THE STAR WARS
1. FADE IN:
A sea of stars is broken by the vast blue surface of the planet, Utapau. Five small moons slowly drift into view from the far side of the planet. The main titles are followed by a roll-up:
Until the recent GREAT REBELLION, the JEDI BENDU were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of JEDI perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor. They were the chief architects of the invincible IMPERIAL SPACE FORCE which expanded the EMPIRE across the galaxy, from the celestial equator to the farthest reaches of the GREAT RIFT.
Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed as enemies of the NEW EMPIRE by a ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, THE KNIGHTS OF SITH.
A small silver spacecraft emerges from behind one of the Utapau moons. The deadly little fightercraft speeds past several of the moons, until it finally goes into orbit around the FOURTH MOON.
A harsh gale blows across the bleak grey surface of the Fourth Moon. The leaden sky presses down on a lone figure, ANNIKIN STARKILLER, a tall, heavy-set boy of eighteen. He slowly makes his way across the canyon floor. The heavy winds whip at him and make the going extremely difficult. His face is covered by a breath mask and goggles. He stops for a second to adjust the shoulder strap on his chrome multiplelaser rifle. Something in the sky catches his eye, and he instictively grabs a pair of electrobinoculars from his belt. He stands transfixed for a few moments, studying the heavens, then turns and rushes back in the direction from which he came.
A spacecraft, half buried in the dust, rests next to the remains of an abandoned supply shack. Annikin makes his way across the colorless landscape and rushes into the crumbling building. The interior of the hut is shabby, but manages to abate the howling winds. Seated in front of a thermoheater are Annikin's father, KANE, and his young brother, DEAK. Kane is a large, burly man,
Dad! Dad!... They've found us!
Deak looks up from a small cube he has been studying. His father whacks him across the shoulder with a braided wire connector.
Continue with the problem. Your concentration is worse than your brother's. (to Annikin) How many?
Only one this time. A Banta Four.
Good. We may not have to repair this old bucket after all. Prepare yourself.
Do you have the answer?
I think it's the Corbet dictum: "What is, is without."
Kane smiles. This is the correct answer. Annikin is strapping on a utility belt with chrome lazerpistols and lazersword. Kane rises and starts for his equipment.
Deak, do you feel you're ready?
Yes, sir. I've outmarked Annikin in twelve disciplines. I'm as good...
All right, son, get your gear.
Deak jumps up with the enthusiasm available only to a ten-year old and grabs his gear. His father frowns and shakes his head.
Kane Starkiller and his two sons carefully make their way up a rock bluff overlooking the parked silver SITH spacecraft. Kane inspects the craft with his electrobinoculars.
No tracks. Bi-lock hasn't been opened.... Interior systems are still on....
Are we going to wait for him to come out?
He's not in there.... He's baiting us. I'm surprised they only sent one this time. We must be wearing them down, or they must think this knight is something special.... Stay on guard, and keep hidden. I'm going to work my way across the ridge and call his bluff. Better we meet in open combat than wait for him to ambush us.... Keep your guard!
Kane leaves his two sons and moves off along the obscured ridge. Annikin and Deak watch him intently. Annikin throws down his multiplelazer rifle in disgust.
He should have let me go with him.... He's getting too old to make an open challenge.
He's not too old to realize you'd just get in the way.
Annikin ignores his little brother's remark and sneaks a look over the ridge at the SITH spacecraft. Kane moves out of the rocks some distance away and starts toward the starship. Deak moves to the ridge next to his brother, his chrome lazerrifle sparkling in the reflected light of Utapau.
He's making his move....
Watch your guard... and cover that weapon. It shines like a beacon.
Deak reluctantly move away and watches the other direction. Kane has almost reached the SITH spacecraft and still there is no sign of its occupant.
Nothing. I don't like it.
Kane carefully moves to the main hatch of the starship. He kicks a valve and the hatch drops open with a loud clank and rushing gas. Annikin becomes more tense as his father carefully moves inside the spacecraft. Everything is still. Even the continual winds seem to have died down. Moments pass with no sign of activity inside the enemy starship. Annikin watches the craft with his electrobinoculars. The waiting becomes unbearable.
Something's happened! He's been in there too long.
Let me look! Stand my guard.
Deak takes the electrobinoculars from his brother and studies the silent spacecraft. Annikin impatiently scans the opposite horizon.
I think the power just went off. We'd better wait here until someone comes out.
What if he needs help?
The power went back on again....
Finally, Annikin is able to assume a defensive stance, and the two warriors stand, sizing up each other. The black knight is at least seven feet tall, and dwarfs the young JEDI. They stand for a few moments, almost frozen, then in a flurry of blows, lazerswords clash with the sound of electric snapping and popping. Annikin is barely able to hold his own against the experienced knight. Many blows are exchanged before the SITH warrior is able to back Annikin up against a deep crevasse. Annikin stumbles and almost falls over the cliff to his death.
The black knight suddenly senses something behind him and whirls around to face Annikin's father, Kane Starkiller, a Jedi Bendu master. The Sith warrior raises his lazersword, but is cut in two before he can bring it down again. Kane moves to the fallen black knight, and studies him carefully. Annikin, still a little wobbly from the whole experience, attempts to stand. Kane sees his dead son Deak, and goes to him. He lifts him into his arms and begins to weep. Annikin stands bewildered, watching his father cradle his dead brother.
Kane Starkiller slides into one of the four seats of the small Sith starship. Through the front viewing canopy, he watches Annikin drag his younger brother's body to a small crevasse. Annikin places a small locket around his brother's neck, makes a complicated sign with his hand, and dumps the body into the shallow depression. The giant engines of the spacecraft begin to whine, kicking up large clouds of dust.
Annikin climbs into the seat beside his father and removes his breath mask and goggles. There are tears in his eyes. Father and son look out across the wasteland towards Deak's grave. The thunderous clap of an explosion is followed by a small mushroom cloud rising out of the depression. Annikin throws a container down in a fit of rage.
How many more of them are there? I want to finish it, once and for all! I'm sick of running... When will it stop?
Son, plot a course for AQUILAE.
Annikin lights up like a Bantha at feeding time.
Aquilae!! You mean we're going home?
We both need a rest.
Kane pulls back on the throttle, and the powerful spaceship lifts off the surface of the Fourth Moon of Utapau.
A title card appears over a sea of billowing clouds on the gaseous planet of Alderaan:
Alderaan: Capital of the New Galatic Empire.
The towering white oxide clouds pass, revealing the Imperial city of Alderaan. The magnificent domed and gleaming city is perched, mushroom-like, on a tall spire, which disappears deep into the misty surface of the planet. The peacefulness of this nebulous idyll is broken by the increasing wail of ion engines. Four sleek stardestroyers, from the Imperial Third Fleet, burst from one of the huge cumulus range. The craft are flying in a tight formation as they bank steeply, and head toward the Imperial capital of the galaxy.
Stardestroyers are two-man space craft crammed with sophisticated electronic weaponry. The pilot and gunnery officers sit side-by-side, surrounded by lighted readouts and switches. They wear the gleaming black uniforms of the Empire.
Tok-One to chicks: Shape it up. Let's make it good.
Does that glare bother you?
Use your face shield, Chick-One.
The pilot is cold and professional as he maneuvers his craft closer to the others. The positions of the ships are displayed on a readout, along with a graphic representation of the city. The pilot gives the gunner a quick look before he flips his sunshield over his eyes.
Here we go. Count: three, two, one, now!
On a huge, austere platform stands the dark COS DASHIT, Lord of Alderaan, Consul to the Supreme Tribunal, and ruler of the Galactic Empire. He is a thin, grey looking man, with an evil mustache which hangs limply over his insipid lip. Standing at rigid attention on his right are several generals, dressed in the black and grey uniform of the realm. Five members of the Supreme Tribunal sit off to the side. On the emperor's left stands CRISPIN HOEDAACK, newly appointed Governor of the Aquilaean Systems, a young, treacherous man with stone-cut, angular features and piercing grey eyes.
They all gaze skyward, as the four gleaming stardestroyers scream low overhead in an impressive barrel-roll formation. As the sound of the spacecraft resonates throughout the glass canyon of the Plaza, the group of dignitaries return their attention to the parade of Imperial shock troops, and giant air tanks (which ride magically two to three feet above the ground).
The Plaza of the Dader is filled with a hundred rows of troops as the last brigade marches into position. The sound of a thousand men snapping to attention is followed by a strange silence. A light wind blows the great red banner of the Empire, creating a subtle flapping sound. The emperor's amplified voice startles many of the troops as it cuts through the quiet.
Upon this battle depends the survival of the Galactic Empire. Upon this battle depends the life and long continuity of our civilization. Not since the great Jedi Rebellion has our destiny been placed in such a balance. This is to be the most magnificent campaign of all! You have never been called without doing something to be remembered, something notable and striking. The conquering of the Aquilaean System, the last of the independent Systems, and the last refuge of the outlawed, vile
To the rear of the Plaza, watching
the spectacle over the shoulder of a curious bureaucrat, stands CLIEG
WHITSUN, a tall, blond young man about twenty years old. He seems interested
in what the emperor has to say, but keeps looking around nervously as
if someone were after him. His arm rests across his head, as he carefully
but coolly adjusts a glowing blue ring on his index finger. The emperor
nears the end of his speech.
... I have personally asked the Aquilaeans to accept this Treaty of Alliance. During the long period of negotiation, they have only decided to be undecided. We will barter no longer. Governor Hoedaack has been appointed the First Lord of the Aquilaean System and Surrounding Territories. This is the last frontier and the final stone in the great wall of the Galactic Empire.
The troops cheer, and the emperor escorts Hoedaack inside. Whitsun moves quickly away from the Plaza, passing through several check stations, where he is forced to show his identification.
Whitsun walks into the glass and chrome splendor of one of the famous nightclubs of Alderaan. He moves to the long mirrored bar, and sits next to a rough-looking man, BAIL ANTILLES, dressed in the distinctive gold and furs of the Galactic traders.
Your glass is empty.
Whitsun speaks into a small intercom on the bar front.
A dantic and...
He looks in Antilles' glass.
No thanks, Whitsun. I've had enough.
Just a dantic then. Bail, it's not like you to refuse a drink. You're going to give Galactic traders a bad name.
A drink appears magically from a small elevator in the bar. Whitsun takes it, and then places a pen-like transmitter he has taken from his pocket, next to the intercom. It creates a low electronic buzz.
A controller sitting in front of a row of monitors taps his headphones, then flips a switch back and forth a couple of times. He is obviously annoyed.
Number eighteen is out again. Give me a maintenance check.
The controller yawns and puts his feet up on the control panel.
Whitsun leans in close to Antilles. He is suddenly very serious.
Whitsun, we've got problems. They've just grounded all spacecraft, including trade frigates. Even the ships under Imperial registry can't move. Something big is up.
I'm afraid they're not waiting for the Allience Treaty. They're already moving against the System. I've got to get word back.
The chrome companies are protesting the embargo, but it's going to take some time.
Isn't anything moving?
Military ships, but...
Attention: all Captains and First Officers of Guild Trade frigates will accompany me to the Ministry of Transport immediately.
Antilles gives Whitsun a hopeless look as the troops check their papers, and then take Antilles away. A small fight breaks out in the back of the nightclub as one of the trader captains expresses his dislike of the Empire. Whitsun slams his glass to the bar in a gesture of hate and frustration.
The large, white-on-white executive quarters resound with the high-pitched laugh of the evil GOVERNOR HOEDAACK. He slaps DARTH VADER, a tall, grim-looking general, on the back, and the general's mouth makes the slightest gesture at a smile.
Success, I told you. We are no longer under the control of the Great Families.... We've gained a true advantage.
VANTOS COLL, a member of the Supreme Tribunal, and a man of the grossest dimensions, appears to be a little worried.
A rather dangerous advantage. You still have a System to conquer.
But this System will bring us more scientific wealth than that of any other House in the Tribunal. We will easily gain control of the directorship.
Don't underestimate the armies of Aquilae. They're lead by a JEDI.
I've told you about Commissioner Lars, General. He worries a lot.
It's a myth that any Jedi still exist.
General Skywalker is no myth. When I first arrived at court, he was the First Bodyguard to the emperor... He lead the Jedi Rebellion.
SEIG DARKLIGHTER lead the Rebellion.
So the emperor would have you think, but I was there.
Then why wasn't he hunted down like the others?
Because he is too dangerous,
too clever. Besides, his presence on Aquilae is still only
Then why do you believe it?
Because I knew him. He's there all right. I can sense it. Mark my words... Aquilae will not be easily conquered.
A low, sleek "landspeeder," (an auto-like transport which travels a few feet above the ground on a magnetic field), glides into the courtyard of the palace of Aquilae. The planet is desert wilderness, but the palace is a sparkling oasis, with low concrete walls and great turrets spilling over with foliage from rooftop gardens. The speeder stops before an enormous shaded corridor. Fountains line the beautiful and highly polished, tiled walkway. Two young boys, BIGGS (7) and WINDOM (5) are helped out of the speeder by AMBER, a one-armed bodyguard dressed in the flowing white robes of the Aquilaean military. The two boys run through the long corridors, yelling and screaming, their little footsteps echoing throughout the palace.
The palace library is a dim, cool room projecting an aura of time-worn comfort and security. In the distance, the children can be heard screaming through the corridors. KING Kayos, silver-haired but amazingly youthful under a tanned and leathery face, motions for one of his aidesto shut the partially closed door. He is in the middle of an emergency meeting of the Aquilaean High Senate. The twelve men sit in overstuffed chairs, placed in a large circle. A large, sallow-eyed Galatic trader named AAY ZAVOS fiddles nervously with a small scrap of leather as he speaks.
My Lord, the chrome companies are with you in spirit, but you must understand, they can't openly support you.... Imperial trade restrictions are very unfavorable, and we of course, favor your independence.
If there were to be war, would your frigates still supply us?
Your bluntness is to be commended....It could be arranged.
COUNT SANDAGE, a corrupt noble of the Senate, jumps to his feet in a rage.
This is nonsense! We have no choice but to approve the Treaty. If there is war, the Empire will destroy our entire System with a snap of the finger. General Skywalker is a dreamer if he thinks he can mount any meaningful resistance....And you're dreamers if you believe him. So much trust in one aged man. You must see...
At that moment, all heads turn as someone enters the room. It is GENERAL LUKE SKYWALKER, Commander of the Aquilaean Starforce. He is a large man, apparently in his early sixties, but actually much older. Everyone senses the aura of power that radiates from this great warrior. Here is a leader: a JEDI general. He looks weary, but is still a magnificent looking warrior. His face, cracked and weathered by exotic climates, is set off by a close silver beard, and dark, penetrating eyes. Sandage is somewhat embarrassed and quietly sits down.
Is there anyone here so naive he believes the Empire would even bother negotiating if they were contemplating destruction of this System? Your Excellencies, this is more than a simple raid on your resources. You must reach a decision.
MIR NASH, a thin, birdlike senator, turns to the general.
General Skywalker, war is a serious business... a deadly business.
Procrastination is a deadly business, Senator. War is my business. Have you approved my defense measures?
The GRANDE MOUFF TARKIN wears the long, black robes of the Aquilaean religion. He speaks with a high, cracking voice.
An actual war with the Empire is still only a remote possibility. As a military treatise, your proposal has certain merits, but in the harsh light of reality, an attack against the Empire appears to be a somewhat extreme defense.
You must understand, General, we are interested in avoiding a war, not starting one.
There are times when offense makes the best defense. If that Allience Treaty isn't signed, we will need all of the advantage we can get.
Count Sandage, I want you to head the delegation to Alderaan. You will leave tomorrow with our answer regarding the Treaty. My decision will be forthcoming.
The senators whisper among themselves.
All right, then. May the force of others be with you all.
The senators leave in a flurry of hushed conversation. The general is lost in thought, and remains in his chair. Biggs and Windom (Windy), the king's two young sons, storm through the existing senators and rush on to Kayos' lap. The king is obviously very proud of the two young princes. He throws Biggs into the air, and then catches him again.
Me too! Me too!
LEIA's leaving! Leia's leaving and you gotta say good-bye.
The king picks up Windy and swings him around, then puts him down.
Okay, whippersnapper, go tell your mother and your sister that I'm on my way.
The two boys run out of the room and are heard yelling and screaming down the hallway. The king starts out, but stops in front of the general.
Luke, my daughter is leaving for the academy at CHATHOS. Won't you come and wish her well? It would mean a lot to her. She truly idolizes you, you know. Come on, the war will wait.
Of course. I'm sorry, My Lord. Politics always seem to distress me.
The general rises, and as they head for the door, Kayos pats him on the back.
I know, Luke. I feel THE FORCE also.
A large, four-seat speeder sits gleaming in the sun-soaked courtyard. The PRINCESS LEIA, about fourteen years old, possessing a soft beauty and iron will, is embracing her mother, QUEEN BREHA, a warm, silver-haired matron. There are tears in the princess' blue eyes. Biggs and Windy jump around inside the speeder, disrupting the efforts of the one-armed Amber to pack several plaxiform cases.
Leia embraces the king as he approaches with the general.
Oh, Daddy, I'll miss you so.
The semester will be over before you know it. You'll have a grand time. There are so many new things to learn. I wish I were going.
May your studies do you honor.
Leia is somewhat embarrassed by the general's formality and can only manage an awkward smile before returning to her parents at the speeder.
Hurry Leia. You must make it to Yuell before nightfall.
The princess' maids-in-waiting, ALANA, a short, stocky girl, and MINA, more comely (somewhat the same stature as Leia) with long dark hair, giggle and straighten Leia's dress before she enters the speeder. The princess and Mina hug Alana whose giggles have turned to tears. The two boys scramble out of the speeder as Amber helps the princess and her maid into the back seat. The speeder is piloted by a trooper of the First Order. Amber jumps into the seat beside him, and the speeder starts with a low buzzing sound. The princess waves to her family, and Mina waves to Alana as the speeder slowly glides out of the courtyard.
