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The Nabu Trilogy: Episode I -- Players and Pawns *ON HIATUS*

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I’ve hit a snag with my Knight of the Empire screenplay. While I basically know where I’m going with the rest of the story, I don’t quite yet know how to structure it all yet; Anakin’s part in story is pretty easy to map out, but the stuff dealing with the clone invasion of Geonosis and Obi-Wan’s place in there – I don’t know how to weave all those threads together yet. It’s going to take me some time to work out those details, so I’ll have to take another break from KOTE. *sigh*.

To make up for yet another unwelcome hiatus from my PT re-write, I’ve decided to start posting entries from another SW screenplay I’ve been sporadically working on over the past couple months: Players and Pawns, the first episode in what I’m calling the Nabu Trilogy.

P&P is basically a prequel to The New Dawn, exploring the sequence of events which led Obi-Wan to question his faith in the Jedi way and return to Tatooine. It’s a re-write of my first attempt at a TPM re-write, with Anakin and all the bits on Tatooine excised from the plot to make it its own story. Likewise, Episodes II & III of the Nabu Trilogy are going to be based on plot ideas I’d originally conceived for my original PT re-write before I scrapped it for my current PT.

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

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

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TITLE CARD: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …

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

STAR WARS

PLAYERS AND PAWNS

The years prior to the Clone Wars was a time of peace and prosperity for the peoples of the Galactic Republic. Under the watchful eye of the Jedi Knights, crime was kept to a minimum. The criminal underworld was forced to operate in the far outskirts of civilization, allowing the inner worlds of the Republic to thrive.

After decades of war, the peace and prosperity have died along with the Republic. With the Imperial Starfleet and diminished forces of the Jedi dispersed throughout space against the formidable forces of the Athan Supremacy, the worlds of the new Galactic Empire have been left open to the lesser evils of the Galaxy. Various criminal enterprises have swept into countless systems, using overt and covert means of exploitation to illegally further their own ends.

One such enterprise – a private military company known as the Federation Neimoidia – has invaded the peaceful world of Nabu. Having crushed the meagre Nabuan armed forces and all but conquered the world, the Neimoidians seek to depose the royal family and impose a bloodthirsty new regime on the Nabuan populace.

Seeking to preserve their royal bloodline and their chance at retaking the throne, the King and Queen of Nabu race against time to send their children to the Gunga, the beings who live in the aquatic regions of Nabu.

PAN DOWN

From a star-lit sky to the Palace of Theed, which is surrounded by well-cared-for trees and trimmed green grass.

FIFTEEN NABU SOLDIERS are at the palace’s front steps, unloading yellow-green blasterfire upon something before them. The soldiers are quickly cut down by return blasterfire.

A company of BX-SERIES BATTLE 'DROIDS move forward, trampling the dead soldiers underfoot. Bringing a motorized battering ram to bear, they begin pounding away at the heavy front doors.

INT. NABU – PALACE/THRONE ROOM – EVENING

The palace king and queen – RUWEE and JOBAL – tearfully bid farewell to their three children: SOLA, AMIDALA, and OETA. With them are SIXTEEN LOYAL SOLDIERS led by CAPTAIN PANAKA. In his mid fifties, King Ruwee has prematurely gray hair and blue eyes; Queen Jobal, slightly younger, has black hair with intense brown eyes; Sola, who is eighteen, Amidala, who is fourteen, and Oeta, who is ten, share most of the same basic features – straight dark hair and slender builds – though Sola’s and Oeta’s eyes are blue like Jobal’s while Amidala has brown eyes like their mother.

SOLA: Mother, Father, you have to come with us. You don’t have to stay here!

QUEEN JOBAL: It has to be this way. We can’t go with you.

KING RUWEE: We have no choice in the matter.

AMIDALA: We’ve all had visions that never came to pass! Why stake so much on this one? What is any different this time?

KING RUWEE: Your mother’s a Seer. You know she has the ability to glean the true future from the many false ones. (beat) This is our fate.

SOLA: (incredulous) Fate? Fate!?

KING RUWEE: (irate) You’d question it?!

SOLA: (angry) There is no fate but the fate you choose for yourself. If you choose to let them kill you, then you’re fools – both of you!

KING RUWEE: (angry) How dare you --!?

