Leia Organa has never gone by the name of her father, the name of her brother. This doesn’t stop half the galaxy from calling her by it.
“ Skywalker ,” Whispers behind her back, loud assumptions that she corrects, fear and awe and hatred and reverence, all wrapped around a name, and this in part is why she never takes it as her own, not on paper, not in anything but mind.
They get married, and stay that way, legally, even when their family falls apart, even when they go their separate ways. Han Solo’s name is well known and widely disliked, but there are a few out there in the galaxy who, apparently, really don’t have the same naming traditions.
“ Skywalker ,” Hisses and narrowed eyes, smiles and shaken hands, and at first, Han laughs them all off and shakes his head.
“If I wanted the name I would’ve married the other twin.” He jokes, once, only to be met with a puzzled glance.
“To join a family is to become one of them. The family of a Skywalker, is a Skywalker.” Comes the reply, as if that should be obvious, and maybe it is.
Han still never introduces himself as Skywalker, but he stops correcting those who call him by it. It never makes a difference anyway.
Kylo Ren was once Ben Solo, but Ben Solo has been gone for a very long time. His father begs him to come home. Kylo asks him for help, and he can see Han’s eyes flicker with something like wariness, something like acceptance of what he must suspect is coming next. He says yes anyway.
No , Kylo thinks, not in response to any one thing in particular, pressing his eyes shut against the turmoil in his head. His grip on his saber shifts, and his father doesn’t react, doesn’t have time, before the weapon is pressed harshly into his hand, then released. When Kylo opens his eyes, Han looks relieved, and surprised.
“Kill me.” Kylo breathes, so very tired, so very angry, so very weak in his own eyes. “Please.”
“I can’t.” Han says back, tosses the saber aside, but that’s to be expected. The abyss below them beckons, and Kylo closes his eyes again, begins to let himself fall.
He doesn’t make it very far. His father grabs the front of his shirt, drags him back and catches his arm, and then they’re running, and Kylo is stumbling and trying halfheartedly to pull away. Han just holds onto him tighter. Underneath the chaos in his thoughts, underneath the rage and the pain and the guilt, Kylo is grateful.
Rey finds Luke on top of a mountain, and the first thing he tells her is to keep the light saber she’s holding out to him. The second thing he tells her is that he’s sorry. She has an inkling already of what the apology is for, but she pushes the thought back for now, and focuses on what she came for.
“ Skywalker ,” She says it to herself later, much later, when Luke finally finds the right words to tell her out loud, and she isn't ready yet to fully forgive him, but she has to admit the name has a nice ring to it. “Rey Skywalker.”
Rey isn’t sure what to call her cousin, for a time. He is no longer Kylo Ren, hasn’t been since the day Han brought him back from the Starkiller base, but by his own admission he still isn’t Ben Solo. None of them really know if he can be, again, after everything he did. Really, Rey isn’t even sure that she can call him cousin at first, even to herself. It leaves a heavy feeling in her chest, and the memory of searing pain, another mind trying to claw into her own.
Tensions are high between their family, they’re still rarely all in a room together and it’s even rarer that they can have a conversation, and she doesn’t know if that will ever change. In the absence of anyone to really call friend, her cousin tends to seek her out, both of them trying in vain to fix the connection between them without ever actually talking about it. Trying to somehow become family without dealing with past animosity. They will sit next to each other close enough for their shoulders to touch if either leaned a bit, yet they will keep their arms drawn in tight to avoid it ever happening.
Surprisingly, or maybe really not, it’s Finn who begins to breaks the ice, and who provides Not-Kylo with a new name that isn’t really new.
“What do you think of Ben Kylo?” He asks, and both cousins look up from the food they’ve been eating in silence. Not-Kylo opens his mouth to respond, but Rey beats him to it.
“Ben Kylo.” Finn repeats. Beside him, Poe nods, a smile beginning to form.
“It’s the name your parents gave you and the one you chose for yourself,” The pilot points out, and Not-Kylo’s brow furrows like he wants to say he’d gathered that much. He refrains.
“But not his father’s name or the one Snoke and the Order gave him.” Rey finishes Poe’s thought. Finn and Poe both nod this time. Rey looks over at her cousin, questioning, and he looks between all three of them for a moment before shrugging and turning back to his meal. He doesn’t eat, though, just stares at the bowl, then opens his mouth again.
“Thank you.” Ben says quietly. They take that as a yes.
Finn’s started borrowing Poe’s last name, when he needs one, because it’s the first one he thinks of, because it makes sense, in a way, that both his names should come from Poe Dameron. Rey did it too, until she found one of her own, and even then she still goes by Dameron when she doesn’t want the attention her family’s name will bring. Poe Dameron is perfectly fine with his friends’ choice of surnames, because they might be turning something other than friends and he’s perfectly fine with that too.
“ Skywalker ,” A low rumble from a possible ally, and Rey steps forward.
“Yes,” She confirms.
“ Skywalkers ,” A correction, and all three of them pause, blink. Finn looks at Poe, who looks at Finn. Rey looks over her shoulder at both of them.
“Damerons.” Finn corrects. Poe can’t help the smile that springs to his lips, nor the blush that darkens his cheeks.