The war room is a mass of glass enclosures, electronic wall displays, monitors, and computer stations. General Skywalker enters a control station, followed by a covey of military aides of various ranks. As the group hurry through the crowded room, men rise and salute the new arrivals. The general stops before a giant display of the galaxy. Small symbols flash on and off over various portions of the big board. The general studies it intently.
CAPTAIN MONTROSS, one of the general's aides, snaps to attention.
What's the TQ on this?
The last frigate to leave the Imperial capital was at twenty-three forty, Sir.
Have any ships at all left the planet? (to another aide) Check with the Guild on Norton three.
At twenty-four hundred, a full battalion of stardestroyers left for what is projected to be ANCHORHEAD, or a nearby System.
And no word from Whitsun. He should have reported by now. Captain Prue!
An older, academic looking aide, steps forward.
What do you make of this?
A battalion is invasion force... but the Empire controls that entire part of the galaxy.... A revolution, maybe. At any rate, they're going in the wrong direction to be any trouble for us.
The general ponders this for a few moments, then speaks almost to himself.
I don't know... It doesn't feel good.
Put 'em on alert.
It's restricted. You'll have to wait...(etc.)
Get out of my way, boy, before I grind you into the surface...(etc.)
As the dauntless Starkiller approaches the general, the guards stop in bewilderment as General Skywalker rushes up to the warrior and embraces him. The two Jedi warriors laugh jubilantly and slap one another, as the aides and bureaucrats look on in amazement.
Kane Starkiller - you old muscle-rat! What a sight! We heard that you had been executed.
So the Empire would like to believe. I've been in the KESSIL System. You remember little Annikin.
Kane puts his arm around his son, who has been making eyes at one of the cute young female aides. He bows before the General.
He takes after his mother! (They laugh) It's so good to see you.
The cute aide goes back to her duties, flirting with Annikin as she passes. The young warrior pinches her on the ass, which startles her, but she goes on like nothing happened.
What a sight!
The two JEDI stand looking at one another, hardly believing the other is real. Finally, the general realizes his aides are standing around, gawking at the duo.
GENERAL (to the aids)
Wake up, gentlemen. You're on alert. Keep me posted on that battalion.
The general, Starkiller, and his son enter a small glass enclosed control office. They sit, and an awkward silence passes as each man waits for the other to speak.
I've come for your help.
Anything you ask. You're a JEDI brother. We're one.
My friend, we've been through much together...I've been through much since we parted. I've lost much... The Empire has chased us half way across the galaxy... There is no refuge. One day they will come here... Take my son as your Padawan Learner. He would be a Jedi. I've trained him from birth. He's reached the fifth stage. He fought in the Kessilian civil wars and commanded a Hubble expedition to the CONE Systems. He's a good boy, Luke, and one hell of a fighter.
The general looks down, somewhat embarrassed. He scratches his head, then smiles.
Old friend, you do me too much honor. I was never a match for you. Why don't you finish his training yourself?
I'm too old, Luke. I can't go on... You must finish it.
What kind of talk is this? You're not the old Starkiller I remember. Too old?!?
Starkiller suddenly ignites in a rage and swings his left forearm down with a mighty blow across the solid chrome desk the general is-sitting-on. The old JEDI warrior's forearm cracks in two, spewing forth wires, and many fine multicolored electronic components. The artificial limb flops lifelessly to Starkiller's side. The warrior rips open his tunic, revealing a plastic chest stuffed with flashing electric parts.
I'm not the same. There is nothing left but my head and right arm... I've lost too much, Luke...I'm dying.
The general bows his head in sorrow for one of the greatest warriors in the galaxy and a dear friend.
I'm sorry. I keep losing control. I'm very tired...Take my son! The JEDI-BENDU must survive. We must pass it on. Only a JEDI can stop the Empire. We're very old, Luke. A new generation of JEDI must be started. Take him; teach him the way of the JEDI-BENDU...
Captain Montross bursts into the office and somewhat excitedly salutes the general.
Sir, we have picked up something! An asteroid, or solid comet moving away from the Anchorhead System.
The general rushes out of the control station and back to the giant Galactic display. He is followed by Montross, Starkiller and his son.
Are you sure it's not the battalion?
A solid object. It's as big as our Third Moon.
It's too large to be man-made, and it's too slow to be a comet.
It's too far out.
I'll be with the king. Report as soon as you can get a reading on it. (turning to Kane's son) Captain Starkiller, from now on you stick close to me.
The older Starkiller smiles, and puts his good arm around his old friend.
King Kayos moves his arm around BREHA's waist as they stand on a balcony watching the giant twin suns of Aquilae disappear behind a distant dune range. The general enters, rather in a rush, followed by the young Starkiller, who is now dressed in the white uniform of the Aquilaean starforce. (He still wears the distinctive Kessilian hair knot.) They bow before the king.
KAYOS (pointing to the suns)
Aren't they beautiful, General? "Always and never the same." You're just in time for dinner.
I have come for other reasons. Could....
Relax, General. We will discuss it, but over dinner. There are times, Luke, when I find you a bit too rigid. Is this your new disciple?
Annikin Starkiller, Sir.
He left for the spaceport at GORDON to visit an old friend, Han Solo, the Ureallian.
We are becoming quite a refuge.
The group sits at a large table, and food is brought in by servants. They eat. Starkiller is nervous and watches the general, to make sure he is being proper.
My Lord, several events have occurred which lead me to believe we are in imminent danger of attack. There is no longer time for discussion and debate...
Whitsun, our best agent, has disappeared in the Imperial capital. There is unusual military traffic in the S-4 sectors...
Unless you have direct, concrete proof of a pending attack, there is nothing I can do.
By the time we have proof, it may be too late.
Luke, I'm leaving tonight for AMSEL. I'm meeting with the full assembly first thing in the morning. I am not going to approve the Alliance Treaty, and I will get your defense measure approved. Just be patient. You will have the war code.
Tomorrow may be too late. My Lord, I need the war code now. We must get our forces into space.
But it must be done legally, with everyone's approval. Tomorrow you will have that. I doubt the Empire would attack before receiving our answer. The separation of war powers is the one condition upon which you assumed command of our forces. You're a friend, Luke, and I trust you. But you're also an outlander who controls a great deal of power. I can't forsake my oath any more than you can. Just be patient. You will have the code tomorrow.
Captain Montross enters the large chamber and bows before the king.
I bring a report to General Skywalker, My Lord.
You may deliver it.
Sir, the asteroid has disappeared from our scopes. There is no trace of it.
Were they able to analyze it?
It never came within range, Sir.
The general rises, quickly followed by Starkiller.
Excuse us, My Lord. We'd better get back. I will wait patiently for the approval.
The general and Montross exit the chamber. Starkiller takes one last bite of his dinner, then dashes after his mentor.
The general sits rigidly, facing the big Galactic display board. Several aides and bureaucrats rush to and fro, ignoring the general. He is asleep. Captain Prue approaches the general and snaps to attention. The general's eyes open.
What are the results?
Are you sure?
It's just not possible. Something that size can't just disappear without a trace...Check it again.
That's the tenth negative, Sir.
I said check it again.
Captain Prue retreats to a computer station. The general looks around for Starkiller.
Everyone near the general turns, but Starkiller doesn't show.
Where is that boy? Montross!
Montross goes back to his station and a few moments later, Starkiller is paged over the P.A. system. The general waits, watching the big board. Eventually, Starkiller stumbles out of an enclosed computer closet, fastening his pants and tucking in his tunic. A moment later, the cute female aide rather sheepishly exits the computer closet. She is also in the process of putting her uniform back together. Starkiller rushes up to the general and snaps to attention.
The general lets him stand there for a moment, not acknowledging his presence; then, suddenly, without warning and in one masterful flash motion, the general stands, grabs a small baton attached to his belt (which immediately ignites into a four-foot glowing lazersword,) and swings at the young warrior's head. In an equally quick movement, Starkiller ignites his lazersword and blocks the general's blow. Everyone in the war room is surprised and startled. After a moment, they rush to the general. Starkiller and the general stand motionless for a few moments, with lazerswords locked in mid-air, creating a low buzzing sound. Finally, the general grins, and Starkiller hesitantly relaxes. They lower their swords and turn them off.
You are trained well, but remember, a JEDI must be single-minded, a discipline your father obviously never learned, hence your existence. Clean yourself up. Discipline is essential. Your mind must follow the way of the BENDU.
It won't happen again, Sir. There are many new....
General Skywalker, white com.
The general moves to a control station and picks up a phone.
Sir, Captain Whitsun has just been admitted to Med Vac.
What's his condition?
No data, Sir.
I'm on my way.
Captain Starkiller waits in an outer chamber as General Skywalker rushes into the Med Vac emergency room where several doctors are working on the prostrate Whitsun.
What's his condition? Is he conscious?
Partially. He's be all right - a few bruises, primary exhaustion....
Whitsun thrashes around in a semi-conscious state. He sees the general.
What happened, boy? What's going on?
WHITSUN (with difficulty)
The Imperial Starforce is already on its way, not far behind me... They're going to attack.
Are you sure?
I have tapes...A giant space fortress....
He struggles to give General Skywalker his ring.
As big as our Third Moon?
Bigger. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Sophisticated deflection systems.... work in opposition to the suns.
They will show up on our screens at sunrise. They'll attack before that.
The general rushes into the outer chamber where Captain Starkiller is waiting for him.
Take the fastest landspeeder to CHATHOS. Pick up Princess Leia... and only Princess Leia. Return by way of the Great Reef. Most speed.
Starkiller exits and the general goes to an intercom and pushes several buttons.
Full alert....everything! Get the Royal Family back here.
The princess is at CHATHOS. There are no transports....
I've already sent Captain Starkiller for her! Contact the king, first priority. He's probably still en route to AMSEL. Use the scan com. I'm on my way.
The war room is on full alert. Everyone is at attention, waiting for the command that will put them into action. The general enters a communication center, followed by many aides. Captain Montross and the com aide salute.
We're having a problem getting through, Sir. There is a great deal of interference.
It could be jamming.
Try a surface link through AMSEL.
The aides go back to the com-link system to try to get a line through to the king.
We should be able to spot them at sunrise....That's not too far off.
They'll attack with sunrise. Until the king gives us that code to start the war computers, we'll just have to sit tight.
All units are on alert, Sir.
GENERAL (to Montross)
Have you made contact yet? (to himself) This is one hell of a way to run a war.
A landspeeder roars into a courtyard of the Academy at Chathos. Starkiller jumps out, and runs up to the large, heavy doors of the academy. They are locked. He bangs madly on the carved metallic door, until finally an old woman manages to swing it open. Starkiller rushes past her into the main courtyard where Princess Leia and her hand-maiden, Mina, struggle with two large cases. They are followed by two very old matrons, dragging several more cases.
Forget the cases - we've no time.
These are my things. They must...
I said forget them, and hurry...
Just who do you think you are?
I will not be treated like this! You bring my things.... My father will have your head... (etc.)
Leia struggles to break away from the young warrior's grasp as he opens the door of the speeder.
When the door to the speeder is opened, Mina starts in, and Starkiller stops her.
You must stay. Here, take the Crest.
Starkiller rips the royal crest from the princess' neck, and hands it to the startled handmaiden. The old women gasp in horror. The princess starts hitting Starkiller with little result.
Mina's not staying...I'm not leaving her. You can't....
Starkiller punches her square on the jaw and knocks her cold. Mina is panic stricken, one of the old women faints, and another starts for Starkiller with a large staff.
She'll be all right. I'm taking
her to safety...
The authority of Starkiller's voice stops the old lady. He places the princess into the speeder, and maneuvers it out of the courtyard. Mina puts on the crest as the speeder races away from the academy.
Queen Breha, Biggs and Windy are escorted into a rest area of the war room. General Skywalker sits rigidly in a chair in the communications area, apparently asleep.
Sir, we've made contact!
What is it, General?
The Empire will attack on the rising of the sun. My agent made it back. I now have proof. I need the war code...
I'll relay it directly to the computer. Is Breha...?
The Royal Family is safe. Starkiller has gone after Princess Leia...
I'm on my way back.
The small caravan of four speeders sits motionless on the vast red plains of Aquilae. The king returns the intercom to the pilot and takes a small metallic card from around his neck and gives it to the co-pilot.
Send this sub-land, priority one. (to the pilot) Get us back to CALVAS immediately!
The four speeders turn around and scream away in the direction they had come. They pass a huge ultrasleek powerplow, planting green fungus in endless furrows. Two clay-covered farmers, riding atop the ponderous machine, watch the speeders disappear over the horizon, and into the rising twin suns. A bright object, twinkling in early morning heavens, catches the eye of the older of the two farmers, and he brings the machine to a lumbering halt. The younger farmer also notices the object, and stares skyward, shading his eyes to get a better view.
Suddenly there is a huge, bright atomic flash on the horizon. A few moments later, a thunderous shaking, followed by high winds, tumbles the older farmer from his perch. A second flash on the opposite horizon brings another jolting earthquake, and the younger farmer collapses, terror frozen on his face.
26. READYROOM - SPACEPORT OUTPOST - AQUILAE
Chaos. Red scramble lights are flashing. Alert horns and attack buzzers create an unbelievable cacophony. Air warriors, with the distinctive circle and cross medallion on their white space suits, scramble out of the low, concrete readyroom, grabbing helmets and spacepacks as they race out of the door.
Twelve pilots and navigators dash in unison to a line of waiting two-man starships of the destroyer class. Ground crews scurry back and forth, loading last-minute armament, and unlocking power couplings. PILOT LEADER, a rugged, handsome boy of twenty, gives his ground crew a signal that his is okay. He has a winning smile and a distinctive scar along the side of his face. His crew chief pats him on the back.
Knock them all the way back to Alderaan.
The canopy is closed and the powerful starship moves onto the runway. Other crewmen say good-bye to their pilots, some grin, some kidding - all with a great deal of hidden emotion. The din of two dozen retrorockets cuts through the uproar, and six silver spacecraft leave the runway, and disappear into the morning cloud cover.
The general stands before a giant display of the Aquilaean solar system. Montross signals the general.
They're away, Sir. Six from Gordon. All other spaceports were hit. The king hasn't arrived yet.
Keep checking. Put those fighters' intercom over the P.A.
The general sits at one of the intercom panels, and puts on a headphone. A row of monitors is before him. He turns to Montross.
Where are they?
The eerie, reddish-yellow planet of Aquilae slowly drifts into view from total eclipse. A small, bright speck, orbiting
Pilot Leader, in the first ship, signals to his navigator who sits in a small, isolated glass bubble to the rear of the craft. General Skywalker is seen on one of many monitors. A view of the space fortress is on another. The rest are filled with various computer readouts and displays. One of the other starships reports to Pilot Leader.
DEVIL SIX (intercom)
Look at the size of that thing! Hey, Bowman, I hope you remembered to bring your pop gun, 'cause I think we caught us a big one this time....
Cut off, Devil Six....Stand by.
It looks like they're still using the basic quad-tristation configuration. Use a "ranger defense." Concentrate on breath ports and lock areas.
Affirmative base...Copy and transmit....Devil Two, check your rotation plates.
Roger, Boss. We're getting a threshold disturbance on gyro-three.
Switch over, Five, cover it! ...Devil pack, generate a spread six formation...May the force of others protect you.
Settle in...Devil pack, stand by. Mark five...break off. Here we go. God save us all.
31. SPACE - AQUILAEAN STARSHIP
Fuel pods are jettisoned. The half-dozen fighters break off into a powerline attack on the huge fortress. Multiple lazerbolts streak from the starships, creating small explosions on the complex surface of the fort.
The chaos of battle echoes through the vast corridors of the fortress. Walls buckle and cave in, sucking debris and personnel into the vacuum of outer space. Alarm sirens scream as soldiers scramble to large turbo-powered laser gun emplacements. Sergeants yell orders through the smoke and confusion. Men and robots of various shapes and sizes run to their battle stations.
The monitors with pictures from the starships suddenly go blank. Technicians check channels as others in the war room silently listen to the action over the intercom. The general remains calm, but concerned.
PILOT LEADER (intercom)
Tighten it up... Devil Two, tighten it up. Watch those towers....
DEVIL TWO (CHEWIE)
Heavy fire, Boss. Twenty-three degrees.
I see it. Pull in... we're picking up some interference.
Wow, I've never seen such fire power.
Pull in, Devil Two...Pull in! Chewie???!!
DEVIL TWO (CHEWIE)
I'm all right, Boss. I've got a target.
There is too much action, Chewie. Get out!
Break off, Chewie....Acknowledge. Devil Six, can you see Devil Two?
I've lost him. There's a very heavy fire zone on this side. My radar's jammed.
He's gone....no, wait. There he is...Fin damage, but he's all right.
A sigh of relief sweeps across the war room. The monitors flash on, then off again.
DEVIL FOUR (intercom)
Watch your back, Boss! Watch your back!!
The speedy little fighters dart back and forth across the soft underbelly of the fortress, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.
Converge on south axis point, point three nine four. It appears accessible. I'm going to map the surface. Devil Four, cover me!
Pilot Leader and Devil Four dive in unison through a forest of radar domes, antennae, and gun towers. Devil Four fires into the protrusions as the two starships criss-cross the surface of the fortress. Suddenly, a dense barrage of lazerfire erupts from a tower, catching Devil Four broadside. The spacecraft bursts into a million flaming pieces. Pilot Leader reacts to the loss of his wing man, but continues on his mission.
