An ASB story by Sargon which features a much changed Star Wars universe where lots of shocks and twists abound. It received a Turtledove Award in 2010 for Best Continuing Short Fiction FanFic and can be read on the forum here.
The fanfic is currently paused whilst the author finds time to write up the next part.
The premise is based upon the opening paragraph from the original 1976 Star Wars novelisation where the Emperor is described as merely being an ambitious politician and not an out-and-out evil figure. Hence, the story starts off with his fear and isolation in no small part caused by the death of his wife not long after becoming Emperor. Lord Darth Vader keeps him closeted away from those who would have him hear the truth of the situation in the Empire, and feeds him only the information he chooses to do so, thus ensuring that Palpatine is under his control and unaware of the true nature of the Empire's oppressive policies. At the same time, the Rebels are divided into factions, some resemble the ones we are familiar with, yet others….do not.
Most of the opening crawl is from the book, apart from the last paragraph:
“Another galaxy, another time.
The Old Republic was the Republic of legend, greater than the distance of time. Once, under the wise rule of the Jedi Knights, the Republic throve and grew. But as often happens, then appear those evil ones who have greed to match. The Republic rotted from within.
Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the people and to restore the glory of the Republic.
Once in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.
Having exterminated the Jedi Knights, the Imperial governors and bureaucrats prepared to institute a reign of terror. Many used the Imperial forces and the name of the isolated Emperor to further their own ambitions. Soon after, a Rebellion emerged to fight these cruel acts. Their numbers were few, yet they were dedicated to their cause.
In his palace, the Emperor remained a virtual hostage of the people he had trusted, fed false information and led to believe the Rebellion were the ones carrying out the dire atrocities against the people of the Empire. As for the people, many still had belief in the Emperor and they were told the same stories, yet there were those determined to try and let the Emperor and the people know the truth…”
From the First Saga
Journal of the Whills
*Episode IV: The Unveiling of Darkness
Part I: Link
Part II: Link
Part III: Link
Part IV: Link
Part V: (In progress)