Darth Vader At The Viewscreen
by Karen Winter
"The men are loyal, Sir. Morale is high."
My spies (the few I trust) have told me this.
"They love you, Sir." I send them out to die,
And they go willingly. "They love you, Sir."
I am a Jedi. My trade is to die,
If necessary, for the common good;
And they are soldiers. It is their trade, too.
But still, there is in me a bitterness
That they must go like herdbeasts to a doom
They do not choose, and cannot understand,
Because they're clones because they were made clones.
Can any of us choose where we are born?
My fathers were the Dark Lords of the Sith:
A name, a title, and a heritage
Ere the Republic was first federate,
Before the Empire even was a dream.
A thousand years they ruled, and tried to serve
Their subject peoples. That trust I hold, still.
What do I care for that fool, Palpatine,
Or his praetorian guard of sycophants?
He thinks he rules because he holds a throne.
Bled by his court, baffled by bureaucrats,
Muffled from every truth by those he buys,
He does not know, as I have had to know
From birth: to rule is not to shout commands.
But if the Empire fails? We lose it all.
I wish that Obi-Wan had understood.
But he was always one to see the parts,
The single justice or injustice done,
The wild disorder of contending goods.
And how, among them, shall the good prevail
That is the good for all of men alike,
Unless a wiser will can make it real?
Without that order, freedom soon must die.
Is anarchy not multi-tyranny
A horde of kinglets, breeding petty wars?
Yes, Palpatine is better than that curse,
'Though I despise him. I must see the whole.
And so, I send them out to spend their lives.
They go because they are my loyal men.
They go because we serve the greater good.
I fly with them. I ask no sacrifice
I will not give. I keep the Jedi vow.
The People live. And if we die? We die.