It was as much an impression as words, a feeling of dignified-disapproval and calm-warning, and Swift shook his head.
"It is not what we have done," he replied, speaking in Basic rather than using a mind touch. "But that does not mean it is not what we are meant to do."
There's No Rule That Says A Wolf Can't Be A Jedi is a Star Wars fanfiction by Saphroneth, involving a Lothwolf named Swift, who senses great death and suffering in the Force, and goes back in time to avert it — without knowing exactly what it is or what to do about it.
As is usual for Saphroneth, it was developed and community-reviewed on SpaceBattles, then posted to Archive of Our Own (here) and Fanfiction Dot Net (here). As of 2022-01-30, it is complete (with the possibility of extra side-story segments being added later).
This story contains examples of:
- An Arm and a Leg: Losing a limb is par for the course in lightsaber fights. Swift loses a paw in a fight against an illusion of a Sith version of himself. He later loses it for real, to Palpatine.
- Animal Athlete Loophole: The title is a reference to this. When the Jedi Council consider Swift's application to join, they're not certain about whether he actually needs an exception to the usual rules.Yoda: Treat Swift like everyone else, we could. A standard helmet, a training lightsaber, give him. Fit, they would not.
- Assassination Attempt: At one point, Swift is sent to a world where two rulers have recently died under suspicious circumstances. When he sets out to protect the new ruler, the next attempt targets him.
- Beast of Battle: Swift is large enough for a human to ride — which naturally appeals to Anakin Skywalker.Obi-Wan: And is that the only reason why Anakin rode you into battle?
Swift: No. But it was still a reason. The fact that Anakin and I also had a great deal of fun doesn't make the fact it was the right choice go away.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Swift is naturally inclined to recognise the merit in the arguments both to reduce military spending, and to increase it. One side wants to end the Separatist War through negotiation instead of total violent conquest, the other side wants to end the war quickly and reduce casualties. Anakin is initially skeptical of Swift embracing opposing viewpoints, but by the end of their discussion, he's more thoughtful.
- Difficult, but Awesome: When Padawan Caleb hears a description of what the Focused Light technique can do, like purifying lightsaber crystals corrupted by the Sith, or permanently blocking a dark side user from accessing the Force, his reaction is, "That's amazing." Then the Holocron goes on to inform him that learning the technique will require three to five years of focused study, for Swift, while Caleb probably isn't even ready to start learning yet.Caleb: oh. So still amazing, but not really a quick solution.
- Dual Wielding:
- Swift actually makes and carries three weapons for himself, based on the affinities of the three khyber crystals he's collected. The first makes a mostly standard lightsaber, albeit with an altered grip so he can wield it in his mouth; the second becomes a lightwhip attached to his tail; the third becomes a lightclub/greatsaber, several times larger than a regular lightsaber, which is more power-hungry but better suited to Swift's size, and also better at piercing heavy armour. The lightwhip gives him the winning edge against a Force vision of himself, turned to the dark side, who is somewhat stronger but has only a single saber, and he wields all three at once against Senator Palpatine — though it's still only just enough to hold Palpatine off, and then only with Master Windu's help.
- Senator Palpatine/Darth Sidious pulls out a second lightsaber when seriously pushed, allowing attack and defence at the same time. Apparently they're a matched set, which is quite hard to find.
- Eye Scream:
- When fighting a Force illusion of himself fallen to the dark side, Swift's first telling blow is to cut out one of his opponent's eyes.
- He later loses his own eye for real, to Palpatine.
- Foreshadowing: In his trials to graduate to Jedi Knight, Swift fights an illusion of himself, turned to the dark side. The Sith wolf is stronger, but Swift has more weapons. Swift takes his enemy's eye, but loses a paw, and must ultimately reject the dark side's offer of power in order to win. In his confrontation with Senator Palpatine, Swift is weaker but able to stall Palpatine with his unorthodox arsenal, and loses both an eye and a paw before the fight is over, at which point the dark side tries to overwhelm him.
