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The Supreme Leader’s Guide to the Galaxy: How to Build an Empire, Destroy an Empire, and Still Get the Girl

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I.

As you embark on this journey, beware: at one point or another you will fuck things up, and you should be prepared for it. But be reassured: eventually you will get the girl.

 

II.

Just to clarify: you will, in fact, fuck things up at many, many points.

 

III.

So many.

 

IV.

It is possible—likely, even—that your childhood will be less than idyllic. Try not to take it too personally.

If your mother forgets about your existence for long stretches of time in favor of dedicating 93.7% of her efforts (C3-P0 will provide this exact estimate) to the New Republic, try not to resent her.

If your father looks at you with a half-appalled, half-frightened expression because you can make his four-hundred pound Wookie best friend float in the air with those mysterious, uncontrollable powers of yours, try to not to resent him.

If you are sent off to train as a Padawan with your uncle Luke, and he tries to murder you because you are apparently imbued with darkness, even though it’s the literal middle of the night and the Jedi temple is all dark and you were just trying to sleep, and you tell him:

“Uncle Luke, I was just minding my own business.

But he just lifts his lightsaber over his head and mutters something like:

“I sense darkness within you.”

And you’re just:

“Uncle Luke, it’s three a.m!

But he keeps on trying to stab you and you have no idea what to do to defend yourself because just a second ago you were dreaming about sexy body calligraphy and now you’re in the middle of a non-consensual nephewcide—

Well. If that happens, try as best as you can not to resent him.

If you are made feel as though you are unlovable, or too different, as though it is your fault that everything is crumbling apart, try not to take it to heart too much. You will not know this as a child, but most of the time adults (even ones that are considered infallible by the majority of the galaxy) have no idea what they are doing, and three war heroes who have saved said galaxy multiple times may not necessarily be the most qualified human beings when it comes to child rearing.

 

V.

When you are alone, at your lowest, and Snoke offers to take you under his wrinkly, sandpapery wing, you should not accept. You should attempt to resist as much as possible, not to get mixed up with the Knights of Ren (even though, yes, they look super cool and you sort of want the squad and the outfit and the overall aesthetics), and to stay away from anything that’s Sith-y.

You should attempt; however, the odds will never, not kriffing ever, be in your favor, and it is likely that eventually you will give in.

 

VI.

Some miscellaneous advice:

  • There is no shame in asking the Procurement department for a larger bunk bed. You are freakishly tall, after all.
  • Ideally, you should eat five servings of vegetables per day. Try to aim for at least one.
  • Never make fun of Snoke’s golden bathrobe. It will get you a week of toilet cleaning duty on the Supremacy.
  • For the love of the Force, do not build a crossguard lightsaber. It might look cool, but it will take you months of training and about three million bacta patches to get used to it.

 

VII.

Many years after the Jedi temple incident, when Mitaka informs you that some droid stole a freighter, do not react by destroying the console in front of you. It’s expensive equipment, and the repair technicians are already overworked as it is.

Instead, when he mentions a girl, take a deep breath, turn around with no hurry, and then ask softly:

“What girl?”

 

VIII.

(Welcome to the rest of your life, Ben.)

 

IX.

FYI: it is not good practice to render your fellow Force Dyad mate unconscious, bridal carry her on your ship, tie her inert body to an interrogation chair, squat down and creepily stare at her for hours, insult her friends, get in her space personal without affirmative consent, or dig around her head until she unceremoniously kicks you out and shows you that you are not alone anymore, that you have found your equal, that you can finally be known.

It will feel nice. But it is not good practice.

 

X.

(It will feel really, really, really, nice, especially the part where you carry her. But no.)

 

XI.

Similarly, knocking around her most beloved friend (the one who appears to have the annoying habit of yelling her name at every turn) is not going to make her like you any better. Nor will chasing her around with a laser sword in your hands, or your (slightly patronizing) offer to teach her the ways of the Force. In fact, it’s quite possible that will only make her like you even less.

Though you will get a pretty badass scar from all of it, so there’s that.

 

XII.

She will look damn good while kicking your ass.

Unrelated: flowy, floor-length skirt-like black robes are optimal for hiding an ill-timed erection.

 

XIII.

