Here follows a reimagining of the space battle from Rogue One.
The Empire’s base on Scarif is on high alert. Rebel spies are attempting to escape with stolen plans to the Empire’s terror weapon. Base director Krennick storms into the command center. “Raise the planetary shields” he barks to the nearest officer. “Lock down the base, nobody gets in or out.” He spins on his heel. “You and you, follow me!” Two stormtroopers fall in behind the director as he goes in search of the rebel spies.
Two daring agents race through the sterile halls, blaster fire ricocheting inches from their heads. The man stumbles, shot in the side, a box in his hand clattering to the floor. The young woman beside him scoops up the precious data tapes and with with her other hand, pulls him into an open elevator door and smashes the control panel. The doors close on the group of stormtroopers who flood the smoking hallway. “They’re going up in the elevator!” A trooper exclaims, attempting to call back the car in vain. “Don’t worry, we’ve got them trapped. There’s no way out of the spire.”
Inside the elevator, the man gasps for breath. “The communication beacon at the top of the spire…it’s our only hope.” The woman holds the box close. “They must have closed the shield by now. There’s no way to get this data through.” The man rolls onto his back, eyes closed. “The Rebellion knows we are here.” A look of hope on the woman’s face. “They will send the ships?!” The man smiles, breathing his last.
The shield gate of Scarif hovers far above the spire of the base below, its shield surrounding the base in a blue shimmer of light. “Shield secure, director” The commanding officer reports from the shield gate. “Sir!” a junior officer shouts “ships incoming at 67.4!” The commanding officer moves to the window. A group of over twenty spaceships emerges from Light Speed and closes in on their position. “Not to worry” The commander says, “Our shield will protect us. Inform the director that we have visitors.”
The sleek cross-wing shapes of a dozen X-wings and at least that many sturdy Y-wings streak towards the disc of the shield gate. “This is Gold Leader, all wings report in.” A chorus of affirmatives greets him, and the Y-wings move into a delta position in front of the X-wings. “Red Leader, give us cover. Our target is the shield gate.” The X-wings break off. “I hear you Gold Leader, all wings draw fire from the bombers.” The space lights up in green blasts of light as the turbolaser batteries on the shield ring open fire. “They can’t get a good lock on us!” Gold Leader crows. “Alright, let’s hit that shield!” The Y-wings strafe the ring, lasers firing and explosions glancing harmlessly off of the blue shield.
“Sir, we have enemy contact.” The officer reports from the base. “I am unable to reach director Krennick.” Suddenly an alert sounds on his console and a voice comes through. “This is regional governor Tarkin. I have received reports of a rebel incursion in your sector. Do you need assistance?” The officer scrambles to respond. “There is a group of Rebel fighters above us, but we can handle them.” The response is quick. “Where is director Krennick?” In the silence that follows, Tarkin continues. “In any case, I have sent reinforcements to mop up this Rebel disturbance. They should be arriving within minutes.”
“Red Leader, we’re unable to breach their shields with conventional lasers.” The Y-wings regroup after their attack run, joined by the X-wings. “They must have ray shielding. We’ll have to use proton torpedoes.” Red leader pulls up his inventory. “We don’t have enough torpedoes between us to destroy that ring. We need another answer.” Gold Leader’s copilot swivels in her seat, viewing a schematic of the ring. “Sir, we don’t have to destroy the entire ring, we just have to disrupt their shields.” Gold Leader nods. “Send to all ships. We have new targets. Three shield emitters on the equator of the ring, five meters across.” Red leader glances at the schematics appearing on his screen. “Our computers can’t hit a target that small, Gold Leader. It’s up to you.” Suddenly a voice cries out on the radio. “Gold Leader, we have incoming!” From the blackness of space, dozens of sleek TIE fighters appear, led by a modified fighter. Red Leader turns his ship. “Gold Leader, make your run. We’ll hold 'em off until then.”
