The Star Wars: Il quarto copione (8/1975)

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“THE STAR WARS”

From The
Adventures of Luke Starkiller

By

George Lucas

Third Draft
August 1, 1975
Lucasfilm Limited

“… and in the time of greatest despair,
there shall come a savior, and he shall
be known as The Son of The Suns.”

Journal of the Whills, 3:127

“THE STAR WARS”

FADE IN:

1. EXT. SPACE

A vast sea of star serves as the backdrop for the MAIN TITLE, which is followed by a ROLL UP:

The REPUBLIC GALACTICA is dead. Ruthless trader barons, driven by greed and the lust for power, have replaced enlightenment with oppression, and “rule by the people” with the FIRST GALACTIC EMPIRE.

For over a thousand years, generations of JEDI KNIGHTS were the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed by the sinister agents of the Emperor: the DARK LORDS OF THE SITH.

It is a period of civil wars. Rebel Armies, striking from fortresses hidden deep within the Great Rift, have won a crushing victory over the powerful Imperial Starfleet. The Emperor knows that one more such defeat will bring a thousand more solar systems into the rebellion, and Imperial control of the Outland systems could be lost forever. To crush the rebellion once and for all, the Emperor has sent one of his most ferocious Dark Lords to find the secret rebel strongholds and destroy them…

The awesome yellow planet of Utapau emerges from total eclipse. A tiny silver spacecraft races into view, followed by a giant Imperial stardestroyer. Hundreds of deadly laser bolts streak from the Imperial warship as it dives on the smaller craft. The overwhelming concentration of laser fire causes the main solar fin of the rebel craft to disintegrate, creating a spectacular heavenly display. The smoldering rebel ship is quickly overtaken by the giant Imperial warship.

2. INT. REBEL SPACEFIGHTER – MAIN PASSAGEWAY

The chaos of battle echoes through the narrow, main corridor of the starfighter.

An explosion rocks the ship as two construction robots, ARTOO DETOO (R2-D2) and SEE THREEPIO (C-3PO) struggle to make their way through the shaking, bouncing passage- way. Both robots are old and battered. Artoo is a short (36 inches), claw-armed, triped. His face is a mass of computer lights, surrounding a radar eye. Threepio, on the other hand, is a tall, slender robot of human proportions. He has a gleaming bronze-like metallic surface of an “Art Deco” design.

THREEPIO
Did you hear that? They’ve shut down the main reactor. We’ll be destroyed for sure. This is madness!

The little dwarf robot makes a series of electronic sounds that only another robot could understand. Rebel troops rush past the robots, and take up positions in the main passageway. Everything is suddenly still and quiet. Tension mounts as the rebels wait for the pending attack. Loud metallic footsteps are heard moving around on the outside the hull of the ship. The scraping screams of heavy equipment being dragged across the metal skin of the starship run chills up Threepio’s bronze spine. He huddles in a small alcove with little Artoo watching the passageway ceiling.

THREEPIO
There is no escape for the Captain this time…

A tremendous blast opens up a hole six feet wide in the side of the main passageway and a score of fearsome stormtroopers, armed with powerful multi-laser rifles, make their way into the smoking corridor. The rebel warriors draw their chrome, laser pistols, and blast out several shots that rip through the Imperial stormtroopers.

In a few moments, the entire passageway blazes with laser fire. The deadly bolts ricochet in wild random patterns, creating small explosions. Stormtroopers scatter and duck behind storage lockers. Laser bolts hit several stormtroopers who scream and stagger through the smoke, holding shattered arms and faces.

In the confusion, Artoo and Threepio are blown slipping and sliding into a power canister, but rushing gas from a broken pipe keeps knocking them over. The lanky Threepio becomes entangled in the mass of dangling wires, which spark and pop every time he attempts to move. Artoo clings to a pipe for dear life.

THREEPIO
Help me! I think something is melting… This is all your fault! I should have known better than to trust the logic of a half-sized thermocapsulary dehousing-assister…

Artoo counters with an angry rebuttal as he struggles to free the larger robot. The battle rages around the two hapless robots. Suddenly, there is a slight lull in the fighting, then a deathly quiet sweeps over the passageway as an awesome, seven-foot tall DARK LORD OF THE SITH makes his way into the blinding light of the main passageway. This is DARTH VADER, right hand of the Emperor. His face is obscured by his flowing black robes and grotesque breath mask which stands out next to the fascist white armored suits of the Imperial stormtroopers. Everyone instinctively backs away from the imposing warrior.

Vader raises his arms and objects that aren’t bolted down, including the rebel warriors, are picked up by an invisible force and hurled to the end of the passageway. In the excitement, Artoo and Threepio have fled down a sub-hallway.

3. EXT. UTAPAU – DESERT WASTELAND – DAY

A death white wasteland stretches from horizon to horizon. The tremendous heat of two huge twin suns settles on a lone figure, LUKE STARKILLER, a farm-boy with heroic aspirations; who looks much younger than his twenty years. His short hair and baggy tunic give him the air of a simple-minded, but lovable lout with a prize-winning smile. His face is partially covered by a breath mask and goggles.

A light wind whips at him as he adjusts several valves on a large chrome pipe, which sticks out of the desert floor much like and oil-rig christmas tree. He is aided by a small, very beat-up tread-robot with six claw arms. The little robot appears to be barely functioning, and moves with jerky motions. A bright sparkle in the morning sky catches Luke’s eye, and he instinctively grabs a pair of electrobinoculars from his utility belt.

LUKE
Holy maker.

He stands transfixed for a few moments, studying the heavens, then dashes toward his dented, crudely repaired Landspeeder (an auto-like transport that travels a few feet above the ground on a magnetic field).

He motions to the tiny robot, who is scooting around in a tight circle, to follow him.

LUKE
Hurry up! Come with me.

The robot stops short and smoke begins to pour out of every joint. Luke throws up his arms in disgust.

LUKE
Great, just great!

He gives the dwarf robot a swift kick in the side, which doesn’t seem to make much difference. The young farm boy rushes to his landspeeder and zooms off leaving the smoldering robot to hum madly.

4. INT. REBEL SPACEFIGHTER – SUB-HALLWAY

A series of explosions echo throughout the ship as the tall, gleaming Threepio rushes through the narrow subhallway yelling at Artoo, who is racing along on a small set of wheels under his center foot.

THREEPIO
They’re heading in this direction! We’ll be sent to the spice mines of KESSEL or smashed into who-knows-what!

Artoo stops before the small hatch of an emergency lifepod. He snaps the seal on the main latch and a red warning light begins to flash. The stubby, dwarf-robot works his way into the cramped four-man pod.

THREEPIO
Hey! You’re not permitted in there. It’s restricted. You’ll be deactivated for sure. Now come out before someone sees you. Come on!

Artoo whistles something at his reluctant friend.

THREEPIO
I’m not getting in there. No more adventures. It’s too dangerous. I’m not that desperate.

Artoo isn’t happy with Threepio’s stubbornness and he beeps and twangs angrily.

THREEPIO
Don’t call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease…

A new explosion, this time very close, sends dust and debris through the narrow sub-hallway. Flames lick at Threepio, and after a flurry of electronic swearing from Artoo, the lanky robot jumps into the lifepod.

THREEPIO
I’m going to regret this.

The safety door snaps shut, and with the thunder of exploding latches, the tiny lifepod ejects from the disabled starfighter.

5. INT. IMPERIAL STARDESTROYER – COCKPIT

On the main viewscreen, the lifepod carrying the two terrified robots speeds away from the stricken rebel spacecraft.

CHIEF PILOT
There goes another one.

CAPTAIN
Hold you fire. No life forms. It must have short-circuited. Don’t waste your power…

6. INT. REBEL SPACEFIGHTER – COCKPIT CORRIDOR

Darth Vader, the black knight, takes a short restraining pole from one of the guards and brutally jabs a captured rebel officer in the chest.

VADER
Where is she? Where is it?

The rebel cries out as the spooky looking Sith Lord begins to twist his arm, creating a gruesome snapping and popping of broken bones.

7. EXT. SKY OVER UTAPAU – LIFEPOD

The reddish-yellow mass of Utapau seems to engulf the tiny lifepod containing the two robots. The grouping of starships grows smaller as the pod descends toward the planet.

THREEPIO
That’s funny. the damage doesn’t look as bad from out here. Are you sure this thing is safe?

8. EXT. ANCHORHEAD SETTLEMENT – POWER STATION – DAY

A small settlement, consisting of a few rundown block-house type buildings, rests against one of the huge rock white buildings. Luke pilots his landspeeder through the dusty, empty street of the tiny settlement. An old WOMAN runs to get out of the way of the speeding vehicle, shaking her fist at Luke as he flies past.

WOMAN
I’ve told you kids to slow down!

Luke pulls up behind a low concrete service station that is all but covered by the shifting desert sands. The rusted hulk of a landspeeder lies half-buried to one side of the building. Luke jumps out of the speeder and runs into the dilapidated power station.

9 INT. POWER STATION – DAY 9

A dismantled speeder rests in the repair bay of the station. Inside the station’s “office” sits THE FIXER, rugged-looking, about thirty years old, with a big moustache. On his lap sits CAMIE, a sexy, disheveled girl about eighteen. Her cloak is pulled up and one of the Chief’s hands rests on her beautiful thigh. They are both sound asleep. In a small room behind the office DEAK and WINDY, two tough boys about the same age as Luke, are playing a computer pool-like game with BIGGS, a tall, handsome startrooper cadet. His flashy uniform is a sharp contrast to the loose-fitting tunic of farm boys. A robot repairs some equipment in the background.

Luke bounces in yelling excitedly, waking The Fixer and Camie. The others come in from the other room, and Camie jumps off The Fixer’s lap, pulling her dress down in a sexy manner. Luke is surprised at the appearance of Biggs.

LUKE
Biggs, you’re back! You graduated from the academy, you’re in the Starforce.

Biggs has an air of cool that seems slightly phony.

BIGGS
Of course, where you been kid?

LUKE
You look great! The uniform and everything!

Biggs snaps to attention.

BIGGS
Startrooper Biggs Darklighter, guardian of the Bendu. At your service…

The dazzling spectacle of his uniformed friend is almost too much for Luke. His eyes glaze over. Suddenly he snaps out of it.

LUKE
I almost forgot. There’s a battle going on! Right here in our system. Come and look!

10. EXT. ANCHORHEAD SETTLEMENT – POWER STATION – DAY

The group stumbles out into the stifling desert sun. Deak and The Fixer complain, and are forced to shade their eyes. Luke has his binoculars out, scanning the heavens.

LUKE
There they are!

Biggs takes the binoculars from Luke, as the others strain to see something with the naked eye. Through the binoculars Biggs sees two small silver specks.

BIGGS
That’s no battle, kid… They’re just sitting there!

LUKE
But there was a lot of firing earlier…

Camie grabs the binoculars away from Biggs, banging them against the building in the process. Luke reaches for them.

LUKE
Hey, easy with those…

CAMIE
Don’t worry about it, Wormie.

Fixer gives Luke a hard look, and the young farm boy shrugs his shoulders in resignation.

BIGGS
You’re dreaming, kid. I don’t think the Empire wants to control this system. Believe me, this place is a big hunk of nothing…

Luke agrees, although it’s obvious he isn’t sure why. The group stumbles back into the power station, grumbling about Luke’s ineptitude,

11. INT. REBEL SPACEFIGHTER – NARROW SUB-HALLWAY

A beautiful young girl about sixteen years old huddles in a small alcove as the stormtroopers search through the ship. She is LEIA ORGANA, a rebel princess. The fear in her eyes slowly gives way to anger as the muted crushing sounds of the approaching stormtroopers grows louder. She steps from her hiding place and blasts two troopers with her laser pistol, but she is greatly outnumbered and quickly captured.

12-13. INT. REBEL SPACEFIGHTER – HALLWAY – CABIN

Princess Leia is led down a low-ceilinged hallway by a squad of armored stormtroopers. Her hands are bound with brass bracelets, and she is brutally shoved when she is unable to keep up with the briskly marching troops. They enter a small gloomy chamber where Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, is sitting. Vader speaks in an oddly filtered voice through his complex breathing mask.

VADER
Did you find anything?

OFFICER
Nothing, sir.

VADER
It must be on board somewhere. Destroy the ship and everything on it.

OFFICER
What if they sent a signal?

VADER
We would have picked it up… Nothing got through… It’s on the ship.

The Officer bows and leaves the chamber.

LEIA
I’m a member of the senate. You can’t hold me… Organa Major is a neutral…

Vader raises his arm and as a sudden pain grips Leia, she doubles up unable to continue. Vader raises his arm and a flask on the table mysteriously jumps into his open hand. He casually drinks from the flask.

VADER
Enough! I already know about the data you’ve intercepted, but it’s too late. Whatever information you’ve gathered will be destroyed… You will come to know such suffering as only the Master of the Bogan Force can provide…

LEIA
You’ll get no information from me. You have no authority… the council can’t hold me!

VADER
It appears your ship had an accident. I will see to it that your death is duely [sic] reported. There will be no one to save you this time.

His frightening laugh rings throughout the ship.

14. EXT. UTAPAU – EDGE OF THE DUNE SEA

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 leave the lifepod and clumsily work their way across the desert coastline.

THREEPIO
What a forsaken place this is.

THREEPIO (CONT’D)
We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life. I’ve got to rest before I fall apart. My joints are almost frozen.

Suddenly Artoo makes a sharp right turn and starts off in the direction of the rocky desert mesas. Threepio stops and yells at him.

THREEPIO
Where do you think you’re going?!?

A stream of electronic noises pour forth from the small robot.

THREEPIO
Well, I’m not going that way. It’s too rocky. This way is much easier. What makes you think there are settlements that way?

Artoo counters with a long whistle.

THREEPIO
Don’t get technical with me. I’ve had just about enough of you. Go that way, go on! You’ll be malfunctioning within a day, you near-sighted scrap pile!

He shoves Artoo and the tiny robot tumbles down a small dune. Threepio starts off in the direction of the vast dune sea as little Artoo struggles to his feet and shakes a metallic claw at his ex-partner.

THREEPIO
… and don’t let me catch you following me, begging for help… because you won’t get it!

Artoo’s reply is a rather rude sound. He turns and trudges off in the direction of the towering mesas.

15. EXT. UTAPAU – DUNE SEA

Threepio, hot tired, struggles up over the ridge of a dune, only to find more dunes, which seems to go on for endless miles. He looks back in the direction of the now distant rock mesas.

THREEPIO
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. His plight seems hopeless, when a glint of reflected light in the distance reveals an object moving toward him. The bronze android waves frantically and yells at the approaching transport.

16. INT. POWER STATION – DAY

Luke and Biggs are sitting in a corner of the now empty power station. Biggs has had a little too much to drink and sloppily leans close to Luke.

BIGGS
I’ll tell you, Luke, and this is between you and me. The star force isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Frankly, it’s a bore, and it’s going to stay that way as long as this system is neutral…

LUKE
But you always said things were so great at the academy… What happened?

BIGGS
The academy is fantastic… Of course, they won’t teach you anything about flying you don’t already know. Most of the instructors are very conservative pilots. You can fly circles around them… but there is a lot on the scientific side that is down-right amazing, and you get a lot of discipline… but after you graduate, don’t join the star force — go free-lance. It’s the only way to get into the action… I can’t wait until my hitch is up.

LUKE
At least you’re doing something… I’d give anything to be in your position.

BIGGS
Just be warned, that things aren’t always as they seem… especially the starforce recruiting posters.

They quietly sit in the dim coolness of the station having run out of things to say. Luke finishes his drink and stands up.

LUKE
It’s getting late. I’ve got to get back or my uncle’s going to kill me.

17. EXT. UTAPAU – ROCK CANYON

The gargantuan rock formations are shrouded in a strange foreboding mist, and the ominous sounds of unearthly creatures fill the air. Artoo moves cautiously through the creepy rock canyon, inadvertently making a loud clicking noise as he goes. He hears a distant, hard metallic sound and stops for a moment. Convinced he is alone, he continues on his way.

In the distance, a pebble tumbles down the steep canyon wall and a small, dark figure darts into the shadows. A little further up the canyon a slight flicker of light reveals a pair of eyes in the dark recesses, only a few feet from the narrow path.

The unsuspecting robot waddles along the rugged trail until suddenly, out of nowhere, a powerful magnetic ray shoots out of the rocks and engulfs him in an eerie glow. He manages one short electronic squeak before he topples over onto his back. His bright computer lights flicker off, then on, then off again. Out of the rocks scurry three MEN, no taller than Artoo. They holster strange and complex weapons as they cautiously approach the robot. They wear grubby cloaks, and their faces are shrouded so that only their yellow eyes can be seen. They hiss and make odd guttural sounds as they heave the heavy robot to their shoulders and carry him off down the trail.

18. EXT. UTAPAU – ROCK CANYON – SANDCRAWLER – SUNSET

The eight dwarves, or JAWAS as they’re sometimes called, carry Artoo out of the canyon to a huge tank-like vehicle the size of a two-story house. They place the robot under a large tube on the side of the vehicle, and the little robot is sucked into the giant machine.

The filthy little Jawas scurry like rats up small ladders and enter the main cabin of the behemoth transport.

