Sign In

Star Wars: Reconstructed Edition

Author
Time
 (Edited)

[JEDIT]

I’ve decided to discontinue my 9-in-1 rewrite in favour of a full OT rewrite. This thread will be reformatted to showcase my rewrite for A New Hope.

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. SPACE

TITLE CARD: The Milky Way Galaxy, a long time from now….

A vast sea of stars serves as the backdrop for the main title, followed by a rollup, which crawls up into infinity.

STAR WARS

It is a period of civil war. Rebel starships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armoured space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy….

PAN DOWN

To the topaz desert planet of Tatooine, her two moons glowing against the darkness.

The Tantive IV, a small Rebel CR90 corvette, races through space, pursued closely by the Devastator, an immense Imperator-class Star Destroyer. Between the two ships streak innumerable laser beams. The red beams from the Tantive’s batteries are too weak to pierce the Devastator’s deflector shields. Conversely, the Star Destroyer’s green beams overwhelm the corvette’s shields, penetrating the metal hull.

INT. TANTIVE IV/MAIN CORRIDOR

An explosion rocks the ship as two cyborgs, ARTOO-DETOO and SEE-THREEPIO, struggle through the turbulent passageway. Artoo’s brain is encased within a short barrel-shaped tripod, his face a mass of computer lights surrounding a radar eye. Threepio, on the other hand, is encased within a tall slender robot body of human proportions, his bronze plating of an Art Deco design. Both cyborgs are old, their bodies battered.

C-3PO: Did you hear that?

Power throughout the vessel fails. The lights wink out, casting the passage into darkness, and anything not bolted, strapped, or otherwise affixed in place begins floating about the now-zero-G environment, including the two cyborgs.

C-3PO: They’ve shut down the main reactor. Madness, this is madness. This time we’ll be destroyed for sure!

The emergency lights kick in, flooding the corridor with blood-red illumination. Outfitted with magnetic boots, REBEL SECURITY OFFICERS rush into the passageway. Ignoring the cyborgs, they take up position before the sealed entry hatch, aiming their guns toward the door.

C-3PO: We’re doomed.

The little R2 unit makes a series of electronic sounds that only another cyborg could understand.

C-3PO: There’ll be no escape for the captain this time.

Tension mounts as loud metallic latches clank and the scream of heavy equipment are heard moving around the outside hull of the ship.

C-3PO: What’s that?

EXT. SPACE

The smaller Rebel ship is being drawn into the underside dock of the giant Imperial starship.

INT. TANTIVE IV/MAIN CORRIDOR

Once inside the Devastator’s artificial gravity, the cyborgs hit the deck. They hurry to right themselves.

The nervous officers keep their weapons trained on the hatch. Suddenly a tremendous blast opens it up. A score of fearsome armoured IMPERIAL STORMTROOPERS pour into the smoke-filled corridor.

The entire passageway is suddenly ablaze with plasmafire. The blue bolts from the Rebel guns disperse against the stormtroopers’ reactive armour, imparting little damage, but the stormtroopers’ red bolts have no trouble burning clean through the Rebels’ gray-&-black uniforms.

As the battle rages around Artoo and Threepio, the two hapless cyborgs scramble to safety.

The stormtroopers through, an awesome, seven-foot-tall figure emerges into the red light of the passageway in their wake. This is DARTH VADER, First Knight of the Sith, right hand of the Dark Lord of the Sith. Clad in black-&-chrome armour and flowing black robes and cloak, his face obscured under a grotesque death’s head breath mask, he stands out next to the white armoured foot soldiers.

Everyone instinctively backs away from the imposing warrior. A deathly quiet sweeps through the Rebel troops.

INT. TANTIVE IV/SUBCORRIDOR #1

A girl’s hand slips a datacard into an opening in Artoo’s dome.

INT. TANTIVE IV/SUBCORRIDOR #2

Threepio stands in another subcorridor, somewhat bewildered. Artoo is nowhere in sight. The pitiful screams of the doomed Rebels can be heard in the distance.

C-3PO: Artoo-Detoo, where are you?

A familiar clanking sound attracts Threepio’s attention. He spots little Artoo at the end of the subcorridor in a smoke-filled alcove, a beautiful sixteen-year-old BRUNETTE standing in front of the astromech. Surreal and out of place, dream-like and half hidden in the smoke, she finishes adjusting something on Artoo’s computer face. She slips out of sight as the little cyborg joins his companion.

C-3PO: At last! Where have you been? Hiding, I suppose.

Stormtroopers can be heard in the distance.

C-3PO: They’re heading in this direction. (beat) What are we going to do‽ They won’t trust the word of Rebel-owned cyborgs that we don’t know anything of value. We’ll be sent to the spice mines of Kessel or smashed into who knows what‽

Artoo scoots past his bronze friend, down the subcorridor. Threepio goes after him.

C-3PO: Wait a minute, where are you going‽

Artoo responds with electronic beeps.

INT. TANTIVE IV/SUBCORRIDOR #3

The evil Darth Vader stands amid the broken and twisted bodies of his foes. The First Knight holds the wounded CAPTAIN RAYMUS COLTON by the neck as an Imperial officer strides up to him.

IMPERIAL OFFICER #1: Nothing, sir. The Death Star plans are not in the main computer.

Vader squeezes the neck of the Rebel officer, who struggles in vain.

DARTH VADER: Where are those transmissions you intercepted? What have you done with those plans‽

CAPT. COLTON: (choking) We intercepted no transmissions! This is a consular ship! We’re on a diplomatic mission!

