Yet after Anit had been published, many curious Jedi had picked it up and read through it at some point in their lives. Qui-Gon was among them. He had commented to Obi-Wan that he had been stunned at how accurately Gratheez had depicted Jedi life, at least until he had then read about the author’s history: he had been a failed Initiate who had found a place on the Temple’s staff for nearly thirty years, leaving the Temple only just before he started writing the novel.
In other words, he knew all the dirty little secrets.
Before they were assigned to protect a certain pair of actors, Obi-Wan had never read Anit. He didn’t want to face what he would find there.
It really was too convenient when someone called in a death threat to the two actors starring in Anit, even though the second one hadn’t even been cast yet. Though when the news first broke over the holonet, there were hopeful speculations around the Temple that now noone would want the part of the padawan. It was a vain hope. It was the most coveted role in the galaxy, it seemed, and no paltry death threat could deter most of the hopefuls.
Instead, the result had been a request for Jedi protection for the actor already cast, and while the Council had tried to deny it, again, they had ultimately failed. It seemed someone involved in the project had a friend in a high place. Twi’lek actor Sastern Tol Pik started making the rounds between Jedi, taking up their time, and, of course, getting plenty of opportunity to observe them for his own purposes.
Too convenient a death threat, indeed. And the Council was never offered an opportunity to investigate it, or whether or not it was a genuine one.
Just before Pik was transferred to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s protection, he was joined by half-Hapan actress Valey Res’cuni. She was twenty years standard, a year older than Obi-Wan, but he thought she looked younger. And way too thin, as well as really too attractive. From the start he wondered how such a girl could hope to portray a Jedi padawan.
Obi-Wan wasn’t at all surprised when his Master only found the whole situation amusing. He rolled his eyes at the Council’s paranoia, and chuckled more kindly as the two actors tried to imitate being Jedi, then offered advice. Obi-Wan knew the Council would disapprove of that, but saw no point in mentioning that. This just might be one of those cases where it would further encourage his Master.
Most of the fancier tricks in the movie, Pik and Res’cuni were quick to assure them, would be done by doubles specifically trained for the purpose. But there were certain things both really did need to know, and in regards to them they would have been in trouble if it wasn’t for Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan admired his Master’s patience, correcting them again and again as they made errors which Initiates would have blushed to make. They had claimed to already have undergone physical training for their roles, but it didn’t seem to have helped them much. Obi-Wan himself stood apart, because while part of him thought the Council was overreacting, another part of him thought Qui-Gon was going too far.
There was one particular scene in the script, in which Anit’s Master guided her through an advanced kata. The script didn’t specify which one. Pik called the producer and director both to ask which one, and learned they were undecided, at which point Qui-Gon chose one, one he had recently taught to Obi-Wan.
He taught Res’cuni the first few moves, which didn’t require the use of the Force, first, and did so the same way he had taught Obi-Wan, and the same way Pik would in the scene. At the touch of his hands to her body Obi-Wan say her eyes dilate, and then she seemed very much in character indeed, her body arching up into the Master’s hands, which nearly covered her tiny hips when they propelled her up, then put her back down, because she couldn’t execute the next bit without the Force.
“Okay, we have to do that one,” she gasped out when. “Bribe the producer, beg the director, but we have to do it.”
So they practiced it again and again, Qui-Gon adding Pik to his choreography. The first time he replaced himself with the Twi’lek, Res’cuni squirmed hopelessly and messed the routine up. “Sorry,” she said afterwards. “Just have to get comfortable with it.” A few more times and the worst of that was past. A few more, and Obi-Wan even found himself feeling some grudging admiration for both actors, for now they were getting into character, and he thought they might actually seem believable to most.
Yes, most would see them on screen, watch Anit’s mouth part as her breath catched-the camera would undoubtably zoom in on her face-see her muscles tense against her Master’s touch, and thrill at their voyeurism of this young woman’s desire, all the more so because she was a Jedi, supposedly so high and mighty, and now depicting as rapidly falling. But it didn’t feel real to Obi-Wan. That, he was convinced, was beyond Valey Res’cuni’s abilities.
After the actors retired, Qui-Gon had Obi-Wan run through the whole kata again. Of course, Obi-Wan had mastered it, and didn’t need his Master’s hands to guide him.
But he still felt them on his body, the memory of the pressure of Qui-Gon’s fingers lingering on his skin. When he leapt, he felt as if Qui-Gon had pushed him forward, was pulling at him and turning him around with his eyes alone.
