I’ve been on a Star Wars kick thanks to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and I figure I’m not the only one. So I dug out this snippet of roleplay I did with a friend of mine based on the Old Republic timeline.
In this particular roleplay, I played Cailen Ukiir, a sarcastic and self-conscious Jedi-in-Training (But you’ve already heard of him, haven’t you?). My friend Kaze created and wrote the rest of the cast, including Cailen’s master, Teek, a Force-sensitive Jawa–yes, a Jawa, those little beady-eyed traders in the brown cloaks!
As you’re about to see, Cailen and Teek make quite the interesting pair…
“Hello,” comes a voice from behind as you gaze over the edge of a landing platform. Looking away from the lush landscapes of the planet Tython, you turn to the voice.
There’s a smiling face there to greet you. “It is a pleasure to meet you, young one. I know you are still confused. The confusion will fade with time. I am Master Edrasi. From this day forth, I will be your friend, your teacher, your ally, and your partner. We Jedi live with the Force, nurturing it and keeping it in balance.”
Suddenly, half of the sky above the Jedi Temple darkens. Bolts of lightning and claps of thunder boom, and this half of the Temple crumbles as if it had been subjected to heavy bombardment and age.
A dark figure appears next to Master Edrasi. “I feel your hatred, young one. The raw emotion… the fear… the anger… A future of freedom and power await you. I am Darth Nox. From this day forth, I will be your master and, most importantly, your enemy. Such is the way of the Sith. The Sith are the true rulers of the galaxy, Cailen; and one day, you will join our ranks as a fully-fledged Lord.”
“I expect great things from you, Cailen,” say both Masters in unison. “I will observe your growth and guide it and you will see that you have chosen the right path.”
The dream ends.
Cailen heard a hoarse, pathetic shriek of panic as he floated back into the conscious world–
Oh. That was himself.
His body covered in cold sweat. He was breathing heavily, and he felt a large weight on his chest. But perhaps that was due to the Jawa sitting criss-crossed on his chest.
The Jawa stared down at Cailen with beady yellow eyes.
With a grunt, Cailen tried to shove himself up onto his elbows. “M-Master Edrasi…” he whispered, his voice still hoarse. He sniffled. Then he scolded himself. “There is no Emotion… There is no Emotion…” Cailen mumbled to himself.
As if remembering him for the first time, Cailen turned his attention back to the Jawa sitting on his chest. “…Oh. Master Teek.” It felt like he’d been asleep for… years. “H-how long was I…?” Cailen trailed off.
It was starting to all come back to him, but slowly. Hazily. Like it had all been a bad dream.
Like his nightmare. Cailen began to shiver violently.
“I sense you had a bad dream. Or a good one, if sweating is a good sign for your species,” the little Jawa said in his native language.
Cailen curled into the fetal position–at least, as well as he could, given the tiny Jedi master still perched on his sternum. “N-n-no. It’s n-not,” Cailen replied in Basic. He glanced around, trying to reach out with his natural Force Sight, but he was still a little disoriented. “W-where are w-w-we?”
“We’re on a ship towards Tatooine, remember?” Teek said, getting off of Cailen and hopping down onto the metal floor. “It’s been about a week since we escaped the Sith. Master Edrasi trained you very well. We’re going to complete your final task and make you a Jedi Knight! Whoo!”
Cailen coughed as Teek trotted off his gut. He rubbed his hand through his black hair; it was soaked with sweat. “R-r-right. Tat-t-t–”
Cailen clamped his jaw tight to still his chattering teeth. Then he pulled his legs up, hugging his knees to his chest. At least Tatooine will be warm… he thought ruefully.
At the mention of Master Edrasi’s name, however, Cailen felt warm tears slip down his face. He was grateful for his simple cloth blindfold, which he pulled tighter against his face to mop up the tears, hopefully before Master Teek or anyone else who might be nearby could see.
Master Teek! That was right. Master Teek would be his new master now. They were going to complete Cailen’s training. He’d finally get a lightsaber. And he’d be a Knight, and…
Everything was happening so fast. Cailen flipped the hood of his robes up to hide his head and face. He began to softly mutter the Code to himself. His mantra. “There is no Emotion, there is Peace…”
He felt small hands pat his head, like he was some kind of small household pet. “Take a deep breath,” Master Teek urged. “Muttering the Jedi Code means nothing if your mind and body are not in harmony.”
Cailen’s face wrinkled with a mix of displeasure and confusion. “Wh-what?” He sullenly rubbed his own head, not taking kindly to being petted.
“Take a deep breath! Like this!” Master Teek said, taking a massive, obviously over-exaggerated breath.
“N-no, I know how to breathe. How is breathing deeply going to keep my mind and body in harmony?”
How could anything keep his mind and body in harmony right now? Darth Nox–w-well, my vision–was right. I do feel angry. And afraid. And sad. And about a billion other emotions he couldn’t describe. Definitely not peaceful. How was he supposed to suppress all of this?
