Actions

Work Header

Four Gifts

Work Text:

On the remote, Outer Rim planet of Tatooine, it is traditional for the family of a woman who is expecting a child to give that woman four gifts. These gifts are held in trust, then bequeathed upon the child after birth at various points throughout the child’s life. The local symbolism associated with each of the four gifts is complex, but the greater significance of the practice is unequivocal: The gifts are meant to communicate the family’s best and fondest hopes for the future of their bloodline.

Human Cultures on the Outer Rim: A Concise Introduction, Professor Ipgen Waverider, Coruscant Imperial University, 6 BBY

 

 

1. First Sunrise Gift

“Is everything all right?”

Leia laughed right in the face of her twin brother’s almost comically concerned expression. “I’m eight months pregnant, Luke. It’s not like I’m on my deathbed!”

Luke’s frown only deepened. “Women do die in childbirth, Leia. It happens all the time. In fact, the records I’ve been able to dig up suggest that our mother—”

“What’s in the bag?” Leia interrupted. She knew Luke meant well, but she wasn’t in the mood to hear this stuff about their parentage today…especially not while she was confined to a hospital bed and unable to escape when she’d had enough!

“This?” Luke shifted the bag off of his shoulder and set it down on a nearby table. “Gifts for Ben. You know, for after he’s born.”

“Oh?”

“You want to take a look?”

“Sure, why not?” Leia didn’t understand why Luke didn’t just wait until after Ben was born and give them to Ben himself, but it wasn’t like she had anything better to do at the moment.

“This is the First Sunrise Gift,” Luke said, his voice oddly formal, as he handed Leia a box.

Curious as to what he meant by that, Leia lifted the lid. Inside, wrapped in tissue paper, were a model X-wing with a blue-and-white astromech droid pre-installed in its socket and a little pilot doll wearing a helmet and an orange flight suit.

They were toys.

“I would’ve loved these as a boy,” Luke said, beaming.

“Hmm. They look a lot like you and Artoo,” Leia observed.

Her brother merely grinned impishly.

 

2. Second Sunrise Gift

“Okay, here’s the Second Sunrise Gift,” Luke said as he passed Leia another, smaller box.

Inside was a small, roughly carved wooden wand that made a dry rattling sound when Leia picked it up. It seemed that the wand was hollow and filled with pebbles. The pebbles were what was making the noise. The wand was adorned with leather tassels, feathers, and bits of carved bone. A primitive musical instrument, perhaps?

“Is this another toy?” Leia wondered.

“Nope,” Luke shook his head, “not a toy. It’s an invitation from the Ewoks of the Forest Moon of Endor. When Ben is older, I thought he might like to go and see it for himself.”

“Ah yes. The site of our glorious victory against the Empire. Complete with Death Star debris in the heavens, biting woodflies in the air, little furballs and their booby traps on the ground, and—”

“And our father’s – Ben’s grandfather’s – pyre and final resting place. He deserves the chance to see that, too, Leia.”

Leia sighed. The legacy of Anakin Skywalker (and of Darth Vader) was one that she and her brother would never see eye to eye on. But she supposed he was right, in his way: Ben did deserve to know the truth of his lineage.

Someday.

Maybe.

 

3. First Sunset Gift

The third package in Luke’s bag was the smallest yet, and it fit easily into the palm of Leia’s hand. It almost looked like a jewelry box, but when she opened it…

There was only an uncut, occluded crystal about the size of her thumb inside. It wasn’t the sort of crystal that was suitable for jewelry – or, for that matter, anything else. When she picked it up to examine it more closely, she saw that it had a deep, diagonal crack down a third of its length.

“Um…” She was baffled.

“That’s a kyber crystal,” Luke volunteered in response to Leia’s furrowed brow.

Now Leia gasped in horror. “Luke, these things are dangerous! They’re used in weapons of mass destruction! They’re—”

“They’re also used in Jedi lightsabers. This one is cracked, though, so it might be garbage.” Luke shrugged.

“But why give it as a gift…?” Leia was utterly confused.

“The First Sunset Gift is given to mark the end of a child’s youth, an end to all things straightforward and uncomplicated in life. Maybe a cracked kyber crystal isn’t unsalvageable after all. We don’t know. It’ll be up to Ben to figure it out someday.”

“So, you think he’s going to be a Jedi? Is that it, Luke?”

“And you don’t?”

“Well…he might want to be a starfighter pilot instead.”

“I have that covered, remember?” Luke picked up the model X-wing and maneuvered it into a daredevil dive and barrel roll around Leia’s head. He even made the right sound effects.

They laughed until tears were leaking from their eyes.

 

4. Second Sunset Gift

“Last but not least,” Luke said as he handed her the fourth and final box. “This is the Second Sunset Gift. For Ben at the close of his life.”

“Good grief, really?” Leia groaned. Weren’t such considerations a touch premature? “I hope he has a long and happy one – and that he outlives both of us!”

“So do I, Leia, so do I,” Luke said softly. “Go on. Open it.”

A fountain pen and a dry inkwell. Archaic, nearly obsolete, writing technology. And they weren’t new, either. They look old, worn, and much used.

“Why—?”

“These were recovered from Ben Kenobi’s hermitage in the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine. I think they were what he was using to write his journal,” Luke explained.

“Luke…”

“The wisdom and insight he was able to pass on has been invaluable to me thus far. It serves as a valuable reminder that knowledge is not to be hoarded but rather to be shared and passed on. From one generation to the next to the next to the next. On and on and on. Forever.”

“Oh, Luke…” She was profoundly moved. She didn’t know quite what to say.

“The Jedi of the Old Republic didn’t believe in possessions, so there wasn’t much choice. But I figured Ben ought to have something that belonged to his namesake,” Luke added, almost as an afterthought.

Leia put out her arms. Luke took the hint, came forward, and embraced her warmly. They held each other for a long time.

“Thank you for these four gifts, Luke,” she murmured into his ear. “They’re amazing, and I’m sure Ben will treasure them.”