literature

Episode 8.5: Ghost Luke chats with Kylo

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By lockswriter

Literature Text

(KYLO REN sits in his quarters on the First Order Star Dreadnought Horrendous. He turns to see GHOST LUKE standing behind him.)

KYLO: You again?

LUKE: Me again.

KYLO: Look, I’m not going back to the Jedi, okay?

LUKE: I know.

KYLO: So stop asking me.

LUKE: I just wanted to check in. See how my favorite nephew’s doing.

KYLO: I’m your only nephew.

LUKE: Yes, I know. It’s called staying positive. You should try it.

KYLO: I prefer to be realistic.

LUKE: You want realistic? Okay. Hux is plotting against you.

KYLO: I knew that.

LUKE: You don’t seem to be doing much about it.

KYLO: I’m dealing with him my own way.

LUKE: I’ll take your word on that.

KYLO: Good.

LUKE: Can’t say I blame him, though.

KYLO: What’s that supposed to mean?

LUKE: Nothing.

KYLO: It’s about Crait, isn’t it?

LUKE: Well, yes. You were this close to winning the war, and you brought the attack to a screeching halt so you could get in a lightsaber duel with somebody who wasn’t there. Not a good look.

KYLO: That was your fault!

LUKE: I was the enemy. What’s your excuse?

KYLO: Hux isn’t any better!

LUKE: Who said he was?

KYLO: I have it on record we once lost an entire siege dreadnought because he was busy arguing over the comm with somebody who kept calling him “Hugs!” You call that leadership?

LUKE: So why keep him around? If you can’t trust him and he isn’t even good at his job… oh, I get it.

KYLO: What?

LUKE: Why you haven’t killed Hux yet. It’s because you don’t have the slightest idea how to run things without him.

KYLO: That’s not true!

LUKE: You’re Supreme Leader of the First Order. You’ve got a whole war effort to coordinate, plus, you know, actually governing the First Order. Did Snoke ever get around to teaching you how to do any of that?

KYLO: Well, you sure didn’t.

LUKE: I was trying to teach you patience. Which is exactly what you’re going to need if you want to do the work that a real leader does. Because most of that work is boring. The Jedi didn’t even lead, but we took it upon ourselves to do that work. Let me give you an example. Obi-Wan once told me the story of when he was a padawan and Qui-Gon Jinn took him to Naboo. You know how it began? “Turmoil had engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems was in dispute.”

KYLO: Wow. That sounds thrilling.

LUKE: I know, right? But that’s my point. That’s the sort of bantha fodder the Jedi used to concern ourselves with back in the day, and we were just advisors and peacekeepers. You call yourself a ruler, but all you do is Force-choke your underlings and make them do all the work. And you wonder why you don’t get any respect. Let’s just take this one problem you have right now. Hux. Forget executing him—if he died in battle tomorrow and you had to replace him right away, who would you pick?

KYLO: I’d… look through his underlings and find somebody.

LUKE: Your grandfather would already have an officer in mind. Someone he could trust, someone he knew to be both competent and loyal. Speaking of loyalty, whatever happened to the Knights of Ren?

KYLO: What do you mean?

LUKE: I mean, you guys were supposed to be this sacred brotherhood that overthrew the Jedi, and we never hear from any of them except you.

KYLO: We’re all busy! We all have important work to do, bringing order to the galaxy!

LUKE: Is that what they tell you? Every time you try to get the band back together and they all start making excuses and—

(Kylo Ren whips out his lightsaber and slashes through the place where Ghost Luke is standing, cutting several deep grooves in the wall behind him)

LUKE: Feel better now?

KYLO: Yes, actually.

LUKE: One of these days you’re going to do that when I’m standing in front of the outer hull.

KYLO: No, I won’t. I make a point of knowing where I am in the ship so I don’t slice through the hull by mistake.

LUKE: It’s a start. You still have much to learn, though. I can’t believe I’m encouraging you to keep worshipping your grandfather, but—

KYLO: I don’t worship him any more. The past is dead to me.

LUKE: Good. But you could still learn a thing or two from it. Lord Vader was all about control and discipline—and it started with self-control, self-discipline. People were afraid to fail him, they weren’t afraid to walk in on him when he was in a bad mood.

KYLO: (sniffing) Crap.

LUKE: No, it’s true.

KYLO: No, literally. Crap. Something smells like…

(He turns around. Brown fluid is leaking out of one of the lightsaber slashes in the wall.)

LUKE: Well done, my young apprentice. You have successfully struck down a waste-recycling conduit.

REY: Is this a bad time?

(Luke and Kylo turn around. Rey is in her quarters in the MILLENNIUM FALCON, having a Force vision.)

LUKE: No. No. We’re good. How’ve you been?

REY: I’m fine. Good seeing you guys.

LUKE: Still keeping up your training?

REY: Yeah. Going really smoothly.

KYLO: Hey, Rey, I was thinking maybe you and me could get together some time and join forces and bring peace to the galaxy. How about this weekend?

