Threepio would never know it, but the errant suggestion of “Master Ani, might I suggest something more… soothing than this? I doubt you will be able to make any more improvements on myself. Might I offer crocheting or knitting? They are very useful skills and…” after the fifth time of being brought online would cause a ripple that would change the very course of fate.
Anakin’s first attempts at crocheting under Threepio’s surprisingly gentle guidance were unravelled almost as soon as they were completed. Partly because Anakin disliked the level of work he had produced but also to save on wool.
Eventually, Shmi was presented with a simple beige shawl with a couple of small holes and a wonky hem. She adored it.
(Oddly, people would always seem to be kinder, less brutal, less superior towards her when she wore it. Even Watto seemed to be in a milder mood. She always felt safe when she wore it.)
(She wore the shawl one morning to gather mushrooms after Ani had gone and she had been freed. It was old and holey and so very precious. So precious that when she suddenly felt it tug against something, a sensation of peril and dread, she stopped and turned back to her home, hoping it wouldn’t unravel and remembering the bit of yarn that could patch up the possible hole. It was only an hour later when she went back out to collect the mushrooms and found a Tusken-wrecked vaporator that she realised what had almost happened.)
Crocheting was soothing in a different way than working with machines or podracing. There was no adrenaline rush, no Watto hovering over his shoulder. Just him and the wool and the odd way the world seemed to narrow yet expand in his senses. He always felt better after crocheting. Calmer. More balanced.
After many blankets (most sold, some kept), a couple more shawls and two sets of gloves, Anakin won his freedom and became a Jedi Padawan.
He didn’t crochet for nearly a month afterwards.
When he finally brought out his sand brown yarn and a special green yarn he had saved for ages to buy, Anakin sat down and crocheted with determination.
Six months into his apprenticeship, Anakin gave his still grieving master a lovely soft blanket for his bed.
For the first time since his own master died, Obi-Wan Kenobi slept through the night and woke up without tears in his eyes, soothed by the warmth and comfort and faint sensation of love.
(It took him ten years and Anakin’s surprise Padawan to figure out why.)
The years passed further still and while Anakin never quite got the hang of traditional meditation, Obi-Wan noticed that his crocheting served the same purpose.
This meant that the creche had a sudden and steady influx of soft crocheted blankets. Small pastel coloured zigzag blankets for the small babes. Bright colours and stripes and absolutely humongous blankets for the older younglings to pile under. Squares of all shades for the initiates.
(It was a rare night for a youngling to have a nightmare when wrapped in one of the ‘magic’ blankets and even when they did, it was soothed away by the gentle pulses of warmth and Light and comfort and protection and love echoing through the Force.)
(The initiates who found themselves being transferred to the corps always found a magic blanket in their packs. It soothed their fears and reminded them that someone cared.)
The Halls of Healing also found themselves with a few blankets, all in hideously bright colours and combinations that never failed to make a youngling (or the healers) smile.
(Healer Che swore by the outrageously ugly pastel pink and neon green star blanket for the injured newly knighted ones who hadn’t quite figured out what ‘getting in over their head’ meant. The Force would pulse soothingly and the healing process always seemed a bit quicker. Though that might have been down to the knights actually listening to her orders of bed rest. Bizarrely, they never seemed to want to leave.)
Anakin kept crocheting. He made several blankets for himself and Obi-Wan along with some gloves and an oversized shawl. The shawl was almost immediately shoved towards Obi-Wan as soon as it was finished because “Master, I swear you will catch a cold if you keep leaving your cloak all over the place! I think the only reason the Quartermasters even lets us near the supply room after all the cloaks you’ve lost is ‘cause I keep making them blankets!”
Occasionally Anakin would burn a small square of crocheting. When asked why, all he could do was shrug and say it needed to be done before changing the subject and asking about a topic he’d been thinking about. Like how the democratic process is supposed to work compared to how the Senate actually operated.
(No one ever noticed how those blank scraggly bland squares would radiate darkness and fear and hate. How the pattern of burning bland crocheted squares usually came after talking with the Chancellor.)
(Obi-Wan did notice a disturbing trend in the opinions being formed and managed to poke holes into most, if not all of them. The subject of attachment was one that they would eventually agree on after everything settled.)
Before Anakin realised, ten years had passed since he had been found on Tatooine and both he and his master were assigned to protect Senator Padme Amidala.
In this galaxy, Anakin had spent hours upon hours of crocheting. He knew the advantage of patience. The wrong move would leave an unwanted hole in his work. So he breathed deeply and drew on the feeling of insert, hook, pull, hook, twist, pull.
Obi-Wan was impressed by how his padawan had calmed himself in front of the Senator and Padme was surprised by just how well little Ani had grown up.
She was even more surprised by awakening to Anakin crocheting in the early morning light on Naboo while Obi-Wan was off hunting her would-be assassin. He gave her a shy grin and an offer to learn.
