Part I: A few weeks before the Battle of Geonosis
It took a while to find the Jedi Temple. Kitster was still learning how to navigate his way through Coruscant's different neighborhoods. Raisa, his director, gave him flawless directions and while it took longer than he thought it would, he did not lose his way among the skywalks and turbolifts. He could have taken a taxi but funds were limited at the moment. Even a modest, simple life on this metropolis was expensive.
Kitster had been on Coruscant for about week. He was on a galactic tour with the Riveth Giro Theater Company, playing a bartender in a play. Now that he was settled in, he took the first opportunity he could to visit Anakin. Kitster jogged up the long staircase outside the Temple to the beat of his face-paced heart. He was nervous, anxious and excited to see his best friend again. He couldn't wait to catch up, find out what Anakin's life as a Jedi was like, tell him how his mother was free now, and married. Tell him about his own freedom and how he got into acting. He could even get Anakin tickets to see The Kessel King.
Kitster looked at the Jedi he passed on the stairs, noticing the young human males wore crew cut hairstyles with a long braid behind their right ear. He looked for any Jedi who could be around his age, with light hair and blue eyes. Would he recognize Anakin? How much could he have changed? Kitster knew he looked different. His face grew longer, losing its baby roundness and now he wore a beard for his role in the play.
Kitster entered the Temple and stopped in his tracks to admire the grandness. The ceiling was as high as the one at the Galaxies Opera House, held up by massive columns. Did this place intimidate his friend when he first arrived? There was nothing on Tatooine like this.
He realized the Jedi were watching him with curiosity. Two Jedi approached him. The man was tall, dark and he held himself with authority, like he owned the place. The woman wore a plain, floor length, brown tunic and her black hair was worn up in braided loops. Her forehead was adorned with two gold studs.
The man spoke first, "Can I help you, sir?"
Kitster held out his hand, "Kitster Banai."
The Jedi took his hand, "Mace Windu."
The female bowed before Kitster could offer his hand and introduced herself, "Depa Billaba."
Kitster bowed in return, "It's a pleasure. I'm looking for Anakin Skywalker. We're old friends, we grew up together on Tatooine. I was hoping to catch up with him while I'm on Coruscant."
Kitster couldn't help but smile from ear to ear but his expression waned when he noticed Mace Windu become stiff and ridged.
Mace gave Depa a slight glance before answering, "I am sorry that you came all this way but Padawan Skywalker is off planet on a mission."
Kitster frowned. He looked around at the Jedi passing by. "Do you know when he will return? I'll be on Coruscant for a while and would really like to see him."
"I can't say how long he will be gone. I'm afraid you missed him by a few days and sometimes a mission could last for a few months."
Kitster's shoulders slumped and he pinched the bridge of his nose. He silently cursed himself for not coming by earlier in the week. But he would be here for a while and worse case scenario, even if Anakin was gone a few months there was still time to meet up. "Perhaps I could leave a message for him?"
The Jedi Master pursed his lips, "You can. Master Depa will show you where you can record your message."
Kitster followed Depa to the Archives and on the way he asked her about his friend. She didn't say much. All she said was that Anakin advanced quickly being that he was strong in the Force, the strongest she had ever seen. Also that he was a headstrong and impulsive boy but in time, with training and discipline he could be the greatest Jedi in history. Kitster was proud to hear such praises but was hoping to know more. He would just have to wait till Anakin returned.
Depa showed him where he could record his message and after bidding him a good stay on Coruscant left him alone. Slightly nervous, Kitster pressed the record button, "Hi Anakin. It's me, Kitster. I know it's a surprise to see me. I'm here on Coruscant, in a play, The Kessel King. We're in rehearsals right now and it doesn't open for a few weeks so I'll be around and I would really like to see you. Catch up and stuff. I can even get you free tickets to see the play."
Kitster knew he was rambling. He could perform in front of thousands of people but speaking to an old friend, his brother, via a recording was giving him stage fright. He should have prepared what to say first. "There is so much to talk about. Your mother is well. She was freed and now she is married to a moisture farmer, Cliegg Lars. He's a very nice man. Has a son about our age. Cliegg is a hard-working man. They love each other very much and she is very happy, though she misses you." Kitster paused and took a breath. "I don't want to talk this way. I rather we met up. When you get this you can contact me either at the Galaxies Opera House or at the Performing Arts Dormitory." He signed off with a secret hand signal and code word from their childhood.
Part II – Six months after Attack of the Clones
Kitster never thought he'd say this when he left Tatooine a few years ago but it felt good to be back home. It was a much-needed vacation from a long tour. There were many things he did not miss about Tatooine. And a few he did: the heat, the food, and his friends. The person he missed most was his mother, Shmi.
The twin suns were setting and the day's work would be done. They should be home. He thought to call ahead but really wanted to surprise Shmi.
He couldn't wait to tell her all about his travels on different planets, how The Kessel King was received differently each place they went, how his role got him noticed and now he had an audition to be on a holodrama. Of course he had told her everything in letters but telling her in person would be different.