QUEEN JOBAL: (to Ruwee) Dear, please. (beat) I’m sorry, Sola. I know you’ve come to question our faith, the teachings of the Seers … but please, trust me if you can’t trust them. (forlorn) I’ve seen the future. I know.

SOLA: (crying) But how can you know?

Taking a step forward, Jobal places her right hand on Sola’s left shoulder and brings her left hand up to her daughter’s face, gently wiping the tears welling up in her eyes away.

QUEEN JOBAL: You’ll be safe with Governor Nass in Otoh Gunga. With the Federation jamming our communications, a courier has been dispatched to deliver news of the invasion directly to Coruscant. You’ll be safe with the Gunga until the Senate can arrange a rescue.

SOLA: (shakes her head) This isn’t right.

INT. PALACE/ENTRANCE HALL – EVENING

The great front doors to the palace are smashed in. A single armed guard is swiftly mowed down under ochre blasterfire as the battle 'droids surge into the great corridor.

INT. PALACE/THRONE ROOM – EVENING

QUEEN JOBAL: Remember that we love you – all of you. (to Panaka) Capt. Panaka?

CAPT. PANAKA: (snaps to attention) Yes, Your Highness!

QUEEN JOBAL: Take them out back quickly. Time is definitely not on our side.

CAPT. PANAKA: Yes, milady. (to the children) Come children, Princess Sola.

The soldiers firmly grab hold of the children, dragging them away from their parents.

SOLA: (reaches out for her parents) Mother, Father – please!

The soldiers take the three children to a door at the back of the throne room and disappear through it.

KING RUWEE: (takes Jobal’s hand in his) So this is it.

QUEEN RUWEE: Yes, love … it is.

The battle 'droids break into the throne room. The royal couple turns to face the robots as they approach them, blasters levelled their way.

BATTLE 'DROID #1: The carbon offspring – what is their location?

QUEEN JOBAL: They’re gone.

KING RUWEE: You’ll never hurt them.

Before the king and queen can say another word, the automatons open fire, quickly cutting the Humans down.

EXT. PALACE/COURTYARD – EVENING

The children flee the palace through a back door with their bodyguards into a courtyard. On the grass sit two vehicles: a sleek, silver starcruiser – blackened by weapons’ fire and inoperable – and a landspeeder. The children and their bodyguards run toward the protection of the speeder and begin to climb aboard in a hurry. Soldier-for-hire RIC OLIÉ settles in behind the controls.

A lone battle 'droid comes from around the side of the palace, entering the courtyard.

RIC OLIÉ: (points at the BX) Look over there! A battle ‘droid!

Spotting the Nabu, the ‘droid immediately opens fire. Sola is instantly hit in the back and goes down.

AMIDALA: Sola! No, Sola!

As Amidala struggles to lift her elder sister into the cab of the speeder, Panaka roughly pulls the younger girl back. A pendant with a small aquamarine crystal snaps off Sola’s neck, coming away in Amidala’s hand.

CAPT. PANAKA: (to Ric Olié) Go! Let’s go!

Several battle 'droids arrive to assist their comrade, opening fire as the speeder zooms off past the blasted ruin of the royal starcruiser into the safety of the swamp beyond the courtyard.

INT. PALACE/PALPATINE’S OFFICE – EVENING

COSINGA PALPATINE – royal vizier – sits behind his desk, fast asleep in his chair. In what to us would appear to be his early sixties, Palpatine is a rather average-looking fellow with light blond hair and unremarkable features.

The office door is forced open, waking Palpatine as battle 'droids swarm into the room.

VIZIER PALPATINE: (surprised) What!? What is --?!

The lead 'droid seizes Palpatine’s hair in a fist, toppling the chair over and dragging the vizier onto the floor. With a mix of pain and anger, Palpatine begins to curse the robot.

BATTLE 'DROID #2: (turns its blaster on Palpatine) To have this carbon unit intact and functional for interrogation would be optimal, but it is not a prime directive. Continued resistance will be met with termination.

Palpatine backs down and the 'droid commander drags him from the room.

INT. PALACE/THRONE ROOM – EVENING

Two columns of BXs occupy the throne room, standing on either side of the long room, facing each other. Between the two columns crouch TWELVE PALACE SERVANTS, hands behind their heads, guarded by eight armed ‘droids. Surveying the captives, balled fists placed on his hips in a stance of absolute triumph, is the menacing Kaleesh warrior and Federation general QYMAEN JAI SHEELAL.

