I had tons of fun doing this the other day and I want to do it again, the right way, in a coherent, accessible thread, so here it is, rewritten, my goofy AU for A NEW HOPE in which Luke is a trans girl sex worker instead of a farm boy
Amazingly, growing up trans to conservative parents in an agrarian backwater isn’t a good way to grow up
Owen deliberately conceals so much from her about her origins that she occasionally wonders if she was just purchased outright
Eventually she secretly takes the same name for herself: Shmi Skywalker.
With a kindly manner, he lets her stay the night, but always takes her back the next day
She's never been so determined to do anything.
Biggs’ departure isn’t unusual, in any case—he was already scheduled to go offworld to the Prefsbelt IV Naval Academy.
She gets grabbed up almost immediately. Winds up in a System.
It’s too expensive and too pointless to deport them all, unless somebody comes looking.
At the very least, she doesn't get deadnamed anymore. And most people don't even bother to argue with her about her gender, either.
As an older teen, she's often placed in the strange position of looking after many such children.
Still grinding away at the Academy, Biggs sometimes wonders if kidnapping a girl and marooning her somewhere else was a moral thing to do.
Back on Tatooine, Ben hasn't quite realized something's amiss.
Moving from one to another, she tries out for the Coruscant Underworld Police.
Even at sixteen, Shmi is more qualified than many.
So, whatever. Worst case scenario, she gets killed.
She's still too young and green for a beat. She mostly tags along with a pair of aloof, laconic veteran officers on a gunship, following the orders of their particularly hateful and verbally abusive engineering droid.
Still beats Owen and Beru, frankly.
She put HERSELF here. This was HER decision. SHE took control of her destiny.
And with the money she's making, she's starting to see someone in the mirror that doesn't make her cringe outright.
They don't talk shop about the different flavors of fascism they're living in—just cherish whatever emotional and physical intimacy they can share.
He scopes out the Lars Homestead. Ominously, the Larses have taken on hired help.
No sign of Skywalker's child
Appearing at the rim of the crater, he calls out that he hasn't heard much of their nephew lately, inquiring if he's well
Owen Lars gruffly emerges, answering that their ungrateful freak of a nephew ran off with his boyfriend years ago
He prowls the Force like he never has before, desperate to find any ripple of them in the Galaxy.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing
Nothing. They were cautious. Almost as though Shmi knew she was being monitored.
He knows he needs assistance.
Shmi's not doing much better. She's been forced by her unit to participate in various cruelties that haunt her in the night.
"I don't make nearly as much as I did," she tells him, "but I can finally live with my conscience."
Tatooine is long behind her.
She misses him dearly, but she's proud of him.
But she's not lonely. Her life is here.
"Luke Lars", to be captured alive and intact, last seen in the company of one Biggs Darklighter, likely to be living as a woman under an assumed name.
Boba Fett's captured queer runaways before. Easy money.
Boba Fett ties him down and subjects him to extremely enhanced interrogation. Biggs, confused about why he's being grilled about his girlfriend and not his Rebel activities, resists as much as he can
He almost manages to pretend that isn't a lie.
Elsewhere, a lot of bad things are happening on Scarif.
R2 and C3PO manage to make their way to Ben Kenobi, even without meeting any friendly farm boys en route. The Force, mysterious ways, etc etc.
But now the other child has reached out, begging him to come to her aid at the worst time
He has no choice, really. Ben travels with the droids to Mos Eisley.
She dives for the sidearm she keeps concealed in case of dangerous clients and returns fire on her assailant, still half-undressed
Between the anonymous client, the lengths he had to go to in locating Biggs, and now the deeply unusual amount of fight this sex worker is putting up, something is very wrong
Finally, he manages to tackle her down and conclusively subdues her. It's frustrating, not to be allowed to kill her
This does little to endear her to him.
Just to make her squirm, he tells her of all the things he did to Biggs
Shmi's worried, though—not just about Biggs, but about what wacko would value her so much as a target that a Rebel would literally be tossed aside.
Boba Fett, learning his payer just skipped town, is apoplectic
But scuttlebutt at Mos Eisley is that there's an IMPERIAL bounty on the two droids that Obi-Wan was seen departing with. Very intriguing.
High risk, high reward.
Knowing this means it's probably too late to collect a bounty on Solo and his passengers, Fett reasons that if the Empire wants Obi-Wan, they might still pay up for Shmi
They don't get the same welcoming committee the Falcon got, but the Stormtroopers who receive it are of the "shoot first" mentality, and disinterested in explanations.