- For Want of a Nail: What is Swift's great contribution to altering the course of history? A few friendly chats with Anakin Skywalker, including a suggestion that he meditate while walking instead of sitting still, and some good advice about the proper Jedi attitude toward forming attachments — all of which goes a long way toward blunting Palpatine's influence. Swift has no idea of the impact of his actions, though, since he doesn't know what needs to change. Oh, and he also finds evidence that Jedi in times past were able to marry and have children, which sets the Council abuzz and makes them start investigating the basis of the current rules.
- Intellectual Animal: Despite appearing to be a giant wolf, Swift is not only fully sapient, but quite a philosopher.Caleb: He's a very thoughtful master, I feel like he spends a lot of time thinking about why we do things and how we do them.
- Not the Intended Use: The Low Altitude Assault Transport/carrier was designed to deploy ground vehicles, but since Swift is about the size of one, and can use the Force to survive hard landings, he can jump out directly.Evens: I still say this isn't the proper use of a LAAT/c. We might get a nasty holocall from Rothana Heavy Engineering.
- The Power of Hate: Swift's subtle yet effective interference throws an inadvertent Spanner in the Works of Palpatine's plans for Anakin. Which means that in the final confrontation, Palpatine has quite a lot of pent-up frustration — and as a Sith, that is quite empowering, strengthening his connection to the Dark Side of the Force.
- Reassignment Backfire: Senator Palpatine arranges for Swift to be assigned to an investigation of what Count Dooku is searching for on Moraband, aka Korriban, the ancient Sith capital. Palpatine is hoping that the planet will kill him. It actually results in Swift learning about the true relationship between forming attachments and falling to the dark side, namely that it can go either way; family members can be points of vulnerability, or they can be anchors. Which means that when the critical time comes, and Anakin finds out that Palpatine is a Sith, Swift knows he needs to go stay with Padme and keep her safe, and as a result Anakin never falls. Palpatine is extremely displeased when Swift, instead of Anakin, turns up to assist Master Windu.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: With a wolf's nose, it's quite obvious that Anakin is married. However, Swift's apprenticeship included an archaeological study, which revealed that it used to be normal for Jedi to have families, and the Council doesn't know why the rules changed (and they're too distracted by the Clone Wars to fully investigate it) — so Swift doesn't feel the need to say anything. Until it's critical for Anakin to go and be with Padme, for her safety and his, while the Jedi Council are arresting Palpatine.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The lothwolves all sensed a great tragedy of death and suffering in the Force, and so Swift travels back through the world between worlds to avert it if he can. Too bad he doesn't know where or what or when the event is, or how it happened...
- Stable Time Loop: Swift actually creates one that didn't previously exist. His changes to the timeline result in a new timeline where, instead of sensing a great wave of death, the Lothwolves merely sensed a great rush of darkness, and that is what prompted Swift's departure — thus making a closed loop.
- Teleportation: Theoretically, Swift can use the World between Worlds to step from one place to another, but due to the nature of his task, he's trying not to rely on it. When he's going to face Palpatine, he tries, but finds the world too chaotic for that to be safe — and indeed, when he does it anyway during battle, instead of just transporting him behind Palpatine, it transfers both of them all the way to the Senate chamber.
- Throwing the Fight: Palpatine's level of skill makes it clear that when Master Windu disarmed him in canon, he was sandbagging for Anakin's benefit. With Anakin not present, Palpatine is able to fight off Windu and Swift at the same time and keep the upper hand.
- Villain Respect: Swift's thoughtfulness and courtesy lead even Sith Lord Thrain to comment that he "could almost get to like you, Jedi." They have philosophical differences, but can see eye to eye on many things.
- You Meddling Kids: Palpatine is not happy with Swift's interference.Palpatine: You hateful, stupid creature. Every time I turn around you're repeating some trite Jedi nonsense and undoing years of work, and you won't even die when I want you to.
He's a troper.
Why not, after all?