Sometimes he wondered that every kata, every step he took didn’t feel like this. Even when he felt he had broken free, was moving on his own, he still felt he ought to feel the phantom of Qui-Gon’s hands, his arms, even his breath on Obi-Wan’s cheek, his neck, his shoulders.
When he landed in the final position, the concentration required had dulled the phantoms somewhat. Which only resulted in it being all the more jaunting, when a large warm hand placed itself on his shoulder, accompanied by his Master’s voice, saying, “Good job.” His fingers carelessly moved over Obi-Wan’s neck, beneath which Obi-Wan’s pulse beat fast, but of course it would after physical exertion. Obi-Wan’s breath did not catch; it was still uneven. Even if it hadn’t been, he thought he was too used to Qui-Gon’s touch, and the reaction it provoked in him, to let anything show.
Obi-Wan would have liked Valey Res’cuni better if she hadn’t asked so many endless questions.
How had Qui-Gon chosen him in the first place? Was getting rejected and sent away and then accepted after a life-threatening sequence of events took place usual? (He sincerely hoped she was joking with that question.) How had he and Master Jinn ever gotten past that? Didn’t it still bother him sometimes? How deep did his loyalty to his Master run?
And then, after quizzing him on gender identity, she asked him if he’d ever felt any attraction to his Master. She also wanted to know what he thought was typical amoung padawans in regards to that. The novel had hinted all padawans fell in love with their Masters, but of course she didn’t believe that. Was that the general impression, though? And then she unleashed a series of lust-related questions that would have made Obi-Wan uncomfortable, if he hadn’t already been feeling all the discomfort he was capable of.
She had him trying to think of what to say when he heard his Master call for him, and mentally thanking Qui-Gon for his discretion, he excused himself and fled.
Only to be cornered by her again the next day. Why had he been so reluctant to answer her? Even if he had something to hide, which she didn’t believe he did, surely he didn’t think she’d tell anybody his secrets. Again Qui-Gon interrupted them.
This went on for several days, until the actress’ confusion about why Qui-Gon kept interrupting was almost amusing. She finally demanded to know if there was some secret of Qui-Gon’s that was somehow involved in the answer to her question, and that was why he didn’t want to answer her, and Qui-Gon didn’t want him to answer her.
Qui-Gon had opened his mouth to interrupt, but then he closed it and shook his head. And it became clear to Obi-Wan that the only way to get her to stop asking was to answer.
He first asked her, “Does Anit keep anything secret from her Master?”
“Well no, she can’t,” she answered readily, “not without breaching the bond between them more than she could bear to do, so she accepts that he knows that she loves him and they both ignore it for the most part. I’ve been told most padawans can’t keep secrets from their Masters.” Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon both fixed their stares on her hard, and after a moment or so she finally got it. “Oh. Well, I...”
But even if Obi-Wan knew perfectly well that Qui-Gon was aware of most of what he would say, to make the confession in front of him was more than he could do. “Meet with me tomorrow evening,” he said, “and I will tell you some things that will interest you considerably.”
That evening when the four of them ate lastmeal, Pik looked distinctly uncomfortable, and kept glancing nervously at Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon, for his part, often gazed thoughtfully at Pik when the Twi’lek was absorbed in his food, and seemed just a bit reluctant to meet the eyes of his padawan. When their plates were clean, they both hastily retired, leaving Obi-Wan and Valey alone.
“Any idea...?” Obi-Wan asked her.
She shrugged. “I know Sastern was going to ask him some questions about being a Master.”
Obi-Wan ended up being present during the make-up tests the next day, which took place in the Temple. A shrill Fosh first pushed and pulled at Pik’s lekku until there were visible marks, and he spoke several harsh words to her. She looked livid, but limited herself to testing the effects of various substances on his face.
The true work had to be done on Valey, of course. The first step was to separate the hair that would form her padawan braid, and then Obi-Wan was asked to squat with his head next to Valey’s so that the hair could be pinned to the right place. The Fosh was not amused when Obi-Wan informed her that there was actually no set location for the braid to hang, and insisted on copying the position of his braid on Valey anyway. She pinned it several times before she was satisfied, and Obi-Wan was surprised by how patiently Valey sat, and how politely she replied to the Fosh’s fretting. He had seen her start complaining if a droid started chirping too much, or a meal was a minute or so late.
Then he had a respite while Valey’s hair was cut. She watched it go with a tiny wistful look, but he got the feeling she was far too used to this to be too upset.