DARTH VADER: (angry) Chaos take your mission!

Vader tightens his grip around Colton’s throat.

DARTH VADER: (cont’d) If this is a consular ship, where is the ambassador?

The Rebel can no longer speak. There is a gruesome snapping and gurgling, then Colton goes limp. Incensed, Vader tosses the dead captain against the wall, turning to his troops.

DARTH VADER: Commander, tear this ship apart until you’ve found those plans. And bring me the ambassador. I want her alive!

The stormtroopers scurry into the subcorridors.

INT. TANTIVE IV/SUBCORRIDOR #4

The lovely young girl huddles in a small alcove as the stormtroopers search through the ship. She is PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA, a member of the Imperial Senate. The fear in her eyes slowly gives way to anger as the muted sounds of the approaching stormtroopers grow louder. One of the troopers spies her.

STORMTROOPER #1: There she is! Set for stun!

Leia steps from her hiding place, slugthrower pistol in hand. She shoots the trooper full-on in the face; the bullet penetrates his helmet, then his sinuses. She turns to run, but another trooper’s paralyzing ray fells her. The troopers close in, inspecting her inert form.

STORMTROOPER #2: She’ll be all right. Inform Lord Vader we have a prisoner.

INT. TANTIVE IV/SUBCORRIDOR #5

Artoo stops before the small hatch of an emergency lifepod.

C-3PO: You’ve led us through half the ship, and to what…?

Artoo snaps the seal on the main latch; a red warning light begins flashing. The stubby cyborg works his way into the cramped four-person pod.

C-3PO: Hey, you’re not permitted in there! It’s restricted to humans only. (beat) We just might be able to convince the Imperials that we’re not Rebel-programmed and are too valuable to break up, but if someone sees you in there we haven’t got a chance. Come on out.

Artoo beeps something to him.

C-3PO: Don’t call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease! Now come out before somebody sees you.

Artoo whistles something at his reluctant friend regarding the mission he is about to perform.

C-3PO: Secret mission? What plans? What are you talking about? I’m not getting in there!

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

A new explosion, this time very close, sends dust and debris through the narrow subcorridor. Flames lick at Threepio and, after a flurry of electronic swearing from Artoo, the lanky cyborg slips into the lifepod.

C-3PO: (resigned) I’m going to regret this.

EXT. TANTIVE IV

The safety door snaps shut, and with the thunder of exploding latches the tiny lifepod is ejected from the disabled ship.

INT. DEVASTATOR/BRIDGE

On the chief gunnery officer’s screen, the lifepod carrying the two cyborgs speeds away from the stricken Rebel spacecraft.

CHIEF GUNNERY OFFICER: There goes another pod, sir. Instructions?

CAPTAIN: Instruments show no lifeforms. The pod’s release mechanism must have short-circuited or received a false instruction. Don’t waste your power.

INT. LIFEPOD

Artoo and Threepio look out at the receding Imperial starship. Stars circle as the pod rotates through the ether.

C-3PO: That’s funny, the damage doesn’t look as bad from out here. (beat) Are you sure you know how to pilot this thing?

Artoo beeps an assuring response.

INT. TANTIVE IV/MAIN CORRIDOR

Princess Leia, hands bound, is led along by a squad of briskly marching stormtroopers. They stop in the smokey hallway as Darth Vader emerges from the shadows. The sinister First Knight stares hard at the slight young senator, but she doesn’t flinch.

LEIA: Lord Vader, I should have known. Only you could be so bold. (beat) The Imperial Senate will not sit still for this. When they hear you’ve attacked a diplomatic —

DARTH VADER: Don’t play games with me, Your Highness. You weren’t on any mercy mission this time. You passed directly through a restricted system, ignoring numerous warnings and completely disregarding orders to turn about — until it no longer mattered. (looms in close) I know that several transmissions were beamed to this vessel by spies within that system. When we traced those transmissions back to the individuals with whom they originated, they had the poor grace to kill themselves before they could be questioned. I want to know what happened to the data they sent you.

LEIA: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a member of the Senate on a diplomatic mission to —

DARTH VADER: Your part of the Rebel Alliance. You’re also a traitor. (to troops) Take her away!

Leia is marched away though the blasted entrance. The Imperial commander turns to Vader.

IMPERIAL OFFICER #1: Holding her is dangerous. If word of this gets out, it could generate sympathy for the Rebellion in the Senate. She should be destroyed immediately.

DARTH VADER: No. My first duty is to locate that hidden fortress of theirs. All the Rebel spies have been eliminated. Therefore she is now my only key to discovering its location. I intend to make full use of her. If necessary, I will use her up — but I will learn the location of the Rebel base.

IMPERIAL OFFICER #1: She’ll die before she’ll tell you anything.

DARTH VADER: Leave that to me. (beat) Send out a wide-band distress signal. Indicate that the senator’s ship encountered an unexpected meteor cluster it could not avoid. Readings indicate that the shields were overridden and the ship was hulled to the point of vacating 95% of its atmosphere. Inform her father and the Senate that all aboard were killed.

Another Imperial officer approaches Vader and the commander. They stop and snap to attention.

IMPERIAL OFFICER #2: Lord Vader, the battle station plans are not aboard the ship. There is no valuable information in the ship’s storage banks and no evidence of bank erasure, nor were any transmissions directed outward from the ship from the time we made contact. A malfunctioning lifepod was ejected during the fighting, but it was confirmed at the time that no lifeforms were on board.

