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chapter 26:

When the haze starts to dissipate, Han feels like he’s looking up from the bottom of a lake.  He can see a tall mountain and, every so often, thinks he sees a face.

When the haze closes up, he is alone.  He moves through the forest, calling for Leia and Luke, wondering what they spent their entire lives fighting for.  It certainly wasn’t for a government that turned against them too many times to count or for peace to a galaxy that doesn’t value it.  They spent their lives fighting the dark side.  They were destined to bring the galaxy hope and they had never walked away from the challenge.  Now someone else will have to pick up where they left off.

He knows they’re gone and that he’s going to follow them soon.  Mostly, he just wants to hold Leia’s hand one more time.  He wishes he could have gone with her.

Leia can see her body as she drifts nowhere and everywhere, not remembering the names of her enemies, seeing her brother’s body not far away.  She can’t remember his name as she feels herself dissipating into the Force, unable to hold on to her memories.

It frightens her and that shouldn’t happen.  Every Jedi knows that becoming one with the Force at the end will come.  She feels there’s something or someone left behind.  Then she hears someone calling her name and remembers Han.

Han suddenly sees her running down with her arms open.  He meets her, picks up with a hug and they kiss.  When he puts her down, she looks like she did when they were young.  She asks what happened to him and if it was the carbon freezing process that caused it.  That’s the last thing she remembers and doesn’t understand why he looks so old.  

He reminds her that she rescued him from Jabba’s palace which was before they were ambushed on Endor and the defeat of the Emperor.  She grows older in front of him as he reminds her of the past.

She is sure the Qrephs are gone, just as she would be if he hadn’t called her back.  The strangeness of all this makes them wonder if they are dead.  Luke joins them.  He tells them the Qrephs are the ones who died.  Their shadows left when the bodies were destroyed and can’t be invited back.  Since the three of them still have bodies, he’s guessing they are still alive, but he can’t be certain.

They can go back, but not the to the way they were before.  Leia explains that she has spent a lifetime fighting, but there needs to be time to rest and enjoy life, too.  Luke leads them to the gate where their loved ones are.  

Lando and Ben are relieved to see them.  They don’t quite understand how time works here as the injuries the trio sustained while in the monolith look old.  Ben thinks they’ve gotten enough information from this thing as they’re going to get.  They’ve already set the charges.  Leia suggests they find a way to keep anyone from finding this place again.  If they destroy the repeater beacons inside the Bubble of the Lost, that should do it.  The Bubble is what prevents the monolith from being easily found.

Ben reports that all but one of the battle droids are gone, the base has been secured, Omad and Tahiri are aboard the Falcon, looking after Ohali and watching Dena Yus.  She’s recovering, having found the formula for the enzymes.  That doesn’t change her culpability for killing thousands of miners.  

Luke tells him to take her back to the Jedi Council for judgment.  Luke is going to take some time for himself.  Someone else can lead the Jedi.

They leave through the residence.  Ben asks if he should tell the Council that this was the Mortis Monolith.  Luke isn’t sure if it is, but, if it was, it isn’t anymore.  There’s no balance here.  There was no sign of the Ones or any evidence that Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi were ever here.  It may not be the same monolith anyway.

The galaxy is a big place.  There could be thousands of monoliths or just this one.  There’s no way of knowing and, having seen what the Qrephs were using it for, it’s probably best that no one knows.  

The only thing he learned is that he is still mortal.
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 Epilogue:

At the Red Ronto, Leia sits with Han in the same booth where they met Omad three months ago.  Omad it here with Tahiri, Ohali, Ben, Luke, Jaina and Jag.  Lando joins them with a bottle.

Tahiri assures Han that she and Ben looked for her while setting up the charges at Base Prime and Mirta Gev was nowhere to be found.  Ben thinks she might have escaped with Vestara.  Fortunately, that’s not the Solos’ problem anymore.  They are going to take the Falcon and travel the Void.  Though Han won’t admit, Leia knows the pain he endured at the base has taken its toll on him.  

She needs the time to recover, as well.  That Han has spent decades keeping up with her, despite his not having the Force, is remarkable, but he cannot do that forever. They will stay in touch.  

Jag and Jaina will be helping Omad set up the new security beacons around the Bubble.  As long as Lando and the miners agree, Ben and Tahiri will take Dena back to the Jedi Council.  She will have to atone for her crimes somehow, but that’s for the Council to decide. 

Ben what Luke is actually going to be doing.  Luke insists that he just needs some time to himself.  After all, there’s nothing the Council needs to do that requires him.  He promises not to end up in a swamp like Yoda, though.

Lando lifts his glass and toasts to Good Friends, Good Times and New Journeys.
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  •  Crimes committed by Jedi are still up to the Council and not the governing authorities?  

End of EU Chapter Summaries

This project began a little over 17 years ago.  For almost every day since that time, I have posted a chapter of an EU book, spanning about 230 works, cross-referencing many others, in an attempt to analyze the mass body of books that made up the rich tapestry of the Expanded Universe.  With the posting of the final entry in Crucible, this project has come to an end.  I have some, but not all, of the new canon books.  I can't say I'll never come back to do them, but the labor of love I have just finished allows me the time to pursue other hobbies and interests that are more of a priority right now.  Thanks for reading!


 

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It seems obviously insufficient to merely say the following — especially when one considers the scale of what you’ve done — but, nevertheless, well, I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t say anything at all so ...

Thank you for doing this! I have genuinely enjoyed reading your summaries and commentary. I think maybe my favourite bit out of so so so so many was way back when you were keeping track of all of Lando Calrissian’s derogatory nicknames for his droid sidekick Vuffi Raa? In any case, loved every entry I read! Couldn’t get enough of them! I thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart!

I hope your other hobbies and interests are literally enjoyable and figuratively enriching. No, wait, if you end up making great stacks of cash at these other other hobbies and interests that’d just be a real plus? I don’t know. I hope things are great, things are good, what is it that Han Solo says, something about “May the Force be with you”, that, I hope that!

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