Sheelal turns his attention away from the captives as the 'droid leader dragging Palpatine enters the chamber from a side door.

GEN. SHEELAL: Ah, we soon shall settle down to business ….

The 'droid leader with its cadre of mechanical soldiers passes through one of the columns, pulling Palpatine down through the room to Sheelal. Once in the presence of the general, the 'droid pushes the vizier to his knees before him.

GEN. SHEELAL: You are Cosinga Palpatine, royal vizier. Of all living on this miserable rock, you surely must know to where the brats were dispatched. (beat) Give to me their destination and I may petition for your release.

VIZIER PALPATINE: Their Highnesses didn’t put me in their confidence; I don’t know where they went and can’t begin to imagine where they could have gone. Regardless, I wouldn’t tell you a thing, you scum!

GEN. SHEELAL: Very well ….

Sheelal smacks the vizier across the face, knocking him back and over.

GEN. SHEELAL: (to Battle 'Droid #2) Send out scouts to the swamps. The children cannot have fled far. You can catch them if you move fast enough!

The commanding battle 'droid bows its head in acknowledgement, proceeding to broadcast Sheelal’s orders to its fellow automatons waiting outside the palace.

Sheelal turns to face the throne room entrance as a T-SERIES TACTICAL 'DROID enters the chamber, a mobile holographic projector following along behind it.

TACTICAL 'DROID #1: Incoming transmission, milord. His Honour Viceroy Nute Gunray wishes to hear a progress report.

GEN. SHEELAL: Patch it through.

A beam of light is projected from the small tripod, forming a blue three-dimensional image of Neimoidian viceroy NUTE GUNRAY and his aide RUNE HAAKO.

NUTE GUNRAY: How goes it, General? Have you dispatched the members of the royal family?

GEN. SHEELAL: All members of House Naberrie are in the process of being tracked down and exterminated. The king and queen with their oldest daughter are among the confirmed dead.

NUTE GUNRAY: (surprised) The other two children aren’t with them?!

GEN. SHEELAL: Those brats escaped.

NUTE GUNRAY: One of the royal couple’s couriers managed to evade our ships and escaped into hyperspace. In a short time agents of the Empire will arrive to retrieve the children. You are to find them and end them before then, General. Am I clear on the matter?

GEN. SHEELAL: My troops are on the task as we speak, Lord.

NUTE GUNRAY: They had better be, General.

The image of Gunray reaches out and touches an off-screen control, causing the hologram to disappear in a flash. Sheelal turns away from the projector, returning his attention to the captive servants on the floor.

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

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

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EXT. SWAMP – DAY

The royal children and their bodyguards move through the swamp, winding their way through the tall trees and the thick foliage along a narrow path, taking as much care as possible to keep silent and remain from being seen.

OETA: (grumbling) Stupid speeder. Couldn’t get past the trees, could it? Had to get stuck, didn’t it? (to Panaka) I’m tired of this! My legs are cramping up!

AMIDALA: Shhh, Etey. This is hard on all of us. It’ll be over soon. I promise.

CAPT. PANAKA: Don’t worry, little prince. Lake Paonga has underwater tunnels that’ll take us straight to Otoh Gunga. We’re almost there.

AMIDALA: A group of Gunga will be waiting to take us to the city. We won’t have to find our way there alone.

CAPT. PANAKA: (hears a sound) Quiet! What’s that? (beat) Listen.

Standing completely still, they notice the low, distant WHINE of single trooper aerial platforms approaching. Moving fast, Panaka searches the area around them and finds a small, shallow pond half-hidden beneath the deep flora of the bog.

CAPT. PANAKA: (to his men) Grab the children and get over here! Take cover – quick!

The bodyguards hurry over to the pond, dragging the royal children with them, and roughly push them into the stagnant slime. Panaka and his men slowly lower themselves in after the children, keeping their heads and shoulders raised slightly above the mire, obscuring themselves behind the foliage as they bring their blasters into firing position.

A convoy of battle 'droids slowly cruises by, moving along the path the Nabu were following. The machines survey the area, looking out for their quarry, but fail to spot them. The automatons soon move out of view, disappearing into the thick trees.

AMIDALA: (whispers) Is it safe to come out now?

CAPT. PANAKA: (whispers) I think so. We should be cautious though. They may come back.