She’s terrible at it and it was the best fun she’s had in years.
Anakin only dreams about his mother once. In it, he pulls at the errant loose thread of the first project he ever made and she turns away from the darkness, chasing the thread and into the protective light of the twin suns.
In this galaxy, friendship comes swiftly and they grow ever closer. Neither confesses to falling in love on Naboo or Geonosis.
(But that doesn’t mean the love isn’t there.)
(Or that they wouldn’t tear the galaxy apart for each other.)
(This love is slower, more cautious, a nursed glowing ember rather than a flash of fire.)
Some things cannot be changed by one man’s hobby, however important he is. War breaks out and an army of men with the same face march into battle all over the galaxy.
Anakin crochets his way throughout the early months as a stress relief and is knighted.
(The creche gets three new blankets. The initiates are thrilled.)
And he gains a padawan.
“Skyguy… What are you doing?” Ahsoka peeked over her master’s shoulder at the large woollen square that was becoming more and more familiar. They were sat in the recreation room with Master Obi-Wan, Rex, Commander Cody and a few other men after wrapping up on Ryloth.
“Crocheting. It’s like moving meditation for me. Never got the hang of the traditional way so I crochet instead. I can do hats, gloves, scarves, shawls but, most end up as blankets. Easy but time-consuming.” Anakin replied without taking his eyes off the wool in front of him. A few other troopers were peeking at him and Waxer was making his own valiant attempt at it, having picked up the hobby from when Anakin was still under Obi-Wan.
Ahsoka blinked at him before shock rippled through the Force.
“It was you!”
Anakin finished the stitch and looked up at the gaping Togruta. “Snips?”
“You’re the one who made the magic blankets!!!”
There was a beat of silence before Rex piped up. “Magic… blankets?”
Ahsoka ran a hand down one of her lekku in embarrassment. “Um, yeah. We had these amazing blankets in the creche and in the Initiate halls that always felt nice. We’d rotate who got to take one to bed ‘cause anyone who had one always had a great night’s sleep. We’d usually try and pile all together under them before tests. Nightmares were pretty much a non-issue when you had one and they always seemed to glow in the Force. If you ever felt mad or scared, wrapping up in one of the blankets would help. So we called them magic blankets. The Healing halls have a few too and I know more than one Jedi has tried to make off with one ‘cause they like ‘em so much. Not that Master Che lets them.”
Obi-Wan rubbed his beard. “I’m not sure if that’s bravery or stupidity, angering Vokara like that. I know she’s rather territorial about the Halls’ supplies.”
“Well, apparently my blankets are magic.” Anakin said blandly with a smug grin twitching at the edge of his lips. The grin became fully fledged when Ahsoka shoved his shoulder lightly.
The light banter that followed covered up Obi-Wan’s reaction when he suddenly realised why in the last decade since he’d gained his padawan, he’d rarely had a nightmare.
Anakin took to the revelation of ‘magic blankets’ rather easily. Rather than forcing himself to churn out blanket after blanket, he turned to simple chain stitch bracelets in white and blue.
The first one (of course) went to Rex (followed by a blanket as well as an apology for the wall incident on Geonosis).
(Rex slept like a baby for the entire time they were planetside on Coruscant.)
Torrent division got them next until all troopers in the 501st had small bracelets that sat comfortably under their bracers. It was a reminder that their general cared and although none of them were Force-sensitive, many swore that they were warm and sometimes, there was a little nudge in their instincts. Nothing much. Just a dodge too quick, a slice too easy, a hit too hard.
(More men came back.)
(Echo dived at a critical moment, Fives hurling worried insults the whole time as he heaved his last batchmate to his feet and they fled the burning escape shuttle. He came home with wounds, but he came home.)
(Umbara wasn’t as much of a disaster as it was in another galaxy. As Krell gave the order to march, Rex felt the blue-white wool on his wrist and said no until he wore the Jedi down into using Skywalker’s original plan. When it was finally revealed that Krell was fallen and he was asked why he didn’t just kill the troopers for disobeying orders, Krell muttered how the Force around the clones felt like something he’d once felt in the temple’s Halls of Healing. Bright, protective, comforting, loving. He just couldn’t do it.)
(It was the bracelet that made Rex hesitate when confronted with what turned out to be other troopers. It’d been a lucky instinct that made him comm Waxer, the two close enough for short-range communication. Thank Force he did.)
(It was the bracelet that stopped Dogma from following Krell blindly. He piped down and hid himself among his brothers, knowing that he couldn’t disobey a direct order from a superior but also knowing that if the superior didn’t order him, he wouldn’t do it.)
Strangely the bracelets could cause a headache. A sharp pain followed by a dull ache that lasted for about a week. The troopers didn’t make the connection from the bracelet to the headaches. It was probably just a bug going through the legion. Nothing important.
Then Anakin moved onto making bracelets for the 212th after a transfer made a remark about them. Orange and White this time.
