STAR WARS III: FALL OF THE REPUBLIC
Original Story treatment by John L. Flynn
Adapted from Part I: “The Adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi”
The Journal of the Whills
By George Lucas
MAIN AND CREDIT TITLES SUPERIMPOSED ON THE BLACK OF OUTER SPACE — pinpointed with piercing stars, several moons, and a bright-colored nebulae. As TITLES end —
The following is related in the story, roll-up format:
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Old Republic was crumbling away, rotting from the corruption and treachery within. Power-hungry technocrats and wealthy bureaucrats maneuvered and bribed their way into office, while one ambitious senator plotted to destroy the Jedi and rule the galaxy.
Hoping to restore virtue and the remembered glory of the Republic, the High Council of Senators dispatched the Jedi Knights – protectorate of justice in the galaxy – on a quest to retrieve the lost Kaiburr Crystal. They believed that the small diamond-like object (which intensified the power of the Force) would unite the disaffected among the people and would destroy the corruption around them.
However, within their Council, the evil Senator Palpatine had other traitorous designs. Foreseeing that the Crystal would secure his position as Emperor, Palpatine deceived one of the Jedi Knights and sent him to acquire the Crystal. . .
SCENE 1: Sigma Vulcanus — a new, evolving world, that is con stantly being shook by violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and which is devoid of sentient life-forms. On the molten, volcanic world of Sigma Vulcanus, Anakin Skywalker, a handsome, swarthy man with a dignified stature, makes an important discovery. Using his lightsabre (as the equivalent of a divining rod), he uncovers the legendary Kaiburr Crystal. It pulsates with energy and fills Skywalker with a false sense of power and importance. But before he can savor his triumph, and return the Crystal to Palpatine, he is confronted by his old friend, and fellow Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi and requested to explain his actions. Anakin refuses, and instantly, the two knights draw their lethal weapons and become locked in mortal combat.
Anakin Skywalker, as if controlled by another force, strikes swiftly in rage, but Obi-Wan Kenobi, the more experienced Jedi, easily deflects the furious blows of his young opponent. “Let go of the Crystal, my friend! Its power will consume you and turn you against the Jedi Knights,” Kenobi explains. But the words are un-heeded by the young Jedi, and the conflict continues.
Skywalker attacks Obi-Wan again, forcing him to discard his defensive posture. Kenobi parries the thrust and sends Anakin’s lightsabre flying out of his hand. At precisely the same moment, a cataclysmic earthquake rocks the planet. The effect is devastating: fissures, in the earth crack open and spout walls of flame; thunder and lightning strike violently from the sky; and several volcanos burst and bubble. The young Jedi struggles to regain his lightsabre, but loses his footing and plunges, still in possession of the Crystal, into a pit of molten lava.
Kenobi hurries to the edge of the volcano and looks down; but he is too late to save his former friend: Skywalker is completely engulfed in lava! With tears in his eyes and anguish in his heart, Obi-Wan picks up Anakin’s lightsabre and bids a sad farewell to the body of his friend.
SCENE 2: Jhantor — is “the bright center of the universe.”
Highly populated and technology-oriented, it is an old world of many contrasts: the huge, domed capital, with its elaborate space ports and transportation systems, stands adjacent to an ancient castle and temple.
In another part of the galaxy, on the capital world of Jhantor, Palpatine enters his senate chambers – followed closely by a brash, young courtier named Prince Valarium – and assumes his place at the head of a conference table. Valarium stands next to him and whispers in his ear as Palpatine’s wizened eyes travel around the table from man to man.
Through a terse discussion with his cabinet members and personal guard, Palpatine reveals that he has bribed or blackmailed most of the High Council members into voting for him as President, but he is concerned with three senators who cannot be swayed – Tara Courtney, Mon Mothma, and Bail Organa. He further explains that, once they have been eliminated, he intends to have his troops take over the Spice and Mineral Mines and blockade the commercial shipping lanes.
Several of his personal guard nod their approval; however, two young officers stand and voice their disagreement. Lieutenant Motti (bright, young and smartly-dressed) and Commander Tarkin (thin, hatchet-faced with dark eyes) report that Palpatine’s military force (which he has genetically engineered on the prison planet) are en route to the Spice Mines and Starports AND that they are ready to take command of the Starfleet; but they fear the swift retribution of the Jedi Knights!
