EXT. NAR SHADDAA – CORELLIAN SECTOR – TWILIGHT
Up in the heavily polluted sky of Nar Shaddaa, countless starships and airspeeders move about like a swarm of angry hornets, passing around and between the countless rusting skyscrapers which reach up from the decaying surface of the moon below.
INT. MELTDOWN CAFÉ – TWILIGHT
A dank, filthy place illuminated by dirty red lighting, the Meltdown Café is packed with clientele, most of whom are visibly disreputable types. Sitting at a small round table in the back corner of the establishment, out of place in his surroundings, is a relatively clean-looking ORTOLAN. Visibly nervous, he chain smokes cigarette after cigarette, crushing one out and lighting another before finishing its predecessor. Resting on the floor beside him is a metal briefcase.
As the Ortolan worriedly smokes, a waitress – an incredibly emaciated Bothan with sparse, stringy hair and a lazy eye – approaches his table.
WAITRESS: (takes out a datapad and stylus) What’ll ye be havin’?
ORTOLAN: (looks up at the waitress; stammering) Oh no, nothing, please. I’m not hungry – I’m just waiting for someone.
WAITRESS: (sighs) Look, this is an eatin’ and drinkin’ establishment – ye come in here ta eat or drink, not ta sit ‘n’ stare like a stuffed bird. If all yer gonna consume is that goddamn smoke, then ye can take yer ass out o’ here and free up some space fer payin’ customers.
ORTOLAN: I’ll have a glass of Saurin brandy, then – a small one.
WAITRESS: (takes the order down on her datapad) Yer wish is meh command, meh lord.
The waitress walks off, leaving the Ortolan to himself again. Resuming his chain smoking, he takes a glance at his wrist chronometre.
ORTOLAN: By the goddess’ bulge, how long is he going to be?!
After a few minutes pass, a new figure – a TALL KUBAZ adorned in a dark green overcoat – enters the Meltdown. Taking a gander at the clientele filling the place, he notices the Ortolan sitting in his secluded spot. As he walks up to the Ortolan, he reaches to a mechanical device secured to his right wrist and presses a series of small buttons.
ORTOLAN: Are you Khar J’ak? Are you the one I’ve been waiting for?
KHAR J’AK utters something in Huttese. Judging by the artificial sound of the words, they come from a mechanical device rather than his own vocal cords.
ORTOLAN: I’m sorry, I don’t understand Huttese.
The Kubaz makes an adjustment to the settings of his translator.
KHAR J’AK: Did you bring my money?
ORTOLAN: (looks down at and places a hand on the briefcase beside him) It’s here.
KHAR J’AK: Good, very good.
As J’ak reaches down for the briefcase, the rotund Ortolan slaps his hand away.
ORTOLAN: No, not until you fill your end of the bargain.
KHAR J’AK: (rubs his slapped hand) Outside, then.
ORTOLAN: The alley?
KHAR J’AK: The alley.
Turning, the Kubaz walks away. Picking up his briefcase, the Ortolan follows after him.
EXT. MELTDOWN CAFÉ – ALLEY – TWILIGHT
The Ortolan stands waiting in the alley alone. Clutching the briefcase to his chest, he taps his foot impatiently.
KHAR J’AK: (O.C.) Here she is.
From the shadows Khar J’ak emerges, leading a small Ortolan female before him. In J’ak’s right hand is a blaster pistol, the barrel of which is pressed against the female Ortolan’s right temple.
KHAR J’AK: Alright, Imunafas, here’s your daughter. Now give me the case.
IMUNAFAS (ORTOLAN): Let Kleu go first!
KHAR J’AK: Try to run away, either of you, and I’ll burn holes in both your heads – capisce?
Taking the blaster away from Kleu’s head, J’ak pushes her forward. She runs up to her father, who hugs her to him.
KLEU: (ecstatic) Papi!
IMUNAFAS: (crying) Oh, Kleu – Kleu!
KHAR J’AK: I’m touched by the familial love you share, but my money?
IMUNAFAS: (sets the briefcase down on the ground and pushes it toward the Kubaz with his foot) Take it!
The Kubaz catches the briefcase and, holstering his blaster, pops the case open, revealing the contents: several small bars of a shiny red metal. As Khar J’ak looks upon the bars, the two Ortolans back away from him.
KHAR J’AK: Wait a minute. (looks up at the Ortolans) This is only half! Where’s the rest of it?!
IMUNAFAS: What are you talking about?
KUBAZ: (angry) Don’t play games with me! We agreed on one-hundred bars. This is only fifty!
IMUNAFAS: (incredulous) What?!
