Amara the Jedi
Directed by Mario Gonzales
With Nima Slone & Dorian Lockett
AMARA, a Jedi, sits crying. E2-8, a droid, approaches.
You weep, m’lady?
I weep, E2.
The wound that you sustain’d on Arrin Vel –
where by your hand was bloody war dispers’d –
it pains you in the swampish mists of this
far world, where we, in limping ship now set.
Return to shelter, holy knight, and rest.
The star is distant. Morning comes too slow.
You think to speak to me of mourning, ‘droid?
You must mistake my meaning, gentle lord.
I speak of light: come slow and coldly drawn
through bitter mists. Return unto the ship.
I do not speak of grief. I speak of pain,
soon remedied by shelter from the damp.
Is not this damp itself a remedy?
The ache of steely grafts to bone within
my arm, the stench of wet and dying wood?
Is not this wretched swamp the remedy
prescrib’d by those most learned councilors,
those cautious monks to whom my life is pledg’d?
It’s they who diagnos’d me, judg’d me ill,
and in their saintly wisdom cast me out,
that my unseemly sickness would not spread.
If you run fever, lady, please: come in.
Now you mistake my meaning, E2-8.
I am not sick of body, but of soul.
So say my lords. And as they are my lords,
I suck upon the medicine they give.
To hear them speak: I grieve. I grieve too much.
It is the bug that breeds inside my mind.
By only pain and penitence can I
extract it from the fibers of its nest.
Why dos’t thou think that I was banished?
I would not question holy writ, laid out
by wiser minds than mine. I am but ‘droid.
You are a toy. A childish plaything made
by me, when I, in childhood’s desert stretch’d
my hand and grasp’d at metal straws, to pick
through childhood’s wires and weld companionship.
And that companion I remain, unchang’d.
I have no need for such unchanged things.
Again, I ask: why thinks me banished?
For crimes against the council that you serve.
What crime was this? What was the word they us’d?
The crime of patricide, my lady knight.
Of patricide! They named it patricide!
A crime which, saber-drawn, you did commit.
Would you, as they did, skewer me with words?
I slew my father, yes. But patricide?
He was a demon-spawn, a heretic,
a tyrant who would breed but war and death
until that war and death was brought to him.
Is it a crime to end the suffering
of trillions, just because of one man’s death?
Is peace a pond that roils beneath the slap
of violence, and we upon it task’d
with lying still, to ne’er a ripple make?
Or is our peace an ocean, wracked by storm,
and we in meager ships must learn to sail?
You are a conqueror of earth and space.
Before your prow the storms do always part.
AMARA A power I was taught to wield by those
that now condemn me for its practic’d use.
They are afraid of what you might become.
Are you afraid of me?
My program does not feature such a sense.
Then you, who cannot fear me, tell me this:
Am I my father’s child? Can you see streaks
of him upon me? It’s not the blood that soaks
my hands that gives me cause for fear, it is
the blood that thrashes in my guts. Can you –
whose eyes have watch’d my life’s slow-wending arc –
can you detect a bending towards the dark?
My lord, by troth I’ve watch’d you grow apace
from tender child to tempered adult.
But by these holy metrics – light and dark –
I cannot mark your path, nor can I turn
you from a danger I cannot discern.
AMARA Then I’m alone. I slew the man from whom
my pow’rs derive, who’s legacy I fought
to counteract with good and holy work.
But by that slaying, I have lost the love
of those whose temper’d teachings I most need.
And thus alone, with talents raw and unrefin’d
I see the paths before me plain as day
but still I stumble on them as one blind,
for both are bad. The first: I do succumb
to darkness, follow sorrow into sin.
The second: here I rest indefinite,
and live my life a hermit, serving none,
until such time as I am call’d upon.
A wise assessment, well divin’d, m’lord.
But they who fear me now will fear me then.
They fear my tainted strength, correctly so,
as I myself can recognize the flaw
within me. If the wars should rise again,
I pose a danger to the galaxy.
And yet, in fifty years when I am old
and polished by the tides of solitary thought,
do they assume that I will then be tam’d?
I cannot share their confidence in that,
if confidence is what they have at all.
What is their cause in sending me away
to this forgotten world? Perhaps they mean
to lead me to the edge of deathly pond
in hopes I’ll drink? To that most basic end,
I think I must be by my duty bound:
a fallen knight should fall upon her sword.
But I am crippled by the fear of it:
a fear which drove my father murderous,
and from which I will not escape unless
I turn that selfsame fear upon myself.
Oh! E2… I am alone.
I am alone.
AMARA is overcome. E2-8, robotic, comforts her as best it can.