AUDIO ADAPTATION TRANSCRIPT
by Christopher “Nightowl” McElroy
Based on an audio adaptation of “Star Wars: Dark Empire,” a six-issue comic book miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics in 1991. Audio Adaptation produced by Highbridge Audio, Inc.
Comic version written by Tom Veitch
Audio version adapted by John Whitman
A long time ago,
in a galaxy far, far away......
TAPE ONE/SIDE ONE
NARRATOR: Star Wars: Dark Empire.
Music: Star Wars Main Theme.
NARRATOR: Following the deaths of Darth Vader and the Emperor
and the destruction of the second Death Star, the Rebel
Alliance proclaimed a New Republic over three-fourths
of the galaxy. But without the thousands of Jedi Knights
who formed the backbone of the Old Republic, the new
confederation was a precarious one. Long years of
struggle followed, during which Imperial factions gained
control over a fourth of the Galaxy. Whole systems
became fortresses, bristling with firepower. Then, five years after the Battle of Endor, the infamous
Grand Admiral Thrawn mounted a terrible assault,
nearly bringing the fledgling Republic to its knees.
Ultimately, Thrawn was defeated. But within days of his
downfall, surviving members of the Emperor’s Ruling
Circle staged a stunning assault on the Emperor’s
throneworld, a planet called Coruscant, and that vital
system once again fell under Imperial control. It seemed
certain that a new Empire was about to emerge from the ashes of the old. That very possibility triggered a
ferocious civil war among the numerous Imperial
factions. Who would sit in the Emperor’s throne? Who
had the right--and the might? Meanwhile, the Rebels were quick to seize the
opportunity to sow confusion among the feuding
Imperials, using two captured Star Destroyers to stage
hit-and-run sorties into the war zones. One such raid,
over the raging Imperial City battleground, ended in
disaster: The Alliance Star Destroyer Liberator,
commanded by Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian,
crash-landed on the planet’s surface. As our story
opens, Princess Leia Organa and her husband Han Solo
have left their two children in safekeeping, and together
C3P0, are on a daring mission to rescue their fallen
comrades..... SCENE 1-1 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON COCKPIT
Sound: The roar of the Falcon’s engines. An alarm goes off. LEIA: Han, the navicomputer just reported extreme turbulence at our reentry coordinates over the Imperial City!
HAN: That’ll be battle debris, Leia! The whole Imperial sector is littered with it! Warn the other ships!
Sound: Intercom activates.
LEIA: This is the Millennium Falcon. Rebel Star, Antares Six, do you copy?
CAPTAIN SNUNB: (V.O. over comm.) We copy you, Millennium Falcon. Antares Six here.
CAPTAIN NEVA: (V.O. over comm.) Rebel Star here, over.
LEIA: We’re coming up on some spatial distortions ahead. Our scanners show lots of orbital wreckage. Stay sharp--those big Frigates you’re flying aren’t as maneuverable as the Falcon.
CAPTAIN SNUNB: (V.O. over comm.) We copy that, Falcon. We’re right behind you.
HAN: Chewie, get ready to cut in the sublight engines. Energize repulsorlifts. Prepare to exit hyperspace.
CHEWBACCA: ROARS IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.
THREEPIO: Sir, the odds of collision with that amount of spacial debris are 3,722 to 1....if I may suggest--
HAN: Chewie, watch your thrusters!
HAN: And remind me to crosswire Threepio’s voice synthesizer when we get back to base.
THREEPIO: But sir, if I may say so--
LEIA: Threepio, sit down! Five seconds to reentry! Four.....three....two.....
Sound: The Falcon leaves hyperspace.
HAN: Starship wreckage dead ahead!! Bank right!
Sound: The Falcon swerves to avoid collision.
HAN: I see it, I see it, Chewie. Lucky I just brought the Falcon’s thrusters up to maximum specs, or we’d be sliced and diced like space slugs in a servo.
LEIA: (awed) There must be hundreds of wrecked ships out here. The battle must have been incredible.
HAN: Leia, the other ships are coming out of hyperspace. Those big Frigates’ll never get through this wreckage.
Sound: Leia activates the intercom again. LEIA:Rebel Star, Antares Six, this is the Falcon. There is too much debris here. Come around to 02. That’s 02. You’ll find a gap in the wreckage.
CAPTAIN NEVA: (V.O. over comm.) Negative, Millennium Falcon. We can make it, we can--
REBEL STAR OFFICER: (V.O. over comm.) Watch it--Maximum thrust!! HARD LEFT, HARD LEFT--- Sound: A massive explosion as the Rebel Star collides with a wreck and is blown to bits.
CAPTAIN SNUNB:Millennium Falcon, Rebel Star just vanished in a ball of flame...
LEIA: Captain Neva’s Frigate is hit!
HAN: We’ve got to go back and help them--
LEIA: (distant) It’s too late...none of them survived.
HAN: Are you sure?
LEIA: Han...I feel it. Through the Force. I’m sure.
CAPTAIN SNUNB:Millennium Falcon, this is Antares Six. We’ll stay and look for survivors. You go ahead after the others.