KUBAZ: (pulls out his blaster) I don’t like being played with, Ortolan. Now you tell me –
Before the Kubaz can finish his sentence, a razor-edged metal disc comes whirling out from the darkness of the alley. Passing through the air at nigh-invisible speeds, it slices through the Kubaz’s right elbow, severing his gun hand from the rest of his body. Releasing an untranslatable Kubaz SCREAM, J’ak collapses to his knees. Gripping his stump with his remaining hand, he desperately tries to staunch the blood flowing from his wound.
KUBAZ: (screaming) Goddamn you! I’ll hack your --!
Before J’ak can complete his curse, a loud, resonating BANG sounds out through the alley, followed immediately by the appearance of a bloody hole in the left side of the Kubaz’s head. Kinetic energy knocking him to the right, he is dead before he hits the pavement.
As Imunafas holds his sobbing daughter close against him, two tall, intimidating figures – a TRANDOSHAN and WOOKIEE – emerge from the shadows. The Wookiee – his fur black with silver streaks – is naked save for a gunbelt worn about his hips and a lanvarok secured to his left wrist. The Trandoshan – sporting midnight green scales and wearing a black-and-white spacer’s suit – carries a slugthrower rifle in his long arms. Walking up to the remains of Khar J’ak, they look down upon the corpse, inspecting their handiwork.
IMUNAFAS: Thank you, I –
TRANDOSHAN: (speaking through a translator) We don’t care about your thanks. (points at the briefcase) Is that the rest of our fee?
IMUNAFAS: (stammering) Y-y-yes. Fifty bars to go with the other fifty I gave you as a down payment.
Bending down, the Trandoshan closes the briefcase and hoists it up.
TRANDOSHAN: Then our business is concluded.
Turning, the Trandoshan leaves and re-enters the shadows, leaving the two Ortolans alone with his Wookiee partner.
The Wookiee, uttering a low grunt, bends down over the slain J’ak. Grabbing hold of the Kubaz’s severed arm, he picks it up, examining the controls for the corresponding translator secured to it. Peeling off the controls and tossing the dead appendage away, the Wookiee bends low over J’ak’s body and strips the translator apparatus from the dead being’s neck.
Releasing a short laugh, the Wookiee then turns and leaves himself, following his Trandoshan partner into the shadows of Nar Shaddaa.
EXT. SPACE – ORRON III
A freighter drops out of hyperspace and makes its way toward the green-and-blue agricultural world.
EXT. SPACE – CORUSCANT
A passenger liner drops out of hyperspace and makes its way toward the bronze-coloured ecumenopolis.
As the Ithorian pilot and co-pilot maneuver the ship’s controls in the seats before him, Anakin looks out the window to his right at the view of Orron III beyond.
INT. PASSENGER LINER/PASSENGER DECK
As a sleeping Ithorian snores in the seat beside him, Obi-Wan looks out the window to his left at the view of Coruscant beyond.
EXT. ORRON III – SPACEPORT/TARMAC – SUNRISE
The freighter has landed and its few passengers are filing out. Nik is among them.
EXT. CORUSCANT – GALACTIC CITY – SPACEPORT/TARMAC – SUNSET
The liner has landed and its many passengers are filing out. Obi-Wan is among them.
INT. ORRON III – FLOWER SHOP – SUNRISE
Nik hands a bouquet of flowers out to the Neimoidian teller. Taking the flowers, she brings out her scanner and scans the barcode.
NEIMOIDIAN TELLER: That’ll be thirty-two ingots.
ANAKIN: (hands her the ingots) Keep the change.
INT. CORUSCANT – CANDY STORE – SUNSET
Obi-Wan hands a box of chocolates out to the Duros teller. Taking the box, she brings out her scanner and scans the barcode.
DUROS TELLER: That’ll be twenty-three credits.
OBI-WAN: (hands her the credits) Keep the change.
EXT. ORRON III – DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD – COURTYARD – SUNRISE
A taxi comes to a stop before the quaint, cozy house of the DuQuesne family. Opening the side door, Anakin steps out.
EXT. CORUSCANT – GALACTIC CITY – 662 GASGAR VALLEY APARTMENT COMPLEX – SUNSET
A taxi comes to a stop before the 662 Gasgar Valley apartment complex. Opening the side door, Obi-Wan steps out.
EXT. ORRON III – DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD – COURTYARD – SUNRISE
Anakin stands before the front door, the bouquet of flowers in his left hand. He tugs at the tight collar of his black shirt as the door opens.
INT. CORUSCANT – 662 GASGAR VALLEY APARTMENT COMPLEX/TURBOLIFT – SUNSET
Obi-Wan stands in the turbolift, the box of chocolates under his arm. He tugs at the tight collar of his white shirt as the turbolift comes to a stop and the doors open.