If Snoke humiliates you for the millionth time in a decade (you really shouldn’t have gone with him in the first place) it’s okay to angrily punch the walls of his turbolift with your mask and smash it to a pulp. In fact, it will be a good, freeing experience that will signify personal growth, allow you to emote more openly, and reduce your reliance on the crutches of your past.

No matter what happens, do not, I repeat, do not have a Stormtrooper save the remaining pieces of your helmet to have a space monkey put them back together later on. It would be a remarkably meaningless decision, with no purpose except boosting merchandise sales.

 

XIV.

Hux’s Achilles heel is an eight pound cat named Millicent. You may use Millicent’s safety as a threat, sparingly but mercilessly.

Also, always carry a lint roller with you. You have the unfortunate habit of wearing black, and it would not do for Hux to discover that she often visits you in your quarters and you allow her in your lap.

 

XV.

When the Force begins to connect you with the Scavenger, just lean into it.

You will want to know how, why, wherefore this bond is happening. You will have dozens of technical and logistic questions, and the answers to them will seem important, but believe me: they are not.

Just feel her. Take the opportunity to talk to her. Explain. Tease. Bask in the knowledge that you are, for the first time in your life, tethered to something. Anchored.

Also, just until the two of you get this Force Bond thing a little more under control, it would probably be a good idea not to walk around shirtless (or, Force forbid, naked), even if you are alone in your own quarters.

 

XVI.

Disregard that: the shirtless look might not be such a terrible idea.

However, do make sure to never skip arm day.

 

XVII.

And stock up on massage oils. You never know when they might come in handy.

 

XVIII.

When Rey is distraught and upset and as wet as Millicent after that time she rolled in bantha poo and needed a bath, listen to her.

Really: just listen.

Undemanding companionship is something Rey has had very little of in her life. She will initially be skittish, but you should be gentle and understanding. Be patient. Reassure her that you too have felt what she is feeling right now. That she is not the first. That she is not alone.

If she glances up, and parts her lips, and reaches out to you, remember to take off your glove. Remember to look at her, and realize for the first time that she is beautiful. Not just as a warrior or a Force user, but as herself.

Let the awareness of her magnificence punch you in the stomach. Feel the warmth she inspires within you. Allow yourself to be seen by eyes that do not want to use you, or destroy you, or eviscerate you. Reach out with your hand and allow her to know you like you want to know her. Her skin will be warm and surprisingly soft, and you will see your future in her eyes (although, critically, not all of it.)

When Luke comes in (he has not lost his dreadful timing and his unfortunate habit of storming into people’s huts in the middle of the night) and your bond is severed, do not be afraid. Do not react. Do not order your ship to be prepared to roam the galaxy in search of her.

Just feel, deep in your soul, that she is finally coming to you.

 

XIX.

When your girlfriend comes over for the first time, there might be better ways to greet her than having her frisked and arrested.

(There are literally only better ways.)

 

XX.

The very second Snoke orders you to bring him the girl, you will know what you have to do.

You will, however, have no idea how to do it, and that is not a small detail. In the turbolift, try to focus on how to kill the old fart once and for all, and to ignore Rey while she gets all up in your personal space. (It will be very difficult to keep your mind on the job, but you must strive to.)

Unrelated: thick, thigh-length tunic-like black robes are also optimal to hide an ill-timed erection.

 

XXI.

When the two of you are alone again, because you have quite impressively killed everyone else in the room, it will be your chance to make your move.

You should know that there is an art to proposing marriage and the like (which galaxy co-ruling arguably falls within). You might be under the impression that just because she wants to take your hand, then she undoubtedly will. You might believe that listing your beloved’s shortcomings and her painful past is a good place to begin your declaration. You might be convinced that by simply adding, ”But not to me,” you will be able to soften the blow. You might think all of these things at once, and if you do, you are severely mistaken. Years later, when you have unfettered access to Rey’s thoughts and are able to witness firsthand how your words came across, you will be truly appalled.

Instead of the little speech you have prepared, try something a little lighter. Possible options include:

  • “I really like your new hairdo and your swordsmanship.”
  • “Thank you for saving my life.”
  • “I think about you. All the time.”
  • “Dope arm wraps. I will rescue your friends now.”