The royal children and their bodyguards draw themselves out of the murky water, stepping onto dry ground and wringing the moisture from their clothes. Panaka tentatively peers down the direction the Neimoidian ‘droids took. He signals the others to come to him. They join the captain.

CAPT. PANAKA: We’ll have to take an alternate route to the lake. We don’t want to come up behind those robots.

A line of blasterfire suddenly flashes past – missing their heads by centimetres – and shatters the branch of a nearby tree, sending its leaves ablaze.

A sole BX – a straggler – zooms down the path atop its STAP, firing its guns on approach.

CAPT. PANAKA: Kids, duck! (to his men) Open fire!

Ric Olié tackles Amidala and Oeta to the ground as the airborne 'droid speeds by them. The bodyguards aim and fire at the machine, their blasterfire striking the battle 'droid before it can reorient itself and evade, destroying the robot and demolishing its floating platform.

CAPT. PANAKA: We’ve gotta get moving. Let’s go!

Olié takes Oeta into his arms. They take a detour off to the left of the path and run through the thick trees as the convoy of Federation 'droids backtrack to their position, opening fire. A few 'droids try to follow them on their STAPs but are unable to maneuver past the thick trees; they end up blowing themselves to pieces against the massive trunks.

The Nabu try to stay together, attempting to huddle close to one another and run through the ingrown trunks at the same time. Amidala looks behind her to see the battle 'droids now following them on foot.

AMIDALA: Capt. Panaka, they’re following us!

CAPT. PANAKA: Just hold on, girl. We’re almost there.

EXT. SWAMP – SHORELINE – DAY

The heirs and their protectors finally break through the final line of trees, setting foot on the long shoreline of a vast lake. Far in the distance to their right stands a SEXTET OF GUNGA WARRIORS, in wait beside a partially submerged bongo submarine. The Gunga warriors are tall, lean, frog-like creatures armed with unusually shaped rifles.

The Nabu begin to run toward the Gunga. As they cross the shore, the Neimoidian automatons emerge from the trees. Gaining chase, the 'droids fire after the Humans.

LEAD GUNGAN: This way! Come! Hurry!

The Nabu make it to the Gunga and their bongo. The lead Gungan picks up Oeta and lowers him into the aquatic craft. Amidala steps into the submarine after him, followed by the bodyguards. Once the Humans are inside, the Gunga turn their weapons on the mechanical soldiers, cutting down three of them before entering the bongo themselves.

INT. GUNGAN BONGO/COCKPIT – DAY

The lead Gungan starts up the bongo’s controls and begins to steer the craft out into deeper waters.

EXT. SWAMP – SHORELINE – DAY

The battle 'droids come upon the bongo as it submerges, futilely firing into the blue water as the submarine lowers down and disappears beneath the liquid surface.

EXT. SPACE – CORUSCANT

A small bright streak of light flashes into existence, transforming into a Nabuan courier ship. The craft flies on an unsteady course toward the bronze ecumenopolis.

INT. COURIER SHIP/COCKPIT

The COURIER, a short man in his mid-twenties, struggles to stabilize his turbulent trajectory. Fighting with the ship’s controls, he pulls the goggles over his eyes up and off, wiping the sweat from his brow as he does so.

COURIER: No good … no good … this is not good.

EXT. SPACE – CORUSCANT

One of the courier ship’s engines suddenly flashes bright, throwing the whole craft into a spin. The craft tumbles toward a giant orbiting mirror. It strikes the reflective surface of the mirror, damaging the fragile material, and careens off, falling into Coruscant’s atmosphere in an uncontrolled re-entry.

INT. COURIER SHIP/COCKPIT

Klaxons begin to blare and warning lights begin to flash. The courier flips a number of switches and presses a couple buttons.

COURIER: (panicking) Lateral controls are gone now?! Dammit it all to hell! Why is this happening to --?!

EXT. CORUSCANT – GALACTIC CITY – DAY

Several Coruscanti civilians notice the courier ship as it descends from the sky trailing smoke, pointing skyward with expressions of alarm on their faces.

INT. COURIER SHIP/COCKPIT – DAY

COURIER: Please hold together, baby, please? You hear me, you piece of junk?! Hold together! (yells) Hold together long enough for me to land you and safely get the hell out!

EXT. GALACTIC CITY – PLAZA – DAY

The courier manages to stabilize the craft just enough to make a safe, if rough, landing on a plaza. A crowd gathers as fire and medical units arrive on the scene.

