Ora didn’t know where she was going and the diminutive orange lady named Maz Kanata wouldn’t tell her. She could only sit in the passenger seat of the small silver and orange craft hoping she wasn’t being taken to The Whisper.
Nervous butterflies fluttered in her stomach as she imagined walking toward a fortress, her purple lightsaber ignited and her destiny, good or bad, awaiting her. Was this to be her fate? A secret execution.
Ora could not stop thinking of her mother’s face as they had been forced to part ways. Rey had tried to put on a brave face but she seemed mortified. What did she know that Ora didn’t and what would make her so scared? Even her father had regarded with a silent farewell as if he may never see her again.
‘What is going on?’ she wanted to scream to the universe but she refrained from doing so, as it would most likely make her look insane.
She looked over at Maz who was piloting the vessel. “Um, where are we going again?”
“An ancient world. A place strong with the Force,” Maz looked at her with those all-knowing beady black eyes, “the light and the dark.”
Ora shrugged. “Okay. So am I supposed to shudder with terror or…?”
Maz smiled. “This isn’t a joke you know. Many have ventured to this place and have never returned.”
Ora sat back, crossing her arms. “So, ghost stories, huh? Let’s hear them.”
“These aren’t ghost stories child and you should do well to be a little more wary of what you are about to face.”
Ora sighed. “My stomach is tied in knots. Believe me, I’m not overly confident that I’m going to successfully complete…whatever I have to complete. I just want to know what’s going on.”
“We’re here,” Maz suddenly announced.
Ora looked out the window and saw only darkness and the twinkling stars.
“Is this place invisible or am I missing something?” she asked.
“It’s only unseen to those who do not want to see it,” Maz said, smiling at Ora as she had a secret to keep.
Ora looked closer and suddenly she could see the barely imperceptible line shaping into the classic O of a planet. She gasped.
“I see it,” she said. She looked closer, her eyebrows furrowing. She looked down at Maz. “Is that planet entirely black?”
Maz nodded. “Yes. It’s to keep everyday citizens of the galaxy from roaming there. It’s called the Planet That Does Not Exist. Or…simply, Ptdne.”
Ora looked even more confused. “What?”
“PIT-DEN-YEE. This planet is PIT-DEN-YEE.”
Ora nodded. “Ptdne,” she echoed. “And what will I find there?”
Maz leaned toward her. “The secret weapon that will bring The Whisper groveling at your feet.”
“Is thing a Death Star?”
“No. It is not a tangible weapon. It is a weapon only used by those with the Force. The last time The Whisper was cast out, banished into the deepest part of the universe so that she would not return to glory, this weapon was used by a grand Jedi Knight named Nipahlev. But you, you are more powerful than he ever was.”
Ora smiled warily. “Thanks.”
Maz grabbed her hand. “You must be careful, Ora. This planet is not for the weak. There are creatures forged from your very nightmares. You won’t see them unless you convey fear. Be strong, Ora, and this will be a breeze.”
“Now you’re starting to scare me.”
Maz smiled at her. “I’m just so proud of you. So proud of what you have become. I’ve known your mother for years. I saw the moment when Rey screamed to the sky and you were born. I saw you as a newborn and you looked at me with those beautiful dark eyes. I knew then that you were special.”
Maz held her other hand. “Now the galaxy is depending on you and only you. Just remember Ora, you are powerful. When you walk on that planet to The Well remember your strength and you will succeed.”
Ora nodded. “I will.”
She bent down and hugged Maz Kanata. “Thank you,” she whispered.
Maz didn’t respond. Instead, she hugged her back, her eyes slightly tearing as she became emotional. Once Maz released the embrace she returned to her place behind the controls and steered the craft toward the black planet.
Ora couldn’t tell whether they had entered the planet’s hemisphere or were still in space as everything around them was lost in darkness. And then she began to vaguely make out shapes of mountains that seemingly jutted from the air. Maz Kanata touched the ship down on what Ora could guess was a flatland flanked by towering mountains of darkness.
Ora walked to the ramp of the ship as it began to open. Her heart pounded in her chest as the ramp opened and she found herself staring at what seemed to be an endless drop into the dark vacuum of space. She looked back at Maz who smiled at her.