Consider, in particular, showing a modicum of goodwill towards the Resistance. It will save you approximately a year of cold shoulder and silent treatment.

 

XXII.

Do not call the Falcon a piece of junk. It is most likely that you were conceived on it.

 

XXIII.

I cannot believe that I have to say this, but yelling “I will kill her!” in front of an audience of several hundreds while a fleet of imperial walkers is slowly marching against what is left of Rey’s found family is not going to make future Friendsgiving dinners any more pleasant.

 

XXIV.

After the Battle of Crait do not, I repeat, do not, shave your head.

Yes, you have been rejected. Yes, you miss her. Yes, you think that a fun change of hairstyle might cheer you up. Still, you do not have the head shape to pull off even a buzz cut, let alone the hairless look.

Hux will tell the stormtroopers to start calling you Baldo Ren, Pryde will purse his lips in disapproval, and the Knights will very pointedly not comment on your new hairstyle because they have nothing nice to say. It will take ages before it grows long enough to cover your ears, and you will regret every second of it, especially because you won’t be able to Force Bond with Rey for an entire year out of fear that she’ll laugh at you.

 

XXV.

Dark overlords—and I cannot stress this enough—do not weep into their Chunky Monkey ice cream while listening to Taylor Swift after masturbating furiously to stolen CCTV footage of their ex-girlfriend.

Dark overlords brood stoically, and above all silently.

 

XXVI.

Somehow, Palpatine will return. (Don’t dig too hard into this one.)

It’ll also come out that Rey is his granddaughter through his son. (Don’t dig too hard into this one, either. Specifically, do not focus on how the conception of said son must have worked: it is not a pretty visual, and besides you do not want to dwell on the fact that Sheev kriffing Palpatine has gotten laid more than you have.)

Rey’s lineage or lack thereof is really not a big deal, but you’ll both have very interesting visions of the Throne of the Sith (which, conveniently, only seats one). Make sure you save them for the spank bank.

 

XXVII.

Dude: don’t steal her pretty new necklace. It’s a dick move.

 

XXVIII.

If you absolutely must steal her pretty new necklace, do not, I repeat, do not start wearing it under your tunic. You never know when you might end up naked in a locker room with the Knights.

 

XXIX.

When you are at your lowest and she takes advantage of it, stabbing you with your own crossguard lightsaber (you just had to go for it, didn’t you?) don’t you dare make that hurt, betrayed face. You deserve it, and you know it. Instead, be grateful that she decides to use her cool new Force powers to heal you instead of finishing you off.

(Perhaps, if you are not so injured that you cannot speak, ask her if it’s possible to keep your face scar. It does look very badass, and you have grown rather fond of it.)

When she tells you, albeit not with these exact words, that she would have loved to accept your galaxy co-domination proposal if only you had been able to briefly pry your head from your ass, know that it is time to take back control of your life.

 

XXX.

Throwing your main weapon into the ocean as a symbolic act of redemption may be a cool move, but it’s not the most pragmatic idea if you are about to go join the love of your life in a fight against the strongest Force user in the galaxy. Just saying.

 

XXXI.

No need for dramatic costume changes. Just take off your cloak and tunic, and run around in the black shirt you already have on underneath. I promise she’ll like it.

 

XXXII.

Some additional miscellaneous advice:

  • Whisper is a perfectly logical and charming name for a TIE fighter, no matter what Hux says.
  • Bantha jerky is an excellent source of protein.
  • Liquid eyeliner is very hard to apply. If you really must embrace your goth phase (I do not recommend it) a black eye pencil might be the better option. However, you really should draw the line at dark lipstick.
  • Patricide is generally frowned upon, even if your father did not manage to get your birthday right even once in three decades.
  • No one’s ever really gone. No, not even you.

 

XXXIII.

I know you think that you’re going to Exegol to save Rey, but as usual you have it all wrong.

Somehow Rey will reach the planet well before you do, even with a lengthy detour to Ahch-to to make a bonfire and ridiculously outdated transport technology, because…

Don’t ask. Really.

When you find yourself surrounded and, naturally, outnumbered by the Knights of Ren (what even are their loyalties? Who are those dudes, anyway?) you will have ample opportunity to ponder over the idiocy of throwing away your lightsaber before coming over.

