To coincide with the arrival of May 4, which has come to be known as "Star Wars Day" around the world, Vans shoes announced a new partnership with Lucasfilm on Sunday to release a line of Vans shoes and apparel featuring Star Wars artwork. The collection features six shoes from the Vans Classics line, including original artwork that features Star Wars characters such as Boba Fett, Yoda, Imperial Stormtroopers, Darth Vader and more. Rather than spend time listing off the various ways in which Vans and Star Wars are a match made in heaven for both skateboarders and Star Wars fans, I created a piece of fan fiction based on a scene that never made it onto the big screen in "Return of the Jedi." Check the commercial for the new Vans and Star Wars collaboration above, featuring Steve Caballero skating as a wookie. The Vans Star Wars collection will be available June 1.
What follows is a scene that potentially could've happened after the battle between Luke Skywalker and Jabba The Hutt at the Great Pit of Carkoon. It is my tribute to this special collaboration.
The sandstorm had begun close to 20 minutes after the group had departed the area of Tatooine that was home to the Great Pit of Carkoon and the sarlaac. It was just after midday, and the winds had become so fierce that Luke Skywalker no longer recognized the Northern Dune Sea.
Han Solo sat towards the rear of the skiff that was salvaged from the battle between Jabba The Hutt and the Luke, Leia, Chewie and Lando. He pulled a pair of goggles over his eyes and strained to adjust to his eyesight, which had returned an hour earlier. His muscles ached and he was weak, a side effect of the hibernation sickness he was suffering from after being removed from carbonite freezing.
A thought came to mind: "Chewie, if Jabba is dead, we have no price on our heads anymore," he shouted through the wind.
Chewbacca growled back in affirmation. "And Boba Fett dead too." It had been years of back-and-forth between Han, Chewie and Boba Fett. Fett almost won, but now he was gone, along with Jabba The Hutt's entire criminal organization. This was good and bad: They had eliminated Jabba's entire organization in about 10 minutes, essentially giving every criminal that owed Jabba The Hutt any debt a reason to sympathize with the Rebel Alliance. But the Hutts would eventually come looking for them as well.
Han ignored the latter and focused on the good for now. And then he felt overwhelmed in guilt. He was being selfish. His friends, the few true friends he had in the entire galaxy, had rescued him from certain death. He scanned the skiff, and for the first time in some years, he felt gratitude.
The sandstorm's intensity increased as the group traveled back across the Dune Sea to Obi-Wan Kenobi's hut, where the Millennium Falcon and Luke's X-Wing Fighter were docked under camo nets.
"I have to travel back to Dagobah," Luke told Leia and Han. "I have unfinished business."
"Are you sure you want to do that considering everything we've just been through?" asked Leia.
"Absolutely, I must complete my training," he answered.
Han could not argue with Luke. Luke's new skills as a Jedi Knight had saved them from certain death earlier that day. Han recognized Luke's sense of the Force growing, and was no longer in doubt of its existence. He still felt weary. So much had happened in such a short time.
And then there was Leia. On Bespin, just before Han was frozen in carbonite, Leia had professed her love for him. His reply was selfish. He had loved her, but he refused to show emotion in front of the likes of Darth Vader and Boba Fett.
The skiff was closing in on their ships, and the winds across the Dune Sea continued to pummel the group. "We're still going to depart for Sullust," said Leia. "Lando, you are free to join us if you want to, but I understand if this has all been too much for you."
"What, are you crazy," shouted Lando as he piloted the skiff. "And just retire on Socorro? No way, not until Cloud City is liberated from Imperial power. I'm with you guys now. It's still personal for me."
The skiff neared the area where Obi-Wan had once called home, and slowly came to a halt. Han struggled to his feet, his legs were still weak. As the group exited the skiff, he pulled Leia towards him and whispered into her ear, "I love you too. And I owe you."
"I know," replied Leia.
To read an interview with Steve Caballero about his experiences as a skateboarding wookie, check the Vans Skate Tumblr page.