Star Wars: Episode I – Chapter IV

by E.V. Jacob on July 26, 2012

The group ate their celebratory dinner and congratulated Anakin on a job well done. He sat beside his mother, wanting to hold on to every last minute with her, knowing it would never be enough.

Anakin was becoming fearful and anxious – a feeling that was completely alien to him. As the night wore on, he grew and more and more unsettled. He clung to his mother, not wanting to be away for a moment.

But Lakshmi and Cordelia were bright and cheerful, and Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan told stories of their many adventures as Jedi knights, and Anakin tried his best to enjoy his last night in the only home he’d ever known.

Amidst the lively conversation, Qui-Gon turned to Obi-Wan and whispered, “I sense a severe disturbance – we must be on high alert.”

“I sense it too, Master. Do you think there might be danger to us here?”

“I’m not sure, but Anakin senses something, too,” he whispered.

Anakin glanced in their direction at the mention of his name, though Qui-Gon was certain that Anakin couldn’t have heard their whispers from that distance.

The group cleaned up together and thanked Lakshmi for the delicious meal. When all the dishes and utensils were cleaned and stored away, they bid one another good night and returned to their rooms.

Qui-Gon sat on his bed and opened a link to Yoda.

“Hello, Master Yoda. We have secured the boy and will be leaving in the morning.”

“Good news this is. Glad to hear it, the Council will be.”

Obi-Wan paced the small room restlessly while Qui-Gon spoke with Yoda, then Captain Panaka. The Captain was angry to have been on Tatooine for so long, and was glad to hear that it was time to depart.

When he was done with his calls, Qui-Gon sat for a moment, watching his apprentice.


“I know I should rest, but I can’t calm down, Master. I have this…this terrible feeling.”

Qui-Gon nodded. “I know. Focus your energy, Obi-Wan. We need to figure out exactly where this threat is coming from.”

This only made Obi-Wan feel worse. He had been hoping that Qui-Gon would offer some words of wisdom, telling him not to worry – instead, he had been instructed to worry efficiently.

Qui-Gon slipped off into meditation, but Obi-Wan couldn’t sit still long enough to concentrate. He continued to pace, trying to get into a semi-meditative state through the repetitive motion.

Downstairs, Anakin lay in bed, feeling uneasy.

He heard a sound. So soft, he almost missed it. Anakin lay still, listening closely. There was a soft creek from the floorboards in the hall.

His door swung open and a dark figure swept into the room.

Anakin had just enough time to see the red and black face, the horned head, the vicious snarl, before the red lightsaber shot out and –

“Ah!” he opened his eyes and jerked awake. He propped himself up on shaky arms and looked all around the small room, but the strange creature wasn’t there.

Heart hammering, he jumped from his bed and hurried to his mother’s room, checking behind him the whole way. It was a fear he had never known before – the nightmare seemed so real that he could not shake the feeling that, somehow, it had been. He knocked lightly on the door and waited anxiously for her to answer.

“Mother?” he called. His voice was strange – high and strained.

“Ani? What is it?” she said as she opened the door, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

“I just…wanted to see you,” he said. He wondered if she could see him trembling in the darkness.

Lakshmi smiled softly and ushered her son into her room. She sat him on her bed and talked quietly with him into the night, wanting to hold him close for as long as she could.

Anakin was afraid to fall back asleep. Lakshmi drifted off after a while, but Anakin lay awake for what felt like a long time. Eventually, though, the weariness of a long day overcame him and he fell into a troubled sleep.

Again, he dreamed of the hooded figure creeping into the house. This dream was clearer – the figure was flanked by two hovering droids, and was clearly looking for something.

It moved towards Anakin’s room just as before, its horrible red and black face catching in the moonlight. It was coming for him – to take him away. He felt a cold fear sweep over him. The creature crossed the small inn with grim determination.

There was the sound of a lightsaber activating, only this time the blade glowed green. Qui-Gon swung at the intruder, who’s own red lightsaber came up to block the blow. A battle began in the middle of the dining room, knocking over furniture and scorching the walls.

Anakin woke, but not from the nightmare this time – it was because Obi-Wan was shaking him.

“Anakin, wake up!”

Obi-Wan’s concerned face filled his vision. Lakshmi sat up, looking perplexed.

“We have to leave, right now,” Cordelia said. She held Anakin’s bag in her hands and wore a troubled expression.