DARTH VADER: It could have been a malfunctioning pod — that might also have contained datacards. (beat) Send down a detachment to retrieve them, or to make certain they are not in the pod. We cannot take the chance it was a simple malfunction. See to it personally, Commander. There’ll be no one to stop us this time.

IMPERIAL OFFICER #1: Yes, sir.

EXT. TATOOINE — JUNDLAND — DAY

A death-white wasteland stretches from horizon to horizon. The tremendous heat of the twin suns settles on the lifepod, which rests half-buried in the sand. Having left the lifepod, the two cyborgs clumsily work their way across terrain where rugged desert mesas meet a foreboding dune sea.

C-3PO: What a forsaken place this is. (beat) We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.

Artoo answers with beeping sounds.

C-3PO: I’ve got to rest before I fall apart. My internals still haven’t recovered from that headlong crash you called a landing.

Suddenly Artoo whistles, makes a sharp right turn, and starts off in the direction of the rocky mesas.

C-3PO: Where do you think you’re going?

A stream of electronic noises pours forth from the small cyborg.

C-3PO: Well, I’m not going that way. It’s much too rocky. This way is much easier.

Artoo counters with a long whistle.

C-3PO: What makes you think there are settlements over there?

Artoo continues to make beeping sounds.

C-3PO: Don’t get technical with me.

Artoo continues to make beeping sounds.

C-3PO: What mission? What are you talking about? (beat) I’ve had just about enough of you! Go your way! You’ll be sandlogged within a day, you nearsighted scrap pile!

Threepio gives the little cyborg a kick and starts off in the direction of the vast Dune Sea.

C-3PO: And don’t let me catch you following me, begging for help, because you won’t get it.

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

EXT. DUNE SEA — DAY

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

C-3PO: That malfunctioning little twerp. This is all his fault! He tricked me into going this way, but he’ll do no better.

In a huff of anger and frustration, Threepio knocks the sand from his joints. His plight seems hopeless. Then a glint of reflected light in the distance reveals an object moving towards him.

C-3PO: Wait, what’s that? (elated) A transport! I’m saved!

The bronze cyborg waves frantically, calling out to the approaching transport.

C-3PO: Over here! Help! Please, help!

EXT. CANYON — SUNSET

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

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

The unsuspecting cyborg rolls along the rugged trail until suddenly, out of nowhere, a powerful electromagnetic ray shoots from the rocks and engulfs him in a radiant light show. He manages an electronic scream before he topples over onto his back. His bright computer lights flicker off, then on, then off again.

Out of the rocks scurry eight quasi-human JAWAS. No taller than Artoo, they wear grubby cloaks and their faces are shrouded so that only their luminescent yellow eyes can be seen. Holstering their ion blasters, they hiss and make odd guttural sounds as they heave the heavy cyborg onto their shoulders and carry him off down the trail.

The eight jawas carry Artoo out of the canyon to a huge tank-like vehicle the size of a four-story house. After welding a small disk to the side of Artoo, they place him under a large tube on the side of the vehicle; the little cyborg is sucked into the giant machine.

INT. SANDCRAWLER/HOLD — SUNSET

It is dim inside the hold area of the sandcrawler. Artoo switches on a small floodlight on his face and stumbles around the scrap heap. The narrow beam swings across rusty parts and an array of grotesquely twisted and maimed robots and cyborgs. He lets out a pathetic electronic whimper.

In the middle of the scrap heap sit a dozen or so cyborgs of various shapes and sizes. Some are engaged in electronic conversation, while others simply mill about. A voice of recognition calls out from the gloom.

C-3PO: Artoo-Detoo!

A battered Threepio scrambles up to Artoo and embraces him.

C-3PO: (cont’d) It is you! It is you!

EXT. CANYON — SUNSET

The enormous sandcrawler lumbers off.

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

Author
Time

EXT. JUNDLAND — DAY

It is the next day. Four Imperial stormtroopers mill about in front of the lifepod that brought Artoo and Threepio to Tatooine. A trooper calls to another some distance away.

STORMTROOPER #3: Someone was in the pod. The tracks go off in this direction.

Another trooper picks a small bit of metal out of the sand and presents it to the first.

STORMTROOPER #4: Look, sir - 'borgs.

EXT. DUNES — DAY

The sandcrawler slowly descends a great dune.

INT. SANDCRAWLER/HOLD — DAY

Threepio and Artoo bounce about inside the cramped chamber. Artoo appears to be in sleep mode.

The shaking and bouncing of the sandcrawler suddenly stops, creating quite a commotion among the mechanical men.

C-3PO: Wake up! (bangs Artoo) Wake up!

Artoo’s lights brighten as his systems power up.

C-3PO: We’ve stopped someplace. (beat) No doubt about it, we’re doomed. Do you think they’ll melt us down? (aghast) Do you think they’ll eat our brains‽

Artoo responds, making beeping sounds.

C-3PO: It’s this waiting that gets to me.

A hatch at the far end of the long chamber opens, flooding the chamber with blinding white light. A dozen or so jawas clamber in, making their way through the odd assortment of machines. Two jawas move towards them; one points its ion blaster at Threepio threateningly.

C-3PO: (raises arms) Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! (to Artoo) Will this never end?

EXT. LARS HOMESTEAD — DAY

The jawas mutter gibberish as they line their battered captives, including Artoo and Threepio, up in front of the enormous sandcrawler. The sandcrawler has been parked beside a small homestead consisting of three large holes bored in the ground, surrounded by several tall moisture vaporators and one small adobe blockhouse.