19. INT. SAND CRAWLER – HOLD AREA

It is dim inside the hold area of the sand crawler. Artoo switches on a small floodlight on his forehead and stumbles around the scrap heap. The narrow beam swings across rusty metal rocket parts and an array of grotesquely twisted and maimed astro-robots. He lets out a pathetic electronic whimper and stumbles off toward what appears to be a door at the end of the chamber.

20. INT. SAND CRAWLER – PRISON AREA

Artoo enters a wide room with a four-foot ceiling. In the middle of the scrap heap sit a dozen or so robots of various shapes and sizes. Some are engaged in electronic conversation, while others simply mill about. A voice of recognition calls out from the gloom.

THREEPIO
Artoo Detoo! It’s you!

A battered Threepio scrambles up to Artoo and embraces him.

21. EXT. UTAPAU – ROCK CANYON – SAND CRAWLER – SUNSET

The enormous sand crawler lumbers off toward the magnificent twin suns, which are slowly setting over a distant mountain ridge.

22-23. INT. ALDERAAN – PRISON CORRIDOR AND CELL

Two stormtroopers open an electronic cell door and allow a group of Imperial guards to enter. Princess Leia’s face is filled with defiance, which slowly gives way to fear as Darth Vader enters with a giant black torture robot.

VADER
Now you will tell me what you did with the data you gathered. Even if that information should find its way to Mouff Tarkin’s legions, it will do them no good. Your plight is truly hopeless.

Leia stares at the evil lord with determination.

VADER
(continuing)
You will tell me the location of your hidden bases, and you will tell me what happened to the data you stole.

The door slides shut. The long cell block hallway appears peaceful with armored stormtroopers marching back and forth. The muffled sounds of the princess’ screaming are barely heard.

24. EXT. SAND CRAWLER – DESERT WASTELAND – DAY

A harsh gale blows across the bleak gray surface of the endless desert wasteland. The morning sky presses down on the huge sand crawler as it slowly climbs one of the massive sand dunes, then disappears down the other side.

25. INT. SAND CRAWLER – PRISON AREA

Threepio and Artoo noisily bounce along inside the
cramped prison chamber. Artoo appears to be shut off.

THREEPIO
Will this never end?

Suddenly the trembling and bouncing of the sand crawler stops, creating quite a commotion among the mechanical men. Threepio shakes Artoo, and his computer lights pop on.

THREEPIO
Wake up! Wake up! We’ve stopped!! We’re doomed! This is the end… Do you think they’ll melt us down?

At the far end of the long chamber a hatch opens, filling the chamber with blinding white light. A dozen or so Jawas make their way through the odd assortment of robots, placing a small chrome ring to the wrists of the ones they select. Artoo and Threepio are among the chosen, and are herded outside with several other unfortunates.

26. EXT. UTAPAU – LAR’S HOMESTEAD – AFTERNOON

Five battered robots, including Artoo and Threepio, are lined up in front of the enormous sand crawler, which is parked beside a small homestead consisting of three rundown block houses.

The Jawas scurry around fussing over the robots, straightening them up, or brushing some dust from a dented metallic elbow. The shrouded little creatures smell horribly, attracting small insects to the dark areas where their mouths and nostrils should be.

Out of the shadows of a dingy side-building limps OWEN LARS, a large burly man in his mid-fifties. His reddish eyes are sunken in a dust-covered face. As the weather-beaten farmer carefully inspects each of the robots, he is closely followed by his slump-shouldered nephew, Luke Starkiller. One of the vile little Jawas walks ahead of the farmer spouting an animated sales pitch in a queer unintelligible language.

Owen picks out a small astro-robot similar to Artoo, and it waddles along behind the group. The limping farmer stops in front of Threepio and studies him carefully.

OWEN
Do you speak ‘Bocce’?

THREEPIO
Yes, sir, I’m See Threepio, Human-Cyborg relations. I have a full T-6 capacity, and…

OWEN
That’s enough. Luke, take them to the garage and I want you to have both of them cleaned up by dinner.

As the Jawas start to lead the three remaining robots back into the sand crawler, Artoo lets out a pathetic little beep and starts after his old friend Threepio, but is restrained by a slimy little Jawa, who zaps him with a little control box. Owen is negotiating with the head Jawa, when Luke notices something on the R-2 unit.

LUKE
Uncle Owen, this R-2 unit has a bad motivator, look!

He lifts the R-2 unit’s claw arm and it drops lifelessly to the robot’s side. Owen argues with the Jawas for a few moments; then with a little reluctance the scruffy dwarf trades the damaged astro-robot for Artoo Detoo. Owen pays off the whining Jawa as Luke and the two robots trudge off toward a grimy and decaying building on the far side of the homestead. Several large rodents scatter as they pass.

27. INT. LAR’S [sic] HOMESTEAD – GARAGE AREA – LATE AFTERNOON

The garage is cluttered and worn, but a friendly, peaceful atmosphere permeates the low gray chamber. In the center of the room Threepio lowers himself into a large tub filled with warm oil. Near the battered “landspeeder” little Artoo rests on a large battery with a cord attached to his face.

THREEPIO
Thanks the maker! This is going to feel sooo good. I’ve got such a bad case of dust contamination, I can barely move.

Artoo beeps a muffled reply. Luke is slouched in the corner with his feet up on a bench, watching a magazine sized TV set. A woman’s voice calls out from the other room.

BERU
Luke!

Luke jumps to his feet, turns off the TV set and starts dusting little Artoo with an oily rag.

LUKE
Yes, Aunt Beru… I’m in here.

BERU
Come to dinner.

Luke drops the rag and dashes out of the garage.

28. INT. LAR’S HOMESTEAD – LIVING AREA – LATE AFTERNOON

Luke and his uncle Owen sit before a table covered with steaming bowls of food. AUNT BERU, a plump, gray-haired matron, carries in a pitcher of blue milk. Luke is in a good mood, and gobbles down his food.

LUKE
Well, I’m sure glad we finally bought those extra ‘droids.’ I’m sending my application to the academy first thing in the morning.

Luke’s Uncle Owen has a scowl on his face and appears to be in a very grumpy mood.

OWEN
First thing tomorrow morning you’re going to check those condensing units on the south ridge.

LUKE
I will, but I’ll have enough time to transmit my application first.

OWEN
You’ll check the condensing unit first… and you’re not going to bed until those ‘droids’ are completely cleaned up…

LUKE
But you promised! I’ve saved enough money and now you have the extra help … you promised!

OWEN
I said we’d see.
(pauses for a moment)
And as it is, I was forced to borrow your academy savings to buy the new ‘droids.’ When you’ve saved it up again, I’ll let you go.

LUKE
You used my savings! You stole my savings. If my father were here…

OWEN
Your father’s dead. Don’t ever forget who’s taking care of you, giving you food, giving you shelter, and giving you the allowance in the first place. If you plan to work at the academy the way you work around here, you won’t last very long. I don’t want another word. Finish your dinner, then finish cleaning those ‘droids.’

Luke pushes his half-eaten plate of food aside and rushes out of the room. Owen mechanically finishes his dinner afraid to look at his quietly sympathetic wife.

BERU
Owen, you know it means so much to him. Couldn’t you have been a little easier with him?

OWEN
The academy won’t treat him any differently. If he’s going to become a cadet, he’ll have to get used to it.

29. EXT. UTAPAU – LAR’S HOMESTEAD – GARAGE AREA – DUSK

The giant twin suns of Utapau slowly disappear behind a distant dune range. Luke stands watching them for a few moments, then reluctantly enters the dimly lit garage.

30. INT. LAR’S HOMESTEAD – GARAGE AREA – DUSK

Threepio is wiping the oil from his glistening bronze body and little Artoo is still plugged into the power unit. Luke is very angry and slams a wrench across the workbench.

LUKE
It just isn’t fair!

Threepio timidly approaches the fuming youth.

THREEPIO
I beg your pardon, sir, but you appear to be quite distraught. Is there anything I might do to help?

Luke glances at the battered robot and a bit of his anger drains and a tiny smile creeps across his face.

LUKE
Not unless you could get me into the military academy at Anchorhead.

THREEPIO I’m sorry, sir, I’m only a ‘droid,’ and not very knowledgeable of such things… not on this system anyway. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure which system we’re on.

LUKE
That’s all right. There is nothing anyone can do about it. You can call me Luke.

THREEPIO
Thank you, sir. I’m See Threepio, Human Cyborg relations, and this is my counterpart, Artoo Detoo.

Luke unplugs Artoo and begins to scrape several connectors on the robot’s head with a chrome pick. Threepio continues to dry himself.

LUKE
There’s a lot of carbon scoring here. It looks like you boys have seen a lot of action…

THREEPIO
Indeed, sir, sometimes I’m amazed we’re in as good shape as we are, what with the rebellion and all…

Luke sparks to life at the mention of rebellion.

LUKE
You’ve been in the Counter Wars?… Against the Empire?

THREEPIO
That’s how we came to be in your service, if you take my meaning…

LUKE
Tell me where you’ve been. I am going to become a startrooper and fight in the wars. My father was a Jedi! Were you in many battles?

THREEPIO
Several, I think. There is not much to tell. I’m not much more than an interpreter, and not very good at telling stories, not at making them interesting anyway…

Luke struggles to remove a small metal fragment from Artoo’s neck joint. He uses a larger pick.

LUKE
Well, my little friend, you’ve got something jammed in here real good… Were you on a star-cruiser or a…

The fragment breaks loose with a snap, sending Luke tumb ling head over heels. He sits up and sees a small (15 inch) 3-D hologram of Leia Organa, the rebel princess, being projected from the face of little Artoo. The image is a rainbow of colors as it flickers and jiggles in the dimly lit garage. Luke’s mouth hangs open in awe.

LEIA
Whoever finds this message, I beg you see this R-2 unit delivered safely to the authorities on Organa Major.

LEIA (CONT’D)
It is of the most vital importance to all free systems. I guarantee in the name of the United Assembly that you will be richly rewarded for your efforts… My Commanders, use fix Arra Code… X loc tan too nine, I am lost. The Sith Lord will surely take me to Alderaan. You must continue alone…

There is a little static, then the transmission is cut short. A grave concern sweeps over Luke, and he runs out of the garage.

LUKE
Uncle Owen! Aunt Beru!

31. INT. LAR’S HOMESTEAD – KITCHEN AREA – NIGHT

Now that night has fallen, the interior of the homestead is filled with a warm glow. Luke rushes in as his Aunt Beru is putting the last of the dinner plates away.

LUKE
Aunt Beru!

BERU
What is is, dear?

Luke is out of breath and takes a few moments to compose himself. A realization crosses his mind and he suddenly seems much calmer.

LUKE
Ahh… I… I’m finished with the droids and I wondered if I could… ahhh… work on my speeder before I turn in…

BERU
I’m sure that would be all right. But not too late, dear.

Luke gives his aunt a big hug. He seems suddenly very sentimental and serious.

LUKE
I love you, Aunt Beru. I really do.

He gives her a little kiss on the cheek and leaves.

BERU
(to herself)
Now what’s gotten into that boy?

32. EXT. UTAPAU – LAR’S HOMESTEAD – COURTYARD – MORNING

Morning slowly creeps into the sparse, but sparkling oasis of the open courtyard. The idyll is broken by the yelling of Uncle Owen, his voice echoing throughout the building.

OWEN
Luke! Luke! Where could he be loafing now?

Owen enters the courtyard in a huff, scattering the large gopher-like rodents. He opens the garage and notices the battered old landspeeder id missing.

OWEN
Beru! Come here!

33. INT. LAR’S HOMESTEAD – GARAGE AREA – MORNING

Owen enters the garage and looks around. He picks up a magazine-like video slate sitting propped up on the bench. It generates a soft glow, as if it had been left on “hold.” Beru hurries into the garage.

BERU
What is it?

As Owen picks up the video-slate, it turns itself on and Luke’s image appears.

LUKE
Aunt Beru, Uncle Owen, I don’t mean to hurt you and I know you’ve been good to me, but I’m leaving. There are important things I must do. I’ve taken my speeder and the ‘droids’ which you bought with my savings. I’ve also taken my father’s lightsaber. You can keep everything else. I am grateful for all you’ve done. I’ll miss you, Aunt Beru. I love you both…

The image fades and the old couple stare at one another. Beru’s face is filled with a great loos. Finally she turns and leaves the garage, and Owen in disbelief.

OWEN
That boy is going to get himself killed… He’s just like his father.

34. INT. LUKE’S SPEEDER – DESERT WASTELAND (TRAVELING) – DAY

The rock and sand of the desert floor are a blur as Threepio pilots the sleek landspeeder gracefully across the vast wasteland. Luke rides precariously on the back trunk of the vehicle adjusting something in the motor compartment.

LUKE
(yelling)
How’s that?

Threepio signals that it is fine, and Luke climbs back into the wind-whipped cockpit and slides the canopy shut.

LUKE I’ve never been this far beyond the dune sea before. Biggs said the wild things out here were weird and savage, but it doesn’t look like there is much out here to me. I think we should be there soon. General Kenobi was my father’s commander, and he is probably the greatest of all the Jedi knights… or at least my father thought so. He will certainly know what to do.

35. EXT. UTAPAU – ROCK MESA – DUNE SEA – COASTLINE – DAY

From high on a rock mesa, the tiny landspeeder can be seen gliding across the desert floor. Suddenly in the foreground two weather-beaten Tusken Raiders, shrouded in their grimy desert cloaks, peer over the edge of the rock mesa. One of the marginally human creatures raises a long ominous laser-rifle, and points it at the speeder, but the second creature grabs the gun before it can be fired.

The Tusken Raiders speak in a coarse barbaric language as they begin to get into an animated argument.

The second Tusken seems to get in the final word and the nomads scurry over the rocky terrain to where two large BANTHAS are standing tied to a rock. The mon- sterous bear-like creatures are as large as elephants, with huge red eyes, tremendous looped horns, and long furry dinosaur-like tails. The raiders mount saddles strapped to the huge creature’s shaggy backs and ride off down the rugged bluff.

36. EXT. UTAPAU – SAND DUNE – DAY

The battered landspeeder is parked on the top of a huge sand dune. Luke, with his long-barreled laser-rifle slung over his shoulder, makes his way past the bleached bones of a dinosaur-like beast. When he reaches the top of the ridge, he searches the landscape with his electrobinoculars. Threepio lifts Artoo out of the speeder and the stubby little robot struts around stretching his joints between irritated whistles. Luke is depressed as he returns to the speeder.

LUKE
According to my father’s tapes, this is the spot where General Kenobi lives, but the instruments just don’t match up with the landscape… There is no doubt about it, we’re lost…

THREEPIO
If you don’t mind my saying so, sir, I don’t see how anyone could live in this forsaken place.

LUKE
Well, I don’t know what to do now. We’ll just have to head inland and see if we can’t find a settlement.

37. INT. LUKE’S LANDSPEEDER – ROCK CANYON FLOOR (TRAVELING) – DAY

Threepio maneuvers the powerful landspeeder around several massive boulders in the narrow canyon, as Luke intently studies the pulsing radar scope.

LUKE
Something is definitely in the next canyon. There are two or three of them, maybe more.

LUKE (CONT’D)
I don’t like the looks of it. It could be Tusken Raiders or… anything. You’d better stop and I’ll try to get a look at them.

38. EXT. UTAPAU – CANYON RIDGE – DAY

Luke carefully makes his way to the top of a rocky ridge and scans the canyon with his electrobinoculars, until he spots the two riderless Banthas. Threepio struggles up behind the young adventurer.

LUKE
I think we’d better go another way. There are two Banthas down there. I don’t see any… wait a minute. They’re Tusken Raiders all right! I see one of them…

Luke watches the distant Tusken Raider through his electrobinoculars. Suddenly something huge moves in front of his field of view. Before Luke or Threepio can react, a large gruesome Tusken Raider looms over them. Threepio is startled and backs away, right off the side of the cliff. He can be heard for several moments as he clangs, bangs and rattles down the side of the mountain.

The towering creature brings down his glowing red laser- sword, but Luke manages to block the blow with his laser-rifle, which is neatly cut in half. The terrified farm boy scrambles backward until he is able to ignite his own laser-sword and defend himself. In a flurry of blows Luke is forced to the edge of a deep crevice. Luke stumbles under the mighty blows of the fearsome creature, drops his sword and almost tumbles over the cliff to his death. He hangs on for dear life as his feet dangle over the abyss. The sinister Raider stands over him and lets out a horrible shrieking laugh that echoes throughout the canyon.

39. EXT. UTAPAU – ROCK CANYON FLOOR – DAY 39

Artoo forces himself into the shadows of a small alcove in the rocks as the vicious Tuskens walk past carrying armloads of supplies from the battered landspeeder. As they disappear, Artoo squirms out of his hiding place and waddles into the clearing where the speeder is parked.

The vehicle has been ransacked, and Luke is hanging in a state of bewilderment about ten feet in the air. Large gold bracelets with small antenna are attached to his wrists and ankles. He is spread-eagle and slowly rotating. Artoo stands above his master and beeps a few words of astonishment.

LUKE
Well, don’t just sit there. Get something to get me down!

Artoo starts searching for something in the speeder that he might use to get his master down. He pulls a long length of wire out of the engine compartment and ties it into a lasso. As Luke slowly rotates around, Artoo swings the rope and catches the boy around the foot. The line goes taut but rather than pulling Luke down, little Artoo is pulled up as if he had roped a windmill. The stubby robot lets out an electronic shriek and drops to the ground with a crash.