Constant explosions rock the interior of the fortress. Civilians, including women and children, scurry for safety in the panic-ridden hallways. Two construction robots, ARTWO DETWO (R2D2) and See Threepio (C3P0), are blown, slipping and sliding across the hallway floor into some freight canisters. Both robots are rather old and battered. ARTWO is a short, (three feet) claw-armed tri-pod. His face is a mass of computer lights, surrounding a radar eye. THREEPIO is a tall, gleaming android of human proportions. He is thin, with a totally metallic surface of an Art Deco design. The robots attempt to get out from under the canisters, but rushing gas from a broken pipe keeps knocking them over.
This is madness; we're going to be destroyed. I'm still not accustomed to space travel.
The external bombardment does appear to be concentrated in this area. The structure has exceeded the normal stress quotient by point four, although there appears to be no immediate danger.
No immediate danger! You're faulty. This is madness!
Artwo gives Threepio a sheepish look and clings to a siderail for dear life, as debris flies through the hallway.
Devil Two (Chewie), a young hotshot of about sixteen years, miraculously dives his ship through a virtual wall of lazer fire, and blasts a huge radar disc into dust. Chewie signals his navigator, who lets out a whooping cheer, as the craft veers into a victory roll.
Great moves, Chewie. Regroup at point two, zero one. Coincide, Devil Six.
Mace, your map projection shows a weak point at south portal: niner point six. Concentrate the attack on that point. Coordinate.
I see it... It looks good.
Devil Five and Devil Three bob and weave in formation toward a giant transformer jutting from the fort's surface.
I've got a... We're hit. We're hit.
Eject... Eject. Babs, Babs, do you read?
I'm okay. I can hold it. Clear me a little, Devil Five... Watch it! Watch it!
Devil Three wobbles a little, then drops away sharply, plowing into a lazergun emplacement, causing a hideous series of chain reaction explosions.
A huge explosion rips a large hole in the ceiling of a subhallway. Artwo and Threepio are in a state of shock as they scramble through the rubble. There is a constant sound of creaking and snapping as the sections of the hallway resettle in the fortress superstructure.
You're a mindless, useless philosopher... Come on! Let's go back to work; the system is all right.
You overweight glob of grease. Quit following me. Get away. Get away.
Suddenly, the hallway lurches, and a dead trooper falls through a gaping hole in the ceiling. The foot of the carcass is caught in the rubble and it hangs upside down, staring at the two robots. Artwo grabs Threepio, and they cling to each other in terror.
We're lost. We're destroyed.
Three sharp blasts from an airhorn send the two androids running for cover in a burned-out doorway. Five grim-faced troopers riding small rocket platforms pass the two mechanical men.
The five troopers race through several hallways, and finally stop in front of an important looking office complex. Two officers dismount and enter the complex. They pass through several heavily guarded doorways until they reach the main chamber. Seated behind a large, cluttered desk surrounded by generals and attaches is Governor Hoedaack. General Vader paces in front of a row of blank monitors. The two officers salute General Vader.
All com-link power is out. Twenty-two transformer sections have been destroyed. The situation is grave on all southern levels. Com-link communication should be repaired shortly.
Don't look so worried. Not even a JEDI could penetrate this fortress...We've already wiped out most of their forces.
If it goes on too long, we'll run over budget. When do the landings begin?
As soon as the attack has been broken: not long.
A short, stocky attache salutes the general.
Contamination has set in on quadrants B-5 and R-4. All sections are sealed. We've lost two major power stations in the southern quadrants. That puts section 5-1 in serious trouble.
The general turns away in controlled anger and embarrassment.
The general sits in a glass enclosed computer station, watching the battle progress on several monitors. An officer enters and salutes the general.
Analysis reports those ZQ configurations are definitely power transformers...Everything in the southern sectors of the fortress is out.
I'm surprised they are still using external power units. It's a definite weak point. Concentrate on searching for the main crosslink transformer.
The officer exits as Montross rushes in.
The senate has voted to end the war.
They can't do anything without the king's approval; which gives us a little time...Have you been able to regain contact with the king?
No, Sir. All ground communications are jammed.
Send four men..from third squad, to meet the king, and escort him back. Let me know before he arrives. Is Starkiller back with the princess?
No, Sir. They're long overdue.
Pilot Leader checks in over the intercom.
All right, base one, we're in position.
An officer with headphones looks to the general. He signals to attack.
All four starships dive in formation toward a main transformer area, flanked by several solar towers.
Hold your fire until we're within point zero five four... Make it count.
Several ack-ack lazers begin to open fire on the approaching spacecraft. The starships direct their fire at a large black transformer, which when hit, spurts bright blue and white electrical arcs. One of the starships (Devil Five) explodes and careens out of formation, leaving an erratic trail of smoke, before eventually crashing into a solar panel.
The impact of the exploding starship can be felt throughout the giant fortress. The tall, gleaming Threepio races through several corridors, yelling at Artwo, who struggles vainly to keep pace with his stubby mechanical feet.
....I don't care what you do, but I'm getting out. All the power's out. Those explosions are coming from the reactor section. This is the end. Abandon ship.
Our work - we can't leave! It's desertion. It's not possible. It's not possible.
Your programming is so limited. My first order is preservation. You stay. I'm going to eject before the whole thing goes up.
Threepio breaks open the seal on an emergency lifepod. A red warning light begins to flash, and a low hum is heard. The lanky chrome android works his way into the cramped four-man craft.
These lifepods aren't for us! It's not right!
A new explosion, this time very close, sends dust and debris through the narrow passageway. Flames lick at the two robots. The runt-sized Artwo jumps into the lifepod.
It's the end. Eject. Eject.
The safety door snaps shut, and the pod ejects from the fortress.
The terrified androids in the lifepod speed away from the fortress, and pass the attacking starships.
Object approaching. Attack bearing...
It's a lifepod. Forget it. We've got...
Devil Four is hit by lazer fire, and disintegrates, leaving a trail of flaming particles. The two remaining craft continue the assault. Chewie and Pilot Leader watch the remains of Devil Four disappear. The general appears over one of the monitors.
Analysis indicates transformer code zero three is the main relay. Hit it, and the whole thing goes dead.
We're on our way.
A row of monitors and the main overhead lights go on, and a trooper appears on one of the screens.
Internal relays operative. All power restored. All contaminated areas sealed.
An officer appears on another monitor.
Only two enemy craft remain operative. We calculate victory by zero three hundred.
General Vader switches to another monitor.
Alert the invasion forces. (turning to the governor). The planet is ours. A three hour war. You expected longer. JEDI or not, we've beaten him, and the culture is intact.
A truly great prize for the Empire. They have a treasure of biotic science. Genetics, cloning - they've added twohundred years to a lifespan. Remember, you must capture at least one member of the Royal Family alive. The Aquilae family has ruled this system for ten thousand years. The people will follow no other. If the royal line is broken, there is a good chance the entire population will destroy themselves and their knowledge before submitting to our rule.
The general is interrupted by a call on one of the monitors.
OFFICER (on monitor)
We've received a message from the planet....
General Skywalker watches a giant computer display of the space fortress mapped by the starships. An aide approaches.
Sir! The king's convoy has destroyed at CALDIN. All the bodies were contaminated.
I will audience with the queen.... Who knows of this?
Many. It came through civilian sources.
Confine Senator Sandage to his quarters. Use any pretext. Where is the senator now?
Sandage and several other senators enter the computer station.
Right here, General...It's over. We've already relayed peace terms to the Empire, and they've been accepted. Your war has ended.
The general is angry and stands pointing at the senators. They jump back, as if the general were pointing a gun at them.
Senator, this war isn't over. It's just begun. I take my commands from the Royal Family.
The queen concurs. I have her written decree. It is to be implemented immediately..... I order you to cease the attack.
Treason? Revolution? The people won't follow you, General...nor will your troops. I suggest you follow your orders.
The reddish-yellow mass of Aquilae seems to engulf the tiny lifepod containing the two fleeing androids.
It's desertion. They'll destroy us. How could this happen?
That's funny. The damage doesn't look as bad from out here.
Pilot Leader and Devil Two make a second dive on the now smoldering transformer area. All firing from the fortress suddenly stops. Pilot Leader looks back to his navigator, who is equally puzzled. The two fighters continue to attack the now silent fortress.
CHEWIE (Devil Two)
I don't get it. What do you think, Boss?
General Skywalker appears on the monitors.
GENERAL (with difficulty)
Base one to Devil Leader...Scramble code niner. Break your attack, and return to base. Repeat, break your attack. Confirm.
They're hurt, Sir, but they still have power. We should finish....
Break off. The war is over. Run on white lights. Get back here, Mace. We're going to need you.
Confirmed, base one. We're on our way. Did you copy, Chewie?
The two starfighters break
off the attack and start back toward the planet. Without warning, the
fort directs con-
PILOT LEADER'S NAVIGATOR
We're under fire...They're still shooting. I thought it was over. We're hit! We're hit! Pilot is dead.... Ejecting.
The dead "Pilot Leader" is jettisoned free of the craft, but the navigator's eject panel is dead. He struggles with it, then bangs on the canopy to no avail. The navigator is still trapped in the craft when it explodes, leaving only a puff of pink smoke reflected in the rim light of the planet.
Pilot Leader's dead body drifts toward his arid motherplanet. Automatic rockets kick-in occasionally, to direct and soften the landing. Two grey-clad troopers stand next to a military "landspeeder;" watching the descending airwarrior through electrobinoculars. Mace's corpse hits the ground rather hard, creating a whirlwind of dust, and the two troopers rush over to the pilot. The younger of the two troopers, a young boy in his teens, cradles the dead starpilot in his arms and begins to cry.
General Skywalker sits alone, meditating in the deserted war room. Montross approaches the contemplative general.
No sign of Starkiller or the princess. There was much damage in that area... The queen will see you at ten hundred.
The general doesn't reply.
49. ASSEMBLY - DEPARTURE AREA - IMPERIAL SPACE FORTRESS
General Vader stands behind a row of men at computer control panels. A commander reports to the general.
All enemy craft destroyed. First and fifth division, troops and equipment standing by.
The general gives a sly smile of approval and takes a microphone from one of the computer technicians. He speaks to the troops and pilots waiting in their huge war machines for the invasion order.
The war is won. With the conquering of this System we have ushered in a new millenium for the Empire; which will echo throughout the universe. Our reward is the knowledge this system possesses. This planet must be controlled with a minimum of force, but you must not think lightly of this enemy. They have exacted a heavy toll. Today you will make the Empire complete. Do so with pride and care.
Vader puts down the mike, and turns to his commander.
Let the invasion begin.
JUNDLAND, or "no man's land," where the rugged desert mesas meet the foreboding dune sea. The two helpless astro robots kick up clouds of dust as they clumsily work their way across the desert coastline. The short Artwo struggles desperately to keep up with the long-legged Threepio.
It's not possible. We're not built for this. You're nothing more than a dim-witted, emotion-brained intellectual. Why you were created is beyond my logic systems. Thanks to you, we're deserters, and will probably be destroyed on sight. And on top of that, you're going the wrong way! All this filth is getting....
The towering Threepio stops short and turns on the blabbering mechanical runt.
I've had enough of you, you pragmatic, near-sighted scrap pile. You go your own way.
You'll be malfunctioning within a day. You're going the wrong way, but your way is always the wrong way.
Threepio stops and yells to the smaller android.
And don't let me catch you following me, begging for help, because you won't get it from me.
Artwo's reply is a rather rude sound, which only an electronic person could make. He turns and trudges off in the opposite direction into the rocky desert mesas.
Threepio, hot and tired, struggles up over the ridge of a dune, only to find more dunes, which seem to go on for endless miles. He looks back in the direction he came.
You little malfunctioning twerp. This is all your fault. You tricked me into going this way, but you'll do no better!
He sits in a huff of anger and frustration, knocking the sand from his joints.
Artwo stumbles through a narrow
canyon until he climbs over a small boulder and sees before him a sight
he first thinks is a mirage. Nestled in a rock formation is a deserted
Shivers run down Artwo's metal spine, and again he has an eerie feeling that he is being watched. He slowly looks around, and sees a large man, Captain Starkiller, standing directly behind him. He is startled, then terrified.
Where is your master?
The little robot clicks and rattles, but doesn't speak.
Can't you speak? How do you relate your data? You're of Karollian manufacture... You should be able to talk. Are you damaged?
Starkiller pokes at the machine, but doesn't see any damage. Artwo eyes him suspiciously. The robot turns with a start and discovers a young girl, Princess Leia, has been standing next to him for some time.
Well, General, who's your friend?
I don't know. He doesn't seem to be able to talk. Damaged, probably....Jettisoned from a damaged ship...
What do you intend to do with it?
We'll take it with us. Could be a storehouse of valuable information.
Starkiller guides the android into the small luggage area behind the front seat, then hops into the driver's seat.
I don't want to ride with that hing. I order you to destroy it immediately.
Get in! We've got to hurry if we're going to get across the "dunehedge" by nightfall... You're coming, one way or the other. Will you join us peaceably?
The princess reluctantly gets into the speeder, and it starts with a jolt.
53. LANDSPEEDER - DESERT MESAS - AQUILAE
The speeder flies along, a foot or so above the landscape.
You are such a barbarian. I'll have my father cut you into little pieces when we get back...and I'll take pleasure in feeding you to the GONTHAS....a little bit each day. I may save your eyes though. I'll have them petrified and made into a necklace.
Your sweetness is only surpassed by your beauty. Just try to remember, I'm only following orders.
... to beat me and abuse me?
I'm afraid I've only learned one way to treat wild animals.
Artwo thrashes about, trying to relieve the pressure on his crumped legs.
You stay out of this.
Threepio struggles to the top of a large dune. He is dirty and hot. His plight seems hopeless. He searches the horizon for any sign of life. A glint of reflected light in the distance, reveals an object speeding toward him. The chrome android waves frantically, and yells at the approaching speeder. The sleek landspeeder races past him about a hundred yards away. He runs after it, screaming in desperation, until he stumbles and falls head over heels down an enormous sand dune. Silently, the speeder sweeps around in a circle and stops behind the immobile robot. Starkiller jumps out of the landspeeder and is quickly followed by Artwo.
We're in a hurry, remember! If you're going to stop for every unfortunate along the way, we'll never get back. We're lucky you got the speeder running as it is.
Function! Function! It's me. Come on, function.
Well, my little friend, you've found your tongue.
We must help him... We've been lost.
Where did you come from?
The little robot runs around his fallen partner giving him small electric charges from his claw hand. Threepio shudders from head to toe, then regains consciousness.
Where did you come from?
We were jettisoned from six twenty-nine, P.R. one.
I'm unfamiliar with that ship. What type is it?
It's a class M station, not a conventional craft.
Threepio then stands and shakes the young JEDI's hand.
I'm Seethreepio, Human-Cyborg Relations. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
Starkiller and the two robots walk back to the speeder.
Both Artwo and Threepio are stuffed into the tiny luggage compartment. It is late in the day when the speeder rumbles to a stop in a small desert canyon surrounded by steep cliffs and broken boulders.
We'll rest here.
At last. The transport is welcome but my joints are frozen.
Everyone climbs out of the low-slung speeder. Starkiller watches the two androids as they stretch their mechanical limbs.
I've got a bad case of dust contamination. I can barely move.
What a foresaken place this is. We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life. Sir, could you tell....
Threepio turns and notices that Starkiller and the princess have disappeared. He looks all around.
Where did they go? They've disappeared.
Maybe they were attacked! I sense danger!
Captain Starkiller and Princess Leia hurry through a maze of large boulders, until they reach a sheer rock face. Starkiller looks around to see if they were followed. Suddenly, a large section of the rock slides away, revealing a well-lit corridor carved out of the rock. They enter, and are greeted by two jubilant guards. Starkiller gives them some orders and points
Starkiller and the princess are greeted by General Skywalker and Montross. They bow before the princess.
PRINCESS (angrily pointing at Starkiller)
General, I want you to do something with this.. this barbarian. Where's my father?
The king is dead, Your Highness.
All anger suddenly drains from the princess. She almost timidly asks the next question.
My mother?... and brothers?
She's here. She's safe... so are your brothers. They're in the main chamber.
Leia, now looking more like a frightened young girl than a vindictive princess, runs down the hallway toward the main chamber. She vainly attempts to hold back the tears.
The two puzzled androids sit on the landspeeder, pondering the disappearance of their saviour.
Do you suppose we're in danger?
The logic of this environment escapes me.
As night begins to fall, and the shadows begin to lengthen, the two robots begin to get a little edgy. The sound of approaching feet startles Artwo, and he ducks behind his taller friend. Two guards approach the robots.
You will remain calm, and you will remain here.
Certainly. I'm Seethreepio, Human Cyborg Relations. Your kindness is gratefully appreciated.
Artwo sits rather suspiciously behind his extroverted friend.
General Skywalker bows low before Princess Leia. She sits on a raised platform, dressed in the royal robes of a planetary ruler. The queen sits off to one side on a smaller platform. The princess waits for a few moments before she allows the general to rise.
The senate has been corrupted.
They cannot rule without your wish...
I rule by marriage. With the king dead, I am not strong enough to stop them... Leia is now the true queen... She must be protected. The line must be preserved. I am placing the future of our people in your hands. You must deliver Leia and her brothers to the OPHUCHI System. They will be safe there. General, you must understand, I had no alternative but to condone an end to the hostilities. I deeply believe your campaign could have been successful, but there are things that...
I understand, Your Highness...
The chrome companies on Ophuchi have offered to supply you with the men and ships necessary to return Leia to the throne.
Can the chrome companies be trusted?
The price for their cooperation is high. It is waiting for you in Med Center blue. Guard it as you would the princess herself. No-one must know of this mission. There are those
among the trusted who would wish us ill. Take only two of your best officers with you, the most loyal. May the force of others be with you.
Mother, you must not stay.