INT. ORRON III – DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD/LIVING AREA – SUNRISE
As Nik enters the living area he finds two individuals – NEMEC and CORIN DUQUESNE – waiting for him.
ANAKIN: (grins) 'Shira?
INT. DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD/NASHIRA’S BEDROOM – SUNRISE
Entering the bedroom, Nik finds 'Shira. Seated on the chair to the left of her bed, dressed in pajamas, Nashira stares into the mirror, brushing her pixie-styled strawberry blond hair as bright yellow sunlight falls upon the back of her head from the uncovered window. The joy upon her face is evident.
NASHIRA: (turns to Anakin) Nik!
Rising from the chair, Nashira runs up to her boyfriend. Wrapping her arms around him, she plants her lips on his and begins to kiss him passionately.
His fingers opening, the bouquet of flowers falls from Nik’s grasp, hitting the floor with a light RUSTLE.
INT. CORUSCANT – 662 GASGAR VALLEY APARTMENT COMPLEX/OBI-WAN & SIRI’S APARTMENT/LIVING AREA – SUNSET
As Obi-Wan enters the living area he finds it empty, the lights off.
OBI-WAN: (frowns) Siri?
INT. 662 GASGAR VALLEY APARTMENT COMPLEX/OBI-WAN & SIRI’S APARTMENT/BEDROOM – SUNSET
Entering the bedroom, Obi-Wan finds Siri. Seated on the chair to the right of their bed, dressed in a nightgown, Siri stares out the window, the heavy orange sunlight falling upon her face from between the window blind’s slats. The sorrow upon her face is evident.
SIRI: (turns to Obi-Wan) Ben ….
Rising from the chair, Siri moves up to her husband. Wrapping her arms around him, she plants her face in the hollow of his neck and begins to weep.
His fingers opening, the box of chocolates falls from Obi-Wan’s grasp, hitting the floor with a hollow THUD.
INT. ORRON III – DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD/NASHIRA’S BEDROOM – SUNRISE
Anakin and Nashira stand together silently in each others’ arms.
INT. CORUSCANT – 662 GASGAR VALLEY APARTMENT COMPLEX/OBI-WAN & SIRI’S APARTMENT/BEDROOM – SUNSET
Obi-Wan and Siri stand together silently in each others’ arms.
EXT. ORRON III – DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD – MAIZE FIELDS – DAY
Nemec DuQuesne rides his combine through the vast, sprawling fields of maize, mowing down and harvesting thousands of ripe stalks as he moves onward. Beside him, driving a trailer to collect the freshly mowed-and-ground maize, is Anakin. Due to the advanced age of both vehicles, neither one has functioning air conditioning, leaving Anakin and Nemec to sweat profusely within their cabs under the full midday sun.
Without warning, the engines of Anakin’s trailer suddenly begin to shudder violently. With an unwelcome SPUTTER and COUGH, the engines then blow out and the vehicle completely dies. Unaware or what has just transpired, Nemec keeps the combine rolling forward, leaving ground maize to spill out upon the ground.
ANAKIN: Oh, for the love of –
Opening the cab door, Nik leaps out of the trailer. Running forward, he begins yelling and waving his arms at Nemec to stop.
ANAKIN: (shouting) Nemec! Hey, Nemec! Stop the combine! You’re dumping maize all over the ground! Stop, man, stop!
Finally noticing Anakin’s cries of panic, Nemec hits the breaks. As the large combine grinds to a halt, Nemec powers down the thresher, halting the maizefall.
NEMEC: (opens the cab door and leans out) What in hell happened?!
ANAKIN: Dunno. The engines just died on me!
NEMEC: (sighs and runs a hand through his hair) Figures. (beat) I guess that’s that for the day. We’ll take a look at the engines tomorrow and see if we can’t get the old girl patched up again. (beat) Hop on in.
ANAKIN: (waves his hand dismissively) Nah, you go on ahead. I’d like to walk for a while, catch the breeze.
NEMEC: Suit yourself.
Closing the cab door, Nemec starts forward again, leaving Anakin behind. Anakin, for his part, just puts his hands in his pockets and begins walking at a leisurely pace, taking in the nature surrounding him.
ANAKIN: (singing; in Esperanto) The sights, they’re embryonic. See what you want, I’m not quite sonic. The sounds, they’re quadraphonic. Semi-moronic, not quite sonic ….