HAN: Stand by, Antares Six. (turns off intercom) Just great. Luke crashes a captured Star Destroyer, and we just lost a good Frigate crew.... I knew this trip was a bad idea.
HAN: What we really ought to do is take the Falcon out towards the Galactic Core and investigate those rumors of superweapons coming out of the Imperial sector.
LEIA: They sent Admiral Ackbar to do that, Han. Besides, those are just rumors. Luke and Lando are in real trouble.
HAN: They don’t need us! If I know those guys, right about now they’ve got the Imperials doing the Gamorrean two-step!
LEIA: Han, we lost their signal! The distress beacon broke contact at zero altitude!!
HAN: Yeah, Chewie, you’re right. You’re both right. I’m sorry I shot off my big mouth. (activates intercom) Solo to Antares Six. Establish a docking orbit and prepare to search for survivors.... we’re going planetside.
CAPTAIN SNUNB: (V.O. over comm.) Copy that, General Solo. We’ll keep you on our tracking screens. Good luck looking for Commander Skywalker.
HAN: Yeah, wherever he is.
Sound: The Falcon roars towards Coruscant.
SCENE 1-2 INT. EMPEROR’S PALACE – CORUSCANT -- DAY
Sound: Crunching rock and effort as Luke frees a doorway in the Imperial Palace. LUKE: There. It’s open.
ARTOO: WHISTLES A BRIEF QUERY.
LUKE: Yes Artoo, just as I thought. Some sort of secret passageway, leading down from the Imperial Palace.
Sound: Luke begins to walk (and Artoo to roll). LUKE: In all the years the Rebels occupied Coruscant, I can’t believe we never found this chamber.
ARTOO: BEEPS OUT “WHEN?”.
LUKE: Probably during the civil war. A laser blast or concussion cannon--probably destroyed this whole panel. It’s dark...so dark...
ARTOO: SUGGESTS USING HIS LIGHTS.
LUKE: No thanks, Artoo. But it’s not that kind of darkness. There’s something...something powerful here. Something dangerous, too. Artoo, lock that door into position. Whatever was down here was well hidden and well shielded. That’s why I told Lando not to follow us.
LUKE: I know you don’t detect any lifeforms. These are the ruins...of the Emperor’s Palace. It’s been pretty much deserted since we evacuated during the civil war. (shivers) No, these are more like dangerous memories. Memories of...
Sound: A door opens automatically. LUKE: ...my father.
ARTOO: BLEEPS IN SURPRISE.
LUKE: Yes, Artoo. Anakin Skywalker. But if he ever lived here, he did so as Darth Vader. This whole place is...it resonates with the power of the Dark Side. Stay here, Artoo. See if you can power up that tech station. And get us some light! I’ve got to have a look around.
Sound: Artoo rolls off as Luke begins to walk around the chamber. LUKE: (more to himself than Artoo) I can still feel the Dark Side here. Like a cold hand--its focus is very powerful. I wish I knew why my father turned to the Dark Side. What did he find there....?
ARTOO: WHISTLES A YODELING SUMMONS.
Sound: A holoprojector comes on. LUKE: Artoo, I wanted a light, not some old hologram!
LUKE: Wait--leave it on!!! That’s an image of the Emperor~! What’s he saying? C-can you boost the power?
ARTOO: BEEPS IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.
EMPEROR: My attempts to create my own version of the device called “the Jedi Holocron” have failed. I have resorted to this crude device to record my discoveries of the Dark Side.
LUKE: It is the Emperor!
ARTOO: BLATTS IN DISGUST.
LUKE: (strangely insistent) NO, Artoo, leave it on! (voice trailing off) I...want....to listen......
Sound: A low humming echoes through the next line, as if the Dark Side itself was audible. EMPEROR:The Book of Anger, Chapter One.....
SCENE 1-3 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON COCKPIT
Sound: The Falcon blasts through Coruscant’s atmosphere. CHEWBACCA: WHINES.
HAN: Okay, Chewie. Buckle up, everyone--we’ve hit a mild magnetic storm in the upper atmosphere.
LEIA: Han, I love you, but this ship is still a pile of junk!
HAN: Yeah, well this “pile of junk” just saved us from becoming one more piece of space garbage.
LEIA: Maybe, but I’m getting pretty shaken up by this magnetic storm.
HAN: That’s because you prefer my kind of magnetism.
LEIA: Oh, Han...
THREEPIO: Oh, sir, there seem to be--
HAN: I see ‘em, I see ‘em!
LEIA: What is it?
HAN: Imperial TIE Fighters, going our way.
Sound: Proximity alarm goes off from the cockpit console. The roar of passing TIE Fighters. HAN: Deflector shields up, Chewie!
CHEWBACCA: AGREES, AND THEN MUTTERS IN CONFUSION.
HAN: Yeah...didn’t even stop to say hello.
LEIA: They must be joining forces with one of the Imperial factions fighting for the throne. They’re heading straight for the ruins of the Imperial City.
HAN: Where the Emperor himself used to hang his hat, back when he was alive. Not much left of that place now.
LEIA: Not since the civil war started. Coruscant was a beautiful place when the Rebels controlled this system.
