Sapphic Skywalkers: Don’t You Forget About Shmi

Sapphic Skywalkers: Don’t You Forget About Shmi

This week, Lynn and Natalie talk about a character who deserves everyone’s love and admiration: Shmi Skywalker, First of her Name, Mother of Jedi and Legends. Then we delve into the larger topic of older and more “motherly” characters being sidelined and not seen as marketable.

You can find the podcast on Twitter @SapphicSkywalk and you can email us at [email protected]. You can also find us on the Not Saf for Work podcasting network feed and website where you can also check out some other cool shows!

Sapphic Skywalkers: Inqueeriority Complex

Sapphic Skywalkers: Inqueeriority Complex

[NEW PODCAST ALERT: Sapphic Skywalkers has joined the Not Saf For Work podcast network! Give them a big warm welcome with their latest episode, and find their previous episodes on the Sapphic Skywalkers feed on podcast apps.]

In today’s episode, Lynn and Natalie dive into the recent news, fangirl over Hera Syndulla, and talk about what it’s like being bi/queer in fandom.

You can find us on twitter @sapphicskywalk and you can email us at [email protected]

Tourist | Thirteen

Tourist | Thirteen

Brief note: this ended up not being the last chapter, oops! One more. 

A phone rings.

In this room, a phone rings. It’s a quiet tone, so soft and melodic I almost mistake it for the music from the TV. Except that music stopped playing over an hour ago.

This is something else.

When I look around, Chase is sitting cross-legged before the window, his body silhouetted by the streetlight, his face lit by the ringing phone in his hand. He tilts his head up, eyes meeting my own. How mine must glow for him, here in this dark room.

“You have her phone,” he says.

“You’re the blocked number,” I say. There’s a pause, a tense, heavy breath held between the two of us. He averts his gaze.

“You’re not telling me something, Chase,” I push. “I don’t know what you’re hiding, but I know you and Audrey lied about why Emily attacked Lissa.” I hang up the call and wave the phone in his direction. “Now I know Lissa didn’t want to see you, and you went to her house anyway. What did you say to her—what did you do to her?”

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Short Story: Blue

This story was a short fiction commission. More info can be found here.


Christina breathes in the spiced scent of growing herbs as she stares out into the star-streaked space beyond the glass. Her breath, caught by awe, reminds her where she is with startling clarity: leaving home in a metal pocket of air, with only the starry void ahead. Of course she’s been on ships before, but never anything long-haul. Not like this. Prepared for six months of life, the spaceliner she’s found herself residing in is massive—and even, she quickly discovered, fitted with a large communal garden filling a dome that faces out onto space.

She’s not alone in the garden. A robot, pale blue and asymmetrically almost-humanoid, crouches beside a green tomato plant nearby, an electronic humming floating from its vocalizer. The robot seems to notice her attention, though it doesn’t look up.

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Tourist | Twelve

Tourist | Twelve

Content warnings for alcohol, suicide, allusions to sexual violence.


If there’s one person I never want to see when I wake, it’s Sam. So when I open my eyes to her sitting at an unfamiliar desk in an unfamiliar room, her back to me, my first reaction isn’t confusion. It’s a sudden exhaustion at the unfairness of the world to place me somewhere so obviously hers.

The room is a mess. Creased clothes tossed over every surface, at least three mugs on the desk, photos peeling from where they were stuck to the wall with gaps showing where pictures have already fallen into the chaos of the room. What sticks out most of all is a jar filled with half-dead flowers beside Sam. There’s enough life in them still to justify keeping them, but I can’t help but feel that the room itself is pulling the flowers closer to death. The limp, purple blossoms lean away from Sam as if trying to escape her anger—her room’s atrophying presence.

Or maybe that’s just how things are when you’re organic. Flowers die. Sam loses Lissa. I continue existing.

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Tourist | Eleven

Tourist | Eleven

“I’m so tired, all day, every day. I could sleep for a week and still need more. It’s as endless as the night sky, and about as bright. Everyone’s always like, ‘Wow, you look so tired!’ Yes, well, I sure feel tired, too. Even moreso now.

Today was the day: I got my results from school. Guess what? I failed! I completely blew my chance at getting into biomed next year. Completely knocked myself off of my future path in one fell swoop. All at once the ground is falling from beneath my feet, and I—

I don’t know what to do anymore. What do I do with myself now? This is everything I’ve been working towards, and I couldn’t even do it. I couldn’t do it!