REY: I can’t. I’ve… um… got a thing. Say, what’s up with your wall? There’s stuff coming out of it.

KYLO: Oh. That. Uh…

REY: You hacked up the room again, didn’t you?

LUKE: He did.

REY: Of course he did.

LUKE: And this time he cut through a waste pipe.

REY: I’m glad this Force link doesn’t include smell.

KYLO: I’ve just been under a lot of pressure lately.

REY: See, Kylo, this is why I don’t join the Dark Side. It messes you up.

LUKE: I tried to tell him.

KYLO: Rage and pain are the source of my power. It’s just a matter of learning to channel it. I’m still working on that.

REY: Whatever. Listen, Luke, I’m glad I ran into you. I need your help with something. I’m reading the Sacred Texts of the Jedi—

LUKE: What? They’re not—I mean, you have them?

REY: Yes. Only they’re written in this ancient language and there’s words in there even C3P0 doesn’t know, so I keep getting stuck.

LUKE: Uh… search your feelings.

REY: I did. They said to ask you.

LUKE: There is… uh… nothing in there that you do not already possess within yourself.

REY: That’s not a lot of help.

KYLO: He never read them.

REY: What.

KYLO: Back when he was teaching us, we’d ask about the Sacred Jedi Texts and he’d suddenly get really vague, and it was obvious he was just bluffing. He hadn’t read them. I’m guessing he still hasn’t.

REY: You have got to be kidding me.

LUKE: Well…

REY: You never read them? Seriously?

LUKE: I preferred to draw wisdom from… uh…

REY: You were all alone on that Porg-infested rock for however many years it was, you had literally nothing else to do besides milk the space seals—

KYLO: “Milk the”—is that a euphemism for something?

REY: And you never got around to reading them? You, the last Jedi in the galaxy until I came along? The only person left that those books were written for?

LUKE: Even Yoda said they weren’t exactly page-turners.

KYLO: What was that you were just now telling me about patience and doing the boring work?

REY: Tell you what. Next time I'm on Coruscant I’ll see if I can find something in the library. See you guys.

KYLO: See you.

LUKE: See you.

(Force vision of Rey vanishes.)

She’s not into you, you know.

KYLO: She’s just in denial.

LUKE: There are times when a girl needs you to make the first move, and then there are times when she just needs you to move somewhere else. Learn to tell the difference.

KYLO: Yes, this is exactly what I need. Romantic advice from my bachelor uncle.

LUKE: All I’m saying is—

KYLO: Tell the truth. Did you ever in your life get to kiss a girl? I mean, other than your sister?

LUKE: You know that’s not what the Jedi are about.

KYLO: Maybe that’s why the Jedi are down to one… again. Ever think of that?

LUKE: I think that has more to do with the fact that our apprentices keep turning to the Dark Side and killing us.

KYLO: Well, maybe if our mentors would stop trying to stab us to death—

LUKE: You’re never going to let that go, are you?

KYLO: I wake up in the middle of the night and my teacher’s standing over me with a lightsaber! Excuse me for being a little upset.

LUKE: That was a mistake. I admit it.

KYLO: Just out of curiosity, if you had killed me, how were you going to explain it to Mom?

LUKE: I don’t know—the same way you explained killing your father?

KYLO: I joined the Dark Side! What’s your excuse?

LUKE: Ouch.

KYLO: No, really! I want to know! Why’d you do it? You go to the ends of the galaxy to bring Grandfather back to the Light Side. Me you just try to kill in my sleep! What were you thinking?

LUKE: You really want to know? You really want to know what I was thinking? I was thinking, “Crap, not this again.” Seriously, do you have any idea how draining it is, having to go around saving other people’s souls all the time? I looked at the rising darkness inside you, and I finally got what people mean when they talk about emotional labor. I just didn’t have the energy.

KYLO: And yet, here you are now.

LUKE: Well, yes.

KYLO: Still trying to be my mentor. Don't you think you kind of burned that bridge?

LUKE: I think I need to put things right. And I think you need somebody in your life you can't threaten. Besides, it’s not like I have anything else to do. I’ve tried mentoring Rey, but everything comes so easy to her I feel like I’m getting in the way.

KYLO: I’ve noticed. You’re sure you’re not just doing this to get me so mad I end up doing things like this (waves at damaged wall) so you can laugh at me?

LUKE: That’s more of a side benefit.

KYLO: Uh huh. Listen, I need to call in a repair crew, and I can’t be, you know…

LUKE: Having a conversation with a dead enemy?

KYLO: Exactly.

LUKE: Time to go then.

KYLO: Listen… thanks for the tip about Hux.

LUKE: Not a problem. Do look out for yourself. (Disappears.)

KYLO: See you later.
This is a bit of fanfiction I wrote after Episode VIII and posted on Twitter for my followers. Now that everyone's seen Episode IX (along with, finally, the Knights of Ren) I figure I might as well post it here where it's a little easier to read.
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