“I think I know the best way to deal with that rabble,” Palpatine announces, standing and walking over to his cabinet. “It’s time that I demonstrate my absolute power–”
Taking a large, crystal globe form his cabinet, Palpatine strokes it with his long, well-manicured fingers, then traces the longitude and latitude lines. The object begins to glow, and (with ILM’s help) conjures a series of images from the planet Sigma Vulcanus. These images combine and crystallize on the SINGLE image of the dead Anakin Skywalker.
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
SCENE 3: Sigma Vulcanus
Four shadowy figures – adorned only in dark, hooded robes (which conceal their identity) – approach the charred, motionless body of Anakin Skywalker and lift him from his fiery grave.
Skywalker’s flesh is torn and scabbed, his hair is missing and clumped in disgusting patches. Deep scars trace his face, and his body and limbs are without life. They place him on the ground with great reverence and begin to administer to his injuries in an attempt to bring him back to life. One robed figure motions to the other: “Bring me the herbs and remedies.” He actually says nothing but is instantly understood by the others. A third figure sprinkles the body with a powder, while a fourth looks toward the stars and begins to chant in a deep, rumbling voice. In a matter of moments, the lifeless body of Anakin Skywalker stirs, as we
SCENE 4: Dagobah (introduced in Episode Five: Empire Strikes Back)
Far across the galaxy, on the bog world of Dagobah, Obi-Wan Kenobi walks through the dense fog and pauses, unhappy and dejected because he has been forced by circumstances to kill his friend. He turns to Yoda, his eight hundred year-old teacher and says: “I have failed, Master Yoda.”
Yoda gives him a contemptuous stare, then closes his eyes: “No good is it to teach you when you have not yet learned patience! Humility!”
Obi-Wan shakes his head and offers an excuse as his reply: “But Anakin was my friend. The Force was with him very strongly, and I thought that I could be as good a teacher as you were with me.” He pauses and breathes a deep sigh: “I fear my mistake may have terrible consequences for the galaxy!”
The Jedi Master points a crooked finger at him: “Most important lesson have you learned! Now a great burden you carry.” Kenobi squeezes his tear-filled eyes shut and drops his head in defeat. But Yoda is immediately at his side to offer comfort and to reveal that Anakin is not dead. He further explains the incidents which have just taken place and foresees a deadly conflict.
The Jedi Knight is pale and silent for a long moment. Then, slowly, he, too, recognizes the entire awesome threat that Palpatine has brought to the Old Republic. He thinks of the lives of his friends (Lady Arcadia Skywalker and Bail Organa) and realizes that he must leave immediately for Jhantor.
SCENE 5: Bridge Interior — a small, saucer-shaped freighter, with cramped quarters and a cockpit-like bridge.
On the starship bridge, Captain Antilles – a rugged, mustached thirty-year old – makes final calculations for his approach to Jhantor when two tractor beams lock-on and bring his vessel to a halt. His short-range scanners reveal two sentry fighters, swooping into a holding pattern on his port and starboard sides. The sentry pilots order him to heave-to and prepare to be boarded.
“No,” he snarls in reply – but quickly reconsiders, when his protocol droid (C3PO) and his ten-year-old, Correllian cabin boy remind him that he is out-gunned. Antilles brings his ship about, and, in moments, despite his objections, a handful of Palpatine’s troops board the freighter and confiscate his cargo.
Captain Antilles curses the officer in charge, and explains the incident is far from over, as we
SCENE 6: Jhantor
When the tragic news of Tara Courtney’s assassination reaches her embassy chambers, Lady Arcadia Skywalker is shocked and hastily gathers her servants and droids to leave for her homeworld. She is a beautiful matron, who is in the last stages of pregnancy, and she is fearful for her unborn child (or children).
For the past several weeks, she has watched the order of Jhantor deteriorate into anarchy under the rule of Palpatine, and she has made plans to escape, by smuggling her household aboard a spice freighter.
But, in the docking bay, Lady Arcadia and her party are suddenly surrounded by a heavily-armed detachment of troops, activating their weapons and raising them to firing position.
She turns to the officer in charge and demands to know what’s going on; but he doesn’t know – he is simply following orders. She resists his authority, claiming diplomatic immunity, but quickly reconsiders when the voice of evil echoes through the bay: “You mustn’t be so hasty, Lady Skywalker!” PRESIDENT Palpatine emerges from the shadows, accompanied by Prince Valarium, and explains that Arcadia, her servants, her droids, and her pilot are being placed under his protective custody.