The jawas scurry around fussing over the cyborgs and robots, straightening them up or brushing dust from dented metallic joints.

C-3PO: Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. If we can convince these bipedal vermin to unload us here, we may enter into sensible human service again instead of being melted into slag.

From out of of a side-building emerges OWEN LARS, a large burly man in his mid-fifties. His reddish eyes are sunken in a dust-covered face. As the farmer carefully inspects each of the machines, he is closely followed by his nephew, LUKE LARS. A handsome 18-year-old farm boy, his shaggy blond hair and loose tunic give him the air of a simple but lovable lad. One of the jawas walks ahead of Owen, spouting an animated sales pitch in its unintelligible language.

A voice calls out from one of the huge holes that form the homestead. Luke goes over to the edge and sees his AUNT BERU standing in the main courtyard.

BERU: Luke, tell Owen that if he gets a translator to be sure it speaks Bocce.

LUKE: It looks like we don’t have much of a choice, but I’ll remind him.

Luke returns to his uncle as they look over the equipment for sale with the jawa leader. They pass over several robots and cyborgs.

OWEN: (examines R5 unit) Yeah, we’ll take that red one. (examines Artoo) No, not that one.

Owen comes to stand before Threepio.

OWEN: You, I suppose you’re programmed for etiquette and protocol.

C-3PO: Protocol? Why, it’s my primary function, sir. I am well-versed in all the customs —

OWEN: (shakes head) I have no need for a protocol 'borg.

C-3PO: (quickly) Of course you haven’t, sir — not in an environment such as this. That’s why I’ve been programmed —

OWEN: What I really need is a 'borg that understands the binary languages of moisture vaporators.

C-3PO: Vaporators! Sir - my first job was programming binary load lifters; very similar in memory-function to your vaporators. You could say —

LUKE: Uncle Owen?

OWEN: Yeah?

LUKE: (cont’d) Aunt Beru told me to tell you that if you buy a translator 'borg, make sure it speaks Bocce.

OWEN: Oh, yeah. Thanks, Luke. (to Threepio) Do you speak Bocce?

C-3PO: Of course I can, sir. It’s like a second language for me. I’m as fluent in —

OWEN: Alright, shut up.

C-3PO: Shutting up, sir.

OWEN (to head jawa) I’ll take this one. (beat) Luke, take these two over to the garage, will you? I want you to have both of them cleaned up by suppertime.

LUKE: But I was going into Toshi Station for those converters we ordered.

OWEN: (stern) Don’t lie to me, Luke. I don’t mind you wasting time with your idle friends, but only after you’ve finished your chores. Now hop to it — and before supper, mind.

LUKE: (downcast) Alright, c’mon. And the red one, c’mon.

The R5 stands in place.

LUKE: (impatient) Well, c’mon, Red, let’s go!

As the jawas start to lead the remaining automatons back into the sandcrawler, Artoo lets out a pathetic little beep. As he starts after his old friend, he is restrained by a jawa who freezes him with a control rod.

As Owen negotiates with the head jawa, Luke and the two cyborgs start for the garage. That’s when a plate pops off the head of the red cyborg, ejecting blood and gray matter all over the ground. Luke adjusts the cyborg’s head plate; within a compartment is nestled a cultured human brain, atrophied and lesioned with disease, a gaping, gory cavity in the cerebrum where an aged implant had finally self-destructed.

LUKE: Uncle Owen!

OWEN: (faces Luke) Yeah?

LUKE: This R5 unit has a bad motivator. Look!

OWEN: (to head Jawa) Hey, what’re you trying to push on us‽

The jawa goes into a loud spiel. Meanwhile, Artoo is moving up-and-down, trying to attract attention. He lets out with a low whistle. Threepio taps Luke on the shoulder.

C-3PO: (points to Artoo) If I may say so, young sir, that R2 unit is in prime condition. A real bargain.

LUKE: Uncle Owen …

OWEN: Yeah?

LUKE: What about that one?

OWEN: (to head jawa) What about that blue one? We’ll take that one.

With a little reluctance, the scruffy dwarf trades the dead cyborg for Artoo. Jawas move in to haul the R5 away.

LUKE: Yeah, take it away.

C-3PO: I’m quite sure you’ll be very pleased with that one, sir. He really is in first-class condition. I’ve worked with him before.

Owen pays off the whining jawa.

LUKE: Okay, let’s go.

The two cyborgs trudge off toward a grimy homestead entry.

C-3PO: (to Artoo) Don’t you ever forget this. Why I stick my neck out for you, when all you ever bring me is trouble, is beyond my capacity to comprehend.

INT. LARS HOMESTEAD/GARAGE — DAY

The garage is cluttered and worn, but a friendly peaceful atmosphere permeates the low gray chamber. Threepio lowers himself into a large tub filled with warm oil. Near Luke’s battered landspeeder little Artoo rests on a large battery, a nutrient drip fed into his mechanical torso.

C-3PO: Thank the maker! This oil bath is going to feel so good. I’ve got such a bad case of dust contamination, I can barely move!

Luke seems to be lost in thought as he runs his hand over the damaged fin of his skyhopper, a small two-man airship resting in a low hangar off the garage. Scowling, he picks up a wrench and slams it across the workbench.

LUKE: (frustrated) It just isn’t fair! Oh, Biggs is right. I’m never gonna get out of here!

C-3PO: I beg your pardon, sir. Is there anything I might do to help?

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

LUKE: I doubt it. Not unless you can alter time, speed up the harvest, or teleport me off this rock!