Once the rest of her hair was cut and pulled back into the ponytail, the latter action taking a few minutes, Obi-Wan’s services were again required as his braid was closely examined and the age and significance of the bands asked after. He wondered why she hadn’t done enough research to know what the bands meant already. Then there were two versions of the braid, as it was determined that the character would gain one of the bands during the course of the holo.
By the time Valey had the later version of the braid done to the Fosh’s satisfaction, Obi-Wan’s braid was more unraveled than not. “Let me fix it,” Valey said to him, reaching over and taking his hair in hand without waiting for permission. “I’ll need practice at this.”
It was strange, having a set of fingers that were neither his own nor his Master’s braiding his hair, while another padawan braid batted against his cheek. It was wrong for Valey to wear this braid, he knew, when she was no Jedi, had done nothing to earn that band that was now pressing into his nose. When she finished and withdrew, leaving behind a braid that still looked less than dignified, Obi-Wan felt distinctly relieved.
“If that will be all,” Pik then said, “we have an appointment with Goli. Master Jinn will be escorting us off, while Padawan Kenobi will escort you out and as far as you wish.”
As they left, Obi-Wan noted that Valey had at least gotten one aspect of her character down completely: clearly without even thinking about it she fell in behind and to the right of Pik as if she really had been doing so all her life.
Obi-Wan was the first to get back to the Temple. On the way back to his quarters, he was accosted by half a dozen fellow padawans, who all asked if he could drop a hint to the young actress he was guarding that she did not need to wear her braid all of the time. He sympathized, and said he'd see what he could do.
The two actors arrived together in the thick of a heated discussion. “It may sound all fine, Sastern, but don’t you think the audience would be able to notice such a shift in attitude, and all conclude that it was a dream?”
“A dream?” repeated Obi-Wan in confusion.
“Haven’t you read the book?” Valey snapped at him. “We’re talking about that scene near the end, where after circumstances lead to Anit and her Master having sex, she possibly wakes up in the middle of the night and hears him secretly confessing that he’s harbored a guilty passion for her for years, but she honestly can’t tell afterwards whether she dreamed it or not. His feelings remain ambiguous, and I honestly don’t see how you can play it otherwise. You know what the fans of the book are expecting.”
She addressed this last bit to Pik, who replied stubbornly, “I have to do this part as I see fit.”
“You’ll break their hearts, you know.”
Since Obi-Wan could tell that Pik wasn’t listening, he saw no harm in interrupting. “If I may talk with you for a moment?”
She too could see the argument was going nowhere, so she readily turned away from her companion and said, “Sure. What is it?”
“It’s your braid,” he explained, noticing that Pik was making a show of turning away, but was in fact listening. “The other padawans would appreciate it if you didn’t wear it around the Temple.”
“And would you appreciate it if I didn’t wear it around you either?” she asked sulkily.
“Actually, I would, and if you continue that attitude, I will see little point in explaining-”
“Oh no, oh no, it’s no problem at all, really it’s not!” She was talking quickly and already unpinning the braid. “Of course I’ll have to wear it around you sometimes, you do understand that, don’t you?”
“Oh, I look ridiculous!” She did; Obi-Wan had to admit that. With her hair loosened, her head looked lopsided. “Though have you heard we’ve gotten permission to film in the Temple?”
“No,” replied a very surprised Obi-Wan.
“Yep, apparently after she was done with us, Ferger managed to talk them into it. I didn’t know the Fosh had it in her. Though given how many people the producers have set on the Council....that’s what you get with a sentient director!” She grinned. “Of course it means we’re probably staying with you until filming here finishes.”
It was a relief, in the end, for Obi-Wan to finally talk out loud. It may have helped that both the actors were given temporary quarters in the Temple that evening, and he volunteered to help Valey move into hers, and so there was something to distract them both as he spoke.
But all supposed distractions were illusory. As a Jedi, he couldn’t be distracted the easily anyway. And as for her, he may have hoped for her to be just a little distracted, but instead he found himself introduced to a new side of the actress, a cold, calculating side which genuinely took Obi-Wan by surprise. But there it was: she listened with alert eyes and ears; it was obvious even when she was on the other side of the room from him.
As he narrated, in as much detail as he could bear, the travel log of his emotions pertaining to his Master, he both saw and felt her grow very thoughtful and grave, and surprisingly anxious. When at last he was done, indeed when his throat, as if on cue, tightened and blocked off further speech, the first thing out of her mouth was, “What have I gotten myself into?”