SCENE 7: Sigma Vulcanus — The Monastic Order of the Sith — a
spartan-like retreat, high atop a mountain ridge
Through a montage of scenes, wherein Anakin Skywalker remains in a coma, the silent, robed figures minister to his injuries. Their task is an awesome one: First, in a most sophisticated furnace, they forge battle armour and a metal breath-screen (skull-like in appearance) that will cover his demolished visage. Next, they amputate his arms and limbs that no longer function, repair vital organs, and encase the torso – forever – in the dreaded armour and artificial respirator.
Finally, they restore the severed limbs with intricate computer circuitry and revive him from his comatose state. Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, more machine than man!
Following his repairs, the monk-like figures (still hidden under their hooded robes) begin to instruct Vader in a dark, evil parody of Luke’s apprenticeship under Yoda. Darth Vader is taught many sorceror’s skills; he is lectured on the sinister machinations of the Force and is shown how to construct an even more lethal sabre using fragments of the shattered Kaiburr Crystal. But with each new challenge, and skill accomplished, Vader is doubtful of purpose. He knows he is being trained as a power weapon – and yet, he cannot conceive why.
Angered by this confusion, and the fear that his humanity (and manhood) has been stripped away, Darth Vader strikes out in rage at one of his hooded teachers only to discover an empty robe. He is momentarily terror-stricken and then mystified as, one by one, the hooded figures vanish – in a strangely, compelling way – to reveal a 3-D holographic image of Palpatine.
“Yes, yes,” Palpatine taunts him, “Only now do you conceive that is was my force of will that saved you – that kept you alive – and that gave you life again!” Darth Vader extends a courtly bow to Palpatine and thanks him for his life. But Palpatine is not interested in gratitude. He is in need of a powerful weapon and an obedient servant, and he reminds the former Jedi that he has the power to crush him should he desire. He then forces Vader to his knees and commands: “Now come to me, my servant. I have an important task that will complete your training!”
SCENE 8: Jhantor — Docking-bay and City Exteriors
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s approach and arrival on Jhantor is undetected by the planetary defenses. Marshalling his Jedi strength and cunning, he is able to slip past the sentries in the docking bay, edge by the troops patrolling the perimeter and reach the home of Lady Skywalker. But when he reaches the embassy, the huge chambers are silent and empty – and there are no apparent clues as to the Lady’s whereabouts.
Then, out of the darkness, Captain Antilles appears and confirms what Kenobi already suspects: The Lady and her party have been detained as “guests” of Palpatine in the prison cell block. After introducing himself (as Captain of a Correllian freighter), Antilles explains that he came to her embassy, seeking the help of the Merchanter’s Guild (because of the piracy of his goods), and discovered an R2 unit (Artoo Detoo), that had slipped away during her capture, cowering in the shadows. He further reveals that the R2 unit has monitored her termination notice!
Realizing that he has little time, Obi-Wan enlists the pilot’s aid; and the two men, accompanied by the stubby, mechanical droid, hurry toward the cell-block.
SCENE 9: Jhantor — Palpatine’s Senate Chambers
Palpatine orders his guards to bring the captured slaver to his senate chambers. While pacing back and forth, he examines the individual who stands before him in chains and shrewdly considers his fate: Boba Fett, the lone survivor of a group of commandos the Jedi defeated on Mandalore during the Clone Wars, is charged with interstellar slavery and the cold-blooded murder of the Jedi Kane Starkiller (Refer to Star Wars: Episode II).
Fett’s battle-scarred face sneers at the charges, defending his actions as “righteous vengeance.” The evil President stares malevolently at Boba Fett for several moments, then offers him his freedom (and his confiscated slavership) in exchange for the extermination of the Jedi Knights. He also promises him a rich bounty for each Jedi scalp that he brings back; he wants proof of their deaths – and no disintegrations. Fett grins and replies that he may have difficulty in locating them since they are scattered throughout the galaxy. But Palpatine reassures him that the task should be an easy one with the President’s secret weapon.
Boba Fett dubiously agrees, as his chains are unlocked and he is escorted from the chambers. As the slaver exits, Prince Valarium – accompanied by a few personal guards – announces the arrival of Darth Vader. Palpatine, in a quiet whisper, advises Valarium to – personally – supervise Lady Arcadia’s execution, then requests that Vader be shown in.