HAN: Yeah, ‘till we got driven off-planet by those Imperials.
LEIA: Coruscant used to be the political center of the galaxy. Now it’s only a barren battleground, fought over by remaining members of the Emperor’s Ruling Council.
THREEPIO: Thank goodness we’ve seen the last of the Empire. That’s all I have to say.
HAN: Yeah, that’s what we thought when Luke and his father defeated the Emperor. Then Admiral Thrawn unleashed his forces and almost wiped us out.
CHEWBACCA: TEASES HAN.
LEIA: Chewie’s right, Han. You are a pessimist.
HAN: Hey, I’m not complaining. All this infighting among the Imperials has given the Rebel Alliance a chance to get organized. Not to mention giving you and me time for a honeymoon.
HAN: I just feel like we’ve been in this situation before. We think we’ve got the Empire on the ropes, but who knows what enemy is waiting in the wings?
SCENE 1-4 INT. EMPEROR’S PALACE
Sound: Same as in 1-2. A low humming as the hologram of the Emperor speaks. EMPEROR: And I have come to realize that the Dark Side is my only ally. The Dark Side is the only means to power.
ARTOO: BEEPS UNEASILY.
LUKE: Be quiet, Artoo, I-I don’t care about the time. But could you do something about the heat? I suddenly feel.... cold.........
ARTOO: TRIES TO COMPLY.
EMPEROR: My explorations of the Dark Side of the Force have revealed to me many wonderful secrets.
LUKE: (growing weak) Cold...like a dead hand pressing against my heart...
EMPEROR: I have learned that anger and will, when joined together, forge a most unholy and devastating alliance.
LUKE: Maybe Artoo’s right...time to leave...but it’s like a great weight, pressing down on me...I.... can’t move...can’t...leave...
EMPEROR: Using anger, I have learned to unlock the hidden reservoirs of the glorious Dark Side power.
LUKE:No..... EMPEROR: Anger, concentrated by will, in the vital center of the body, creates a portal through which vast energies are released--the energies of the Dark Side of the Force. This is the power I command now that I am one with the Dark Side.
LUKE: Is this.... what my father felt?
EMPEROR: With these energies, I have slain my enemies from across the empty reaches of space.
LUKE: I shouldn’t...listen....
EMPEROR: I have created lightning, and unleashed devastating fires.
LUKE: ...but I can’t...stop...
EMPEROR: With this knowledge, I can unleash the Dark Side energies around us, even to shatter the fabric of space itself! In this way, I have created storms... Sound: New and louder humming as Luke calls upon the Force. LUKE: Got--to--break---FREE!!!
Sound: Luke crashes against the floor. The holoprojector suddenly cuts out. ARTOO: BEEPS IN ALARM.
LUKE: I’m all right, Artoo. This place is strong with the Dark Side. And the presence of the Emperor...even in a hologram.... is almost overpowering. I’ve got to resist the temptation to study these tapes. Still...I wonder what he meant about “storms”...
SCENE 1-5 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON COCKPIT
HAN: Okay, we’re coming up on the ruins of the Imperial City.
LEIA: According to Luke’s last coordinates, you’re right on target.
HAN: That’s the idea, sweetheart. Whoo...we’re three miles above the surface, and I can still see smoke rising from the city.... if there’s anything left of that place. I’d say ol’ Luke put that big Star Destroyer right down on top of it.
THREEPIO: Poor Artoo-Detoo is with them! If anything’s happened to him, I’ll never forgive myself.
SCENE 1-6 EXT. CORUSCANT BATTLEFIELD/ INT. AT-AT WALKER
Sound: A falling shell hits the ground, shaking it. The sky is filled with screams, blaster fire, and louder cannon fire. Comlink is activated. AT-AT CONTROLLER: Imperial Walker Unit One, this is Unit Six.
AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: (V.O. over comm.) Unit One here, over.
AT-AT CONTROLLER: We’ve got a whole platoon of mutinous Imperial troops marching in at 060. We’re taking heavy fire. Looks like they’re going on the offensive.
AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: (V.O. over comm.) Copy that, Unit Six. Stay on target. We’ve got a squadron of TIE Fighters dropping out of orbit. They’ll blast those mutineers into Rancor food! Our AT-AT’s have been ordered to track down the Rebel intruders, so keep your scanners focused on the ruins where that Star Destroyer crashed.
AT-AT CONTROLLER: We’re never going to find those Rebels in all this wreckage....
Sound: Two cannon shots, and an explosion. AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: I think they just found us!
Sound: Comlink goes off. SCENE 1-7 EXT. CORUSCANT BATTLEFIELD
Sound: Two blaster shots. WEDGE: Good shot, Lando!
LANDO: Thanks, Wedge. But I don’t think our field weapons are doing much good against those huge Imperial walkers. Status report?
WEDGE: We’ve got 15 wounded, and most of our blasters need time to re-energize.
LANDO: Maybe if we explained that to the Imperials, they’d break for lunch. GET DOWN!!
Sound: Cannon fire, close by. LANDO: You okay, Wedge?