He doesn't surrender
Slaying his way into the adjacent bay whilst fireman's-carrying Shmi really isn't that difficult for him
"I'm here to collect my payment. With interest."
Ben, realizing with horror that the Force just came back around on him for his decisions.
Han and Chewie, baffled as to what Fett is doing here or who the girl is, but knowing this is a Bad Thing.
Shmi, suddenly understanding who brought this on her.
The guy who always caught her in the wastes and returned her to her cage.
He paid this goddamn monster to hurt Biggs—maybe kill him—and to drag her, screaming, out of the life she made for herself.
She's NEVER felt this much anger.
Shmi doesn't even look back at him. She charges straight at Ben like a wild hyenax.
He simply repeats his apologies over and over again, as though to call her out of her frenzy.
It's Chewie that finally rips her off.
But then, it peters out again.
He doesn't like that.
The damage has been done, though. Shmi's eyes brim with hatred for him.
There's too much he never got to tell her—and not nearly enough time for it now, even IF she were receptive.
Ben apologizes for bringing her to this instrument of death. Tells her Han and Chewie will take her back to Coruscant, or anywhere in the galaxy. She just needs to wait here.
He retrieves Anakin's lightsaber from his robes. Says it belongs to her.
Shmi's angry, but she's also shaken. Did she use the Force, just now...? Where the hell is she? Who ARE all of these people, and why was she brought here? What the hell is up with Ben Kenobi? Nothing makes sense to her anymore.
(Or the droids.)
"Huh? Is that—am I being insulted? Is the astromech referring to me as a princess?"
*extremely irate beeping*
But as a fellow abducted woman, she's extremely sympathetic to her plight
"Fine," Shmi says, turning away to rummage through Boba Fett's equipment. "Go to hell, then."
"Wait-wait-wait-wait-wait. You're just gonna go alone?"
"You—YES! You ARE! And you shouldn't!"
"Are you even lis—wait. Are you taking his armor?"
"Oh, for—WHAT, is what's supposed to be under it some big mystery? It's the same thing you find under ANY armor. An asshole."
She is less than dazzled.
Boba Fett did, after all, expect to be welcomed aboard to dispense of a captive—it's a different Boba Fett and a different captive, but with Han leading in front it's a tableau that makes quick inductive sense to any of the personnel passing by.
"What, precisely, is happening, here?"
"Well," Han begins, hesitantly, "this large, uh, specimen is—is a known terrorist. This civilian just arrived to deliver him, so, uh..."
"He doesn't have a visitor badge."
When she opens the door to Leia's cell, she sleepily glances over at her before jumping up with a start.
She presses her temples in genuine frustration, wondering whether Darth Vader is somehow using the Force to make her have a stroke
"As in, why am I here to rescue you? Or why did I take Fett's stuff?"
"Why to literally all of it."
"Oh, then I dunno."
Shmi mutters something under her breath about having just had to rescue HERSELF. Chewie overhears, giving a sympathetic shrug.
She turns, realizing that as she's been talking, her three companions have descended down the rubbish shute.
"Or, fine, we can all just be trash."
Shmi has a horrible run-in with the dianoga living at the bottom of the water, and is left with a feeling like she ought to invoice everyone present.
Shmi has no idea how any of Fett's equipment works, but now that she thinks about it, she DOES have a lightsaber? Would that help?
Leia stares at her, then presses her temples again.
The lieutenant sees Boba Fett collapsed by the wall and, mistaking him out of his armor for a Stormtrooper, orders him brought to the infirmary with the rest of them.
Shmi defensively answers that she USUALLY doesn't, but this old guy just gave her one, like, ten minutes ago
WHAT old guy, demands Leia
You wouldn't know him, Shmi replies, he's this Tatooine dick, Kenobi
"First of all, I DIDN'T come with him. He paid off that Boba Fett asshole to torture my boyfriend, murder my john, tie me up, and BRING ME here. Second of all: turns out you were thinking of some other Kenobi."
Also, what was that about having a boyfriend?
...Shmi gives Leia a disbelieving look.
They get stranded at the catwalk. Shmi asks Leia if she has a grappling hook, to which she is dryly reminded she is wearing a jetpack.
She firmly clutches Leia in her arms, gets the jets sputtering to life, and tries not to contemplate the metaphor as they vault across.
"You're a sorry sight, old man," Vader remarks. "what was it that got the better of you?"
"Same as ever," he replies. "My own inflexibility. Seems to have worsened with age."
"Earlier, that disturbance in the Force... Tell me, what was it?"
"To put my words to it would, I think, only antagonize it," Kenobi answers, with a weary smile. "in time, I suspect it will find its own."