Obi-Wan picked Anakin up as Cordelia opened the window and helped Lakshmi out. From the dining room came the sounds of lightsabers crackling and whirling through the air and making contact as the battle raged on.

“What’s happening?” Anakin whispered, dazed.

“Someone has come for you. We have to hurry, Qui-Gon can’t hold him off much longer,” Obi-Wan explained as he pushed Anakin out the window.

The four of them started down the road, rushing down the dark, deserted streets. All around them was evidence of a recent sand storm, and the winds continually threatened at another. They ran as fast as they could,

“How far is the ship?” Lakshmi asked between gasps.

“On the outskirts,” Cordelia panted, “We have to hurry – we don’t know if Qui-Gon managed to –”

“DOWN!” Obi-Wan shouted, pushing the other three to the ground and dropping to the dirt.


A droid shot overhead, veered sharply, and rocketed back towards the group.

Obi-Wan jumped up and slashed at the droid with his lightsaber. A chunk was sliced clean off. It wobbled unsteadily, thrown off balance by the change in weight.

The droid began to fire its lasers wildly.

“Go!” Obi-Wan cried to the other three.

They staggered up and Cordelia led them in the direction of the ship. The droid’s blasts tore into the ground around them, turning the sand to glass.

Cordelia ripped her communicator from her belt and opened it. “Captain Panaka! Ready the ship!”

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“We’re under attack!”


The second droid ripped through the air, coming straight for them. A net shot out of the droid toward Anakin.

On pure instinct, he dodged, narrowly avoiding the net. The droid came towards him a second time, but Cordelia hefted a large rock from the ground and hurled it at the droid.

It retracted its net, rounded on the handmaiden, and opened fire. She dropped down, narrowly avoiding the blasts.

Lakshmi grabbed Anakin’s hand and pulled him along forcefully.

The droid turned, racing after them. It shot the net again, and again, Anakin dodged. But he hadn’t reacted quickly enough, and it caught his ankle, dragging him down.

Lakshmi leaped at the droid, having no idea what she intended to do. It spun free and fired its lasers, missing her vitals but striking her in the shoulder. She screamed and fell to her knees, clutching the wound.


Lakshmi lay helpless as the droid rounded on her. It fired, but its shot went wild as a lightsaber stabbed through its metal body.

Obi-Wan withdrew his weapon and the droid dropped uselessly to the ground. The four of them stood there for a moment, panting and looking back and forth at one another.

“We have to keep moving,” Obi-Wan finally said. He pulled Lakshmi to her feet and helped her along.

“Where is Qui-Gon?” Cordelia asked, hurrying after him.

“I think he’s still fighting…”

The edge of the spaceport loomed up ahead. Beyond that were the sand dunes, a vast, open space – the perfect place to be spotted. Obi-Wan looked around; they would have to move quickly.

Anakin’s mind was racing with the events of the night. He surprised himself by wondering if Qui-Gon was unharmed, but was more concerned with the safety of his mother than anything else.

Cordelia was in the lead, followed by Lakshmi, but when Anakin’s mother set foot outside the spaceport, she collapsed.

“Ahh!” she cried in anguish. She writhed on the ground as the shock shot through her body.

“Mom!” Anakin stopped dead in his tracks, horrified.

“What’s wrong?” Obi-Wan asked, looking around for some unseen attack, lightsaber at the ready.

“My…my transmitter…get me back within Mos Espa…” she gasped.

Obi-Wan and Cordelia pulled her quickly back within the city limits.

“D-deactivate Ani’s,” she whispered.

Obi-Wan pulled the deactivator from his pocket and turned Anakin around.

“No! Deactivate hers! Deactivate hers!” he shouted.

“Anakin, he can’t, that one only works for you.” Lakshmi said, recovering her strength.

Obi-Wan held it over the back of Anakin’s neck and deactivated the transmitter.

“Agh…” Anakin whimpered and slumped down to his knees as the shock from the transmitter hit him briefly.

“You have to go,” Lakshmi said.

“NO!” Anakin tore free from Obi-Wan and ran back to his mother. “I’m not leaving you! Not like this!” Anakin said. His voice wavered and his vision blurred with tears.

Lakshmi grabbed her son’s shoulders and forced him to look her in the eye, “You will go, Anakin. Listen to me – go! I can’t go with you, leaving the city will kill me, do you understand? You go now so I’ll know you’re safe, then no real harm can come to me.”

