"Omi twitched. Then involuntarily, her body shifted to being transparent, and then the black color with pricks of starlight. Home will stay home, but you must go, she understood, more than heard. And she knew deep in her hearts that she would not die. No, she was in the right place. In the right moment."
―Excerpt from "The Baptist"[2]

"The Baptist" is a short story written by Nnedi Okorafor for the anthology From a Certain Point of View. The story focuses on the dianoga in the Death Star's garbage chute.

Plot summary[]

"There's something alive in here."
―Luke Skywalker[2]

This story is told from the point of view of Omi, the dianoga that Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa encountered after escaping Detention Block AA-23 aboard the Death Star. Omi's story begins when she is kidnapped from her swamp by several Vodrans. Despite putting up a fierce fight, Omi is captured and placed inside a large spherical tank, which has a tight lid. The sphere is designed to hold a dianoga while still preserving the gases in the swamp water.

After awakening, Omi finds herself in a large cargo bay, overlooking the swamplands. When the warehouse begins to move, Omi realizes that she is aboard a starship. Omi finds herself staring through the window deep into outer space. In distress, Omi comforts herself by telling herself that "home will stay home, but she must go." She also tells herself to stay on path. During the journey, Omi receives a vision of fiery destruction and decides she must leave her prison. Omi reflects on fighting with a male dianoga named Iduna who wanted to exchange a few eggs; dianogas are a species who are able to change their gender at will and take different roles in reproduction. Omi recalls fighting and defeating Iduna through her Force-sensitivity.

Over the next several days, Omi is fed dried fish by her Vodran captors, who slot it through a small hole in the lid. The bland taste of the fish stokes her anger, and Omi decides to make an escape attempt. Using her seven tentacles, Omi manages to pry off the lid and haul herself out of her spherical prison. Despite the dry and cackling atmosphere, Omi is able to slide on the floor the cargo bay. Omi encounters several droids, which she regards as lifeless beings. One of these droids is an MSE-6 series repair droid. She also catches sight of a Hutt walking with a Vodran in white hard casing.

Thinking the coast is clear, Omi makes a dash for the hallway only to run into two Vodran-like individuals encased in white, who turn out to be stormtroopers. When one points a blaster at her, Omi is able to fight and kill the stormtroopers by submitting herself to a power called It. She crushes the first trooper with her tentacles and kills the second trooper with her poison spur. Despite sensing water nearby, Omi decides there is no way she can get off this ship and decides to return to her transparent bowl. The two stormtroopers' bodies are soon discovered and sentries enter the room. However, Omi evades detection since she has screwed the lid on tightly.

For the next several days, Omi spends the rest of her time inside the spherical chamber. As a precaution, two solid metal bars were place on top of chamber. After several days, Omi's ship approaches an object the size of a moon, which turns out to be the Death Star. Omi and her spherical chamber are hauled through the Death Star's sterile corridors by a large speeder. With her eye, Omi sees the interior of the Death Star and numerous droids and stormtroopers. Omi is then funneled down a tunnel into Garbage masher 3263827.

Over time, Omi realized that she was on a "dead planet that had never been alive." She makes herself home in the sewers and garbage compactor, which has a swamp-like environment. Omi survives the false swamp by memorizing the routine of the walls. Twice a "day", the thick metal walls would rumble twice and slowly march toward each other. While there was a large pipe near the bottom whose opening was protected by an invisible barrier until the moment when the old water was flushed out, Omi senses there is a large indenture near the bottom where something had made a deep dent in the left wall.

On the day of Princess Leia Organa's rescue from the Death Star, Omi is consuming a large hunk of rotting meat when Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca flee into the garbage chute. Enacting the belief of her people, Omi pulled Skywalker into the water, "baptizing" him, after she felt that he too was in "submission to It" before releasing him. Omi's actions startled Luke and his companions. During the struggle, Omi sustained a wounded tentacle when Han fired upon her with his blaster. After "baptizing" Luke, she then headed deep underwater before the compression cycle could begin.

Following the encounter, Omi's injured tentacle fell off and grew back. Omi continued living in her false swamp until the fateful Battle of Yavin. Alone and cut off from her people, Omi opened herself to the Force, which told her stories of the universe, peoples, places, wars, and deep lessons. Submitting herself to "It", she taught herself how to spin her body in ways she did not think possible. She also used her Force powers to lift heavy jobs. When the Death Star was destroyed by Skywalker, Omi submitted herself to destiny and wondered who she would become "the next time around."


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Notes and references[]