LUKE
We’ll have to short circuit these things somehow…

At that moment footsteps are heard coming through the narrow canyon. Artoo scampers back into his hiding place. Luke’s face is a roadmap of agony as the footsteps get louder.

A huge menacing shadow on the canyon wall gives way to a shabby old desert rat of a man, who appears to be at least seventy years old. His ancient leathery face, cracked and weathered by exotic climates, is set off by dark, penetrating eyes, and a scraggly white beard. BEN KENOBI squints his eyes as he scrutinizes Luke in his predicament.

BEN
Good morning!

LUKE
What do you mean, ‘good morning’? Do you mean that it is a good morning for you, or do you wish me a good morning, although it is obvious I’m not having one, or do you find that mornings in general are good?

BEN
All of them altogether.

BEN (CONT’D)
You seem to have gotten yourself into a fine mess! What happened?

The wizened old man begins to giggle like a child, putting his frail hand to his mouth in a vain attempt to contain himself. Luke becomes annoyed.

LUKE
Tusken Raiders caught me off guard… Well, kill me or cut me down, but don’t just leave me here, ‘cause I’m about to go out off my mind.

Much to Luke’s surprise, the old codger draws his laser-pistol and blasts Luke point blank. The young farmer disappears in a cloud of smoke and drops to the ground. The old man leans over the boy as he rolls over with a loud groan.

BEN
Sorry, but that was the only way to get you down.

LUKE
Couldn’t we have tried to think of something else first!

BEN
You’re lucky those Tuskens didn’t boil you before they hung you out to dry. They’re not the friendly sort. You’d best be moving on before they come back.

Luke staggers to his feet as Artoo waddles up behind him and lets out a pathetic little beep.

LUKE
Threepio!

Luke hobbles off toward the canyon bluff.

40. EXT. UTAPAU – GRAVEL PIT- ROCK MESA – DAY

Little Artoo stops at the edge of a large gravel pit and begins to chatter away in electronic whistles and beeps. Luke slides down to where a very dented and tangled Threepio lies half buried in the gravel.

He tries to revive the inert robot by shaking him, and then flips a hidden switch on his back several times until finally the mechanical man’s systems turn on.

THREEPIO
What happened? I’m sorry, sir, I must have taken a bad step…

LUKE
Can you stand? We’ve got to get out of here before those Tuskens come back.

THREEPIO
I can’t make it. You go on, master Luke. It doesn’t make sense for you to risk yourself on my account. I’m done for.

LUKE
No, you’re not. What kind of talk is that…

The young farmer helps the battered robot to his feet. Old Ben and little Artoo watch from the top of the pit.

41. EXT. UTAPAU – ROCK CANYON FLOOR – DAY

Luke and Old Ben struggle to help Threepio into the low-slung speeder. Artoo follows them, carrying a clawful of tiny parts which have dropped of his friend.

BEN
What brings a young boy like you way out here?

Luke bristles at the use of “boy.”

LUKE
I’m Luke Starkiller, guardian of the Bendu.

BEN
Oh, so you’re a warrior then?

LUKE
Of course. I’m a Bendu officer.

Ben studies the young farmer through narrowed eyes. He suppresses a smile.

LUKE
Did you take me for a trapper of a farmer? Good! Then my disguise is all right. I was afraid I might not look authentic.

Luke notices the old man is impressed with his story, and begins to feel expansive.

LUKE
You can never be too careful in these times. A Bendu officer never gives himself away. I’m actually on a dangerous mission that’s of the gravest importance to the…

Luke suddenly realizes the old man might be an Imperial spy and a worried look crosses his face. Ben laughs heartily.

BEN
You’re right! I could be an Imperial spy. For a Bendu officer, you’re quite a fool.

Luke is embarrassed and concentrates on making Threepio comfortable.

LUKE
Who are you anyway?

BEN
You might say I’m part of the landscape here. They call me Ben Kenobi.

Luke is dumbstruck. Then with a combination of awe and excitement he finds his voice.

LUKE
You’re General Kenobi?!? The Jedi knight! The commander of the White Legions?

BEN
I’m afraid it’s been a long time since the White Legions roamed the stars. But I have the memories.

Luke drops to his knees and bows before the old Jedi.

LUKE
I should have recognized you.

The old man rubs his beard in wonder.

BEN
I don’t see why. I don’t believe we’ve ever met.

LUKE
I am the son of Annikin Starkiller.

The scruffy old Jedi smiles at the kneeling boy.

BEN
I know who you are. Stand up so that we can talk properly. You’re embarrassing me. I’m not that important.

LUKE
But you are… I know your ‘Diary of the Clone Wars’ by heart. My father…

A sudden thought crosses Luke’s mind and his enthusiasm turns to embarrassed silence.

LUKE
I… I’m not a Bendu Officer. I’m not even a startrooper.

BEN
I know that.

LUKE
You saw through me?

BEN
You could put it that way.

LUKE
I assure you my intentions weren’t bad.

BEN
I know your intentions. I probably know much more about you than you realize. In many ways you’re a lot like your father. He was an indulgent man, but a clever warrior. Now what brings you out here?

LUKE
My father told me many stories about
you. He said if I was ever in trouble,
to come here… I need your help.

42. INT. CAVE DWELLING – MAIN LIVING AREA – NIGHT

The clean but spartan cave dwelling radiates an air of time worn comfort and security. The image of the beautiful rebel princess is projected from Artoo’s face.

LEIA
… that you will be richly rewarded for your efforts… My commanders use fix Arra code… X loc tan too nine. I am lost. The Sith lords will surely take me to Alderaan. You must continue alone.

There is a little static and the transmission is cut short. The old man leans back and scratches his head. He silently puffs on a tarnished chrome water pipe.

BEN
I’m afraid I’ve gotten too old for this sort of thing.

LUKE
But you must! I can’t do it alone. I’m not at all like my father. I’d never make it.

BEN
I already know you think you’re worthless. I recommend you learn to think of yourself in a better light, for what you believe you are is what you become. I haven’t been involved in anything like this for many years.

LUKE
But the Sith Lords are involved! Whatever information this R-2 unit is carrying, it must be awfully important. They’re probably looking for him… I’m no match for the Sith. This is a Jedi’s work. This is your responsibility!

BEN
Not any more!

The old man suddenly ignites in a rage and swings his left forearm down across the solid metal table with a mighty blow. His arm cracks in two, spewing forth wires and electronic components.

BEN
I’m not the same. I’m too old. I’ve lost too much. You don’t seem to realize I’ve become an outlaw, to be hunted… and killed.

Luke bows his head in sorrow for one of the greatest warriors in the galaxy and a fallen idol. Ben is em barrassed and makes a needless adjustment on the pot belly thermal heater, which radiates a warm glow throughout the room. Little Artoo begins to pick up the pieces of the old man’s arm and reassemble them. The badly dented Threepio breaks the awkward silence by noisily standing up.

THREEPIO
If you’ll not be needing me any more, I think I’ll shut down for awhile.

Luke nods his head. Old Ben leans back in his chair.

BEN
Son, I’m sorry I lost control. Perhaps we should talk about this in the morning.

43. INT. CAVE DWELLING – SLEEPING AREA – NIGHT

Luke tosses and turns in his sleep. Threepio sleeps peacefully. Luke keeps hearing the voice of Princess Leia calling out for help. Suddenly he sits up with a start. He hears Leia’s voice coming from the main living area. Luke climbs out of bed and quietly makes his way through the darkened dwelling. He stops at the entrance to the main room.

44. INT. CAVE SWELLING – MAIN LIVING AREA – NIGHT

Ben is sitting before the flickering hologram image of Princess Leia. The old man rests his head in his one good arm. His back is to Luke, but he senses the boy’s presence.

BEN
Luke, come here… sit down.

Luke walks over and sits across from the old man.

BEN
You were right. It is my responsibility. The Force of Others brought the message to you and then it brought you to me.

LUKE
My father used to talk about the Force of Others. But he never told me what it was…

BEN
Let’s just say the Force is something a Jedi Warrior deals with. It is an energy field in oneself, a power that controls ones acts, yet obeys ones commands. It is nothing, yet it makes marvels appear before your very eyes. All living things generate this Force field, even you.

LUKE
(amazed)
You mean I generate an energy field?

BEN
It surrounds you and radiates from you. A Jedi can feel it flowing from him…
(patting his stomach)
… from here!

LUKE
Could I learn to feel it?

The old man leans back and scratches his head smiling slightly.

BEN
That is not a human decision, not your or mine.

LUKE
What do you mean?

BEN
It means you’d better get some rest.

BEN (CONT’D)
We’ll be leaving for Mos Eisley first thing in the morning. The trip will be difficult and dangerous, but it’s the only spaceport with ships large enough to get us to Organa Major. Now go on!

Luke reluctantly stands and heads for the bedroom.

45. EXT. UTAPAU – ENTRANCE TO CAVE DWELLING – MORNING

Artoo and Threepio carry supplies out of the cave dwelling to where Luke loads them into the landspeeder. Old Ben emerges into the sunlight and stretches his new arm.

BEN
It looks like a good day for travel. The Force is with us.

Ben walks over to the speeder and puts his hand on Luke’s shoulder.

BEN
Luke, I’m coming along to do what I can, but I’m tired and I’m depending on you to get us through.

LUKE
But you’re still a powerful Jedi. You don’t need my help.

BEN
A Jedi’s power is measured by the amount of the Force that is stored within him, and I have little of the Force left in me.

LUKE
How can you store an energy field within you?

BEN
When a creature dies, the force it generated remains. The Force is all around us. It can be collected and transmitted through the use of a Kiber crystal. It’s the only way to amplify the power of the Force within you.

LUKE
Don’t you have a Kiber crystal?

BEN
I had one, but it was taken at the battle of Condawn…

LUKE
That’s where my father was killed.

BEN
Yes. It was a black day. One of my disciple’s [sic] took the crystal and became a Sith Lord. It was a black day. The few crystals that remain are in the possession of the Sith Lords on Alderaan. That’s how they’ve become so powerful.

LUKE
Do the Sith know the ways of the Force?

BEN
They use the Bogan Force.

LUKE
Like Bogan weather, or bogan times. I thought that was just a saying.

BEN
There are two halves of the Force of Others. One is positive and will help you if you learn how to use it. But the other half will kill you if you aren’t careful. This negative side of the Force is called the Bogan, which is where the expression came from, and it is the part that is used by the Dark Lords to destroy their opponents. Both halves are always present. The Force is on your right, the Bogan is on your left. The Kiber Crystal can amplify either one. The Crystal Darth stole was the last one in the possession of the Jedi. When he joined the Sith, the power of the Dark Lords was completed.

Artoo and Threepio are already in the speeder, as Luke and old Ben climb in. The speeder starts with a low hum.

46. INT. ALDERAAN – CRYSTAL CHAMBER

Three SITH LORDS are on their knees praying before a shining crystal placed on a tall altar. They mumble a strange electronic chant.

1ST SITH
Darth, did you feel that?

Darth stands and stares at the crystal.

2ND SITH
Was it an omen? What is it?

VADER
Something old has been awakened. The Force has suddenly grown stronger. We must travel future paths with caution.

They file out of the chamber.

47. EXT. UTAPAU – BLUFF OVERLOOKING MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT – DAY

The speeder zooms across the desert wasteland and eventually stops on a bluff overlooking the spaceport at MOS EISLEY. It is a haphazard array of low gray concrete structures and semi-domes. A harsh gale blows across the stark canyon floor. Luke adjusts his goggles and walks to the edge of the craggy bluff, where Ben is standing.

BEN
Well, there it is, Mos Eisley. A more wretched hive of scum and villainy can’t be found this side of the empire…

48. EXT. MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT – SLUM DWELLING – DAY

Luke stops the speeder before the remains of a burnt-out spaceship the size of a large jet fighter. Two scruffy figures huddle around a small thermal heater, attempting to use the decaying building as shelter against the howling winds. One of the rag-tag figures ventures over to the group in the speeder. It is obvious from his pint size that he is a Jawa. Artoo lets out a string of electronic beeps and whistles.

THREEPIO
I begging your pardon, sir, but watch out for this thing.

The wretched little creature moves close to the speeder and begins to run his gnarled hand across it.

JAWA
Clinga fouf. Zoom zoom. Chiq?

LUKE
Where are the men who fly in the ships?

Saliva dribbles from the dark hole where the Jawa’s face should be and drops, splat on the hood of the speeder. Threepio repeats the question in the Jawa’s language, and the vile creature points to the far end of the street and mumbles something.

THREEPIO
He says there’s an inn down the street. Lots of fliers there. But I wouldn’t take his word for it.

The Jawa continues to fondle the speeder as Luke starts the magno-system. The filthy creature reluctantly jumps away as the speeder takes off and glides down the dingy spaceport street. A giant lizard scurries out of the wretched spaceship chased by a stubby Jawa.

49 EXT. MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT – CANTINA – DAY

The speeder pulls up in front of a rundown, blockhouse
cantina on the outskirts of the spaceport. Various
strange forms of transport, including several unusual
beasts of burden, are parked outside the bar.

THREEPIO
I can’t abide those Jawas. Disgusting creatures.

BEN
Take care in here. I don’t like the looks of this place.

Luke, Ben and the two robots climb out of the speeder,
and brace themselves against the constant shipping wind.

50 INT. MOS EISLEY CANTINA – DAY 50

The young adventurer and his two mechanical servants follow Ben Kenobi into the smoke-filled cantina. The murky, moldy den is filled with a startling array of weird and exotic alien creatures and monsters, laughing at the long metallic bar. At first the sight is horrifying.

One-eyed, thousand-eyed, slimy, furry, scaly tentacles and claws huddle over drinks. Ben and Luke move to an empty spot at the bar near a group of repulsive but human Corellian pirates. A huge, rough-looking BARTENDER comes over to Luke and the robots.

BARTENDER
We don’t serve ‘their kind’ in here.

Luke, still recovering from the shock of seeing so many outlandish creatures, doesn’t quite catch the Bartender’s drift.

LUKE
What?

BARTENDER
Your ‘droids’ will have to wait outside. We don’t serve ‘em here.

Luke looks to Old Ben who is busy talking to one of the Corellian pirates. He notices that several of the gruesome creatures along the bar are giving him a very unfriendly glare.

LUKE
Yes, of course. I’m so sorry.
(turns to Threepio)
You’d better stay with the speeder. We don’t want any trouble. I’ll… ahh… bring you something.

Threepio and his stubby partner go outside and most of the creatures at the bar go back to their drinks. Ben is standing next to CHEWBACCA, an eight foot tall, savage-looking creature resembling a huge gray bushbaby-monkey with fierce ‘baboon-like’ fangs. His large yellow eyes dominate a fur-covered face and soften his otherwise awesome appearance. Over his matted, furry body he wears two chrome bandoliers, a flak jacket painted in a bizarre camouflage pattern, brown cloth shorts, and little else. He is a two hundred year old WOOKIEE, and a sight to behold. Ben speaks to the Wookiee in his own language, which is a little more than a series of grunts. The old man points to Luke several times during the conversation and the huge creature suddenly lets out a horrifying laugh. Luke is more than a little bit disconcerted, and pretends not to hear the conversation between Ben and the Giant Wookiee. He is terrified, but tries not to show it. He quietly sips his drink, looking over the crowd for a more sympathetic ear or whatever.

A large, multiple-eyed CREATURE gives Luke a rough shove.

CREATURE
Negola dewaghi wooldugger?!?

The hideous freak is obviously drunk. Luke tries to ignore the Creature and turns back to his drink. A short, grubby HUMAN and an even smaller RODENT-like beast join the belligerent monstrosity.

HUMAN
He doesn’t like you.

LUKE
I’m sorry.

HUMAN
I don’t like you either.

The big Creature is getting agitated and yells some unintelligible gibberish at the now rather nervous young adventurer.

HUMAN
Don’t insult us. You just watch yourself. We’re wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve systems.

LUKE
I’ll be careful then.

HUMAN
You’ll be dead.

The rodent lets out a loud grunt and everything at the bar moves away. Luke tries to remain cool, but it isn’t easy. His three adversaries ready their weapons. Old Ben moves in behind Luke.

BEN
This little one isn’t worth the effort. Come let me buy you something…

A powerful blow from the unpleasant Creature sends the young would-be Jedi sailing across the room, crashing through tables and breaking a large jug filled with a foul-looking liquid. With a blood-curdling shriek, the monster draws a wicked chrome laser pistol from his belt and levels it at Old Ben. The Bartender panics.

BARTENDER
No blasters! No blasters!

With an astounding agility, Old Ben’s laser-sword sparks to life and in a flash an arm lies on the floor. The rodent is cut in two and the giant, multiple-eyed Creature lies doubled, cut from chin to groin. Ben carefully and precisely turns off his laser-sword and replaces it on his utility belt. Luke, shaking and totally amazed at the old man’s abilities, attempts to stand. The entire fight has lasted only a matter of seconds. The cantina goes back to normal, although Ben is given a respectable amount of room at the bar. Luke, rubbing his bruised head, approaches the old man with new awe.

BEN
Chewbacca here is first-mate on a ship that might suit our needs.

Luke is still giddy, and downs a fresh drink.