WEDGE: Yeah, thanks. You saved my--
LANDO: Never mind! Just keep your head down and return fire!
WEDGE: We can’t hold out much longer against that!
Sound: A ship roars overhead, and opens up on the AT-AT.
LANDO: That’s the Millennium Falcon!!
HAN: (over comlink) YEEHAH!! Too late for us to get in on the fun?
LANDO: Han Solo, you ol’ space pirate! What are you doing here?
HAN: What I always do, Lando--
SCENE 1-8 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON COCKPIT
HAN: --saving your butt! Again!
LEIA: Look at all the carnage down there! Blasted TIE Fighters, twisted hulks of armored transports--the wreckage goes on for miles, and they’re still fighting! I wish all these Imperials would just wipe each other out! It would save us a lot of trouble.
HAN: No such luck, Princess. We’ve still got that Imperial walker to deal with.
Sound: Han sets some controls and gets up. HAN: Take the helm, Chewie. Leia, get to the upper gun turret. I’ll take the belly gun. All right, Chewie--take us in. You’re about to watch the greatest husband and wife gunner team in the galaxy!
SCENE 1-9 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON GUN TURRETS
HAN: (over headset throughout scene) You all set up there, Leia?
LEIA: Let’s see.... tracking systems on...
Sound: The gun activates. The tracking screen beeps into activation. LEIA: ...blaster cannons charged.... ready!! At least, I hope so...this is only the second time I’ve ever had to use one of these things....
Sound: A low humming, as the Force begins to build within Leia. LEIA: (whispering to herself) Okay, Leia. Try to remember what Luke taught you. Let your mind merge with the Force. Feel the living energy that binds the galaxy together....
SCENE 1-10 INT. AT-AT WALKER
AT-AT CONTROLLER: New target acquired. One ship, bearing 06.
AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: (over comlink) It’s a piece of junk! Must be a scavenger ship! These Imperial walkers we’re using will pulverize them!
AT-AT CONTROLLER: Affirmative, Walker One. Move off, I’ll handle this!
Sound: Comlink is deactivated. SCENE 1-11 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON GUN TURRETS
HAN: (over headset) Okay, Leia, my scanner shows our target at 104, moving into my range. Bring her in, Chewie. Watch me turn that metal monster into a pile of--
LEIA: (to herself) Luke is right. I can feel the Force moving through me. Guiding my hands....
Sound: Cannon fire. HAN: Blaster’s firing... Damn, my shots bounce off his deflector shields! Chewie, give me a---
LEIA: CHEWIE!!! Swing around to 12.3!
CHEWBACCA: YELPS IN SURPRISE.
Sound: Falcon swings around. LEIA: Good! Hold her steady...steady...NOW!!
Sound: Cannon fire--and an explosion, followed by a crashing sound. HAN: Good shot, Leia! That’s thing’s gonna---
Sound: Massive explosion. SCENE 1-12 EXT. BATTLEFIELD
BRICK: Hey, Slag. Another ship is landing. Get those battle droids ready.
SLAG: I dunno, Brick. They just took out an Imperial walker...we’re only a couplea junk traders and scavengers. What if they’re too tough for us?
BRICK: Aw, you must be part Jawa. We have these hot-wired weapons droids running interference, don’t we? Get some backbone, will ya? Would ya rather leave this exciting life we got, gallivanting around the Empire--
BRICK: --growing rich off the spoils of war --
SLAG:Rich? I dunno about rich--
BRICK: -- and dying a glorious death!
BRICK: Or would you rather waste your life on some backwater planet getting old’n’fat?
SLAG: Now that you mention it, uh, that sounds pretty good.
BRICK: I thought so. Now get goin’! Reattach that blaster armor on this attack droid while I activate his program.
Sound: The two scavengers work on the droid. BRICK: There.
DROID: Droid activated. Systems on.
BRICK: Walk over there with the other droids and await further orders. Come on, Slag, let’s go.
SLAG: I-I just don’t know, Brick.
BRICK: Aw, relax! Even if these old battle droids don’t do the trick.... I gotta ‘nother surprise up my sleeve...
SCENE 1-13 EXT. CORUSCANT BATTLEFIELD
Sound: The Falcon lands, and its boarding ramp lowers. HAN: Hey, Lando!
LANDO: Han, you grundly spork-chaser, it’s good to see you! Well, what took you so long? Another honeymoon? We’ve been holed up here for days!
THREEPIO: Oh, Artoo, it’s so good to see you in one piece!
ARTOO: GREETS THREEPIO.
LEIA: Lando, where’s Luke?
LANDO: He took off with Artoo right after we crashed. He said something about “the dark side of the Force still being very powerful in this place.”
LEIA: You mean.... he’s been gone for six days?!? LANDO: Yeah--but if Artoo’s back, Luke must be nearby. Right now, I’m more concerned about the renegades and the scavengers that are crawling all over the ruins. Every junk-trader in the galaxy has been drawn to this place like flies to the feast. This bunch is using hot-wired weapons droids! They’ve created their own little army!!!
HAN: And it looks like they’re heading this way! Take cover!!
DROID: Targets acquired. Begin rapid-fire.