She embraced her son tightly and kissed the top of his head.


“Go! They’re not after me – I can hide, just make sure you’re safe!”

“No!” Anakin shouted again, clutching her tightly.

Lakshmi looked pleadingly at Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan swallowed hard, hating what he had to do next.

“Goodbye, Lakshmi,” he said, and then he grabbed Anakin and threw the screaming child over his shoulder, running as quickly as he could toward the ship.

“NO!” Anakin screamed.

Cordelia looked back at Lakshmi, the sadness clear on her face. “Take care of yourself, be safe!” she whispered before taking off after Obi-Wan.

“Put me down! Put me down!” Anakin thrashed, twisting to reach his mother. Tears were coursing down his face and his voice broke as he cried out. “We can’t leave her! Go back! Mom! Mom!

“I’ll be with you again! Soon!” Lakshmi called after him.

“No! Mom!”

“I love you, Anakin!”

MOM!” he cried.

They reached the ship quickly, their run fuelled by panic. Anakin screamed and raged all the way, pounding his fists against Obi-Wan’s back as hard as he could.

The hatch was open, ready for them. They tumbled into the ship, startling Captain Panaka.

“What in the –” he started to say as they collapsed onto the deck. The Captain closed the hatch and stared down at them. They were all messy and covered in sand, Obi-Wan was exhausted, and Anakin was still screaming for his mother.

Obi-Wan pulled himself to his feet and leaned against the bulkhead for support.

“We have to find Qui-Gon,” he said.

“Alright,” said the Captain.

Cordelia helped Anakin up and put an arm around his shoulder, but he fought her off and turned away, furious.

“Keep an eye on Anakin. Please. Thank you!” Obi-Wan said to her as he hurried to the cockpit where their pilot, Ric Olié, sat at the controls, ready to fly.

“Where to, Obi-Wan?” he asked, powering up the engines. He was grinning as he gripped the controls – they were clearly in for some excitement.

“Fly low, along the outskirts,” Obi-Wan instructed.

Ric obliged, taking Obi-Wan’s directions. He closed his eyes and locked onto Qui-Gon’s signal, giving directions as the Force dictated.

The first thing they saw was the flashing light of a small droid engaging its rockets. R2 flew out ahead, a beacon for the ship to follow. Once they had spotted the droid, it was easier to see the dark figure running along the desert through the night, almost invisible in the shadows cast by the tall dunes.

“Open the hatch!” Obi-Wan shouted, running back towards the main hallway.

The hatch began to open while they were still high in the air. Obi-Wan held onto the scaffolding that surrounded the hatch and leaned out as far as he could, trying to find Qui-Gon again in the darkness.

Just as he spotted his master, he saw another figure zooming through the night, going abnormally fast.

“Master!” Obi-Wan called as the second figure raced toward Qui-Gon. It was the same creature that had attacked them at the inn – a skilled Sith who had come to take Anakin.

R2 navigated his way easily to the ship and landed in the hallway, beeping and whistling anxiously.

Qui-Gon was almost close enough to reach them when the Sith jumped from his speeder-bike and collided with Qui-Gon. The two battled, green and red lightsabers flashing madly in the night.

“Lower!” Obi-Wan shouted.

Ric brought the ship down as close as he could. On the ground, Qui-Gon slashed at his attacker, burning him across his chest. The Sith charged at Qui-Gon, catching him in his arm. Qui-Gon blocked the next attack and, glancing up at the ship, he gave one final blow to the Sith before leaping.

He caught the edge of the hatch, but just barely. Obi-Wan leaned out and grabbed his Master’s hand, pulling him up into the safety of the ship.

“Take us up!” Captain Panaka called to Ric.

The Sith tried to make the jump, but the ship had already begun to rise, and the hatch was retracting as it closed.

The Master Jedi fell to the deck of the ship, gasping. He had several burns and grazes, but from what Obi-Wan could see, it was nothing serious. The young Jedi leaned back against the wall and slid to the deck, tired and relieved and worried all at once.

“Master, are you alright?” he asked.

Qui-Gon nodded and sat up, “Yes, yes, I’m fine.”

Cordelia stood in the hallway, still trembling slightly, with Anakin standing numbly by her side.

Qui-Gon looked around, then frowned. “Where is Lakshmi?”

* * *
Lakshmi curled up in a corner, shivering against the harsh winds.