"The time for riddles is long past us, Obi-Wan."
Before she can consider trying to fire a rocket, Vader... um. evaporates him?
This day has provided him with more questions than answers.
"So what happens, exactly, when you slash at someone's torso with a lightsaber?"
Leia violently supinates her hands in a gesture of extreme incredulity. "Um, they DIE, Shmi."
"Right, uh, forget it."
Shmi stands up. "Sure, I've done things like that."
Han blinks at her. "Well, then, uh, yeah? Good. Great."
Leia squints at her as Han leads the way.
Leia and the droids manage to satisfactorily explain... most stuff.
Shmi's side is a total non sequitur.
Shmi answers curtly that she DIDN'T know him! He was just some old guy nobody liked—who enjoyed narcing on other people's kids.
"Look," Shmi snaps, "my life story isn't something put on display for the amusement of the upper classes."
Leia blanches. "That wasn't how I meant—"
"Whatever. Keep him on that pedestal or don't. I told you what happened."
"What do you make of that girl?"
"You're asking ME?" Han replies. "All I know is they don't teach you how to chump ace bounty hunters at skin school."
"You saw it, right?"
"Sister, I STILL don't know what I saw."
"I never trust anybody," Han shrugs. "Still, if she's buddies with the Empire, she's sure got a funny way of showing it."
"Well, one way or another, they're almost certainly tracking us."
In the X-wing hangar, Leia's initial exchange of pleasantries with Commander Willard gets interrupted by a commotion as Shmi sharply gasps, sprinting off towards a craft. Alarmed by the rash movement, many of the posted infantry take off after her.
The infantry have stopped, backing off, with an expression of discomfort.
Leia brushes past them to find Shmi tightly embracing one of the Rebel pilots.
"Oh. Uh. Sorry, everyone. This is—this is my good friend, Biggs."
Han and Leia turn, sharing a look much too kaleidoscopic in meaning for anyone else in the room to fully understand.
The Battle of Scarif pretty much put an end to any chances of him cowboying off on his own in pursuit of Shmi.
Well, if anything, he had been bracing himself to die without ever getting closure at all. Now he doesn't even know WHAT to do.
"What now?" Biggs asks. "I mean—for us to be back together like this—I don't know."
A part of him wants to desert, and he hates himself for even thinking it, but she's HERE.
"We're kind of trapped here now, aren't we?" Shmi says wistfully.
"I'll take that evening gown you're wearing to mean you're not leaving with me?"
She smiles sadly. "Biggs tried convincing me to go, but... I can't."
"That... may also have figured into my decision."
"Yeah...." Han sighs. "Tough break all around."
"So," Han says, "I guess they're teaching piloting at skin school now?"
Shmi rolls her eyes. "Yeah. Guess they're teaching piloting at JERK school, too."
"Rookie mistake, lady. Jerk school IS piloting school."
She smirks. "Take care, Han."
"Not that I don't appreciate all this," she says, "but TELL me you volunteered for more than Biggs."
"You wouldn't get it," Shmi replies. "he's not just... I owe him everything. And he's all I have."
Shmi scoffs. "I'm NOT. If this had been something I wanted, I could have done it whenever. I'd give anything to be back home."
Leia sighs. "...Me too, Shmi."
She bites her lip. "Right... Sorry about Alderaan."
Leia leans forward, leaving a gentle kiss on Shmi's cheek, but a thought crosses her and her eyes widen.
"Oh—sorry! That won't upset...?"
"Biggs is giving me a thumbs-up from across the hangar, so no."
"Hey," one technician asks, "this R2 unit of yours looks a bit beat up. You want a new one?"
She peers back, realizing which astromech is hooked into the X-wing.
"Yes. That droid's a condescending little jerk."
R2 beeps infuriatedly at her.
Gold Squadron's attack run ends disastrously. The second run ends with most of Shmi's own squadron dying.
She quietly ruminates that she's going to die wearing a uniform, and it's all that bastard Kenobi's fault.
"Screw it, then," she mutters. "We'll just go in full throttle."
Biggs frowns. "Shmi, at that speed, will you be able to pull out in time?"
"I keep getting asked that..."
"Really, Shmi? Really?"
Leia stands up out of her seat, alarmed, worried that with all the stress, she's finally cracking.
Just her and Biggs, now. So close and yet so far apart.
He tries telling her he's sorry about giving her up to Fett. She shouts at him to shut up.
Leia cringes, knowing what's about to happen.
Darth Vader feels the sole remaining X-wing erupt with that crackling, live-wire presence, and is unsettled.