C-3PO: I don’t think so, sir. I’m only a 'borg and not very knowledgeable about such things. Not on this planet, anyways. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure which planet I’m on.

LUKE: Well, if there’s a bright centre to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.

C-3PO: I see, sir.

LUKE: Uh, you can call me Luke.

C-3PO: I see, Sir Luke.

LUKE: (chuckles) Just Luke.

C-3PO: And I am See-Threepio, human-cyborg relations. And this is my counterpart, Artoo-Detoo.

LUKE: Hello.

Artoo beeps in response. Unplugging the nutrient drip, Luke begins scraping corrosion from the cyborg’s head with a chromed pick. Threepio climbs out of the tub and begins wiping oil from his bronze body.

LUKE: You got a lot of scoring here. It looks like you boys have seen a lot of action.

C-3PO: With all we’ve been through, sometimes I’m amazed we’re in as good condition as we are, what with the Rebellion and all.

LUKE: (excited) You know of the Rebellion against the Empire‽

C-3PO: That’s how we came to be in your service, if you take my meaning, sir.

LUKE: Tell me where you’ve been — in how many encounters. How is the Rebellion going‽ Does the Empire take it seriously‽ Have you seen many ships destroyed‽

C-3PO: A bit slower, please, sir. (beat) You misinterpret our status. We were innocent bystanders. Our involvement with the Rebellion was of the most marginal nature.

LUKE: (disappointed) Oh.

C-3PO: As to battles, we were in several, I think. Actually, there’s not much to tell. I’m not much more than an interpreter, and not very good at telling stories. Well, not at making them interesting, anyways.

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

LUKE: Well, my little friend, you’ve got something jammed in here real good. Were you on a freighter or —

The fragment comes loose with a snap, sending Luke tumbling backward. He sits up and sees a thirty-centimetre, three-dimensional hologram of Leia Organa, the Rebel senator, being projected from the face of little Artoo. The image is a low-resolution cascade of muted colours, flickering and jiggling in the dim garage. Luke’s mouth hangs open in awe.

LEIA: Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

LUKE: What’s this?

Artoo looks around and sheepishly beeps an answer for Threepio to translate.

Leia continues to repeat the sentence fragment over and over.

C-3PO: What is what‽ He asked you a question. (points at Leia) What is that?

Artoo whistles his surprise as he pretends to just notice the hologram. He looks around and sheepishly beeps an answer for Threepio to translate. Leia continues to repeat the sentence fragment over and over.

C-3PO: Oh, he says it’s nothing, sir. Merely a malfunction. Old data. Pay it no mind.

Luke is intrigued by the beautiful girl.

LUKE: Who is she? She’s beautiful.

C-3PO: I’m afraid I’m not quite sure, sir. I think she was a passenger on our last voyage. A person of some importance, I believe. Our captain was attaché to —

LUKE: Is there more to this recording?

Luke reaches out for Artoo but he lets out several frantic squeaks and a whistle.

C-3PO: Behave yourself, Artoo. You’re going to get us in trouble. It’s all right, you can trust him. He’s our new master.

Artoo whistles and beeps a long message to Threepio.

C-3PO: He says he’s the property of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a resident of these parts. And it’s a private message for him. Quite frankly, sir, I don’t know what he’s talking about; our last master was Captain Colton. But with all we’ve been through, this little R2 unit has become a bit eccentric.

LUKE: Obi-Wan Kenobi? I wonder if he means old Ben Kenobi?

C-3PO: Begging your pardon, but you actually know such a person?

LUKE: Well, I don’t know anyone named Obi-Wan, but old Ben lives out beyond the Dune Sea. He’s kind of a strange old hermit.

Luke’s gazes at the beautiful young princess for a few moments.

LUKE: I wonder who she is. It sounds like she’s in trouble. I’d better play back the whole thing.

Artoo beeps something to Threepio.

C-3PO: He says the restraining bolt has short-circuited his recording system. He suggests that if you remove the bolt, he might be able to play back the entire recording.

Luke looks longingly at the lovely princess and hasn’t really heard what Threepio has been saying.

LUKE: Hmmm? Oh, yeah, well, I guess you’re too small to run away on me if I take this off! Okay.

Luke takes a wedged bar and pops the restraining bolt off Artoo’s side.

LUKE: There you go.

The princess immediately disappears.

LUKE: Wait a minute! Where’d she go‽ Bring her back! Play back the entire message!

Artoo beeps an innocent reply.

C-3PO: What message‽ (bangs Artoo) The one you’ve just been playing. The one you’re carrying inside your rusty innards!

BERU: (O.S.) Luke? Oh, Luke! Come to dinner!

LUKE: Alright, I’ll be right there, Aunt Beru.

C-3PO: I’m sorry, sir, but he appears to have picked up a slight flutter.

LUKE: (shakes head) Well, see what you can do with him. I’ll be right back.

Luke tosses Artoo’s restraining bolt on the workbench and hurries out of the room.

C-3PO: Just you reconsider playing that message for him.

Artoo beeps in response.

C-3PO: No, I don’t think he likes you at all.

Artoo beeps.

C-3PO: No, I don’t like you, either.

INT. LARS HOMESTEAD/KITCHEN — DAY

Luke’s Aunt Beru, a warm, motherly woman, fills a pitcher with blue fluid from a refrigerated container. She puts the pitcher on a tray with some bowls of food and starts for the dining room.