“I’ll do it justice, Obi-Wan,” she said to him before he left her quarters. “For you. Of course I won’t tell anyone that, but you’ve done me an amazing favor tonight. You’ve made me capable of playing this part.” Such gushing did little to move him.
He was nearly back at the quarters he shared with Qui-Gon when his Master intercepted him. “It seems our two actors no longer need us. We’re to see the Council immediately, who are presumably sending up off to do something useful.”
Qui-Gon was right. They were off to the planet of Holt in the Expansion Region in an attempt to avert war there, and their transport left within hours, so before he knew it, Obi-Wan had left behind a woman he’d gotten close to calling a friend and now would probably never see again, one of many people and places with that spot in his memories. Each new mission seemed oddly disconnected from the last one, like isolated short stories in a volume. In his spare moments during the following three weeks, Obi-Wan wondered more than once if the holo of Anit would successfully capture that.
He did meet with Valey again after all. Filming in the Temple went on longer than the initial prediction(most people suspected Ferger the Fosh had deliberately given the Jedi Council a false estimate) and when he and Qui-Gon returned it was still going on. So Obi-Wan took a few hours out to see Valey, and they sat and talked while waiting for the holocams to set up, a process that could apparently take some time. Filming, Obi-Wan learned, was a tedious process. Even after the cams were set up, they would then shoot the actors saying and doing the same thing multiple times, until again he wondered at Valey’s patience.
Her patience wasn’t the only thing that he wondered at. At first the filming process fascinated him enough that he paid no special attention to the actual performances, but around the time they were filming the emotional climax of the scene, which took place in the quarters Anit shared with her Master, he began to notice the undeniable presence of a very deep and subtle change in her performance from when he had watched her rehearse. By the time the Duros director had given his approval to the final take of Pik saying to Valey “This simple lust of yours-” and her yelling back, “Believe me, I wish it were only that!” Obi-Wan hoped noone was noticing how stunned he was.
The next shot had only Pik speaking; part of Valey’s head was visible to establish that he was talking to her. Even so, Obi-Wan’s attention was focused solely on her. Because if he hadn’t known better, he would truly have believed that she was harboring that quiet pain as she looked at him, more aware of it now than usual because their conversation had brought it up, and there was no question about releasing it because she was too busy releasing all the fear and shame already. He saw, which the audience would not, how she was having trouble meeting her Master’s eyes, and it was all he could do not flinch in the memory of how often he’d been in that situation. He swore that Pik did flinch a little during most of the takes, and that his doing so wasn’t scripted.
The final shot of the scene was longer than the others, and involved Valey walking away from her Master and turning back to speak to him. Here was more to admire: the way she’d altered her walk so that instead of merely being more graceful, as it originally had been, it was smoother and steadier, a sign of her attunement to the Force around her. Except that there was a slight tremble throughout her body at this moment, becoming especially apparent during the turn, and with a jolt Obi-Wan remembered how his own legs, his own torso had felt that night he had made his confessions to her. For this perfection she must have been watching him even closer than he thought.
“Master," she said, "if you truly think the truth can’t be spoke out loud, of course I’ll trust your judgement there, but then let us not speak at all. Please, let us not tell lies to each other and pretend they’re the truth. That I can’t bear.” After her earlier outburst, Obi-Wan thought, audiences just might be chilled by how steady her voice was here. Except, of course, that it wasn’t quite. It didn’t really stun him much; he’d seen enough already.
But he noted that wasn’t true for the rest of the room. The director’s voice was weak as he called, “Cut,” and Obi-Wan could sense everyone’s awe. “I don’t think we’ll need another take for that one,” he continued, as Valey suddenly turned and winked at Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were sent out again before either could meet again with either of the two actors. This time they were away for well over a month, and when they returned production at the Temple was long wrapped and gone. Even the small amount of filming done elsewhere in Coruscant had been completed by then.
Even so the upcoming holo was the most common topic of conversation, and both Obi-Wan and his Master were often asked about their involvement. They also ended up meeting with those who had preceded them as bodyguards.
“I’m sure the girl probably annoyed you a little,” Master Kolg said to Qui-Gon, “but she couldn’t have been anything compared to the Twi’lek, at least how he was when I had him. I stayed in his lodgings out in the Jrade District; he wouldn’t come anywhere near the Temple because he was so angry that we wouldn’t let them film there. He barraged me with questions and got offended when I wouldn’t volunteer details about my relationships with my padawans.” Obi-Wan could understand why that might upset Master Kolg; for some reason that was something that Masters were always reluctant to talk about; he still knew next to nothing about Qui-Gon’s first padawan. He often wondered if he’d understand when he took on a padawan of his own.