“And Skywalkers.” An amused chuckle, and none of them try to correct it again.
When they get back to base, and tell the story, Han grins.
“Someone once said to me that the family of a Skywalker, is a Skywalker.” He says.
“Well, I suppose if we’re going to share names, we might as well share more than one.” Rey definitely does not blush as she says this.
“Poe Skywalker.” Poe tries it out, but it’s not quite right; he doesn’t want to shed his own name. “Poe Dameron-Skywalker. There we go.”
“Poe, Finn, and Rey Dameron-Skywalker.” Rey smiles, elbows Finn, and he takes it as an excuse to intertwine their fingers.
“Name?” A question now much simpler for Finn to answer than it was a time ago.
“Finn Dameron-Skywalker.” The now-familiar names roll off his tongue. He might smile, if he wasn’t too busy being worried about Poe. The med-droid pauses at the name Skywalker, looks between the three of them before continuing.
“Relation to the patient?” It asks. Finn looks at Rey, who looks at Finn. Ben looks between them, clearly wondering how they’ve gotten away with sharing names this long without ever answering that question before. This is only his first time on a mission with his cousin and her friends, and if they get hurt this often...
“Are you immediate family members?” The droid rephrases, and that’s an easier question.
“Yes.” Rey and Finn say in unison, not quite a lie. The droid looks at Ben. So do Finn and Rey.
“...Yes.” He agrees.
“Your names?” The droid asks Rey and Ben.
“Rey Dameron-Skywalker, and Ben Skywalker.” Rey answers for the both of them.
The med-droid lets them through.
Sitting by Poe’s bedside, Ben is silent, unsure what to say. Luckily, he doesn’t have to say anything.
“The med-droid knew the name Skywalker, I didn’t know if it’d know the name Kylo, too.” Rey explains. “Better to avoid finding out.”
“Besides,” Poe adds from his bed, smiling without opening his eyes, “‘The family of a Skywalker is a Skywalker’, right?”
Ben thinks that’s probably a rhetorical question.
Ben’s still thinking about it days later, when Poe is well enough to be released from the hospital, when they fly back to base, when he’s sitting cross-legged on the floor of the Falcon, handing his father and Chewbacca tools while they make minor repairs, still trying to get their ship back to what it used to be.
“What’s up, kid?” Han inquires, and Ben looks at him. “I don’t have to be Force sensitive to know you seem distracted.”
“I--” Ben shakes his head, looks at the floor, but when his father stops working, turns to him, he speaks again. “Rey called me Skywalker.”
Han raises an eyebrow.
“And what?” Ben furrows his brow.
“You’re not gonna tell me more than that?” Han asks. Ben takes a moment to find his words.
“It was just to get into the hospital to see the pilot-- Poe.” He says finally. “But, I felt her emotions through the Force--” Something worried flickers momentarily over his father’s face at that “--and she didn’t mind. Sharing her name with me. It’s the first time I’ve felt at all like I was really part of her family.”
“I think Rey just likes sharing her name in general.” He laughs slightly, but it’s sad. “It’s kind of becoming her way of telling people she wants them to stick around.”
Chewy speaks up then, and Han rolls his eyes.
“I’m sure she wants you around too.” He replies. “If you want to be a Skywalker you should ask her. Or Luke.”
Chewy speaks again and shakes his head.
“What do you mean it wouldn’t be natural ?” Han demands, getting back to work. “Here, Ben, hand me that wrench.”
Ben grabs the tool his dad’s pointing to and hands it over, still mulling over his cousin’s apparent habit of claiming people.
“So.” General Organa-- Aunt Leia-- sounds amused, and Rey makes a small questioning noise, still fiddling with the mechanical piece she’s trying to fix. “I hear there are a few more young Skywalkers on the loose around here.”
Rey’s hands freeze, and she glances up at her aunt, who has a slight smile on her face, eyebrows raised.
“Do you think my...do you think Luke minds?” Rey asks, then pauses. “Do you mind?”
Leia waves her off.
“It’s your name to share, not mine.” She replies, still smiling. “And I think Luke is just glad that you’ve accepted it.”
That you’ve accepted him, goes unsaid, but Rey understands it anyway. She’s not sure if that’s just her aunt’s tone, or something to do with the Force, or neither, or maybe just a bit of both.
“It’s my name.” Rey says nonchalantly, knowing Leia will understand the unsaid words behind that statement, too.
“Well, you’re not the last Skywalker anymore.” Leia says, and Luke looks at her from the corner of his eye.
“I didn’t realize I ever was.” He replies. She whacks his arm with the back of her hand, even as smiles begin to creep to their lips.
“Liar.” She mutters.
“How many of them do you think will look up?” Luke asks, looking over the family that’s only recently been rebuilt, and added to. Rey and Ben and Han and Finn and Poe, with Chewy and the droids trying and utterly failing to tell Finn a story.
“All of them.” Leia says, as if it should be obvious.
“Your voice is louder.” He dares her, and she glares halfheartedly while her brother smiles. She takes a deep breath.
“ Hey Skywalker !” She shouts into the room, and she was right: they all look up.
“What?” A chorus of voices calls back to her on instinct. Leia doesn’t have to look at Luke to know he’s grinning.