I am too old for such a journey. The Empire already controls the spaceport cities. You have a long way to travel. It won't be easy.
We will have to travel in disguise. I must have full command. No-one can suspect wealth or royal training. I fear the new queen will not stand for this.
Do not put words into my mouth. I will stand for what is necessary.
The general simply smiles.
The general walks briskly through an isolated hallway, closely followed by Montross.
How is Captain Whitsun's recovery?
Very good; he's up and around.
Fine! Have Whitsun and ...ah,
Starkiller report at zero three hundred. I want two converted transports:
agricultural type, two days' provisions, travel papers, weapons. Contact
HAN SOLO at the Gordon spaceport...
Montross turns and rushes down another hallway.
The general enters a stark white waiting area filled with scholarly looking gentlemen. An attendant greets General Skywalker and takes him into a small observation chamber overlooking a large operating theatre. An elderly doctor greets him.
Good to see you, General. I'm afraid we're not quite ready yet. Thank God you'll be the one taking them, though.
An attendant brings in one of the scholars from the waiting area and places him on a large operating table surrounded by strange looking equipment. An ominous looking clamp is placed on the man's head.
How many are going?
Thirty-three of the greatest scientific minds in our System...A high price for freedom.
Thirty-three scientists! Transporting a group that size, undetected... I don't...
Don't worry, General. All you'll be taking are their minds.
The doctor moves over to a safe-like cabinet guarded by two attendants. The doctor gingerly picks up a small clear vial filled with grey fluid. It has a label which reads: Faubun, Astro-dynamics...In the background the scholar on the operating table is undergoing a form of mechanized brain surgery.
Yes. It has been greatly perfected. The brain is condensed into five ounces of fluid. Cloning cell samples are included so that a structural duplicate of the scientist can be reproduced. When the
In the background, the limp body of the scholar on the operating table is removed and another scientist is escorted into the operating threatre. Dr. Bloodory, a portly doctor in his forties, enters the room and shakes hands with the general.
General, this is Doctor Bloodory. He'll be making the trip with you.
It's an honor to meet you, General. I'm sure I couldn't be in safer hands.
The chrome companies are exacting a high price indeed. Politics will be the ruin of us all.
Careful. If we could rid ourselves of the politicians, generals would no longer be necessary.
We should be ready by zero three hundred.
The doctors exit, leaving the
general alone to watch the
Governor Hoedaack, General Vader walk down a boarding ramp to an observation deck overlooking the conquered city of Gordon. They are followed by a number of aides and officers from the Imperial fleet. Below them air tanks and other military equipment and supplies are being unloaded.
Not much of a planet.
Darth, you've done well. Do you think you will have the Royal Family by nightfall?
An advance expedition is already on its way to their underground hideaway. They should reach it by nightfall... but only if this Count Sandage can be trusted.
A man hungry for power can always be trusted... to betray those in power. I'm sure his information is correct.
The huge rock face of the canyon opens, and two shabby agricultural landspeeders are pushed into the late afternoon sun. Artwo and Threepio stand on the far side of the canyon with their guards, watching in amazement. The general and Captain Starkiller walk behind the men pushing the landspeeders.
We'll take them with us. They know more about that fortress than any ten men. They will be very useful.
Can they be trusted?
Loyalty can't be programmed. They can be trusted never to harm a living creature, and to always give accurate information...as they know it, to anyone who asks. You just have to remember not to tell them anything that you don't want to fall into the wrong hands.
The general approaches the two robots. Artwo shyly moves around his taller companion.
Greetings. I'm Luke: Agricultural Engineering. We're going to be travelling together. You're going with us to help set up a hortastation on BANTH.
I'm Seethreepio: Human Cyborg relations. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
Threepio and the general both look down at Artwo. Threepio gives the smaller android a little kick.
Artwo Detwo: Fusion Repair.
GENERAL (to Starkiller)
Load them into one of the speeders.
Captain Whitsun, walking with a slight limp, emerges from the underground fortress with the Royal Family. A small group of guards and aides are lined up, standing at attention. The two young princes, Biggs and Windy, hug and kiss their mother good-bye, then jump into the back of the larger four-man speeder. The princess bows before her mother, then embraces her. Tears roll down her cheeks. Her mother wipes them away.
You must learn strength.
The princess turns and moves to the larger speeder where she is helped aboard by Captain Starkiller.
I don't need your help, thank you.
She gives the general an angry look.
I'm afraid he's necessary.
A commotion erupts at the mouth of the underground fortress. Count Sandage, several senators and ten to twelve troopers rush into the canyon and block the speeders.
Where are you going? What is this?
In one quick movement the general moves between Sandage and the queen. Whitsun and Starkiller assume defensive positions in front of the princess and her brothers.
Leia and the boys are being taken to safety. It is my wish.
The Empire has assured their safety. They must stay.
It is not my wish....
General, you've gone too far this time. (to the troops) Arrest him.
Five troops start to move on the general, as Sandage draws his lazerpistol. Before anyone can complete his action, the general ignites his lazersword and cuts the senator in two. He drops to the ground in a heap, and the approaching troops stop in their tracks.
The general, Starkiller, and Whitsun replace their swords, and bow low to the queen. All of the troops, senators, and aides do the same. The formalness of the occasion is broken when the queen embraces the general. She then turns and embraces each of the captains. They are both flustered, and somewhat embarrassed.
May the force of others be with you.
The general and his captains head for the speeders, while the queen and all the others return to the underground fortress.
The two speeders edge their way onto a bluff overlooking the hidden fortress canyon. They stop for one last reflective moment. Forced to leave their closest friends and relatives, the group is deeply moved. The two robots, for the most part, are puzzled. Suddenly, there is a huge atomic flash, followed by a loud rumble, and the entire canyon collapses into a large crater. The group quietly watches the dust settle. The hidden fortress and all its inhabitants have been destroyed. The general watches the princess, who appears to take it well.
It was the only way we could be safe from treachery.
65. DUNE SEA - AQUILAE
The two sleek landspeeders glide effortlessly through the vast hills and valleys of the dune sea. At the base of the towering dune ridge, the four-man speeder stops. The smaller speeder, with Starkiller and the two robots, makes its way to the top of the ridge. Captain Starkiller stops the speeder just short of the top of the ridge. He gets out and continues the rest of the way on foot. The young captain peeks over the dune ridge into the canyon below. Muted sounds and large dust clouds rise from the canyon floor. Starkiller immediately ducks back behind the ridge with an amazed look on his face. He quickly returns to the speeder, and picks up the intercom.
Sir, you'd better take a look at this. But come easy.
The four-man speeder starts with a crack, and slowly moves up the side of the imposing dune. It stops next to the smaller speeder. The general and Whitsun get out and make their way to the top of the ridge, where they join Starkiller. Far in the distance, crossing the endless dune sea, is the Imperial invasion army. It is immense. A convoy of giant tanks, troop carriers, and supply ships stretch from horizon to horizon. Cavalry, mounted on giant dune birds, ride the line from one end of the convoy to the other. Hundreds of troops ride one-man jet-sticks in precision formation. Their lances form a giant pin-cushion. It is an awesome sight.
They're heading toward the fortress.
What will they do when they find it destroyed?
They won't stop looking for us...They're coming from the spaceport at Anchorhead, which means they control everything between here and the spaceport at Gordon.
Can we go around them?
No. We'll have to wait for them to pass. Starkiller, see if you can monitor any of their communications on the com-link in the big speeder.
Must you do that?
Starkiller smiles rather sarcastically.
Orders...The invasion force has cut us off. We'll probably be here for some time. You ought to stretch a bit.
Is that a command, General? Maybe I feel like watching after my brothers.
Starkiller looks back at the two sleeping boys.
They're not going anywhere. They're asleep.
I want to stay with them.
What's the matter? You afraid I might eat them?
The king's old library has been converted into an office for General Vader. He is sitting behind his desk as Prince Valorum, the black knight of Sith, enters and salutes. The black knight is dressed in the fascist black and chrome uniform of the legendary Sith One Hundred. The general returns his salute.
Welcome, Prince Valorum. Your exploits are legendary. I have long waited to meet a Knight of the Sith. If there is any way I can assist you, my entire command is at your bidding.
I want a tie-in to your computer network, a control center, and communication access.
Right away! I'll also transfer all information we have on the general. His command post was self-destroyed, but we believe he is still alive. .... Do you really believe he's a Jedi?
If he was not a Jedi, I wouldn't be here.
The speeders make their way across the grey desert. It is dawn. The twin suns have yet to rise over the distant hills. The speeders are coated with dust and grime, indicating that they have travelled far. The two captains drive through the night as everyone else sleeps. Starkiller calls Whitsun on the intercom.
How are your fuel packs? I'm reading minus four.
I'm too low to transfer any.
The general, who appeared to be asleep, opens his eyes, and takes the microphone from Whitsun.
There is a fuel station fourteen degrees by two meters. The occupation force should have control of it by now, so hide your weapons...but keep them within reach.
A series of low concrete structures rise out of the desert. The speeders stop in front of an old weather-beaten block house. The rusted hulk of a landspeeder lies half-buried to one side of the building. Starkiller and Whitsun jump out of the speeder and go into the block house.
The two young captains, dressed as farmers, enter the dingy little fuel station. It is quiet. A few power packs line the walls and a dismantled speeder rests in the repair bay. There is a sharp dripping sound coming from the speeder. It appears that no-one is there.
Greetings! ... Who's in charge here?
They look around the deserted station, but find no attendant. An eerie quiet pervades the building.
I don't get it...
You don't have to. It's abandoned.
Whitsun opens a door leading to a storage area, and stops short.
Not quite abandoned...
Starkiller moves to the doorway and sees the attendant, his wife, and small daughter hanging upside down, tortured to death. Whitsun cuts them down.
They shouldn't have resisted.
Starkiller grabs two power packs from the shelf.
Help me with these power packs. We'd better move out of here.
Whitsun covers the family with an old work tarp. He bows to the dead, then reluctantly grabs a couple of power packs and they start for the door. Whitsun stops for a moment.
Hear that? Someone's here. (yelling) We're friends. Show yourself.
Silence. Whitsun shrugs his shoulders and they start out the door, only to run straight into a burly stormtrooper.
Get out of here!
70. FUEL STATION - AQUILAE
Whitsun and Starkiller are pulled out of the doorway and shoved into the center of a group of fifteen or twenty Imperial stormtroopers who have surrounded the two speeders. Several troops have pulled General Skywalker out of the speeder. He acts senile, like a man twice his age.
I'm all right. I can still move about by myself.
A rough looking sergeant grabs Whitsun.
What are you doing here?
We're out of power, sir.
Let me see your travel passes!
I have it here, somewhere. We've been relocated...to a Bantha hortastation, by Imperial order...
Whitsun fumbles to retrieve something from his pocket, and eventually pulls out a small, round disc. The sergeant puts the disc in a small portable reader. Various computer readouts are displayed on the monitor. Starkiller starts to put a power pack into one of the speeders.
What are you doing there? All power has been restricted.
We've run out. We must have power, or be forced to stay here....and become your responsibilities.
The sergeant thinks about this for a moment, as the old, wise general watches him. Tension fills the air. Starkiller shuffles around to a position where he can reach his weapon. A trooper hands the sergeant a message.
Take only two of those power packs, and then move out quickly.
The sergeant hurries to a military craft, where he takes a call on an intercom. General Skywalker and his two young captains load the remaining power packs into the speeder, and roar away from the station.
The speeders race along through the rocky desert wasteland. The general speaks into the intercom to Starkiller.
Keep a close watch. If that sergeant runs an analysis on those passes, we might be seeing him again...We should be safely inside Gordon within the day.
Everyone is in good spirits. The princess and her young brothers sing an Aquilaean melody, which is transmitted to Starkiller in the smaller speeder. The general takes little Windy, and lets him sit on his lap in the forward compartment of the speeder. Artwo flexes Threepio's arm back and forth, attempting to discover the cause of a loud squeak.
Z-2 doesn't seem to help at all.
It's all this filth and dust. This environment is murderous.
Starkiller notices a small speck on the horizon.
STARKILLER (into intercom)
Object approaching, bearing three point two.
The general looks through an electrotelescope mounted in the speeder. He spots a distant row of troopers riding strange dune birds.
GENERAL (to Starkiller)
It's a patrol. It could mean trouble. We'd better split up. You stay on a direct course. We'll meet you at the western edge of ravine 23-64. Stay in contact.
It looks like there's ten of them. They're heading right for me.... Wait a second. They've disappeared! I've lost them.
Whitsun deftly maneuvers the bulky speeder through a narrow, boulder strewn ravine. They eventually come out on a dry lake bed, where they stop. Standing not more than a hundred feet away, apparantly waiting for the speeder, are five Imperial troops on their dune birds.
We've found them, five of them, anyway... Watch yourself.
The troops slowly ride their huge birds over to the speeder, and dismount. The officer in charge is a vicious looking warrior, with a large scar across his face.
Let me see your passes.
Whitsun hands him the small pass disc, and he places it in his reader. He studies the computer readout for a few moments, and then returns the disc to Whitsun.
Have you seen any other transports in this area?
We saw two heading south. Goin' toward ANSEL, look like to me.
All right. Be on your way.
The officer mounts his dune bird, and the patrol moves away. Whitsun winks at the princess, and smiles at the general, as the speeder starts off across the dry lake. The general fiddles with the intercom.
S-2, are you clear?
I have five troopers approaching. Any problems on your end?
We came through all right. You shouldn't have any trouble, but stay alert.
Best wishes....Here they come.
Everyone rides along in silence, a little worried about Starkiller, especially the princess.
... Do you think he'll be all right?
He can take care of himself.
Biggs is looking out the back window of the speeder.
Hey look! They're coming back.
Everyone looks to see the patrol quickly gaining on them.
Stop! They're faster. Get your weapon.
The speeder screeches to a halt in a cloud of dust. The general and his captain jump from the transport with lazerpistols drawn. The patrol bears down on them, swords drawn, at full charge. Both the general and Whitsun fire. Two of the troopers and their Dune birds explode in a cloud of smoke. The remaining three troopers are upon the duo in a matter of seconds. The general ignites his lazersword and cuts down two of the troops as they pass. The last turns his bird around before reaching the speeder, and hightails it back toward the ravine. The general jumps onto one of the riderless dune birds and takes off in pursuit. Whitsun checks the dead troopers.
73. WASTELAND RAVINE - AQUILAE
The general rides at breakneck speed after the fleeing trooper. His lazersword is raised high over his head, ready to deal a death blow. The lumbering birds race through the winding ravine.
The intercom warning buzzer begins to scream. Whitsun rushes for it, but the princess gets there first.
Are you all right?
Two riders heading your way. I got three, but two got away. Watch yourselves!
The general is riding neck and neck with the trooper. He swiftly brings his sword down and the trooper drops from his saddle. The momentum of his charge carries the general around a bend in the ravine, and right into the path of two more troops charging down on him. The two troopers are taken by surprise. They stop their birds, and so does the general. They stand there, about fifty yards apart, sizing up each other. Suddenly, the two troopers start for the Jedi at full speed. The general raises his sword, and starts for them. The troopers are no match for the general, who kills them both before they are even able to swing their swords.
Starkiller stops near the larger landspeeder and gets out. He is wounded. Blood streams from his left arm. Whitsun rushes to help him. The princess shows a great deal of concern.
It looks worse than it is. You'll be all right.
Whitsun motions to the princess, who looks a little relieved.
Bring me the med aid pack.
It he was clumsy enough to get hurt, maybe we ought to let him bleed to death.
You missed two.
I know, I couldn't...
Don't let it happen again. We'd better move out. They might have reported in.
The dark and sinister Valorum moves several markers on a large map readout to form a line from the destroyed underground fortress to the spaceport at Gordon. An aide enters with General Vader.
The patrol was lost, Sir. All ten of them.
It's to be expected.
Have you found them?
They're heading for the spaceport at Gordon. I'm going there. Have all security doubled. Make it an alert.
The speeders stop on a bluff overlooking a small cantina on the outskirts of Gordon. The spaceport can be seen in the distance. The general and Captain Whitsun walk over to the smaller speeder. Starkiller helps the two androids out of their cramped quarters.
Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
STARKILLER (to general)
I'm fit enough to...
We'll make contact at zero four hundred. If we're not back by fifty-five forty, get worried.
The speeder starts off toward the cantina.
The speeder pulls up in front of the low, blockhouse style cantina. Various strange forms of transport are parked outside the bar.
Take care here. If there is any trouble, get back to the others.
The general and Whitsun enter the shabby cantina. The murky little den is filled with a startling array of weird and exotic alien creatures, laughing at the bar. At first, the sight is horrifying. One-eyed, thousand-eyed, slimy, furry, scaling arms, tentacles, and claws huddle over drinks. The general looks over the patrons, but does not see the contact, Han Solo. A large multiple eyed creature shoves the general.
Assha dughi wouldugga?
The general tries to ignore the creature, and turns back to his drink. A short, grubby looking human, and an even smaller rodent-like creature join the first creature.
He doesn't like you.
I understood him.
I don't like you either.
Don't insult us. You just watch yourself. We're wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve Systems.
I'll be careful then.
You'll be dead.
The short rodent yells something, and everything at the bar moves away. The general assumes a defensive position. His three adversaries ready their weapons.
You insist on a fight then.
Just try and kill us.
It will hurt a little.
We aren't cowards.
Then it can't be helped.
The general's lazersword sparks to life. An arm lies on the floor. The rodent is cut in two, and the large, multiple-eyed creature lies doubled, cut from chin to groin. The general, with quiet dignity, replaces his sword in its sheath. The entire fight has lasted only a matter of seconds. A figure stands in the doorway watching the general. As soon as the general notices him, he leaves. The cantina goes back to normal, as if nothing had happened, although the general is given a respectable amount of room at the bar. The Jedi finishes his drink, and then leaves. Captain Whitsun follows.
