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?
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 …
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.
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.
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.