Sound: A machine-gun like blaster opens up, followed by others. LANDO: Return fire! Watch out for those war droids!
Sound: Regular blaster fire joins the fray. BRICK: Ha! Come on, Slag, let’s go check out that ship!
SLAG: Heyyyy, look at the tech on this baby! Modified power couplings, first-class flux stabilizers...
BRICK: Hey.... you know what this ship is?!? This is the Millennium Falcon!
SLAG: The Falcon!? The most notorious ship in the galaxy!! Oh ho, man, I’m gonna love strippin’ this starship!
Sound: Brick and Slag start attacking the Falcon with tools. LEIA: Oh no--those scavengers are between us and the Millennium Falcon!
HAN: Hey, they’re trying to steal my ship!
CHEWBACCA: HOWLS WITH OUTRAGE.
LEIA: Han, wait--!
Sound: More blaster fire, bouncing off the Falcon’s hull. HAN:Get away from my ship, scum!!! Come on, Chewie!!
LEIA: Don’t be crazy!
SLAG: See Brick, it ain’t workin’! Here they come!
BRICK: I got things under control. Uh, let’s see.... Activate dis, uh, remote that opens the cargo door on my transport ship, and....
Sound: Cargo door opens. A group of large animal noises, like pit bulls on steroids. LANDO:Watch it, Han!!! They’re releasing a pack of Neks!!!! HAN: (grunts as he dives back behind cover) Neks? What are Neks?
LEIA: Cyborrean battle dogs, armored and fitted with attack stimulators. They kill on sight.
HAN: Yeah, and they’re ugly too. We’d better get out of here.
LEIA: Wait. I think I can handle them. Luke taught me how to use the Force to sow confusion in the minds of others. It’s faster than a blaster, and a lot less messy.
HAN: I don’t know, sweetheart, I think I’d prefer a blaster. That way I know they’re not gonna gnaw off my leg when my back is turned. Besides, I’m not even sure these things have minds.
Sound: A humming, rising in volume and pitch. LEIA: Just got to concentrate...concentrate...
Sound: The dogs suddenly start yelping, running off into the distance. HAN: Huh. The dogs are turning tail. Leia, I apologize, I didn’t know you could--
LEIA: It wasn’t me, Han--
LUKE: It was me.
LEIA: Oh, Luke! (hugs him) You’re all right! Where were you?
LUKE: In a minute, Leia. First, let me take care of these battle droids.
DROID: Anomaly. Anomaly. This unit experiencing unexplained--
Sound: Explosions, all across the battlefield. HAN: Wha--he just waved his hand and all those battle droids exploded!
LUKE: Simple. I just used the Force to displace the master servo control in each droid. They destroyed themselves.
LEIA: Luke, behind you! It’s another Imperial Walker! It’s about to--
Sound: Cannon fire--which ‘spangs’ as it bounces off Luke! Luke waves his lightsaber, deflecting the rest. One deflected shot goes right back at the Walker, blowing off its ‘head’ weapons. Luke turns off his ‘saber.
HAN: I don’t believe it, he used his lightsaber to deflect the blaster fire right back at that thing!
LANDO: But it’s still standing!
LUKE: (supremely confident) Not for long, Lando.
LANDO: Don’t tell me you can use the Force against something that big!
LUKE: Of course. “Size matters not.” The only difference is in your mind. Watch...
Sound: The humming begins again, stronger than with Leia...
LANDO: What’s he doing now?
Sound: Creaking and shaking of gears and metal plates....
SCENE 1-14 INT. AT-AT WALKER
AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: He’s still standing!
GUNNER: How could we have missed him?
AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: We didn’t miss him! He deflected our shots with that saber thing!
GUNNER: What’s he doing? What’s he doing?? AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: He’s just standing there!!
GUNNER: He’s doing something. My power grid’s gone haywire! My turboblasters are on overload!
AT-AT CONTROLLER TWO: Dump the power from the engines! HURRY BEFORE---
Sound: Massive explosion and screams. Huge crashing sound.
SCENE 1-15 EXT. CORUSCANT BATTLEFIELD
Sound: Cheers from the Rebel fighters.
HAN: Good job, kid!
LEIA: Oh, Luke, I’m so glad you’re all right!
ARTOO: BEEPS OUT A LITTLE LINE.
THREEPIO: Yes Artoo, this is quite an emotional moment! My protocol empathy module is starting to overheat!
LEIA: Come on, get those wounded aboard the Falcon!
REBEL: (over intercom) Evacuating planet in 15 minutes.
REBEL #2: Move it, let’s go, let’s go!
REBEL #3: Got to get those wounded out of here, get the equipment off!
LANDO: --so there we were, Han. Me, Luke, and the others, standing on the bridge of that Star Destroyer--
HAN: The one you just crashed, Lando.
LANDO: A ship with lightspeed engines that’ll take you from here to Tatooine in a nanosecond. But it drops through the atmosphere like a stray meteor. I’m telling you, this face of mine should be smashed as flat as a Hutt in heavy gravity.
HAN: So what happened?