The ship’s outer hatch pops open and the courier staggers out. Medics rush to aid him as he collapses to the ground; reaching him, they lift him into a stretcher.

MEDIC: Are you hurt? Did you sustain injuries on the way in? Sir, can you hear me?

COURIER: I – I have to speak to the Senate – the chancellor! The Federation – the Neimoidians have taken over Nabu! I have to get help --!

MEDIC: It will all be taken care of. For now let us help you. Let’s get you looked at.

COURIER: You don’t understand! The royal family sent me! We have to get back to them before it’s too late!

MEDIC: (to his colleagues) Let’s get him out of here.

INT. SENATE BUILDING/CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE – SUNSET

The two highest ranking members of the Coruscanti Jedi Council – MACE WINDU and YADDLE – stand before the desk of SUPREME CHANCELLOR VANTOS COLL, a robust middle-aged male Human. While Windu is a bald, dark-skinned Human male, Yaddle is a short, gnome-like female creature with green skin, long, tapered ears, and shoulder-length brown hair. Both are attired in the black-and-gray uniforms of Coruscanti Jedi masters.

VANTOS COLL: (trailing his fingers back-and-forth along the desktop; cont’d) You now see why we need your help with this situation, masters. In your capable hands we can surely succeed.

MACE WINDU: Understood. This will be a difficult undertaking, Chancellor. There can be no doubt about that.

VANTOS COLL: None whatsoever, Master Windu, which is why I’m asking only for your top acolytes for this mission.

YADDLE: Our best?

VANTOS COLL: Indeed, if it is not too much to ask ….

MACE WINDU: (turns to Yaddle) There is Master Nivlem at the academy on Chommell Minor. It’s the closest world to Nabu with a Jedi presence ….

JARD DOHKU: (O.C.) The fleet amasses around Corellia, does it not?

Hearing the deep, resonating voice, the two Jedi masters turn around. Standing there in the open door behind them is Jedi Master JARD DOHKU. A tall, imposing man in his sixties, Dohku has dark brown hair turning silver at the temples. Like Yaddle and Windu, Dohku is adorned in the garb of Coruscanti Jedi masters. Unlike them, however, he relies on a black cane for support.

JARD DOHKU: (cont’d) I hope I’m not intruding ….

VANTOS COLL: No, of course not. Come in. (beat) As for your question, the fleet is assembling above Corellia. Why do you ask?

JARD DOHKU: A friend of mine, Obi-Wan Kenobi, is stationed there with my apprentice. They are assisting the Corellians in their rebuilding efforts.

VANTOS COLL: Obi-Wan Kenobi. (beat) He was the one who helped repel the clones from Alderaan, wasn’t he?

JARD DOHKU: Indeed he was. If it weren’t for his efforts, Alderaan would have been lost to the Athans.

VANTOS COLL: And he’s one of yours?

MACE WINDU: (stoney) No, he is not.

YADDLE: A ronin is Kenobi – a Jedi Knight without an order.

VANTOS COLL: Indeed?

JARD DOHKU: When Obi-Wan drove the clones from Alderaan, he was but an apprentice. In the time since, he has gone through his trials and attained the rank of full knight. He is more than capable of handling a mission of this enormity.

MACE WINDU: (frowns) We have acolytes of our own who are capable of handling the task. We do not need to enlist the aid of an outsider to do our job for us.

JARD DOHKU: Obi-Wan has proven himself.

MACE WINDU: That is beside the point! Kenobi is –

VANTOS COLL: (raises his hand) Enough. I’ve already made my decision. (to Dohku) As you said, Kenobi does not belong to your sect. Are you certain he would be willing to partake in this mission on your behalf?

JARD DOHKU: Not on our behalf, no, but he would do it because it is the right thing to do.

VANTOS COLL: Very well. It’s decided, then. We will assign Obi-Wan Kenobi to the Nabu rescue mission.

While Dohku smiles at this news, Windu can only frown with distaste.

INT. SAAK’AK/CORRIDOR OUTSIDE NUTE GUNRAY’S PERSONAL CHAMBERS

Deep within the confines of the Neimoidian Lucrehulk-class battleship Saak’ak, Viceroy Nute Gunray slinks down an empty corridor, moving with an unnatural stiffness which betrays his desire to remain unnoticed. Coming to a door he stops, looks down both ends of the corridor to make certain no one is around to see him, then opens the door and quickly slips inside the dim chamber beyond, closing the door behind him.