80. SPACEPORT ALLEYWAY - GORDON - AQUILAE
General Skywalker embraces Han Solo, the underground contact. Han is a huge, green skinned monster with no nose and large gills.
You old stardog. Took a war to get you out here...
Whitsun arrives with Starkiller, the princess and her brothers, and the two puzzled androids.
It's been too long. We've been through much together. It will be good to have you out of retirement and back at my side. How is Starkiller? (putting his arm around the young Captain Starkiller) This is his son.
You're all the old boy will talk about. He's still holding up. Come, let's get off the street.
The group enters a small doorway at the far end of the alleyway. On the main street, within view of the doorway, giant Imperial air tanks and other military hardware rumble through the city. Starving refugees sit in the gutters watching the immense display of force with a mixture of awe and terror. The princess stops for a moment, and stares at her people, watching the might of the Empire. The general escorts her through the doorway with the others.
The seedy dwelling is dark and dingy. The group is greeted by three underground leaders, and the old Jedi, Kane Starkiller. Captain Starkiller embraces his father as the underground leaders bow before the princess.
The princess walks through the dining area followed by Whitsun and Starkiller, who carry the two sleeping princes. The general sits at a large table finishing dinner with Han, Kane and the three underground leaders. Whitsun returns from the bedroom.
GENERAL (to Whitsun)
Captain, why don't you take the androids into the other room for a game of chess? ... I'm sure they'd enjoy it.
Whitsun escorts the two robots into the next room. DATOS, a thin, wizened old man, seems greatly relieved.
You're taking a great risk travelling with them. This whole operation sounds bad to me. I don't trust the chrome companies. Time is growing short. The Empire's attempts at control have already caused a great deal of suffering to our people.
OCCO, a brash young rebel, about the same age as Captain Starkiller, slams his fist on the table.
It must happen now! We are ready! Each day the Imperial S.B.T. finds and destroys a few more in the organization. We cannot wait any longer.
Any uprising without a coordinated attack on the death star is out of the question.
He's right. As long as it's operational, any action down here would be meaningless. We must proceed as planned. Are the arrangements secure?
QUIST, the third member of the underground, sparks to life, and places several discs and badges on the table.
All passenger transport has been suspended, so we've arranged for you to travel as the crew of a BALTARIAN freighter. The boys will have to be placed in suspended animation and hidden in shielded micro-packs. It's the only way we will be able to get them past the scanners.
Were you able to acquire the necessary power packs?
It's become a serious problem. All power supplies have been restricted. S-4 units are impossible to come by.
I know an agent who might be able to acquire them for us. I'll check with him. It will be risky, but we've no other choice.
The dark figure of Valorum stands overlooking a group of Aquilaean partisans who are being tortured in the plaza below. Two Imperial officers are finishing a report to the black knight. They salute smartly, then leave the observation balcony, passing KURO, one of General Vader's aides, who approaches Valorum, and bows low before him. Kuro and the black knight carry on an animated conversation; it is inaudible over the screams of the tortured partisans.
Residents glance fearfully from their windows as six Imperial stormtroopers make their way through the crowded slum alleyway. Han Solo and Captain Starkiller move cautiously past the Imperial patrol, and disappear into the shabby hideout of the partisan underground.
The two men enter the dingy main room of the slum dwelling, and are immediately attacked by Biggs, wielding a toy sword. Starkiller good-naturedly fends off the young prince, as Han in a more serious mood, goes into the other room. Artwo and Threepio are helping Windy put together a block-like puzzle. Princess Leia comes in to see what all the commotion is about, just as the young captain grabs Biggs by the foot and holds him upside-down. Starkiller and Biggs are laughing uproariously. Leia gives the captain a stern, disapproving look, then returns to the other room.
General Skywalker, Captain Whitsun, and Datos are in the process of assembling two micro-packs on the kitchen table. Han pulls a small silver powerpack from his pocket, and places it on the table. The old Jedi, Kane Starkiller, reaches over with his one good arm and takes it. He inspects it carefully. Princess Leia sits quietly behind the general.
We could only get one unit. The Empire's methods are proving to be very effective.
This will work fine.
One of the boys will have to stay.
We can't hide him for very long.... The risk is too great! Whichever boy doesn't go must be destroyed.
The princess is alarmed, and looks to the general for support. He gives her an understanding look.
Not while they're in my charge. Find another way to get him through.
There's no other way. We've analyzed every possible alternative. You can't jeopardize the enitre...
Captain Starkiller enters the room.
We have no time for discussion. The freighters leave at zero three hundred. We must get started.
Through a break in the door, Whitsun watches Artwo and Threepio play with the two young princes.
What about Artwo? Could we lobotomize him, and use his energy pack?
They're not compatible. We'd
have to com-
It could work.
There isn't enough time. You can't do it...
You won't have to. My power unit has more than half life.... Use it.
The withered Jedi opens his tunic revealing a metallic chest covered with electrodes. With his one good arm, he grabs his chest and rips loose and miniature power unit similar to the one on the table. Everyone is taken by surprise. The general and the young Starkiller both rush to the side of the dying Jedi. The old man turns to his son.
Trust my judgment, Son. Serve your new teacher well.
The Jedi's breathing becomes more difficult as he turns to the general.
An honorable death, my friend. May the force of others be with you....
Kane Starkiller passes on to the other world. Everyone is stunned. The general breaks the moment of silence.
May he be welcomed as a man above men. Take him downstairs.
Starkiller takes his father in his arms and is followed out of the room by Han and Datos.
Prepare the boys! We have little time.
Princess Leia and Captain Whitsun rush out of the room, as the general places the power units in the micro-packs.
Biggs and Windy are not happy about being dragged away from their puzzle. Whitsun takes the robots into the sleep area.
Now straighten up, Biggs. Remember, father
expects you to follow his ways. We are going on a trip. There will be great danger. You must go to sleep. When you wake, you will be in a strange land, so don't be alarmed.
Are you going to sleep too?
I will be looking after you. Now be good boys and stand still. Lift your sleeve.
Windy lifts his sleeze and Leia injects him with a sleep serum. Whitsun enters just as the little prince collapses into a deep sleep. Quick as lightning, he catches the boy before he can hit the floor. The princess injects her other brother, and he collapses into her arms.
The limp bodies of the two young princes are carried in by Leia and Captain Whitsun. They are carefully squeezed into the hollowed out micro-cases. Leia pensively watches as the general expertly attaches electrodes to her brother's skull. Han and Datos return from the burial of Kane. The general looks up from his operation.
He is at rest. The Empire will never find him. Are the systems working all right?
Full power...Is everything ready?
Datos nods yes, as the general closes the case holding Biggs. The strain of watching her brothers placed in suspended animation is too great for Leia, and she retreats into the main room.
Captain Starkiller stands brooding near a window overlooking the crowded alleyway. He does not acknowledge Leia's entrance. She walks over to the window, and stands next to the young captain. They are very close, but do not touch.
He does not respond. She is moved by his sorrow, and starts to touch the side of his face, but can't bring herself to do it. Her royal training is too strong to let her show her true affection for Starkiller. She breaks down and runs from the room. The young Jedi continues his meditation.
The spaceport is very crowded.
People rush about in a panicked rush as loudspeakers blurt out indiscernible
announcements. The Empire is in the process of changing the boarding
procedures and the result is chaos. Many flights are delayed, and people
are running to and fro, switching boarding ramps. Han guides the rebel
They're changing the boarding procedures. I don't like it.
They are swept into a boarding gate and finally reach a security ramp scan station. There are a great number of troops and guards standing around the security area. An officer demands to see their passes and orders. The tension builds as the officer confers with an aide about the passes. The aide speaks quietly into a phone.
Where are your component receipts?
Starkiller and Whitsun hand the officer two additional discs which are placed in the computer. A few moments later, the readout appears, and the group is motioned through the electron scanners. On the other side of the scanner, new computer discs are issued to the group. Everyone seems slightly relieved as they walk through several hallways leading to where the freighter is docked. Starkiller moves next to the general.
I don't like the feel of this.
Your senses are strong. It's a very small disruption.
It's a Knight of the Sith.
Possibly. Stay alert...Warn the others.
The group walks through the docking links and into the Baltarian spacecraft. Several Imperial guards pass them, and everyone is ready for the suspected trap, but nothing happens..
The group stops in a narrow electronics passageway near the bridge of the ship. Starkiller and Whitsun unstrap the micro-packs containing the two young princes, and check the voltage packs.
Little Biggs is losing power faster than normal. I'd better check it out.
Wait until the situation is secure. Stay here, and keep on your guard....Han!
The two young captains grow suspicious of several workmen gathering around the main exit hatch. Han and the general enter the bridge area. Several crewmen sit at elaborate controls and computer stations.
Where is your captain?
One of the crewmen directs
him to a small chamber above the bridge. Starkiller and Whitsun strap
on their micro-
Han and the general enter the small pilot's chamber and greet the captain, whose face is hidden in the shadows of a computer bank.
Welcome, gentlemen. You must have had a difficult journey. We'll be departing shortly....
I have been authorized to accept payment for the chrome company cooperation. I assume you've brought it with you.
The captain moves out of the shadows, and is revealed to be Valorum, First Knight of the Sith. Instantly, both Han and the general understand the situation. They turn, drawing their lazerswords in the move, and cut down the four Imperial troopers. The door to the chamber instantly seals shut. Valorum hasn't made any moves, and remains unusually calm. The two Jedi turn to face him.
It's over, gentlemen. The chamber is sealed. Don't force me to release the Jai gas...
A tone sounds, and the black knight turns to an intercom.
Situation secure. Prisoners taken to hold "B,"... Twelve casualties.... gas was necessary.
Han and the general relax and drop their weapons. The door silently opens behind them and six guards enter wearing facemasks. They bind the two Jedi with chrome microcuffs. A satisfied smile creeps across Valorum's face. General Skywalker seems unimpressed with the knightly trap.
At last, it's ended. (to guard) Take them to hold "G." I don't want them with the others. Prepare for departure.
The troopers escort Han and the general out of the chamber and down several hallways.
Eight troops march Han and the general into the hold of the ship. They pass near the main exit where Artwo and Threepio stand deserted, looking lost. Threepio sees the general pass in a nearby hallway.
Well, there he is. Come on.
The robots waddle off after the Jedi prisoners. As the small procession passes detention cell B where the princess and the others are being held, Han and the general let out a horrifying Jedi scream, and leap to the corridor ceiling, thrusting their bound wrists into the lighting fixtures. They land on top of the troops, instantly breaking the necks of four guards, with expertly placed Jedi blows. The eight surviving guards are momentarily dumbfounded. Han and the general grab lazerswords from their victims, and swiftly cut down the remaining troops. Han grabs a small card from one of the dead guards, and starts for detention cell B.
Watch it! Those are cutters.
The general grabs one of the dead troopers and tosses him against the cell door. Red rays engulf the body, and holds it there. Han then places the card in a slot, and the door silently slides open. Starkiller and Whitsun leap for the dead guard, then notice the death ray surrounding him. General Skywalker grabs another body and throws it into the doorway.
Pass between them!
Starkiller squeezes between the slain guards, and is untouched by the rays. Whitsun and the princess quickly follow, picking up weapons as they leave.
They've taken the cases.
Are they aware of the boys?
I don't think so.
Find them! Use your seeker. We'll meet you at the main hatch. Watch yourselves. If an alarm is given, they'll gas the entire ship.
Whitsun and Starkiller each take a small humming device from their utility belts and head down a narrow hallway. The general, Han and the princess continue toward the main hatch. Artwo and Threepio have been completely confused by the turn of events. They eventually follow the general toward the exit hatch.
94. ELECTROCLOSET HALLWAY - BALTARIAN FREIGHTER - AQUILAE
The two young captains reach a storage area of the huge spacecraft. They watch their seekers as they move along a row of electroclosets. They quietly sneak past a group of workmen assembling a large gyro-housing. A second row of micro-packs is searched to no avail.
If they were discovered, they would have been sent to a medical station.
There are more storage areas on the far side.
Han and the general reach the main hatch, closely followed by Leia and the two robots. Several lights over the hatch flash on and off. The general cuts a camera off the wall with his lazersword.
They're going to take off.... It's too late.
Threepio! Come over here.
The lanky chrome man approaches the general, who is studying a complex computer control panel next to the hatch.
Yes Sir. May I be of service?
Get this hatch open. Counterlock the departure pattern.
The robot immediately starts pushing buttons on the panel.
Starkiller and Whitsun reach a second series of electroclosets. A signal appears on the seekers, and Starkiller cuts down the door of one of the small cabinets. Whitsun stands guard. Approaching troops are heard in the distance. Starkiller quickly rummages through the electropacks until he spots the familiar cases containing the two boys.
Starkiller straps on one of the back packs, and hands the other to Whitsun, as they duck into a narrow passageway. Four troops march through a nearby hallway. After they have passed, the young captain checks to make sure the way is clear, then runs down a hallway toward the main hatch.
As the crew makes the final preparations for the blast off, the main hatch light blinks on. One of the pilots notices the light and begins to check it out.
PILOT (into intercom)
Is the main hatch secure?
The intercom sparks to life, and the general answers it.
Everything looks secure, but give me a minute to check it out.
All right... Stand by.
The general gives a wink to Han, as Threepio continues his attempt to override the hatch computer.
Starkiller and Whitsun cautiously move down a long hallway, ever watchful of Imperial troops. They reach an intersection, carefully check in all directions, then rush down a main hallway. They are about half way down the hallway, when a squad of Imperial guards appears at the end of the hallway, facing them. The troops start toward the two captains with lowered lazerrifles.
Here's where it gets tricky.
Starkiller, then Whitsun, quickly and smoothly draw their lazerpistols and fire at the troops. A giant explosion destroys the far end of the hallway. A few lazerbolts are returned, but streak harmlessly overhead, and explode out of range. The exchange of gunfire lasts only a few moments. When the smoke clears, the troops have been destroyed.
100. MAIN HATCH - BALTARIAN FREIGHTER - AQUILAE
The main hatch slowly begins to slide open, when the rumbling explosion of lazerfire echoes through the hallways. Han looks to the general, and they both instantly realize what has happened. Han draws his weapons. The hatch is now fully open. Everyone stands silently, watching for the two captains. Alarms start screaming throughout the ship, and the giant hatch slowly begins to close.
Come on. We can't wait.
The group reluctantly exits the spacecraft, giving one last look back to their lost friends. The hatch continues to close slowly as the alarm sirens wail. Suddenly, Starkiller and Whitsun round a corner and head for the ever-closing hatch; battling several Imperial stormtroopers as they go. Han and the general move up to the hatch and give cover fire. Whitsun slips through the shrinking opening, and yells to Starkiller to hurry. Many more troops bear down on the young Jedi as he squeezes through the very slim opening. One of the troops dives after him, but is caught, and crushed by the emergency hatch.
The general leads the group through various corridors.
Once the alarm sounds, the entire spaceport will shut down.
They stop at a junction. At the far end of one hallway, several troops guard a restricted passageway.
That's the military section.
But it's very heavily guarded. We can't take it with subtlety.
Before the general can answer, the acute scream of the spaceport alarm reverberates through the corridors. The general, followed by his two young captains, charge toward the heavily guarded military passageway. Han, with the princess and two robots, follow a safe distance behind. A guard sees them coming, and orders them to stop. Starkiller andthe general
The group jumps over the dead guards and smoking rubble, then runs through a series of hallways leading to a starship. They stop just short of an intersection leading to a boarding ramp. Starkiller peeks around a corner at two guards standing in front of the boarding ramp.
Cutters! We'll have to draw
Artwo! Come here.
The little robot waddles over to the old Jedi.
Move to that intersection and sound the alarm.
The mechanical dwarf dutifully marches into the intersection and lets out a high, electronic scream. The guards shut off the deadly lazer "cutters," and cautiously approach the wailing robot.
What is it? What's wrong?
With incredible speed, both
guards are dropped by a few pre-
Starkiller! Whitsun! Stand guard. I'll signal at take-off minus thirty... And reverse that cutter!
Han and the general, followed by Leia and the robots, enter the Imperial starship. They rush through several narrow hallways leading to the bridge. Two crew members leaving a control station, stumble into the group and are quickly dispatched by Han. The princess waits with the robots, as the general and Han enter the bridge. The two pilots and navigator are taken by surprise and promptly are subdued. Han switches on the intercom and listens.
How are we going to get them to open the silo cover?
Send Threepio in here. Dispose of any crewmen left on board.
Starkiller and Whitsun now wear the uniform of the Imperial guard. Whitsun has removed a plate from the "cutter" machinism and is crossing a few wires. He replaces the "cutter" plate just as a squad of stormtroopers rushes toward the door. An officer salutes them.
Have you seen them?
They're in this section somewhere. I'm doubling all the guards. Stay alert.
Two guards take up positions just outside the "cutter" areas, and the squad moves on to another starship. Starkiller gives his partner a philosophical look.
The gleaming chrome Threepio sits in the pilot's seat, talking on the intercom to a controller. He breaks off his continual drone of take-off instructions to the controller, and turns to the general, shaking his head.
They won't buy it. I think they're getting suspicious.
The crew is taken care of.
Well, they're not going to open the silo cover, so I'm afraid we'll have to take it with us.
We're going to sustain considerable damage if we blast off through that cover.
It's a thin shell. There is no choice. (to Threepio) Signal the boys.
Warning lights flash and the main hatch to the starfighter slowly begins to close. The two Imperial stormtroopers yell at Starkiller and Whitsun.
Watch it! Don't fire into those cutters! (to Starkiller) Shut down the cutters!