“He asked me similar,” said Qui-Gon, “but took it graciously when I declined to answer his questions.”
“You were lucky. With me he practically threw temper tantrums. He apologized afterwards, said something about the stress of the part getting to him, but if he didn’t think he could do it, why did he agree to?”
When Obi-Wan related the conversation to Bant, she looked surprised. “He was nothing but nice to me and Master Fisto,” she said. “Or at least if he annoyed Master Fisto, he didn’t show it. They did spend a lot of time together.”
Later she admitted, “Actually, he told us about Master Kolg...no, I won’t repeat it, but let’s just say our actor was not built for discretion.”
The only other one to have met Valey Res’cuni was young Knight Flanders Zutts, who had much to say about both actors. “She was hyperactive,” he said, and they agreed with him. “But it seems strange to hear Master Kolg describe Sastern Tol Pik as being much trouble. He was very reserved, but hardly annoying at all. Neither of them asked me any questions, but then, I’m neither a padawan nor a Master.”
“Getting into character, no doubt,” Obi-Wan commented, very quietly.
Months later, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan sat penned up in their quarters, waiting out an internal quarrel between members of one of two warring factions, in which their interference had been established as unwelcome. During the first few days they’d kept themselves occupied with lessons and meditation, but then Qui-Gon finally ran out of lessons, and Obi-Wan found his meditation more and more interrupted by something buzzing at the back of his mind, as if the Force needed him to be doing something else.
It may very well have been the Will of the Force that he find out, he decided in retrospect. He couldn’t assume it, of course, but the possibility was a comfort.
The two Jedi found themselves completely at odds, so Obi-Wan explored the holonet access their hosts had thoughtfully provided them with. “Those two actors we babysat are appearing everywhere,” he commented to Qui-Gon. “Sastern Tol Pik’s on Essence right now.”
“Let’s watch, then,” replied Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan tuned them in.
The show was hosted by a two-headed being whose two heads argued with themselves in what was presumably supposed to be a comic manner in between asking Pik obvious questions, which of course included his impression of the Jedi. Having already heard one side of the story, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon listened, but grew frustrated as Pik referred to those that had guarded him in only the vaguest of terms. “Master Fisto must have scolded him a good deal for his lack of discretion,” Obi-Wan finally commented.
“So you didn’t get any advice from any of them?” One of the two heads asked.
“They were all impossible piles of poodoo?” the other added.
“Hey, don’t knock the Jedi,” the first snapped at it. “They do a lot for the galaxy.”
“Well, they didn’t do a thing for this guy, did they?”
The insult got what was no doubt the intended result out of Sastern; he hastily said, “Actually, at least one of them was very helpful; mind you, he nearly lied to me at first, tried to reinforce every stereotype about a Jedi Master that you can think of, but then...” He stopped, looking very anxiously at his hosts and at the camera, then said, “Well, let’s just say I owe that entire confession of love scene I did to him, so I can’t name him.”
But Sastern Tol Pik did not need to name him to at least two of show’s viewers. Obi-Wan turned the feed off and looked at Qui-Gon in disbelief.
“Yes, padawan,” said Qui-Gon softly, “he was talking about me.”
It was one thing for Qui-Gon to be aware that there were mutual feelings between them. He was the Master. He was supposed to know everything about Obi-Wan, and act accordingly. He was supposed to see to it that Obi-Wan knew everything, except anything that it might trouble him to know.
It was another thing for Obi-Wan to know, for the temptation to besiege them both, for Obi-Wan to have to deal so vitally with the issue, and for Qui-Gon to have to deal with Obi-Wan’s reactions.
They had to talk about it. They did so the following day. Though the outcome of the conversation was inevitable; they agreed, of course, to keep themselves guarded, and not to indulge.
Within hours it had become clear that they were a little too close to each other to effect that plan too easily. Both were considerably relieved when the two factions decided by the end of that day that they wanted the Jedi back in the conference room again, thus allowing them to put the issue aside.
Not that it bought them much more time, in the end, before they gave in and violated the code anyway.
