Little Luke Skywalker hadn’t intended on sneaking onto the pirate ship. He hadn’t planned on even being here at all, but in Mos Eisley, he had overheard Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen talking to a man who they called Kitster. They had told this Kitster fellow that his father had been a Jedi and had died in the Purge, whatever that was. But he certainly wasn’t a navigator on a spice freighter.
Then Uncle Owen had started complaining about how Old Ben Kenobi wanted Luke to be trained as a Jedi before he got too old. Whatever that meant. He was barely seven. He didn’t think there was an age limit to how old a Jedi could be.
All he could think was that they had lied to him. They hadn’t wanted him to know his father was a Jedi. He bet Old Ben was a Jedi too. Maybe if he ever got off this ship, he could go back and live with him and he’d train him.
But now he had smuggled himself onto a ship, not realizing it was taking off so soon. He had expected it to be there a while. It had been in the closest hanger that they had been near.
Luke shrunk lower behind the crates as the captain came forward.
“What’s this then?” the captain with his wrinkly face and large goggles and a helmet. He had a fancy red coat on over a simple outfit. “We have a stowaway!”
Luke shrunk back into the bulkhead, as if that would make him disappear. The Weequay pirates all circled around him and he stared up. He was sure his body was shaking and he wasn’t sure why he hadn’t listened to Aunt Beru. She was probably worried sick.
The Weequays were all discussing his fate, whether to sell him off for profit or not. He swallowed hard. Growing up on Tatooine, everyone knew Skywalker was a slave name, that Luke was the freeborn son of a freed slave from a long line of slaves. When he was really little, he used to hear people offer to buy him from his aunt and uncle, but Uncle Owen put an end to that quick.
The Weequays were quieted when a Tholothian woman dressed in the colors of the desert elbowed her way to the front. The way they stopped talking, Luke almost wondered if she was the captain. She had a laser sword on her belt, hooked next to a shiny blaster.
She was silent for a long moment, staring down at him. Luke shifted uncomfortably. The feel of their eyes all on him was too reminiscent of the slavers on Tatooine.
“This boy is strong with the Force,” she declared.
The pirate in the red coat looked at her and clapped his hands like her words delighted him. “A little Jedi then!”
The woman crouched before him, giving him a soft smile. “My name’s Katooni. What’s yours?”
“I’m Luke. I’m seven and I can fix anything. And I can fly everything. I’ll be good, just please don’t sell me or send me back. I can’t go back there. My aunt and uncle-”
They wouldn’t hurt him, but he was afraid all the same. His aunt and uncle had denied him his parentage. He didn’t even know his mother’s name or what she looked like.
The woman looked back at the man in the red coat. Perhaps he was the captain. Maybe that was why he wore red.
The pirate shrugged and sighed. “It may very well be profitable to keep a mechanic on board. And such a small one too. He can get into all those tight spaces and won’t take up much room.”
She smiled at the pirate and then back at him. “Well then Luke, it sounds like you can stay.”
He grinned at her.