INT. SAAK’AK/HOLOPROJECTION CHAMBER

Gunray steps into the darkened chamber. In the centre rests a large holographic display. At his approach, the display surges to life, projecting the three-dimensional, blue-tinted image of a shadowy horned figure clad in black robes. This is the Zabrak KHAMEIR SARIN.

KHAMEIR SARIN: Speak.

NUTE GUNRAY: We have secured Nabu, my liege. We had the city of Theed bombarded, as you requested, and stormed the palace. Our soldiers disposed of King and Queen Naberrie and the princess Sola.

KHAMEIR SARIN: And what of Oeta and Amidala?

NUTE GUNRAY: Ah, yes – yes! As you see, my lord ….

KHAMEIR SARIN: (frustrated) Out with it, you blithering worm.

NUTE GUNRAY: Yes, Lord. See, I – I mean we, we … the ‘droids –

KHAMEIR SARIN: (angry) Now!

NUTE GUNRAY: They escaped us – twice.

KHAMEIR SARIN: Twice.

NUTE GUNRAY: At the palace and in the swamps. The Gungans – this world’s aboriginals – are helping them. We know that they live in aquatic cities. We’re attempting to locate the nearest settlement relative to their last known position.

KHAMEIR SARIN: (enraged) You ignorant fool – the Gunga are allied with the Nabu! You didn’t stop to consider that they would assist the royal family beforehand?!

NUTE GUNRAY: My lord, we didn’t think –

KHAMEIR SARIN: Precisely! You don’t think! You are as stupid as you are clumsy!

NUTE GUNRAY: Liege –

KHAMEIR SARIN: Shut up. I will hear no more of your pitiful excuses.

KHAMEIR SARIN: As you wish, my lord. I serve only to please you.

KHAMEIR SARIN: Once you have found the Gungan city, destroy it. We will not be taking any chances with these children; I want them dead.

NUTE GUNRAY: Yes, Liege, as you command. (beat) I ….

KHAMEIR SARIN: You have something more to say?

NUTE GUNRAY: My lord, the Empire will not stand for this. I fear we will face a retaliation from them sooner rather than later.

KHAMEIR SARIN: Have your ships formed a blockade around Nabu?

NUTE GUNRAY: Our capital ships are in orbit around Nabu, yes, keeping patrol, but there aren’t enough of them to cordon off the entire planet.

KHAMEIR SARIN: The Ragnos’ Vengeance is still on approach?

NUTE GUNRAY: It is still on its way, Lord.

KHAMEIR SARIN: Then don’t worry yourself. Once it has arrived, you will have no need of further ships.

NUTE GUNRAY: My lord … it was a risky move siphoning ships away from the main fleet for this invasion. The Board has not sanctioned this endeavour; should they learn of my involvement ….

KHAMEIR SARIN: Should you fail me, Viceroy, there will be a greater dread than persecution from the Imperials or your fellow Neimoidians waiting in store for you. I promise you this.

NUTE GUNRAY: (swallows audibly) As my lord wishes.

KHAMEIR SARIN: Serve me well, Viceroy. You will be soon rewarded.

The viceroy bows before Sarin’s image. As the holographic Zabrak passes his hand over the Neimoidian’s form, the hologram dissolves and the display grows dark.

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

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

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EXT. SPACE – CORELLIA

A small shuttle leaves the surface of the green-and-blue world of Corellia on a rendezvous for the titanic Dreadnought-class heavy cruiser Sunsabre.

INT. SHUTTLE/PASSENGER DECK

TWO JEDI, a knight and an apprentice, sit together in uncomfortable seats. The older Jedi is OBI-WAN KENOBI; he is twenty years old and wears his platinum blond hair cropped short except for two braids which hang down from his temples. QUI-GON JINN is sixteen years old; tall for his age, he wears his long dark hair up in a topknot.

While Obi-Wan reads from an activate datapad in his hands, Qui-Gon stares out the window to his right, an anxious expression creasing his face.

OBI-WAN: (cont’d) … in 96 PE, the last of the Jafan were ousted from power. That is when Char Naberrie stepped in. Claiming the throne and crown for himself, he assumed control over – (notices Qui-Gon’s daydreaming) Qui-Gon, are you listening to me? I don’t want to have to go over this with you a third time.

