I know you three are not too keen on family reunions, I suppose we can thank cousin Thrackan for that . . . well, I don't mean to speak ill of someone who won't exist soon, or will in some other way . . . or whatever. Hell, I'll be gone too, so enough with the sappy poodoo, eh? I know I wasn't always around for you three, in fact, I only seem to have been around when things were particularly . . . touchy, shall we say? Always an adventure with you three, even before you twins were born. What you experienced when your mother was meeting the Noghri . . . well, we'll get to that. Don't want to embarrass you right off the thruster.
So, I guess there's no right or wrong way to do this. I mean, it's not every day you have to deal with your entire universe becoming obsolete, to be replaced so that things can be more in line with new thinking or whatever Corpspeak they threw at us. Well, I have things to say to you all, but maybe it's best I handle things individually first. Let's go in reverse age order for once, okay? Sorry, Jacen, I know that still makes you second, but . . . well, I think I'm okay with that. Time enough for all things.
Anakin: You had a lot put on you from the day you were born. Even before then, in fact, not many people were touched in the womb by one of the most powerful Sith lords in generations. But, that's the same time that your mother found it within herself to forgive your grandfather, and how does she show she's accepted him? She gives you the name of the man who became Vader. Heh, no pressure, huh? Not as though you weren't already the youngling of the most famous couple in the damn galaxy, you got saddled with that little thermal detonator. Helluva namesake to carry, and knowing that your older siblings had none of that going on . . . makes you think about things. And, you always were thinking, looking at the world and seeing things as they truly were, most times in a way that made us adults wonder just how perceptive a kid could be. You could be counted on to cut straight to the heart of the matter at hand . . . hehehe, really melty, indeed.
You spent a lot of your youth with Winter, who spent most of her life serving the woman she knew as princess, and the galaxy that she endeavored to make a better place, just by keeping what was good safe. That was you, for a while, and her devotion imprinted on you. Between that spirit, your grandfather's technical prowess, and the staunch devotion of your mother and father, you had quite the skillset before you even knew what to do with it. You got yourself out of situations you couldn't understand by meeting them head on, and usually pressing right on through them.
I could go on forever just talking about you kids, but forever isn't what we got, huh? Anakin, let me tell you a few things that I think you need to hear.
First, let me say that you were becoming a man that I was proud to know. You gave of yourself without losing what it was that was you, you pulled people through things they could never have imagined, and you managed to find your smile at the end of it.
Sernpidal. A world torn asunder, but never so much as your heart that day. Let me tell you something right now: There is no hurt your father ever suffered that could match his pain that day. Yes, he lost his best friend, but most importantly he felt like he lost you. He couldn't see past his own pain in that moment, but the look in your eye...that has haunted him. I know, I've seen it. I don't tell you this to make you feel bad, just to let you know that there's never a moment where he didn't love you. You were his boy, and had a power he could never know, he trusted you as you trusted the Force, and I'm pretty sure you recall how it felt when you believed that it had abandoned you. He was hurting, and that hurt came back years later, when your name emblazoned the flagship of Darth Caedus. Those of us that knew you knew how wrong a thing that was, though compared to the wrong being done at that time I guess it doesn't quite stack up.
The Voxyn Queen. You grew up a lot on that mission, you were a man then, regardless how scared or unprepared you felt. Here's a secret, every spacer feels the same way. A hundred thousand things can go weird in the black between the stars; you just shine your light and hope to make it to the other side. And yours shone, boy did it shine. You became the Force that day, a living beacon to all who knew you that outshone the dark and gave that team hope, the most powerful thing you'd ever done. You inspired life that day, even though yours...
Tahiri is doing well. Well as any of us are now, I suppose. The Vong changed her, and so did Caedus. He seduced her with your light, but that's not your fault, your memory was powerful, and could be used just as any powerful tool. But she's doing well, your parents have looked after her when they could, and she's managed to find herself after a fashion.
Your parents miss you terribly, but they're buoyed by the life you led, encouraged that though they may not always have had the right choice ready for you, you grew up to be a man that they admired. A stalwart enemy of the darkness, a good friend, a kind heart, and a fierce devotion to all that was good and right in the universe. You were the bright center of the galaxy for so many, and your light will shine as long as we remember it.
Jacen: Where to begin with you . . . you were such a big-hearted boy. Your empathy with all living things made you a strong ally to the Force, and such it was a very powerful ally to you. Your menagerie at home and on Yavin, you were always in touch with the life that was a part of the living Force.
Your selflessness was paramount, yet so was your guilt. You never forgave yourself for cutting off Tenel Ka's arm, though there was no way to prevent it. You were still young, you could not have felt any warning that her lightsaber would fail just then, no way for you to stop your blade from being what it was, and doing as it was designed to do. But your incredible empathy wouldn't let you not feel her pain, her loss. You never saw how much that pushed her to become more than she had been, to spite your pity. You never saw so many things . . .
When the Vong came, not many understood your choice to abandon the Force, least of all your father. Here was a man who always wanted better for you than he had, a man who relied on luck and instinct to make it through the dangers of the galaxy, and you had access to a power and sense he could never have and chose to ignore it. Your ideals were pure minded, but again you found selfishness in your selflessness. But that's what teenagers do, isn't it? It's a shame you never learned the deeper lessons.
Vegere. That trickster, she taught you many things, none the least were how to rise above yourself. How to put your body and spirit's objections aside for the greater purpose. You suffered greatly, but no more so than anyone else in that war, truth be told. You just found more darkness at your heart than you realized. You stumbled then, and to some it seemed as you never regained your footing.