“Take your first step into this secret world,” Maz told her.
Ora nodded, turning her attention back to the “ground” and her right foot dangling over the edge of the ramp, suspended in midair as Ora found the nerve to step out of the ship.
She was expecting to feel her body go weightless as she plummeted to her death through space until she died of lack of oxygen. But as her foot plunged downward it hit, much to her relief, solid ground.
She looked at the black stone that sat beneath her foot and laughed with joy. She looked back to find Maz smiling at her.
“Good job Ora. Now find The Well. That is where you will discover the secret weapon.”
Ora nodded. She faced forward, taking another step and was once again relieved as she didn’t feel herself falling. She looked around, barely able to distinguish the starry sky from the black world around her. She didn’t know where she was going but if the Force was so strong here she figured it would lead her to what she needed to find.
So, igniting her purple lightsaber to light her way forward, she began to run across the rocky plains in search of The Well. Her heart continued to pound in her chest but she made sure to keep a stable mind and not let fear crawl into her heart, otherwise, the terrifying creatures that were probably native to this planet would find her and then she would have no idea what to expect next.
She continued running forward, breathing steadily as her body’s metabolism accelerated and her legs began to slightly burn. And then she saw something ahead. It seemed to be the shape of a building jutting from the mountain that lied ahead. She made her way toward it, moving faster and faster, and then suddenly a haunting face in the darkness startled her. She screamed, falling back. The face simply belonged to a statue but it had placed enough fear in her for her to hear the menacing growls of creatures nearby.
“Hatukga!” she whispered, standing slowly and looking around her in the darkness.
She couldn’t see anything. But she heard footsteps circling. And then she heard a voice. It was her mother’s face.
“Ora? Ora, where are you?”
Ora twirled, looking for her mother. “Mother! Mother, I’m right here!”
The footsteps drew closer and closer. Ora’s breath became more and more hurried. And then she felt a cold tingle down her spine. Something was wrong. Very, very wrong.
She turned again and saw her mother’s face grinning down at her in the darkness.
“Hello Ora,” she said.
Her mother’s face, who Ora was horrified to see was connected to a massive spider-like creature, reached out at her with elongated claws. Ora screamed, falling backward as she swung her lightsaber at the claw. It sliced through the monster’s left claw and it shrilled in pain, rearing back before glaring at her.
The sight of the creature was so terrifying Ora felt tears beginning to well in her eyes as she turned away. And then she heard a voice speaking to her in her mind.
Run, Ora, run, the voice said.
Ora stood, not daring to glance at the creature, and began sprinting toward the building in the distance that now seemed to glow with a faint white light.
“Get her!” the creature screamed in her mother’s voice.
Ora could hear dozens of scuttling footsteps behind her but she didn’t dare look back. She ran as fast as her legs could take her toward the building but the creatures chasing her seemed to be faster.
She cried out in terror as she felt something snap at her ankles but she didn’t let that stop her. She only pushed herself to move faster until she reached the building. She then yanked open the door and hurriedly slammed it shut as the creatures wearing the faces of those she knew banged against the other side, their human voices distorted in a horrific cacophony.
Ora fell back to the floor, trembling with fright as the creatures continued to assault the building’s entrance to find her.
Fear, the voice said again. They sense it in you. Let go of your fear and they will go away.
Ora took a deep breath, placing her hands over her ears and closing her eyes, thus drowning out the terrifying noise.
“No fear,” she whispered to herself. “No fear.”
She waited for a whole minute, continuing to chant those two words to herself. And then, she took her hands off of her ears. Her eyes opened as she didn’t hear any noise.
She stood, leaning toward the door to make sure there was truly nothing on the other side. There was not a single sound except for the rapid beating of her heart. She breathed a sigh of relief before turning around, igniting her lightsaber to light the interior of the building.
The black stone walls were smooth and the hall before her led deeper into the interior of the place. She followed the hall, keeping her eyes forward and her fear muted. She didn’t want to run into any more nightmarish creatures.
She walked for what felt like half a mile down the single hall before finding herself in a chamber glowing with blue light. It was a stark contrast to the dark interior of the building which appeared to be a temple as she noticed the glyphs scribbled on the walls that curved into a circle.
