STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - THE PLANET KILLER
The galaxy is in a state of the cold war. Tensions are high between the Republic and Confederacy, with the former claiming the Confederates pawns of the Dark Side, and the latter claiming the Republic inherently corrupt. As a result, both powers have entered a massive arms race.
Rumor has it the Confederacy is developing a weapon that will turn the Republic’s fleet useless - “The Death Star”, an abandoned Geonosison project from the Clone Wars. Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano is sent to investigate…
Ahsoka meets Saw Gerrera on Jedha, a Confederate world. Gerrera is leading a morally-questionable undercover resistance that is nevertheless backed by the Republic thanks to common interests. Gerrera gives Ahsoka the Death Star plans. Suddenly, the Confederacy arrives, led by the fearsome General Grievous.
A battle ensues. Ahsoka gives the plans to her droid, R2D2, but not before the camp is overrun. The Confederacy arrests Ahsoka on premises of trespass. R2 gets away just in time.
On the command ship, Ahsoka is interrogated by Grievous and much to her surprise… Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Jedi thought he died shortly after Anakin. Despite turning evil Obi-Wan is still charming, as he and Grievous have a round of good cop / bad cop to get Ahsoka to reveal where she put the Death Star plans. But after getting the necessary information, Obi-Wan drops all formalities and lets Grievous kill his former ally. The two later speak with a hologram of Count Dooku, and we learn that they are rivals for the Count’s right hand.
In deep space, R2D2 commands an escape pod. It is captured by pirates.
On Coruscant we are introduced to our two main characters: Jedi Trainees Luke Starkiller and Leia Amidala, as well the annoying droid C-3PO, who is responsible for teaching and watching them. Luke and Leia are both orphans, saved by the Jedi, and have been close friends since childhood. Both are eager for adventure, but despite their older age the Council has yet to make either a padawan.
They eagerly attend their yearly graduation, expecting this year to be the year they are chosen by a Knight to be Padawan but are skunked once again. Luke is angry but believes the Jedi must have some reasoning, while Leia thinks the Jedi are purposefully holding them back. Leia convinces Luke to leave the Jedi Temple, just for a day.
They wander through a Coruscant Trading Yard, filled with shady dealers. Leia finds an offline R2D2 and recognizes its markings as Jedi. When she touches it, she has a startling vision that plays the events of the prequel trilogy.
Luke and Leia purchase the droid with all their credits just as C-3PO arrives, having followed them all this way. They are annoyed when suddenly, some offline Battle Droids turn on and shoot at the Jedi. Luke, Leia, and the droids manage to escape and head to the Coruscant underworld.
In a safe location, they find Ahsoka’s message and realize what this means. Luke wants to hand the information over to Jedi, but Leia sees this as an opportunity. How much longer until they are chosen to be Jedi? She argues they are ready now. When Luke further probes her, Leia reveals she also thinks she saw her real father in a force vision.
Knowing the coordinates of the Death Star construction site, Luke and Leia head to a discrete club in search of a pilot. It is here we meet smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca. Leia tells him they are Jedi on a top-secret mission. Han initially thinks they are frauds, but when Luke uses the force, he thinks otherwise and agrees to help the Jedi for 17,000 credits.
Chancellor Willuff Tarkin and Jedi Grandmaster Mace Windu discuss the rising power of the Confederacy. Windu is worried, so Tarkin suggests they execute Order 99. Windu seems shaken by the very words but nevertheless agrees.
The Millenium Falcon takes off for the neutral world Kessel. On Kessel, Obi-Wan and Grievous negotiate the process of building overhead. With the Kyber Crystals from Jedha installed, all the Confederacy now needs is coaxium. We are introduced to the Kessel Natives, who control the planet, and learn that they are leaning towards union with the CIS.
The Millenium Falcon is interrupted in the midst of hyperspace, and long story short, we have the Kessel Run. Leia doesn’t seem to mind, after all, Han said he’s done it before. Then Han reveals he lied to get their attention. Despite the insurmountable odds, Han is able to survive, and ironically makes the trip in 12 parsecs.
Checking the plans, Luke and Leia realize the unthinkable: it is counting down to the destruction of Kessel. The Confederacy must be hiding the fact that their weapon is already operational.
But also by this point, Han realizes Luke and Leia aren’t real Jedi and gets rightfully angry. He wanted credits, not a suicide mission! Despite Luke and Leia’s pleas to “do the right thing”, Han abandons them on Kessel. Without Han, Luke and Leia infiltrate the mining facility and shut down the shields. Leia confronts Obi-Wan, who tells them they are fighting for the wrong side, but the two are able to outrun him. They steal starfighters and head towards the undefended trench run when suddenly, a massive Confederate fleet arrives! All seem lost when…
A giant Republic fleet retaliates, commanded by Windu. And just like that, the Galactic Cold War sparks hot and the fleets clash. Luke and Leia attempt to hit the trench run just right, but keep failing, with the countdown getting closer and closer. Obi-Wan boards his own ship and shoots at them.
Luke’s ship is damaged and he must retreat, so it is soon all up to Leia. When all seems lost, the Millenium Falcon appears and blows up Obi-Wan’s ship. Leia fires the proton torpedoes at the last second, imploding the weapon and saving the day.
Everyone celebrates. But then Luke realizes something is off. The countdown hasn’t shut down…
Windu informs the Chancellor the Confederacy has been neutralized and it is time to execute Order 99. A fully-functioning Republic Death Star emerges out of hyperspace, and within seconds, destroys Kessel for allying with the CIS. The peaceful Kessel Natives try to run, but all are killed.
The Death Star plans were never by the Confederacy, they were by the Republic. The CIS was only answering with their own Death Star to prevent the Republic from doing what just happened to Kessel via mutually assured destruction. Now, by no means is the CIS the good guys here. Rather, both forces are equally destructive on their desire to one-up the other. Such is the nature of a cold war.
In a final scene, the phony Chancellor Tarkin proclaims the tragedy of Kessel is the fault of the CIS and promises vengeance for the Republic in a Second Clone War. War has returned to the galaxy.