As the guards stand aside, Darth Vader, tall and threatening in flowing black robes and armour, enters the chamber and kneels before his master. Palpatine smiles, looking at his nightmare creation in black, and commands him to hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. Vader is hesitant and requests permission to visit his wife. But Palpatine refuses, telling his servant a vicious lie that she has been murdered by his comrades, and produces his crystal globe as evidence.
Seemingly unmoved, Vader turns to look at a series of images Palpatine conjures (from the globe). The images re-create – in holographic form – the treacherous betrayal and murder of Lady Arcadia by two of Vader’s fellow knights. (Note: since the images are too brutal for our saga, tight point-of-view camera angles should convey the details.) When the last image vanishes, the Dark Lord, fooled by the false images, stands, ignite his lightsabre and strikes the crystal globe with monumental anger. And this rage completes Vader’s journey to the dark side.
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
SCENE 10: Jhantor — Cell-block
Meanwhile, deep in the cell-block dungeons, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Captain Antilles overpower a pair of detention guards and open Lady Arcadia’s cell. Overjoyed to find her still alive, Obi-Wan embraces Arcadia warmly, then senses the pains of her motherly contractions. Antilles interrupts their embrace and reminds them to save their hellos until they’re safely out of the cell-block. But, as they leave the cell, Prince Valarium and his personal guards appear and draw their weapons. Antilles exchanges fire with the guards, and Obi-Wan and Arcadia hurry off into the dungeon maze, followed closely by the Correllian pilot.
Retreating down a linking corridor, past the cell-block armory, the two heroes – with their pregnant fugitive – decide to stand firm and fight. Captain Antilles charges his weapon and blasts away at the detention guards, while the Jedi Knight concentrates all his thoughts and feeling on detonating the arsenal and sealing the dungeon exit. But, in the midst of his efforts, Kenobi’s heightened senses feel his former friend’s RAGE. The rage, in turn, betrays Vader’s thoughts and President Palpatine’s sinister mission (to Obi-Wan).
“Whatever you’re doing – do it faster!” Antilles shouts, snapping the Jedi out of his daze. Kenobi immediately refocuses his energy and, in a matter of moments, the armory explodes, isolating the guards from them. However, the noise and excitement are too much for the Lady Skywalker as she doubles over in pain.
The Correllian pilot fears she’s been hit by flying shrapnel – but Kenobi says she’s having a baby and advises Antilles take her to the safety of his freighter. He further explains that he must leave – in spite of his desire to help Arcadia – to warn his fellow knights of Vader’s treachery.
SCENE 11: Jhantor — Palpatine’s Chambers
Reporting to the President’s chambers, Valarium reluctantly tells of Lady Skywalker’s escape. Palpatine is angered and quickly orders – over his private comlink – a division of troops to search the city. He then orders the arrest of Mon Mothma and Bail Organa to prevent any further interferences in his plans.
Turning to Valarium, Palpatine’s face darkens to an insane fury. Blinding energy bolts shoot from his finger tips, and the young Prince is struck down. “Don’t fail me again!” Palpatine warns, as Prince Valarium crawls, like a wounded animal, to his side and gasps, “Never . . .”
SCENE 12: Jhantor — Docking bay, interior of saucer-shaped Correlian freighter
In the dank, dark hangar-bay, Obi-Wan Kenobi departs in his starship, and Captain Antilles turns his attention to one of his most difficult tasks. With the nervous assistance of C3PO, he first comforts Lady Skywalker, then helps deliver her children. The moment is a joyous, mystic one as Luke and Leia take their 1st breath and begin crying. But that special sound of babies crying brings a detachment of troops down upon them! *
* Special Note: The troops should be costumed differently from the stormtroopers because they are part of Bail Organa’s personal guard, – but the scene should cause a false moment of suspense for Antilles, and the audience.
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
SCENE 13: Jhantor — Palpatine’s Chambers
Still enraged from Valarium’s carelessness, Palpatine plots a unique political move that will destroy Lady Arcadia’s influence with the Merchanter’s Guild AND further cement his power with commerce and industry. He first frees a handful of pirates and bribes them to raid the Spice Mines and Mineral Springs; he then orders his personal troops to eliminate the pirates and guard – as well as regulate – the shipping lanes.
But. in the midst of his political maneuvering, Palpatine is struck down – paralyzed – for a few, fleeting moments. When he regains his composure, he is deeply disturbed by a nightmare premonitions, a tremor in the Force which threatens his well being. He senses Lady Arcadia’s true strength – the birth of a son that would one day challenge his power. (But he fails – in his twisted wickedness – to sense the second child!)