QUI-GON: I have a bad feeling about this.

OBI-WAN: (cocks an eyebrow) Bad feeling? About what?

QUI-GON: I sense something. Something elsewhere. Something … elusive.

OBI-WAN: You’re letting your anxiety over the coming mission get the better of you. Don’t dwell on it.

QUI-GON: Master Dohku said I should be mindful of the future ….

OBI-WAN: (returns to his datapad) I’m certain Master Dohku would also tell you to keep your concentration here and now where it belongs. (beat) Now, as I was relating to you before you so quietly distracted me ….

INT. SUNSABRE/DOCKING BAY

The shuttle cruises slowly through the opening of the Sunsabre’s dock. Touching down on the scuffed surface of the docking bay floor, the craft’s hatch pops open and lowers. With the hatch fully extended, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon exit the vessel.

Two Imperial officers, COMMANDER BAIL ORGANA and LIEUTENANT COMMANDER RAIA VANESS, approach the Jedi. Bail is a broad shouldered man in his late twenties with a thick head of solid black hair while Vaness is a young olive-skinned woman not much older than Organa.

OBI-WAN: (embraces Organa) Bail Organa. It has been too long.

BAIL: (grins) You’re on the team, you slick trickster? Good! Glad to have you aboard. (nods to Vaness) this is Raia Vaness, my trusted first officer and future wife – if she agrees to it, that is.

CMDR. VANESS: (salutes Obi-Wan) It is a pleasure to meet you, Knight Kenobi.

BAIL: (to Obi-Wan) Three years. (beat) How’s life been to you? Have you graduated yet or are you still carrying Yoda about on your shoulders?

OBI-WAN: I went through my final trials ….

BAIL: And …?

OBI-WAN: (cont’d) I passed. Master Yoda granted me knighthood four months ago.

BAIL: Congratulations! You should have informed me, though. We could have thrown a party.

OBI-WAN: (places a hand on Qui-Gon’s shoulder) Bail, this is Qui-Gon Jinn.

BAIL: (shakes Qui-Gon’s hand) Pleased to meet you, kid. (to Obi-Wan) So, the teacher’s on vacation?

OBI-WAN: Hmm?

BAIL: Just wondering why a trainee’s tagging along with you on your missions. You’re obviously not his instructor.

OBI-WAN: His master was badly injured fourteen months ago while on a mission on Orbos IX. He is still recuperating.

QUI-GON: Master Dohku thought it best that I tag along with Obi-Wan until he resumes active duty.

BAIL: (to Qui-Gon) Well, you’re in good hands; trust me on that one. (beat) Come, I want you two to meet the captain.

INT. SUNSABRE/BRIDGE

A door slides open and Organa, Vaness, and the two Jedi enter the bridge. The area is buzzing with activity, the bridge crew preparing the ship for transit.

A GRIZZLED, GRAY-HAIRED MAN in his late 130s rises from the seat placed at the centre of the bridge and, turning on a stiff hip, walks over to them.

BAIL: Capt. Malthus Antilles, this is Obi-Wan Kenobi and his partner Qui-Gon Jinn – the Jedi Knights assigned to our team.

CAPT. ANTILLES: Kenobi, eh? I heard of your work during the Alderaanian Incursion. From what I gather, you saved a lot of lives and the world itself from destruction.

OBI-WAN: It was a team effort, sir.

CAPT. ANTILLES: Regardless, even if you’re only a fraction as good as Organa and the news vids let on, you’ll still do all right.

OBI-WAN: Thank you, sir.

BAIL: (to Obi-Wan) We should go and get ready for the journey. (to Antilles) Request for dismissal, sir.

CAPT. ANTILLES: Denied.

BAIL: (taken aback) Sir?

CAPT. ANTILLES: (grins) Joking, Commander. On your way.

BAIL: Thanks sir. (to Obi-Wan) Obi-Wan.

Bail, Vaness, and the two Jedi leave the bridge through the door whence they came. As the door slides closed, the captain turns and returns to his seat, training his old eyes on the forward viewscreen.

CAPT. ANTILLES: Prepare the ship for lhyt-speed.

NAVIGATOR: Right away, sir.

EXT. SPACE – CORELLIA

The Sunsabre leaves the orbit around Corellia and begins to accelerate.

INT. SUNSABRE/BRIDGE

ADM. ANTILLES: Punch it.

