Well, after lots of wavering back and forth I've decided to post my in progress treatment for the re-written Star Wars Prequels. Part of me wanted to wait till I had it completely finished, but I enjoy this forum enough and like the posters here too much to not have them read it. I'll use this as the omnibus thread of sorts, posting more sections of it as I go along; hopefully getting to the latter two prequels as well. But without further ado I present:
Star Wars Episode I: Son of the Suns
Opening crawl establishes that the Galactic Republic is in troubled times, with bureaucratic problems and party politics crippling many star systems, especially those in the outer rim. To make matters worse, various trade vessels and citizens have begun to disappear there as well, and certain parties in the Republic are starting to fear something much bigger is going on…
Film opens up with a camera pan of various gorgeous spacecraft, with a small cruiser ship at the forefront of the small fleet. Camera zooms into the back of the ship’s window passing various sections until it reaches the bridge and we are introduced to Darelda Organa overlooking the view screen. She’s a half alien humanoid woman with semi-exotic features. In the distance there is a small, unassuming ship that Darelda’s attention is focused on.
An officer on the bridge expresses some doubt about working with the likes of them, and Darelda says they’re kind can be a bit peculiar but states that if their business in the Outer Rim is something major, he’ll prove helpful. With some vocal authority, she communicates to the small ship that they are in no mood to wait for him.
A voice responds somewhat cheekily that some small adjustments to this ship shouldn’t take long and that he’ll meet them at the rendezvous point soon. Darelda rolls her eyes and mutters: “Guardians of peace and justice, right.” The fleet jumps to light speed.
Cut to inside the small ship, where we make out a helmeted man with goggles flipping switches. On the verge of sending out a communication he stops, sensing something and getting very tense. He looks out the view screen, seeing nothing, but seemingly reacting to some unknown threat. For several moments there is silence.
Then out of nowhere various blasters appear and head towards the ship. The pilot only barely moves out of the way in time, but is hit by succeeding blasts. Maneuvering his ship as best as he can, the pilot weaves back and forth trying to avoid getting hit. Only now is there a good look at the other fighter, a tightly packed vessel with a sharp and harsh angles. The smaller ship is hit several times, and out of desperation the pilot moves the ship towards the nearby dessert world.
Cut to the planet Tatooine where we see a masked welder working on a piece of machinery, who notices the ships blasting in the sky through a window. A young Owen Lars in heavy robes walks in and addresses the welder as Anakin, and starts to describe the moisture farm, only for the welder to unmask and reveal Carima Niwir, a dirty blond haired human woman in her mid 20s.
We overhear another man’s voice and then reveal a dark haired Anakin Skywalker in his late 20s standing at the doorway, eyebrow raised “Little short to be me don’t you think?”
Dialogue scene follows establishing Owen as a slightly hyperactive busy man, and Anakin as the confident down to earth type, and Carima as the wide-eyed observer. Owen goes into detail about the immediate plans for the farm, and how where and what they need to invest in. Anakin assures him they’ll go into detail later, and it’s established that he and Carima have been working together on a spice freighter for some time.
Owen departs, telling Anakin he’s got some specific business plans back home. Anakin takes a look at the welded machinery and admires Niwir’s mechanical handiwork. She replies that it’s amazing with all the effort he spends trying to get piloting time in that he’s almost as skilled as her at it. “What you mean almost?” She smirks at him. “Oh, you’re good Skywalker, but not that good.”
He jokes that he’s good enough to not take naps on freighter all the time, which she adamantly denies. The two share a smile and start strolling along Mos Eisley, a developing city with different sets of buildings being constructed and remade
As the two walk, they notice a group of tough looking bounty hunters bullying a local shop owner; Carima acknowledges that they probably work for one of the Hutts. Anakin starts to get involved, but she holds him back, claiming it’s not their fight. Getting in their speeder they head out to Anchorhead. Anakin expresses some dissatisfaction with how things are going, pointing out he could be doing much more instead of being a run of the mill navigator.
Niwir disagrees and states that with the commercial interest on the planet, the navigator job, and the family farm, he’ll soon be living better than anyone on the planet, maybe even including the gangster types in Mos Eisley. Anakin remains unconvinced. “With all the things going on the in the Republic, I don’t think another guy getting rich is what it really needs right now.”
After he drops her off at Anchorhead, Anakin senses something occurring in the Jundland Wastes. Intrigued and concerned he heads over. Cut to the crashed vessel where we see the pilot crawl out, his navy blue jumpsuit somewhat damaged. As he recovers from the crash the same attacking vessel appears, readying its gun cannons.
However before it can act, blaster fire begins shooting at it, and the two see Anakin firing at it from behind a boulder. With the distraction, the pilot in the jumpsuit darts away and begins to climb the nearby cliffside. The now visible ship moves towards Anakin and starts attacking with Skywalker doing his best to hide. The ship manages to fire a small device on the speeder which Anakin doesn’t notice.
The two play a cat and mouse game, and Anakin is eventually cornered, only for the pilot from before to jump atop the ship and to Skywalker’s awe, pulls out a lasersword and plunges it into the deck of the vessel before jumping off. With jagged motions the ship moves off, and tries to make another pass at firing. Ready this time, the pilot dodges and cuts off the tail end of the ship, sending it into a tailspin. It eventually spins off into a deep canyon, where it is heard crashing.
Anakin approaches the pilot, who removes his helmet to reveal a bearded man in his late 30s with soft brown eyes. The pilot is a bit reticent, but thanks Anakin for the help. Skwyalker asks how he ended up here, and he explains that his ship was attacked and that the planet was his best chance to get away.
When asked if Anakin had heard or seen the crash, he states that no and he just felt that something was happening, which the pilot subtly notes. Noticing his limp, Anakin offers to take him back to his home to get healed up, which the he thinks about before accepting. Skywalker introduces himself and the pilot reveals his name: Ben.
Cut to shot in space where the same fleet as before surrounds a medium sized trade ship. Inside the lead cruise vessel Organa, clearly annoyed, asks if there’s been any update, but a robotic voice informs her that no vessel has come into the system since the fleet arrived. She concludes they don’t have time wait and initiates communication with the trade ship the Diamond Dynasty.
Inside the ship is a well dressed, yet slightly sleazy captain, Draezin Kwade. His command area is the height of decadence with various small goods, drinks, and vices all around. A medium haired female Chiss, Bracett is at his side, acting as his aide. Most of the crew working inside is out of sight. In a visual communication with Darelda, he lays on the charm and attempts some pleasantries, but the short tempered Senator is in no mood for it.
She makes it clear she believes him to be a criminal, despite the man’s assurances that he’s simply looking after his neighbors and business associates. His stealth insult about the ineffectiveness of the Senate in helping out those in the Outer Rim doesn’t go unnoticed and with a brusque tone she states that the Republic wants any vital information about the recent ship disappearances (which they know Kwade has) to be dumped into their databanks.
Somewhat far from the fleet and the Dynasty a series of unnoticed ships come out of hyperspace into the system, slowly heading towards the rendezvous.
He explains that they simply haven’t heard anything, but Organa replies that he can either give up the information or they can discuss some of the various illicit charges that have been brought up against him by various star systems. Pleasantly sighing, he agrees to get their information ready, and points out that with such a large Republic fleet, who is he to put up a fight? With a false smile, he turns to his crew and cuts communication supposedly readying the databanks for transfer, afterwards complaining to Bracett.
On the cruise vessel Organa tells her crew to prepare for lightspeed with a specific set of coordinates. When asked why they’re departing so early she elaborates that they have other more pressing business to attend to and that she doesn’t want to deal with Kwade any more the she has too. The front section of the ship detaches and blasts off into hyperspace.
On the Dynasty a bored Draezin begins the data dump, but is interrupted by Bracett explaining that “Coaliton” ships have arrived in the system with the Republic fleet not aware of them yet. He is slightly confused until he’s told that he’s received a coded transmission from a General Phakerem.
Kwade’s demeanor clearly changes at this news, but without pause he receives the communication. Draezin begins to go into detail the situation, but she cuts him off, and explains that the Republic’s presence here is intolerable and must be dealt with immediately.
Slightly annoyed, he points out that their data is junk and with the red tape in the Senate by the time anyone important enough in the Republic realizes that it’ll be too late. In response she makes it clear that early word about what’s about to happen cannot be leaked in any way.
Phakerem asks about the senator, and Kwade replies that she knows exactly where she went, and it will fit in their plans. He does wonder however if they’re playing their cards too early, but the General orders him to eliminate the problem now and ends the transmission.
Afterwards Kwade gestures an unnamed order to Bracett while issuing a message to the fleet, stating he’s just about to dump the information into their databanks. Pressing several prominent buttons near his command chair, with a slight smile he expresses his hope that “This will be the beginning of a new, more accommodating relationship with the Republic.” He lays into his chair, a smile beginning to creep onto his face.
Cut to space where several large ships creep up on the Republic fleet, particularly what appears to be a very large and sharp looking capital vessel.
Cut to that very same ship on the bridge where from behind we see General Phakerem herself, a tall robed figure with dark hair, looking at the front window. Both she and audience see several blasters from everywhere hit the Republic ships and quickly begin to destroy them. Without the audience seeing her face she makes an order to “Get some of our ships do deal with any escape pods; I don’t trust that pirate to be thorough.” and walks off.
Cut to Tatooine where on the way back to Anakin’s home, he and Ben talk about the planet, with Skywalker describing how he and sister Beru lost their parents a few years prior, but since purchasing the moisture farm with her husband Owen, things have been looking up, especially since plenty of businesses have started to invest in Tatooine. While enthusiastic, there’s a hint of dissatisfaction in Anakin’s voice, which Ben picks up on.
The two arrive back at Skywalker’s home; with Beru and Owen both surprised at Ben’s arrival but awkwardly accept his presence there. After introductions a dinner occurs, where Ben lightly describes that he does business in the core systems, with Anakin listening in intently. When discussion turns to the recent missing ships, Skywalker guesses that the matter must be very important for him, but Ben only admits it has his casual interest and he knows some are looking into it.
Owen gets slightly put off by the conversation, but Beru in an attempt to diffuse any tension jokes: “If something like that were happening a dustball like this is probably the safest place you could be. Who’d get into danger like that by themselves anyway?” Anakin concludes that a Jedi would, which gets everybody’s attention. Beru questions if he actually believes in them or the Force, and he replies that if their stories have been around for so long, there has to be some truth to them.
Intrigued, Ben asks why he doesn’t find the concept of an energy field connecting all living things silly or the idea of a secret order or knights protecting the Republic to be a bit out there. After some thought, Anakin answers that anything that suggests that everyone is truly connected in the galaxy and that there are those dedicated enough to help people are things worth believing in regardless of how true they are.
Growing a bit fed up Owen rolls his eyes and points out that even if the Jedi do exist, why wouldn’t they use their powers and solve the real problems in the Senate? Ben shrugs and concludes that there are problems even the Jedi couldn’t solve; a point Anakin is clearly bothered by.
Beru again attempts to dissolve any issues by stating its late and leading Ben to the guest room. At the table, Owen tells Anakin that he admires his willingness to help. Nonetheless Ben could be dangerous, and that the he needs to stay focused on his goals; on the family’s future.
Cut to the Jundland Wastes where we see a shining gauntleted hand crawl up on the edge and rising from the cliff is a heavily armored soldier (streamlined version of Boba Fett’s outfit) complete with damaged maroon, t-visor helmet. Once atop the cliff he presses a remote control, revealing a radar map with Anakin’s speeder, which the soldier starts heading towards.
Cut to Skywalker home at night where Anakin is watching the stars. Ben walks up to him commenting on the brightness of the moon that’s out, with Skywalker replying that he should see when all three are out. Ben compliments him and his immediate family for their hospitality and that he wishes he could stay longer, however certain matters need his attention.
Anakin immediately points out it’s the missing ships and citizens. Ben admits that is one of them, and explains his intent to find a transport on the planet, which he confesses will be tricky as he has few credits on him. Nodding his head, Skywalker states that if Ben needs a pilot to get him where ever he needs to go, that with a few machinations he could take him personally on the spice freighter.
The older man scoffs, stating that he’s already burdened him enough, and that the last thing he wants to do is disrupt Anakin’s life with a favor like this. He points out that there are likely plenty of pilots on the planet who could get him there in some fashion, and starts to head off, thanking the lad for all he’s done for him.
In response, Anakin points out that he’s never been thanked by a Jedi before, which stops Ben dead in his tracks. After a silence, Skywalker points out his survival in the crash, the abilities in the fight with the ship, and his lightsaber; he must be a Jedi. Ben points out those are all circumstantial, but Skywalker explains that deep down he just simply knows, and if a Jedi is involved then the matter of the missing ships and citizens must be much greater than he’s letting on.
Sighing, Ben admits to the truth, enlightening the younger man that his real name is Obi-Wan Kenobi, that he was sent to help investigate what was going on, and that the attack from beforehand was likely connected to it in someway. He confesses that he wouldn’t be telling Anakin any of this if he didn’t trust him to do the right thing and not let his identity as a Jedi Knight get out.
Skywalker is touched by his faith and asks if he trusts him enough to have him become a Jedi Knight. The other man is slightly surprised and says it’s not that easy; that learning it takes utmost dedication/discipline and that a Jedi’s life is not an easy one. Anakin doesn’t mind. “I’ve done easy, its not enough for me, not now.” Kenobi still expresses some doubts, pointing out that Anakin doesn’t know for certain how adept he would even be as a Jedi.
Skywalker isn’t swayed and cuts straight to the point: “Can you really say that there’s nothing in me right now that can’t be made into something great?” The older man sadly smiles and admits he can’t, but asks Anakin “Can you really say that there’s nothing here you won’t regret leaving behind?” When the younger man has no response, Kenobi understands and says both of them will find their way. He leaves as Anakin ponders his words in silence.
Cut to the capital vessel coming out of hyperspace. Inside Kwade walks through a corridor before arriving at a large hall filled with various keepsakes and war artifacts. Phakerem stands in the middle looking across them all with the camera still not getting a good look at her. Draezin comments on all of “them” being the reminiscing type and as she turns around we finally get a good luck at the front of her face, revealing a Predator like alien face with grey-green skin.
The General responds that the room has more history in it than anything else in the galaxy, and with an eye roll Draezin points out that for both of them, they need to be concerned about the future, not the past. He reports on the status of the fleet, specifically mentioning that the upgrades have shown no problems thus far so once the work is finished and her scout ships have returned they can depart for Nar Shadda.
She is somewhat unresponsive, still focused on the various artifacts, and saying that after Nar Shadda speed must be their top priority above everything else.
As they continue to converse it becomes apparent the two don’t particularly care for each other, and after she makes a contemptuous remark towards his “fellow pirates and smugglers”, Kwade angrily points to the intelligence and ships his associates have supplied and without them “You and your little tribe would be still be on the edge of the galaxy licking your wounds.” Phakerem is not amused and retorts that without “their” actions they’d have neither the means to get ships or crews to man them.
Noticing the tension, Kwade backs off and lays on the charm, opining that with both of their collective efforts; so much ground will be gained so quickly that the only real problem left will be the Jedi. When he mentions them, Phakerem becomes focused again, picking up a lightsaber hanging on the wall and activating it. She makes it clear that whatever armies Draezin’s forces want to engage with, “they” will deal with the Jedi.
He gets intrigued and asks if the Jedi actually still know of them. The camera focuses on the general’s hands covered with energized and gauntleted gloves as she actually able to grip the beam of the saber. “They will remember.”
Cut to a spaceport where Darelda walks off her ship. One of her crew members insists on escorting her, but pointedly states that the instructions were specific, and that they can’t afford to attract attention or scare the contact off. He wishes her good luck as she orders him and the rest of the crew to get in contact with the rest of the fleet to see what they got out of Kwade.
Cut to Mos Eisley where in the speeder the family, plus Ben, arrives to do business. He and Anakin have a slightly difficult goodbye, with Skywalker wishing him luck in finding a ship. As he departs, Beru does her best to reassure a troubled Anakin and Owen points out they have much to do before mid-day. Skywalker looks back somewhat sadly at Kenobi in the distance.
Beru, her husband, and her brother make their way across the city, with the former two chatting about the farm and the latter trying to focus on the business at hand. Along the way, unnoticed by his family, he spots a shop trashed and violently robbed. Concerned, he walks over to look inside and sees the beaten and bruised shop owner who was threatened before futilely trying to clean up his store.
He almost stumbles back, and needs a moment to take everything in. Eventually he goes into the shop directly, leaves some credits on the floor without a word, and slowly walks off. After a few moments of his head bowed in guilt, we see Anakin’s face grow very determined. He starts to head off in search of Kenobi.
Owen and Beru stop him wondering what he’s doing. He explains that he can’t in good conscience stay on Tatooine when someone like Obi-Wan needs help. “Its not like I hate being here, I like it, but there’s something I know I can do right now. Owen is outraged, but Anakin explains he won’t be gone for good and for Lars to look after his sister in the interim. Beru tries to stop him one last time, and he assures her that the two of them and the farm will be fine.
From behind the audience sees the same armored figure from the Jundland Wastes stalking the back alleys of the city.
Kenobi is walking through various docking bays, looking for potential pilots to negotiate with, when he stops, once again sensing something big coming. He readies himself and when he hears something, turns around and lifts his lightsaber to defend… only to see Anakin right next to him. Kenobi is half surprised and half amused, and asks what he’s doing there.
Slightly out of breath, Skywalker earnestly admits “If I leave this place, I’ll have some regrets, I’ll have some fears, and I know that. But there’s something bigger in the galaxy I want to be a part of. I want to find my way.” The Jedi takes this in and questions “Do you believe someone can guide you to that?” With the same determination as before Anakin responds “The Force can.”
Kenobi is visibly pleased and after a beat states that just outside Bothan space he was supposed to rendezvous with various other Republic ships as part of an investigation before he was attacked and that hopefully some of the fleet or at least some trade ships are still there. He asks if Anakin’s freighter mentioned earlier can get them there and is told that it can.
The young man mentions its location and starts to lead him to it, but Kenobi suddenly uses his lightsaber to block a blaster shot heading towards Skywalker. Both see the same heavily armored soldier shooting from an above floor and his appearance immediately gets Obi-Wan’s attention. The two take cover behind some nearby crates, and Kenobi realizes the pilot of the earlier craft survived.
He tells Anakin to get away and get the ship ready while he takes care of the assaulting warrior. The young man objects, but Obi-Wan says to have some faith in him. They share a nod, and after a moment Anakin blasts at the pilot and manages to get away as the latter focuses on his main target. Kenobi looks around the immediate area and spots a steel grate nearby which he uses an improvised shield for protection. The attacker continually blasts at him as the Jedi Knight climbs his way up to the same floor.
Finally both level; the pilot attempts to shoot an overhead fixture, which Kenobi just barely dodges as it falls to the ground. Growing frustrated, the armored aggressor resorts to a double assault with a blaster pistol and wide energy waves from miniature cannon on his arm. Kenobi uses the surrounding cover to dodge the waves.
Thinking over his options, he closes his eyes and seems to calms himself. Various blaster shots firing around him, the Jedi stands up and deflects a blaster shot at a specific angle to send it right into the arm cannon of the pilot getting his attention.
This distraction allows Obi-Wan to get close and cuts off the tip of his blaster, but the attacker backs off again and gets out of the range of his lightsaber. Frustration is noticeable on the soldier and he tries yet another wide energy wave, but the damaged arm cannon explodes, sending him falling to the docking bay, killing him. The Jedi looks somewhat overwhelmed and climbs down.
He approaches the slain body carefully looking it over. Slowly he takes off his helmet as he and the audience sees a familiar green-grey skinned alien underneath. Obi-Wan is shocked and quickly rushes off. He soon arrives at the docking bay and we see the freighter for the first time, a long and sleek vessel with considerable cargo space in back. Kenobi pays little attention to it and calls over Anakin who’s doing finishing touches on the outside.
Skywalker begins to describe some of the quick business they need to do before takeoff, however Kenobi cuts him off and announces that the trip must be done as soon as possible and that whatever’s going on is much bigger than a few missing ships. Anakin doesn’t fully understand, but acquiesces and tells him that if that’s the case then they’ll have to leave now before the rest of the crew finds out what they’re planning.
Both inside the ship, Kenobi gives the coordinates for the system emphasizing that whatever they find there will be imperative. The ship takes off and flies off planet, about to go into hyperspace. As calculations are put in, Anakin iterates that the ship is prone to looking better than it flies and that light speed won’t be the easiest ride. Kenobi is nonchalant about that issue. “If what I fear is happening, we’re about to go to the farthest thing from easy.”
The ship shakes slightly before launching into hyperspace. Noticing Kenobi’s troubled face Skywalker opines that it has to be pretty bad if a Jedi is worried, a statement that causes he former to smirk and remark that it happens more often than one would think. Now serious, the young man asks point blank what happened with the attacker and Obi-Wan with a heavy sigh states that he believes it was a Mandalorian soldier. Anakin’s confused and states he’s never heard of them, and Kenobi points out that most haven’t.
He tells a story of how over 1000 years ago, a group of skilled and vicious shocktroopers called the Mandalorians invaded the Republic, and succeeded in conquering many star systems. While they imposed their will in many occupied territories, the various Jedi Knights rallied together and fought back, and with the Mandalorian’s refusal to surrender and insistence on not often retreating, their numbers were drastically reduced.
“The legend went that not a single one fled or was captured.” Anakin takes this in and comments “But some did get away.” Kenobi can only stare forward as the Tatooine native gets increasingly alarmed, stands up, and internally puts the pieces together, eventually wondering if they’d want vengeance enough to go after a Jedi so blatantly and reveal themselves.
Obi-Wan replies that the Mandalorians wouldn’t just seek revenge alone and that whatever is going on is important enough to keep anyone from finding out. “We have to find out what happened to the fleet.”
Cut to the surface of Nar Shadda, where Darelda, now dressed in street clothes carefully but casually walks along the streets. The city she’s in is rife with sleaze, with all sorts of types as pedestrians, and plenty of dubious looking businesses seen all around. While she looks somewhat uncomfortable, she raises no fuss and does her best to ignore the various loud peddlers attempting to sell their wares. When a young would be pick-pocket gets close, she stares him down and he eventually runs off.
Getting further away from downtown she stops out and of the corner of her eye notices a dilapidated office building with the Republic insignia, clearly abandoned and covered in various bits of graffiti. Organa shakes her head and continues walking, eventually arriving in small alley away from the hub of the downtown city. She stops near a series of containers and waits.
After a few moments a soft, but hurried alien voice is heard getting closer and with subtitles we see it telling her that she’s lucky that people on Nar Shadda enjoy the night life so much, otherwise she would have been spotted easy. A male Twi'lek in a coat walks briskly to her and immediately hands her a small data cube. She attempts to get details but he explains that neither one of them has enough time for it and tells her to get back to her ship as quickly as possible.
When he tries to walk off in the other direction he makes out a distant figure at the other end of the alley. He stops and looks back at Darelda. After a beat, he calmly tells her that as soon he turns back, that she has to run. She asks “What about you?”, but when he says nothing, she sadly understands. He readies his blaster, turns back, and starts firing at the figure while she bolts off in the other direction.
The firing match between the two ends quickly enough as the Twi’lek is soon shot down, and lies wounded. The figure, revealed to be a masked humanoid in clothing vaguely similar to Kwade’s, walks up and finishes him off. He then readies his bowcaster rifle at the fleeing Darelda. Cut to just outside the alley where the sound of both a blaster shot and a body hitting the ground is heard.
Cut to the cargo ship where now Anakin is seen deep in thought, only speaking to tell Kenobi they should be at the coordinates soon enough. The other man nods, and after a moment’s hesitation Anakin asks how he became a Jedi. That question brings a wistful smile to the Jedi Knight’s face, and he recalls his past, mentioning that when he was younger, he was quite reckless and adventurous.
“Before I even knew of the Force I felt that no matter what, there was something protecting me, giving me strength.” Skywalker is delightfully surprised by this, finding it hard to believe. Obi-Wan goes into some detail about when the Jedi heard of his exploits, they made him realize he could use his connection to the Force for something far greater than seeking a few thrills.
Obi-Wan assures him that he’ll find Skywalker an ideal teacher, and that there are countless Jedi who could do wonders for his training. Anakin asks if that includes him, but Kenobi hesitates and says that his mastery of the Force is strong, but that he isn’t certain if he himself has learned all he needs to. “Becoming a true Jedi master is not the easiest of paths.”
Kenobi’s own master is mentioned, though not named, as someone who opened his eyes by asking him questions of all types and of matters he didn’t think about. Anakin listens intently as the Knight explains that the path of the Force will reveal many truths to him, and will have him realize points of view he never could have conceived of beforehand. With some seriousness he notes that the life of Jedi is one filled with tests, with dangers beyond even the risks of battle; adding that he’ll learn of them soon enough.
Anakin digests the man’s words carefully and states that he’s ready for any truth, no matter what. He takes the time to say he’s glad Kenobi has brought him along, specifically referring to him as Ben and clearly looking at him with great respect and a bit of affection. “I don’t know, just being here with you, I’ve got a very good feeling about this.”
From behind the cockpit a slightly disheveled Carima emerges completely stunned by what she sees. “Have you lost your mind?” The two men turn back with Kenobi a bit confused and Skywalker a bit alarmed himself. She demands to know what’s going on and Anakin attempts to diplomatically explain that he’s using the ship for a necessary trip, but she remains flabbergasted that he’s taken a commercial property and taking it out for his own purpose.
He again attempts to clarify, but pauses and asks her what she’s doing on the freighter anyway. When she sputters some excuses, out loud he realizes that she fell asleep on the ship again, which gets her ticked and again ranting about what they’ve done. In an attempt to calm her he says that she’s got nothing to be afraid of. Unconvinced, Niwir responds: “I’m in a stolen ship with a random man I’ve never met before and a co-worker who’s apparently gone insane; what don’t I have to be afraid of?”
Anakin explains that Ben is no random man; he’s a Jedi Knight on a mission. She stares, mouth agape before asking how he knows that and how a Jedi even ended up on Tatooine anyway. The young man starts going into motormouth mode telling of how Kenobi crashed and the subsequent attack in Mos Eisley, but Obi-Wan calmly steps in and tells her that he is indeed working for the Republic and at the moment the ship is necessary for something of vital importance,
Too flummoxed to stand, she sits down and wonders aloud how she’s going to explain any of this to the boss back home, that if she gets home at all. Anakin assures here that once they can get another ship somehow, the freighter can be brought back and he’ll take full blame for the ship’s disappearance. Obi-Wan adds that she and her employer will be compensated well for any inconvenience that occurs.
While somewhat more persuaded she asks where they’re even taking the spice freighter, with Kenobi telling her of his failed rendezvous and its coordinates just outside Bothan space. Skywalker also explains that once he heard Ben was looking into the missing vessels in the outer rim he decided to lend his help. “And drag me along with you” she grumbles. Before Anakin can assuage her more, a beeping sound is heard, and he confirms that they’ve arrived.
He takes the ship out of hyperspace, and immediately a virtual graveyard of destroyed craft is seen, with various bits of fighters and freighters floating everywhere. All three are stunned, and a slightly flustered Anakin scans everywhere, only to say that there are no readings of active vessels anywhere in the system. Obi-Wan grimly observes that these are all the debris of Republic ships. Carima can only watch aghast at the destruction.
There is a silence as Anakin continues scanning until he is confused by a reading, quickly describing some sort of faint signal that’s apparently in the system but its location can’t be specifically identified. Finally speaking up, Niwir points out that whatever they’re looking for, with all the debris flying around, it could be anywhere and that they can’t find it without closely scanning every bit of the remains
Kenobi however, gets an epiphany and states that Skywalker can find it, reminding him that he was able to sense his presence on Tatooine and that he can do the same here. Anakin is really not sure about that, explaining that locating one man in an empty dessert is one thing, but this is countless pieces in open space. The Jedi Knight tells him that the force was flowing in him now and just as it was then, and that whether he’s fully aware or not, he does have a command over it.
Gently, he instructs Anakin to look past all of the debris and just feel where the signal is, all the while as Carima looks at both like they’re crazy. Skywalker obliges though, and after some visible effort and slight frustration begins to look over the cockpit window with his eyes, adjusting the vessel until he eventually stops and points to small piece of a wing in the distance. “Its there.”
The ships heads over to it and much to Niwir’s incredulity, the signal does get stronger. Kenobi listens carefully and while familiar he can’t quite place its type. “It’s definitely a Republic code, but-” He’s cut off as a loud thud is heard on the roof of the ship. The two Tatooine natives draw their blasters, while Obi-Wan confirms that wasn’t a blaster or a torpedo shot. A silver metallic figure quickly goes across the cockpit window, immediately causing Anakin to whisper that something’s on the ship.
A fast crawling is heard on the side of the freighter, getting towards the rear. Carima starts to pilot, shouting that they need to get fast enough to knock it off, but Anakin states they don’t even know what it is. An argument almost breaks out with the two as she says that’s all the more reason to get out of here and he rebuts that this could be their only chance to find out what happened.