INT. LARS HOMESTEAD/DINING ROOM — DAY

Luke sits with his Uncle Owen before a table covered with steaming bowls of food as Aunt Beru carries in a bowl of red grain.

LUKE: You know, I think that R2 unit we bought might have been stolen.

OWEN: What makes you think that?

LUKE: Well, I stumbled across a recording while I was cleaning him. He says he belongs to someone called Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Beru and Owen exchange glances.

LUKE: I thought he might have meant Ben. Do you know what he’s talking about?

OWEN: It’s nothing. A name from another time.

LUKE: Is it someone related to old Ben, then? I didn’t know he had any relatives.

OWEN: (irate) You stay away from that old wizard, you hear me? I’ve told you about Kenobi before. He’s a crazy old man; he’s dangerous and full of mischief, and he’s best left well alone. (beat) Tomorrow I want you to take that R2 unit into Anchorhead and have its memory flushed. That’ll be the end of it. It belongs to us now.

LUKE: But what if this Obi-Wan comes looking for him?

OWEN: (sad) He won’t. I don’t think that man exists anymore. He died about the same time as your father.

LUKE: Did he know my father?

OWEN: I told you to forget it. (beat) Your only concern is to prepare the new 'borgs for tomorrow. In the morning I want them on the south ridge working on those condensers.

LUKE: Yes, sir. (beat) I think those new 'borgs are going to work out fine. In fact, I, uh, was also thinking about our agreement about me staying on another season. And if these new 'borgs do work out, I want to transmit my application to enter the Academy for next year.

Owen’s face becomes a scowl, although he tries to suppress it.

OWEN: You mean, you want to transmit the application next year — after the harvest.

LUKE: You have more than enough machines now, and they’re in good condition. They’ll last.

OWEN: Machines, yes, but machines can’t replace a man, Luke. You know that. The harvest is when I need you the most. It’s just for one more season after this one.

Luke toys with his food, not eating, saying nothing.

OWEN: Listen, for the first time we’ve got a chance for a real fortune. We’ll make enough to hire some extra hands for next time. Not robots, not 'borgs — people. Then you can go to the Academy. (beat) I need you here, Luke. You understand that, don’t you?

LUKE: (sullen) It’s another year. Another year.

OWEN: Time will pass before you know it.

Luke pushes his half-eaten plate of food aside and stands.

LUKE: Yeah, that’s what you said last year when Biggs and Tank left.

BERU: Where are you going?

LUKE: It looks like I’m going nowhere. (beat) I have to finish cleaning those 'borgs.

Resigned to his fate, Luke paddles out of the room. Owen mechanically finishes his dinner.

BERU: Owen, you can’t keep him here forever. Most of his friends have gone. The Academy means so much to him.

OWEN: I’ll make it up to him next year. I promise.

BERU: Luke’s just not a farmer, Owen. He never will be, no matter how hard you try to make him one. (wistful) He has too much of his father in him.

OWEN: (sad) That’s what I’m afraid of.

EXT. LARS HOMESTEAD — SUNSET

The giant twin suns of Tatooine slowly disappear behind a distant dune range. Luke stands watching them for a few moments, then reluctantly enters the domed entrance to the homestead.

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

Author
Time
 (Edited)

INT. LARS HOMESTEAD/GARAGE — SUNSET

Luke enters the garage to discover the cyborgs nowhere in sight. He takes a small control rod from his utility belt and activates it; Threepio pops up from behind the skyhopper with a short yelp.

LUKE: What are you hiding back there for?

Threepio stumbles forward, but Artoo is still nowhere in sight.

C-3PO: It wasn’t my fault, sir. Please don’t deactivate me! I told him not to go, but he’s faulty, malfunctioning; kept babbling on about his mission.

LUKE: Oh, no!

Luke races out of the garage.

EXT. LARS HOMESTEAD — TWILIGHT

Luke rushes out of the domed entrance. Threepio joins Luke as he scans the landscape with his electrobinoculars, searching the darkening horizon for the small astromech.

C-3PO: That R2 unit has always been a problem. These astromechs are becoming too iconoclastic even for me to understand, sometimes.

LUKE: How could I be so stupid? He’s nowhere in sight. Blast it!

C-3PO: Pardon me, sir, but couldn’t we go after him?

LUKE: It’s too dangerous with all the raiders around. We’ll have to wait until morning.

OWEN: (O.S.) Luke, I’m shutting the power down!

LUKE: Alright, I’ll be there in a few minutes! (beat) Boy, am I gonna get it.

He takes one final look across the dim horizon.

LUKE: You know, that little 'borg is going to cause me a lot of trouble.

C-3PO: Oh, he excels at that, sir.

INT. LARS HOMESTEAD/COURTYARD — DAY

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

OWEN: Luke? Luke‽ Luke!

INT. LARS HOMESTEAD/KITCHEN — DAY

Beru is at work preparing the morning breakfast. Owen enters.

OWEN: Have you seen Luke this morning?

BERU: He said he had some things to do before he started today, so he left early.

OWEN: (frowns) Before breakfast? That’s not like him. Did he take those two new 'borgs with him?

BERU: I think so. I’m sure I saw at least one of them with him.

OWEN: Well, he’d better have those units in the south range repaired by midday or there’ll be hell to pay.

EXT. JUNDLAND — DAY

The rock and sand of the desert floor are a blur as Threepio pilots Luke’s sleek landspeeder across the vast wasteland.

INT./EXT. LUKE’S SPEEDER - TRAVELLING - DAY

LUKE: Old Ben Kenobi lives out in this direction somewhere, but I don’t see how that R2 unit could have come this far. We must’ve missed him. Uncle Owen isn’t going to take this very well.