Do so.

Then use the Force to inform Rey that you are there with her. She will be happy, so happy to see you. You will feel her joy, as incandescent as your own, and you will think that even if everything falls apart, even if being by her side while she defeats the ultimate evil is the last thing you do, it will be worth it, just for this one moment of grace.

Then let Rey give you her lightsaber and bail you out one last time. Don’t worry, you are not leaving her weaponless: she will have brought two lightsabers to confront Palpatine, because…

It doesn’t matter. Just take it at face value, like everything else about this movie.

While you defeat the Knights, show off your Solo heritage a bit. Be cool, for once. Rey won’t mind.

 

XXXIV.

When it’s just the two of you left, and her grandfather on that weird ass crane, and… who are those Sith people? Is this an arena? What even is this place?

Anyway, when it’s just the two of you left, take a moment. Just a short one. To look at her, and her beauty, and everything that she stands for.

It might very well be your last.

 

XXXV.

If there is anyone who should know that throwing people down a pit is not a guaranteed way to kill them, it’s Emperor fucking Palpatine. And yet.

 

XXXVI.

You will feel Rey’s death the second it happens. You will be halfway up that stupid Sith pit, and you will feel the bond between you two stretch and tear. It will be a thousand—no—a million times more painful than being impaled with your lightsaber.

Grit your teeth and continue climbing.

Once you find her lifeless body, try not to panic. Fail, and allow yourself to panic for a few short moments.

Then take a deep breath, ground yourself, and do The Thing. Maybe you have never done The Thing before, maybe you’re not even sure what The Thing is, maybe it’s not exactly in your repertoire as a Force user, but you will magically know what to do because Rey does, and you and she are one. So close your eyes, touch her belly, and do The Thing.  

If you do it well, she will finally take your hand.

If you do it very well, she will whisper your name and cup your face with her cool fingers.

If you do it perfectly, she might even kiss you.

 

XXXVII.

Your Order, The First Order—not to be confused with the Final Order, the one Palpatine was yapping his mouth about, which is…

Anyway. The First Order will still be strong, even if Palpatine has been defeated. Your job will be to get your ass back to The First Order headquarters and annihilate them.

So stop making out with your girlfriend, tell her you’ll see her soon, and get into your TIE fighter.

 

XXXVIII.

Do not run back for one last kiss. This is a time-sensitive issue.

 

XXXIX.

When she lands on Ahch-to, steps out of the Falcon, and then runs towards you grinning and screaming, “Ben! Ben, you have been exiled!” try not to look too disappointed. Honestly, you should be flayed for your sins. Skinned alive for your dumbassness. Whipped for your stupidity. Exile is not even a tenth of what you deserve.

Instead ask, “How is it possible?”

Her little smile will be charming. “Oh, you know. These things happen when you’ve got a lot of dirt on the generals of the Resistance, who also happen to be interim leaders of the Restored Republic.”

“Dirt?” You will cock your head. “On whom?”

“All of them. But mostly Poe Dameron.”

“Ah.” You will nod in understanding. And then it will occur to you: “Wait—Poe Dameron is one of the interim leaders of the Restored Republic?”

“Yep.”

You will scratch your head, vaguely recalling Poe Dameron from your youth. “It doesn’t seem like a good idea.”

“Nope,” Rey will agree cheerfully. “Did you know that he used to be a spice runner?”

What?”

“Worked for a cartel and stuff.”

You will scratch your head some more. “When? He was the son of two members of the Rebel Alliance, and then he went to the Academy, and then he defected to the Resistance…” At that point, just wave your hand dismissively. This doesn’t need to make sense. Continuity is probably overrated. “Well, I used to be a Supreme Leader. I guess I can’t judge him.”

“Yep.” Rey will point at herself and nod. “Scavenger, here. We could do this all day.”

It will be easy to lose track of your conversation with her and become absorbed by the soft beauty of her smile. But try to focus on important matters.

Tell her, “Thank you.”

“For what?”

For everything. “For my life.”

She will clear her throat and look away. “I think that’s supposed to be my line.”