Sending his special group of assassins into Jhantor, Palpatine orders them to kill every new-born son – both in the capital city and the nearby outlands – because, for the first time in his life, he is afraid. (The character should be played much like Herod’s in the New Testament.)
This brutal action (of Palpatine’s) spawns screams of anguish and unrestricted weeping as the soldiers – unquestioningly – carry out their violent task. (Note: The horror of the events will be merely suggested – and not shown – to our cameras.)
IMMEDIATE CUT TO:
SCENES 14 TO 18: Numerous Worlds — Each distinct in its own way
Across the galaxy, in a terror-filled montage of scenes, wherein we glimpse numerous worlds and races, the betrayal and execution of the Jedi Knights is perpetrated. Darth Vader and a handful of Palpatine’s assassins barge into an exotic saloon and eliminate an alien-looking Jedi amidst screams and mass hysteria from the patrons.
While this is happening, Boba Fett leads a group of stormtroopers into a docking bay and disintegrates the Knight mending repairs in his starship. And by the time Vader and his cohorts have slipped into the quarters and strangled a sleeping Jedi, Boba Fett, accompanied by several trained assassins, chases down and executes a fleeing Jedi and his family. However, the abomination of Vader (as well as Palpatine’s sinister plan) is not complete until he destroys the remaining Jedi Knights as they make a final stand.
The battle is fearsome, and the Jedi force manages to kill a large number of troops; but they are vastly outnumbered, and soon, they are massacred – to the last man – by Vader’s troops.
After dismissing Boba Fett and his troops, Darth Vader looks over the battlefield, at the dead bodies, then takes a deep breath and says, “Kenobi, I will deal with you myself…”
* * *
Obi-Wan Kenobi hears Vader’s words – but he is too far in space to offer him a challenge. He accelerates his starship, thinking of his compatriots, and hurries to the planet. However, arriving several hours too late, Kenobi is disheartened to find the dead bodies of his fellow Jedi Knights. He unhappily builds a funeral pyre and burns their bodies (in a ceremony befitting a viking hero). He then examines the broad, huge footprints in the sand, and whispers Darth Vader’s name.
SCENE 19 : Jhantor — The Alderaan Embassy — Well-guarded, the building is deceptive in its heavy fortification.
With very little military effort, a special detachment of troops take Captain Antilles, Lady Skywalker and party through the defenses of the Alderaan Embassy and deliver them to a darkened conference room.
Bail Organa, Viceroy and 1st Chairman of the Alderaan System, enters the room and apologizes to his guests for frightening then with his personal guard, but he confesses that his caution is not without warrant: Jhantor was full of spies and assassins and the R2 unit (in her embassy) could have been a clever trap. He further explains that his colleagues had put too much trust in the stability of the Republic, failing to realize that while the body might be sound, the head was growing diseased and feeble, and THEY WERE ALL DEAD! There is deep bitterness in his voice, and genuine concern for Lady Arcadia.
Antilles and Arcadia accept his apology and anxiously insist upon diplomatic sanctuary. But, as news of Palpatine’s takeover of the Merchanter’s Guild and the galactic shipping lanes reaches the Embassy, the outlook is grim! Organa curses loudly, suddenly realizing that there was nothing he could do to prevent the fall of the Republic and guarantee their safety.
Pragmatically, he prays for their salvation by the Jedi Knights (unaware of their extinction), then orders the immediate evacuation of the Embassy.
SCENE 20: Jhantor — Palpatine’s Chambers
With grim anticipation, Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, kneels at his ruler’s feet and reports his success. Palpatine is pleased that his servant has eliminated all but one of the Jedi Knights and smiles – with evil delight – at Valerium and the other members of his cabinet. He then asks the fate of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vader is hesitant and replies that he and Kenobi have a private matter to settle! But that answer is not satisfactory enough.
Palpatine pauses in his interrogation and boasts of his ambitious plans (of galactic conquest) to Vader and the others that are assembled: his few traitorous lieutenants have betrayed their superiors and taken control of the Starfleet; his troops have successfully routed marauding pirates and have begun to regulate commerce and industry along the shipping lanes; and his political arrangements with greedy landlords, sadistic gangsters, and power-hungry governors have made his power absolute. He explains (that he has told them this to illustrate) that his control is predicated on his personnel following orders, even at the cost of their own lives!
