Preamble: Welcome back to THE DARTH SIDE as we continue to power-post through the bonus chapters that didn't form part of the original run of the series ten years ago. In retrospect they seem to lack some of the edge of the serial-as-ran, so let's just get through them quickly and get on to the good stuff. The Lawrence Kasden-era stuff.
I guess that should be "Classic Kasden" era stuff because he's apparently writing the shit out of the newest J.J. Abrams anointed trilogy, so there will be a "New Kasden" era to contend with soon enough -- Han Solo's solo adventures, the long-rumoured Wookiee porno 'Walking Carpet', and so on.
THE DARTH SIDE
by Cheeseburger Brown
PART I, Chapter 3 - There's No Vader Like Darth Vader
Patience. The brown and copper globe of Tatooine turns beneath us.
The Force gnaws.
Today I find myself for the first time torn between taking my place before the bridge's array of ports meditating on the stars, or retiring to my hyperbaric chamber to remove my mask and indulge in a different kind of meditation: this journal.
It is my habit to look into the outward deep for solace, but there is value in the inward deep, too. Perhaps I have finally grown enough to face what lies there, now that all that threatens us will presently be destroyed. Perhaps too these entries, these trivial detailings of my days, have sensitized me to an inner voice I could not perceive before...
When I did make an appearance on the bridge today the communications officer was speaking with a lieutenant planetside who reported tracking the two target droids to Jawas. "Orders, my Lord?" asked the communications officer, a veil of sweat glistening on his brow.
"Go to the Jawas. Twist their bodies until they scream all they know. Bring the droids to me."
He passed that on, and I wandered over to the viewports and clasped my hands behind my back. I closed my eyes and tried to find threads of meaning in the raging radiance of Force that ripples out from these suns, but I was interrupted from my meditations by a signal from the Emperor's office on Coruscant. "Will you take it here, my Lord?" asked Commodore Ozzel, hovering behind me.
"No. Route the call to my quarters, Commodore."
Looking disappointed that he wouldn't be in on Imperial gossip, Ozzel nodded curtly to the communications officer as I swept past him and into the lift. On the way down I considered how I would frame the events of the past few days in my report to my master. I found the elevator music irritating.
Once in my quarters I knelt upon the dais and the blue, translucent image of Darth Sidious took shape before me, his hood shadowing all but his thin lips. "What is your bidding, my master?" I said casually.
"Rise, my friend. Plans have changed. The Force canters around a vergence."
"I have felt it, my master."
"You will escort Princess Leia directly to the Death Star and make her Tarkin's prisoner. There you will remain, until I call for you."
"Master? Will the Senate not demand a trial?"
Sidious smiled tightly. "The Senate will not be troubling us much longer. In today's session I will announce the permanent dissolution of the Senate in favour of our own Moff Council. Go now to the Death Star, my servant, and we will draw out this mystery from the Force."
I bowed. "As you wish."
And so we make now for our rendez-vous with Tarkin aboard the Death Star, just hours away. My master did not elaborate on how my presence there will serve to expose what flickers in the fabric of the Force, but his designs have always been his own. I can be patient. I will have my hour. He grooms this New Order so that one day I may assume the mantle of Emperor, and preside over a new era of prosperity and stability across the galaxy.
Thousands of years from now every waking babe will know the name Darth Vader.