EXT. DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD – COURTYARD – DAY
As Nik finally arrives at the DuQuesne homestead, he finds Nemec and his wife Corin waiting for him. Corin stands holding a tray with a pitcher and glass of ice tea in her hands, Nemec seated in a sun chair with a glass in his hand beside her. With the two spouses so close together, it’s impossible not to compare and contrast their physical features. Where Nemec is stocky and rather plain-looking, Corin is gracile and strikingly beautiful. The only attribute they have in common is their blond hair.
CORIN: You must be thirsty after all that work and that long walk, Anakin. Have a glass.
ANAKIN: Thanks, Corin.
Taking the glass of ice tea, Anakin downs it in one long, uninterrupted swallow.
CORIN: (eyes widening) My, you must be thirsty. Here, have some more. (takes the pitcher and pours more tea into Anakin’s glass)
NEMEC: Pull up a chair, Nik, take a load off.
ANAKIN: (takes a small sip of his refreshed ice tea) Thanks, but I think I’ll head inside for a shower first.
Nodding to Nashira’s parents, he steps past them for the door. The man and wife exchange glances, cocking their eyebrows in unison.
INT. DUQUESNE HOMESTEAD/REFRESHER/SHOWER – DAY
Stripping off his sweaty clothes, Anakin steps inside the shower. Closing the door, he turns the water on, allowing a stream of fresh, clean water to hit him full-on in the face. Taking a bar of soap, he begins to lather himself up.
As Nik works himself clean, a SHADOWY HUMAN FIGURE can be seen slowly entering the 'fresher. With complete silence, the silhouette cautiously makes its way over to the occupied shower. Completely oblivious, Anakin doesn’t notice as the dark shade approaches the closed shower door, slowly raises an arm to grip it, then suddenly – violently – wrenches it open.
Surprised, Anakin jumps back, nearly slipping in the shower. 'Shira, for her part, begins laughing hysterically.
ANAKIN: (irate) Dammit, Nashira! I could’ve slipped and broken my damn neck! Don’t do that ever again!
NASHIRA: (pouts sexily) Ohhh, you big bad baby. As if you’d ever slip, Jedi man o’ mine.
ANAKIN: Close the door, will ya? Water’s getting out all over the floor.
NASHIRA: (looks down at the water spraying out onto the refresher floor) Hmmm, I guess I should. (looks back up at Nik, grinning salaciously) Shouldn’t I?
At that, Nashira begins to undress. Taking her time, Nashira unbuttons her powder blue blouse, pulling it open and down to expose her naked shoulders and toned stomach. Once that is done, she unzips her dark brown pants and slowly works them down, exposing her long, shapely legs. With both shirt and pants off, Nashira stands there in her black undergarments, bearing her body to her man. In the years that have passed since we last saw her, Nashira has matured from a pretty young girl into a beautiful young woman with the lithe body of a nascent goddess.
ANAKIN: (eyes Nashira) ….
Grinning broadly, 'Shira steps into the shower. Closing the door behind her, she slips her arms around Anakin’s neck.
NASHIRA: No water getting out on the floor now.
ANAKIN: No, no … of course not now.
Leaning forward, Anakin brings his face close to Nashira’s and reaches behind to rest his hands on the small of her back; pressing his lips against hers, he slides his hands up to her shoulder blades and begins working to remove her bra.
As water cascades down the bodies of the two lovers, Nashira’s satin undergarments drop to the shower floor.
INT. CORUSCANT – 662 GASGAR VALLEY APARTMENT COMPLEX/OBI-WAN & SIRI’S APARTMENT/DINING AREA – EVENING
Obi-Wan and Siri sit on opposite ends of the small dining table, facing one another. Though they both poke at the food on their plates, neither are truly hungry.
OBI-WAN: How is it? The recipe called for twenty minutes but I left it in an extra five. I didn’t overcook anything, did I?
SIRI: (sullen) No, no. It’s just fine.
OBI-WAN: Do you need any salt? I could pass you –
SIRI: I don’t need any salt, Ben. It’s fine as it is.
An awkward moment of silence passes between them.
OBI-WAN: Siri, maybe we should talk about … about what happened.
SIRI: No, we don’t. Just eat your food.
OBI-WAN: Love, we can’t just avoid it. We have to –
SIRI: (enraged) I said I don’t want to talk about it! Now shut up and let me eat in peace!
In anger, Siri begins to stab at her plate violently, breaking it in half.
SIRI: (crying) Oh, goddammit!
Bolting up out of her chair, she runs out of the room. Abandoning his plate, Obi-Wan follows after her.
