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Episode I: Knights of the Republic [Nepheronia Studios]

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I’m currently working on my own PT and I’m starting to flesh out the storyline. I’ve hammered out the basic timeline and suchlike and now begins the real work. I have my core plots for each of the three stories and now I need to fill them in, develop them further, figure out the character interactions and personalities beyond the core.

So for now this thread is just for me to put up my work as I progress and hopefully get feedback that will improve it.

EPISODE I: KNIGHTS OF THE REPUBLIC

The THIRD GREAT CLONE WAR has consumed the galaxy! The inexhaustible supply of clone soldiers ravage the Republic, and only the intervention of the Jedi Order, guardians of peace and justice within the Republic, has proved able to stem the tide.

Despite this, after a decade of conflict the ranks of the JEDI KNIGHTS have grown thin, and so a push to recall and re-enlist retired or discharged Jedi Knights is underway.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, a famed Republic General and Jedi Knight, is currently en route to his former comrade to convince him to rejoin the Republic military. However, on his arrival planetside the General and his companions are ambushed by the newest and most deadly CLONE WARRIORS…

Date: 38 Before ANH

Act 1: Tatooine [Anakin’s Homeplanet]
Act 2: Nar Urthha [Hutt Cartel Capital]
Act 3: Granicus [Confederacy Cloning World]

CHARACTERS

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Obi-Wan Kenobi [35 years old]
A veteran fighter involved in this Clone War since it began a decade ago. Holds the rank of General of Special Forces, and is in charge of the Aquillaean Rangers, a group of Force-adept commandos who didn’t make the grade for Jedi training but have basic Force abilities to enhance their senses, reaction times, speed and endurance. He cares deeply for all of his soldiers, but he has become tired of the war and so has been allocated a strictly non-combat mission to prevent him from burning out. This recuperative mission is supposed to be strictly negotiation: first with his former comrade Anakin and secondly with the Hutt Cartel to gain access to their restricted hyperspace lanes.

Too bad he’s got a bad feeling about this…

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Anakin Whitesun [29 years old]
A skilled Jedi Knight who was discharged from the Jedi Order after he abandoned a mission in order to return to his home planet to help his sister Beru out of a sticky situation. He saved her and her husband Owen but in exchange he became an indentured employee of the Hutt Cartel, working as an enforcer and a freighter operator for them. Most of what he does is probably legal, but he operates on the shady side occasionally too. Brash, a bit reckless, extremely brave, passionate and a skilled starfighter racer, he actually enjoys the comfort and minor fame of being favoured by his Hutt employers, but even if he disliked it he’d never leave because it would place his family in danger.

And to Anakin there’s nothing in this galaxy he treasures more than family…

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Zara Arcadia [25 years old]
Anakin’s companion and owner of the hotted-up spice freighter Skywalker, she only allows Anakin to be her navigator thanks to his instinctual astrogation abilities. And the fact that the ship used to be his before she won it in a game of sabbacc. Cool, collected and always ready to deflate Anakin’s ego if he starts getting too full of himself, she works on contract with the Hutts and is one of the best smugglers around. Unlike most of her fellow scoundrels Zara would love to be out in the thick of the action of the Clone Wars.

A conflict which to her seems both distant and romantic in its scope, full of exciting new experiences…

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Darth Vader [22 years old (biologically), ~2 years old (chronologically)]
An Augmented Transgenic Humanoid Analogue clone warrior, Darth is an experimental Force-sensitive clone who has been flash-imprinted with the skills of a fallen Jedi. Due to highly dangerous genetic splicing Darth is a consummate warrior, bestowed with all sorts of predatory advantages. However due to corruption within his genome he requires cybernetic implants to allow him to breathe and correctly filter visual-spectrum light. He relentlessly pursues Obi-Wan after his initial ambush fails, but when he is abandoned by his ATHA Prime genetic template, his “clone father” so to speak, and left for execution by Republic warriors it becomes clear that he is too valuable to kill and too powerful in the Force to simply treat as a prisoner of war.

If only there were a wise and war-weary Jedi Knight who could train a being bred only for combat how to utilise his talents in other ways…

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Zeta Magnus [??? years old]
A towering Arkanian hulk of a being, Zeta Magnus is one of the main Clone Masters supplying the Confederacy of Corporate Sectors with the disposable clone soldiers, and is also a key instigator of the Clone War itself. A corrupt and ruthless trader baron whose company, Spaarti Creations, was being financially harmed by the economic sanctions put in place by the Republic, he was a key figure in creating the war itself and now profits off the sales of his clone soldiers. Aside from being a dirty businessman, Zeta Magnus is also a genius scientist who is responsible for the creation of the Augmented Transgenic Humanoid Analogue clones, and who is addressed by his creations as their “clone father” or their “ATHA Prime”.