EXT. SPACE – CORELLIA

The dreadnought elongates into strings of light, spaghettifying out of existence into the incomprehensible depths of hyperspace.

INT. SUNSABRE/DOCKING BAY

Bail and Vaness escort the Jedi to the Ptolemy. Shaped roughly like a milk carton turned on its side, the Ptolemy is an old, beat-up shuttle – far older and far more beat-up than any of the other vessels currently residing within the docking bay.

BAIL: Here’s the piece of junk we’ll be riding down to Nabu on. Let me give you the grand tour.

Passing through the shuttle’s open hatch, the four enter the Ptolemy.

INT. PTOLEMY/COCKPIT

Bail and Vaness bring Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon into the shuttle’s cramped cockpit. Several mechanics and technicians already take up the small space, checking and calibrating the onboard instruments.

BAIL: (to a simian technician) How goes it, Andross? The engine tape holding?

ANDROSS: Just checking the flux capacitor readings, Commander.

BAIL: Good job. Wouldn’t want to go to lhyt-speed with that thing hanging loose.

ANDROSS: No sir!

BAIL: Keep it up. (to Obi-Wan) Sure is something, isn’t she? The ship, I mean.

OBI-WAN: (gives the shabby interior of the cockpit a once-over) Oh, she certainly is at that.

BAIL: Well, the Ptolemy’s nothing special, to tell you the Lord’s honest truth. Civilian-standard armour and shields; limited offensive and defensive capabilities; hyperdrive rates at the low end of the spectrum. She’s definitely not a warship.

OBI-WAN: Pity.

BAIL: I’ll tell you something, though. It really all comes down to the sublight engines. The Ptolemy puts all other standard shuttles to shame in that regard. Do you know how long it takes a turbolaser blast to travel a distance of 384,400 km?

OBI-WAN: Well –

BAIL: The Ptolemy can reach Nabu’s surface in half the time. And when it comes to dodging – boy, can this rust bucket dodge!

OBI-WAN: Bail ….

BAIL: Yes?

OBI-WAN: You’re still damning with faint praise. I thought you’d be over that by now, but here you are, going on like we were back on Alderaan. Tsk, tsk.

The commander and the Jedi Knight laugh together over their shared secret joke. The four allies then depart the craft, leaving the workers within to finish their work.

INT. NABU – DUKE JUSTIN’S MANSION/VAULT – SUNSET

JUSTIN NABERRIE, Duke of Hales, sits at a small table playing dejarik with the short 'droid ICU-132, a single lamp illuminating the small rough-hewn stone walls of the vault.

DUKE JUSTIN: (gleeful) I’m winning, Eye-Seeyou.

ICU-132: That is because you programmed me to lose, milord.

DUKE JUSTIN: Don’t be absurd. This is raw skill on display!

ICU-132: You are a bad loser, Lord Justin. Though it grieves you to hear that, nothing in either my soft or hardware prevents me from making that clear to you.

DUKE JUSTIN: (annoyed) It’s your move, (under his breath) you bucket of corroded bolts.

Before the 'droid can make it’s move, sparks begin to fly from the thick durasteel door of the vault. Freezing solid with dread, Justin watches as an orange circle is slowly cut into the metal door. Once the circuit is complete, the excised metal is pushed out, allowing Gen. Sheelal to enter the vault with a pair of battle 'droids.

DUKE JUSTIN: What are you waiting for Eye-Seeyou?! Defend me!

A pair of vibroblades extend from ICU-132’s wrists and the little 'droid pounces upon the intruders. One of the BXs aims its blaster at the 'droid and fires, blasting ICU-132 apart.

DUKE JUSTIN: No!

Justin stands up and backs away into a corner as Sheelal draws a vibrosword and approaches him.

DUKE JUSTIN: Please, don’t kill me! I’ll give you anything you want – anything! I’m very, very rich! I mean it!

GEN. SHEELAL: (activates the vibrosword) There’s only one thing you have that I want, Duke.

DUKE JUSTIN: Ancestors preserve me!

Sheelal slashes upward, separating the duke’s head from his shoulders. Blood splashes back on the stone walls as the lifeless body collapses.

GEN. SHEELAL: (cont’d) Your head.

Sheelal turns away from the headless corpse and leaves the cold vault. The two automatons follow after him.

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

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

Author
Time
 (Edited)

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

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

Author
Time
 (Edited)

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

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