Now that he had lost the battle, it was surprisingly easy for Obi-Wan Kenobi to load up a copy of Anit and start reading. It was about what he expected. As a writer Gratheez was neither unusually gifted nor particularly horrible; the novel drew its strength from the situation he depicted and the characterization of the padawan, and to a lesser extent the Master. There were plenty of points he got exactly right, but there were mistakes too, Obi-Wan thought, in how Anit thought this way or that, mostly in places were Gratheez couldn’t have known what she would be thinking, but Obi-Wan knew very well. He hoped Valey had been able to make use of what he had told her in separating the good from the bad in the novel.
It was a very long work as well, chronicling Anit’s adventures with her Master over a five year period, and Obi-Wan found himself taking an equal amount of time to get through it. There were times when he put it down for months, because some passage in which Anit cursed herself, or worse, made it too painful to go on. That the novel was written in first person, from Anit’s point of view, didn’t make this any easier. There were other times he became uncomfortable, all too aware that Gratheez had written the novel with the common population of the galaxy as his intended audience, and even with the first person there were blatant portrayals of the Jedi as strange and not like the reader. There were even places where the author clearly invited the reader to pity his young narrator. Those parts Obi-Wan could stand least of all.
He didn’t try to see the holo, at least not then; he told himself one thing at a time. Furthermore, he was enjoying the suspense of how each part of the plot turned out. And even though he knew what happened near the end, he liked not yet knowing what happened at the end itself.
Obi-Wan found himself reading the promised sequence where Anit’s Master made love to her and the subsequent possible dream sequence after his and Qui-Gon’s fateful meeting with the Council alongside Anakin. Before then, it would have been his opinion, and he thought he might an authority on matters such as these, that her love for him was returned, but now he wasn’t certain. But ultimately, he thought, it didn’t matter. Not when Anit was clearly ready for the Trials, and for never seeing her Master again.
Aware that their time together, one way or another, was soon to end, though their quarrel remained unresolved, in transit back to Naboo, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon put it aside. The night before their arrival repaired to their cabin and made love as if they knew already it would be the last time.
Nor did they sleep immediately afterwards, instead holding each other and talking about whatever came to mind. Inevitably the novel came up. Qui-Gon was kind enough not to tell Obi-Wan what the ending actually was, but he did say he thought Gratheez had taken the easy way out. “I think in the end things resolve the best way they could for both Anit and her Master. If what happens hadn’t, it would have left both of them in an impossible position at best.”
Obi-Wan thought in retrospect that he ought to have guessed the ending, but he knew perfectly well that he hadn’t wanted to.
So it wasn’t until he read the final chapter of Anit, having returned to Coruscant with Anakin in tow, that he learned that the novel ended with Anit’s Master dying in her arms. It being a novel instead of real life, his last words to her were about her, about her taking the Trials, which of course she took and passed, and she was knighted.
The very last paragraph stayed with him for a very long time: “So now, I am a Jedi. I spend my life in selfless service to the galaxy. I have done much good, and with that knowledge I am content. And if there is a small hole left in my heart which the Force will not fill, a scar that sometimes causes me to wake in the middle of night in quiet desolation, well, nobody need know of it but me.”
It was many years later during a trip to Anchorhead that Ben Kenobi happened to learn that the famous half-Hapan actress Valey Res’cuni had foolishly refused to renounce her early work in the holofeature adaptation of the banned novel Anit. She had been arrested and taken away, and it was likely she wouldn’t be heard from again.
“Pride, that’s what it was,” he heard one youth whisper to another. “I haven’t seen Anit, of course, but my parents saw it when it first came out, and my ma says it was the best work she ever did. Now it’s really sad, because according to ma, no other performance she ever gave was half as spectacular, so now noone will know how talented she really was. I bet she knew that.”
“Oh, I’ll bet you anything she couldn’t act her way out of a drywell,” scoffed a third youth. “This Anit could be a fluke. I’ve read a little more about it, and it was about three years ago that she admitted she was completely doing an impression of some padawan she’d met while she was filming. Refused say who the poor love-struck padawan was, though. Strange you know, considering the poor girl was probably long dead.”
“Maybe she’d been someone famous,” the second youth suggested. “A lot of them became famous back during the war.”
“So? She would still be dead and slandered already.”
That was when people still talked positively about the Jedi. Ten years more on Tatooine, and those that remembered them at all did not remember them well.
Ben found himself secretly hoping Anit had survived somewhere. Either the novel or the holo, though preferably both. However inaccurate they might have been, Gratheez and those that had adapted him for the projector had at least given them an ultimately positive image, and those were in precious short supply.