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Skyguy

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Your name is Luke Skywalker.

You are an Imperial stormtrooper. Your designation is TH-1138 but all your squadmates call you Skyguy because when you were a young recruit you kept trying to get a transfer to the flight academy.

You wanted to be a pilot like your friend Biggs but you weren't accepted for TIE fighter training. It used to make you sad because you didn't even get a chance to demonstrate how well you could fly.

It used to make you sad because you missed Biggs, your best friend, the one who convinced you to apply to the Imperial Academy as soon as you were old enough even though your uncle said no.

It was Biggs who gave you the courage to stand up to Uncle Owen and go anyway, because it was your life and your future and it was better than moisture farming like your aunt and uncle or running spice like your father.

You've stopped trying to transfer to starfighter training and it doesn't make you sad anymore. The work you do isn't very interesting most of the time but you love the fact that you get to travel the galaxy, keep people safe, and serve the Empire. It doesn't bother you that no one but other troopers see your face or know your name, because your squad feels like family and you know that this is where you belong.


Your name is Luke Skywalker and you aren't sure why people think that you're lucky.

Your platoon drew the worst assignment for patrols during your battalion's rotation on Lothal. Some of the locals got the idea into their heads that the Empire is "invading" the planet, even though you're pretty sure that you can't technically invade a planet that has been part of the Empire for as long as you've been alive.

Meanwhile, Imperial troops are being ambushed when out on patrol at night.

You don't really understand what the point of it is. You think that all the Rebellion has managed to accomplish is get everyone angry with each other and encourage untrained civilians—some of them barely more than children—to put themselves and their neighbors in danger. You think that they're being unreasonable and you wish you could talk some sense into them.

The reason why some of your squadmates think you're lucky is that, unlike some of the other troopers, you've never been jumped while out on patrol. This doesn't seem like a big deal to you. It's just a matter of paying attention, you think to yourself. You never get jumped on patrol because you notice where your ambushers are before they try anything.

It's nice to be reminded that you're good at your job, though.

You know you'll never be able to stop a battle single-handed but you also know that the reason why the Empire works so well is because no one has to do anything single-handed. You'll always have your squadmates at your side and you'll help each other do your best for everyone.


Your name is Luke Skywalker and you would be lying if you said you weren't a little starstruck.

Your battalion’s next rotation is in partnership with some of the battalions of the 501st Legion. You'll be working alongside some of the most elite stormtroopers in the Empire, the soldiers known as “Vader’s Fist.”

Of course, there's no chance of seeing Darth Vader himself. Your squadmates might think you're lucky but even you couldn't be lucky enough to meet the greatest warrior in the Empire.

You know that some people think that Vader is frightening but you don't understand why. It's just a mask and a lightsaber; nothing but a specialized uniform and weapon, really. What really matters is putting in the work and it's obvious that no one is more dedicated to the Empire than Vader.

After a few weeks on this rotation, the 501st uncovers a major Rebel cell and you see firsthand how very different this all is from your assignments on places like Lothal. Your platoon has been tasked with defending the shipyard and even though the air is full of blaster bolts you dodge without even thinking about it. The ensuing battle is frightening but you know how to control your fear.

Suddenly, the Rebel attackers retreat from the shipyard and a cold chill runs down the back of your neck.

You have a bad feeling about this.


Your name is Luke Skywalker and you're in very big trouble but you have no idea why.

After the battle, after you shot down the Rebel fighters that were starting their strafing run on the shipyard, those of you that survived are assembled in formation on the deck of the Executor alongside the 501st.

You see Darth Vader in person for the first time in your life. As your commander explains to him how you led your squadmates in using the Imperial ships you were guarding to destroy the Rebel ships that attacked them, Vader looks in your direction.

You've never been happier to be wearing a helmet because you're pretty sure that you're grinning like an idiot.

After Vader finishes talking with the commanders, he and his top lieutenants head to the door. The troopers begin to fall out of formation and your squadmates gather around you to congratulate you. One of them yells “Way to go, Skyguy!”

You see Vader freeze and then whirl around to face you. Your blood runs cold in your veins.

For one bewildering second, you are absolutely certain that you are about to die.

Vader demands to know who said that. No one has to specify what exact words he was referring to.

Doc, DR-5914, confesses and for a moment it seems like he might be about to die but then Vader wants to know why Doc used that name.

Doc is still terrified and confused and you can tell that he's trying to think of a way to not drag you into whatever this bizarre situation is turning into, but you decide to just get to the point.

You step forward and explain that Skyguy was a nickname you got as a recruit because you wanted to be a pilot and because your last name is Skywalker.

Vader grabs you by the arm and drags you off the deck without saying a word.

You have no idea what is going on but you know that you just made the second-in-command of the Empire very upset.


Your name is Luke Skywalker and that name matters more than you thought.

Vader takes you to a room on the Executor that might be an office of some kind. Since it isn't a cell block or an airlock, you relax a little but you're still deeply confused.

You stand up straight and sneak looks out the viewport while Vader accesses your personal file. You wish he would say something because at least then you could start piecing together some kind of explanation.

He finally looks up at you. He asks you to confirm your name and date of birth. He asks you the names of your parents and you say that you never knew either of them and didn't even know your mother's name, but that your father's name was Anakin Skywalker.