LANDO: It was Luke! He guided that ship down like it was an Ewok’s hang glider. Used the deflector shields to cushion our fall.
HAN: That’s great, but--
LANDO: --but...it was more than that! NO ONE should have been able to land that ship! But after seeing what he did to that Imperial Walker, well...he must have used the Force to help him. He’s growing strong, Han. Really strong. I haven’t seen anything like that since...since Vader...
SCENE 1-16 ANTARES SIX BRIDGE
REBEL: (over intercom) Antares Six, this is Medavac Shuttle One, we are entering the docking bay.
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN (A Sullustan in the comic): Affirmative, Shuttle One. (turns off comlink) Captain, that’s the last of the shuttle crews. All the wounded from the planet’s surface are accounted for.
CAPTAIN SNUNB: That’s all of them? My dear, what a tragedy. Get the wounded to Sickbay immediately. And contact the Millennium Falcon. Tell them we’ve finished rescue operations and are about to depart. Keep a sharp eye out, helm. We don’t want Antares Six to end up like Rebel Star--
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: Captain!!! Look at this!!
SCENE 1-17 EXT. CORUSCANT BATTLEFIELD
HAN: You want to do what?!? LUKE: I have to stay on this planet, Han!
LEIA: Luke, what’s wrong??
LUKE: I found strange clues in the Palace. Leia, I have to stay here. But you and Han, Chewie, Lando--you should leave this place at once.
HAN: Are you kidding?! We traveled a million light-years to get you out of trouble, and you want to stay here?!?
LUKE: Han, you don’t understand! There’s a great disturbance in the Force. Someone--or something--is using the Dark Side with unbelievable power!!! I’ve felt it! SEEN it!!!
LEIA: But you know we can’t leave you! I won’t let you face whatever it is by yourself!
HAN: Whatever this thing is, we’ll be right there beside you, kid, blasters blazing.
LUKE: (tightly) Han, this isn’t just another gun battle. (distant) A vast evil is approaching. It knows I’m here. What will happen is unavoidable. It is my destiny. It is beginning.... now.
SCENE 1-18 INT. ANTARES SIX BRIDGE
Sound: A proximity alarm has gone off.
CAPTAIN SNUNB: What is it?
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: Some kind of...wormhole...opening up in space. It’s huge! Fifty times the size of our ship! Energy readings off the scale!
Sound: Comlink goes on.
CAPTAIN SNUNB:Antares Six calling the Millennium Falcon. Our scanners just picked up a gigantic hyperspace wormhole--an energy storm of undetermined magnitude is--
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: It’s no good, sir--there’s too much interference. Your message isn’t getting through.
Sound: A huge maelstrom of sound--lightning, hail, laser blasts, and more all joined in a cacophony of noise--is blasting straight at the Antares Six.
CAPTAIN SNUNB: Blast...
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: It’s heading right for us!!!
CAPTAIN SNUNB: EVASIVE ACTION! FULL RIGHT THRUSTERS!!!
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: THEY’RE NOT RESPONDING, CAPTAIN!!! WE’VE LOST LATERAL GUIDANCE!!!
CAPTAIN SNUNB: FULL REVERSE!!!! BACK US AWAY!!!
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: TOO LATE--!!!!
Sound: The sound of the energy storm is deafening, and growing closer...closer....
.... and fades off into the distance again. ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: Wha--What happened?
CAPTAIN SNUNB: The energy storm.... swept right by us...ignored us like we weren’t even here.
ANTARES SIX CREWMAN: Captain.... it’s heading right for the surface of the planet! It’s heading right for--
CAPTAIN SNUNB: --right for the ruins of the Imperial City. And our friends are in its path. May the Force be with them...
SCENE 1-19 EXT. CORUSCANT BATTLEFIELD
LUKE: Leia, please! You all must leave now!!!
HAN: Listen kid, all-powerful Force or no Force, we can’t just leave you to--
Sound: The storm is now audible in the distance.
ARTOO: WHOOPS AND SQUEALS IN ALARM.
THREEPIO: Don’t interrupt, Artoo!
ARTOO: SQUAWKS IN PANIC.
THREEPIO: What’s that?
ARTOO: ELABORATES WITH SOME SPEED.
THREEPIO: An energy storm? Well, I don’t hear anything.
Sound: The storm becomes VERY audible.
THREEPIO: OH MY!!!
LANDO: (hushed) Look at that sky.
THREEPIO: What is it!?!?
LEIA: The sky’s on fire!
HAN: Must be that same magnetic storm we hit earlier--
LUKE: It’s a storm--but not caused by anything natural. It’s almost upon us. There’s no need for you to die too!
LEIA: We can’t leave you!!!
LUKE: It doesn’t want you! It wants me! Leave, all of you, or you’ll be destroyed!
LEIA: No, Luke!! We’re brother and sister--
LUKE: We are brother and sister! But my destiny is not yours! You...your children.... are the future of the Jedi. Protect them!!! LEAVE!!!!
HAN: (reluctantly) Come on, Leia. We’ve got to get back to the ship.
LEIA: But Luke won’t--
HAN: Luke can take care of himself. Even if he is crazy.