If left unchecked, Zeta’s depravity will drag the Clone Wars to an even darker and more twisted level of madness…

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Your take on Vader is pretty novel. Consider me intrigued to learn more.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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The intention with Vader is to immediately associate him with cybernetics and breathing apparatus from the moment we meet him, to reinforce what is seen in the OT.

Additionally, since I plan to have Vader fall to the dark during the second movie he’s not going to have a huge amount of time to flesh out the why of his fall. Fortunately clone madness comes prepackaged as an excuse, along with existential inferiority complexes regarding his status as a clone.

I didn’t feel that I’d have time to handle w"discover Anakin, take him as an apprentice, also deal with taking on Darth as a second apprentice". Luckily, Ben’s comments in ANH seem to paint Anakin as an equal rather than a student. And I realised dragging a retired Jedi out on a damn fool idealistic crusade works as well as dragging a wide-eyed kid, and with the advantage of skipping his training.

It’s a take on Anakin I don’t think I’ve seen before so I’m excited to work on it.

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PRE-EPISODE I TIMELINE

113 BBY: The First Great Clone War begins. Otherwise known as the Mandalorian Civil War, it came about as a result of warmongering Mandalorian raiders ravaging Republic systems on the borders of the Unknown Regions. The purpose was to use the resources as fuel for their warmachine during conflicts with rival Mandalorian factions, as well as to glorify war itself, part of their religious beliefs. The Republic initially provided support for the less violent “legitimate” Mandalorian factions during what was essentially a civil war.

Republic interference earned the ire of the warhawks and in retaliation they decided to completely ignore Galactic law and produce “rapid-growth” clone warriors, which were known to have mental issues and instability. The maddened clones take on the Republic directly but in a series of brushfire wars and guerilla conflicts rather than the all-consuming galactic wars of the later Clone Wars.

The Mandalorians are not humans and as a result the first clones grown are not simple “human replicas” like the clones we see in the canon PT. They are some sort of near-humanoid sickly-looking beings with clear indicators of their artificial nature. Think tube-sockets and interfaces like the humans grown for The Matrix.

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92 BBY: The Mandalorians collapse under their own maddened warriors, who turn on their commanders and essentially wipe out the Mandalorian race from within. The Republic moves in and does clean-up, claiming all of the left-over technology and war components as spoils of war. All of the fast-grown clones are exterminated due to their unnatural nature and mental issues.

79 BBY: The Second Great Clone War begins. The Hapes Consortium, Tion Hegemony and the Tetan Monarchy of the Outer Rim Region combine their forces to become the Alliance of Independent Systems, They attempt to secede from the Republic due to a perceived inability of the Republic to protect and defend planetary systems near the Unknown Regions after the devastation of the Mandalorian Clone War. They consider the AIS and the Republic to have irreconcilable differences and political divides.

Due to the small population of these isolated Outer Rim and Wild Space worlds compared to the Galactic Republic, they are forced to manufacture their soldiers rather than rely on recruitment or conscription. They predominantly utilise droid soldiers for the duration of the war by repurposing or capturing the many uninhabited “resource and manufacturing” worlds that exist on the edge of the Galaxy.

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In response, the Republic decides to activate armies of “slow-growth” clones that had been captured from Mandalorian systems. The Republic hadn’t been able to legally destroy the clones due to a gray area in the law where the clones were considered simultaneously prisoners of war and also property. Instead, the clones had been placed into deep stasis freeze and since they were now essentially spoils of war owned by the Republic it was able to utilise them as soldiers instead of sending individuals against mass-produced droids. The use of mass-produced flesh against such droids was far more advantageous, politically speaking.

69 BBY: The Second Great Clone War ends after much grinding down of both sides and plenty of industrial sabotage and resource depletion. With both sides of the conflict exhausted, a final treaty is drawn up between the Republic and the Alliance, granting the Alliance conditional lease-ownership of the Rishi Maze dwarf galaxy that sits off the galactic rim. Many of the Hapan, Tionese and Tetan citizens and governments retreat to the Rishi Maze to establish their own quiet little government.

The decade-long war has made several corporate entities vastly powerful and rich thanks to the manufactured nature of the soldiers for both sides of the war. For almost two decades these trader barons essentially run the Republic, with the Senate being mostly beholden to these private entities through planetary debt, manufacturing contracts and plain old lobbying and corruption. In order to cover substantial war debts several systems sold their public cloning facilities to private companies to utilise clone labour for their businesses and production facilities.

These clone facilities become important to many companies, whose droid workforces are now looked upon with some degree of suspicion and resentment by many sections of the public after droids were used so extensively by the AIS during the war. Although droids have always been something of an underclass within the Republic, this is the main source of recent distrust in them and utility of them as little more than packhorses.

52 BBY: The issue of clone rights has become a major point of contention after the previous two Clone Wars. Concerns regarding whether to treat clones as property or people, and whether it is wise to put former military forces into private hands, ignite ferocious discussion and several trade restrictions and heavy economic sanctions designed to lessen the power of these private companies begin to be debated, deployed and ultimately enforced.

The trader barons, now used to having lived well off what are essentially clone slaves, do not enjoy this new change in the status quo or the attempts by the Senate to reintroduce bureaucracy and government as the real galactic leadership.

48 BBY: The Third Great Clone War begins. Incensed by what they view as constant government meddling with clones now legally owned by private companies, corrupt trader barons decide to form the Confederacy of Corporate Sectors, a group attempting to force more advantageous corporate laws and more lax taxes within their region of space, despite being nominally incorporated into Republic space.

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44 BBY: Anakin Whitesun leaves the Jedi Order to return to his home planet and help his sister out in dealing with the criminal Hutt cartel, who have been expanding their operations boldly while the Republic is tied up worrying about a war.

43 BBY: The Republic begins to take refugee freeclones, beings who have been stripped of flash-imprinted programming or grown without it, and manage to recapture some of the privatised cloning facilities, which they forcibly deprivatise. Forces on both sides of the war end up utilising clones in combat, the Confederacy through forceful compliance or brainwashing and the Republic through clone volunteers who wish to see all cloned individuals freed, as well as clones produced as soldiers in a manner that makes them about as culpable of clone-rights abuses as the CCS has been.

38 BBY: Due to decreasing numbers of Jedi Knights through combat losses the Jedi Order decides to attempt to recruit former members to shore up their forces. Obi Wan is dispatched on a mission to the Outer Rim with the dual purpose of attempting to recruit former Jedi Anakin Whitesun and to make contact with the Hutt Cartel and negotiate for use of their hyperspace lanes by the Republic for the duration of the war.

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This here is the basic outline I have for Act I of Knights of the Republic. It’s still sort of rough, I don’t know if the characters will shine through in the way I intended or if it’s far too long or short, so any and all feedback is welcome here.

PREFACE / BACKGROUND DETAILS

  • The THIRD GREAT CLONE WAR, fought between the Galactic Republic and the Corporate Sector Authority, has been raging for over a decade. The most elite warriors of the Republic, THE HOLY KNIGHTS OF THE JEDI ORDER, have had their numbers depleted by the constant warfare. Desperate to recover their numbers, the Order has decided to try to recall as many retired, discharged or otherwise departed ex-Knights as possible to assist in the war effort.

  • OBI-WAN KENOBI, a famed General who has become disillusioned with fighting on the frontlines, has been dispatched on a mission to convince his old friend ANAKIN WHITESUN to rejoin the Jedi Order. Anakin was forcefully discharged from the Order after abandoning a mission in order to return to his homeworld to help his sister Beru and her husband Owen out of a sticky situation because of the high value he places on his family above all else.

ACT 1 [TATOOINE]
A dusty little desert planet on the edge of the Outer Rim, Tatooine is an insignificant fringe colony that orbits a binary system of suns which heat the days up to extreme temperatures and dry the whole planet out. Everything on the planet is coated with dust and sandstorms are a fact of life, as are the deadly desert-dwellers and sand-creatures that the colonists have to contend with. The struggle of life is an everyday fact for inhabitants of this planet. With no significant resources to speak of and an environment that deters most people, Tatooine is politically a nothing and isn’t even technically a member of the Republic. It is a lawless world that is only saved from being overrun by criminals by the climate, the distance from any useful trade routes and the lack of anything to offer the galaxy at large.

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  • Upon arriving at Mos Eisley, Obi-Wan and his small taskforce of AQUILAEAN RANGERS, Force adepts who didn’t make the cut for the Jedi Order, are ambushed by a powerful team of clones, stronger than any previously encountered, and a dangerous foe, a Force-sensitive clone warrior equipped with a cybernetic breath mask and a deadly vibrosword that is able to clash with the plasma batons of the Republic forces.

