.. a short, personal reflexion about one “Star Wars” hero named Sifo-Dyas, in fantasy form:
Opening scene: Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, with Silman, on foggy planet Oba-Diah
– DISAGREEMENT WITH THE PYKES –
– Master Sifo-Dyas !
It was Silman calling, as he stood knocking on the door that led to the inward parts of the streamlined shuttle , where the person whom he called upon, most certainly was to be found. Silman was standing, together with his silent droid, and Silman was holding a cup with some hot drink in his left hand, and he knocked again with his right hand, and he called forth even louder:
– Master Sifo-Dyas !
The door to the shuttle slowly, and without the least noise, opened up, and Sifo-Dyas himself could be discerned, slightly leaning forward. If it was him ? Yes, it most certainly must have been him.
– I thought you might want this, Silman said. The man who listened to the name Sifo-Dyas (It must have been him) reached out his hand, grabbed the cup, and said with a tired voice: – Thank you, Silman.
It was early in the morning on the planet Oba-Diah, where Silman and Sifo-Dyas were honoured guests among the Pykes. “Honoured” ? Yes, they had been offered a real nice residence , though it was located in a remote and quite foggy area, while they were doing an important job on behalf of the Republic, the Senate – no ! – on behalf of the Supreme Chancellor himself (but it shouldn’t be mentioned). They were “honoured guests”, but not very appreciated. No, not at all.
Now it was breakfast time. Sifo-Dyas mostly prefered to sleep in the shuttle during nighttime, even though he had a big and comfortable room in the residence building. Maybe it was because he used to sit up late and communicate with people out in the Galaxy via comlink and hologram. It worked best in the shuttle. He thought, maybe … well, this was exactly what Silman was asking him this morning:
– Why are you always sleeping here ? He asked, while he entered the pilot’s chamber (used for resting during flight, given there were more than one pilot) and his silent droid was waiting outside – I feel quite alone in that house.
– I had a few things to do last night, which I better do in here, Sifo-Dyas answered. – Though it is indeed very comfortable in the house, with all that technical aid, I must admit I feel more comfortable here.
– You feel threatened?
– WE – you and I – ARE threatened.
Silman made a slight grimace, and then he nodded in silence.
– I see, he said.
And he continued in a more or less professional tone, brushing off an unpleasant mood : – What report can I send to the Chancellor today ? He wants to know if we have reached any agreement with the Pykes.
– Tell him that we…tell him that we, after long and hard work for a couple of weeks, have finally reached a … disagreement, Sifo-Dias said – yes, that’s it. A disagreement. And that is a g-r-e-a-t success, bearing in mind that another outcome of this whole business could be .. different. Quite different.
– I don’t know how to formulate that, Silman said – We should be able to inform about something concrete.
– Something concrete ? Well, everytime we meet with the Pykes – Sifo-Dyas said – they are so polite, but also so reserved. And when we also behave politely and sooner or later they become more friendly towards us – it’s like unto a ritual every time we meet – there is always that stupid surprised look , and that absurd feeling of relief. Something like: “Oh, so we don’t have to kill you this time”. It’s hard to tell it in more concrete terms.
– The Pykes are criminals, Silman commented, and they don’t even hide it.
– They don’t tell us much. They openly smoke that stuff made up by raw spice. That is what they do. They say it’s no crime in their realm. It’s a wonder we are not shoot down, or poisoned to death by them now, after a couple of polite arguments against their … smoking.
Sifo-Dyas looked down in the table in front of him, after he imbibed all of the hot drink (whatever it was) that Silman brought him. He saw the nice wood-like patterns on the table. His mind was quite clear. His thought passed through it one after another, in order, and when Silman went back into the house, followed by his droid, master Sifo-Dyas started to have a dialogue with himself:
– TURBULENCE IN THE JEDI COUNCIL –
– No, the Pykes was far from all the reason why he felt uncomfortable. This last year had been so turbulent for him…So turbulent. Since he was excluded from the Jedi Council.
