CORUSCANT -- Presiding over a memorial service commemorating the victims of the attack on the Death Star, the Emperor declared that while recent victories over the Rebel Alliance were "encouraging, the War on Terror is not over yet." "We will continue to fight these terrorists, and the rogue governments who harbour them, until the universe is safe, once and for all, and the security of the Neo-New Cosmik Order ensured."
It was one year ago today that the Death Star, perhaps the greatest symbol of the Empire's might, was destroyed in an attack by fanatic Rebels, who used small, single-person crafts to infiltrate seemingly impenetrable defences. Thousands of mourners were on hand to remember and pay tribute to the victims and their families. "We lost our innocence that day," reflected one mourner. "I guess we thought we were immune from the kind of violence that happens in other galaxies. We were wrong." "I lost hundreds of buddies that day," said one teary-eyed Stormtrooper. "Guys whose only crime was trying make the Universe a safer place."
Although the day was coloured by sadness, the mourners found some relief in the news of a decisive victory over the Rebels. In an attack led by Darth Vader, Empire forces were able to rout hundreds of Rebels from a network of caves underneath the surface of the planet Hoth. "We're not sure we got them all," says a Vader spokesman. "There are a lot of places to hide in those caves. But we've delivered a powerful blow to the terrorist's infrastructure, that's for sure. Today, the Empire has struck back."
Initial reports are unclear as to the fate of Luke Skywalker, a hero among the Rebels, who is rumoured to have delivered the fatal blow to the Death Star. Skywalker, a former desert-dweller from the planet Tattooine, became a part of the Rebellion after family members were killed. Skywalker was trained by a militant wing of the Rebels, known as "Jedi Knights".
Fanatical in their religious beliefs, the Jedi Knights claim to derive their power from the mystical "Force." It's believed that Skywalker was specifically trained by infamous terrorist O bin Wankenobi. Wankenobi, occasionally called "Ben" and easily recognised by his bearded visage and long, flowing robes, achieved near-martyr status among the Rebels after his death last year during a suicide spy mission. His more fervent followers believe that Wan Kenobi lives on within them today, some even claiming to hear his voice during times of duress.
The attack on the Death Star came shortly after the Empire's destruction of Alderstan, a planet whose government was known to harbour terrorists. Responding to criticism over the total annihilation of the planet, Vader stated, "There is no middle ground! in the War on Terror. Those who harbour terrorists are terrorists themselves. Alderstan was issued ample warning. The fight for continuing Freedom is often burdened by terrible cost."
The cost of this war can still be seen today in the continuing efforts to build a coalition government on Tattooine. Longstanding animosities among the planets various ethnic groups, including the Jawas, Tusken Raiders and scattered human settlers, have been an impediment to the peace process. The Empire continues to maintain a small peace keeping force until a provisional government is finally in place.
Much of the difficulty in fighting the Rebel forces stems from their lack of a central organising structure. "They don't play by the traditional rules of war", complained one spokesman. "They come in all shapes and sizes, united only by their single-minded desire to destroy the Empire before it destroys them." The Emperor closed his comments today by stating that "the cowardly attack on the Death Star left a deep scar on the Empire. However, we will not stop fighting until every last evildoer has been brought to justice." He paused for several moments, wiping away a tear and then added with determination, "We will never forget."
"I wish we could all just get along," said one of the mourners. "But it's hard to offer an olive branch to a cult of religious fanatics whose main tool is violence and who insist on calling us the Dark Side."