51. EXT. MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT – ALLEYWAY – DUSK

Luke, Ben and the two lumbering robots follow the giant Wookiee along a narrow slum alleyway crowded with darkly-clad creatures hawking exotic goods in dingy little stalls. Men, monsters and robots crouch in waste- filled doorways whispering and hiding from the hot winds. The group enters a small doorway n a decaying stone building at the far end of the alley. Several robots guide a small herd of anteaters down the street.

52. INT. MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT – DOCKING AREA 23

Chewbacca leads the group along a tall gantry over- looking a long Rube Goldburg-pieced together contrap- tion, which can only be loosely called a spaceship. Luke gives Old Ben a skeptical look. Old Ben just smiles. As they approach the ship, it looks even more homemade and shabby than it did at a distance. The Wookiee calls out to someone inside the ship, but there is no reply.

LUKE
What a piece of junk. This ship isn’t going to get us anywhere!

A tall figure steps out of the shadows of the imposing spacecraft.

This is HAN SOLO, a tough James Dean style starpilot about twenty-five years old. A cowboy in a starship — simple, sentimental and cocksure of himself.

HAN
This ship has been to Terminus and back. There isn’t anyplace she can’t go. She may not look like much, but she’s special. I built her myself, and there is nothing faster… What can I do for you?

Chewbacca steps forward and explains who the strangers are and what they want.

HAN
I’m Han Solo, Captain of this vessel. Who’s in charge then?

BEN
I’m Ben Kenobi. Luke Starkiller here is leading our expedition.

Luke is taken by surprise, thinking that Ben was going to take care of things. Han turns to Luke.

HAN
Organa Major is a rebel system. There will be quite a few starfleet patrols between here and there… It could be a little tricky if you want to avoid them… ten thousand.

LUKE
That’s pretty steep. We’d like to talk it over first.

Ben and Luke step to one side.

LUKE
We don’t have that kind of money. How much do you think I can get for the speeder?

BEN
Five, maybe. Let me handle it.

Ben turns back to the young starcaptain.

BEN
Five thousand now and five thousand on arrival.

Han thinks about this for a second.

HAN
You got yourself a ship. We can leave as soon as you’re ready.

LUKE
We have a little business to take care of first, but it shouldn’t take long. We’ll be back shortly.

Artoo and Threepio follow Luke and Ben as they hurry out of the starship hangar.

LUKE
What if we can’t get five thousand?

Ben glances back at Threepio.

BEN
We may have to sell one the droids.

A great worry sweeps across Luke’s face as he looks back at the two unaware robots faithfully following after them.

Han Solo grins and slaps the monsterous wookiee across the back.

HAN
Well, old buddy, we’re free, and it’s an easy charter at that.

Chewbacca doesn’t share Han’s enthusiasm, and makes a couple of worrisome grunts.

HAN
Yeah, yeah, I know we still have a problem, but maybe we’ll be gone by the time H2 gets back.

A commotion filters down from the entry gantry and Chew- bacca whines pessimistic comment. A dozen or so gruff and grisly pirates approach the ship. The grossest of the slavering hulks is JABBA THE HUTT. His scarred face is a grim testimonial to his prowess as a vicious killer.

HAN
You’re back early.

JABBA
A shipment of Covina just took off for Gordon. I thought we might reroute it back here.

He laughs maniacally. Han is not amused.

HAN
You’ll have to get yourself another boy, Jabba. I’ve got a charter.

JABBA
Forget it. We settled this before, remember? There’s no getting out. Now get this ‘can’ started…

It’s a moment of great tension. Han glances at the four pirates standing near them. Two of the greasy brigands have their weapons pointed at him. The young starcaptain stands firm for a few moments with his hand resting on his utility belt only inches from his blaster. Chewbacca sways back and forth as he adjusts his weight from one foot to the other.

JABBA
Well??

Han turns and reluctantly boards the ship. Jabba walks alongside Han and puts his arm around him.

JABBA
Han, after all we’ve been through, I’m disappointed we’re not closer. You’re getting soft now that the ship’s finished. You may have built this bucket, but never forget who paid for it, ‘cause if you try to take her out again, I won’t be so understanding.

53. INT. MOS EISLEY – USED SPEEDER LOT – GARAGE OFFICE – NIGHT

Ben, Luke and the robots are standing in a sleazy used-speeder lot, talking with a tall, grotesque, insect-like used speeder dealer. Only Threepio can understand the creature’s weird buzzing dialogue. Strange exotic bodies and spindly legged beasts pass by outside. Once in a while a large lizard or strange animal scurries across the junk-strewn floor.

THREEPIO
He says it’s the best he can do. Since the XP-21 came out, they just aren’t in demand any more.

Luke scratches his head and ponders the situation.

LUKE
Four thousand isn’t going to do it…

He looks at Ben, then Artoo, and finally Threepio.

LUKE
(to Ben)
I think we’re going to need them. Blast it!

THREEPIO
Sir, I have a couple of extra circuits. Perhaps they might bring something.

LUKE
Well, ask him. Tell him we need five thousand.

Threepio buzzes to the salesman, who shakes his head.

THREEPIO
Forty-seven hundred, no more.

BEN
He’s bluffing. He’ll pay five. Let’s go.

They turn and start out of the rundown showroom.

LUKE
This is the last place. Shouldn’t we just take what we can get and think of something else?

BEN
He’s bluffing…

Ben helps Artoo into the speeder as Luke climbs in the pilot’s seat. The speeder starts up with a loud hum, but before Luke can back out of the garage area, the insect stops them.

THREEPIO
Five thousand!

Luke breaks out in a big smile and Ben manages a slight grin.

54. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – MAIN PASSAGEWAY

As Han and the huge Wookiee work their way past the sinister Jabba the Hutt, the pirate hands the young starcaptain a bulky cloak.

JABBA
Take this back with you, boy.

Han doesn’t mask his hatred for the loathsome pirate very well, but takes the cloak and follows the Chewbacca toward the back of the ship. He stops by a small control panel, knocking it loose with his foot. The cover falls to the floor with a muted clang and the young mechanic looks around to see if anyone heard.

HAN
This is it. If this doesn’t work, we’re diced!

He takes a small metal bar and jams it between two circuits, causing sparks to fly. He quickly replaces the cover and Han casually heads back toward the cockpit.

55. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT

A short greasy looking pirate sits at the complex controls of the ship.

PIRATE PILOT
We’re on our way…

He pulls back on the power lever and the ship erupts into a cacophony of warning alarms and flashing lights. Smoke begins to issue from the panels. The pilot is startled and begins flipping switches wildly.

PIRATE PILOT
I think… ahh, I have a problem here … one of the reactor’s gone wild. Captain, I have a reading way over a thousand.

Han rushes into the cockpit with a look of mock surprise on his face.

HAN
What’s going on?

PIRATE PILOT
You tell me! You built it.

Han works at the control console in a vain attempt to figure out what’s going on.

HAN
I don’t understand it. Look at that gauge. We should have all been clown to micro-dust by now… Did I remember to…

Before Han can finish, the pilot has fled.

56. EXT. PIRATE STARSHIP – ENTRY RAMP – NIGHT

Jabba the Hutt and his crew scramble over one another trying to flee the starship before it goes super-nova.

57 INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – MAIN PASSAGEWAY

The alarm system is suddenly cut short. Han quickly replaces the control panel and turns to see a foul-looking pirate named MONTROSS standing over him.

MONTROSS
So, you’ve solved the problem, or maybe you are the problem. Get up. I’m taking you to the captain. He’ll sting you good…

HAN
Not this time!

Montross reaches for his laser-pistol, but Han is faster and gets the drop on him.

HAN
Drop it, Montross. I always said you were slow. You clumsy oaf, a club is more your style.

Han struggles to his feet and leads the pirate to the escape hatch.

58. EXT. PIRATE STARSHIP – ENTRY RAMP

Chewbacca appears at the main hatch holding a hidden gun on Montross as Ben, Luke and the robots saunter up to the starship. The huge Wookiee lets out with a loud wail that startles Luke.

BEN
We’re coming! We’re coming.

Han rushes toward the cockpit as Chewbacca helps Ben aboard the starship. The Wookiee shoves Montross out the hatch just as it slams shut.

HAN
We’re a little rushed, so if you’ll settle in, we’ll be off.

Luke is a little puzzled by all the smoke and confusion.

59. EXT. MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT – ALLEYWAY – NIGHT

A lumbering Jabba the Hutt and the remains of his terrified crew stop in the street and try to collect themselves.

JABBA
What happened? Han? Montross, where’s Han? Montross? Where is everybody?

A strange assortment of alien creatures and robots watch Jabba from their cool alcoves along the edge of the street. The ground trembles and the pirates turn to see the mighty pirate starship riding above the dingy slum dwellings. The pirates stand dumbfounded, as the starship quickly disappears.

JABBA
He took the ship. He took the ship!!

60. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT

Han sits back in the huge pilot’s chair and puts his
feet up on the control panel. Chewbacca, crowded into
the copilot’s seat, mutters his amazement.

HAN
I know. Sometimes I amaze myself.

He chuckles as the surface of Utapau slowly drifts out
of view of the cockpit windows and is replaced by a
sparkling carpet of stars.

Chewbacca barks a few words of caution.

HAN
That’s the price of freedom. But then again, they may never find us. Once we cash in on this little venture we’ll head for the southern systems. He’ll be a long time coming there.

Little Artoo appears momentarily in the doorway, makes a few beeping remarks, then scurries away.

61. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – SLEEP AREA

Threepio helps Ben and Luke put away their gear in the ramped bunk area of the starship.

LUKE
When we get Artoo’s message to them, you think they’ll try to rescue the princess?

BEN
I doubt it. It would be foolish for the rebel forces to come out of hiding. I know your feelings. You’d best forget them. It’s for your own good. There will be no saving her from the prisons of Alderaan. It’s the heart of the Sith. The Bogan Force is the most heavy there.

LUKE
But she’s a member of The Twelve Families. How can they hold her?

BEN
These are doubtful times. The Empire has grown bold in its disregard of the…

Suddenly Ben grabs his head and slowly collapses to the floor. Luke rushes to him.

LUKE
What’s wrong? What’s happening?

BEN
Keep away, I’m fine, I’m fine.

The old man lapses into unconsciousness for several moments. Luke doesn’t know what to do. Finally he goes to Old Ben and lifts his head. The battered old Jedi shudders all over, then regains consciousness.

LUKE
Are you all right?

BEN
Yes… the Force… something horrible has happened. I couldn’t see what it was, or where it was, but it was terrible… terrible beyond description… the cry of millions dying at once.

Luke helps Ben to his bunk. He’s still shaking from the experience.

62. INT. ALDERAAN – PRISON CELL

Princess Leia is awakened by the blinding light of the hallway as the cell door silently slides open and Darth Vader enters the cell.

VADER
It is unfortunate you are able to resist my mind probe. You are going through so much needless suffering.

Leia watches her captor impassionately.

VADER
The ‘Death Star’ has become operational. There is no force in the universe that can stop us now.

LEIA
They’ll find its weakness.

VADER
It’s too late… We already tested it on Organa Major. It appears your data never got through.

Leia tries not to reveal the shock and pain, but she is stunned.

LEIA
No!…

VADER
It would be much easier if you were to tell us where the outposts are… Otherwise we’ll be forced to destroy every suspicious system… What a waste…

Vader starts to leave.

LEIA
You’ll never stop them… No matter how many machines you build.

The door slides closed behind Vader, leaving Leia alone in the darkness.

63. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – MAIN HOLD AREA

Han enters the cramped but comfortable main hold area of the starship and begins checking charts and various computer readouts.

LUKE
Who’s the pilot?

HAN
It’s automatic.

Chewbacca and the two robots sit around a lighted table covered with many small hologram figures. Each side of the table has a small computer monitor embedded in it.

Luke and Old Ben are sitting in the corner, the old man apparently asleep as Luke cleans a chrome laser-pistol. he acts like it’s brand new. he seems very proud of it.

Chewbacca seems very pleased with himself as he rests his lanky fur-covered arms over his head. Artoo immediately reaches up and taps the computer with his stubby claw hand, causing one of the hologram figures to walk to a new square. A sudden frown crosses Chewbacca’s face and he begins yelling gibberish at the tiny robot. Threepio intercedes on behalf of his small companion and begins to argue with the huge Wookiee.

LUKE
(to Threepio)
Let him have it. You’re winning anyway. It doesn’t make any difference.

THREEPIO
I know, sir, but it’s the principle of the thing.

Luke sights down the barrel of his new pistol. Old Ben opens his eyes. It’s obvious he wasn’t asleep.

LUKE
(to Ben)
Are you sure you don’t need it?

BEN
I rarely use it any more. I have the Force. The Force is more powerful than any pistol. You shouldn’t put too much faith in that weapon. Work on becoming aware of the Force… learn to feel its presence within you. Try to sense what it’s telling you. It’s the only thing you can rely on.

LUKE
What do I do?

BEN
All you have to do is lose your thinking self. Don’t focus on anything. Let your body do your thinking… You have to learn to act on what you feel, not what you think … If I had the crystal, it would be much easier. You could feel the Force immediately… but for now, let yourself go. You’ll pick it up… and someday you’ll have no need for that pistol either.

Han has been overhearing what Ben has been telling Luke and obviously has a low opinion of the Force of Others.

HAN
I’d keep that thing close just in case, if I were you… I’ve been around from one end of the galaxy to the other and believe me this Force of Others stuff may make for good religion, but there is no substitute for a good weapon at your side.

LUKE
You don’t believe in the Force?

HAN
Sorcery! I believe in myself… I determine my destiny, not some mystical energy field.

BEN
Well, we’ll see…

HAN
You might get your stuff together. We’ll be coming up on Organa Major soon.

64. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT

The cockpit is alive with humming meters and softly buzzing readouts. Han is busy at the controls as Luke looks on in wonder.

HAN
It checks out again. There is no mistake…

Old Ben enters the crowded cockpit.

BEN
What is it?

LUKE
He can’t find Organa Major.

Han is rather grim-faced.

HAN
I found it… It’s just not there.

LUKE
What are you saying?

BEN
Organa Major has been destroyed.

Ben moves in and studies the monitors.

HAN
What’s left of it is contaminated. That’s it there. Look at those radiation readouts! It’s impossible. I’ve never seen anything like it. What’s going on?

Luke sits back and stares blankly at the monitors.

BEN
The Empire must have gotten here first.

HAN
The planet has been totally blown away! It would have taken a thousand ships with a lot more fire power than I’ve ever seen… If the Empire had a new weapon that could do this… I would have heard something… I’d know about it.

BEN
Well, now you know… The enemy is on the move. We haven’t much time.

HAN
Well, I’ve brought you here. What now?

BEN
We have to find he rebels… What we’re carrying belongs to them.

HAN
Their bases are very well hidden. All the power of the Empire can’t find them… Do you know where they are?

Ben shakes his head sadly.

BEN
No, not anymore.

HAN
I’m not taking you on an impossible search across the galaxy… I was only paid to get you here and now you’re here. I’ll take my other five thousand and you’re on your own… I’ll leave you on the nearest system.

LUKE
You can’t! We’ve come this far. We must find them…

HAN
Why?

BEN
Well, for one reason, we don’t have your other five thousand.

HAN
Who’s going to pay me then?

BEN
I think there are some things we should talk about.

HAN
I’m beginning not to like you.

65. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – MAIN HOLD AREA

Little Artoo is standing on the gaming table projecting the princess into the middle of the group. Han has a perplexed look on his face as he ponders the hologram. Ben leans back in his chair quietly waiting, while Luke watches the princess with a wistful, smile, far-away look. Finally the hologram ends.

HAN
How much do you think she’s talking about?

BEN
A million at least… If this robot has information related to the destruction of Organa Major, you’ll be able to name the reward…

HAN
Anything I want! Now that’s interesting.

He thinks about this for a few moments. Luke begins to get a little edgy.

LUKE
Maybe you should just drop us off. I’m sure we can find someone willing to take the risk.

HAN
All right, all right!

HAN (CONT’D)
You’ve got a ship! But where do we go from here? They probably took her to find the hidden bases… I don’t see how we can find the rebels before she breaks. The Empire has already beat us out.

BEN
She’s part of the royal family. They won’t get any information from her… She knows the art of mind control… She’s a swan sensana.

Ben gets lost in his thoughts for a few moments.

BEN
But she is the only link between us and the hidden bases.

LUKE
You mean we should go after her!…

BEN
I didn’t say that, but it appears to be a logical alternative.

HAN
Now wait a minute. She’s in Alderaan!

Ben is thinking and doesn’t hear Han’s protest. He turns to Luke.

HAN
No, it’s impossible… No one, and I mean no one would venture anywhere near the Alderaan system… I’m a free booter, not revolutionary. You’re aboard the wrong ship, son!

LUKE
Maybe the fact that no one would go there voluntarily could help us. They probably don’t think anyone would dare try.

HAN
Don’t you believe it.

BEN
Luke’s got a point…

BEN (CONT’D)
… Fear is their greatest defense… I doubt if the actual security there is much greater than on Aquilae or Sullust, and what there is is most likely directed toward large-scale assault.

HAN
This isn’t a game, you know.

LUKE
How many more systems have to get blown away before you have no place to hide and are forced to fight… Don’t you realize what’s going on?

Han is slightly embarrassed by Luke.

HAN
Kid, you take the glory and the good intentions and I’ll take the reward.

BEN
Fear is their greatest weapon.

HAN
I’m not afraid of anything…

Everyone looks at Han, and he instantly regrets what he has said.

66. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT – APPROACHING ALDERAAN

The cockpit is a quiet hum of computers as Han works diligently on a complex calculation. Chewbacca enters the cabin just as the ship begins to shudder violently. After a few moments the buffeting stops.

HAN
We’ve just passed into the first perimeter. It won’t be long now.

Chewbacca grunts an acknowledgement and points to a very large and bright star out the front window bay.

HAN
There it is! Alderaan, the prison system. Take over.

HAN (CONT’D)
I’m going to go back and see if they have come up with a plan, or if we’re just going to cruise on in until they disintegrate us.

67. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – MAIN HOLD AREA

Luke stands in the middle of the small hold area. He seems frozen in place, a humming laser-sword held high over his head. Ben watches him from the corner, studying his movements. Han enters and watches with a bit of smugness.

Suspended at eye level — about ten feet in front of Luke — a chrome baseball covered with antenna hovers slowly in a wide arc. The ball floats to one side of the youth, then to the other. Suddenly it makes a lightning swift lunge and stops within a few feet of Luke’s face. Luke doesn’t move, and the ball backs off. It slowly moves behind the boy, then makes another quick lunge, this time emitting a blood red laser beam as it attacks.

Luke sparks to life. With one amazingly swift move, he turns and swings his laser-sword, deflecting the beam. The seeker shuts off and lands on the floor.

Ben is pleased, and Han is quite impressed.

BEN
You have your father’s style. You’ve done very well.

HAN
Not bad.

Luke is sort of embarrassed with all the attention.

LUKE
Well, I practice a lot…

HAN
You’re good with ‘remotes,’ but how are you against something living?

LUKE
I don’t know… I’ve never fought anyone.

Han smiles knowingly.

BEN
Enough. Now try it without thinking. It’s no good talking about the Force. You must learn to feel it. Wear this.

Ben places a large helmet on Luke’s head which covers his eyes.

LUKE
I can’t see! How can I fight?

BEN
Try to feel it. Use the Force…

LUKE
I can’t do it. I’ll get hit.

BEN
Stop thinking, and start feeling. Let yourself go.

Han skeptically shakes his head as Ben throws the seeker into the air. The ball shoots straight up in the air, then drops like a rock. Luke swings the laser-sword around blindly missing the seeker, which fires off a laser bolt, which hits Luke square on the seat of his pants. He lets out a painful yell and attempts to hit the seeker, coming amazingly close, but he is hit several more times before he manages to finally deflect one of the bolts. The ball ceases firing and moves back to its original position. Luke removes the helmet and is a sweaty, exhausted mess.

BEN
See, once you let yourself go you can do it. You’ll get it.

LUKE
I don’t get it, but I guess I did block it.

HAN
I’d call it a lucky move.

Han in a split second draws his laser-pistol and blasts the seeker. The ship begins to shudder, then a distant warning signal goes off.

HAN
We’re into the second perimeter.

HAN (CONT’D)
They’ll be coming out to blast us shortly. I was wondering if you had some kind of a plan or are we going to try to blast our way in?

BEN
Check your data banks for all the information you have on Imperial procedures. Both of you will have to learn…

HAN
We’re going to get in by studying Imperial procedures? I don’t like it.

BEN
All right then, we’ll use your plan.

Han slumps in his seat with a dejected look.

HAN
I’ll get the information.

BEN
… and I want you to start cleaning the equipment out of the scan-shielded compartments.

HAN
What do you want with our scan-proof lockers?

68. INT. ALDERAAN – CONTROL ROOM

A CONTROLLER sits in a huge complex control room with massive screens projecting maps of various star systems. An Imperial COMMANDER sits next to him.

CONTROLLER
No reply on any circuits… It’s drifting on a point twenty-seven skew. It’s not close enough to identify.

COMMANDER
Alert squad five, but hold them until we know what it is.

CONTROLLER
Should we alert the Sith Lords?

COMMANDER
I’ll make a report later.

CONTROLLER
As close as we can make out, it appears to be a Corellian gypsy vessel… It’s not under power.

COMMANDER
Send one squad up.

69. INT. ALDERAAN – READY ROOM

Chaos. Red scramble lights are flashing. Alert horns and attack buzzers create an unbelievable cacophony. Imperial starpilots in black armored spacesuits grab their helmets and space packs as they scramble out the door.

70. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY

Pilots dash in unison to a line of small auxiliary corridors that lead to Imperial “tie” fighters. Technical crews scurry here and there loading last minute armament and unlocking power cables.

71. EXT. SPACE AROUND PLANET ALDERAAN

The long ornate pirate starship approached the gray gaseous planet of Alderaan. The ship is not propelled, but simply drifts crab-like toward the planet. As it approaches the surface, huge billowing clouds extend out like menacing tentacles. The peacefulness of this nebulous idyll is broken by the increasing wail of ion engines. Suddenly four sleek spacefighters from the Imperial third fleet burst from the huge cumulus range. The craft are small cylindrical power shells dominated by two huge solar fins. They are flying in a tight formation. Then two bank steeply and head toward the drifting starship.

72. INT. IMPERIAL FIGHTER – COCKPIT

The Imperial fighters are one-man craft crammed with sophisticated electronic weaponry.

The pilot is cold and professional as his craft closes in on the drifting starship.

PILOT
No life forms appear on the scanner. Escape pods four, seven and oh-three have been jettisoned. Life systems are still functioning. It appears to be in good shape… Should we destroy it, or attempt salvage?… Do you copy?

73. INT. ALDERAAN – CONTROL ROOM

The controller looks to the Commander for instructions.

COMMANDER
We don’t get many visitors. Let’s take a look at it.

CONTROLLER
(into intercom)
Send out a boarding party. Full assault gear.

74. EXT. ALDERAAN – CLOUD SEA

Several of the tiny Imperial fighters drift in orbit around the pirate starship as a block-like boarding vessel attaches itself to the underside of the disabled starship.

75 INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – HALLWAYS 75

Entering through an escape hatch, several heavily armed Imperial stormtroopers cautiously work their way down the main corridor of the pirate starship. As they are about to enter the cockpit area, they hear a loud clanking movement. The ferocious stormtroopers freeze and simultaneously direct their awesome weapons at the cockpit hatchway. Two of the troopers start to edge their way toward the cockpit. The tension becomes almost palpable, until finally the gangling, bronze Threepio pops his “Art Deco” head out of the hatchway.

THREEPIO
Greetings! I’m See Threepio, Human
Cyborg relations. I’m glad you
arrived.

THREEPIO (CONT’D)
I’ve been lost for some time. My master and the crew departed after we passed through a solar plague zone. I’ve been drifting ever since. The operation of astro-vehicles is not within my capacity…

The OFFICER talks to his commander on his head phones.

OFFICER
Apparently a plague scare… no contamination…. We found a droid… proceeding to check out the rest of the ship.

The Officer indicates that Threepio should move out of the cockpit. Two guards grab the puzzled robot.

OFFICER
(to guard)
Hold this thing for inspection.

76. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT

The Officer enters the cockpit. Threepio is completely confused as the stormtroopers rush around completely ignoring him. The troops search the ship with small hand scanners. The Officer sits in the pilot’s seat of the deserted ship and begins to feed information into the computer. He opens a com-line to the main base.

OFFICER
Base one, this is Kuro four. The aft generator systems are out, but most everything else seems to be in order… I think I can bring it in on its own power.

A TROOPER enters the cockpit.

TROOPER
All clean, sir. We couldn’t get into some of the supply lockers. Should we blast them open.

OFFICER
Let the scavenger crews take care of it.

77. EXT. ALDERAAN – CLOUD SEA

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 little procession of Imperial “tie” fighters follows the larger pirate ship toward the city. The Imperial Officer guides the ship toward one of the numerous huge open bays that ring the spectacular city.

78. INT. ALDERAAN – PRISON CELL CORRIDOR

A cell door silently slides open revealing the unconscious body of the princess slumped on a table-like bed. Vader and two OFFICERS exit the cell and the door silently slides shut again.

VADER
We’ll get nothing more out of her.

1ST OFFICER
The hidden bases have to be somewhere in the southwest. That’s something… I’ll start a search operation.

VADER
Start a destroy operation… Wipe out every system in that sector if you have to.

The Commander approaches the Dark Lord and bows.

COMMANDER
We’ve picked up a Corellian ship which was hit by plague. It’s been sterilized and we’re bringing it in.

VADER
Don’t worry about that. Alert all commands to prepare the death star. We’re going into the southwest.

The Commander exits. The Officer points back to Leia’s cell.

1ST OFFICER
What about her?

VADER
Terminate her… but make it slow. We might still get some information.

79. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN FORWARD BAY

The pirate starship rests in a huge hangar bay. Thirty or so guards march up to the craft as a ramp lowers and the boarding troops disembark.

BOARDING OFFICER
It’s just a piece of drift junk. It has some interesting innovations though. Send in a research team before you start the salvage operation. Post your guards.

80. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – HALLWAY

A lone trooper runs through the hallway heading for the exit. In a few moments, all is quiet. The muffled sounds of a distant officer giving orders finally fade. Threepio sneaks down the hallway, pulls on a latch, and a panel on a row of low cabinets crashes to the floor. Han Solo’s head pokes out of the hold and looks around the hallway. He then pulls himself out of his cramped quarters and struts around, stretching his legs. A second locker breaks open and Luke emerges. Chewbacca pokes his furry head out of the first locker and Han tells him the way is clear.

HAN
This is ridiculous. I tell you it’s not going to work. We’re never going to get out alive.

Ben Kenobi sticks his head out of one of the lockers.

BEN
Darth Vader is on this system. I can feel him. I can feel the Kiber Crystal.

HAN
Is that good or bad?

BEN
It’s not good… unless I could find the Crystal. Then it could be very good.

LUKE
What about the princess?

BEN
You go after the princess.

BEN (CONT’D)
I am an old man and would be of little help. I must try to find the Crystal.

LUKE
I’m not going alone!

Luke is suddenly seized with panic. He turns to Han.

HAN
Don’t look at me. I’m just a pilot. I got you here… You’ve got to do the rest.

BEN
There is a greater risk in staying here, you know. If you don’t find the princess, then the whole trip was for nothing… wasn’t it?

HAN
I’m not going out there.

He slams a panel to the deck and immediately regrets it. Everyone looks around as if an alarm had gone off.

81. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN FORWARD BAY

Two GUARDS stand on either side of the ramp leading to the pirate starship. One of the guards hears something inside the spacecraft. The second guard hears it also and speaks into the headphone in his helmet.

SECOND GUARD
We’ve picked up a disturbance inside the starship. Proceeding to investigate.

The two Guards enter the spacecraft.

82-83. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN BAY GANTRY – CONTROL TOWER

In a small control tower above the starship a GANTRY OFFICER speaks into his intercom.

GANTRY OFFICER
What is it?

SECOND GUARD (V.O.)
I don’t hear it now… It must have been the droid… Wait… what?

The transmission goes dead. The Gantry Officer switches to another channel. The Officer’s aide looks up from his desk.

GANTRY OFFICER
T-4, come in, T-4… Do you copy? Are you all right?

There is a bit of static and a heavily filtered voice comes on.

LUKE’S VOICE
We’re fine… Com-link jammed.

GANTRY OFFICER
Find anything?

LUKE
Nothing…

The Gantry Officer gives his aide a puzzled look, then speaks into the com-link.

GANTRY OFFICER
T-4, you sound a little funny… T-4, what’s your operating code?… T-4, are you there?

The only thing that comes over the com-link is static. The Gantry Officer gets up and heads for the door.

GANTRY OFFICER
Take over. It could just be another bad transmitter, but I’d better check.

As the Officer approaches the door, it slides open revealing the towering Chewbacca. The Gantry Officer is in a momentary state of shock, as he stumbles backward. With a bone-chilling howl, the giant Wookiee flattens the Officer with one blow. The aide immediately reaches for his pistol, but is blasted by Han, which sets off a series of small explosions on the control panel. Han and Luke enter the room dressed as Imperial stormtroopers.

LUKE
Between his howling and your blasting everything in sight, the entire city is going to know we’re here.

HAN
Good! I prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around.

Ben feeds some information into the computer, and a map of the city appears on the monitor. He begins to inspect it carefully. Threepio and Artoo look over the control panel. Artoo finds something that makes him whistle wildly.

THREEPIO
We’ve found it, sir. Bless the maker, this control board has one.

Han and Luke rush over to the robots. Chewbacca busies himself with hanging the Gantry Officer by his toes.

LUKE
Plug him in. Let’s see what we get.

Artoo punches his claw arm into the computer socket and the vast Imperial brain network comes to life, feeding information to the little robot. After a few moments he beeps something to Threepio.

THREEPIO
Level five, Detention block A-23, cell 2187. She’s still alive…

LUKE
Send feed-back into the control sensors in that Detention block.

BEN
That’s straight through the central core… up toward the top of the city… Once you’ve got her, avoid the main transports, they’ll shut down immediately. Your only chance is through the service shafts. There are no sensors there… All right now, get going, you don’t have time. I hope you can remember everything.

HAN
We’ll be back before you are, old man.

BEN
May the Force be with you.

Old Ben slips out of the control bay and disappears down a long gray hallway. Han whistles for Chewbacca to join them. Luke binds the huge Wookiee with electronic cuffs. The Wookiee has a worried and slightly frightened look on his face. Han reassures him and straightens his jacket.

THREEPIO
Luke, sir! pardon me for asking … but, ah… what are we to do if someone should discover us here?

HAN
Hope they don’t have blasters.

THREEPIO
That isn’t very reassuring.

Luke and Han put on their armored helmets and start off into the giant Imperial city of Alderaan.

84-85. INT. ALDERAAN – DETENTION AREA – ELEVATOR TUBE

Han and Luke try to look inconspicuous in their armored suits as they wait for a vacuum elevator to arrive. Troops, bureaucrats and robots bustle about ignoring the trio completely. Only a few give the giant Wookiee a curious glance. Finally a small elevator arrives and the trio enter. A bureaucrat races to get aboard also, but is signaled away by Han. The door to the pod-like vehicle slides closed and it takes off through a vacuum tube. Han rubs his hand across a series of small holes.

HAN
Gas… Old Ben was definitely right. If they discover us, we’ll never get out this way.

He gives Luke a skeptical look.

86-87. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY AND SUB-HALLWAY

Old Ben walks very quietly behind two Imperial officers who don’t seem to be aware of his presence. They pass several stormtroopers and a robot similar to Threepio but no one appears to notice Ben. The old man deftly slips down a sub-hallway and hides in a shallow alcove as a patrol of twenty guards passes. He rushes down an ever smaller hallway and disappears.

88. INT. ALDERAAN – DETENTION AREA – DUNGEON

The giant Wookiee and his two guards enter the old, gray security station. Guards and laser gates are everywhere. Han whispers to Luke under his breath.

HAN
This isn’t going to work.

LUKE
Why didn’t you say so before.

HAN
I think I did.

A tall, grim-looking OFFICER approaches the trio.

OFFICER
What code is this?

LUKE
I’ve got it here somewhere… It’s SPT 188544. You can check it through the… ahh, oh yes, lex-321.

OFFICER
It will take a while — the cross mode is acting up… getting feedback from somewhere.

The Officer goes back to his console and begins to punch in the information. There are only three other troopers in the area. Luke and Han survey the situation, checking all of the alarms, laser gates and camera eyes. Han unfastens one of Chewbacca’s electronic cuffs and shrugs to Luke.

Suddenly Chewbacca throws up his hands and lets out with one of his ear-piercing howls. He grabs Han’s laser-sword and ignites it, pushing Han against the wall.

HAN
Look out! He’s loose!

The startled guards are momentarily dumbfounded. Luke and Han have already pulled out their laser-pistols and are blasting away at the terrifying Wookiee. Their barrage of laser fire misses Chewbacca, but hits the camera eyes, laser gate controls and the Imperial guards. The Officer is the last of the guards to fall under the laser fire, just as he is about to push the alarm system. Luke rushes over to the com-link system, which is screeching questions about what is going on. Han and Chewbacca disappear down one of the sub-hallways.

LUKE
A Wookiee broke loose up here, but we’ve subdued him… There is a lot of damage, and three, no four, casualties…

INTERCOM VOICE
We’ll send a squad up.

LUKE
No need, everything’s under control.

INTERCOM VOICE
With four casualties?!

LUKE
The… ah door’s jammed. Give us a few minutes to get it fixed.

INTERCOM VOICE
Who is this? What’s your operating…

Luke cuts off the com-link and yells down the cell row to Han.

LUKE
Hurry up. I think we’re going to have company.

89-90. INT. ALDERAAN – PRISON CORRIDOR – CELL

Han stops before cell 2187 and yells something to Chewbacca, who covers his face as the young pirate blasts the door away with his laser pistol. When the smoke clears, Han looks in the cell and an expression of horror crosses his face.

HAN
‘Holy Maker,’ NO!

Suspended inside the cell by invisible rays, a bloody and mutilated Leia Organa hangs upside down. A strange yellow glow radiates from her eyes. Chewbacca rushes into the cell past the dazed Han. The Wookiee yells something and Han comes to, firing his pistol at a small control box in the wall. The unconscious princess drops like a rock into the giant Wookiee’s arms. Chewbacca slings her over his shoulder and joins Han in the hallway.