He saw a vision in the Force… but that was many years ago. He didn’t tell anybody. Not until it was impossible to be silent about it. Then he spoke with a few persons. They were all Jedi masters, and all were members of the Council: Kit Fisto, Plo Koon, Master Windu, Master Dooku – and Yoda. They were all so understanding. Every one of them, as long as he spoke with them separately, one after the other. They made a few remarks, but everyone of them thought – seemed to think – that it was something serious, this vision that Sifo-Dyas had about a great, coming conflict in the Galaxy, which eventually led to the fall of the Republic, to the dissolvement, or transformation, of the Senate. And eventually to that tragic end that the Jedi Order should be dispersed, hunted down and spread through the Galaxy. Just a few remaining Jedi should be left. In worst case – none.
The Jedi masters only made a few remarks. They said it was an honest vision, well worthy to meditate upon. Most understanding was master Windu. He asked the most sincere questions, and seemed to be very troubled.
Until the day when Sifo-Dyas said a few words about it openly in the Council, so that everyone present could hear it. What a different reaction! What a negative backlash ! And worst of all those present was Windu… How was it possible?
Such a change !
Windu commanded him to be silent, with such authority, that he must ask for forgiveness, for having transgressed a rule. A rule he never heard of before. Now it was just there.
“Do never establish a negative prediction about the Jedi Order, without having it proved, well considered AND ACCEPTED by the Jedi Council, IF you formerly turned to any member of the Council, to hear his or hers opinion about it“.
Yes, of course that is some kind of a rule. A good rule, no doubt about that. But …
A depressed mood fell upon that meeting with the Council. And upon Sifo-Dyas. No, not one of them,with whom he had spoken earlier, wanted to speak with him after that meeting. Yoda was friendly, yes. He listened. But he didn’t say anything. “Hmm..”, that was all. The others, with the significant exception of Dooku, became more or less hostile towards him. Well, not unfriendly, really. But distant, on their guard, so to say.
One day though, after some time, master Windu had approached him with a friendly smile: “Master Sifo-Dyas …” He began most politely.
No, Sifo-Dyas didn’t want to repeat that story even in his mind. But sometimes he had to.
This time he had to.
“Master Sifo-Dyas, you are a great Jedi, for sure. But you shouldn’t stay much longer on Coruscant, there is a lot to do out and about in the Galaxy. On certain places ..” – Windu said it with that challenging glimpse in his eye ! – “You are a Jedi disposed for outward action more than for thinking and analyzing at home. You should deal with hard and complicated things out on the planets far and wide. You shouldn’t ponder so much upon your visions. Maybe they are good, and even true. But some visions come true within a short time. Others only after long time. Provided they were true.
The Council had decided to release you from the duty in the Council, for a period of time. In order to get things done, that otherwise couldn’t be done”.
When Sifo-Dyas had asked Windu about it, he admitted, that a few Jedi w-e-r-e disturbed. Not harmed, nor insulted, but …disturbed. Also for that reason he better stay away for some time, so that no unnecessary or harmful discussions were provoked by his .. hmm – presence.
– The Supreme Chancellor has sent a message, that someone from the Jedi Council have visited him.
Silman stood again in the chamber. Sifo-Dyas looked up from the table.
– What do they want ? he asked.
– Nothing, said Silman. It was just a friendly visit. However, the Chancellor suspect that they might have caught a notion that you are connected with the Chancellor nowadays. For the sake of the need of tightest security possible around our mission, the Chancellor advice us to return to Coruscant soon.
– All right, there is nothing more we can do here, anyway.
– Shall I send him our “OK”, is that allright ?
– Silman, let’s do like this. The chieftain of the Pykes have invited us to come with them tonight to one of the moons circling around Oba-Diah, to watch some yearly festivity – a lot of music, dancing and food ! If we go there with him, I think we can leave the Pykes for this time more peacefully, otherwise we leave too abruptly, I’m afraid.
He was thinking a little more. And then he said:
– Tell the Chancellor that we will be on Coruscant within a few days !
– A courtesy visit on that moon ? OK, I’ll tell the Chancellor we will come in two or three days, Silman answered.
Sifo-Dyas didn’t say anything to that.
Left alone again, master Sifo-Dyas again looked down on the table. Down on its wood-like patterns. And he continued to think about recent events.
Where were he ? Yes , master Windu said no Jedi were insulted or angry, but that they were disturbed.
Sifo-Dyas was the one to become angry. He spoke frankly to master Windu what was on his mind: that he thought it not fair to be sent away from Coruscant, that he wanted to talk again to just a few Jedi masters,if possible. Couldn’t things be straighted out ?
– No, said master Windu.
– All right, what have become of you ? Sifo-Dyas almost schouted.
– Listen ! master Sifo-Dyas, Windu said in harsh tone. And he turned. And he turned again, and then he said more softly: – All right, we might not have handled this issue the best way. Much depends upon me. It’s my fault.
But Sifo-Dyas didn’t want to listen. Enough was enough. He should leave for the Duwalian system for a while, and meet with people he knew there. But probably spend most part of the time in solitude. He had a lot to think about now.
– All right, said Windu. Go wherever you want to go. We will not bother you at all, until you show up again. I’m sorry for this, master Sifo-Dyas. I am really sorry.
– No, I just…
Sifo-Dyas calmed down a little.
– All right. I am sorry too.
– Master Sifo-Dyas, said Windu, you are a great Jedi master. We all hold you in high esteem.
– Thanks, master Windu. Good bye !
And Sifo-Dyas left.
And now he sat where he sat. Looking down on that table, in that little chamber in his shuttle on Oba-Diah.
He put his hands together.
It was too bad. He became angry. He lost his temper. It was wrong. He shouldn’t become angry. And then something started that he could never have imagined…
– MASTER DOOKU KEEPS CONTACT –
When he came home that evening, and walked around in his apartment , sometimes just standing silent on the balcony were some high plants were standing, with great, orange flowers, he could feel a presence that was impossible to really determine. It was as if that dark cloud from the stormy meeting with the Council had remained upon him, and followed him. It was there when he talked with master Windu. Now someone was knocking at the door. Outside his door stood master Dooku. When Sifo-Dyas saw him, he was glad and greeted him welcome.
– Please, come in and have a seat inside the house ! he said.
Dooku nodded, and entered the apartment. But he remained standing in the hallway.
– I can not stay long today, he said. – I’m afraid I am too busy.
– I see, said Sifo-Dyas.
– I just couldn’t but come by. I have a few words I would like to tell you. You don’t need to be worried that I will withdraw from you, master Sifo-Dyas. I have followed you. I have heard what you have said. I never made any objections, save concerning the certainty of the things you have predicted. I am not so sure you …
He stood silent a few seconds, and then continued:
– And as you may have noticed, when there was turbulence in the Council around you, I kept silent.
– It is ..true, said Sifo-Dyas.
Dooku came closer. He looked upon him in some way absent: – And I will keep silent, he said. Wherever you go, I want to have contact with you, if you don’t bother. Here is a comlink.
Dooku stretched out his hand with the comlink to master Sifo-Dyas. The latter stood for a while motionless. Then he took the comlink.
– OK, he said.
– OK, said Dooku. We will not be able to make contact for a month’s time I’m afraid. But after that, we may contact one another, wherever you go in the Galaxy. Good night master Sifo-Dyas !
– Good … night.
A few weeks passed, and Sifo-Dyas had already spent some days with his friends on the planet Cuyuh-Ihn in the Duwalian system, and had already embarked himself safely and comfortably (as comfortably as was possible) in a cave on the little moon Doth-ee-Dee, where he could be completely alone. He was watching a handwritten plan that outsketsched the actual position of the ten planets in the Duwalian system, where billions and billions of people lived. Uncountable masses. Mainly, they represented three groups of species, and one of them was humanoid.
There, maybe the Republic may find voluntaries … he couldn’t but think for himself.
He was interrupted by a clear signal from a very helpful droid in the R5-series, which he called by the nickname Tofu (his unit identity in short form was R5 35 ).
– There is a message coming in from Jedi master Dooku !
Tofu dropped the receiver, and the blue vision of master Dooku came through.
– Sifo-Dyas ! Dooku said in a greeting manner.
– Yes, master Dooku.
– What are you doing there, so far away in the Galaxy, among people we mostly don’t know.
– I know some of them.
– Soo, Dooku said. He continued:- I am not interfering in your business, am I ?
– It’s all right. I have been here for a few days now. I feel quite in shape. This place do miracles to all of your being. You don’t need to bother about anything. Also, Tofu, my droid, is conducting an excellent service. I feel free to discuss serious, political matters. Or anything.
– So what are you and your droid busy about?
– Studying some insects on this moon. They may carry a substance which is useful in producing medicine. Very helpful to rehabilitate drug-addicts.
– I’m glad I found you, and that I know where you are, Dooku said – Maybe I contact you again soon.
– You are welcome.
It was some time ago, all of it. Now he didn’t sit in a cave on a moon in the Duwalian system, but in a shuttle on Oba-Diah. He and Dooku had been in contact a lot, in fact, they had made journeys together. But this was very much a secret not to speak openly about. Maybe not even think about. But he couldn’t avoid these thoughts. They were a burden upon his mind.
– FINDINGS ON DOTH-EE-DEE –
Dooku had contacted him. They spoke mostly about insects and about minerals that was to be found on the moon Doth-ee-Dee. And one day Dooku wanted to know what Sifo-Dyas was thinking about recruiting soldiers from far and wide in the Galaxy, that were willing to defend Coruscant and the Senate of the Republic and the Republic itself. Sifo-Dyas was surprised, but didn’t find the subject very strange. He did mention about the humanoid species on the Duwalian planets.
– My dear Sifo-Dyas, Dooku said. Will they be persuaded ? They have always been so self-sufficient and so distant, both mentally and physically. They don’t bother about others. I am afraid it will take a hundred years to reach any substantial results there.
– You may be right, master Dooku. But now while I am here, it is hard not to think about it. Much depends on the first efforts. If some feat was performed among them…
– Master Sifo-Dyas, I don’t know if you have ever heard of the cloners on Kamino?
– The cloners ?
Sifo-Dyas wondered. Actually he did hear about the cloners once or twice, but never considered them an alternative for the Republic.
– I must admit …he said with hesitance.
Before he ended his sentence, Dooku continued:
– I have an invitation to come there. And I am allowed to take one or two persons with me.
– Well, said Sifo-Dyas, obviously without much enthusiasm. Let me think about it.
– As much as you like.
So he thought about it. But the thing didn’t seem really sane in his eyes. Dooku contacted him soon again, but not about that. Instead they spoke about other things. There is a certain mineral on the moon Doth-ee-Dee which Dooku have an enormous interest in, for it’s ability to make lightsabers undetectable by commando droids. Dooku contacted him almost every day, around evening time. In order to test Dooku, Sifo-Dyas mentioned the question about the cloners once or twice. But Dooku seemed to have cooled significantly. He had all his concentration on that specific mineral, and wanted to hear Sifo-Dyas tell him again and again where it was found on the moon, how it appeared, was it deep under the surface or did it lie there right on the ground – what possibilities to exploit it, etc.
The third time Sifo-Dyas himself directly mentioned about the need for a strengthened defence of the Republic, and also touched on the subject of the cloners (still a little sceptical), Dooku answered:
– Yes, yes. It may be a good proposal. I’ll be in the Duwalian system tomorrow. Don’t bother about your shuttle. I have room for it in my ship.
This sudden move just took the breath from Sifo-Dyas. He was silent for a long moment. And as he sensed that Dooku might be turning off the comlink, he said: – Wait !
But Dooku were already somewhere else.
Where he was now, on Oba-Diah, it didn’t make him feel good. The way in which Dooku turned his very own proposal to become the proposal of Sifo-Dyas…
– THE CALL OF THE KAMINOANS –
Dooku did come the appointed time. He received him and Tofu with their small shuttle up into his ship – a tremendous ship – and they were soon in the light speed corridor, on their way to Kamino.
Dooku didn’t say much, though they had a few passages:
– Do you feel better now, master Sifo-Dyas, in your dealings with the Council ? Have things changed for better or for worse ?
– I repent my angry reaction in front of master Windu. I think I will soon get in contact with him and ask for forgiveness.
– And start to visit the Council members more often ? Dooku wanted to know.
– No, I’m afraid I can’t. The Council have said that they will not take contact with me, until I contact them. But even if I do contact them, probably they will not hurry to give me access, or to give me any new mission.
– I haven’t taken any mission for several years, Dooku said.
– Why ? Sifo-Dyas asked.
– I felt a great need to be on my own. That’s not all of it, it’s not the whole story, but a great part.
– But you are sitting quite regularly in the Council sessions ?
– Not so often. I have my honored seat. Nothing about that. But I am afraid about what is going on in the Senate nowadays. I don’t want to be to close to it. Not at all.
– I see, Sifo-Dyas said shortly. He didn’t want to go deep into that matter. Not this time.
Dooku sighed: – Well I am glad to hear you seem to clear up things for yourself regarding the Council. They will be glad to receive you back, and to give you a new mission, I am sure. But I feel that you may be right about it, that they will not hurry.
And he added: – There is nothing like the Jedi Order, Sifo-Dyas. Stay faithful, whatever you do !
After some time, Kamino was finally in the radar, and Dooku had his ship switch down from lightspeed.
– The kaminoans will be glad to meet us, Sifo-Dyas !
– Have you met them before ?
– No, only by comlink. And then with a very bad connection.
– I hope you have understood them correctly.
They landed on the platform at the Center on the planet with great seas, thunder, and waves huge as houses, and many dark clouds. And almost constant rain. But the kaminoans had built a strong citadel in the midst of the roaring waves, with unbelievable comfort, and an advanced technique to clone diverse life forms. Not all,of course, but quite many. Much of it was about preserving vital organs, not so much was about working with entire individuals. Even if that also happened.
To clone entire, individual life forms was a very hard and complicated task, not easy to engage in. Once or twice the question was raised on Kamino , when the mood had been strange and dark enough, – such moods the kaminoans were not totally unfamiliar with – to clone an army on basis of one individual. But it had never been realized.
Should this be the time when it was ?
The kaminoans were obviously prepared. Two of the officials met them, bowed deeply, and invited them to come and talk with the prime minister, Lama Su.
Dooku, Sifo-Dyas and Tofu followed them to a room where Lama Su was standing together with a secretary. The secretary asked master Dooku and master Sifo-Dyas to sit down on chairs that stood ready. They sat down, and so did the prime minister and his secretary. And Tofu was standing by the wall.
But Sifo-Dyas in his mind thought the whole situation absurd. He sat silently and listened as Dooku submitted some facts about the present situation in the Core, how things were going on Coruscant and in the Senate of the Republic. How the pledge to stay demilitarized had become very ill-fitted for today’s world, and that many senators were forming a strong opinion in favor of reversing the old rules. To make plans for cloning an army could be a good option for times like these.
Sifo-Dyas felt bad. How could Dooku dive right into the matter in such a way ? His conscience was aching inside of him. He would like to make a certain protest, but that didn’t seem to be possible, it would look too silly, when things had already gone this far. He didn’t want to compromise his Jedi friend. He didn’t know what to do really: He expected to take part in a discussion more on a theoretical level, not sit face to face with a mounting, big big deal with the cloners.
And Sifo-Dyas felt bad also now, as he was sitting on Oba-Diah, about to fulfill a mission, not for the Council, but for the Supreme Chancellor. “He should have made objections directly, as Dooku tricked him”.
But he didn’t.
– Of course – he heard Dooku say – of course there are substantial as well as weighty reasons, based on tradition and principle, that are not in favor of a project like this. We cannot ignore them.
It was as if Dooku understood the struggle that was going on within Sifo-Dyas. He looked at him once in awhile with a little worried expression in his face. And Sifo-Dyas himself noted that there was a struggle going on inside Dooku as well. But what it was about, he couldn’t see. Dooku seemed to want to make things clear with haste as well as with some emphasis. And not without clarity.
After having heard all what Dooku had to say, prime minister Lama Su and his secretary were sitting quiet for a moment.
Then the secretary said: – We do understand. When can we be assured that a deal really will take place ?
– As soon as we have finished our discussions with the Jedi Council, and when and if they turn out positively for this case. And when and if the Senate make a positive decision as well.
– How long time do you think will be needed for such a demanding, but hopefully, in every way, noble end ?
– We see it already take shape. It can’t take long. A few weeks, maybe months, but it will come, we are q-u-i-t-e sure.
The secretary smiled.
– Well, if you reach the desired goal, in what way will you let us know of the results ? he asked.
Dooku answered : – Let’s put it this way: Next time we show up, we will strike a deal. If you do not hear from us any more, don’t bother. But if you hear from us, we will come as fully authorized brokers for the Republic and conclude this deal with you.
“If you do not hear from us..” The secretary seemed to ponder these words. He looked at Lama Su. Did the prime minister make a gesture as if he was about to wave it all away ? He, more than others, probably , understood what was at stake.
– Authorized representatives … – the secretary finally said – it will be both of you ?
– Yes, if nothing unexpectedly happens, Dooku said – We will let you know.
– All right, said the secretary, we will be waiting.
On their way back to the Duwalian system, Sifo-Dyas didn’t spare himself, nor any possible chance to argue against what was in his eyes a monstrous deal .
– It’s an abomination ! It’s a scandal ! Master Dooku, you shouldn’t have treated it this way !
Dooku listened silently. Again he seemed to be absent, somehow. He didn’t pay much attention to Sifo-Dyas in some parts of their conversation, in other parts he did. He then listened carefully and gave balanced and thoughtful answers, mostly he agreed.
But not always.
– Maybe so, dear Sifo-Dyas, maybe so. I was a little surprised to just sit there with him. I didn’t expect to be granted access to him so directly. Only after a few days. I must admit that I didn’t really and fully prepare the way I should. Once there, it should look only ridiculous to simply discuss theoretical options. Some concrete deal felt urgent. I didn’t know,really ..what to .. … I had to mention about it.
– People – Sifo-Dyas interfered – people are unique. Each and every individual. We are Jedi masters, Dooku ! Our concern should be one of truth, of compassion. Men shouldn’t be born in great masses, collectively in laboratory-like facilities. They shouldn’t.
Men are born, each and every one, sometimes twins, yes, or several together, BUT they grow in their mother’s womb until they are born, and they are received in their mothers and fathers arms, and they are nourished through their mothers breasts the first period of their lives …
During their trip, and during their conversation master Dooku repeated this argument, not exactly the same way, not exactly the same words, but the same meaning – several times.
– I can’t stand it, Dooku, just to think about MEN being cloned – in masses.
He expressed disgust, and he wept.
And Dooku also appeared to weep: – It’s true, Sifo, it’s true. How foolish I have been to even …consider …
The general impression was that Dooku called the thing off. But it was something there about it that wouldn’t leave Sifo-Dyas .
Now he was sitting in his resting chamber in his shuttle on Oba-Diah, the shuttle by which he and Silman and Silman’s silent droid (the droid communicated by simply touching a person and deliver text-messages, since Silman hated to hear machine’s speak), and he bowed his head in his hands almost the same way as he did when Dooku sat beside him in Dooku’s ship, on their way back to the moon Doth-ee-Dee.
– A PARTY BEFORE THEY LEAVE –
Was it the way that Dooku left ? When Sifo-Dyas and Tofu went down to their shuttle to make the last part of the way to Doth-ee-Dee. He asked Dooku if he wanted to stay a few days with him on the moon, and see for himself, what the mineral that caught his interest was like.
“I very much want to”, Dooku said calmly, “but I have an important appointment that cannot be delayed”
He said “good bye” and the technique separates them from one another.
Sifo-Dias spent some time on Doth-ee-Dee. He was very caught up in the analyze of certain small beings he had catched, when he had a special call-up from none less than a secretary for the Supreme Chancellor, Valorum.
– I have a message from the Pykes.
Silman’s voice called him back to presence.
– What do they want ? Sifo-Dyas asked.
– They want to escort us to that moon tonight. Can we go with them ?
– We go with our own freighter, but we are glad to be escorted anyway. If they can wait for us a few miles above where we are now ?
– OK. I ask them about what time, and about their exact position. And another thing: Is there something more to tell the Chancellor ? Must we not be careful not to show up on Coruscant just like that, if the Jedi Council are seeking for you.
– No problem. They are not seeking for me. Anyway – I’ll contact the Council while we are on that moon. It’s about time I do. It’ll be no surprise for no-one, that we show up.
– If you contact them, will they not wonder what we are doing here ?
– We will not be here.
– Will they not wonder what we are doing there?
– It’s a party going on there, dear Silman. It’s no mystery for a Jedi.
So they gathered their things, and left..