The two captains pretend to be confused, and not understand. At the last minute, they leap aboard the starship. The hatch slides closed, and the boarding ramp drops away. Several more guards arrive, and give the troopers a special card, which turns the small cutter warning lights from red to green. The guards rush onto the boarding ramp and are wiped out by the reversed "cutters."
Everyone straps himself into the lifepods. Threepio and the general troddle forward, and the giant ship shudders as it starts to lift off the launch pad. With tense expressions, everyone braces for the impact of the silo cover.
The mighty starship thunders out of the silo, crashing through the cover plate, sending shrapnel in all directions. The ship leaps toward the heavens.
Imperial flight crews rush to their starships. Pilots receive their clearances, and several giant silo covers swing away, revealing deadly hunter-destroyer spaceships.
Han and the general watch as five hunter-destroyers leave the spaceport at Gordon.
We suffered light damage to a deflector fin. It will take them quite a while to catch up with us now. Tell the boys to get some rest.
110. AFT SECTION - STARSHIP - SPACE
Han retreats to the aft section of the ship, where the two captains are checking out the two main lazercannons mounted in large rotating bubble turrets.
The old boy says you two should get some rest... You've got some time before they catch up to us.
Han notices the packs containing the young princes.
Better store the boys in a lifepod. Secure them well.
He heads back toward the bridge, followed by Whitsun. Starkiller carries the two micro-packs to a lifepod, and straps them in. He checks Biggs' energy supply. It is low. Leia approaches him.
Couldn't we let them out now?
It's better this way. Things are going to get rough...
Will we make it? Is there any hope? Stay with me. ... I love you.
Starkiller is slightly shocked at this outburst. The princess starts to cry and clings to him for support.
No-one is going to die...so stop acting like a child, and start behaving like a queen. What is this silly talk of love? You belong to the people of Aquilae, and my job is to return you to them, nothing more. Now straighten up and get into a lifepod.
She's deeply hurt by his callousness. She breaks away from him and runs down a hallway into a lifepod. He is tired, and angry at the whole incident.
111. BRIDGE - STARSHIP - SPACE
Threepio guides the starship toward the Ophuchi system. The general watches the computer readout estimate the position of the Imperial hunter destroyers.
Hostile craft will intercept at thirty plus.
What's the nearest star System?
Starkiller rests in one of the lasercannon pod bays. He is thinking about Leia. Slowly a smile creeps across his face. He makes a decision, jumps up, and hurries down a hallway. He taps on the lifepod bulkhead, and Whitsun opens the door. Starkiller is surprised.
What is it?
Where is Leia?
She went forward.... What's going on with you two?
We're in love. She loves me, and I just realized,... I love her.
You're asking for trouble... She's a queen... You're a warrior....Do you know what you're saying?
I don't care... I've got to talk...
Whitsun just shakes his head, but before Starkiller can finish his sentence, the ship is rocked by a bombardment of proton torpedoes. The intercom squawks to life.
GENERAL (over intercom)
Get to those guns!
Starkiller and Whitsun rush to the lasercannons, and jump into the protective suits and helmets.
Han enters the bridge and sits before a fire control center. The general sits in a chair, slightly behind and above Threepio, directing the robot pilot.
Turn around! Let's face them.
Artwo, sitting quietly in a corner, watches as Threepio punches new information into the computer and the giant starship swings around in a sharp circle. Several torpedoes explode near the ship. The general switches on the intercom.
Your boys ready?
The captains adjust the lazercannon controls in front of them and check in with the general.
They should be within range in twelve seconds...
Starkiller adjusts his giant lazer ack-ack cannon, searching his electronic tracking screen for the hunter destroyer. Whitsun is having a problem with one of the rotating mechanisms on the huge gun. He curses, climbs out of the chair, and attempts to fix it.
My vertical rotating circuits are out...
The princess straps herself into a small lifepod. Only the slightest hint of concern or worry shows in her face. She listens to her protectors relay instructions as the enemy approaches.
115. BRIDGE - STARSHIP - SPACE
The starship shudders as the hunter-destroyers open fire. Han relays the ship's status to the general, as Threepio struggles to keep up with the barrage of orders.
We're losing deflectors three thirty one and ten forty two...
GENERAL (to Threepio)
Cut hard to maridian nine zero six. Level to three degrees...(into the intercom) We're coming under one. Wait for my signal!
The constant flashing of deflected laser bolts reflect in the interior of the lazercannon bubble. Starkiller re-checks his firing switches..Whitsun adjusts his headphones, and lowers a glare reflector. He raps on the power rotation circuits, and gives them a little test burst. The pod instantly rotates a few degrees. The large starship heads directly toward the three enemy ships and at the last moment dives under the attacking craft. Starkiller watches the smaller crafts pass overhead, aching to open fire. He calls Whitsun on the intercom.
I've got no signal. I'm on target. What's wrong? What are they waiting for? I've got an open shield!
The three Imperial craft are firing incessantly at point blank range.
Wait for the signal.
But Starkiller has a perfect shot, and he can't wait. He squeezes the trigger and the giant lazercannon, with a burst of smoke and electrical charge, opens up on the enemy craft. Moments later, the signal lights flash on and Whitsun commences firing on the receeding hunter-destroyers. Two of the Imperial craft break off, and prepare for another attack run. The third is hit by a concentrated barrage from the two captains, and begins spinning out of control, until it finally explodes. Whitsun gives Starkiller a victory wave, which Starkiller gleefully returns. These moments of triumph are broken by the intercom.
Annikin, next run you wait for my signal. We haven't much power to spare on your inaccurate grandstanding!
Starkiller's pride is wounded. He resets his accelerators, as the two remaining hunter-destroyers begin a second run.
Han turns to the general.
We have a weakened shield on the port turret...
Warn Starkiller. Get him out
Princess Leia listens to Han warn Starkiller.
Your shield power is down. Abandon that position, and seal that section. Report! Captain, do you hear me? Captain?!!!
Leia becomes worried that something has happened to Annikin. The young captain switches off the intercom system and signals to Whitsun that the system has gone dead. Before Whitsun can answer, the two hunter-destroyer spacecraft are upon them once again. Lazer bolts flash all around them. The general's signal flashes on, and the captain starts to return the fire. One of the Imperial fighters concentrates its fire on Starkiller's weakened gunport. A direct hit blows open a hole in the turret, and everything that isn't bolted down is sucked into outer space, including Starkiller. He bangs against the side of the starship, held only by a weakened lifeline.
The princess hears Whitsun explain Starkiller's predicament, and rushes back to help him. She is stopped by a pressure locked door leading to the gun emplacement.
The general orders Threepio to swing the spacecraft around and start a new attack. He turns to Artwo.
Use the aft port...See what you can do for Starkiller.
Artwo hurriedly waddles out of the bridge. Threepio and Han simultaneously turn to the general.
More craft approaching!
It looks like at least six or seven.
The general studies the radar scopes and then checks a Galactic map displayed on one of the monitors.
Change course to three point one.
That will head us directly into the path of the Norton Asteroid Belt.
That Asteroid Belt is too dense to pass through...The ship won't make it!
We'll never defeat them in combat. It's our only chance to lose them.
Threepio punches in new coordinates, and the starship veers away toward the treacherous asteroid belt.
Whitsun fires on one of the two hunter-destroyers which is pacing the rebel starship. Starkiller unsuccessfully tries to pull himself back inside the spacecraft. The enemy craft maneuvers wildly in an attempt to get into a better position, to fire on Starkiller. Whitsun blasts away, until the Imperial spacecraft spews forth equipment and personnel, careens off, and eventually explodes.
Artwo wobbles along the exterior of the ship, until he reaches the stranded captain. He attaches a new lifeline to the young
GENERAL (over intercom)
Secure yourselves. We may have to eject. Abandon the turrets.
The princess rushes back to her lifepod and straps herself in. Whitsun and Artwo help Starkiller make his way out of the lazercannon turrets and through a series of locks, to the lifepod area.
The asteroids hit hard. The ship is buffeted to and fro as the general, Han, and Threepio struggle into their spacesuit-like lifepods. The Imperial hunter-destroyer closest to the rebel ship explodes in the onrush of deadly asteroids. The new reinforcement hunter-destroyers turn back and give up the pursuit. They disappear from the tracking monitors. The asteroid bombardment becomes almost unbearable. Warning lights begin to flash. Extending foils, antennae, and armament pods are scraped away from the starship hull. A baseball-sized hole is punched through the midsection, and hundreds of objects are sucked into space. A large locker eventually plugs the opening. The starship and her passengers shudder and sway under the punishment of the asteroid storm.
The ship is breaking up.
We're almost clear of the storm.
We'll never make it. Eject, we must eject.
The general watches the computer monitor as the starship emerges from the far side of the Asteroid Belt.
We're approaching one of the Forbidden Systems....
We've got to achieve orbit.
We'll never make it.
The starship heads for a small blue-green planet in the distance.
Starkiller was considerably shaken in the destruction of his lazerturret. He is slightly dazed as Whitsun straps him into a lifepod with Artwo.
WHITSUN (to Artwo)
You watch him. Make sure this pod gets off all right.
Artwo nods, and Whitsun moves to the second lifepod and straps himself in next to the princess.
Will he be all right?
I think so.. His feelings for you are dangerous. You should discourage him.
She is surprised that Starkiller has any feeling for her, but keeps her emotions to herself.
The general is strapped into
the lifepod with the two micro-
We're in orbit.
We've got to eject now! Those reactors won't hold much longer. This ship's going to end up in a million little pieces,... and I don't want to be one of them.
All lifepod systems are operative.
GENERAL (into intercom)
If you boys are ready back there, we'll get off this bucket.
All systems operative...I have the signal.
All systems operative...We have the signal.
Han salutes the general, and his lifepod jettisons away from the crippled starship. He is quickly followed by the general.
Artwo pushes the jettison switch, but nothing happens. Starkiller slowly and with some difficulty, pushes the switch two or three times. Nothing happens. He begins to look a little worried.
STARKILLER (into intercom)
We've got a problem...Wait a second...
Artwo pushes the switch again, and the lifepod blasts off in a cloud of smoke and debris. Whitsun also seems to be having a problem. Half the lights on his control panel have gone dead. He struggles to reactivate them.
My power's out!
GENERAL (over intercom)
Is it a faulty switch?
No. The whole bank is out.
Whitsun gives the princess a reassuring look, then punches some information into the computer. The monitor flashes: "Income line main power." He looks outside the lifepod and sees a damaged cable.
I've found it...
You haven't much time...The auxiliary units have already blown....
Whitsun scrambles out of the lifepod and rushes over to the severed connector. He works on it for a few moments, then
The two lifepods containing the general, and Han and Threepio drift away from the disabled starship.
I can't see him either.
Starkiller uses the small rockets on his lifepod to maneuver back toward the burning starship. He can hear the general over the intercom.
Starkiller, where are you? Report in.
Starkiller reaches down and switches off the intercom.
Whitsun appears to have found a solution to his situation and rushes back to the princess. He reaches in and locks on the power switch.
There is only one possible solution, and we must use it. Lock the hitch and make sure it is sealed.
But what of...
Another explosion creates a large bulge in the wall of the aft section.
We've no time!
He slams the hatch shut and runs to the power connector. Smoke begins to fill the chamber, as Whitsun slams a large metallic dampening tool across the damaged connector terminals, and the lifepod jettisons away.
127. LIFEPODS - SPACE - YAVIN ORBIT
The princess jettisons free, as Starkiller moves toward the crippled ship. Leia calls the general on the intercom.
I'm all right, but Clieg is still on board.
Starkiller, stay out of there.
With a rumble, the starship disappears in a spectacular explosion, sending debris in all directions. Starkiller stops his lifepod and it starts to drift. He is weeping. Han and the general helplessly watch the remains of the explosion drift away.
Starkiller, stay near Leia. Use your beacon. Coordinate with us.
Starkiller's intercom is weak, and there is a great deal of static. The lifepods drift toward the awesome blue-green Yavin surface. The general loses sight of the other lifepods as they descend through the cloud cover.
Captain, I'm losing your beacon. Send me a new signal.
All he gets is static. The planet surface rushes toward the falling lifepods. Retrorockets automatically kick in and slow the pods. Two of the small craft break through the clouds and land in the dense, steaming jungles.
The general's lifepod crashes through the foliage until it comes to rest in the middle of a large vine-covered tree. He grabs the two micro-packs and climbs out of the lifepod, and onto a large moss-covered limb. Han and Threepio run to the base of the huge tree.
Are you all right?
Fine...Any signal from Annikin?
Nothing yet. I think they landed further south.
The general attaches a thin cable from his utility belt to the tree trunk, and slides to the ground. Han takes the micropacks from him. The general looks around at the jungle.
This is dangerous country...We'd better stay together.
The wildlife in the forbidden system is extremely hostile...Perhaps we should seek shelter?
Han inspects the power units of the micro packs.
Windy's unit is very low. I can't tell if the unit is still functioning.
We have to find a place to revive them. We'll start moving south. We should find protection along that ridge.
The general grabs one of the micro-packs and starts off into the murky jungle. Han and Threepio quickly follow. The jungle is a strange and eerie, fog-laden purgatory. Gruesome and unnatural sounds permeate this ghostly wasteland. Everyone is cautious, and on the alert for an unseen danger.
Starkiller's lifepod is also caught in the limbs of a gargantuan tree. The lifepod has been ripped in half by the crash landing. The unconscious Jedi hangs half out of the damaged craft. A two foot high insect-like creature scoots down a branch and onto the back of the dormant warrior. The insect lets out a chilling hissing sound, and a slimy tube emerges from its hairy mouth, waking Starkiller. He is immediately aware of the insect. His eyes are open, but he doesn't move. Suddenly, with one quick blow, he knocks the creature against the side of the spacecraft, and it is squashed lifeless.
Starkiller is a little groggy, but he manages to climb out of the wreckage. He looks around for Artwo.
Artwo! Artwo Detwo!
Starkiller turns and sees the little robot hanging upside down, one of his three feet caught in a vine. He lifts Artwo out of his predicament and places him securely on a wide limb.
Did you see Leia?
She landed on the other side of those trees, approximately eight hundred meters.
Well, come on, old buddy. Let's get ourselves out of this tree.
The general, Han and Threepio reach a shallow cave near the top of a steep ridge. They quickly pull off the micro-packs and place them on a clear piece of ground at the mouth of the cave.
GENERAL (to Han)
Check out the inside. Threepio, stand guard. Keep your eyes on the countryside.
He looks at the power units on the micro-packs and shakes his head with a worried look. Han returns from a survey of the inside of the cave.
It doesn't go very far. There's nothing back there.
Help me with this.
Han helps the general lift the top from the case containing Windy, the younger of the two princes. The small boy appears lifeless as the general pulls him from his encasement, and rests him on the cave floor. Han pulls a small resperation out of the micro-packs and places it over the boy's nose. The general attaches two electrodes over his heart.
He doesn't look good.
The little prince begins to turn blue. The general grows tense. Windy starts to regain consciousness, but begins coughing and choking, then goes limp again. The general quickly props Windy's mouth open with a small plastic rod and checks the reading on his power pack.
We need more power...tap off Biggs' unit... Quickly!
He then places Windy's arms behind his back and starts pressing on his chest with sharp, rhythemic movements. Han attaches new electrodes to the boy's heart. Windy again comes to, choking and coughing. Finally, he begins to cry. The general takes the plastic tube from his mouth and tenderly pats him on the back.
Let's get Biggs out of there. He shouldn't be a problem.
Starkiller slams closed the hatch of Princess Leia's lifepod. In the distance, the subhuman cries of lonesome tree beasts cut through the forest murmur.
Perhaps she went in search of us.
Starkiller studies the ground around the capsule. There are a great many footprints, and much broken foliage.
Someone's got her. She put up quite a fight... It's an easy trail to follow.
Both Biggs and Windy are sleeping restlessly on the floor of the cave. Han watches over them as the general scans the valley below with a pair of electrobinoculars.
It's about fourteen degrees below the horizon... a little to the left.
The electrobinoculars sweep the rich green landscape until they come to rest on a bright reflection, revealing some type of structure.
It's too small to be a military
..It's on the way. Perhaps we should investigate.
Little Biggs wakes up with a giant yawn.
Hey! Where are we?
The gargantuan trees are shrouded in mist, and the ominous sounds of unearthly creatures fill the air. Starkiller moves quietly and cautiously, followed by Artwo, who inadvertently makes a loud clicking sound. The young warrior stops, and motions to the stubby little robot.
Wait here. If I don't return by zero two hundred, come looking for me.
The mechanical dwarf acknowledges with his computer light. Starkiller moves swiftly and silently forward, until he hears laughing and voices. He climbs up the bankside of a huge tree, and inches his way out onto one of the huge overhanging branches. Below him, he can see a group of scruffy, alien trappers sitting around a nutron stove joking and telling stories. Parked on either side of the group are two large, tank-like "jungle crawlers." Behind the crawlers, five Wookees, (huge grey and furry beasts) hang upside down in a tree. Occasionally, they thrash about in great anger and frustration.
The trappers speak in a strange language, and although they appear slightly human, they are slimy, deformed, hideous looking creatures. Two of the trappers yell at one another
When the smoke clears, Starkiller lies unconscious amid the burning rubble. The jungle crawler begins to move out of the camp. The last two trappers run after it. One is able to jump on board, but the second trapper runs too close to the now freed Wookees. CHEWBACCA, one of the furry giants, grabs him and snaps him in two, like a stick of wood. The jungle crawler disappears in the forest mist. The eight foot Chewbacca, who resembles a huge, grey bushbaby with fierce baboon-like fangs, struggles to free his companions.