HAN
Luke, we’ve got her, let’s go…

91-92. INT. ALDERAAN – DETENTION AREA – DUNGEON – HALLWAY

A series of explosions knock a hole in the wall through which several Imperial troops begin to emerge. Luke fires his laser pistol at them through the smoke and flames. He turns and runs down the cell hallway. He takes a small com-link transmitter from his belt.

LUKE
See Threepio — See Threepio — Jam the emergency communications network. Monitor what you can… What was that? I didn’t copy…

93. INT. ALDERAAN – SUB-HALLWAY

Han pulls up the rusty grate leading to a service passageway and helps Chewbacca lift the inert princess into the black tunnel.

94. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN BAY GANTRY – CONTROL TOWER

Threepio paces the control center as little Artoo beeps and whistles a blue streak. Threepio yells into the small com-link transmitter.

THREEPIO
I said, all systems have been alerted to your presence, sir. I respectfully suggest you return at once…

The transmitter squawks a short reply and Threepio peeks out the tower window at the starship. All is quiet. He then moves to the door and it slides open a crack. Several troops rush past, yelling and shouting order. Threepio slams the door shut and pushes the lock lever. Someone begins banging on the door.

THREEPIO
Oh, no!

95. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY LEADING TO CRYSTAL CHAMBER

Ben starts into the hallway leading to the crystal chamber, just as two Sith Lords are leaving. the old man ducks into the nearest doorway which opens and swallows him up.

96 INT. ALDERAAN – CLASSROOM 96

Ben finds himself in a small conference room filled with about a dozen or so bureaucrats listening to an instructor who is explaining a type of technical philosophy. The class turns and stares at the old man. Ben raises his hands and all the bureaucrats, including the instructor, begin coughing and grabbing at their throats. They are unable to breather and eventually collapse on the floor.

97. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY LEADING TO THE CRYSTAL CHAMBER

One of the Sith Lords stops in the hallway opposite the
classroom door.

1ST LORD
What is it?

2ND LORD
Do you feel that?

1ST LORD
I don’t feel anything.

2ND LORD
Maybe you’re too young. It’s the Force… If I didn’t know better I’d say we were in the presence of a Jedi knight.

The first Sith Lord puts his hand to his ear as a message comes through on his helmet intercom.

1ST LORD
They’re calling for us again on the prison level.

The two Dark Lords hurry off down the hallway and Old Ben silently exits the classroom.

98. INT. ALDERAAN – DUNGEON – PASSAGEWAY

Luke leads Han and the Wookiee down the ever-darkening, narrow passageway. Han and Luke switch on small lights in their gunbelts. The rhythmic marching of stormtroopers seem to be getting louder. Muffled voices can be heard. Luke stops before an intersecting hallway.

HAN
They’re right behind us. Which way?

Luke grabs his belt com-link and attempts to contact Threepio.

LUKE
See Threepio, do you read me? Compute our position… See Threepio?…

Static and no reply.

LUKE
Something has happened to them. Let’s try this way…

HAN
Let’s try this way! Holy Maker.

LUKE
See Threepio, come in, See Threepio. I wonder where they are?? See Threepio…

As they descend into the bowels of the city, the eerie, slimy corridor becomes narrower and filled ankle-deep with water and ooze.

99. INT. MAIN BAY GANTRY – CONTROL TOWER

A soft buzzer and the muted voice of Luke calling out for See Threepio can be heard on Threepio’s hand com-link which is sitting on the deserted computer console. Artoo and Threepio are nowhere in sight. Suddenly there is a great explosion and the door to the control tower flies across the floor. Four armed stormtroopers enter the chamber. A muffled voice can be heard coming from one of the supply cabinets.

THREEPIO
Help! Help! Let us out.

The troops inspect the dead bodies and release Threepio from the supply cabinets. Artoo is shut down and does not move.

THREEPIO
They’re madman! They are heading for the prison level. If you hurry, you might catch them… they just left.

The troops hustle off down the hallway, leaving two guards to watch over the control room.

Threepio takes a round disk-like object and attaches it to Artoo’s head, which lifts him a foot off the ground and moves him toward the door.

THREEPIO
All this excitement has burned out my counterpart. If you don’t mind, I have to take him down to maintenance.

The guard nods and Threepio with little Artoo in tow hurries out the door.

100. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY

Artoo sparks to life and the two robots scurry off down
the empty hallway.

THREEPIO
That was too close. Now we’ll have to find another control socket an plug you back in or everything is lost.

101. INT. ALDERAAN – CRYSTAL CHAMBER

Old Ben carefully approaches the pedestal on which the Kiber Crystal is resting. He gracefully sidesteps a series of invisible beams. It looks as if he is doing a strange dance. Ben stops about five feet in front of the Crystal. His eyes light up, and it appears he is renewed with a new inner strength.

Ben lifts his arms and slowly the Crystal begins to rise off the pedestal and move toward the old Jedi. The intense glow of the magical stone increases as it passes through an invisible protective death ray. Just before it reaches Ben’s hand, it passes through a blue beam that sets off an alarm which instantaneously slams the door shut and the room glows a bright red.

102-103. INT. ALDERAAN – DUNGEON – PASSAGEWAY

The passageway has gotten so small that Han, Luke and Chewbacca must walk sideways. The princess is standing between Luke and the Wookiee and is semi-conscious.

LUKE
I think she’s going to be all right.

HAN
Not if this tunnel deadends.

Suddenly the way opens up to a wide, low-ceilinged corridor that is filled with water about waist high. At the far end of the tunnel is a small light. Chewbacca puts the princess back over his shoulder.

HAN
I see a light. We may get out of this yet.

The princess wakes up and is thoroughly confused by her surroundings.

LEIA
What is it? What’s going on? Where are we?

LUKE
You’re safe. We’ve come to get you out of here… Just relax.

The two boys wade into the submerged corridor, but Chewbacca won’t enter. He frantically begins sniffing the air and jabbers something to Han.

HAN
There is no choice. The troops are right behind us. Come on.

Chewbacca won’t budge. He seems terribly afraid of something in the water. Han wades back and pulls the huge Wookiee carrying the princess into the water.

LUKE
Is he afraid of the water?

HAN
No, he smells something… but we haven’t time to worry about it now.

The group moves forward through the dark corridor, unaware of the ominous ripples on the water’s surface.

The giant Wookiee stops and howls something to Han. The young starcaptain talks to the frightened creature and eventually calms him down. The dim light at the end of the corridor glimmers and becomes stronger.

A loud, horrible, inhuman moan works its way up from the murky depths followed by a huge jellyfish-like form, which shoots out of the water and towers above the petrified group. Chewbacca lets out a terrified howl and begins to back away. Han and Luke stand fast with their laser-pistols drawn. The Wookiee is cowering near one of the walls with the groggy princess on his shoulder.

Han fires directly at the center of the beast. His laser bolt passes through the huge creature and explodes against a far wall. The light from the blast reveals a little more of the Dia Nogu, which is transparent with long slimy tentacles.

HAN
It’s not a natural creature… our weapons are no good against it.

The huge shape, breathing loud and deep, submerges again and the telltale ripples head toward Luke.

HAN
Watch it! Move back.

LUKE
Get Chewbacca. Try to get around it. I’ll draw it away.

Han turns and wades back to Chewbacca, who is huddled against the wall. The Wookiee is shaking and wailing like a small child. In the thin light provided by the small door at the end of the passageway, the faint outline of the Dia Nogu can be seen as it swims by Luke.

LUKE
It just passed me. Maybe it’s harmless. I’m going to try for that opening.

Suddenly Luke is yanked underwater. Han has blindfolded Chewbacca and is attempting to lead the Wookiee and the princess toward the lighted opening at the far end of the tunnel.

HAN
Luke! Where are you? What happened?

Luke surfaces with a gasp of air and thrashing of limbs with a membrane tentacle wrapped around his throat.

LUKE
Get going! I’ll keep it busy.

Luke is dragged under again. Han grabs the princess and makes his way around the treacherous creature to the small opening at the end of the passageway. Luke bobs to the surface with a severed tentacle dangling around his neck.

LUKE
It’s only light that doesn’t affect it. Solid things, like rocks, can hurt it! Fire above him!

HAN
Move out of the way!

Luke tries to swim away, but is grabbed by the creature. Han fires his laser-pistol into the ceiling above the creature, knocking rocks and debris on top of it. The Dia Nogu thrashes about for a few moments, then the water’s calm, and all is quiet. There is no sign of Luke. Han bows his head as the hope drains from his face. Chewbacca lifts the princess through the small opening in the wall, then struggles to squeeze himself through also. Han starts to turn back toward the escape hole, when Luke pops out of the water with a gasp and starts swimming like mad toward the starcaptain.

LUKE
It’s still alive. It’s gone crazy. Get out of here!

The boys rush up to the small escape port only to find Chewbacca stuck. Luke begins pushing the Wookiee as Han turns and fires off another blast at the ceiling. A rush of rock and debris temporarily holds off the charging Dia Nogu. Han helps Luke push Chewbacca through the hole. Then the two boys scamper to safety just before the fearsome creature begins another charge.

104. INT. ALDERAAN – UNUSED HALLWAY

The group is standing in a dusty unused hallway. The Dia Nogu bangs against the opening and a long slimy tentacle works its way out of the doorway searching for a victim. Han aims his pistol. The princess is groggy, but conscious. She takes command of the situation.

LEIA
No, wait!! They’ll hear…

Han fires at the doorway, creating an avalanche of rubble which buries the monster.

The noise of the blast echoes relentlessly throughout the empty passageway. Luke simply shakes his head in disgust.

LEIA
Listen, blockhead, I don’t know where you came from, and I’m grateful, but from now on you do as I tell you.

Han is stunned at the command of the petite young girl. Luke bows before the princess.

LUKE
I am Luke Starkiller at your service.

LEIA
There’ll be time for that later. Now let’s get out of here.

The group moves swiftly down the deserted corridor. The awkward silence is broken by Han, who’s about had it with the princess.

HAN
I don’t care if the entire city heard me. All this sneaking around is going to get us killed. I’d rather fight my way out.

105. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN FORWARD BAY – SERVICE PANEL

Troops carry the two unconscious guards from the pirate starship and march past Threepio and little Artoo, who are hidden near a tiny service panel. Artoo removes the panel and sticks his claw arm into the socket. The little robot’s circuits immediately light up and one of his antenna begins to spin wildly. Smoke begins to pour from him before Threepio can pull him loose. Artoo lets out with a few wilted beeps as he cools off.

THREEPIO
Well, next time pay more attention. You could have been fried… Are there any other sockets around here?… You must get back into the system right away… or Master Luke will be caught for sure.

Artoo whistles a mournful reply and trudges off behind some canisters to look for another socket.

106. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY LEADING TO CRYSTAL CHAMBER

A half dozen troops are milling around outside the crystal chamber. An Imperial COMMANDER approaches, and they all snap to attention.

COMMANDER
What are you waiting for? Open it up!

No one moves. Finally a SERGEANT speaks up.

SERGEANT
We were told to wait for the Sith Lords to arrive.

COMMANDER
They’re all up on the prison level. The alarms short circuited again. A relay feedback probably tripped it. I think we can handle it. Unlock the door.

The troops lower their weapons as the heavy door is unlocked. The door swings open to reveal the withered old Jedi, standing with his laser-sword drawn. For a brief moment the Commander and his men are stunned.

COMMANDER
Shoot him down!

Before the troops can fire their weapons Old Ben has moved through them swinging his deadly blade, cutting the troops to ribbons. The old man flees down the hallway with what’s left of the troops vainly attempting to blast him.

107-108. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY

Luke, Han, Chewbacca and Princess Leia run down an empty hallway and stop before a bay window overlooking the pirate starship. Luke takes out his pocket com-link.

LUKE
See Threepio… do you copy?

THREEPIO
I read you sir.

LUKE
You’re back. What happened? Never mind. What’s going on?

THREEPIO
I’m afraid we’re not plugged in at the moment, sir. We’ve had some problems.

LUKE
Are you safe?

THREEPIO
For the moment. We’re in the main hangar. Artoo is trying to plug into the system now.

LUKE
Good. We’re right above you. Stand by.

Han is watching the dozen or so troops moving in and out of the starship.

HAN
It’s going to take a little doing to get back to the ship. It looks like I’m going to get a fight after all.

The two boys rush down the hallway, followed by the lumbering Chewbacca and Princess Leia. They round a corner and run smack dab into twenty Imperial stormtroopers heading towards them. Both groups are taken by surprise and stop in their tracks. Before even thinking, Han draws his laser-pistol and charges the troops, yelling at the top of his lungs. The troops are startled by this assault and start to back off. Han manages to cut several down before the rest flee in panic. Pleased with his prowess, Han starts after them, yelling back to Luke as he goes.

HAN
Get to the ship!

LUKE
Come back here… Where are you going?

Han has already rounded a corner and does not hear. Chewbacca, quite upset at his master’s disappearance, lets out a mighty howl and chases after him.

LUKE
Holy Maker!

Luke is furious but doesn’t have time to think about it, for muted alarms begin to go off down on the hangar deck. Luke and the princess start off toward the starship
hangar.

109. INT. ALDERAAN – SUB-HALLWAY

Han chases the ten stormtroopers down a long sub-hallway. He is yelling and brandishing his laser-pistol. The troops reach a deadend and are forced to turn and fight. Han stops a few feet from them and assumes a defensive position. He is ready to cut them down. The troops begin to raise their laser guns. Soon all ten troopers are moving into an attack position in front of the lone starpirate. Han’s determined look begins to fade as the troops begin to advance.

110. INT. ALDERAAN – SUB-HALLWAY

Chewbacca runs down the sub-hallway in a last-ditch attempt to save his bold captain. Suddenly he hears the firing of laser guns and yelling. Around the corner shoots Han Solo, pirate extraordinaire, running for his life, followed by a host of furious stormtroopers. Chewbacca turns and starts running the other way also. They run around several corners and the troops drop behind.

111. INT. ALDERAAN – NARROW PASSAGEWAY

Old Ben hides in the shadows of a narrow passageway as twenty or thirty stormtroopers rush past him in the main hallway. He checks to make sure they’re gone, then runs down the hallway in the opposite direction.

112. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN FORWARD BAY – SERVICE PANEL

Little Artoo carefully plugs his claw arm into a new wall socket, and a complex array of electronic sounds spew from the tiny robot.

THREEPIO
Wait a minute, slow down!… That’s better. They’re where? They what? They are? Oh, no!

THREEPIO (CONT’D)
We’re going to be mashed into conduit before this is over…

LUKE
See Threepio! Do you copy?

113. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY – BLAST SHIELD DOOR

Luke and the princess run down a hallway and reach a complex blast shield door. Luke is talking into his com-link.

LUKE
Are you hooked into the system?… Good. Open the shield door… 11054B… hurry…

Han and Chewbacca come lumbering around the corner and rush up to Luke and the princess.

HAN
Can you get it open?

A multi-layered series of doors begin to open behind them, just as the squad of stormtroopers that are chasing Han and Chewbacca round the corner and start firing on the rebels. Han returns the fire and the hallway quickly fills up with smoke and confusion as the final hatch swings open.

They turn and start into the main spaceport causeway. A few steps into the causeway the group stops short. Two Dark Lords of the Sith, leading about thirty stormtroopers, stride toward them. Luke and Han let loose with their blasters, then follow the princess and the Wookiee back into the first hallway. Luke takes out his com-link.

LUKE
See Threepio… Close the shield door! Close the shield door quickly… lock it tight!

The five layers of the door instantly slam shut. Laser bolts continued to ricochet around them.

HAN
Now what!?!

Luke shrugs his shoulders. The stormtroopers continue their assault, filling the hallway with smoke and debris.

LEIA
This way, hurry!

She rushes over to a large slit in the wall somewhat like a storm drain. She jumps through the narrow opening as Han and Chewbacca look on in amazement. Chewbacca says something.

HAN
Go on! You big furry oaf.

He shoves the Wookiee into the tiny opening and the Wookiee disappears into the darkness followed quickly by Han. Luke fires off a couple of quick blasts, creating a smoky cover, then slides into the garbage chute and is gone. When the smoke clears, the troops advance.

SERGEANT
Get this shield door open!

114. INT. ALDERAAN – SPACEPORT – GARBAGE ROOM

Luke tumbles into a large room filled with garbage and muck. Han and Chewbacca are already stumbling around looking for an exit. He finds a small hatchway and struggles to get it open. It won’t budge.

HAN
(sarcastic)
The garbage chute wasn’t a bad idea, your highness, but unfortunately these trash rooms are vacuum sealed.

He draws his laser-pistol and fires at the hatch. The laser bolt ricochets wildly around the small metal room. Everyone dives for cover in the garbage as the bolt explodes almost on top of them. Leia climbs out of the garbage with a rather grim look on her face.

LEIA
Put that thing away or you’re going to get us all killed.

HAN
(sarcastic)
Yes, your highness.

HAN (CONT’D)
I’ll let you open it then. It won’t be too long before they figure out what happened to us. This has turned into a brilliant escape!

LEIA
It could be worse…

Luke and the princess go over to help Chewbacca, who is straining to open the emergency latch. Han moves about in the muck. Suddenly the walls of the garbage receptacle shudder and move in a couple of inches. Then everything is deathly quiet.

HAN
I’ve got a very bad feeling about all this.

