A brief pitch for my dark Star Wars Story prequel: “Skywalker Ranch.” The story of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, and how they burned two migrant farmhands to a crisp to fake their own deaths.
Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were not what they seemed. They kept two migrant farm workers as prisoners on their isolated moisture farm, locked away underground without Luke ever knowing. Remember how Owen told Luke he needed him because he was short on farmhands? Where did all the other farmhands go? And where did Beru get that blue milk? They sure didn’t have any of those cliff-cow creatures from Episode VIII on that farm. Or did they?
The story describes how Owen and Beru faked their own deaths by burning the two captive farmhands. They knew that when Luke ran off to find R2D2, the droid would lead him to that “crazy old hermit.” That’s why they kept telling Luke to stay away from Old Ben – they were afraid the old Jedi would figure out the truth. So while Luke was gone, they burned their captives, leaving the charred bodies for Luke to find when he returned.
The big reveal: Owen and Beru were never Skywalkers at all. They were just some thrill-kill cult hippies. They sold Shmi Skywalker (Anakin’s mom) to the Sand People because she knew the truth. When Obi-Wan brought Luke to them at the end of Episode III, they just figured, “Meh, free kid!” and put him to work. Meanwhile, as Luke toiled on the moisture farm and hung out with his pals at Tosche Station, Owen and Beru were getting their sick kicks torturing Jawas and anyone else that happened to fall into their traps.
After faking their deaths, they became slave traders. It was they who sold young Rey to Ankar Plutt in exchange for a ship to leave Tatooine altogether as the heat was closing in due to the unwanted attention drawn by the whole continuing Skywalker saga. They were too close to it and had to split. After they escaped Tatooine, Owen was killed by Beru. She had grown attached to Rey, and was angry that Owen had sold her. She had been attached to Luke, too, and she harbored a lot of resentment for having to give him up to let him join old Obi-Wan. But she took it with a grain of salt because Owen had just wanted to kill him outright and be done with it. Due to all of this confusion, after Owen died, he somehow managed to turn up as a force ghost with Yoda and Obi-Wan at the end of Episode VI. When Anakin died, they realized their mistake and switched them out.
And Beru… why, she’s still out there someplace. So I left room for a sequel, maybe just titled “Beru.” She can’t have gone far in that outfit, though. And she was getting on in years. Remember her in Episodes II and III? She was quite the little number. Now… not so much. Rumor has it she may have returned to Tatooine and gotten a job slinging drinks at Jabba’s Palace. Luke may have walked right past her when he went there in Episode VI and never even known it.