Title: Symbols Author: JayCee's RedGold Rating: T Genre: Angst/Romance Status: Complete Pairings: Luke Skywalker/Mara Jade Summary: In a universe split in two, a peace treaty is made, but what is a treaty without visible support to show the galaxy? The two governments decide to give the galaxy a tangible symbol of peace... an arranged marrage between Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. OT AU - Repost from TFN's JCF. Link:https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8812314/1/Symbols I've been unsure about posting this for review, as it has it's issues. I enjoyed it though, despite its issues, so lets see what people have to say. As the summary says, this is an arranged marriage fic between Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, but it does a lot of good things with that premise. First, the setting is a pretty reasonable AU. The precise point of departure isn't really addressed in detail, but it seems to be that Palpatine failed to turn Anakin to the dark side, but was still able to execute Order 66. Then, some time later, he died under mysterious circumstances. The result is a Republic and Empire which were nearly equally matched, and who have been locked in a long war. The story starts with a peace treaty, and it is proposed that Luke Skywalker, the son of two of the founders of the new Republic, and Mara Jade, the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, should also marry, as a symbol of the peace agreement. Now, I'll be up-front here. The technical writing has some pretty annoying issues. The dialogue tags and beats are a mess. Words get verbed constantly, and it continues through the entire story. 'Said' is avoided like the plague, though the 'saidisms' used in their place aren't glaring enough to really grate on me. Often, when 'said' is being avoided, you end up with characters whispering, then shouting, then murmering, then roaring. Here, dialogue is still kept fairly neutral, except in cases where some extra oomph is required in the tag. Really, my greatest issue with it is that they use commas for both beats and tags. That said, the actual content of the dialogue is good, at least in my opinion. Luke, Mara, and supporting characters have their own distinct voice, and as Luke and Mara get closer, they start to alter the way they speak and act subtly which is a very nice touch. It is fluff, that much I cannot deny. But it is fluff that has done the most important part, the characters and the gradual friendship and romance, very well. The technical writing could be better, but the characters beneath it just work. It also doesn't overstay it's welcome. As a result, I've found it an enjoyable read. I'd rate it a 4/5.