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Fanfic / The Chaotic Three

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The Chaotic Three by Darth Malleus is a Star Wars time-travel AU, written shortly after the release of The Force Awakens and set around the beginning of The Phantom Menace. When an unspecified event sends Rey, Finn and Poe back in time to arrive on Tatooine at the same time as Queen Amidala’s ship arrives there after the escape from Naboo, the three find themselves making contact with the heroes of the past as they fight to find some way to change the history they knew, facing unexpected threats even as they make contact with other unexpected heroes.


The Chaotic Three contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Rey, naturally (Aayla and a few other Jedi have potential for this, but don’t get a clear chance to show it).
  • Adaptational Heroism: From a certain perspective, applies to Count Dooku, who remains on the side of the Jedi and takes an active role opposing the Sith’s plans, with the time-travellers reflecting that Dooku won’t fall now that Qui-Gon Jinn hasn’t been killed by Maul.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Jar Jar Binks is revealed to be an enforced alias for a former Sith apprentice, with Sidious restoring his original identity of Darth Janus.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Rey loses a hand in a fight with Darth Maul, and Mace Windu’s arms are both severed from the elbow by Palpatine.
  • Artificial Limbs: Rey receives an artificial hand after Darth Maul cuts off her hand in their confrontation.
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  • Ascended Extra: Takes advantage of the fact that Quinlan Vos was briefly seen in Phantom Menace to make him part of these events, along with his apprentice Aayla Secura.
  • Badass Adorable: BB-8 and Yoda certainly qualify, with Finn and Poe noting that Yoda is shorter than everyone else present when they first arrive on Coruscant and yet he’s the most powerful being present.
  • Badass Bookworm: Relatively, anyway; Jocasta Nu, the master of the Jedi archives, freely acknowledges that she’s out of practice with a lightsaber, and definitely wasn’t expecting to have to face a Sith Lord, but she manages to hold her own against Darth Maul for a couple of minutes before she’s killed.
  • Badass Normal: Finn and Poe have no ability to use the Force, but they prove themselves in combat with Darth Maul himself.
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  • Becoming the Mask: Basically the punishment inflicted on Darth Janus, as Jar Jar is presented briefly as a fully independent personality before Sidious restores his original identity, with Qui-Gon affirming that he saw Jar Jar as a friend even if the Gungan wasn’t that bright.
  • BFG: Finn is shown to have a few of these incorporated into his armour, including the jetpack missile he uses against Darth Maul; Rey explicitly describes his armour as basically possessing enough firepower for an entire infantry.
  • Big Brother Instinct: It’s never clearly stated if Rey is the youngest of the ‘Chaotic Three’, but Poe and Finn are swiftly established as being so protective of her that both were prepared to shoot Yoda if he had caused Rey permanent harm.
  • Big Damn Hero:
    • Finn serves as this when he shows up to save Poe, Aayla and BB-8 from Jabba the Hutt’s forces.
    • During the attack on the Jedi Temple, the Millennium Falcon and Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing lead a squadron of Jedi Starfighters to fight off the attack.
    • In the final assault, Luke Skywalker manages to defeat Palpatine in single combat and save Mace Windu’s life.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: For all of his evil, Darth Janus basically falls victim to this, ranting to his enemies and explaining his plans, thus giving them time to oppose it.
  • Break Them by Talking: Palpatine uses this in his duel with Mace Windu, taunting Windu with the knowledge that he just took advantage of existing corruption in the Republic rather than creating anything himself.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Poe, Finn and Aayla do this when they steal Darth Maul’s ship, albeit because they have no other way to get off Tatooine and taking it while Maul was elsewhere rather than taking it from him directly.
  • Cartwright Curse: When discussing the future with Vos and Aayla, Poe and Finn reveal how Aayla died at the end of the Clone Wars while Vos was killed a few years later, but admit that they don’t know exactly what happened to some of Vos’s friends after Order 66.