Pausing a second time, Palpatine dismisses Valarium, and orders him to report to the control center. The young prince agrees and bows slightly, a gesture Palpatine acknowledges with a perfunctory salute. Then he spins and strides from the room, leaving the Dark Lord looking from man to man in confused silence. As Valarium steps into the corridor, he is grabbed and assassinated by Palpatine’s guards. Darth Vader then nods his understanding as the evil President reminds: “The fate of those who fail me is DEATH!”
IMMEDIATE CUT TO:
SCENE 21: Jhantor — Docking-bay
In the docking-bay, the massive evacuation of the Alderaan Embassy is taking place under tight security. The humming of elevators and the moving of heavy equipment echo through the large chamber as the bustling flight crews make ready their freighters and the pilots perform final checkouts. Bail Organa, with the “help” of See Threepio, supervises his men loading supplies and ammunition, while Artoo Detoo aids the Lady Arcadia with her two infants. Captain Antilles is suspiciously nowhere to be found.
Momentarily, the defensive sensors sound alarm – but they are quickly silenced when the unknown danger is identified as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s approaching starship. Once in the docking-bay, Kenobi emerges from the craft and informs Bail Organa and his anxious troops that the Jedi Knights have all been destroyed by the treachery of President Palpatine and the hand of Darth Vader.
A heart-felt murmur sweeps over the docking-bay, like a swell in a heavy sea. The last Jedi Knight’s second piece of news is even more grim: the Starfleet, under the command of Palpatine’s forces, have formed a perimeter blockade, and their purpose is to prevent Organa from leaving and force him to surrender his ground oops.
Bail Organa curses quietly to himself, recognizing the futility of further conflict. The great leader – Viceroy and Senator of the Alderaan system – has fought many battles: he has fought along side Kenobi and the other Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars, and has helped to eliminate piracy and slavery – with the crusading Lady Arcadia – in the formation of the Merchanter’s Guild. But this time, he realizes that he is outmatched! Organa acquires a comlink from one of his men and begins to broadcast surrender orders to his troops.
When, suddenly, dozens of Merchanter’s Guild members, of all species and life-forms, follow Captain Antilles into the Docking-bay and assemble around Bail Organa. The group of freighter pilots and navigators is an impressive one: There are representatives from Mon Calamari, Bespin, Sullest, Correllia, Mandalore, Kessel, and Alderaan. Some are wearing fatigues, loaded with weapons and tools, while others are adorned in their native wear.
“Some of them still have their ships – and the others will fly anything we can put into the air,” Antilles reports, and the morale of Organa’s men is revived again. “And if this action makes us pirates and outlaws – in the eyes of Palpatine’s new empire – then we’re with you one hundred percent!”
As the two groups of men (and aliens) hurry off, cheering the success of their united departure, Obi-Wan Kenobi approaches the Lady Arcadia with his painful secret. He reluctantly admits that his pride (in the Force) may have betrayed Anakin to Palpatine, and that the man she once loved was now a hideous monster, more machine than man. She is, at first, taken aback, chilled by his statement; then, with tears in her eyes, she confesses that she, too, felt him slipping away – many months before – and was unable to reach him either.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Lady Skywalker exchange a tender embrace, and recognizing the potential danger they they both faced, they arrange to separate the children with the hope that they would be united one day as brother and sister. Kenobi will take Luke to live with his brother Owen on Tatooine, while Arcadia will arrange for Leia to live as daughter of Senator Organa, on Alderaan. This way the children would have a better chance of survival should one (or the other) be discovered by Vader!
SCENE 22: Bridge interior — Flagship of the Starfleet* in the Jhantor Star System
Darth Vader emerges from his private shuttle and strides past a handful of troops in formation. His presence is awesome and threatening as he approaches the starship captain. Commander Tarkin bows from the neck down and advises his superior that they were ready to annihilate anyone who attempts to run the blockade. Tarkin is over confident in his appraisal of the situation, and that reflects in his conversation with the Dark Lord.
* Special Note: The Starfleet – at this moment in galactic history – is composed largely of heavy cruisers, destroyers, and spacecraft carriers, with a full complement of fighters. There are no Star Destroyers, Death Stars, or TIE fighters because the Republic’s Starfleet was used primarily for exploration and occasional law enforcement. However, under the ruthless command of Darth Vader, it is a formidable opponent.