ARTOO: LETS OUT A DEFIANT WHISTLE.
THREEPIO: Artoo--? Oh NO! He thinks he belongs with Master Luke! Stop him, someone, please!
HAN: No time! Luke will have to save Artoo while he’s busy saving himself. Get on board, Threepio!
Sound: The heroes bundle into the Falcon, and the ramp closes. Artoo’s treads are heard coming up to Luke. The storm is closing, fast.
LUKE: Good. They’ve escaped. Oh, Leia...you don’t understand the power I’ve achieved since our father died. But I still don’t know why our father betrayed his friends.... and himself. I must find out what he learned.... what made him give in to the Dark Side. It’s the Dark Side that’s coming. My presence triggered such hatred that it rends the fabric of space.
Sound: The Falcon’s engines ignite, and the ship blasts out of ground zero.
ARTOO: MOANS WITH WORRY.
LUKE: Yes, Artoo. I know they’re leaving. They’ve made the right decision.
Sound: The storm is now deafening again.
LUKE: I only wonder...have I?
Sound: The storm drowns out all background noise, drowns out everything...except a lone man’s scream.
SCENE 1-20 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON COCKPIT
HAN: Believe me Leia, Luke knows what he’s doing. I think.
LEIA: (quiet) I’m not so sure, Han. Something about the way he looked at me...I was afraid of him.
HAN: Lando, notify Antares Six we’re returning to Pinnacle Base. Chewie, lock in the auxiliary power. Prepare to jump to lightspeed.
CHEWBACCA: AGREES WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
Sound: The Falcon roars into hyperspace. SCENE 1-20 INT. DEFIANT BRIDGE
Sound: Comlink goes on.
GREEN THREE: (on comlink, nervous) This is Green Three to Green Leader. I show target ship exiting hyperspace beyond the third moon.
GREEN LEADER: (on comlink) Green Leader here. Pinnacle Base confirms our readings. The ship is broadcasting no I.D. codes. Assume intercept course.
GREEN THREE: (VERY nervous) Uh.... uh, auxiliary power engaged...
GREEN LEADER: Relax, kid, you sound nervous. This your first patrol mission?
GREEN THREE: Of-of-of.... yeah, it is.
GREEN LEADER: (laughs) Take it easy. It’s only one ship. We’ve got the whole Rebel Alliance orbiting a nearby planet. And our own Star Destroyer to back us up. You got nothing to worry about. Just keep an eye on your scanner, intercept 05.
ACKBAR: This is Admiral Ackbar, aboard the flagship Defiant.
GREEN LEADER: Admiral Ackbar? From the planet Mon Calamari? If that’s so, how come you aren’t broadcasting on a recognition code?
ACKBAR: We ran into an Imperial convoy, and our transponder was damaged.
GREEN LEADER: I thought you were on a recon mission into the Galactic Core....
ACKBAR: Let’s just say the Imperials didn’t like the idea as much as we did. Patch me through to Mon Mothma, the Alliance leader, immediately.
GREEN LEADER: Affirmative.
Sound: The comlink changes frequencies, and a viewscreen comes on.
MON MOTHMA: Admiral Ackbar! Glad to see you in one piece!
ACKBAR: Glad to be in one piece, Mon Mothma, after what we’ve seen. We penetrated as far as we could into the star systems still controlled by the Empire. We got as far as the planet Byss. It was ringed with thousands of warships. Something of great consequence is happening there. We saw Imperial ships from both sides of the civil war vanishing into the farthest reaches of the Galactic Core.
MON MOTHMA: Our spies and probe droids report similar sightings in other sectors. Whole fleets of ships vanishing from our tracking screens. What can it mean?
ACKBAR: The civil war has left the Imperial system a wasteland. The populations are in desperate straits. Half of the galaxy is ripe for the pickings if one person gains control of the fleet. But just when one of these Starfleet commanders has a chance to seize power, he vanishes.
MON MOTHMA: Thank goodness for that.
ACKBAR: It could be a blessing for us. Or...well, I’m afraid of the alternative. It’s beyond my ability to understand. How did the mission to the old Imperial homeworld go? Is there any news of Commander Skywalker?
MON MOTHMA: Yes, but not good, I’m afraid. We received a garbled transmission from the Imperial planet, but there was too much interference to understand it. We think they found General Calrissian and Luke, but only Lando is returning with them. I don’t know what to make of it.
ACKBAR: I think you’ll get your answer soon, Mon Mothma. We’ve picked up the Millennium Falcon, exiting hyperspace. We’re heading into Pinnacle Base.
SCENE 1-21 INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON COCKPIT
BASE COMPUTER: (on comlink) Pinnacle Base. Current headquarters of the Rebel Alliance. Location: Fifth moon of the planet Da Sootcha. Topographical description: The atmosphere of the fifth moon sustains carbon-based life forms. 100% of the moon’s surface is covered by jagged rock formations. Indigenous life forms: Sentient avians known as ‘ixylls.’ Alliance headquarters located in a series of caverns on the northern hemisphere. Weapons systems: This information is classified for trainees.
Sound: Comlink goes off.
