Title: How Hard Can it Be?
Category: Vignette, short story, grief, humorish at points.
Archive: Early Years & Jedi Apprentice/Padawan Journals
Disclaimer: The Star Wars Characters and events belong to
George Lucas and George Lucas alone. I have no permission
to use them, and I receive no money for doing so.
Summary: An aged, but beloved Master dies while on a mission
to another planet and Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon struggle to bring his
body back to Coruscant.
Time frame: About seven years before TMP.
This is based off some real events, so forgive a seemingly meaningless
How Hard Can it Be?
Why Qui-Gon Jinn's funeral was held on Naboo, rather than Coruscant.
Obi-Wan Kenobi leaned back against the headboard of the hotel bed and ran a hand
through his short hair.
"How hard can it be to get a body off-planet?" he moaned softly.
Qui-Gon Jinn was busy arguing with Coruscant Embassy officials on the comm unit
and did not hear, but the apprentice had not really intended him to anyway.
At any rate the answer seemed to be "very hard".
Wasn't it enough, Obi-Wan wondered, to have lost someone like dear Master
Jerdon, did they really have to struggle through all this bureaucratic red tape
just to get him back to Coruscant?
Master Jerdon had been very old, but very wise and kind as well. Obi-Wan had
known Master Jerdon and his apprentice Raine for a long time and he felt for the
old Master like he was his grandfather.
Master Jerdon's death was very hard, but Obi-Wan knew that it must be even
harder on Raine. Raine was older than he, she was almost thirty and due to face
the trials upon the completion of this mission.
The Council had known, Obi-Wan thought, that Master Jerdon was not feeling his
best before they left, that's why he and Qui-Gon had been assigned to go as
well. They would never have let him go, except that the venerable old Master
had insisted he was fine and been fully examined and given a clean bill of
health before they left.
The flight to Anihc had drained him a little, but the mission had gone smoothly
and Master Jerdon had seemed in excellent spirits.
Obi-Wan's throat clutched up and he pressed his eyes shut.
Jerdon had been joking with he and Raine, not fifteen minutes before he died.
They were playing sabbac up on the deck of the ship that the four Jedi had
resided upon during the length of the negotiations.
Master Jerdon had winked at Obi-Wan and teased him about not telling Qui-Gon
what they were up to or else the other Master would have Jerdon's hide for
"corrupting" the eighteen-year-old.
A silent tear slid down Obi-Wan's cheek.
After that, they had all gone back to their cabins to prepare for dinner and the
next thing Obi-Wan knew Raine was calling urgently for he and Qui-Gon.
Master Jerdon's heart had never been strong, and now it was failing.
The three Jedi did all they could and the ship's doctor did too, but in the end,
it was his time and Master Jerdon slipped peacefully away, as if carried off by
the soft swirling of the river outside the cabin window.
Obi-Wan glanced over at Raine who sat staring out the window. She hadn't cried.
Obi-Wan had cried, but Raine shed no tears. Not yet, she said, and busied
herself taking care of her late Master's personal effects.
Qui-Gon switched off the comm in semi-disgust and sighed.
"The Coruscant Authorities say we need more documents from the Embassy in
Udgenehc." He shook his head. What? Didn't the embassy believe he was *dead*?
Did they really need five documents to prove the point?
"I'll go find Yoj and we'll see what we can do," Qui-Gon added, referring to the
Anihcese representative who had been helping them through all this.
Actually, Obi-Wan reflected, the Anihc had been far more helpful and
compassionate so far than the Coruscant Authorities had been. Everyone here had
been so kind and helpful to them. Qui-Gon rested a hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder
before leaving and glanced towards Raine, who still sat staring out the window,
but staring at nothing.
Obi-Wan nodded, he understood.
Qui-Gon left and Obi-Wan made some tea for he and Raine.
Raine accepted with a smile and readily welcomed the younger apprentice's
attempts to make small talk.
Raine seemed to be handling this all quite marvelously really, only in her deep-
set eyes could Obi-Wan see the depth of the sorrow and loss she was carrying.
Raine didn't shy away from talking about Master Jerdon, and it puzzled Obi-Wan.
He didn't see how she could talk about him so calmly; the mere mention of the
dear departed Master still made his throat ache.
Obi-Wan wanted so badly to be strong for her, but she seemed to be doing much
better than he as it was.
Raine kept her hands busy, but paused when she came across Master Jerdon's
identity card. "He always complained you know," she said with a soft smile.
"Always said that these holos made you look like a freak; but this picture was
actually quite good." She turned it so that Obi-Wan could see the image.
"Look," she said with a quiet grin. "He's smiling at you."
That was it.
Obi-Wan dissolved into tears before he could stop himself. "Oh, Sith!" he
kicked himself and reigned his emotions in quickly. "I'm sorry Raine," he
apologized, drying his eyes swiftly on his shirtsleeve.
Raine shook her head. "Don't be. I don't think you've had very much experience
with this kind of thing," she said gently, laying a hand on Obi-Wan's arm.
It was true, besides his friend Cerasi when he was 13, he had been fortunate
enough not to have lost anyone else that he was personally close to. He'd seen
plenty of death, but not of people he loved.
Raine quietly listed all the people she had so far loved and lost, it was quite
a sobering list. "I've been through this so many, many times," she shook her
head. "I knew his time was coming, I'm just glad we had such wonderful last
Obi-Wan feared he was going to lose it again. He was saved when Qui-Gon came
back in the room.
"They need six copies of all our ID's and tickets, he said as he gathered the
"Do you know yet if those letters they want written go to the Notary or the
Mortuary?" Obi-Wan asked by way of self-distraction. The language differences
had made some details a bit tricky to figure out.
Qui-Gon shook his head. "Not yet."
"When can we get back to Coruscant?" Raine wanted to know. It had all been made
doubly difficult because of trying to transport the body back to Coruscant
intact so Master Jerdon could have a Jedi funeral rather than cremating him
here. "Sometime near the end of the week hopefully," Qui-Gon informed. They
had already been waiting for four days.
Raine went out on the balcony and Qui-Gon turned to Obi-Wan.
"Obi-Wan, if it should ever transpire that I die off planet, I want you to
promise that you'll have the funeral for me there, all right?" he half-joked
wearily, sensing that his apprentice needed some levity. "I think it would be
easier to bring the entire Jedi Council here than to get a body back there."
Obi-Wan's throat felt tight again. "Don't talk that way Master!" he protested
"Oh, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon shook his head and pulled the apprentice into his arms
for a long hug.