C-3PO: Sir, would it help if you told him it was my fault?

LUKE: (brightens) Sure. He needs you twice as much now. He’d probably only deactivate you for a day or so, or give you a partial memory flush….

C-3PO: On second thought, sir, Artoo would still be around if you hadn’t removed his restraining bolt.

LUKE: Wait, there’s a 'borg on the scanner, dead ahead. I see our little R2 unit. Hit the accelerator.

EXT. MESA — DUNE SEA — COASTLINE — DAY

From high atop a mesa, the tiny landspeeder can be seen gliding across the desert floor. In the foreground two weather-beaten TUSKEN RAIDERS swathed in mummy-like wrappings and shrouded in dusty desert cloaks peer over the edge of the rock. One of the marginally human creatures raises a slugthrower rifle and takes aim at the speeder, but his companion grabs the barrel before he can fire. They get into an animated argument in their coarse barbaric language. The second Tusken seems to get in the final word; the pair leaves the spot, scurrying over the rocky terrain.

EXT. MESA — CANYON — DAY

The Tusken raiders approach two large banthas standing lashed to a rock. The monstrous quaprupeds are as large as elephants, with huge red eyes, tremendous looped horns, and long, furry, dinosaur-like tails. The Tuskens mount the huge creatures’ saddled, shaggy backs and ride off down the rugged bluff.

EXT. CANYON — DAY

The speeder is parked on the floor of a massive canyon. Luke, with a rifle slung over his shoulder, stands before little Artoo.

LUKE: Hey, whoa, just where do you think you’re going‽

The little cyborg whistles a feeble reply. Threepio poses menacingly behind the little runaway.

C-3PO: (irate) Master Luke here is your rightful owner. We’ll have no more of this Obi-Wan Kenobi jibberish. And don’t talk to me of your mission, either. You’re fortunate he doesn’t blast you into a million pieces right here.

LUKE: Well, come on. It’s getting late. I only hope we can get back before Uncle Owen really blows up.

C-3PO: If you don’t mind my saying so, sir, I think you should deactivate the little fugitive until you’ve gotten him back to your workshop.

LUKE: No, he’s not going to try anything.

The little cyborg suddenly jumps to life with a mass of frantic whistles.

LUKE: What’s wrong with him now?

C-3PO: (worried) There are several creatures approaching from the southeast.

Luke swings his rifle into position and looks to the south.

LUKE: Tuskens! Or worse! C’mon, let’s have a look. C’mon.

EXT. CANYON — RIDGE — DAY

Luke carefully makes his way to the top of a rock ridge and scans the canyon with his macrobinoculars. Threepio struggles up behind the young adventurer.

LUKE’S P.O.V. — BANTHAS

LUKE: Well, there are two banthas down there, but I don’t see any … wait a second, they’re Tuskens all right. I can see one of them now.

Luke watches the distant Tusken raider. Suddenly something huge moves in front of his field of view.

EXT. CANYON — RIDGE — DAY

Before Luke or Threepio can react, a large, gruesome Tusken raider looms over them. Threepio, startled, backs away, right off the side of the ridge. The towering creature brings down his curved, double-pointed gaderffii — the dreaded axe of Tusken warriors. Luke blocks the blow with his rifle, which is shattered in the process. The terrified farm boy scrambles backward until he is forced to the edge of a deep crevice. The sinister raider stands over him with his weapon raised and lets out a horrible shrieking laugh.

EXT. CANYON — DAY

Artoo forces himself into the shadows of a small alcove in the rocks as the vicious Tuskens walk past carrying the inert Luke Skywalker, who is dropped in a heap before the speeder. The raiders rummmage through the speeder, throwing parts and supplies in all directions. Suddenly they stop. Everything is quiet for a few moments before a great howling moan reverberates through the canyon. The Tuskens flee in terror.

Artoo moves even tighter into the shadows as an aged man in shabby desert prospector’s clothing appears and leans over Luke. His ancient leathery face, cracked and weathered by the hot, aird climate, is set off by penetrating blue eyes and a scraggly white beard. BEN KENOBI squints, scrutinizing the unconscious farm boy, then rests his hand on Luke’s forehead. Artoo makes a slight sound. Ben straightens and turns, looking right at him.

BEN: Hello there! Come here, my little friend. No need to be afraid.

Artoo waddles over to where Luke lies, whistling and beeping his concern.

BEN: Don’t worry, he’ll be alright.

Luke begins to come around.

LUKE: What happened?

BEN: Rest easy, son, you’ve had a busy day. You’re fortunate to be in one piece.

LUKE: Ben? Ben Kenobi! Boy, am I glad to see you!

BEN: The Jundland wastes are not to be travelled lightly. It’s the misguided traveller who tempts the Tuskens’ hospitality. (beat) Tell me, young Luke, what brings you out this far?

LUKE: Oh, this little 'borg. I think he’s searching for his former master. I’ve never seen such devotion in a 'borg before. (beat) He claims to be the property of an Obi-Wan Kenobi. Is he a relative of yours? Do you know who he’s talking about?

Ben ponders this for a moment, scratching his scruffy beard.

BEN: Obi-Wan Kenobi … Obi-Wan? Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time … a long time.

LUKE: I think my uncle knew him. He said he was dead.

BEN: Oh, he’s not dead. Not yet.

LUKE: You know him?