He also wanted to hear (not read) about her life on the farm, the gossip in Mos Eisley, and have some of her mushroom and bantha sandwiches. He also wanted to know if she ever heard from Anakin. He hadn't and that wasn't like his brother.
Over the past year he came to believe that Anakin never got the message. And now he was fighting in the Clone Wars. But the war couldn't be used as an excuse. Kitster heard things about the Jedi in his travels. Some were great stories about their great negotiation skills or how they used their foresight to stop a crisis. He also heard some other stories too. That they stole infants from their homes, never to know their parents and brought them up in seclusion within the Temple. That there was a Jedi Code that said attachments were forbidden.
Kitster wasn't sure which stories were true and which were exaggerated but based on the feeling he got from Mace Windu's behavior; he did suspect the Jedi deliberately kept his message from Anakin.
Kitster parked his rental speeder outside the Lars' homestead. He jogged down the steps, then to the door to the main house. Owen answered the door. He looked first shocked then confused to see Kitster at his door. "Kitster, this is a surprise. Come on in."
Owen stepped aside. Kitster patted Owen on the shoulder as he entered, "Sorry to just drop in but I wanted it to be a surprise."
"That's alright. Come inside, we're just about to have dinner." Owen led him to the small dinning area. Beru came out of the kitchen with a third plate and set up a place for their guest.
"It is so good to see you safe and well, Kitster," she greeted him with a hug.
"Thank you. It is good to see you too. I heard about your engagement. Congratulations." Owen and Beru traded a confused look but Kitster did not catch it as he took his seat at the small round table, "Are Shmi and Cliegg not home?"
Something in the room had changed. Now Kitster noticed their sad faces. "What's wrong?"
Beru frowned, "You didn't get our message."
The bright orange suns were low on the horizon but Kitster's vision was focused on the tombstones he stood before. He only half heard what Owen was saying to him, " - I'm sorry you found out this way, Kitster. We got a message confirming you received ours, but obviously there must have been a mix up."
Kitster's legs gave way and he sunk down to his knees. He dug his hands into the sand to steady himself. It was too much to process. Captured by the Sand People, tortured. Cliegg injured, an infection causing his death. Finding out Anakin had come to Tatooine to see her and failed to rescue her in time. The woman he always considered his mother, gone. It hurt too much.
"Owen, maybe we should give him some time alone."
Kitster heard them walk away. He watched his tears fall into the sand and he started to sing. The winds would carry the words and the tune to the sky, to Ar-Amu.
Part III - Shortly after Order 66
The war was over. The Jedi labeled as traitors. And Kitster now mourned the death of his brother. He had no family left.
Anakin had some family left and they should all honor him.
Kitster called Owen and Beru ahead this time to let them know he was on Tatooine for a short while and would be by to visit.
"Beru and I caught a few episodes of your holodrama. Of course out here we get it months, if not a few years later." Owen said as he passed him a cup of tzsi.
"It's a good program." Beru added.
"Thank you. Unfortunately it was cancelled recently so now I am looking for something new," Kitster said.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Beru sounded genuinely disappointed.
Kitster shrugged, "It's ok. I loved being a part of that project but it's time to move on. I have a few auditions lined up and this break is good. I haven't been home since – " he stopped himself. He hadn't been home since his surprise visit three years ago. He hoped this wouldn't be a pattern, that every time he returned home he'd mourn someone close to him.
Beru placed her hand on top of his, "I know."
Kitster swallowed hard and cleared his throat. "I actually came by to visit Shmi's grave. And I thought we should have something like a memorial for Anakin. I know you met him only once and didn't know him but you were his family."
Owen shook his head, "You can go on without me."
Kitster didn't understand Owen's refusal. "You have said yourself Shmi was like a mother to you. Anakin was her son and she would have wanted this. He deserved better than to be massacred by the Republic."
Owen stood up from the table. "I have a lot of work to do. You know where the graves are." He left the room and Kitster shocked by his snub.
Beru frowned. "You go on ahead, Kitster. I'll catch up with you in a few minutes."
Kitster felt Beru's approach as he finished his song. "That was beautiful. I remember Shmi used to sing it."
Kitster turned around and stepped back in shock when he saw Beru holding an infant in her arms. Owen and Beru had a child and had not mentioned it?
Beru opened the blanket and showed Kitster the baby's face. She took advantage of his stunned silence. "This is my nephew, Luke." She then looked up into Kitster's eyes and whispered, "He's Anakin's son."
"Anakin's?" Kitster's jaw dropped. He looked down at the fair-haired boy. A hundred questions filled his mind. "Who's the mother?"
Beru shook her head. "I don't know, we weren't told. A Jedi delivered Luke to us. Told us Anakin and the mother had died and we had to keep the child safe. Being the son of a Jedi –" She didn't need to finish the thought.
Kitster nodded. He looked down into Luke's light blue eyes. Anakin, and Shmi too, would live on in this child. Kitster brushed his hand along the child's forehead, sweeping his thin hair aside. He too would keep this a secret, to protect his nephew.
"Would you like to hold him?"
Kitster smiled, "I would." He held him close and kissed his forehead. The wind picked up and Kitster sang to Ar-Amu again.