“Do not ask how, simply do,” the Jawa said, abandoning his childlike behavior for the moment and adopting his Master persona. It was something Cailen had seen a few times during his week-long training with Master Teek. On the surface, Teek was childish, whimsical, and often prone to pranking or being annoying. Yet he was a Jedi Master for a reason. In times of seriousness, Teek was a true paragon among Jedi.
Teek sat crisscrossed in front of Cailen. “Assume a meditative posture. And breathe.”
Cailen sighed, frustrated–at the situation and himself. Of course he was supposed to be obeying his Master, not questioning.
So he mirrored Master Teek’s posture, resting his hands on his knees. Inhaaaaled… and exhaled. He focused on keeping his breaths as slow, even, and deep as he could manage with his current lung capacity. It wasn’t long until he was lost in the breathing–measuring; feeling the rhythm; sensing the movement, humidity, and temperature of the air.
“There is no Chaos, there is Harmony. You are stressed, Cailen. Will you let me see what is troubling you?” He said.
It was still hard to take that sound of the Jawa speaking his language seriously. Cailen had to struggle to resist cracking a smile.
It was definitely going to take more than a few weeks to get used to this. “Yes, Master,” Cailen replied meekly, bowing his head.
Then he felt the Force enter his mind, like a dam that opened slightly to allow a stream of water into. It was nothing compared to the forced, brutal mind-probing Cailen had experienced at Darth Nox’s hand.
“You dreamt of meeting Master Edrasi for the first time,” Master Teek said. “The beautiful planet of Tython, with its single sun and green, crunchy, awful-tasting sand. The Jedi Temple in all of its glory. You remember hearing what he said to you during that time. The purpose of the Jedi. The Light Side of the Force. The Jedi Code. And then you dreamt of Nox… I see.”
Then Cailen felt Teek exit his mind; the master didn’t dare go further to see what Nox had said in the dream.
“You experienced something that few Jedi should ever face. You should not dwell on the past. There is no Chaos, there is Harmony. If this event is causing you stress, it is throwing your mind into chaos. Your thoughts will be clouded. Your emotions will not be kept in check. You may act recklessly. These are the first steps to the Dark Side.” Master Teek nodded, like he was proud of himself for remembering all of that and speaking like a good master should.
Cailen nodded too, but he clutched his knees a little tighter. He felt something wrench within him. Another emotion? Cailen took another deep breath.
Yes. It was another emotion. Guilt.
But I did act recklessly. I gave into my anger. I… I did fall to the Dark Side, didn’t I?
A flash of Nox’s face, goading him into action. An image of Master Edrasi, impaled on Nox’s lightsaber.
Cailen gripped his knees tightly.
But he… the Master says to let go of the past. So… So I should just…?
Cailen took another deep breath, but the image of Nox wasn’t so quickly fleeting. He shuddered again. “Master, what should I focus my mind on instead?” Cailen asked quickly, his words spurting out before he could think to check them. “All I can think about is the past! Master Edrasi and… and our mission and being captured and Darth Nox and…”
“For now, focus on maintaining peace in your mind. The past is important, but it should not dominate your life. You learn from it, but do not dwell on it. You remember, but do not obsess. What has happened cannot be undone. You must accept that. Did you do something that you cannot accept you had done?
“Do not blame yourself for the death of Master Edrasi. There is no Death, there is the Force. He is in a better place. He is with you. He is with me. He is the Force. The Force surrounds us; penetrates us; binds us.” Teek nodded to himself again. He really liked congratulating himself.
“B-but he’s… Master Edrasi, he’s…” Tears again pooled in Cailen’s eyelids. “He’s not with me any more. Darth Nox… He swallowed Master Edrasi whole! And I… I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t do anything!” Cailen shouted. “I attacked Darth Nox in anger. He tried to take me as his apprentice. And… and I…”
Cailen dropped his head into his hands. Good job letting go of that past.
Again Master Teek patted Cailen’s head. “You gave into your anger,” the Jawa said, though it didn’t sound accusatory or belittling. It pretty much sounded like Jawa talk all the same. “That is nothing to be ashamed of. You are young. You are in training. You haven’t had the time to practice. Even then, sometimes it isn’t enough. Even Masters have done something like this… Along the way to our destination, we will take a detour. There is a place I must show you,” Teek said, removing his hand. “But, for now, take a deep breath.
It was somewhat hard to take a breath now that his nose was congested and dribbling, but Cailen tried. A long, shaky breath.
But… he did feel a little better.
Hope you enjoyed. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas this year! May the love of God be more present, near, and dear to you this holiday as we remember his Son’s birth in a small stable in Bethlehem.
Photos (in order of appearance):
- Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash
- Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash
- Photo by paul morris on Unsplash
Adapted from writing by Kaze and me (Jeannette Jonic). Used with permission.
Star Wars and all related names and terms property of LucasFilm and Walt Disney Studios. And, unfortunately, I am not affiliated with them in any way, shape, or form.