and a third, shorter than the others, of dark brown shot with gray. Some small wood carvings, and another of stone. A large, faceted bead made of black glass.
At the bottom of the small chest, Luke found a heavy object wrapped in cloth. He unrolled it, marveling in the fine material; cloth like this hadn't been produced since before the Clone Wars.
Inside the cloth was a lightsaber. Luke held it reverently, understanding the import of the weapon far better now than he had four years earlier. He thought back to Yoda's lessons about lightsabers and their colors and the making thereof.
The lightsaber was rather too large for his hand, as his first one had been. Its creator must have been a big fellow, just like Luke's father.
He ignited the saber. The blade was a cool, serene green, the color of life, a rare color here on Tattooine. Luke had considerably less appreciation for the color blue now that he was back under the broad, punishing skies of home.
The saber hummed peacefully in his hand. Luke wondered whose it had been. Obi-Wan had told him so little about himself, about his life before the wars. He doled out drops of history when Luke wanted rivers. And it wasn't as if he told Luke the most important things, either...
Luke turned off the saber and sat down at the table. He needed to construct a new lightsaber; blasters and the like were not the weapon of a Jedi Knight. To construct a lightsaber, he needed a crystal. He had already picked up the parts required for the housing and mechanism, but he didn't have the first idea where to find a suitable crystal...except for the saber lying before him.
But he couldn't simply cannibalize this saber, could he? It was a slice of history, a memento from a more civilized time--all that remained of the Jedi who had made it. But on the other hand--he couldn't be a Jedi with a blaster. He owed it to history, to his mentor and himself to resurrect the ways of the Jedi.
Luke closed his eyes, torn. He thought about his life on Tattooine, and his life away. When he opened his eyes one memory stuck with him: an incident from his boyhood, watching two Jawas make a jib'wa prayer over a young Bantha they had killed for food. How surprised he had been to watch the ultimate scavengers thank the animal for giving up its life for the good of their tribe.
He smiled a little and held up the saber before his eyes. "Thank you," he said, his voice cracked but steadying. "Thank you for...being here, waiting for me. I know that the Jedi who made you was a good person, and I hope to respect his or her memory. Thank you...for helping me revive the way of the Jedi," finished Luke.
Luke waited, regarding the saber. He felt a great sense of peace and tranquillity, but nothing overt happened.
"I guess that's my answer," he said aloud, and set the saber on the table. The peaceful sense remained with him as he left the table to fetch his tools.