Starkiller regains semiconsciousness, and attempts to get up, only to groan and collapse back into unconsciousness. The Wookees gather around him and poke him a couple of times to see if he is still alive. They squawk and jabber, apparently in some kind of argument. Finally, DEWANNA, the largest of the Wookees, picks up Starkiller and puts him over his shoulder. The group disappears into the jungle foliage.
Han and Threepio carry the two little boys on their shoulders. The general stops on the edge of a clearing, and motions for the others to be still. Biggs turns around, and signals his little brother to be quiet. On the opposite side of the clearing, a small metal structure is attached to one of the huge trees. It is a small, weatherbeaten hut of futuristic design. It appears deserted. The general cautiously approaches the structure.
Howdy stranger... What can I offer you?
I'm Owen Lars of Bastine.
The general takes the old man's extended hand.
I'm Luke Skywalker of Aquilae.
He signals for the others to join him in the clearing.
The small caravan of Wookees, led by Chewbacca, enters a small clearing surrounded by many bark and mud hovels. Young Wookees race ahead of the group yelling, and running in and out of the grubby little dwellings. Giant, bushbaby-like Wookees of all ages and sizes, make their way into the clearing. Many stand dumbfounded, but others let out a joyful scream and rush up to members of the group, hugging and kissing them.
Dewanna dumps the unconscious Starkiller on a raised area in the middle of the clearing. Armed Wookees immediately surround the helpless human. Chewbacca enters the largest of the lodges. He is greeted by his father, AUZITUCK, Chief of the KAAPAUKU tribe; an old and feeble Wookee dressed in royal skins and headdress.
Anthropologist Lars, the general, Han and the children sit around a large table eating. Lars yells into the kitchen.
Beru! Where's the thanta sauce?
BERU LARS, Owen's warm, plump wife, enters, carrying a small pitcher. She smiles at Owen.
I swan! I put it right here in front, so you'd see it...(to Han) Here's some Bum Bum extract. It's very mild...
LARS (to general)
There are no settlers to the south since the Dau family was wiped out... I'm afraid I couldn't even get in there to bury them... Those Wookees are the fiercest critters I've ever run across. A new tribe moved in down
Where's the nearest city?
No cities at all...only a few scattered settlers and -- one Imperial outpost... But the troops are of no help. They kill and plunder rather than protect...Enough... If your friends landed father south, I'd fear for them.
How far is the outpost from here?
Five leagues...an oppressive blight.
What class is it? How many support craft?
It's very small, a class two....Only ten or twelve starraiders, I think.
Beru fusses over the boys, who refuse to eat their vegetables. She makes up a game, which tricks them into eating. The general ponders the situation. Han eats, like he hasn't eaten in years.
Starkiller is surrounded by Wookees. Young ones push through to get a better look, as the adults jabber and argue about the human. Starkiller regains consciousness with a groan, and a sudden hush sweeps over the gathering. Starkiller staggers to his feet, and the group of Wookees back away in mass. The young Jedi surveys the situation for a few moments. The Wookees appear to be frightened of this brave warrior. He reaches for his weapons, but they are gone. Three guards with long spears attempt to contain Starkiller. With a loud shout, he lunges at them, and they give him a little room.
Jommillia is caught off-guard, but manages to block Starkiller's attack with his spear. The two warriors engage in a savage and fantastic duel. Starkiller cuts the Wookee's spear in half, but is hit along the side of the head by the shaft and is momentarily dazed. The battle ax is knocked from his hands. He grabs the spear shaft and rams the giant creature in the belly. A loud command from outside the crowd stops the fight. The Wookees part, revealing Chewbacca and his father, who approach the two warriors. Jommillia bows before his chief, and is commanded to move away. Chewbacca speaks to Starkiller. He doesn't understand, but welcomes the chance to catch his breath. Chewbacca then presents his father, who steps forward and bows before the mighty Jedi. Chewbacca bows also, as the crowd of Wookees chatter in disbelief. When the chief and his son rise, Starkiller bows down before them. This pleases the Wookees, and they screech and cheer.
Mr. and Mrs. Lars stand on the balcony of their tree house with Threepio and the two little princes, Biggs, and Windy. Han and the general emerge with large survival backpacks and multiplelaZer weapons.
GENERAL (to Threepio)
We'll call for you when we've found them.
Your orders are quite clear. The boys will be quite safe.
Don't worry. The patrols never come out this far. We'll take good care of the boys.
Lars, your kindness will surely be rewarded.
Just be careful out there...
He pats Skywalker on the back as the old Jedi and the ever faithful Han descend from the tree house. At the base of the huge tree, the warriors climb aboard two small rocket powered platforms.
LARS (yelling down to them)
They're pretty old. I hope they'll be all right!
Out here, they're a wonderment.
Threepio and the kids wave as the jelsticks start with a whine. They idle about five feet above the ground.
Good hunting. May the force of others be with you.
Han and the general wave as they ride off into the foreboding Yavin sunset.
A beautiful, but frenzied fire festival is underway. Wookees perform the WAITA TAR dance, and yodel in a barking fashion around a large fire. The female Wookees arrive, carrying torches, and move in a circle around the males. The giant creatures are too involved to notice that little Artwo makes his way around the dancers. The stubby robot stops near one of the mud huts, and looks around. He then wobbles off toward the large chief's quarters, and enters.
Artwo exits the chief's hut and looks around. It is a quiet, grey morning. A low mist hangs over the now deserted clearing. He turns and signals back into the hut. Starkiller cautiously emerges from the mud house. he wears a crude backpack, and carries a large battle ax. They start across the clearing. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Chewbacca is standing before them. He says nothing, but scratches his head and then circles around Starkiller.
We are leaving...We must go. Stand away!
The huge Wookee kneels and bows down in front of the young Jedi. Starkiller looks down and smiles.
Rise my friend. We will meet again.
Starkiller walks toward the jungle and Chewbacca scurries ahead of him and bows down once more.
What does he want?
Starkiller shakes his head, and rubs his several days growth of beard. He leans down toward Chewbacca.
Stand up so we can talk properly.
Chewbacca jabbers in a questioning fashion.
I am grateful to you and your people, but I must go. I wish you understood me. It would make things so much easier. Go! Go!
Starkiller turns away, and begins to walk toward the jungle again. Chewbacca gets to his feet, and runs after the Jedi, following a few paces behind. Starkiller notices the Wookee following them, and shakes his head.
The bodies of the killed trappers are covered with rat-sized insects. A lazer explosion erupts in the middle of the slimy creatures and they scatter into the underbrush. Han and the general turn over one of the dead trappers.
They ran into something.
It's strange they left their dead. Something...
Two or three moving this way, from the east.
He listens more closely for a few moments.
Starkiller and Artwo break out of the dark foliage into the clearing. He waves to Han and the general. Artwo waddles a few paces behind. Chewbacca sees the humans and stops at the edge of the jungle. He watches as Starkiller and the general carry on an animated conversation. Han sees the Wookee lurking in the shadows.
You were followed.
He wouldn't stay. He's one of the ones I saved...
Han calls out to Chewbacca in the Wookee's own language, and the huge, lumbering creature approaches the group. Han and the Wookee talk for a few moments, then embrace as if they were old friends. Starkiller is surprised.
HAN (to Starkiller)
This is Chewbacca, son of Auzituck, Prince of the Sawas, a very powerful tribe. It seems they've made you a god.
The general smiles. Starkiller is embarrassed.
Starkiller joins the general on a ridge overlooking the Imperial outpost of MAVASSI. All that can be seen of the fortress is a lone guard standing on a small pedastal, jutting out above the dense jungle.
Their trail leads directly to the outpost. Patrols are probably out looking for us by now.
Finding her in there isn't going to be easy.
Starkiller spots something moving in the jungle. He scans the area with his electrobinoculars.
Something's going on down there... Han!
Han moves up next to Starkiller, followed closely by Chewbacca.
Your eyes are better than mine.... What do you make of that?
They look like Wookees...hundreds of them.
Han turns and speaks to Chewbacca, gesturing toward the movement far below in the jungle.
Apparently, it's a siege. They've been harassing the outpost for almost two years.
Have they ever tried to take the fortress?
Han relays this to Chewbacca.
He says they've made several assaults, but they are no match for the weapons.
It's only a class three fortress. Maybe they just need a little help.
Starkiller grins, and Han says something to Chewbacca, who becomes excited and screeches loudly.
The incoming signal alarm on the anthropologist's radio system wails through the calm of the tree house. Biggs, dragging an eight-legged, furry rodent, rushes up to the old radio and flips
I'm reading yah. Go ahead.
Biggs, how are you getting along?
Great! I caught a thumper...a really big one. Its name is "Amber."
He yanks on the leash, and the furry beast lets out a strained yelp.
Good, Biggs. How's your brother? Are you taking good care of him?
Oh, sure. He's out collecting "Abas" with Owen and Beru. I'm in charge here. Did you find Leia?
Not yet. We'll be away for a while. You mind Lars until we return. May the force of others be with you.
All right. Take care.
Threepio enters the room, carrying a plate of steaming food. Biggs turns the radio off, and puts the receiver away. A crashing sound and voices are heard in the clearing below.
Come and eat your dinner.
They're back! They're back! Come Amber!
The furry rodent jumps up onto its eight stubby legs and rushes over to the door, but stops short, and begins to growl. Biggs stops behind the creature.
What is it, Amber?
Biggs peeks out the window, and sees a patrol of six Imperial stormtroopers climbing out of an airtank. He ducks back, and tugs Amber away from the door.
Quiet, Amber. Come here. Come on.
Troopers. We must hide! Stay quiet.
Biggs and the robot scramble for a trap door near a large shelf. The troops begin to climb the ladder to the tree house. The trap door is heavy, and the robot and the little boy struggle to get it open. The troops break in the door, just as Threepio closes the trap door. The stormtroopers are led by a rough looking sergeant. They poke around, tearing everything apart. Biggs struggles to keep Amber quiet. Suddenly he realizes something.
The sergeant takes the bowl of food from the table and studies it. He then takes a small chrome ball from his pocket, and tosses it into the air. Antennae shoot from its surface as it floats around the room. Eventually, it hovers over the trap door. A sinister grin sweeps across the sergeant's face as he moves over to the trap door and puts the chrome ball back into his pocket.
Threepio puts his arm around Biggs who is desperately clutching the struggling thumper. All the movement above them stops, and Biggs looks to the robot.
They're still up there. Stay still.
The silence continues, then suddenly the trap door swings open with a loud bang. Amber breaks away from Biggs, and attacks the sergeant. One of the other troopers cuts the thumper in half with his lazersword. The sergeant pulls Biggs out of his hiding place. Biggs stares at the dead thumper.
The general sits at the head of the large stone table, pushing small markers around. Han explains what the general is doing, to ten or fifteen Wookee chiefs gathered around the table. Occasionally, Chewbacca puts in a word of further explanation or answers a question. Starkiller sits back silently watching the Wookee warriors and listens to the general's plan.
.... then they pull back to here. That's where the trap will be set. No-one must advance. An assault on the perimeter is useless. Our only hope is to use their weapons against them.
The general pauses, while Han and Chewbacca translate.
GENERAL (to Starkiller)
Once we acquire those tanks, our prime object must be to secure the starship. No-one must escape.
Three officers run along a row of giant air tnaks to a perimeter bunker. There, two stormtroopers are watching the jungle. When the officers arrive, the troopers let them look through the powerful, mounted electrobinoculars. One of the troopers points out several areas in the dense jungle.
A trooper sitting at an elaborate control panel, turns to an officer watching a monitor system.
A large concentration of trestuals at point E-2.
Alert squads one through six!
147. VINE JUNGLES - OUTPOST PERIMETER - YAVIN
The general stands in a small clearing surrounded, by many armed Wookees carrying large shiny shields. Han moves back and forth, barking orders to the assembled creatures.
GENERAL (to Han)
We're ready. Give them the signal.
Han motions to a young Wookee, who takes off, running through the jungle.
Three large air tanks slowly move toward the outpost perimeter. The tank pilots sit on the hatch rims of the ponderous weapons, studying the movements of the Wookees. The tank personnel talk to one another on an intercom system.
There is a large concentration....red two by C-3. Let's break them up.
The pilots slip into the tanks and close the hatches. The tanks open up with a barrage of lazer bolts which create a wall of explosions. The Wookies retreat, and the tanks follow. The tank crews track the feeling creatures with various electronic scopes, and laugh at the fleeing creatures.
The general stands on a limb of a jungle tree, watching the advancing tanks. Starkiller is on another branch a few feet away.
They've grown sloppy fighting Wookees. The intra-fazer systems aren't on. They're in for a little surprise.
Starkiller flashes a signal mirror, which is received by a Wookee near the tanks. The Wookees are in pairs, and they hold heavy stone wedges attached to woven vines; which in turn, are fastened high in the trees. When the tanks pass directly under the Wookees, they let loose with the heavy stone pendulums. The wedges fly through the air, neatly clipping off the antenna groupings protruding from the tops of the air tanks.
150. INTERIOR - AIR TANK - VINE JUNGLE - YAVIN
Several of the lights and monitors go dark on the main control panel. The pilot flips several switches in a panic.
All high phasing units are out. We've lost all contact....
Send out a ground signal!
Suddenly, all of the monitors go white, and static fills the crowded tank interior. An alarm signal sounds.
What is it?!!!
All signals...sensers....everything is coming right back to us. Some kind of deflection screen. It's a total blackout.
Get out there and see if you can see anything.
The pilot pushes a button and the main hatch slowly slides away.
The pilot pops out of the hatch and sses two rows of Wookee warriors holding reflective shields. They form a circle that totally encompasses the massive air tank. Han shouts a signal to a group of Wookees in another tree, and they cut loose a bent limb which is attached to a noose around the tank's hatch. The noose instantly tightens around the pilot, and he is plucked from the tank and suspended fifty feet in the air. In an equally swift move, Starkiller drops a small gas grenade into the open hatch. It explodes and engulfs the tank in a grey mist.
The Wookees let out a joyful yell, and charge the tank. Han yells at them to stop, but several make it to the conquered craft before the gas cloud dissipates and they are felled by the fumes. Starkiller shakes his head, then after the smoke clears, jumps on the back of the immobile tank.
Several signal mirrors flash their messages to Han and the general.
That makes four captured.
Have them camouflaged. I'm going with Starkiller.
Wookees are removing the tank crew as Starkiller checks out the power controls. The general slides through the main hatch.
She's fine...We're ready to move.
Then let's go...
The general yells for the Wookees to clear the tanks, and they scramble out of the hatch.
The tank starts up with a loud roar, startling the many Wookees resting on the mighty vehicle. Chewbacca yells at the warriors and they fall a few feet behind the tank, their shields forming a shiny protective wall.
Several officers stand on a parked air-tank trying to get a better view of the operation. A light landspeeder pulls up next to the group, and a general gets out. The officers snap to attention.
Can you see anything?
No Sir, but they've stopped firing.
Communications still can't reach them, Sir.
Nobody seems to know what's going on.
I'm sure they've got them on the run, Sir.
A lazerbolt flashes out of the jungle and knocks out a guard tower about a quarter of a mile from where the men are standing. Seconds later, the air-tank on which they are standing explodes into a million pieces. Out of the jungle, rumbles the captured air-tank, driven by Starkiller and followed by a column of Wookee warriors.
Alarms sound, troops rush from the low block houses, and a battle rages inside the outpost. Wookees with spears, axes, and arrows, manage to hold their own against the lazer weapons of the stormtroopers. Explosions erupt everywhere, as the Wookees begin to use captured lazerrifles. They are much fiercer fighters than the soft Imperial troops.
Starkiller works the controls of the air-tank as the general watches the monitors, and works the lazerguns.
Swing left. They're trying to cut us off.
Starkiller maneuvers the air-tank in front of a line of ten starships, cutting off a platoon of stormtroopers. The troops open fire on the tank, but are cut down by a group of Wookees who have moved in behind them. Han and Artwo run up to the tank as Starkiller and the general climb out of the hatch.
We've taken the main control center. All power units have been shut down. They're helpless.
Have they found Leia?
They've taken her back to Aquilae. The ship left not more than ten hours ago.
Set up a perimeter around these starships...Use as many men as you need.
Starkiller and the general sit at a large table in the deserted office of the Imperial Chief of Staff. The room is in a state of disarray; papers are scattered everywhere. Artwo stands on a chair, projecting an image of the "death star" fortress orbiting Aquilae, on the table top.
....And are connected to the central system by a series of crossing networks similar to section TB4 or F687.
The projection switches to a close-up view of the transformer. The general studies it carefully, then leans back in his chair. Artwo turns off the projector.
I'm not going to stop you, but I think it's a reckless move. Even if you could get in, you'd never be able to get out... Just be patient. We now have enough ships to attack in force.
But no pilots...
Han and Chewbacca enter the office.
Still no contact with Owen
Lars or the kids...
Have Chewbacca send two of his best warriors out there to get them.
Han relates this to Chewbacca. The general turns back to Starkiller, who watches Chewbacca leave the room.
They're fierce warriors, but you'll never teach them to fly.
The general gives him a stern look.
They'll fly, and Aquilae will be free.
May the force of others be with you.
The general embraces the young Jedi.
Bring her back safely.
Starkiller, dressed as an Imperial skyraider, and Artwo climb aboard one of the giant four-man starships. A crowd of Wookees, lead by Chewbacca, give a rousing cheer for the departing Jedi. Starkiller breaks into a smile and waves to the joyous warriors. The general watches the proceedings from a bunker turret. He is lost in thought.
Three Imperial space transports dock inside the huge artificial moon. Two smaller convoy starships circle the larger craft until the three ships are safely inside the vast fortress.
General Vader of the Imperial Space Fleet, hurries down a hallway, followed by a group of officers. They enter the large conference room where Leia is held under heavy squad. She appears well, but saddened. Vader approaches her and bows before her.
