Righteous - Morally right, or justifiable
The Jedi were supposed to be righteous. To do what was right. To use the light side of the force. But as the war went on, the difference between what was morally right, and what was justifiable, was becoming more and more starkly apparent. Just as they had less and less time to think about it.
At this point in the war, even Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the few used to a state of chaos, had to choose between sleep and meditation. Sleep didn’t win often enough, and these days, it seemed to win more often than it should. That wasn’t going to be a problem anymore, not for him anyway. Not that anyone was going to sleep tonight.
Had they made the right decision? Any of them?
Maybe it had been inevitable, maybe it hadn’t.
Obi-Wan tried to close his eyes, even for a moment and the events of the day just came crashing back.
“Great Trial”, “Mysterious the force is.” Mace Windu had said, and all Obi-Wan had been able to think was- you kriffed up, we kriffed up, and you’re blaming this on the force. Not our fault. Come back to the order. We graciously accept that you did no wrong.
It was Mace. Yoda. It was the Council. It was the rest of the Council. Not strangers, colleagues: people he trusted with his life and the republic. He was a part of this.
He’d been complicit.
This was just as much his fault as theirs, and this wasn’t the first time. Not the first time they’d let a child down. That’s all Ahsoka was really, fifteen, sixteen. Naboo might count her as an adult, but Obi-Wan didn’t. She should not have seen war.
And Anakin was asking her back. Anakin needed her back.
Obi-Wan had always known Anakin’s position within the Jedi Order was complicated, and precarious, and as the force knew, having him as a master did not help. He’d actually seemed to fit in, to be liked by his peers not just tolerated.
Over eleven years after he’d arrived.
No. The Jedi Order had problems. It was war. They’d fix it once it was over. He’d approach people, and talk, and it would be fine. The war had to end first.
Obi-Wan would be fine, it would be fine. As long as there were good people with him. As long as Anakin stayed. As long as he had the men. As long as there was the circle.
He was a bad Jedi.
Carefully, Obi-Wan maintained his face of serenity as Ahsoka closed Anakin’s hand over her padawan braid.
“I’m sorry.” She said.
“I’m sorry.” Obi-Wan wanted to say.
Then Ahsoka Tano walked out of the Jedi Order forever and Obi-Wan felt something that had seemed inevitable break.
Anakin Skywalker closed his eyes.
All of a sudden Obi-Wan knew what that was. He knew what was about to happen.
Anakin hung his head. Then turned around and looked first at Obi-Wan. “I-“
He didn’t need to hear it. Without moving his head, or making any big gestures, Obi-Wan detached his lightsabre from his belt.
Anakin turned to the rest of the council. He took a deep breath in. Then he said: “Make sure the men are treated well.” That was directed at Obi-Wan and Plo Koon. Then Anakin took a step back, and said what he was thinking. “You know something. Kriff you. Kriff you all. Kriff you bigoted hypocritical lumps of Bantha Meat. The Force may work in mysterious ways, but I’m not sure half of you have ever listened to it in your life, so how would you know? And I’m done with it.”
With that Anakin Skywalker turned around and dropped his lightsabre on the ground, then ran out of the room. The final threads reformed.
Obi-Wan took a step forward without thinking and turned back towards his fellow council members.
Then, against all expectations, he smiled.
“I follow the will of the force.”
He let his lightsabre drop.
It landed next to Anakin’s, the two almost identical casings reflected in each other.
Then he walked out without another word, letting the door slam behind him.
“ANAKIN!” He yelled, as soon as it had slammed into place.
The man paused, but he didn’t turn around. “I’m not coming back.” He called from his position halfway down the corridor.
“I’m not asking you to.” Obi-Wan ran to catch up with him. He clasped Anakin’s shoulders. “I’m not asking you to.”
Anakin looked down at Obi-Wan’s face, then noticed –
“I’m asking you to wait up.” Obi-Wan finished.
“You-“ Anakin didn’t know what to say. Of all the outcomes of the day, this wasn’t one he’d ever imagined.
“Go get Ahsoka, there’s a few things I need to do before Mace realises I know his access codes.” Obi-Wan told him. “Wait for me,” then he added something he was aware he’d said far too little, at least to his friend. “Please.”
