The Tantive IV drifted lazily around the dull, golden orb of Tatooine. Its sleek white form cut through the black of space, it’s bright engines pulsating with life. The peace of space betrayed nothing of the turmoil inside the consular ship after the events of the past few days. Due to the betrayal of Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Order had fallen and the Republic had given way to the Galactic Empire, led by Emperor Palpatine, who had revealed himself as the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. After a harrowing mission by Jedi Masters Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda to warn the remaining Jedi, the Tantive IV, chosen vessel of Alderaanian senator Bail Organa, had taken Yoda to his new home in the Dagobah system. They had already decided what to do with the children of the late Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker. Luke, the boy, would be taken to his family on the desert planet Tatooine, to be watched over by his father’s mentor, Obi Wan. Leia, his twin, would be taken to Alderaan, to be raised as a princess with Senator Organa, her mother’s trusted friend.
Final preparations were being made for the consular ship to enter atmosphere, as Obi Wan made sure Luke was comfortable and said his final goodbyes. To the casual onlooker, Obi Wan seemed normal, upbeat even, but Bail saw something shattered in the Jedi’s deep blue eyes. Broken. He didn’t know exactly what had transpired on the lava planet Mustafar, but he knew that Obi Wan and Padme had encountered Anakin, and that she had perished as a direct result of that encounter. He placed a comforting hand on the Jedi’s shoulder.
“The days of the Jedi, and those of democracy, are far from over, my friend,” he smiled reassuringly, and saw a little of the pain in the Jedi's eyes disappear. Not much, but it was something.
“Thank you, Bail. I know it may seem like a slim chance, but these children are a new hope to bring back the Jedi and stop Palpatine. They may be our last hope,” Obi Wan seemed to be talking to himself, staring down at the red-faced baby in his arms.
Suddenly, as if the Force itself was laughing at the pair’s idealism, an impact rocked the ship, almost knocking Bail off of his feet. Obi Wan, hardened by countless space battles, steadied himself quickly and helped the senator to his feet, alarm and fear written all over his normally serene face.
“We’re under attack!” Obi Wan gave Luke to Bail, then drew his lightsaber from his belt. “Take the twins, get to an escape pod. I’ll hold them off for as long as I can.”
Bail took the boy, who had woken and begun to cry. “Thank you, Master Jedi. May the Force be with you.”
“And with you. Go!” Obi Wan rushed down the hall, towards the airlock, while Bail rushed to the infirmary, to find Leia.
Obi Wan was rocked by a series of other explosions as he strode down the halls, accompanied by a group of guards wielding blasters. It won’t be enough, he thought. Every sense was on high alert now, and he could sense a powerful Sith on the attacking ship. Very powerful. What disturbed Obi Wan the most, clouding his senses and making panic coil in his stomach, was the sense of familiarity he felt. It can’t be . The thought was too horrible for him to even think about, and he pushed it into the far recesses of his mind. He slipped off his rough brown robe as he ran, standing in his tan tunic, which still stank of ash and fire. At last he was at the airlock, as the guards took positions against the walls. They wore black and blue uniforms, and long, round helmets. The Alderaanians were a peaceful people, but they brought weapons to protect their king from the less scrupulous denizens of the galaxy. Still, they were inexperienced, and would be no match for the hardened soldiers of the fallen Republic. Obi Wan still didn’t understand what had caused all the clones to turn on the Jedi, but he knew that no amount of convincing would be enough to stop them from killing everyone on the ship. With a sinister hiss, the airlock was breached, and clone ARC troopers poured into the passageway, their bone-white armor daubed with thick strokes of red.
“For the Republic!” Obi Wan activated his lightsaber, the familiar blade of cerulean energy doing little to comfort him, and charged the troopers. He killed two with deflected bolts before cutting down a third, as the guards opened fire, their volley devastating on the troopers in the close quarters. Still, the ARC troopers were nothing if not precise, and their blasters took their toll upon the guards as well. Soon, Obi Wan was forced back by laser fire, and roughly half the guards had fallen. The troopers stopped firing, and, showing their naivete, the Alderaanian guards stopped as well. The clones parted, and a chilling sound reached Obi Wan; a rattling breath, somehow mechanical, accompanied by heavy footsteps. A tall, black figure appeared in the smoke filled airlock, wearing a mask hung over his head like a hood. Obi Wan stared in horror, taking in the medical equipment displayed on the creature’s chest, and the hideous sound of the respirator.
“Anakin?” The Jedi Master’s voice was hesitant. He didn't really want the answer
“You killed Anakin Skywalker,” Obi Wan’s old student responded, his voice twisted beyond all recognition. “I am Darth Vader. Now, you will die, old friend.”
“You have given into the Dark Side. You killed Anakin Skywalker, not me. As long as I draw breath, I will not let you take this ship.” As he spoke, loud footsteps echoed off the walls of the corridor behind him, and as he turned, he was greeted by the sight of more ARC troopers, two holding the twins, another pair holding C-3PO and R2-D2 at gunpoint. His shoulders slumped and his knees gave out, overcome by despair.
Vader started at the sight of the children, calling to the trooper captain, “The infants. . .?”
“Children of the late Senator Amidala, sir!” The trooper called. “We found them with the secondary targets and Senator Organa attempting to board an escape pod!” His next words were drowned out by Vader’s wordless scream of rage, seizing Obi Wan with the Force and hurling him against the far wall.
“YOU WOULD KEEP MY CHILDREN FROM ME!” He ignited his new, crimson lightsaber, and struck at his former master. There was a collective gasp from the guards, and C-3PO short-circuited, collapsing against the trooper behind him, as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s bearded head dropped to the floor, its azure eyes staring at nothing, its face twisted into a look of pure grief. “KILL THE TRAITORS!” Vader bellowed, and the troopers began firing, killing the horror-stricken guards without a fight. Vader took his children from the troopers who held them, cradling one in each arm, and marched back through the airlock, disappearing into the shadows and smoke.