Chapter Eight - Luke's Trial
Sorry for the delay!! Real life has been hectic… DISCLAIMER
I don’t own anything from Star Wars
or Lord of the Rings
Luke awoke the next morning in the same position sitting against the wall. His whole body was stiff and he let the Force wash through his joints. He glanced disdainfully at his worn and dirty robes. There was nothing the Force could do about that.
Mara had spent the night sleeping in the stairway that led up to the street. She had wanted to be as close to him as she could without raising suspicion, she had said. There were moments like that when Luke could not believe how much he loved her.
There was a flurry of activity coming toward the prison. Luke reached out to gently touch his wife’s mind and wake her up. He smirked when he heard her groan from down the hall.
He did not have long to wait. Legolas led several armed guards down to Luke’s cell, who pulled him to his feet and shackled him. “You will be brought before Elessar,” Legolas said. “He will decide your fate.”
Luke knew it would do him no good to argue, so he let them lead him back through the city. Leia had taught him well.
The same assembly waited for him in the King’s court. King Elessar and Queen Arwen looked down on him from high white thrones, while the other man had a smaller black chair. Legolas stood by this man’s side.
Luke sensed Mara behind him as she slipped quietly through the door. Elessar frowned when he saw her. “You!” he said.
“That is Skywalker’s servant,” Legolas told him. “The one you allowed to be kept free.”
The King’s expression was stony, but he said nothing more about her. “Faramir, read the charges.”
The man on the black throne read from a thick sheet of paper. “Luke Skywalker, you stand here to be punished for crimes your father, Anakin Skywalker, committed against this land thirty-eight years ago.”
Luke nodded miserably. He figured that it would not help to point out that in all likelihood, he hadn’t even been born when his father had been on Arda. But he did ask, “Might you at least tell me what my father did?”
Legolas, Faramir, and the Queen all turned to King Elessar. Anger clouded his face again. “He came into a peaceful house masquerading as a friend. Then he kidnapped young twins, beloved of the family, and fled with them to the stars.”
That was a surprise. Kidnapping had not usually been Vader’s style. He had always been fonder of straight executions. Luke decided not to mention that to Elessar’s court, though.
“You stand to pay for that crime,” Faramir said.
“That’s outrageous!” Mara cried behind him.
Before someone else could, Luke snapped, “Jade, be quiet!” He could feel her reluctance, but she did not say anything else.
“Do you have anything to say in your defense?” Faramir asked.
Luke took a moment to formulate his answer. “My father did many terrible things,” he finally said. “My friends and I suffered through most of them. For over twenty years, his evil knew no bounds.
“But there was still a spark of goodness in him. I could sense it buried deep inside. And in the end, he returned to the Light Side. He sacrificed himself to save my life and kill the Emperor.” Luke straightened a little. “My father renounced the Dark Side and saved millions of lives. He died a Jedi and a good man. Here I stand before you as a Jedi like him.”
A bright flare of rage lashed out through the Force as Elessar leapt to his feet. “Jedi are not welcome here!” he thundered.
Luke heard Mara’s thought in his mind. ‘Comparing yourself to the man they hate might not have been your best plan,’ she said.
The Queen had stood up and was speaking softly to her husband. Luke could feel her calming influence spreading through the room. Finally, she and Elessar sat once again. Elessar nodded to Faramir.
“Then you are willing to accept the fate once meant for your father?” Faramir asked.
Luke nodded. “Yes.”
“No!” Mara cried.
“How many times do I have to tell you, Jade?” Luke demanded, turning to face her. Then, so only she could see, he shook his head slightly and gave her a pleading look. She simply closed her eyes and refused to agree.
He sighed and turned back around, saying again, “Yes. I will face judgment.”
Elessar frowned. “Why do you agree to a punishment you do not directly deserve?”
Luke met his eyes confidently. “Because you see it as justice and above all else, the Jedi protect peace and justice in the galaxy.”
A brief feeling of confusion and uncertainty echoed through the hall, but it was quickly replaced by stubborn anger. “Then Luke Skywalker,” he announced, “you are hereby sentenced to a prison cell here in Minas Tirith for the rest of your life.”
Luke nearly staggered. A life sentence was not what he had expected. It was impossible – how could he continue with his students? The galaxy needed the Jedi Academy. How could he watch over Jacen and Jaina and Anakin? Anakin had been afraid something would happen to him. He wished he had listened to him.
Behind him, he heard Mara burst into tears. He wanted to run to her, to comfort her, but it would ruin the charade. He could not risk her being imprisoned along with him. Someone would have to bring the news back to Leia.
Elessar waved his hand and the guards turned Luke around. They forced him out of the court and back down to his cell. When the metal door slammed shut, it echoed loudly through the corridor. He sank to the floor and leaned against the wall. “Leia,” he muttered, “I’ve definitely gotten myself into a mess this time.”