She had crept behind a merchant stand, hiding from whoever or whatever had come after them. As she sat there, huddled in the darkness, she watched the skies, praying that she would see the ship lift off.

When finally she saw it rise into the sky and shoot toward the horizon, her fear subsided. Anakin was safe.

Clutching her shoulder, her only thought of her own safety was that the laser had cauterized the wound – she wouldn’t bleed to death, that was a comfort.

She did not fall asleep so much as lose consciousness. It was good that this was Jira’s stand – the old woman was Lakshmi’s friend and would be kind when she discovered a wounded fellow slave in the morning. Lakshmi drifted off, thinking only of Anakin and the chance she had secured for him.

* * *
Darth Maul stood watching as the ship disappeared into the night.

Shaking with fury, he turned back to the slumbering spaceport. He retrieved his broken droids and made his way back to Watto’s inn. Though he searched for clues, there was nothing in the little inn to guide him. He interrogated the other guests, but when they failed to be useful, he killed them.

Angrier than ever, he hurried to his ship and took off after the Jedi, vowing to make them pay, as he knew he would when his failure was discovered.

* * *
Anakin sat in his quarters, staring blankly at the wall. He wasn’t sure what he felt, only that it was a complex mix that he had never before experienced. The emotions were overwhelming – the greatest of them being loss.

As the ship flew further and further away, he realized that he had spent his whole life near his mother, feeling her warm presence, holding on to their connection. He had always been comforted by knowing that, no matter where they were, he could find her.

Now the sensation was fading quickly. He had never been this far away from his mother, and the distance made him feel as if there was a hole rapidly growing within him, voiding out the place his mother had once occupied.

He cried bitterly, more alone than he’d ever been.

A soft knock on the door shook him from his thoughts. Cordelia opened the door slightly and peeked inside.

“Anakin?” she asked softly.

He gave no answer.

Cordelia stepped into the small room and sat down opposite the boy. She watched him with true sadness and compassion, unsure what to say, but aching to say something.

“I’m…so, so sorry, Anakin,” she whispered after a moment.

Anakin clenched his jaw. His face became hard and closed off.

“Your mother is a very smart woman – I’m sure she was able to hide. I’m sure…I’m sure she’ll be fine,” her voice was soft and sorrowful.

Anakin was thankful, at least, that there was someone else who was genuinely upset that his mother had been left behind. He looked away, then looked down – looked anywhere but at Cordelia. She sat with him for a time, then stood, pulling him to his feet.

“Here, let’s clean you up a bit.”

Cordelia took a soft cloth from a cabinet and went to the little sink in his bunk. She wet the cloth and cleaned his face a bit, tending to a few scrapes and cuts he’d gotten during their escape.

She pulled fresh clothes from his bag and left the room to let him dress. When he was done, she returned to help him into bed and cover him.

Again, he was reminded of his mother. Anakin felt a physical ache at the thought of her – he could no longer feel even the tiniest hint of his mother’s presence.

“Do you need anything else? I know it’ll be hard for you to sleep, but if you can, you should rest,” Cordelia said softly.

Anakin was silent for a moment. Without looking at her, he said, “I’m cold.”

Cordelia nodded and left, returning with a thick blanket. She tucked him in and stroked his forehead gently, looking kind and sad all at once.

“I suppose you would like to be alone for a while,” she said finally.

He stared at the wall, not knowing what to say. Cordelia placed her hand on his shoulder and squeezed lightly.

“Just call me if you need me,” she said, leaving a communicator on the shelf by his bed.

And then she was gone. Anakin rolled over and curled up, shivering in the unfamiliar cold of space.

He was aware of the fact that he was on his first starship, and that he was going off to be a Jedi – he knew there was adventure and excitement in his future, and that that future was bright and full of possibility.

But no matter what amazing prospects lay ahead, his mind kept wandering back. The only image in his mind was that of his mother, broken and beaten on the ground, calling out to him.

She grew smaller and smaller until she seemed to blink out of existence, and then there was nothing but blackness where she had been.

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***DISCLAIMER: Obviously, these characters aren’t ours, because none of us are named George Lucas, and none of us are crazy-rich off the Star Wars franchise. We have omitted some characters, added some people, and altered a few basic plot points, but the Star Wars stories still don’t belong to us. Everything belongs to George Lucas – we’re doing this purely for the fun of it.***

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