  • The ambush leads to the death of most of Kenobi’s Rangers, however he is able to defeat the strange armored clone and force the enemy force to retreat, leaving only Kenobi and two of his Ranger companions alive. Now with a greater sense of urgency and a depleted team, head towards the Lars homestead, known to Kenobi as the home of Anakin’s sister and most likely person to know where the former Jedi now lives.

  • Beru knows of Obi-Wan from Anakin’s stories of his time in the Order, and advises him that Anakin will be dropping by the homestead for dinner that evening, as he is just returning from a freighter run that has taken several weeks. She invites him and his companions to join them, although Owen grumbles a bit about the disruption. It seems that although he has no quarrels with the Republic and the reasons for the war, he does worry that the proximity of someone like Obi-Wan will draw the attention of CSA forces to Tatooine. Obi-Wan consciously decides not to inform Owen and Beru of the ambush from earlier that day and that there may still be some soldiers hunting for them. It seems Obi-Wan is not entirely as forthcoming and honest a person as he likes to pretend.

  • The dinner happens, and Anakin has showed up, along with his freighter partner, ZARA ARCADIA. A fringer involved in the space transport business, she and Anakin have been working on the same ship for a couple of years now. Over dinner we learn that Obi-Wan and Anakin had fought together on the front lines before, and were good friends who had simply lost contact with each other after Anakin’s discharge and Obi-Wan’s increasing role in this Clone War.

  • Anakin now ostensibly works as a navigator on a spice freighter, and that’s the story Beru and Owen are familiar with. Zara pilots an old tramp freighter, the Skywalker, and due to Anakin’s skill with instinctual astrogation and navigation he works as her co-pilot and navigator. His skill at astrogation substantially reduces transit time, and so the two of them are known for their fast, reliable transport services and business is doing well. Anakin seems proud of the Skywalker, boasting about it as if it were his own, but Zara shuts him up by reminding him that he lost it to her in a game of sabbaac and that she is, for all intents and purposes, his boss.

  • When Obi-Wan elaborates on why he is on Tatooine Anakin bluntly refuses to even consider the idea of returning to the Jedi Order. It seems that despite his friendship with Obi-Wan, there are still some issues he has yet to deal with regarding the Order and his decision to prioritise his family over his career.
    After dinner, Anakin and Zara have a frank discussion with Obi-Wan regarding Anakin’s refusal to return to the Order. In truth, Anakin is also moonlighting as a smuggler and an enforcer for the HUTT CARTEL in order to work off the debts owed by Owen and Beru due to unfair loans they had to take out in order to try to get their moisture farm business up and running.

  • Due to his involvement with the cartel, Anakin cannot just up and leave or else there will be severe repercussions for his family, and so there is initially conflict between Obi-Wan and himself. Additionally, he has grown to enjoy the life of a cartel enforcer and the glory of being a locally-famous racer.

  • Despite being unwilling to join Obi-Wan again as part of the Jedi Order, the meeting is not entirely a waste of time for Obi-Wan. Because of Anakin’s fortuitous connections to the Hutt Cartel, Obi-Wan is able to convince Anakin and Zara to get him a chance to speak with someone in good sway with the Hutts. He initially plans to speak with the local crimelord on Tatooine, but later in the evening Anakin advises Obi-Wan that Jabba has refused an audience with him.

  • Instead, Anakin is willing to do a favour for his old friend and take him to NAR URTHHA, home of the Hutt criminal empire. Anakin is already intending to head there for an upcoming spacer-race, so it’s no big deal to him if Obi-Wan joins him. Anakin’s name as an enforcer will get Obi-Wan in the door but after that it will be all up to Obi-Wan to engineer the negotiations on behalf of the Republic for use of the Hutt hyperspace lanes, another component of the mission that Obi-Wan was dispatched for.

  • At the end of the evening, after Obi-Wan has left, Zara returns and admits to having eavesdropped on the conversation. She seems to be encouraging Anakin to reconsider Obi-Wan’s offer to rejoin the Order. He doesn’t want to listen to her, but she’s heard his stories of the Jedi Order and how his face looks when he tells those stories. She thinks that he could be so much more than a smuggler and a criminal enforcer. Anakin tries to protest a little but Zara has far too strong a personality to be silenced like that. She firmly tells Anakin that they’ll discuss this again, he hasn’t gotten out of it that easily.

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ACT 2 [NAR URTHHA]
Nar Urthha is an icy planet that is inhospitable to animal or plant life, and so was ignored by the Republic colonist-explorers who discovered it. However, the Hutts have turned this worthless and easily-ignored planet into the core hub of their criminal empire. They have constructed enormous dome cities that enclose a habitable atmosphere, being hot and sticky because the air filtration systems are ancient and decrepit and unable to fully excise the heat, perspiration and breath-moisture of countless millions of beings crammed into these tightly-packed slum-cities. The stifling heat and moisture has actually encouraged rampant plant growth, and vines and moss and other flora coat the buildings and invade any and all cracks and crannies that can be found in the filthy, polluted and crumbling metropolis domes.