  • Closest Thing We Got: With the near-destruction of the Senate, the Jedi Council are forced to take charge of the Republic, appointing Plo Koon as the new interim Chancellor as Yoda feels he is too old to take on such additional responsibilities and Mace Windu needs time to recover from his injuries.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Darth Maul's ship Scimitar has vast security including access codes, a slave circuit, and command droids written in an ancient Sith language whose knowledge has been lost, as well security droids. It's justified because the ship contains data that would ruin Darth Sidious' plans.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A villainous version of this; once Jar Jar’s ‘original’ identity of Darth Janus is restored, he proves to be such a dangerous Sith Lord that he can face Qui-Gon Jinn and Dooku in a duel at the same time.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: One of Palpatine’s Sith assassins is outmanoeuvred, disarmed and rendered unconscious by Luke Skywalker, without Luke even needing to use his own weapon.
  • Death by Adaptation: Due to the interference of the time travellers, Palpatine and Darth Janus (the true Sith identity of Jar Jar Binks) are killed, but the Republic sustain their own losses due to Darth Janus’s actions accelerating Palpatine’s plans, with their casualties including Master Ki-Adi-Mundi, Chancellor Valorum, and various other Jedi and Senators.
  • Demoted to Extra: Arguably applies to Anakin; while he still wins the Boonta Eve Classic, he plays no real part in the subsequent battle against the Trade Federation’s forces, although Rey and the others recognise his future importance and make it a personal priority to confirm that he will be trained.
  • Disney Villain Death: The final fate of Palpatine, as Luke intercepts his attempt to escape the Senate building by forcing him rapidly down to the ground; Luke escapes the same fate by using the Force to slow his own descent, and then takes time to confirm that Palpatine died in the fall rather than just assume he did.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • After the betrayal of Darth Janus and the mass droid assault, the Republic forces on Naboo join forces with the surviving representatives of the Trade Federation, to the extent that Padme Amidala fights alongside Nute Gunray.
    • At the same time, back on Coruscant, Mace Windu and Palpatine are forced to work together to fight back a wave of droids that are trying to kill them both, each recognising that they will both be killed by the droids unless they work together, although they continue their previous duel as soon as the droids have all been destroyed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Aayla affirms her status as a friend to all when she compromises her current mission to save BB-8.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Darth Janus’s plans basically amount to this, as he seeks to use a new droid army to destroy everything and ensure that no civilisation will rise again, where Palpatine at least had an agenda that would let something survive for him to rule afterwards.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After Darth Janus releases his droid army on the galaxy, Nute Gunray insists that he would never have condoned this, affirming that his own forces only captured key members of the Naboo and rounded up some of the general population in concentration camps but never harmed any of them.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As the Battle of Naboo begins, Padme is briefly surprised to learn that one of Nute Gunray’s forces is his own niece, finding herself surprised that Gunray has any kind of family.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The time travellers begin to change the original course of events as soon as they arrive on Tatooine, with a particular early catalyst being when Poe and Finn kill Jabba the Hutt after the Boonta Eve Classic. On a personal note, Rey’s willingness to give Anakin advice before his meeting with the Jedi Council helps him think more about what he is saying and leads to him making a more positive impression on the Council, to the point that they agree that he should be trained.
    • Invoked; after Mace Windu and Palpatine are forced to fight alongside each other to stop an onslaught of droids trying to kill them both, they are each shown briefly reflecting on what might have been if the other had been trained in their order rather than being found by the other side first.
  • Friend to All Children: Yoda is shown to be truly glad when Aayla returns from Tatooine safe and alive, and reflects in private that he has become attached to all the Jedi younglings he has trained over the centuries.
  • Future Badass:
    • Arguably applies to Anakin, who is currently a scared little boy but is destined to become a powerful Jedi, although Rey does her best to help him acknowledge his fears to overcome the traits that led to him falling in the original timeline.