I pray you have been treated honorably? I am your servant, Darth Vader. It won't be long before we will be able to return you to your people. (to an aide) Are the chambers ready?
They are working on it, Sir.
Leia stares defiantly at him. She starts to speak, but a powerful electric shock engulfs her body, and she whines in extreme pain.
Just relax, and everything will be fine. (to guards) Take her to section twenty-five.
Leia is forcibly taken from the room.
VADER (to officer)
What time do the doctors from Alderaan arrive?
Sixty-five hours, Sir.
Put all security stations on alert until they arrive.
The officer salutes smartly, and exits.
A huge air tank rumbles along the approach to the Imperial outpost. The pilot sits on the main hatch of the tank, talking to his crew, by headphones.
Any contact yet?... It appears deserted... I don't like it.
The tank enters the outpost perimeter and smoking rubble from the recent battle comes into view. The pilot becomes alarmed.
There has been an attack! Reverse direction.
The tank comes to a grinding halt, but before it can start up again, it is surrounded by the Wookee army. From out of no-where a Wookee is on the back of the air-tank and has the pilot in a powerful armlock.
A Wookee chieftain rushes from a bunker, followed by an excited, jabbering warrior. They reach the captured air-tank just as the last crewman is hauled out, and little Biggs pokes his head out of the hatch. He is frightened. His younger brother, Windy, follows him out of the tank. Below them, the Wookees bully the captured crewmen.
What will they do to us?
I don't know, but it don't look good.
Threepio pulls himself out of the air-tank, followed by Owen Lars and his wife. The Wookee chieftan climbs on board, and starts to jabber at the group. The Wookee carries on for some time, gesturing wildly, and continually pointing at the sky. The two boys are too scared to say anything. Finally, the Wookee kneels before them. Threepio politely returns a short bow.
I don't get it.
The Wookee rises and again gestures skyward, just then a starship wildly buzzes the field, upsidedown. All the Wookees run for cover. The chief Wookee points to the crafts, and jabbers incessantly.
Chewbacca sits at the controls of a four-man starship. His face is a twisted combination of complete panic and an awesome religious experience. The general, sitting next to him, calmly switches a few buttons on the control panel, as Han watches from the seat directly behind the Wookee.
You'll get the hang of it.
Han also gives the Wookee a few words of encouragement.
Now, let's see if we can get into orbit... Push this, then ease her up.
Chewbacca follows the instructions, but pulls back on the lever too fast and the ships begins to vibrate and bounce violently. Chewbacca thinks it's funny, and begins to laugh hysterically. Han becomes nervous and quiet.
Not so fast - Back off! Back off!
Don't worry. Ignorance is on their side.
Han is beginning to look a little sick. He gets up and rushes to the back of the ship.
The canopy on the starship pops open, and Artwo and the young Jedi, disguised as a starraider, climb out onto the docking platform. An officer and two groundcrew approach him and salute. Starkiller hands him his papers.
I'm here to check the vent ports in the rim tracks.
Your ship is from Yavin... We've lost all contact with them. What's going on out there?
There is a fierce inversion just east of Bull Pup station... It's really a mess out there.
The officer smiles and the ground crew starts to check out the starship. Starkiller heads for the main docking exit, followed by Artwo. He remembers something as he passes the control station, and calls out to the officer.
Do you mind if I use your com-link?
No. Go ahead.
Starkiller walks into the small control area and pretends to talk on an intercom system.
STARKILLER (to Artwo)
Find the highest security area.
Artwo punches his claw arm into a computer socket, and the brain comes to life, feeding information to the little robot.
Station 325 is the highest security area on board. It's a detention area.
They disappear into a chamber lock hallway.
Starkiller, trying to look inconspicuous, waits for a horizontal elevator. Troops and fortress personnel come and go, but no-one seems to pay any attention to the pair. Finally a small car arrives, and Starkiller follows Artwo into the podlike vehicle, and it takes off through a vacuum tunnel.
Starkiller and Artwo enter a security station. Guards and electronic cutters are everywhere. An officer approaches Starkiller, and checks his papers.
The B-23 can't enter this station.
But I need him.
Sorry. No mechanical personnel. It's restricted.
Starkiller watches helplessly, as Artwo is led into a waiting area.
You may proceed, but you'll have to be escorted.
A trooper joins Starkiller and leads him through a series of hallways. Starkiller carefully surveys the area as he follows the guard.
Mathusians just beat the PDR's again. They should be in another league. Do you follow the ecometrics?
Code six - Alert.
Six Wookees sit before Han and the general, listening to Han explain something about space fighting. Owen Lars approaches the general.
We've made contact with the underground on Aquilae. Things are tighter. They can only get one man out. Datos is on his way.
We should be ready by the time he arrives.
Han turns to the general.
They're ready to go up.
The general makes a short statement to the Wookes in their own language. They let out a loud cheer, and run for the row of starships.
The general sits next to Chewbacca, as he leads two other Wookee piloted starships in a tight formation. They head for a small cluster of asteroids orbiting near the planet's surface. The general quietly gives Chewbacca some reassuring instructions. Han leads a second formation of three ships, following Chewbacca's group. The two formations of starships make an attack run on the asteroids. The general watches as Chewbacca lines up and fires at an asteroid blowing it into a million pieces. The general smiles, and slaps Chewbacca on the back. The Wookees excitedly chatter among themselves over the intercom system.
A patrol of ten men marches through one of the long hallways in the detention area. They stop at an intersection. The officer in charge reports on the intercom.
Ben Five to Moma. All clear.
The officer finishes his report on the intercom and yells for the troops to fall-in. Men scurry in all directions and out of a narrow corridor emerges Starkiller, dressed in the uniform of an Imperial startrooper. He joins the platoon, and they march away.
General Vader and several officers watch the progress of the search on TV monitors. The general speaks into an intercom.
Have them clear the area. Bring in the seekers.
On the monitors, the troops are assembled in the main entryway and several small chrome balls are thrown into the hallway. Small antennae pop from the chrome surface, and the small balls float down the hallways. Valorum, once a proud Knight of the Sith, enters wearing the uniform of a stormtrooper. He snaps to attention before the general, and hands him a report. Vader gives Valorum a sly grin.
Contact has been lost with the ship carrying the doctors from Alderaan. The princess' treatment will have to be delayed.
We've just trapped your own friend Starkiller. Watch us accomplish what you found to be impossible.
Valorum is humiliated, but stays at attention. Valorum gets an emergency call on the intercom.
Yes...Yes... Put it on the view screen.
One of the TV monitors switches to an image of the unconscious trooper Starkiller stripped.
Get me the Captain of the Guard.
170. DETENTION AREA - MAIN ENTRY - SPACE FORTRESS - AQUILAE
Three squads of troops including Starkiller, stand at attention in the main entrance to the detention center, while the Captain of the Guard gets new orders over his headphones. Starkiller studies the situation carefully, looking for a way out of his predicament. The Captain of the Guard calls up the platoon sergeants and gives them a series of orders. They return to their squads and begin to inspect the troops. Starkiller begins to get worried.
The sergeant works his way down the line until he gets to the trooper next to Starkiller. He sees no chance of escape, but surprise. Suddenly, he bolts from the ranks and races down the hallway.
CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
Ten troopers break out of the ranks and take up the chase. Starkiller runs down a corridor and rounds a corner, reaching a dead end. The troops round the corner and confront the trapped Jedi. The sound of igniting lazerswords fills the hallway. Starkiller takes a defensive stance, his huge lazersword buzzing loudly. The troops attack. They fight with skill and bravery, but are eventually all cut down by the invincible Jedi warrior.
Starkiller breaks away from the troops and runs down a long hallway. A safety door slides shut, closing off his escape. He turns around in time to see another door seal off the opposite end of the hallway. Before he can make any attempt to pry open the door, gas fills the sealed corridor. Starkiller collapses in a heap on the floor.
Vader laughs as he watches the unconscious Starkiller on the TV monitors. All of the other officers in the room are laughing and joking, except Valorum, who remains grimly at attention.
GENERAL (to Valorum)
Take him to the special section.
Valorum salutes, and exits the offices. Vader laughs again.
Nine gleaming starships sit in a row along the edge of the vast jungle runway. Bizarre and colorful Wookee designs have been painted across the large deflector fins of the spacecraft. Some designs transform the ships into huge and grotesque animals, while others create unique mosaic patterns. The four-man Wookee crews stand proudly at attention in front of their ships. The general, along with Han and the underground leader, Datos, review the assembled Wookees.
I'm speechless. It's amazing. A most impressive display. For the first time since the take-over, I feel real hope.
Will your people be ready?
Our forces have already started sabotaging their com-link set ups. A refugee camp on MANANYO has been conducting raids on shipping from Alderaan. That's how we intercepted those doctors...
GENERAL (to Han)
Get them in the ships... We're on our way. (to Datos) Send the code signal.
General Vader and Valorum watch as a medic revives Starkiller, who has been strapped to an upright slab, protected by cutter-rays.
He's coming round.
The medic backs away, and throws the switch which activates the cutters. A blue glow surrounds Starkiller as he wakes up and sees Vader and Valorum.
For all the myths and the trouble, you don't seem like much...
He laughs and leaves Valorum alone in the room with the young Jedi. Valorum appears sad and frustrated at the capture of the noble warrior. They stare at one another for a few moments.
You were insane to come here. The security on this... this thing is impossible. Why?....For her? I can't believe your loyalty is that
He storms out of the cell. Starkiller struggles to free himself.
The young partisan, Occo, listens to a small transmitter in a secret closet behind the main room in a slum dwelling. He jumps up and runs into the main room, where Quist and several other men are sitting around a table covered with maps and plans.
It's Datos. We've got the go ahead.
Everyone cheers and starts hugging and slapping each other on the back. Finally, they settle down.
Go to your organizations. (to Occo) What's the code time?
Zero three thirty...
May the force of others be with you.
The men solemnly shake hands and leave the room.
Starkiller stands on a small platform before Governor Hoedaack and the High Consul. His hands are held behind his back by electric bonds.
.... And I'm sure the emperor will enjoy your execution. I only regret I won't be there myself. This should end the Jedi myth once and for all. Take him to Alderaan.
Valorum steps forward with a squad of stormtroopers and escorts the prisoner away. Vader and the governor seem very pleased with themselves. Valorum looks back in disgust.
176. CONTROL CENTER - SPACE FORTRESS - AQUILAE
In the large central control room, two officers sit above a row of monitors and giant read-outs.
Look! That whole sector just went dead. We're losing contact with the surface. Use the IF link and find out what's going on.
Valorum halts the squad guarding Starkiller on an observation deck overlooking a starship docking port. Valorum reports to the officer in charge.
Where is the ship?
It's on its way in. It will just be a few minutes.
Valorum returns to his squad and watches the large starship slowly move into the docking area. He glances at Starkiller, who stands defiant, ready to meet his fate.
Valorum continues to study Starkiller. The young Jedi returns his gaze. Slowly, the spacecraft locks onto the docking port with a loud jolt. The troops snap to attention, but Valorum grabs two lazerswords and in one swift move, switches off Starkiller's bonds and tosses him one of the lazerswords. Starkiller assumes a defensive stance, as the troops realize what has happened and draw their swords.
The two warriors fight their way through a side exit. The door slides closed behind them, and Valorum throws the lock, trapping the troops on the observation platform. They race down the hallway and stop at an intersection.
This way! We can get a starship and be out of here before they've discovered...
I'm not leaving without the princess.
It's impossible; there are
Starkiller just grins and runs down the passageway leading to the detention area. Valorum rushes and catches up. An alarm signal wails through the hallways.
The general leads three squads, of three starships each toward the glowing planet of Aquilae.
There she is. Activate your deflection shields.
Valorum talks with the Captain
of the Guard. He gestures wildly, like something important had happened.
Four troops run into the central detention area leading the bound Princess
Leia. The Captain of the Guard salutes Valorum, and the Sith knight,
Starkiller appears boldly at the end of the hallway, facing Valorum and the troops.
The troops rush for Starkiller, swords drawn. They are no match for the skilled Jedi. He makes short work of them, as Valorum frees the princess. The trio then run into another hallway. The princess embraces Starkiller.
We only have a few seconds before they find us. All of these hallways are sealable...
Starkiller spots a small garbage chute on the corridor wall. He goes and looks into it.
Is this pressurized?
The trio slides through a series of chutes, until they end up in a large room full of garbage. Starkiller spots a doorway and struggles to get it open.
They're power sealed...We'll have to find another way, or some way to shut the power off...
They search the smooth-walled room for another exit.
Governor Hoedaack watches General Vader as he supervises the hunt for Starkiller and Valorum. They watch troops move through the detention area via TV monitors. Seekers buzz through the hallways. The general gets a report from an officer on another monitor.
We've lost contact with the surface. There is a good probability of an uprising. Even the IF links are out.
Use a substandard relay and put all units on alert.
The officer disappears from the monitor and is replaced with the Captain of the Guard.
All sections D through P-12 are clear. We have reason to suspect they escaped through the disposal system. We are checking.... (he is interrupted by an excited trooper who tells him something)....We've found them in Receptacle B-29. You should....
A red light flashes on one of the other monitors.
Starships approaching, three squads. Imperial design, but no clearance...
Full alert. Battle stations....
The general turns back to the Captain of the Guards.
You should have them on your screen.
Alarms sound throughout the fortress. Lights flash a warning.
A floodlight switches on, revealing Valorum and Starkiller attempting to cut open the door. The princess stands up and stares into the floodlight. Vader's voice comes over an intercom.
I'm afraid I have no more time to deal with you. A senseless and futile attack by your friends has forced me to take a rather unpleasant course of action. Your execution will have to be expedited.
The intercom clicks off, and a loud rumbling begins to shake the room. With a loud shriek, the princess points to the far wall; which starts to move toward the trio. The situation looks desperate.
Lazerfire from the space fortress creates a wall of death, which the three squadrons of Wookee starships miraculously emerge through undamaged. The general barks orders to the Wookee craft, and Chewbacca and his squadron break off and start an attack dive. Lazer fire from Chewbacca's brightly colored ship hits one of the prime power terminals on the fortress surface. It explodes, creating weird electric arcs, as it goes.
Han and the general also concentrate fire on the distinctive black power terminals. Two more are destroyed in an arcing spectacle. A chain reaction is set off, creating a series of explosions leaping across the surface of the fortress from power terminal to power terminal.
184. GARBAGE RECEPTACLE - SPACE FORTRESS - AQUILAE
The shock of the explosion can be felt over the rumbling of the trash masher. The wall has moved within a few yards of squashing Valorum, Starkiller and the princess. They are still frantically trying to somehow stop the relentless wall, to no avail. The lights blink off, then on again, and the moving wall rumbles to a halt. Leia breathes a sigh of relief.
They must have knocked the power out.
Valorum runs over to the door, and kicks it open. They rush out of the would-be death trap.
One of the Wookee starships is caught in a crossfire and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Another ship for some unknown reason dives headlong into the surface of the fortress, creating a huge explosion.
Starkiller, Valorum, and the princess are thrown to a hallway floor by the explosion. They get up and start down the hallway again. A voice calls out from a connecting corridor.
Hey! Over here.
The trio turns and see little Artwo standing at the other end of the corridor. He waves his claw arm at them, and wobbles toward them.
The power core has exceeded the normal stress quotient by point eight. The magnetic fusion pods have evaporated. There appears to be an immediate danger.
There is a lifepod station at the other end of this sector... Hurry.
The group, followed by Artwo, make a dash for the lifepod, but are knocked to the ground by another explosion, which rocks the hallway. A hole is ripped in one wall, sucking debris into space. Everyone holds on to wall fixtures for dear life.
187. GOVERNOR'S QUARTERS - SPACE FORTRESS - AQUILAE
Aides and officers rush through the office, as Vader tries to keep things under control. Governor Hoedaack remains calm, watching the progress of the battle. Vader turns to the governor.
They've pinpointed every terminal. It's impossible. What are they? Where did they come from? An electromagnetic transfer has started....There's no stopping it...
Continue the fight...
We've already lost control of the planet. We must abandon ship while there is still time...Conditions are much worse than...
Continue the fight...This fortress is invincible. I will not give up.
A giant explosion sweeps through the office.
The tiny starships race the chain reaction explosions across the surface of the fortress. Laserfire is everywhere. one of the starships skimming across the surface, lags behind and is caught in an explosion and disappears.
Han! Get everyone out of there. The whole thing's going to go....Return to Gordon... Get them out.
Han relays the order to the Wookees, and then starships pull away from the crippled fortress.
The group has made its way past the hole in the wall and is climbing into the lifepods. Starkiller helps the princess into one, while Valorum and Artwo get into the other. Warning sirens scream throughout the hallways. Three troops run toward the lifepods, firing laserpistols. Valorum returns the fire, stopping
The two lifepods drift toward the calm of the planet's surface. Starkiller and the princess embrace, and he kisses her tenderly. They watch the ominous fortress grow smaller and smaller as they drift away. Suddenly, a great flash replaces the fortress and rubble streaks past the lifepods. Several giant explosions follow, then there is only a smoke cloud where the mighty fortress once orbited Aquilae.
Queen Leia, in all her grandeur, sits on the magnificent throne of Aquilae. Starkiller and the general stand to her right. Several old advisors stand to her left. Han presents Chewbacca and a delegation of Wookees with a treaty, gifts, and a medal of honor. They bow and exit. Han moves to one side of the crowded court. Valorum stands next to him. They watch as the two robots, Artwo and Threepio, approach the queen, and bow.
Your service to Aquilae is greatly appreciated. You are designated class A-4, and will serve Annikin Starkiller, the new Lord Protector of Aquilae. Rise!
The robots rise and exit through the long entrance hall to the throne. The queen turns and smiles at Starkiller and the general. The general and Starkiller salute their new queen.