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  • The group return to Mos Eisley and Anakin and Zara takes Obi-Wan’s team to Nar Urthha in the Skywalker. Unbeknownst to them, the clone warrior that Obi-Wan encountered has attached a beacon to the Skywalker based on intel from Corporate Sector agents that the plan for negotiations with Jabba the Hutt fell through. He’s following a hunch that is really the Force guiding his actions, and so the remnants of the clone warrior’s team follow the Skywalker to Nar Urthha.

  • The Skywalker is forced to land outside the main domecity, in the frigid cold, and the heroes briefly struggle with setting down the ship in a blizzard and crossing to the airlock-gate. They are amazed when they cross through the gate to find the hot, humid and verdant city within, although Anakin and Zara just laugh it off and take them to the Hutts. Though the trip to Nar Urthha goes smoothly, the same cannot be said for negotiations with the Hutts. They have no interest in working with the government whose laws they ignore so freely.

  • Inspired by Obi-Wan’s stories about Anakin’s skill as a great Jedi Knight and wanting to help him with what she believes he is destined to be doing, Zara convinces the Hutt cartel to take a wager on the starfighter race, putting up the Skywalker and her own status as a freelance smuggler against Anakin’s freedom from his indentured role as enforcer.

  • The starfighter race is an energetic, perilous affair where several of the participants are killed. Anakin’s skills as a pilot get to shine during this sequence, However, at the culmination of it all the race is interrupted by the appearance of a clone attack force, and so the starfighter race becomes a starfighter battle. Unfortunately, due to being a racer all the weapons are stripped from Anakin’s ship and so it becomes a deadly chase sequence.

  • On-board the clone landing craft, the armored clone warrior is coordinating his forces in preparation for the attack. Anakin makes it back safely as the clones begin an attack against the Hutt citadel and the civilian buildings around it, seeking to eliminate the Hutts in order to prevent any negotiations with the Republic from being completed.

  • The clones breach the city’s dome and attempt to capture the capital citadel with landing ships that rush in through the gaping hole in the dome, even as icy winds and blizzards sweep in and begin to ravage the surrounds. Obi-Wan, his Rangers and Zara engage in a firefight with the clone troopers.

  • Anakin, who has landed outside the dome, confronts the armored clone leader at the base of the clone ship in the blustering snow, with almost nil visibility. When Anakin draws his lightsaber the warrior identifies him as a Jedi and introduces himself as DARTH VADER, and a quick skirmish duel begins. While Anakin is more skilled than the clone it is the clone’s reckless and uncontrolled use of the Force that allows him to escape after accidentally bringing down a substantial part of the city dome, crushing many buildings within when several foundation-struts are snapped.

  • After the assault on the Hutt citadel by the clone forces is repelled by Obi-Wan’s forces the cartel come to an agreement with Obi-Wan to allow the Republic unfettered use of the Hutt hyperspace routes in exchange for payment and a blind eye being turned to the cartel’s business transactions. Ironically, the clone attack has only strengthened Hutt-Republic relations.

  • Obi-Wan realises that the new access to the hyperspace routes grants the Republic an unparalleled chance to strike at the heart of the enemy forces, and is able to coordinate a military attack on GRANICUS, a gas-giant with an experimental clone facility on it, being operated by one of the instigators of this Great Clone War. He intends to capture the facility to deny the Corporate Sector Authority one of their clone sources and to probe the various databanks for details on the experiments, clone models and other vital details of the Authority stratagem.

  • Anakin is shaken by how the clone soldiers were completely unconcerned with collateral damage to innocent civilians. He is worried that expansion of the brushfire battle-lines may drag Hutt-connected planets like Tatooine and all on it into the war, and becomes convinced that he must accompany Obi-Wan on his new mission.

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Man, character diversity in the PT is a major problem. Between Obi Wan, Anakin and Luke & Leia’s mother you have this kind of core trio that are presumably all Human and white, judging from the appearance of Luke and Leia.

I’ve tried to offset this with Darth Vader being alien and I’m considering making Zara Arcadia a Near-Human like a Miraluka or a Hapan or something, but then you’d expect to see some of those differntiating traits expressed in Luke or Leia.

Also I cannot for the life of me think how to work a substantial droid character into the story.