Jumping to attention she rips a headset off one of the mission supervisors, shoves him off of his chair and catches Shmi's attention.
"The Force is with you, Shmi. Use it to take the shot."
"You're not making any sense!"
"Shmi!" Leia barks into the receiver. "Turn the damned computer off NOW, or Biggs died for nothing."
Everyone in the command center gapes at Leia in aghast horror, and she wonders if she hasn't made a grave mistake as soldiers drag her away.
"Red Five! Disregard that last command. Turn your computer back on."
"No. Go fuck yourselves."
Vader, already distracted, collides with another TIE and ricochets violently into space.
"I'm here for you, kid. You got this."
She doesn't wait to see if they hit the mark. She pulls up, and immediately charges down Vader's last known vector.
From behind, the shockwave of the explosion rattles through her X-wing.
Han Solo checks his tail—realizes the only X-wing he's escorting back to Yavin is Wedge's.
"...Go on ahead. I missed one."
Han shoots Chewie a very worried look."Don't go crazy, Shmi. The battle's won—"
"No. It isn't."
"Shmi, what are you doing?!"
She purses her lips, worried and overwhelmed. "There'll be another chance, Shmi, you can't just—"
"THIS is the chance. Don't stop me."
"Then I'll kill him for both of us."
"Return to Yavin NOW, or I'll see you court-marshaled."
"I resign from the Rebel Alliance. I accept this X-wing as back pay."
The other pilot seemingly has no regard for their own life.
Whoever this person is, the only thing in the galaxy that matters to them right now is killing Vader.
Vader can work with that, at least.
Instead, he makes for the nearest moon.
Vader manages some complex maneuvers through some sandstone formations. The X-wing doesn't miss a beat.
He decides to give them what they want, yawing just enough for their wings to collide.
The TIE crumples against an azure dune. Vader emerges shakily from the cockpit.
With their only way off this moon destroyed, though, this is the end of the line. Whatever this person is, they are not a Jedi.
And a concussion rocket flies out, detonating against the canyon wall behind him, knocking him to his knees and instigating a rockslide.
The red plasma blade appears so quickly in front of her—and the crack as it hits is so loud and bright—to startle her badly enough that Vader has no trouble throwing her back.
She rushes again, attacking low, but she's met with a boot to her face for her trouble.
"You see now, don't you, girl?" Vader says. "How catastrophically impotent your little death wish truly was? How meaningless?"
"Mystifying. Had old Kenobi truly grown so pathetic, that a puerile buffoon like yourself could accost him and rob him of a lightsaber?"
The plasma blade hovers so close to her eyes that all she sees is red.
The blade defuses. Something drags her up off the ground, as though her bones are ferromagnetic.
"Tell me why."
Her eyes haven't adjusted—Vader is a black void.
"These vendettas have hastened your undoing. I would hear them."
She tries to swallow.
"...Same as you, really," she mutters, half-gasping. "No idea why you killed him. I've never seen two people so obviously meant for each other—"
Her ribs crack. She screams.
The clenching on her torso eases slightly, and she coughs, half-gagging, before she finds the words again.
"...Kenobi took my life from me. You took everything else."
He doesn't move.
"I see. That final pilot. How trite."
"It is insignificant. As are you."
The grip on her neck tightens, pulling her before him. Even standing on her toes to avoid strangulation, he towers over her.
The plasma blade ignites again.
"A reckless, uncoordinated child, stumbling blindly through my affairs."
"I suppose, in light of the single moment of your existence in which you achieved something of consequence, I should learn your name."
She closes her eyes, hopes she won't feel it.
She tumbles to the ground. His sword arm goes slack.
Going on pure instinct, she jabs forward with a tremulous hand and mashes all the buttons on Vader's chest.
He falls to his knees, gasping for air.
Weaving through the rocky, precarious spires of the moon, she stops to cuts through rock formations with her saber at tactically significant points, blocking the path behind her with rockslides.
Anything to get away.
He can't sense her with the Force.
But now there's an idea in his head that troubles him. Troubles him greatly.
He regrets not having taken a better look at the girl's stolen lightsaber.
She pushes herself forward, coming out under a large stone arch, and a hail of rapid blaster fire screams toward her.
How could Stormtroopers have made it here so quickly?
"Your luck's run out, skin-witch."
Oh. Her fault, then, for leaving him alive.
Boba Fett in one direction, Vader in the other, with no way out.
Shmi almost wants to laugh. Has anyone ever been more dead than this?
Activate the lightsaber right through her neck. quick, easy, relatively painless.
But if she's going to do it, she thinks, she should get undressed. She REALLY doesn't want to die wearing a uniform...