    • Can also apply to Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is destined to be a powerful Jedi Master in the Clone Wars but is only an apprentice at this point.
  • Have We Met Yet?: Rey has this moment when she meets the younger version of R2-D2 while on the Naboo Queen’s starship, as she spent some time with the future Artoo while training with Luke, although she is fully aware that this version of Artoo hasn’t met her yet.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Invoked; when Luke faces one of Palpatine's Sith Assassins, he defeats his opponent by stealing the Sith's lightsabre and removing the focusing crystal before tossing the now-useless weapon back to the Sith, leaving his opponent only able to mount a physical attack before Luke renders him unconscious.
  • Kid from the Future: Rey takes this role as she begins bonding with Anakin during the flight from Tatooine to Coruscant, although she doesn’t tell him about their true relationship.
  • Mentor Archetype:
    • Qui-Gon in particular fulfils this role on Tatooine, offering Rey some advice about dealing with her emotions faced with the complexity of the current situation.
    • Yoda serves as this as always; even Luke shows him respect when they meet ‘again’, despite this Yoda not having trained Luke yet and Luke having become a Master himself since he trained under Yoda in the future.
  • Metaphorically True: Rey tells Anakin that she was trained in isolation by her father, and is thus not a typical Jedi, but avoids mentioning the more detailed circumstances of her unconventional Jedi heritage.
  • Mind Probe: Quinlan Vos and Yoda are shown using the same mind-reading technique that Kylo Ren used in The Force Awakens; it is established that this method is normally used to get information from corpses rather than the living and can be dangerous to use too often, with Rey only coming through it with nothing more than a few hours unconscious because she let both Jedi into her mind willingly as opposed to Poe and Rey fighting Kylo Ren when he did it to them.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Darth Janus freely declares that he has gone too far to try and go back to being Jar Jar after killing the Naboo forces in their Coruscant apartments, even if he wanted to go back.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Jabba attempts this after Poe wins the initial Podrace bet, offering to return BB-8 while playing another game for Aayla’s freedom, but Poe refuses to take this further.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The time-travellers’ actions result in Sidious and Janus’s new attack devastating the Senate and sizeable portions of the galaxy over a decade before the Clone Wars began in the original course of events.
  • Noodle Incident: It is so far unknown exactly how the ‘Chaotic Three’, BB-8, Luke, Chewbacca and R2-D2 ended up in the past, beyond their vague memories of being in some kind of space battle before they arrived on Tatooine, with Rey, Finn and Poe separated from their ships while Luke, Chewbacca and Artoo stayed with Luke’s damaged X-Wing and the Millennium Falcon.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Basically defied; the Senate still has problems, but when Chancellor Valorum learns about the corruption the Jedi have uncovered, he gives the Jedi free reign to conduct whatever investigations they need to expose the corruption.
  • Old Master: Yoda is obvious, but also applies to Luke; while he muses that he gets tired more easily than he did in the past, he is recognised by all of the Jedi of the past as being strong in the Force, to the extent that he defeats Palpatine in a duel.
  • Older Than They Look: Poe and Finn are surprised to learn that Aayla is in her early teens as they assumed she was older.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: During the attack on the Jedi Temple, Yoda delivers the following to the assembled droid forces;
    Entered our home without permission, you have. Unwise, it is.
  • Power Trio:
    • Rey, Finn and Poe have developed a reputation as this in their time of origin, with Rey as the last of the Jedi, Poe as a skilled pilot, and Finn using a specially-designed suit of armour that allows him to oppose even Knights of Ren despite having no Force powers of his own.
    • For a brief period, Aayla takes Rey’s role as the Jedi in this dynamic when she is forced to flee Tatooine with Poe and Finn, helping them steal Darth Maul’s ship, and also when she accompanies Poe and Finn back to Tatooine after Rey is injured.