The elevator reaches the top of the spire, the young woman stepping out onto the empty platform. Above her, the vast communications array sits waiting. Above her, she sees distant blasts of light of a battle engaged. “They did come after all!” With renewed hope, she rushes over to the console and attaches the leads to the precious box in her hand.
Pursued by several TIE fighters, an X-wing spins out of control and crashes into the shield. Another breaks formation and is shot down by the modified TIE fighter. “Gold Leader, their ships are closing on you. We can’t hold them off forever!” A trio of Y-wings flies low over the shield, approaching the glowing emitter. A streak of light from the lead Y-wing impacts close to the emitter and flashes out. “A miss! Gold Two, take your shot!” A second streak of light, and this one hits. “Group two, Group three, are you in position?” There is an answering chirp. “Gold Four, reporting. We are almost in position.” Gold Leader looks around at the curve of the ring where the other group should be. “Group three, where are you?” There is static. Suddenly from that direction an explosion and a squadron of TIE fighters swoop around the curved structure at the Y-wings, the modified TIE in the lead. “This is Gold Leader, I’ve lost Gold seven, eight, nine…” The comm goes dead as Gold Leader’s ship explodes in a fireball.
The young woman looks into the sky. “Message ready to transmit.” The computerized voice intones. But the shield is still up. From the elevator shaft come sounds of grinding machinery and she readies her blaster for a final stand.
“Torpedoes away!” Gold Four shouts, striking the second emitter. It goes dead and they cheer, a celebration cut off by the appearance of the TIEs. “Gold Four, get out of there!” Red Leader moves in behind the TIEs. “We’re out of torpedoes, Red Leader. I’m sorry.” The Y-wings swing away from the ring, heading for the safety of deep space. Red Two and Three fall in behind their leader. “Looks like it’s up to us, Red Leader.” The man nods. “Just keep them off me for a few seconds, and pray my computer can hit it.”
In deep space, Gold Four turns to see several TIE fighters in pursuit. “We have to get out of here now, Gold Four!” Shouts Gold Six. “No. Draw them out as long as we can.” He winces as Gold Six explodes into a million points of light.
“He’s got me!” Red Five shouts as his engines go dead, shot out by the modified TIE. He spirals out of control, lost to space. “Damn!” Red Leader swears. “That TIE pilot is a machine! Red Two, stay on me!” He swerves in and out of support structures on the ring, followed by Red Two and three pursuers. “Almost there, Red Two. Three, two…” Red Two flames out, crashing into the side of the ring, another casualty of the modified TIE. Red Leader takes his shot. The final emitter goes dead and Red leader engages his Hyperdrive. “All wings, we’ve done it! Retreat!” The surviving ships turn into streaks of light as the shield fails. The TIE fighters shift their flight path, their leader moving straight toward the exposed dish of the spire.
The young woman pulls the lever to transmit and the message goes out into the universe. She stands free of the dish, observing the dark shapes that are approaching from above. Streaks of green light impact all around her, severing the dish and destroying the top of the spire. “You’re too late.” She says, as the structure falls around her. “This is our victory.”
The TIE fighters leave the planet, headed for the menacing arrowhead shape of the Star Destroyer now in orbit above the damaged base. The fighters dock in the landing bay, its pilots exiting their ships and removing their helmets. The pilot of the lead ship emerges, a cloak billowing out behind him as he leaps down onto the metal deck. A turbolift takes him to the bridge where he is greeted by the captain. “Lord Vader, we have the trajectory of the Rebel transmission. Should we investigate?” The voice that emerges from the mask of the pilot is not fully human. “No. Send to the Senate, and inquire as to the location of the princess of Alderaan.” The captain looks troubled. “You think they sent it to her?” The caped form moves to the star-speckled window. “I know that wherever the plans were sent, she is their eventual target.” The information goes through, and in a moment the response. “She is headed back to Alderaan, detouring through the…Tatooine system.” Vader turns in recognition. “You have your heading, captain.” He strides away from the bridge, his mechanical voice echoing through the space. “This victory by the rebels shall prove to be their final defeat.”
You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)