It was considered a rite of passage to get a bracelet, just like painting your armour.
(They really did need to find out where this bug was coming from though.)
(They would never figure out that their control chips were nudged just enough so that even if they were activated, they would still have the free will to disobey.)
Here’s the thing.
Anakin is immensely powerful in the Force. He has more raw power that he has yet to control so it’s understandable that some of that power would seep into his meditations via crocheting. Now that he’s aware of it, he can focus it, crochet love, protection and Light into each project.
Here’s the thing.
Anakin is an emotional person. Everything he does is fueled by his heart and instincts. As such his usage of the Force reflects that. He wants to protect people, look out for them. His greatest strength is the size of his heart. Love is what fuels him, no matter how the Jedi try to change that.
Here’s the thing.
Anakin gives not-gifts (because Jedi cannot have possessions) to the ones he loves and Republic Day is an excellent excuse to indulge.
A pretty shawl to Padme, done with the softest blue yarn he could find.
A deep green tea-cosy for Obi-Wan’s favourite teapot.
A thick 501st blue blanket for Snips with a white border.
(Another blanket for Rex because the last one got stolen. Again. This one has Jaig eyes in the middle. Not exactly subtle but should be distinctive enough to hunt down should another trooper try to make off with it.)
(A crochet lightsaber holster for Cody, because Anakin knows. He learned everything from Obi-Wan after all.)
(Cody howls in laughter.)
(Obi-Wan is not impressed when it makes an appearance on the battlefield. The fact it is being used contributes to his ire and he ignores Cody’s snickering.)
And finally, a deep red and gold throw for the Chancellor. The man has often said he gets a little cold at night so it seemed an ideal gift.
Here’s the thing.
Sidious really does get cold at night and it would be a waste not to use Skywalker’s gift. It’s extremely well made and suits the sheets.
Here’s the thing.
Love is the most dangerous and beautiful thing in the universe. Anakin loves deeply and even the most darkest of people cannot stand against such love.
(In another Galaxy, it is the same burning Light of his son that saves the galaxy.)
(In this galaxy, it is his own.)
(Darkness is only the absence of Light.)
Here’s the thing.
Sidious has been too entrenched and lived far too long in the Darkness for the Light not to have an effect on him.
(The love of a Skywalker kills him in both galaxies.)
Darth Sidious dies in his sleep, surrounded by the warmth and Light and love of a man that the Sith Lord wanted to enslave.
The Death of the Chancellor is the beginning of the end.
The Force sings with the death of the Dark One and Light floods the senses of the Jedi.
Dooku recoils from both the surge of Light and the death of his master. He suddenly knows that this war is lost. That everything he has done for the Good of the Republic will amount to nothing compared to the good others will do.
The Jedi are reinvigorated. Battle after battle is won until the Confederacy surrenders.
Even if many are not sensitive, the return of Light has an effect on the Senate.
Bail Organa is elected Chancellor with Senator Amidala as his Vice. Both immediately move to open peace talks, crack down on the corruption and utilise the GAR to focus on crimes like slavery.
(Only those who want to stay in the GAR will do this. The rest are welcome to go wherever they please and will be compensated. Every clone of Jango Fett is given citizenship regardless of their choice.)
Anakin is devastated at the loss of his mentor but moves on. It helps that Palpatine passed in his sleep and was an old man.
(It also helps that his true identity isn’t revealed until years after, when Anakin has grown more and thought about what that relationship was truly like.)
Anakin and Padme finally confess to each other but Anakin still has a few more years left in the Order and Padme agrees that they should take it slow. He sees Ahsoka to knighthood and Obi-Wan take on a new padawan, a Tholothian girl that Anakin likes.
The new wave of knights and padawans have been forged by the fire of war and sometimes the only relief they’ve had was the brightly coloured crocheted blankets and the bright Love that was crochet into every stitch.
(Barriss Offee is the first to break down crying, admitting she wasn’t sure what she would have done if not for Anakin’s blanket he had lent her and had never asked for back. It was the humming Light that kept her sane through the last months.)
Anakin leaves the Order in the midst of change, admitting he wants to marry Padme and she has accepted. He leaves with the blessings of Obi-Wan and Ahsoka and the entire Jedi Council.
(That was the one thing he thought he’d never have.)
(He still sends them blankets every month and visits often, giving crocheting lessons to the younglings.)
Obi-Wan is his best man at the wedding on Naboo. Ahsoka is there along with Rex and half of the 501st Legion. A surprising amount of Jedi show up too, younglings, initiates, padawans, knights and masters alike. All echoing Light and happiness into the Force.
(He has no idea where they are all sleeping. He can’t be bothered asking. They’ve got enough blankets.)
But most importantly (well right after Padme walking down the aisle) is his mother in the front row of seats, wearing an old beige shawl with a lot more holes and a wonky hem.
“What cha doing?”