You've always been a little chilly in Imperial facilities because even after all this time you're still a desert kid, but right now you're freezing and it's biting so deeply that it feels like the cold is coming from inside of you.

Vader is silent again for a long time and then he asks you to take off your helmet.

You obey and then, just for a moment, his mechanical breathing becomes so shallow that you can hear his respirator struggle to force air into his lungs.

You figure that your day can't possibly get any stranger so you take a chance and ask Vader if he knew your father.

Your chest fills with a sandstorm of emotions that you are only now starting to suspect might not be entirely your own. You don't know how that's possible.

Vader tells you that he is your father.


Your name is Luke Skywalker and every day since meeting your father has felt like being in hyperspace without a ship.

Everything is happening too fast and all at once and the only way to get through it sometimes is to close your eyes and ignore it.

Vader transfers you to the 501st and keeps you within his sight nearly all the time. When you ask him about your new rank and role all he says is that you're his son, as if that explains anything.

You thought that being around Darth Vader would be more exciting and you suppose that it technically is exciting, but mostly it's just bewildering and terrifying. You realize that the reason why so many people are afraid of him isn't because of the mask or the lightsaber or the Force powers, but because he does things like strangle his own subordinates when they fail him. You didn't know. You don’t know how to feel about this.

You learn how to fly a TIE fighter and that's at least one thing that you're unambiguously happy about.

You find out that Biggs went AWOL with some other pilots and you know that something must be really wrong for Biggs to have done something like that.

Vader is showing you parts of the Empire that you never would have seen as a stormtrooper but you're beginning to realize that you don't like it much.


Your name is Luke Skywalker and you're beginning to figure things out.

Despite his position in the Empire, Vader never takes you to Coruscant. You overhear officers tell him that there are incoming transmissions from the Emperor and Vader ignores them. You suspect that this might have something to do with you but you still don't know why.

Vader starts teaching you about the Sith and the Dark Side of the Force. You ask him if that means there is a Light Side as well. He tells you that the Jedi were traitors and fools and that they deserved to die, as if that explains anything.

You begin to understand that all of the reasons that your squadmates used to call you lucky were actually manifestations of the Force. You begin to understand the Force but you don’t understand the Dark Side and you can’t seem to use it the way that your father wants you to use it. Either you are a terrible student or Vader is a terrible teacher, because he keeps telling you to unleash your hatred and anger and you don’t know how. You don’t know how to tell him that you don’t really hate anything and that you haven’t felt angry about much since you joined the Empire.

In fact, the more you open yourself to the Force the more you can sense the emotions of others. It becomes even harder to feel hate when you empathize with people to that degree. You can sense that Vader is angry most of the time. You can sense that he’s miserable all the time.

You want to help him but he doesn’t want to be helped.


Your name is Luke Skywalker and you've finally hit your breaking point.

Your breaking point even has a name of its own: the Death Star. A superweapon that can destroy planets in an instant. No one around you seems to be bothered by this and you start to wonder if the Empire has changed or if the Empire was always like this and it was just you who changed.

You begin to understand why Biggs and the others left.

You stay on the Devastator while Vader boards the Profundity, so you don’t see what he did firsthand but you can sense through the Force that it wasn’t good.

Soon, the Devastator is pursuing another ship and you come out of hyperspace to see your home planet for the first time in years.

You don’t know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it, but you follow your father onto the captured Tantive IV and watch in horror as he slaughters everything in his path.

You run blindly away from him and almost knock over a young woman when you turn a corner too quickly. Leia.

Her name is Leia and you don’t know why you know her name. You’ve never seen her before but you know her name. Her name is Leia and she’s obviously a Rebel and you’re an Imperial but you barely know what that means anymore, which is why you grab her hand and run for the nearest escape pod. She protests that she needs to give the plans she’s carrying to her droids but you tell her that there isn’t time.

Once you start your descent towards Tatooine, Leia says that the Devastator will probably just destroy the escape pod before you make it to the surface. You tell her that Vader likely wants her alive and wouldn’t risk it. You also tell her that he would never try and kill you, which means that you’re both safe for the time being.

You know that your father loves you but you also know that it's not enough to love one person when you hate everyone else.

When you land in the desert, she tells you that she came here to find General Obi-Wan Kenobi. You don’t know who that is, but you do know that there’s a hermit out in the Jundland Wastes named Ben Kenobi, so you suggest starting there.

You don’t know how you find Kenobi’s home. It probably had something to do with the Force.

You don’t know why Kenobi seems to recognize you.

You don’t know who Kenobi looks more surprised to see: you or Leia.


Your name is Luke Skywalker.

You used to be an Imperial stormtrooper, TH-1138, nicknamed Skyguy. You used to be happy there. You used to be good at looking away from what was really going on.

Now you’re a Rebel. Now you have a sister. Now you’re back with Biggs and you finally get to be a pilot.

You and your sister are learning the ways of the Jedi from Master Kenobi. The Alliance figured out a weakness in the Death Star and now you’re in your X-wing on your way to destroy it.

You used to be your father’s only child. You used to be his apprentice. You still think there is good in him. You still think that you could save him from himself one day.

But for now, the Rebellion is your family and you know that this is where you belong.