On the way home I bought a bottle of rum from the store. Don’t judge me—what else do I have going for me now, anyway? I won’t drink much, I know I’m already spiralling. I’ll be good, I’m even going to Chase’s later, and he’ll cheer me up and make sure I don’t accidentally hurt myself. So much for Sam saying he’s a terrible influence, at least he tries to help me. What does she do? If I tell her about failing my classes, she’ll just rub it in my face, maybe start another fight with me. I don’t have anyone left to turn to except Chase and Audrey, not even my parents. It feels so long since Grey was Dad and we could actually talk about things that made me sad. Now, I’m just scared of him.

So, I don’t know, I’ll tell him later. Next week, when I’m feeling better, maybe. If I ever feel better again.

What do I do now? Where do I go? How do I fix this? I know I can fix this, if only someone would tell me how.”

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Tourist | Ten

Tourist | Ten

“They’re lying,” I say. Sam blinks at me, her foot tapping beneath the table.

“Who’s lying?” she asks.

“Chase.” I sigh, her foot stills. “And Audrey. They’ve both been lying to me.”

She takes a moment to figure out what I’m saying, her lips pressing together tightly. “You’ve been talking to Chase?”

“I thought it would help me figure out if he did it.”

She laughs. “Of course he’s been lying to you. Lying is what he does, even if he seems all nice and charming as he does it. Don’t know who Audrey is, but if she’s his friend I bet they’re the same.”

“Audrey was Lissa’s friend, too. She’s an artificial,” I say.

“What?” Sam asks, her tone flat and dangerous. “Lissa didn’t have any artificial friends.”

I wave a hand at her, saying, “Hang on, we’re getting away from what I’m trying to tell you.”

“Which is?”

“Chase and Audrey have both been lying about why Emily attacked Lissa. They said it was because she was friends with Audrey, and because Emily thought Chase was in love with Audrey.”

“What does it matter who Emily thought Chase liked?” Sam asks. Her foot has gone back to tapping, more furiously than before.

“It matters because that’s not true, Emily never thought it was Audrey. Chase knows Emily attacked Lissa because he liked her. He’s lying either to protect Emily, or to protect himself. Both scenarios beg the question of why he’s lying to me.”

Sam tilts her head, her eyes catching the sunlight through the window. “Okay, you’ve lost me. For one thing, how do you know that Chase is lying? For another, how do you know Emily thought he was in love with Lissa?” Her hair bounces with a head-shake. “Besides, Chase never loved Lissa. This whole thing is stupid.”

“I know because of this,” I say, and I place Lissa’s phone on the table between us. At the sight of it, Sam’s eyes widen, her hand flying to her chest.

“What—?” she asks, choking on her words. “That’s—?”

“That’s Lissa’s phone. Her mother gave it to me,” I say. I keep my hand on the phone, worried Sam will grab it and run far away. Her eyes flash.

“You’ve had her phone this long and didn’t tell me? You had no right!”

“Actually,” I say, forcing myself to stay calm in the face of Sam’s rising anger, “I had every right. The phone was given to me by her mother. It only unlocks with my fingerprint. You’ve shown me every step of the way that we’re not friends, Sam. You’re not the only one who gets to hide things.”

“You didn’t even know her,” Sam says. “Why should you get her phone? You’re nothing but a lying ersatz, just wanting to steal her life.”

“I don’t want her life,” I say, keeping my voice soft. “I want my own life, as does every other ersatz. You dragged me into this, and now I’m here, and—” I raise my voice slightly “—I’m trying to tell you that Chase is lying about why Lissa was hurt.”

“Fuck.” She slams her hands on the table. “What the fuck? I see why people say your lot don’t have any empathy.”

Pressing my thumb and a finger to my temples, I let out a deep breath. Cruel, heartless words spring to the tip of my tongue, and I think of how good it would feel to say them, of how delicious it would be to let some of this anger free. Lissa didn’t want you around anymore. Lissa thought you were ruining your life. Lissa wanted Chase more than you.

“Lissa needs you still,” I say. “She kept an audio journal, and there’s a recording she took the night she got home from the hospital. It proves what I’m saying—maybe it shows that Emily had something to do with her death. She was at Lissa’s house the night she died, right?”

Sam fumes for a moment more, her nostrils flaring. I pull earphones from my pocket and place them beside the phone as I pretend to not notice the tears lining her eyes.

“Just listen to this with me, okay?” I ask. “You can hate me all you want, but I need you to help me with this, because I’m still trying to help you.”

She exhales sharply, then grabs one of the earbuds with a quick, “Fine.”