Organa and his diplomatic party captured alive (if possible) so that they would face the embarrassment of a public tribunal. And the Dark Lord adds that he wants Kenobi (!), his voice conveying the image of a dreadful fate (that would be inflicted) if his commands were not executed.
Tarkin reluctantly salutes and backs away from him, angered that their positions were not reversed. He barks several commands, and his troops spring to battle stations.
SCENES 23 TO 27: Jhantor Star System — Various types of spacecraft against a backdrop of stars and a brightly coloured nebulae
Alarms sound full alert as the handful of freighters, transport ships, blockade runners, luxury cruisers and one-man fighters approach the armada of the Starfleet. The ships attempt – first – to cross the blockade with the diplomatic colors and symbols of Alderaan; but, when that fails, they energize their main deflector shields and prepare to fight their way through.
(Captain Antilles and Obi-Wan Kenobi hold their groups up as the first wave attacks.)
Keeping a tight formation, dozens of transport ships and luxury cruisers move in close to the Starfleet armada – and begin blasting away, while fifty-or-so small freighters and one-man fighters race across their surfaces, zipping between laser bolts as they engage the small pursuit fighters. Their plan is one of strategic genius: by flying in close, the rebel group emasculates the fire-power, which is ineffective at close-range, of the larger ships. Additionally, the erratic and hot-dog flying of the Merchanter’s Guild members confuse and place the military pilots at a momentary disadvantage! And that disadvantage is exploited: Antilles and Kenobi launch the second wave of ships and wait tensely to join the conflict, or make their escape.
However, the heroic efforts (of the rebel flight crews) are brought to an abrupt halt by the armada as the heavy cruisers fire broadsides at point-blank range, disregarding their own safety. The Starfleet’s audacious and dangerous move seems to turn the tide of battle: small one-man fighters scatter, luxury cruisers reverse their engines, and freighters drop their additional weapons and accelerate away. But, as the proton beams take their toll, last-ditch, suicide runs are made by the damaged rebel craft: a cargo freighter – loaded with weapons and cargo – heads on a collision course for one of the Destroyers and explodes, while a transport ship – mortally wounded in combat – limps at a heavy cruiser and detonates its nuclear engines, destroying his opponent with him. The balance of the small craft punch through holes and race for open space!
Captain Antilles, piloting the saucer-shaped freighter (with Bail Organa, Lady Arcadia, and party aboard), dives into the chaos, then steers through the battle. Once clear, he engages his ship’s hyperdrive and soars away at light speed. Several pursuit craft follow – but their weapons are ineffectual against his ship’s deflector shields and their ion-propelled engines are no match for his.
In another sector of the battle, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s starship swoops past an engagement and accelerates into space, pursued by Darth Vader’s flagship. Kenobi executes a series of stunning maneuvers in an effort to lose the Heavy Cruiser, but he quickly realizes that it will not be easy to shake. Marshalling the Force around him, the last Jedi prepares for a death-defying stunt. He then guides his starship into the nebulae; and with his deflector shields (and the Force) at full intensity, Kenobi flies through the core of the exploding star.
Darth Vader stands silently on the Bridge of his starship, gazing in disbelief at the brightly-colored nebulae. He demands the scanning sensors probe the area for any sign of the Jedi Knight – but the results are negative! Gravely disappointed, the Dark Lord orders the Flagship returned to the fleet and walks away, sensing that they would meet again.
The victory is an incomplete one for Palpatine’s forces. His starfleet has destroyed or captured nearly three dozen vehicles – but scattered throughout the galaxy were rebelous pirates and outlaws that he would one day have to deal with!
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
SCENES 28 TO 30: EPILOGUE —
Jhantor — EMPEROR Palpatine, with Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, at his side, smiles malevolently and plots his next move as his assembled troops chant: “Long Live Palpatine! Long Live the Empire!!”
Alderaan — Lady Arcadia Skywalker – now a common servant in the Organa household – sings her daughter to sleep under the watchful sensors of Artoo Detoo and See Threepio, while Bail Organa awards Captain Antilles with a commission in his service.
Tatooine — Obi-Wan Kenobi, the last Jedi Knight, delivers the infant boy to his brother, Owen Lars, then disappears into the desert wasteland, awaiting the day when Luke would claim the light sabre of his father from him) and become a man.
Copyright 1983 by John L. Flynn
Characters and Star Wars Universe are copyrighted by LucasFilm, and this original story is not meant to infringe upon those rights. This is a fan story treatment, written in tribute to George Lucas’s enduring saga.