Before anyone can say anything the walls begin to rumble and edge toward the rebels.

LEIA
Don’t just stand there. Try to brace it with something.

They place poles and long metal beams between the closing walls, but they are simply snapped and bent as the giant trash masher rumbles on. The situation doesn’t look good.

HAN
This isn’t working, your highness.

The room gets smaller and smaller until it is only three feet wide. Garbage is snapping and popping as it is crushed by the relentless walls. Luke’s com-link begins to buzz, and he pulls it off his belt.

LUKE
Holy Maker, Threepio. I forgot…

THREEPIO
Are you there, sir? We’re going…

LUKE
Threepio! Shut down all garbage mashers on your level… Do you copy?? Threepio, shut down all garbage…

The rumbling walls continue. It looks hopeless, and then they stop. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Luke goes over to the pressure hatch and scrapes some muck off a number.

LUKE
Open the pressure maintenance hatch on unit 366117891…

115. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY – BLAST SHIELD DOOR

The huge blast shield door slides open and the stormtroopers on either side almost shoot each other, but quickly realize they have been tricked. The Sith Lords point to the garbage chute.

116. INT. ALDERAAN – HALLWAY LEADING TO MAIN FORWARD BAY

Old Ben hurries along one of the tunnels leading to the starship hangar. Just before he is about to reach the hangar, Darth Vader steps into view at the end of the tunnel not more than ten feet away.

VADER
I’ve been waiting… At last we meet again… It could only have been you…

BEN
The Force of the Bogan has grown strong with you. I expected your master…

VADER
You were once my master, but I am the master now… the Crystal will be of little use to you…

The fearsome dark knight ignites his laser-sword and takes a defensive stance. The two galactic warriors stand perfectly still for a few moments, sizing each other up and waiting for the right moment. Old Ben seems to be under increasing pressure and strain, as if an invisible weight were being placed upon him. He shakes his head and, blinking, tries to clear his eyes.

VADER
Your powers are weak… Old man, you should never have come back.

Ben makes a sudden lunge at the huge warrior but is checked by a lightning movement of the Sith. A masterful slash-stroke by Vader is blocked by the old Jedi. Another of the Jedi’s blows is blocked, then countered. Ben moves around the Dark Lord and starts backing into the massive starship hangar. The two powerful warriors stand motionless for a few moments with laser-swords locked in mid-air, creating a low buzzing sound.

117. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN FORWARD BAY – STARSHIP

Threepio looks up and sees Ben emerging from the hallway.

THREEPIO
There’s the general! Where are the others?… Oh, no!

Threepio ducks out of sight as the seven stormtroopers who were guarding the starship rush past them heading toward Ben and the Sith knight. When the robot ven- tures another peek, he spots Han, Luke, Chewbacca and the princess running out of a tunnel on the other side of the starship and heading toward them. He pulls on Artoo.

THREEPIO
Unplug yourself. We’re going!

Ben sees the troops charging toward him and realizes that he is trapped. Vader takes advantage of Ben’s momentary distraction and brings his mighty laser-sword down on the old man. But Ben manages to deflect the blow, swiftly turning around, cutting a safety lock on the blast door. Vader is standing in the access tunnel, while Ben is in the huge hangar, and the heavy blast door slams down between them, trapping Vader in the tunnel.

Ben instantly turns toward the troops. They stop in their tracks and start to raise their weapons. Before they can fire a shot, a laser bolt explodes in the middle of them, creating havoc. The troops turn around to see Luke and Han firing on them from the ramp of the starship. Threepio and Artoo run up the ramp and disappear inside the ship. Chewbacca appears at the door of the pirate ship and throws a dead stormtrooper onto the hangar floor. Luke turns to Han.

LUKE
Get the ship started!

As Han starts up the ramp, Leia grabs the laser-pistol out of his hand. Han starts to grab it back, then thinks better of it and rushes into the starship. Ben charges into the troops, cutting them down as he goes. Luke is forced to stop firing and runs to the old man’s aid with his laser-sword drawn. Several of the troops flee in panic, but the two that remain fire their laser- pistols point blank at the old man. Ben deflects the bolt, but it explodes near him and he slumps to the floor in a heap. Luke cuts down the remaining troops and rushes to the old Jedi’s side.

Ben is still alive, but badly hurt. A fresh squad of stormtroopers appear at a second tunnel, and Leia fires off a blast that makes them duck for cover.

LEIA
Luke, quickly! There are more coming!

Luke struggles to drag the old man toward the ship under the constant fire of the Imperial troops. Luke fires back whenever possible and manages to keep the troops at bay. The princess takes careful aim and hits the safety lock on the blast door, causing it to slam shut, leaving only three troops left in the hangar. The princess runs down the ramp and helps Luke drag the old man aboard. Luke puts away his laser-pistol and takes out his com-link.

LUKE
Han, close the main hatch and get this thing moving!

118. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT

Han pulls back on the controls and the ship begins to move. The dull thud of laser bolts can be heard bouncing of the outside of the ship. The princess enters the cockpit with a worried look on her face.

HAN
Don’t worry. They aren’t going to hurt us with those peashooters… This ship is fully shielded.

119. INT. ALDERAAN – MAIN FORWARD BAY – STARSHIP

The pirate starship lifts away from the starship bay and quickly disappears into the cloud sea of Alderaan. The three troops continue to fire at the retreating ship.

The blast doors quickly slide open revealing Darth Vader, an Imperial commander and many troops. The Dark Lord casually enters the hangar bay and speaks to the commander.

VADER
Very good. It worked. Slow them down, but don’t stop them. Alert all the tracking stations. We should soon know the location of at least one of their hidden bases. Alert the Death Star.

120. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT

Chewbacca enters the crowded cockpit and jabbers away to Han. The young starcaptain jumps up while speaking into the com-link.

HAN
Luke, you’d better get to on of the gun ports. We’ve got four tie ships coming in on grid five.

Chewbacca squeezes into the pilot’s chair next to the princess. Han notices the skeptical look on Leia’s face.

HAN
With your permission I will go and assist young Luke. Don’t worry. Chewbacca’s a better pilot than I am.

121. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – GUN PORTS – AFT SECTION – TRAVELING

Luke is firing one of the two main laser cannons mounted in large rotating bubble turrets. He adjusts his headphones and searches his electronic tracking screen for the Imperial fighters.

LEIA (V.O.)
(over headphones)
Here come six more… grid two!

HAN
Was this trip really necessary?

Han jumps into the turret opposite Luke and begins to strap himself in. The pirate starship shudders as the Imperial fighters open fire. Luke’s turret swings around as he continues to return the fire. Moments later Han lowers his glare reflector and with a burst of smoke and electrical charge opens up on the enemy craft. One of the Imperial fighters is hit by a concentrated barrage and begins spinning out of control, until it finally explodes. Han gives Luke a victory wave, which Luke gleefully returns.

122. EXT. SPACE AROUND ARLDEAAN

Imperial fighters buzz about everywhere. The constant flashing of deflected laser bolts reflect in the interior of the turret bubble.

123. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – SLEEP AREA

The robots secure the wounded Ben Kenobi in a bunk. A huge explosion throws Artoo and Threepio crashing against the passageway wall.

THREEPIO
Here we go again. How did we manage to get into this mess again?

Over the com-link the princess gives instructions as to the enemy formations. Several more Imperial ships explode and disappear from view. The pirate starship undergoes a great deal of punishment as the battle rages.

124. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT – TRAVELING

The cockpit is alive with warning lights and buzzers, but Chewbacca manages to keep things under control.

LEIA
There are only three or four left.

HAN
(over intercom)
Chewbacca, it’s time we showed them this isn’t the regulation F8-88 Cargo Trawler.

Chewbacca pulls back on several of the levers before him and the ship surges away from the tiny fighters. The pirate starship races through the galaxy at an incredible speed.

125. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – GUN PORTS – AFT SECTION – TRAVELING

Luke and Han continue to fire at the Imperial fighters.

HAN
At this speed they aren’t very maneuverable…

One explodes, then another.

LEIA
(over intercom)
They’re dropping away… We made it.

Luke and Han congratulate each other on their victory.

126-127. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – HALLWAY – SLEEP AREA

Leia follows little Artoo into the sleep area where Threepio and Luke are trying to make Old Ben comfortable. Han finishes putting away some medical supplies as the princess enters.

LEIA
All the data banks in Artoo are still secure.

HAN
Then I think we’re due the reward you offered… and it had better be substantial after what we’ve been through.

LEIA
When Artoo has been safely delivered to my forces, you get your reward. You have my guarantee.

HAN
What’s that little ‘droid’ carrying that’s so blasted important?

LEIA
The plans and specifications to a battle station with enough fire power to destroy an entire system… Our only hope in destroying it is to find its weakness, which we will determine from the data I stored in Artoo.

LEIA (CONT’D)
We captured the plans in a raid on the Imperial shipyards, but we fell under attack before I could get the data to safety, so I hid it in this Artoo unit and sent him off.

HAN
Where are you taking us now anyway?

LEIA
The fourth moon of Yavin. I’ve given the coordinates to Chewbacca.

HAN
I’d better go see how he’s doing.

Han exits as Old Ben painfully lifts himself on one elbow.

BEN
They let us go… They’re tracking us. They want to find your hidden bases. They’ll destroy the system.

LEIA
I know they’ll follow… and they’ll bring the Death Star, but our only hope is to destroy it before it destroys us. Hiding is useless now. With the Death Star they will continue to destroy systems until they have found us. We have no alternative but to process the information and use it while there is still time.

Threepio helps the old man lie back.

LUKE
Are there medical facilities on Yavin?

LEIA
He’ll be well cared for.

128. EXT. SPACE AROUND FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN

The battered pirate starship drifts into orbit around
the emerald green fourth moon of Yavin.

129. INT. PIRATE STARSHIP – COCKPIT – TRAVELING

Han and Chewbacca are at the controls as Luke hurries into the cockpit.

HAN
I don’t pick up any life form concentration down there. She’d better be right.

LUKE
They must be shielded somehow. I’m sure the base is there.

HAN
Well, if it’s not, we’ll be facing that Death Star all by our lonesome.

130. EXT. SPACE AROUND FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN

Two small lifepods jettison away from the starship and slowly drift toward the awesome deep green surface of the moon. Retro-rockets automatically kick in and slow the pods. The two tiny craft break through the light cloud cover and disappear in the dense, steaming jungles of Yavin’s fourth moon.

131. EXT. FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN – VINE JUNGLE

One of the lifepods has come to rest in the middle of
a small clearing. Han, Luke and Threepio emerge from
the capsule into a forest of gargantuan trees shrouded
in an eerie mist. The air is heavy with the fantastic
cries of unimaginable creatures.

LUKE
I don’t see how we got through those trees in one piece.

A loud crashing sound is heard coming through the jungle. Han instantly draws his laser-pistol and then relaxes when he sees that it is Chewbacca leading Leia and little Artoo into the clearing.

HAN
I don’t see how we’re going to find anything out here. This terrain is hopeless.

LEIA
Did it occur to you they might find us?

The princess has a knowing smile on her face as Han looks around in the nearby jungle and realizes they are surrounded by twenty rebel Aquillian rangers. The rebel soldiers break out of the dark foliage and approach the group. The princess meets them a short way from the group and gives out a series of animated orders. The soldiers begin to rush about. Four of them attach a lifting disk on Artoo and easily carry him off. Two other rangers help Luke lift Old Ben out of the landing pod and onto a stretcher. The princess rejoins the group.

LEIA
We must hurry to the base. We have little time before the Death Star arrives.

HAN
I’d like to get paid before that eventually. I don’t plan to stick around for the fireworks.

Luke is surprised at Han’s desire to leave and is clearly disappointed.

132. EXT. FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN – MASASSI OUTPOST

An ancient temple rots in the dense jungle.

133. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – WAR ROOM

In the bowels of the temple a massive and sophisticated war room has been constructed. The princess stands before a large electronic wall display surrounded by a half dozen field commanders. Luke, Han, Chewbacca and Threepio are milling around just outside the war room. An OFFICER enters and hooks up a headphone to the display board. Artoo is standing near the princess with his arm plugged into a computer panel.

OFFICER
The analysis is coming through now.

Everyone turns to the big board where various schematics of a large round space station are displayed.

OFFICER
The cross analysis confirms a weak point here, near the north axis…

The display flashes a close angle of the north pole of
the complex globe.

OFFICER
In an area somewhere below the generating towers there is a small thermal exhaust port. It is an unshielded shaft that runs directly into the reactor system.

A large, sallow-eyed general named AAY ZAVOS fiddles nervously with a small hand computer.

ZAVOS
The greatest concentration of fire power is at the poles… That exhaust port looks too small to hit from the air… We’ll have to land an assault force and use delayed link-weapons.

The GRAND MOUFF TARKIN, the thin commander of the outland Kesselian Dagoons, stands.

TARKIN
An assault force is too big. Their lateral defenses are too strong for that type of landing. With all due respect, I suggest an attack with our smallest, most maneuverable ships. If we can get close enough, I think we can target it.

LEIA
Correlate the plan into the master logic system. If there is any kind of probability ratio at all, we’ll go ahead with it. Send out the alert… We haven’t much time.

Most of the commanders hurry out of the room. Two of the generals stay with the princess and go over the Death Star readout. Han and Luke watch as the commanders rush out of the war room. Han is getting impatient and before Luke can stop him, he has pushed past the guards and approached the princess.

HAN
What about us? Are we to wait forever? Is our reward to be blown to bits on this forsaken system, while your fleet mounts some suicidal attack on that Death Star?

HAN (CONT’D)
Part of my reward is that I be around to spend it.

LEIA
I have little time for your mercenary concerns, but I am grateful for the service you have given to our cause. What is your price?

A grin slides across Han’s face.

HAN
Ten million.

The two rebel generals look at one another almost not believing their ears. Luke starts to say something, but the princess turns to an officer.

LEIA
See that he gets it and quickly.

The princess then turns to Luke. She is very cold and businesslike.

LEIA
And you?

LUKE
I… I don’t know. I guess I never thought about it… I just want to help. I want to be in on the attack. I want my own ship.

LEIA
If you’re as good a pilot as you are a swordsman… We’re the ones who have been rewarded.

134. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – MEDICAL CHAMBER

Old Ben rests in the cool, dim quiet of an electronic medical chamber. Luke and Han are by his side.

HAN
Goodbye, Ben, goodbye, Luke. This is a charter I won’t soon forget. And I thought it would be a snap.

He shakes his head. Luke extends his hand.

LUKE
You’re a good pilot… I’ve learned a lot from you… I wish you…

HAN
I know, but the chances for survival here just aren’t great enough in my book. I’ve got what I came for. Now I’ve got to get back to my ship.

They shake hands. Han starts to leave, then turns and winks.

HAN
May the Force be with you.

Chewbacca is waiting for him outside the room, and they hurry off down the hallway. Luke turns back to Ben.

BEN
I want you to take this.

He pulls the Kiber Crystal out of his tunic and it radiates a warm glow through out the small room. Luke takes it.

LUKE
The Kiber Crystal.

BEN
Keep it with you always. You’ll have more need of it than I. It will bring the Force to you. You’ve already learned to feel it… Now you must learn to use it.

Luke lowers his head in a kind of meditation.

BEN
You’d better hurry if you’re going to get to that briefing.

Luke stands up as Threepio and Artoo enter.

LUKE
You’d better be up and around by the time I get back. Threepio, take good care of him.

Luke pats the lanky robot on the back.

LUKE
You’ve done well, Threepio. You have both served us well beyond your programming. When I return, I’ll have both you and Artoo retired, if you like.

Artoo lets out with a couple of soft beeps.

THREEPIO
Thank you, sir. Your kindness is greatly appreciated, but if it’s at all possible, Artoo and I would like to remain in your service.

LUKE
I’d consider it an honor.

He turns and starts out the door.

LUKE
Come on, Artoo. We’ve got some work to do.

The stubby little droid waddles out of the room after his master.

135. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – BRIEFING ROOM

The Grand Mouff Tarkin stands before a large projection of the north pole of the Death Star. Four squad commanders (BLUE LEADER, RED LEADER, etc.) sit to one side of the giant readout. The low ceilinged room is filled with starpilots, navigators, and a sprinkling of Artoo-type robots. Everyone is listening intently to what Tarkin is saying.

TARKIN
… You’ll have to come straight in, then at the last possible moment level off and skim the surface to this point. The target is a four by four thermal exhaust port that runs directly into the reactor system. A direct hit straight into the shaft should set up a chain reaction that will destroy the station… the post is ray-shielded, so you’ll have to use your torpedoes.

Luke is sitting next to CHEWIE ANTILLES, a hot-shot pilot about sixteen years old. Artoo is sitting next to a little R-2 robot, who lets out a long whistle of hopelessness and skepticism.

CHEWIE (BLUE TWO)
A four by four target at maximum speed with a torpedo yet! That’s going to be a neat trick.

LUKE
It’s not so bad. We used to bulls-eye womprats in my T-16 back home.

CHEWIE (BLUE TWO)
This will take a little more than a barnyard marksmanship, believe me.

Red Leader, a roguish looking man in his early thirties, stands and addresses the pilots.

RED LEADER
Take a special note of these emplacements. There is a heavy concentration of fire power on the lateral axis… also their generating towers will probably create a strong magnetic field. It is calculated that maneuverability in this sector will be less than point three.