Pressing the other earbud into my ear, I unlock the phone and press the play button for the file. Lissa’s voice bursts to life in my head. Sam gasps, her breath catching with the sound of heartbreak.

“I can’t keep doing this,” Lissa says—she said, long ago, into the phone’s microphone. Her words slur.

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Tourist | Nine

Tourist | Nine

“Who is Chase, really? When I knew him in high school, he didn’t seem like a nice guy—Sam told me he wasn’t, and that was enough for me back then.

But now, I’m not so sure. I’ve talked to him a few times, because he runs laps around the park, and his route intersects where I like to sit and read. He used to just wave and smile, but the last couple weeks he’s stopped to chat, asking me how my study is going, admitting he wouldn’t stand a chance in med. I guess he and I have at least one thing in common, then.

Today, he asked if I wanted to grab coffee. Not in a date way—I’m pretty sure he and that girl Emily are a thing, if they weren’t already one back in high school. He offered in a way that said, ‘I want to be your friend.’

It’s strange, I’m so unused to having friends. Friends other than Sam, I mean. But she’s at work and I’m at uni, and when do we ever really get the chance to talk anymore? I didn’t realise how lonely I was until he asked, how utterly empty I’ve felt from barely speaking a word to anyone every day.

I admit, I was very anxious. Like I was heading into an exam, all cold and shaky and a little sweaty. He either didn’t notice, or he pretended not to, just kept talking and listening with this open, warm friendliness. So many people must exist in his life, he draws you in with those big, blue eyes.

Upon closer inspection over coffee, I noticed the way his eyes would avoid mine when he lost his focus. As if he had to force himself look directly at me. I wonder if he doesn’t like my face, or if he struggles with eye contact in general. And yes, I know, I shouldn’t analyse people like that, but sometimes I can’t help it. It’s my anxiety: I need proof that people don’t just hate me, that there are other reasons for their actions.

He wouldn’t have wanted coffee with me if he hated me, right? I have to keep telling myself that, or else I’ll turn and run and never speak to him again. Chase is someone I can go see movies with, grab lunch with between lectures, someone who will invite me to parties to help me make more friends.

I like him. He makes me laugh, and that’s something I really need these days.”

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Tourist | Eight

Tourist | Eight

“I don’t trust those clouds,” Paiden says, gazing out at the heavy, grey masses hanging over the ocean. “Looks like a storm.”

The sun warms us where we sit on her balcony with glasses of cider, but it looks like it won’t feel so summery for long, not if she’s right about the clouds. Already, there’s a static humidity in the air; a warning of what’s to come. Despite the heat, I shiver.

“I hope there’s lightning,” I say.

She rolls her eyes. “Of course you do.”

It was her idea for us to chill out at her house. She doesn’t say it, but we both know it’s because she’s worried that if we go out, we’ll run into another part of Lissa’s life. The topic of her rests between us like a void: the more we try to ignore it, the more we’re dragged in. Paiden carefully circles conversationally, trying to avoid mentioning anything that could make me think about Lissa. Which is already impossible when my own reflection reminds me of her.

(—when my own depression reminds me of her.)

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Tourist | Seven

Tourist | Seven

Lissa’s phone burns a hole in my pocket while I wander along the beachfront promenade—or at least, that’s how it feels. The little device has been powered off since it died a couple days back, and I’ve been too anxious to turn it back on. I still haven’t mentioned the phone to Sam. I’m not sure why.

Sunlight glimmers across the ocean, the air smells of salt and sunscreen, the walkway vibrates with the footfalls of a jogger. The day is beautiful, so warm and bright, and I can’t feel any of it. The cold mist in my head filters out into the real world, dulling the sun and the gentle breeze. What a strange thing, to suddenly find myself with a brain that steals away the light of living. Did Lissa feel this? Was there a heavy darkness hidden behind her wide smile in that photo?

“Hey!”

I look around instinctively at the call, though I don’t recognize the voice. I don’t recognize the person either. An artificial—what I’d thought was the jogger behind me—slows to a walk as she catches up to me, her candyfloss-pink hair pulling free from a high bun. Her eyes are as blue as the sky and they shine just as bright.

“Hey,” she says again, before leaning over with her hands pressed against her thighs to catch her breath.

“Hi,” I say, hesitant. It’s not uncommon for artificials to chat with each other as strangers, but I’ve never had another artificial run to catch me before. Maybe she’s just lonely.

She pulls another breath and looks up at me. “You don’t recognize me, eh?”

The understanding clicks instantly in my mind.

“You knew Lissa,” I say. Not a question.

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