As she entered the chamber she looked up and noticed that the walls extended upward to a ceiling that could not be seen. In the center of the room, stairs led down to a smaller circle where the blue light was emanating.
She walked down the stairs, her heartbeat quickening as she felt the power of the Force growing around her. When she reached the circle there was a loud boom that startled her. She heard footsteps approaching but this time she did not feel fear. She simply stared ahead, waiting to see who the footsteps belonged to.
A man walked forward, his pale skin wrinkled and his blond-white hair tied back into a ponytail. He was garbed in thick grey robes that swaddled his small body, making him look undoubtedly important.
He stopped before her, gazing at her with his intense light green eyes.
“Ora, daughter of Ben Solo and Ora Denger, welcome.”
Ora knew she had been named after her mother’s true name but still, hearing it from someone else seemed a bit strange.
“What is this place?” she asked the old man.
“This is one of the birthplaces of the Force. There are many tales of where the Force began but to say that it truly began in one place is preposterous. The Force is as natural as the very air. Tell me, did oxygen originate in one world?”
Ora smiled. “I don’t think so.”
The man smiled back. “I don’t think so.”
“Sir, I was brought here because–”
The man held up his hand, stopping her. “I know why you are here. You have come to summon them. They do not respond to just anyone but if you truly are what they say you are they will come. Kneel.”
Ora didn’t need to be told twice. She knelt, bowing her head. When she didn’t hear a second instruction she looked up to speak to the man and was surprised to see he wasn’t there.
And then she felt the presence of not just one individual but five, and then ten, and then fifteen.
She looked up and saw many people, men, and women, in robes of brown and black, gazing down at her. Their bodies were iridescent and haloed in a blue aura that seemed particularly strange. The people gazed at her intense expressions as if they were staring right into her very soul.
“It is true what they say. She is The Chosen One,” one man with long brown hair and a thin ponytail tied back over his long hair spoke.
An old man with white hair and a white beard spoke next. “Do you know the significance of this moment?”
Ora shook her head.
“As The Chosen One, you have summoned the Jedi ghosts and Sith spirits at your will. We are here to do your bidding, no matter what that may be, for we are confident that you will use us to restore peace and order in the galaxy.”
“The secret weapon,” Ora gasped.
She stood, gazing at the dead individuals that continued to gaze at her intensely. There was no doubt the Sith were the people dressed in black, for they looked incredibly menacing. Especially the Dathomirian whose red and black skin, head of horns, and searing yellow eyes made him extra scary.
There was also another man dressed in black whose face lined with deep wrinkles and evil expression made chills run down her spine.
And then there were two others; an old man and woman clad in brown robes that gazed at her with benevolent smiles. Ora felt like she knew them but couldn’t quite put her finger on it. Until the woman spoke.
“I see your inquisitive expression,” she said. “I am Leia, your grandmother.”
“And I am Luke Skywalker,” the man said. “Your granduncle.”
Ora’s eyes widened. “I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything,” Leia said, reaching out to touch her face. “We’ll tell you everything.”
As Maz Kanata relaxed in the cockpit, anxiously waiting for Ora’s arrival she could feel a great disturbance in the Force. She exited her seat and ran to the open ramp to see what was happening and noticed Ora was running toward the ship with her lightsaber ignited. A legion of individuals dressed in robes seemed to be chasing after her until she noticed the smile on Ora’s face.
Ora stopped at the ramp and Maz gawked at what she was seeing, for the individuals behind her were ghosts which was made clear by the blue aura surrounding their vaguely translucent bodies.
“So you can see them too?” Ora exclaimed. “It’s not just a figment of my imagination?”
Maz shook her head, scanning the faces and recognizing every single one of them.
“I shouldn’t be able to see them but they are allowing me to,” Maz said.
Ora grabbed her hands. “This is it. This is the secret weapon you spoke of. This is the balance The Whisper fears and cannot defeat.”
Maz gaped at her. “This is greater than I could ever imagine. Are they under your command?”
Ora nodded. “Yes. So, let’s go to the rendezvous point and deliver the great news.”
Maz’s shock turned into elation. She cupped Ora’s face. “Yes. Let’s tell everyone, hope has truly been restored.”