It's dark—only light on the blue wavelength penetrates the atmosphere. He's shooting at movement and sound, that's all.
"I am, am I? Why?"
"Potentially. And while you're busy exploring the upper limits of a CORUSCANTI SEX WORKER'S ability to withstand extreme discomfort, all the pieces will get sold off cheap in night markets across the galaxy."
This might actually work, Shmi thinks.
...Or, she'll die. But she'll die having aggravated Boba Fett one more time.
She tells him the locations of his equipment. She's completely honest. It won't matter.
"Prove it. Shoot a disintegration bolt into the rock wall."
He fires—it's a disintegration shot, for sure.
She quickly steps out from the arch, in the path of the previous blast, and takes a second shot dead in the chest.
All her clothes catch fire at once.
Shmi's fingers burn, but when she tears the burning shreds of her uniform off her body, her skin doesn't catch fire with it.
She thought she would have to make up a genuine-sounding death wail. Instead, it comes out organically.
Darth Vader, still in the distance, hears disintegrator shots being fired. Hears the vaguely disturbing wail echo through the canyon.
If Fett hears her...
Far-off whistling sounds—like a kettle boiling—as debris from the destruction of the Death Star finally completes its entry into the atmosphere of this deserted moon.
There are white sparkles in the dull blue sky as the tiny particles burn up.
The son of a bantha's... buying it?
First, he's going to have murder everybody with his armor—
"Trooper. What are you doing here?"
He turns to the archway, finds Darth Vader standing in it.
"To what legion do you belong?"
"There's... been a mis—"
The canyon is filled with a red, angry glow.
"Then you have already committed one capital offense. Tell me what you're doing here, and we shall see if there are others."
"You disintegrated the Rebel pilot."
"Wasn't a Rebel. OR a pilot."
Vader glances back at him with droll disbelief.
Fett's stormtrooper helmet tilts askew.
"Er. That is, that wasn't my MAIN incentive for eliminating her—"
He clutches impotently at his throat, wheezing.
"That life was MINE to take."
When he attempts to kick Vader, the saber goes through his foot.
He holds up the saber.
With his boot, Vader kicks around the smoldering debris, shoving aside the various orphaned metal accoutrements of the Rebel flight suit.
Impatiently, he levitates the entire mass.
On the sands, the crumpled mass of Boba Fett is shakily attempting to push himself up to his knees when, amidst the sounds of debris falling from the sky, he notes the distinctive screech of a starfighter's engines firing.
Not far off in the distance, the distinctive silhouette of the Slave I slowly, but confidently rises into the atmosphere.
Vader hears the faux stormtrooper, still writhing on the ground, whimper that "the fucking harlot took my ship".
Between the assault on the Death Star, crashing her X-wing, her disastrous fight with Vader, taking a disintegrator slug dead-on... Maybe the Force really IS with her.
Her escape is his own fault. He let himself become distracted by a long-buried weakness. It'll be harder, now.
He would rather not extinguish it. Containment may still be possible.
She has a lot to mourn, but she has to put it out of mind, for now.
After what's happened, Shmi knows she won't feel safe again until Vader's decisively dead and gone.
Shmi saved their lives, and then... she just threw her own away.
She knew that Shmi had felt trapped, that all her choices had been taken from her. But... the two of them COULD have been friends. Leia would have—
Well, it doesn't matter now.
"Do you realize how many HUNDREDS of people—GOOD people—have died in that pursuit?"
"Did any of them blow up a Death Star, first?"
Leia purses her lips. "No. But she's not magic, Han."
If she came back, Leia thinks, she'd forgive her, no matter the outcome of her foolish attack. But it was always a silly hope, that she'd continue to serve the Rebellion.
At the award ceremony the next morning, Han and Chewie both get awarded medals. Shmi is awarded one in absentia—no matter her faults, she's the reason the Rebellion is still alive.
Leia smiles, though she feels lost.
It makes for a pretty story—a Rebel pilot, a girl, a battle to decide the fate of the galaxy.
It's embellished, and sexist.
Shmi was a temperamental stranger who showed up under nebulous circumstances, achieved a single moment of staggering heroism, and then burned out.
Agitprop favors a storybook moment. Even at the expense of facts.
Leia returns to her temporary lodging to brood, wondering why a complete stranger has left her with such a hole in her heart.
She closes the door—and when she turns around—sees a ghostly old man there.
"Hello, Leia," he says, with a weary voice that she remembers, distantly, from the day before. "The time is long due for certain explanations."
I farted out the original outline in what, a single day? Fuuuuuuck.)