Kenobi silences them both, and says that the sound has stopped. A pounding noise then starts to reverberate from the rear, and the three go towards the storage area to investigate. Skywalker and Niwir quickly figure out what’s going on with him surmising that it wants inside, and she replies they can’t let that happen. Obi-Wan calmly tells that if this were a trap it would involve a weapon, ship, or a mine; something strong and effective.
She’s still worried. “Unless that’s what it want us to think.” Kenobi says to open the rear entrance, and Anakin goes to hit the switch only for Carima to stop him, saying that they have no idea what’s out there. He tells her with great confidence that they can handle it and “You said I was good; am I good enough for you to trust me now?” There is a couple of beats as the only sound is the continued pounding on the rear door before she finally sighs and lets him hit the switch. “Skywalker, you’re going to owe me big for this.”
The rear door opened, the pounding stops and the thing is heard coming into the storage area. The switch is hit again and Anakin notes that between the rear and mid ship doors closed they could keep it trapped if they wanted. Obi-Wan shakes his head and says they need to know what they’re dealing with. All three ready their weapons, and after confirmation by the older Jedi, Anakin hits another switch, opening the second door.
Instantly a tall and sleek droid steps out, with attached blaster readied and covered by a bluish shield in front. A standoff ensues with Skywalker and Kenobi asking to put its weapon down and tell them what it wants. From the head of the droid emerges a jovial, but forceful voice, saying that it can do no such thing until they confirm what they’re doing here. Tensions get very heated until Niwir, somehow intrigued by its appearance notes that it’s an HX unit.
Still with its weapon raised, the droid confirms verifies that; stating he’d be compliment her good eye if they all weren’t currently pointing blasters at each other. Either ignoring or not caring about the remark she (with a slight hint of enthusiasm) points out to the other two the rarity of such models, even on big Republic ships. The droid responds with the same level of light charm, “Hmm, it’s not often I am physically threatened by those aware of my monetary value.”
The conversation between the two brings realization to Obi-Wan, and after recalling some information, he mentions out loud that a HX unit’s in the service of Darelda Organa. The droid turns to him and says that name is not one thrown about casually. When Kenobi states that he’s looking for her for her safety, the droid responds that while he’d like to believe that’s true, he’s already seen enough, and that if he has any ill intentions towards the senator, he too can become part of the other debris floating in this system.
Anakin shouts that it’s dealing with a Jedi Knight and things won’t be that easy. The droid receives this information with some doubt, but after examining the middle aged man closely, he acknowledges his identity as a Jedi and in turn Obi-Wan identifies him as HX-81, personal security droid to Senator Organa. Kenobi gestures for the other two to lower their weapons, which she does with some ease and he with more reluctance.
81 recalls his blaster and dissipates his shield. Once again he looks over the Jedi Knight. “Not to be rude, but you’re a bit late.” Obi-Wan explains the surprise attack and asks what happened here. 81 enlightens the three that they were receiving information from Draezin Kwade, whom Carima recognizes as a well known criminal in the outer rim, specifically that his raiders have been stealing supplies from ships for years.
The droid continues, describing that a large fleet of unknown vessels appeared out of nowhere and soon destroyed every single Republic ship. Carima inquires as to how he survived and he mentions in a matter of fact manner that once his ship was blown in half, he clung to a destroyed section, deactivated most of his systems, and waited till the attackers jumped to hyperspace. A touch of curiosity and unease in his voice, he says that he didn’t think any ship would find his signal so quickly.
Kenobi quickly says the droid was lucky to be found by a future Jedi Knight, pointing to Anakin. 81 stares at the young man a moment. “Indeed.” Skywalker remains slightly stolid, though clearly pleased at the older man’s words. HX however soon goes back to the business at hand noting that their key priority is the Senator, and says that she went to lightspeed just before the attack and is presumably executing her more important mission.
When pressed for details, the 81 simply says that he knows she was looking to gather intelligence on Nar Shadda, but that any further information about what she was planning was highly classified. Kenobi opines that if that’s where went, they have to get there soon; telling Anakin to get the ship ready for hyperspace. The droid gets in somewhat close and asks if she’s in real danger.
“Not just her, but the entire Republic. I fear something terrible is about to happen.” From outside the jumps to light speed.
More to come...