EXT. 662 GASGAR VALLEY APARTMENT COMPLEX/OBI-WAN & SIRI’S APARTMENT/BALCONY – EVENING
Siri stands out of the balcony, her hands tightly gripped around the railing. Her eyes shut tight and her teeth bared in a grimace, she weeps. Slowly, cautiously, Obi-Wan joins her, placing his hand on her shoulder to comfort her.
SIRI: I lost our baby, Ben! I lost him! Oh God, I lost him!
Wrapping his arms around her, Obi-Wan kisses her on the temple then rests his head on her shoulder.
OBI-WAN: He’s left us, but he’s gone home to the Force, Siri. One day we’ll be with him again.
SIRI: I wanted to see him, Ben, to hold him in my arms at least once. I wanted to let him know I loved him. (beat) That I wanted him.
OBI-WAN: You will, love, you will. We’ll try again.
SIRI: (turns to face him) Try again? For what? For another miscarriage? For another baby born dead?
OBI-WAN: We’ll just have to wait ‘til the treatments are finished before we try again. The next time will work. I promise.
Grabbing hold of him, Siri buries her face in his chest.
SIRI: Oh Lord, Ben, I need to get out of here! I need to get away! Away from this dead city, this dead planet! I need to leave! Please, Ben, take me away from here!
Releasing a tortured moan, Siri continues to sob, clutching her husband to her tightly. Bringing up his arms, Obi-Wan holds her, rubbing her back gently. Looking up, he regards the durasteel buildings stretching out beyond the balcony, their windows aglow with artificial illumination.
OBI-WAN: I know where to go, Siri. I know exactly where to go ….
EXT. OPHUCHI – PRISON – LANDING PLATFORM – DAY
On a duracrete platform stationed beyond the Ophuchi prison, under a stormy gray sky which matches his disposition, Yajuj Jukassa stands, his arms and legs shackled, surrounded by six armed prison guards. His blue military uniform traded in for a set of unflattering plaid prison coveralls, he no longer carries the same imperious bearing he once had. Before the deposed despot stands the warden, a malicious grin plastered across his skeletal face.
WARDEN: (to Jukassa) There’s a nice, clean breeze blowing, isn’t there, Lord-Commandant? (beat) Breathe it in, Lord-Commandant, get a good whiff of that fresh, crisp air while you can, 'cause where you’re going, you won’t get much of that.
YAJUJ JUKASSA: Only a year ago, warden, you had me over for dinner with your family. I don’t remember you being so flippant with your tongue then.
WARDEN: I had to coddle your over-inflated ego while under your “guiding hand”, Lord-Commandant. Now, with your regime pulled out from under you, I no longer have to kiss your high-bred hindquarters.
From out of the cloudy sky, a large shuttle descends over the landing platform. Coming to rest before the amassed group, the craft’s ramp opens and lowers, allowing FOUR ARMED GUARDS to climb out.
WARDEN: Goodbye, Lord-Commandant. You’ll think of me when you bend over to pick up the soap, won’t you? (to the four new arrivals) Take him away.
Moving forward, the four guards motion with their weapons for Jukassa to step forward toward the shuttle. His expression grim, the ex-dictator complies; with the four guards flanking him, he enters the shuttle.
Once Jukassa is aboard, the ramp draws back up into the shuttle and the shuttle then proceeds to take off, returning to the sky on a course for open space.
INT. SHUTTLE/LOADING COMPARTMENT – DAY
Yajuj Jukassa stands facing the four guards, his eyes unblinking. The dark visors of their helmets pulled down over their eyes, the expressions of the guards are impossible to read.
YAJUJ JUKASSA: (brings his restrained hands forward) Well, aren’t you going to get me out of these?
GUARD #1: At once, Lord-Commandant. (turns to the guard to his right) Unfasten his restraints.
Nodding once, the guard steps forward to the ex-lord-commandant. Taking a key, the guard unlocks Jukassa’s chains.
YAJUJ JUKASSA: (rubs his wrists) That’s much better. (beat) We’re going to Nar Shaddaa, correct?
GUARD #1: Yes, milord. The Imperials will be unable to persecute you in the heart of Hutt space – they have no jurisdiction there.
YAJUJ JUKASSA: (sighs) The lord-commandant of Ophuchi reduced to seeking sanctuary on a polluted cesspool like Nar Shaddaa. It’s criminal.
GUARD #1: It’s only temporary, milord. In time Ophuchi will be yours once again.
YAJUJ JUKASSA: As much as I would like that to be true, I must face reality. My reign on this world is over – completely and finally over. (beat) But I can still have my vengeance – my complete and final vengeance.
EXT. SPACE – OPHUCHI
Moving out of Ophuchi’s gravity well, the shuttle crewed by Jukassa and his loyalists makes the jump into hyperspace.