Some fall, Jacen, but you dove. You embraced all there was of the Dark Side because you forgot the lesson of Vegere's shadowmoth. Life is struggle, look at your parents! Can you think of two people who had a more difficult set of circumstances to bring children into the galaxy? You wanted everyone to be free from decisions, free from having to make the choice to be good, you knew what was best. All your learning, all your knowledge made you better than everyone else, because you sacrificed so much to learn it. You, the boy who couldn't stand another creature's pain, killed Fett's daughter for no reason but a shadowy threat to your own.
Yeah, I know about Alaina. Not hard to figure that one out, who else would Tenel Ka let into her heart to make such a daughter? You wanted her to be safe, you wanted her not to struggle, but life is struggle, all life has to push to survive. You wanted to protect her from the very thing that made you as strong as you think you were.
I'm sorry, I wanted to remember you here as what you were before you took your name. I guess becoming a Darth makes it easier on you, destroying what you were before so that you don't remember sunny days feeling life around you. I want to say that it makes it easier for those of us that loved you, that knowing Jacen is no more makes it easier to separate who you were from who you became, but it's a lie. And you know it, I know you saw it in Jaina's eye in those last moments, the betrayal she felt. Not yours, but hers.
Even when things looked bleakest I knew you could be redeemed, I would have been able to forgive you. Torturing Ben? Manipulating Tahiri . . . but burning Kashyyyk . . . and what you did to Mara . . . I hope whatever version of you that shows up in the other universe makes better choices and never betrays the love your family gives you. No one earned what you paid out, and I hope you'll find redemption somehow.
Jaina: My sweet niece, I don't think I ever met a happier, more pleasantly devious little girl in my life. Your ability to find trouble even in the most sedate setting was second to none; you craved adventure even when it scared you. Remember when you and Jacen were playing Little Lost Bantha Cub in the bowels of Coruscant? That one still gives your mother nightmares.
With your multitool in hand you were a whiz with any machine, you were the perfect distillation of your parents, cool and composed (when you could maintain it) and still able to out-curse any mechanic in the outer rim while getting your elbows dirty. You and Jacen were so close; you were able to make mischief with each other like you were one mind. I know you and your mother had some tough years, but that seems normal for regular mothers and daughters, let alone with two who can sense each other in the Force. You were certainly a Daddy's girl, but with a father like yours, that meant that you were likely the toughest person in any room.
You kept a very cool head during that mess with Thracken, and it was more than telling that you were the one to handle the weapons that day in the Falcon; you were always the one willing to bring the Solo style justice to anyone who needed it. It sure scared your dad, and made him proud at the same time. When things got dicey, you got icy, and more than one pilot would utter your name with the same reverence they reserved for your Father-in-Law.
Your heart was always a beat or two ahead of you, and you let it lead you into trouble more than once, why that mess with Zekk and the Killiks, that was some business, eh? Didn't know you'd ever be comfortable with that much of an extended family.
I know you were scared when the Vong showed up, and it lead you not only to new heights of power, but down a dark path as well. Who would have thought that it would be Kyp Durron to show you where the edge was? And what in the Correllian Brothers is it with you and the bad boys, anyway! You've been as mopey and forlorn as a holodrama actress with the guys from the wrong side of Mos Eisley for what seems like your whole life! Don't mind me, though, just replaying what your father and I must have said a thousand times to each other . . .
Like your brothers you grew up quick, and you became every bit as steely and dominant as either of your folks. There's not many in the galaxy that would want to challenge you to combat or courtship, and that's why we were all so happy when you and Jag finally found a way to be together. Your love has been dealt many blows, and has never been easy on either of your duties, but you've found a way to make what's important the priority and let outside things fall as they would. Admittedly it helps that you both hold high position and respect in your respective places, but you'd make it work regardless.
I know that it still weighs on you, what Master Luke said the day you became a Knight, and everyone would understand that. To be the Sword of the Jedi? An awful lot to put on already taxed shoulders, and so many could see you hardening from that day on. Now I'm no Force-sensitive, but I know steel. Too rigid and the blade shatters, you have to remember to take each day as a gift, though every one might come with a surprise. Don't forget that a sword can do more than cut, it can also serve as a symbol, to heal as well as hurt, and its legend will live on in those that faced it as well as those it protected. Never had you felt that pressure more than that day when you fought Jac . . . Caedus. Who am I kidding? He was who he was, and you stood in his way. I know that it may have been the hardest thing you've ever done, and I hope that nothing will ever beat that mark. You've earned at least some measure of peace, though we know that that doesn't necessarily dictate what you'll get.
All three of you have achieved a great deal, and brought much joy to everyone you knew, and at times heartache as well. For the most part your stories are examples of lives lived well, and fully present. More than a lot of folks can say. Well, I don't want to go on too much longer, I just hope you all know what you've meant to the people who've been lucky enough to hold you in our hearts. I know that my life would have been much emptier without you all. No one's truly gone as long as someone remembers who they were, and I promise you: as long as I have conscious thought I will keep you close to my heart. I'll never forget your joys, sorrows, and the amazing things I've learned from you all. Yeah, we old folks can still be taught some things, though I think Han's just been collecting curses in more languages.
Kidding aside, you have made your parents very proud, and even when you stumbled, they were willing to pick you up, even when they knew you could fall again. Be at peace now. We'll see you on the other side, whatever that may look like.
May the Force be with you, always.
Uncle Erik (Lars)