Anakin nodded, then ran off, while Obi-Wan sprinted in the other direction, desperate to find a secure holoterminal.
He entered Mace’s codes, and quickly changed the battalion arrangements. They needed to be safe. He couldn’t keep them safe. Not anymore. But he could make sure someone else did. First of all, he cleared both the 501st and the 212th of having assigned generals, sparing the one moment he could for regret for the men. Then he looked at the Jedi yet to be assigned.
What was Quinlan Vos doing in line to command a battalion?
Although, Obi-Wan considered, they were getting desperate with the current casualty list. Vos was good. Vos would work well.
Obi-Wan continued scrolling down the list of names, arranged in terms of waiting time, rather than anything sensible like alphabetical, and found a name he wasn’t sure if he’d wanted to find or not. Well, that would work.
Two of his oldest friends. Obi-Wan was almost suspicious. What were the chances? But then if they were pulling in Knights from the other sections of the Jedi Order, Garen would have been among the first Obi-Wan would have chosen. Knight Pilots were, at least, used to working in teams.
He didn’t have time to double guess.
Obi-Wan put Garen with the 501st, and Vos with the 212th, backdated it, and logged out.
Then he ran, full tilt, alarming several of the older Initiates, back to where he’d seen Anakin last.
There was no-one there.
He couldn’t have gone. He couldn’t. He had.
Obi-Wan was on his own.
He walked out onto the precipice, dejected. What had been the point?
Maybe he’d –
“Obi-Wan!” Anakin called from the end of the walkway. Ahsoka was standing next to him.
“There you are.” Obi-Wan chose to forget his brief moment of doubt, and ran up to them. “I put Vos with the 212th, and Garen with the 501st. They’re good people.”
Anakin nodded. “They’ve met Vos as well. That’ll help.”
Obi-Wan looked around. “We’ll comm later. Now-“ he looked around. What to do next? Plans. Preferably ahead. He hadn’t been doing any of that. He was supposed to be good at that. “Dex’s?”
“I was going talk to Pad- Sen- Padme’s.” Anakin said, grinning when he realised he didn’t have to correct himself anymore. “You two are welcome to come with.”
Ahsoka still seemed a little overwhelmed that she wasn’t on her own. “Are you sure it won’t be intruding on you and your girlfriend.”
Anakin sighed. “My wife will be glad to see that you’re safe.” He glanced at their reactions. Obi-Wan had raised his eyebrow slightly, Ahsoka hadn’t even reacted that much. “She’d rather you were safe, both of you. I’d rather both of you were safe.”
So Obi-Wan had ended up in one of Padme Amidala’s spare bedrooms, wondering if he’d made the right choice. Wondering how many death warrants he’d signed when he walked out that room.
There was a knock on the door and Padme came in.
Obi-Wan looked up, surprised she was still awake as she sat down on the bed next to him. “You don’t have to be by yourself you know. No-one else can sleep either.”
“It’s my fault.”
Padme sighed. “What is? Because while this is going to be disastrous for public relations with the Jedi Order, it might be good for them in the long term. Help stop the stagnation.”
Sighing again, Obi-Wan said: “That was pretty much the only thing I didn’t mean. I saw this earlier. I must have done. Why didn’t I—“
Padme laid a hand on his shoulder, startling him with the touch. “Come on, get changed,” she gestured down at the standard Jedi tunics he was still wearing, “And come and watch bad holodramas with us. We can deal with the consequences tomorrow.”
“I just hope the men are alright.” Obi-Wan said, but he stood up nonetheless. “I tried but-“
“Message them.” Padme suggested. “I know Anakin and Ahsoka sent Rex something for the 501st.”
Obi-Wan nodded, no more upbeat than earlier.
Padme stood up as well. “I will see you in a few moments. Or I will send Anakin looking.”
“Yes Ma’am.” Obi-Wan said.
Did he do the right thing?
Obi-Wan had no idea. He wasn’t sure if he even knew what the right thing was anymore. But he knew that he couldn’t justify the alternative.