BEN: (smiles) Well of course I know him. He’s me! (beat) I haven’t gone by the name Obi-Wan since, oh, before you were born.

LUKE: Then the 'borg does belong to you.

BEN: I don’t seem to remember ever owning a 'borg. Very interesting….

He suddenly looks up at the overhanging cliffs.

BEN: I think we better get indoors. The Tuskens are easily startled, but they’ll soon be back and in greater numbers.

Artoo lets out a pathetic beep, causing Luke to remember something. He looks around.

LUKE: Threepio!

EXT. SAND PIT — DAY

Little Artoo stands at the edge of a large sand pit, chattering away in electronic whistles and beeps. Luke and Ben stand over a very dented and tangled Threepio lying in the sand. One of his arms has broken off.

Luke tries reviving the inert cyborg by shaking him, then flips a switch on his back several times. Finally the mechanical man’s systems reboot.

C-3PO: Where am I? I must have taken a bad step….

LUKE: Can you stand? We’ve got to get out of here before the Tuskens return.

C-3PO: I don’t think I can make it. You go on, Master Luke. There’s no sense in you risking yourself on my account. I’m done for.

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

C-3PO: Logical.

LUKE: Defeatist.

Luke and Ben help the battered robot to his feet.

INT. BEN’S CAVE/MAIN LIVING AREA — DAY

The small, spartan room is cluttered with desert junk, but still manages to radiate an air of time-worn comfort and security. Luke is in one corner repairing Threepio’s arm, as old Ben fiddles with Artoo.

BEN: Now, let’s see if we can’t figure out what you are, my little friend. And where you come from.

LUKE: I saw part of the message, and I —

Luke is cut short as the recorded image of the beautiful young Rebel princess is projected from Artoo’s face.

BEN: I seem to have found it.

Luke stops his work as the lovely girl’s image flickers before his eyes.

LEIA: General Obi-Wan Kenobi, I present myself in the name of the world family of Alderaan and of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. I break your solitude at the bidding of my father, Bail Organa, Viceroy and First Chairman of the Alderaan system. (beat) Years ago, General, you served the Old Republic in the Clone Wars. Now my father begs you to aid us again in our struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this 'borg safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.

There is a little static and the transmission is cut short. Old Ben leans back, silently puffing on a tarnished water pipe. Luke has stars in his eyes.

LUKE: You fought in the Clone Wars?

BEN: Yes.

LUKE: But … that was so long ago.

BEN: I guess it was a while back. I was once a Jedi Knight, the same as your father.

LUKE: Jedi Knight‽ My father didn’t fight in the wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter.

BEN: That’s what your uncle told you. Owen Lars didn’t hold with your father’s ideals. Thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved. (beat) Owen was always afraid that your father’s adventurous life might influence you, might pull you away from Anchorhead. (shakes head) I’m afraid there wasn’t much of the farmer in Anakin Skywalker.

LUKE: Skywalker?

BEN: The Lars’ gave you their name when they adopted you, but you were your father’s son.

LUKE: (solemn) I wish I’d known him.

BEN: He was the best pilot I ever knew, and a cunning warrior. I understand you’ve become quite a good pilot yourself. (wistful) And he was a good friend. (beat) Which reminds me….

Ben gets up and goes to a chest, which he begins rummaging through. As Luke finishes repairing Threepio and starts to fit the restraining bolt back on, Threepio looks at him nervously. Luke thinks about the bolt for a moment, then puts it on the table. Ben shuffles up and presents Luke with a peculiar item.

BEN: I have something here for you. Anakin wanted you to have this when you were old enough. I tried to give it to you once before, but your uncle wouldn’t allow it. He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damned-fool idealistic crusade like your father did.

C-3PO: Sir, if you’ll not be needing me, I’ll close down for awhile.

LUKE: Sure, go ahead.

In Ben’s hand is a chrome bar, 606 mm in length, with black inlay and a square guard at one end. It greatly resembles a katana hilt.

LUKE: What is it?

BEN: Your father’s lightsaber. This is the formal weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster.

With a sharp snap-hiss, a particle beam shoots out, forming a pulsating red-white energy blade a metre long and 0.1 mm thick. Red light plays across the surroundings as Ben manipulates the saber.

BEN: (cont’d) More skill than simple sight was required for its use. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age. (beat) For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.

Disengaging the blade, Ben hands the lightsaber to Luke. Luke examines the hilt; there are no buttons or switches or dials visible — no controls whatsoever.

LUKE: How did my father die?

BEN: A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. (solemn) Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.

LUKE: The Force?

BEN: The Force is what gives the Jedi their power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the universe together. (beat) You must learn the ways of the Force if you’re to come with me to Alderaan.

LUKE: (laughs) Alderaan? I’m not going to Alderaan. I’ve got to get home. It’s late. I’m in for it as it is.

BEN: I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I’m getting too old for this sort of thing.

LUKE: I can’t get involved! I’ve got work to do! It’s not that I like the Empire. I hate it! But there’s nothing I can do about it right now. It’s such a long way from here.

BEN: That’s your uncle talking.

LUKE: (sighs) Oh, God, my uncle. How am I ever going to explain this?

BEN: Remember, Luke, the suffering of one man is the suffering of all. Distances are irrelevant to injustice. If not stopped soon enough, evil eventually reaches out to engulf all men, whether they have opposed it or ignored it.

LUKE: Look, I can take you as far as Anchorhead. You can get a transport there to Mos Eisley or wherever you’re going.

BEN: Very well. That will do for a beginning. Then you must do what you feel is right.

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM