HAN SOLO LIVES
Chewbacca’s roar echoed throughout the dark cavernous structure. A heartbroken cry from Rey soon followed.
Han felt the warmth of the lightsaber radiate inside of him, searing his insides. The moment of burning pain numbed as he stared into the eyes of his son. A deeper ache took over Han as he saw the internal torment behind Ben’s face.
“Thank you,” Ben said, his eyes teared with uncertainty. His face solemn, yet menacing in the red glow of the crude lightsaber.
The saber burned off particles of Han’s jacket, sending glowing embers out into the dark. Ben ripped the saber out of his father’s chest and stood back to keep composure. His emotions distant, but on the inside, he felt weak with doubt of what he’d done.
Han reached for his boy’s face, wanting to instill a softness of a father who still loved his son – despite his mistake. Ben looked down to his father’s chest, unable to keep eye contact with the better man. Instead, Ben saw the damage he had done.
Han’s knees buckled, unable to keep himself upright. He fell backward off the bridge into the depths of the mega structure within the planet.
Clinging to life, he tumbled for what felt like ages, into a brighter and brighter light. The light got warmer the deeper he fell. His consciousness started to slip, his eyes closed, and in that moment, he could feel The Force. He thought of Leia, and how he failed her. He thought of Ben, and how He had failed him as well. In the depths of his mind, he heard another fierce roar from Chewbacca – followed by a crossbow blast.
Han snapped back to reality as his body splashed into a pool of cold, gel-like liquid at the bottom of the void. Momentum from the fall propelled him underneath the gooey surface. He struggled to keep from gasping a lungful after such a shock. Han felt a resurgence of will, after such sudden need to fight for life after certainty of death. He squirmed himself around and kicked his way up to the surface for the air he needed. His damaged lungs worked hard to wheeze in gulps of air while his wound screamed in agony. Han wiped the gel from his eyes and squinted into the bright light.
Six large white crystal pillars surrounded him, each descended deep into the gel. They each hung from a circular platform built around the walls of the pit. Steam screamed out of the bottom of each crystal, where they met the liquid. The gel was acting as a cooling agent to keep the crystal pillars from putting off too much heat. Han’s eyes adjusted, and he noticed the overhead platform led to an open control bay built into the side of the void.
Echoes from explosions high above made their way down to the bottom of the void. Chewie detonated the explosives they had placed before his son impaled him. Even in the gel, Han felt the structure shake. The Resistance could now destroy the main weapon’s charge before it fires.
A service worker in a clean gray uniform ran to the edge of the control bay, looking up to the source of the explosions. Underneath the man was a ladder that extended down into the pool of gel. Han kicked his way through the thick liquid towards the ladder and tried his best to shut out the pain he was in. He climbed to the top rung, right under the ledge where the man stood.
“Excuse me,” Han said, smirking despite grimacing from excruciating pain.
Startled, the service man looked down to find Han, dripping in gel and hanging off the top rung of the ladder. In one hand, his blaster pointed at the man’s chest. The blast echoed loud in the confined pit as the man’s chest exploded outward. Life vanished from his face and the standing corpse fell forward. Han ducked and let the body fall into the gel, sinking into the depths of the pool.
Once in the service bay, Han felt the searing pain in his chest return with force. He looked down at the wound, the burned flesh melted with his charred shirt and jacket. He clenched his jaw, preparing for more pain as he stuck two of his fingers into the wound. The inside walls of the wound felt warm, rough, but completely cauterized. The gel had helped seal the fresh wound and kept it cool. He winced as he moved his fingers around and finally felt the strong pulse of his heart beating inside him.
Han stumbled towards a wall covered in knobs and control readouts. He determined the controls were for operating the large glowing pillars. Han realized the over-sized pillars were Kyber crystals. Luke had told him long ago about the Force-attuned mineral used in Jedi lightsabers. Starkiller Base had used The Force to pull energy from the sun, harnessing it into the Kyber crystals. That focused energy was able to bring devastation to the other side of the galaxy. Han familiarized himself with the controls. He cranked the power to max, drained the pool of gel, and cut off the energy release so the weapon would be unable to fire. He knew Starkiller Base was already falling apart, but the large weapon was pointing at Leia.
The pillars began vibrating, humming loud. The temperature rose from the absence of gel, and the intensity of the blinding light filled the room. Han spotted an elevator, his only escape. He staggered inside, and started pounding the controls that would propel him upward. The door sealed shut and Han collapsed to the floor, finally having the chance to catch his breath.
“I had a bad feeling about that bridge,” Han said aloud as he felt the elevator jettison upward.
*This is a work of fan fiction. Star Wars and it’s characters are property of Lucasfilm Ltd and Disney.