TARKIN
We must have a direct hit. Yellow squadron will cover for red on the first run. Then green will cover for blue on the second. Any questions?

A muted buzz moves throughout the room, but there are no questions.

TARKIN
Then man your ships and may the Force be with you.

136. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – MAIN HANGAR DECK

Luke and little Artoo enter a huge spaceship hangar carved out of the interior of the crumbling temple and hurry along a long line of gleaming spacefighters.

Flight crews rush here and there loading last minute armament and unlocking power couplings. Luke is stopped by Blue Leader, a rugged, handsome man in his forties. He has the confident smile of a born leader.

BLUE LEADER
You’re Starkiller?

LUKE
Yes, sir.

BLUE LEADER
Have you been checked out?

LUKE
Yes, sir. I was considered one of the best bush pilots on Sullust. I’ve also had six hours on the T-2.

Blue Leader has a skeptical look on his face.

BLUE LEADER
Six hours, huh? Well, that’s your ship there. You’re blue five. You stay glued to me. I don’t want any independent operations out there. Personally I think it’s foolish for them to be sending fresh kids out on a job like this. This is no joy ride we’re going on.

LUKE
Yes, sir.

A warning buzzer sounds and Blue Leader smiles.

BLUE LEADER
May the Force be with you.

Luke makes a short bow from the waist as Blue Leader hurries to his ship. Luke’s ground crew has hoisted little Artoo into a socket on the back of the one-man starship fighter. Luke climbs aboard the sleek, deadly spacecraft. Blue Leader gives his ground crew the signal that he is starting his ion engines. Luke’s CREW CHIEF pats him on the helmet and has to yell to be heard over the ion engines.

CHIEF
That R-2 unit of yours seems a little beat-up. Do you want a new one?

Luke shakes his head no.

CHIEF
Knock them all the way back to Alderaan.

The canopy is closed and the powerful starship moves into a deep runway shaft that leads to the outside. Luke checks out the computer readouts as his crew locks down the armament.

LUKE
Artoo, are you secure?

The little droid, who is now part of the exterior shell of the starship, beeps that he is fine, which reads out over the computer monitor. One of the crewman climbs up to the cockpit.

CREWMAN
I’ve removed the lateral casings, which should make you about a thousand pounds lighter.

He hangs a small good luck charm inside the cockpit as the canopy starts to slide closed. Luke signals to the crewmen that everything is okay. Other crewmen say goodbye to their pilots, some serious, some kidding — all with a great deal of hidden emotion.

137. EXT. FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN – MASASSI OUTPOST – JUNGLE

All that can be seen of the fortress is a lone guard standing on a small pedestal jutting out above the dense jungle. The muted, gruesome crying sounds that naturally permeate this eerie purgatory are overwhelmed by the thundering din of ion rockets as four silver starships catapult from the foliage in a tight formation and disappear into the morning cloud cover.

138. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – WAR ROOM

The princess sits quietly before the giant display showing the planet of Yavin and her four moons. The red dot that represents the Death Star moves ever closer to the system. A series of green dots appear around the fourth moon. The Grand Mouff Tarkin stands behind the princess with several other field commanders.

TARKIN
They’re all away. For the first time since the take-over, I feel real hope.

Everyone turns as Threepio enters with Old Ben who is walking with a chrome cane. The old man smiles at the young princess.

LEIA
Switch them to the main com-link system. Let everyone hear it.

The voices of the starpilots are broadcast into the room.

BLUE LEADER (V.O.)
Masassi Base, we have visual contact.

139. EXT. SPACE AROUND FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN

A small bright speck orbiting the huge red planet of Yavin sparkles in the light of the distant sun. Eight rebel starships settle ominously into the foreground, moving swiftly toward the orbiting speck. As the starships move closer, the awesome size of the gargantuan Imperial space fortress is revealed.

140. INT. BLUE LEADER STARSHIP – COCKPIT – TRAVELING

Blue Leader, in the first ship, signals to the other pilots in his wing group. The many monitors are filled with various computer readouts and displays. Over the com-link one of the other starpilots (BLUE SIX) reports to Blue Leader.

BLUE SIX (V.O.)
(intercom)
Look at the size of that thing!

BLUE LEADER
Cut off, Blue Six. Stand by. Blue group, move in to cover the south. Red group, try for the exhaust port. Settle in. Here we go.

141. INT. LUKE’S STARSHIP – COCKPIT – TRAVELING

Luke adjusts the controls of the tiny starfighter and lowers the sunshade on his goggles.

BLUE LEADER (V.O.)
Blue Five, does that glare bother you?

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
I’ve got it blocked. I’m all right.

142. EXT. SPACE AROUND FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN – BATTLE

Fuel pods are jettisoned. The starship fighters extend their dart-like wings and break off into a power dive attack on the space fortress. A barrage of laser fire from the huge fortress creates a wall of death through which most of the rebel craft miraculously emerge — undamaged. Multiple laser bolts streak from the starship fighters, creating small explosions on the complex surface of the fort. Luke directs his fire at one of the prime power terminals. It explodes, generating weird electronic arcs that leap off the station’s surface.

143-163 INT. DEATH STAR – MAIN STATION

Walls buckle and cave in, sucking debris and personnel into the vacuum of space. Alarm sirens scream as soldiers scramble to large turbo-powered laser gun emplacements. Officers yell orders through the smoke and confusion. Man and robots of various shapes and sizes run to their battle stations. Standing in the middle of the chaos, a vision of calm and foreboding, is the evil Sith knight, Darth Vader. Several astro-officers run up to him, still putting on the helmets and equipment.

VADER
Get to your ships. I’ll take the lead myself. We finally have them where we want them.

164. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – WAR ROOM

The princess and her generals listen silently to the action of the starships over the com-link. The aides and troops move about very quietly listening to the battle as they work.

BLUE LEADER (V.O.)
Blue One to Masassi Base, we’re nearing the south pole transmitter area. The magnetic concussion is getting very rough.

BLUE LEADER (V.O.) (CONT’D)
We’re starting our run. Tighten it up. Blue Two, tighten it up. Watch those towers.

CHEWIE (BLUE TWO)(V.O.)
Heavy fire, boss. Twenty-three degrees.

BLUE LEADER (V.O.)
I see it. Pull in. Pull in. We’re picking up some interference.

BLUE SIX (V.O.)
Wow, I’ve never seen such fire power.

BLUE LEADER (V.O.)
Pull in, Blue Two. Pull in. Chewie, do you read me? Chewie?

CHEWIE (V.O.)
I’m all right, boss. I’ve got a target. I’m going in to check it out.

BLUE SIX (V.O.)
There is too much action, Chewie. Get out!

BLUE LEADER (V.O.)
Break off, Chewie. Acknowledge. We’ve hit to much interference. Blue Six, can you see Blue Two?

BLUE SIX (V.O)
I’ve lost him. There’s a heavy fire zone on this side. My scanner’s jammed. Blue Five?

LUKE (V.O.)
He’s gone. No, wait. There he is. Fin damage, but he’s all right.

A sigh of relief sweeps across the war room.

BLUE LEADER (V.O.)
Watch your back, Luke. Watch your back! Squad above you, Blue Five! Coming in — about six ships.

165-171. EXT. SPACE AROUND FOURTH MOON OF YAVIN – BATTLE – REBEL FIGHTERS

Two fin-winged Imperial fighters dive on Luke, but he does a quick spiral turn and eludes them.

RED LEADER
Blue Leader, this is Red Leader… We’ve marked the target and are starting our attack run.

BLUE LEADER
I copy, Red Leader. We’ll try to keep them busy on this end. Blue Five, stay close now…

Blue Leader and Luke (Blue Five) and Blue Four dive in unison through a forest of radar domes, antenna and gun towers. They are followed by four Imperial tie fighters. The two rebel ships make a sharp turn and come around behind the Imperial ships. Blue Four and Blue Leader fire into the tie fighters as the six ships crisscross the surface of the fortress.

Suddenly a dense barrage of laser fire erupts from a protruding tower, catching Blue Four broadside. The rebel spacecraft bursts into a million flaming pieces. Luke has a sudden realization of the danger he is in, but it quickly fades as another Imperial fighter moves onto his tail and begins firing. Luke rolls away from the enemy ship.

Blue Leader reacts to the loss of his wing man with a renewed attack on the Imperial ships — one of which falls away and hits a prime power terminal, creating an arching spectacle. A chain reaction is set off, creating a series of explosions leaping across the surface of the fortress from terminal to terminal.

172-174 INT. Y WING REBEL STARFIGHTER – RED LEADER COCKPIT

A blazing and out of control Red Leader dives toward the Death Star surface followed by Darth Vader in a small, spider-like Imperial fighter.

RED LEADER
Blue Leader, this is Red Leader. They hit us before we could get down. You’ll need more air cover. Sith Lords…

175-190 EXT. DEATH STAR – SOUTH POLE

Blue Leader see Luke has an Imperial fighter on his
tail.

BLUE LEADER
We’re on our way, Red Leader.

Blue Two (Chewie) miraculously dives his ship through a virtual sea of laser fire and blasts the Imperial fighters chasing Luke into dust. Chewie signals to Luke, who lets out a whooping cheer as Chewie veers into a victory roll.

BLUE LEADER
Great moves, Chewie. Red Leader needs some help. We’re going to try for the exhaust port. Coincide, Blue Five.

Luke and Blue Three bob and weave in formation toward a
group of giant towers at the north pole.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
I see the target. It looks good.

BLUE THREE
I’ve got it. We’re hit! We’re hit!

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
Eject… Eject. Blue Three, do you read?

BLUE THREE
I’m all right. I can hold it. Give me a little room, Blue Five. Watch it! Watch it!

Blue Three wobbles a little, then drops away sharply, plowing into a huge laser gun emplacement, causing a hideous series of chain reaction explosions. The remaining starships of the Blue group fly in a tight formation and dive between the tall towers near the exhaust port.

BLUE LEADER
Masassi Base, we’re in position and staring for the target. Chewie, hold your fire until we’re within point zero five four. Make it count. Luke, stay close.

Several ack-ack lasers begin to open fire on the approaching spacecraft. The rebel ships direct their fire at a small, glowing blue hole at the base of one of the towers. One of the Blue Four’s engines begins to smoke and an R-2 unit pops out of the back and attempts to repair it.

CHEWIE (BLUE TWO)
I’m on it.

Blue Two dives directly at the small target, is unable to pull out and crashes into the base of one of the towers. Blue Leader dives between the towers, firing away, but is unable to hit the small hole.

BLUE LEADER
It’s very small. It’s going to be difficult. Send in the green group. I’ll try again.

Luke chases an Imperial chip that is chasing Blue Leader.

One of the two large fins on the Imperial fighter explodes and it careens wildly, leaving an erratic trail of smoke before eventually crashing into a solar panel.

191-195. EXT. LUKE’S STARSHIP – BATTLE

Luke swings the small craft around the many outcroppings
of laser towers and transmitters.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
I’m right behind you, Blue Leader.

BLUE LEADER
What’s that?

Out of the gloom streaks Darth Vader firing on Blue Leader. Luke tries to intercept the Imperial ship, but Vader outmaneuvers him. Blue Leader dives on the exhaust port, followed by Darth Vader, who is followed by Luke, desperately trying to catch up.

BLUE LEADER
Blue Five, break off your cover attack. It’s too late. Make your own run on the exhaust port. Do you copy, Luke?

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
Yes, sir, but I can get him…

BLUE LEADER
Forget it, son.

One of the five large engines on Blue Leader’s fighter explodes. He careens wildly, leaving an erratic trail of smoke before eventually crashing into a solar panel. Luke can hear the sharp laugh of Vader over the com-link.

196. INT. VADER’S IMPERIAL TIE FIGHTER – COCKPIT – TRAVELING

Darth Vader laughs maniacally as he swings his craft around and starts after Luke’s ship.

VADER
You’re next, Blue Five… I have this feeling I know you. The Force is strong with you.

197. INT. LUKE’S STARSHIP – COCKPIT – TRAVELING

Luke’s hand instinctively goes to the pocket that holds the Kiber Crystal. Its glow lights up the entire cabin.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
I am Luke Starkiller. Had we met earlier, you would not be here.

198. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – WAR ROOM

On the computer display board, several of the markers indicating rebel fighters go dark. The princess gives Old Ben a look of amused surprise at Luke’s boldness. GENERAL DODANA approaches the princess.

DODANA
Over sixty percent of our craft have been destroyed. The probability projection shows little hope. The Death Star will be in position to fire on us shortly. We will be destroyed. We must escape while there is still time.

The princess gives Dodana a hard look and the cowardly general back away.

LEIA
There will be no retreat.

199-225. EXT. BATTLE

Luke (Blue Five) dives on the Death Star at an incredible speed. He soon realizes Vader is on his tail. He spins his ship to evade the pursuing Dark Lord, but Vader is still there. His ship rock and shudders under the nearby impact of Vader exploding laser bolts. Luke straightens his ship out and it skims across the surface of the fortress, creating a blur.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
Approaching target. I’m almost home.

VADER (V.O.)
Not yet, my bold friend.

Vader hits one of Luke’s engines and parts scatter in all directions. The ship wobbles, but Luke keeps the craft on target and fires his torpedo… It explodes harmlessly to one side of the tiny exhaust port. He pulls his ship up to try for another run.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
Blast it! Artoo, we took a little back there. My stability is off about twelve degrees. See if you can’t jam the connecting relays. We have to get stabilized.

Artoo pops out of his socket and carefully makes his way back to the smoldering engine. Two other rebel ships make a dive on the exhaust port. One is blasted away by Vader, the other fires at the exhaust port and misses.

BLUE EIGHT
There is just too much interference with that Sith Lord out there. It’s impossible to get an accurate target line-up with him there.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
Hurry with those relays, Artoo. We’re going to try again.

Luke’s tiny rebel fighter banks and prepares for a second attack on the exhaust port.

Artoo struggles to repair the damage to one of the huge engines. blue Eight moves in next to him.

BLUE EIGHT
I’ll cover for you, Blue Five.

The two rebels start their attack dive. The surface of the Death Star races toward them. Suddenly, streaking down from above them, Vader and two other Imperial fighters sweep into view with all of their laser cannons blazing away. Laser bolts explode around little Artoo as he works frantically to repair the stabilizer. Laser fire hits Blue Eight and he explodes.

VADER
You were foolish enough to try again, Blue Five.

The three Imperial fighters dive on the lone rebel starship. Luke struggles to keep control of the ship with laser bolts streaking past him on all sides.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
Blast!

VADER
The Force is with you, my bold little friend, but now I have you…

Suddenly Vader’s wing man explodes into a shower of burning fragments. Vader is surprised and looks around for the cause of his wing man’s misfortune.

VADER
CTR-5, where did that come from?

CTR-5
Collision course… watch out!

Heading right for the two Imperial fighters is Han Solo in the battered old pirate starship. CTR-5 veers radically, clipping Vader’s solar fin in the maneuver. Vader spins out of control. Han blasts CTR-5 to smoke.

HAN
I noticed you were having some problems, Blue Five… I thought I’d help.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
Thanks, old buddy. I’ll be with you in a second.

Luke levels his fighter and skims the surface of the fortress, through a wall of laser fire. Artoo beeps a message to Luke.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
That’s good, Artoo. Just keep it that way.

As he passes the exhaust port, Luke fires a torpedo, which goes directly down the exhaust shaft. Luke looks down at the glowing Kiber Crystal in his hand.

LUKE (BLUE FIVE)
We did it! I hit it perfectly. Let’s get out of here.

Luke veers sharply away from the Death Star as ominous rumbles and explosions are heard coming from within the huge super fortress. The rebel ship speeds past the large pirate starship and several other surviving rebel fighters as they flee from the pending holocaust. A sudden great flash replaces the fortress, and a rainstorm of rubble pelts the starships. Several giant explosions follow until there is only a smoke cloud where the mighty fortress once orbited Yavin.

HAN
Not bad, kid.

226-227. INT. VADER IMPERIAL TIE FIGHTER – COCKPIT – TRAVELING

Vader’s starship with a bent solar fin limps into the vast darkness of space attempting to make it back to the relative safety of Alderaan.

228 INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – MAIN HANGAR

Luke climbs out of his starship and is cheered by a throng of ground crews and pilots. Little Artoo is helped off the back of the starship and he’s greeted by Threepio. Luke spots Han and Chewbacca as they enter and runs over to them. he hugs the Corellian pirate and the giant Wookiee. They all laugh and cheer. The crowd parts, revealing Old Ben. Luke goes to him and bows from waist. The old man embraces him.

229. INT. MASASSI OUTPOST – MAIN THRONE ROOM

Luke, Artoo, Threepio, Han and Chewbacca enter the huge ruins of the main temple.

Hundreds of troops are lined up in neat rows. Banners are flying and at the far end stands a vision in white, the beautiful young Princess Leia. Luke and the others solemnly march up the long aisle and kneel before Princess Leia. Artoo and Threepio are rather awestruck at the whole event. Chewbacca is confused. Old Ben is sitting to the right of the Princess, while the Grand Mouff Tarkin sits on her left. Leia is dressed in a long, white dress and is staggeringly beautiful. She rises and places a gold medallion around Han’s neck, then repeats the ceremony with Chewbacca, the robots and finally Luke. They turn and face the assembled troops, who all bow before them.

FADE OUT.

END CREDITS.

THE END

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