  • Put On The Bus: Rey is confined to the medical wing for a time after her duel with Darth Maul cost her a hand, as it takes time for her to get fitted with her new limb and gain proper control of it.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In this version of events, Rey is specifically identified as Luke’s daughter, and quickly (albeit privately) acknowledges Anakin as her grandfather.
  • Sadistic Choice: Poe is forced to agree to wager BB-8 and the freedom of Aayla Secura on a bet with Jabba against Watto, or the other two will just be taken as slaves and he’ll be killed.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Even Darth Janus recognises that he is going mad after so long trapped within the false identity of Jar Jar Binks, but he revels in his insanity and plans for destruction.
    • At least hinted at for Mace Windu, who falls back on his resolute faith that the Republic will endure after he loses his hands.
  • Secret Test of Character: Not in the traditional sense, but while some of the Jedi Council had expressed doubts about whether Rey should be considered a Jedi given her unconventional status, her role in the defeat of Darth Maul assures her naysayers that she is a true Jedi even if she will still have to undergo testing later.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: They didn’t intend to go back in time, but once they realise that they’re in the past, Rey, Finn and Poe swiftly decide to do their best to change the history they know to make things better.
  • Spanner in the Works: The time-travellers are this to Palpatine’s plans, disrupting his predictions of what would happen and encouraging the Jedi to take a more active, large-scale role in opposing the Trade Federation’s blockade.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Thanks to the time-travellers’ assistance, Qui-Gon Jinn isn’t killed by Darth Maul.
  • Spotting the Thread: Finn confirms that Poe was in a certain bar by noting a bottle of Poe’s favourite drink on a table, which is apparently not to everyone’s tastes; Rey isn’t much of a drinker and Finn only shares it with Poe to be social.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Invoked; when Finn arrives to rescue Poe and Aayla from Jabba's forces, their enemies are so shocked by Finn's appearance that he's able to give Aayla her lightsabre and lend Poe a rifle before anyone starts attacking them.
  • Take a Third Option: Aware that Palpatine’s goal is to provoke the dismissal of the Supreme Chancellor and thus win the subsequent election himself, and obviously unwilling to let the situation on Naboo continue, Poe and Finn suggest that the Jedi encourage Amidala to take the alternative choice of appealing to the individual members of the Senate for help rather than the Senate as a whole, allowing the various planets to send their own armies to assist against the Trade Federation’s forces.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Invoked when Janus communicates with Sidious via a pre-recorded holographic recording, making a couple of comments anticipating Sidious’s reaction to some of his own revelations.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sidious and Janus freely admit that they don’t trust each other, but recognise the necessity of the other’s skills and resources after their previous losses.
  • The Time Traveller's Dilemma: Rey in particular acknowledges that if they change history, she may erase herself and her father and aunt from existence, but decides that it’s worth the risk to change what happened originally.
  • Three-Point Landing: Finn does a textbook example of this trope during his Big Damn Heroes moment in chapter 5.
  • Title Drop: Luke Skywalker notes that Rey, Finn and Poe are known as ‘the Chaotic Three’ in their time of origin.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Compared to his state in canon, here Luke is still an active fighter, to the extent that he manages to engage Palpatine in a duel through his ability to find a balance between the Light and Dark side of the Force.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The time-travellers’ actions result in the return of Darth Janus and a massive droid army decimating several planets, but all characters aware of their influence on events understand that Rey, Poe and Finn acted with the best of intentions.
  • Worthy Opponent: Palpatine clearly recognises Mace Windu and Luke Skywalker as this when fighting them. Palpatine explicitly wonders at one point what it would have been like if Mace Windu could be corrupted to the Dark Side after witnessing him in action. When he faces Luke in a duel, recognising Luke’s strength in the Force even if he doesn’t know his foe’s history, Palpatine asks for Luke’s name as he is aware that one of them will die in this duel and he likes to know the name of those he kills personally while also wanting to know the name of the one who killed him if this duel goes against him.

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