You’ll say, “Then we’re even,” even though you can never possibly be. You will never be her equal, because she simply has no equals.

When you finally gather the courage to ask her, “When do you plan to go back?” try to keep the longing out of your voice. She has already done so much for you. You should be jolly and grateful, not drown her in your whiny neediness.

“Go back?” She will tilt her head to the side and look confused.

“To your friends. To the New Republic.”

“Oh.” At this point, she might flush and look away. “I didn’t…”

If her voice trails into a long silence, and you don’t know what it is that she is trying to say, you may prompt her. “You didn’t…?”

“I thought…” She will clear her throat. “I thought I’d stay here. On the island. With you.”

You won’t fully understand what she means. You might even feel the need to blink. Several times.

“But your friends…”

“Are reachable. Very easily. With the Falcon. And they have their own lives. I mean, Rose is dating Jannah, and Finn is trying to get Rose to dump Jannah and take him back even though she probably never will, and Poe has been snogging Zorii all over the place, not to mention Klaud and Beau who should honestly just get a room…”

It’s okay if you have no idea who or what she is talking about. Just listen to her until she interrupts herself with a shrug. Her eyes might become suspiciously bright before she continues:

“Unless you don’t want me here. Then I could just…”

It will take you several minutes to understand what is happening, because you are many things, but smart is not one of them. When you realize what she is saying and grasp the meaning behind her words and their implications, it will crash into you like a wave, the realization that she feels for you exactly what you feel for her.

“Rey,” you may say, your voice hoarse and barely audible. “Rey.”

If you are so inclined, you are allowed to swallow visibly. To try for a smile. To lift your hand to cup her cheek and then stop just an inch short of her skin because you simply cannot. It is likely that you will fail at any and all attempts to show her how much her existence means to you. If that is the case, it is acceptable for you to just do the following: kneel in front of her, bury your face in her soft, flat stomach, and feel the warmth of her acceptance as she laughs gently and combs her hands through you hair.

 

XL.

You will not last the first time you make love. Nor the second, or the third, or…

Basically, it will be a while before you’re not totally worthless in bed. But she will be patient while your learn her body, and yours, and how they fit together. She will laugh gently when you spill your seed just a handful of thrusts after pushing deep into her. She will kiss you softly, and lick drops of sweat from your throat, and let you make it up to her with your mouth and your hands.

Be gentle with her. She is stronger than even she knows, but some parts of her are soft and delicate. When you part the plump lips of her cunt with your tongue, resist the temptation to bite them; when she licks your balls with slow, kittenish wipes and the pleasure submerges you, do not fist your hand in her hair and pull at her scalp; when she shimmies her hips against yours to take your cock deeper, hold her narrow waist in your hands and try to slow her down until she is stretched enough to take you.

When she says that she cannot possibly come anymore, do not believe her. You will learn to squeeze one or two more orgasms out of her.

 

XLI.

“‘Rey Skywalker’ has a terrible ring to it and it doesn’t even make sense, you can’t just go around taking random people’s names, and for fuck’s sake why would you choose Luke’s last name over Leia’s when she was way nicer to you?!?” sounds petulant, childish, and needlessly aggressive.

Instead, politely suggest, “What about ‘Rey Solo’?”

 

XLII.

Years later, when the temple has been rebuilt and a new order of Force users is being trained, an order that overcomes the false dichotomies of the past and does not demonize love, nor hope, nor anger; years later, on a balmy summer night, when the Ahch-to sky is clear and the smell of the ocean is carried to the Jedi temple by a soft breeze, take Rey’s hand and lead her to your favorite clifftop. Have her sit between your legs, and savor the warmth of her back against your chest as you stare at the sea.

After sunset, look up at the stars, and remember that there was a moment, many moments, when the entire Galaxy stood between the two of you. Be awed by the boundless power of love, of grace, of redemption. Touch Rey’s slightly swollen belly, and wonder if your daughters will have her freckles, or the Skywalker temper.

When her fingers twine with yours, when she looks at your palm and sighs, “Ben. I love your hands,” smile and press a kiss on the top of her head.

Don’t ever forget that you have taken the wrong turn at many, many points along your journey. And don’t ever forget that, somehow, you have managed to arrive right here, where you were meant to be.