HAN: I gotta fix this stupid transmitter. Every time I bring the Millennium Falcon back to base, my comlink picks up that damn trainee orientation!
LEIA: Relax, Han. We’re mooring now.
Sound: The Falcon lands on the cavern floor.
BASE COMPUTER: (on comlink again) Tractor beam disengaging. Repulsorlift deactivated. You are clear to disembark. Welcome to Pinnacle Base.
Sound: Ramp lowers.
SCENE 1-22 EXT. DA SOOTCHA CAVERN
ACKBAR: Princess Leia! Thank goodness you’re back!
LEIA: Admiral Ackbar.
ACKBAR: I’ve only just returned myself. Where’s Commander Skywalker?
LEIA: A terrible thing has happened. The Dark Side has taken Luke prisoner. He let it happen!
THREEPIO: And poor Artoo is with him! They’ll make hydrospanners out of him--if he survives!
ACKBAR: Hurry! You can give a full report immediately! Mon Mothma has just called an emergency meeting of the command staff!
SCENE 1-23 INT. CAVERN MEETING ROOM
MON MOTHMA: (grimly) The energy storm that took Commander Skywalker--this is NOT an isolated event. Similar storms have been detected in several systems. Furthermore, Admiral Ackbar’s reconnaissance mission suggests that there is a vast war fleet gathering at the very core of the galaxy. Someone--or something--has been biding its time, while the feuding Imperial factions distracted our attention.
ACKBAR: We have reason to believe that some Dark Side genius is at work, creating new technologies that go beyond all previous conception.
MON MOTHMA: Activate holographic projector.
Sound: Holoprojector activates. What follows is the sounds of destruction--the humming of repulsorlifts, explosions, screams, blaster shots--but on a monstrous scale.
MON MOTHMA: The images you are seeing are being transmitted at this very moment from the water-covered planet Mon Calamari-- the homeworld of Admiral Ackbar. The people of Calamari have been a proud part of the Alliance since the beginning. Now, Calamari seems to be under attack from some diabolical new machines. There, coming into view now....
Sound: Gasps from the people in the room.
LEIA: Oh my G--
CHEWIE: MOANS IN SHOCK.
HAN: What is THAT thing?!?
MON MOTHMA: The Calamari call them “World Devastators.” There are dozens of them gathering near many of the worlds sympathetic to the Rebellion.
LEIA: It’s--it’s larger than one of the Empire’s Star Destroyers.
ACKBAR: And more lethal than the Death Star.
HAN: Doesn’t look all that threatening to me--I mean, I only see a few escorts of TIE Fighters, no heavy weapons--just these huge rectangular black ships hovering over the planet’s surface.
ACKBAR: The World Devastators only need one weapon, General Solo. You see the large square opening at the front of the Devastator?
HAN: Sure. And another on the bottom. Looks like some kind of tractor bay.
MON MOTHMA: These World Devastators are giant factories. They consume everything in their path, and in the belly of each machine, great furnaces process the collected matter into raw elements, and then into--
LEIA: --into even more weapons of destruction. Han, the World Devastators are like twisted versions of living things--every time they destroy something, they get even stronger.
ACKBAR: Reports from Calamari indicate my people are unable to stop the World Devastators. They are impervious to all modes of attack.
HAN: What about ion cannons, Admiral?
HAN: Ground assault?
SCENE 1-24 EXT. MON CALAMARI BATTLEFIELD
Sound: The noises of battle are even louder. A comlink is activated.
CAPTAIN GAMMACK: Nothing! I repeat, torpedoes have done nothing to halt the enemy advance!
CALAMARIAN TWO: (over intercom) C fire 4! C fire 4!! Pull up, pull up!!
Sound: Crash and explosion.
CALAMARIAN THREE: (over intercom) I’m hit, I’m hit!!!
Sound: Another explosion.
CALAMARIAN TWO: C fire team, C fire team, take out the tower!
CAPTAIN GAMMACK: Evac shuttles! Get those evac shuttles to the front line! We’re being slaughtered!!! REBEL PILOT: (over intercom) Pull back! Pull back! All squads, regroup in a (garbled) formation!
CAPTAIN GAMMACK: But that’s three degrees north of here! We can’t just give up that much ground!
REBEL PILOT: Who is that?!
CAPTAIN GAMMACK: Uh, this is Captain Gammack, third battalion.
REBEL PILOT: Well, Captain, there are three World Devastators heading north, a few miles from the equator, and two more heading west. Looks like they’re forming a wedge to sweep us out of the whole hemisphere! Just one of these monsters has taken out a whole division of our troops! How can we face the whole fleet???
CAPTAIN GAMMACK: We must send a transmission to the Rebel base.
REBEL PILOT: Then send it and fall back! We’ll cover you as long as we can!
Sound: Transmitter is activated.
CAPTAIN GAMMACK: I hope my transmitter is strong enough to reach offplanet. Rebel Alliance, this is a transmission from the planet Calamari. We are under assault from massive World Devastators...
SCENE 1-25 INT. CAVERN MEETING ROOM
CAPTAIN GAMMACK: (over intercom) I repeat, massive World Devastators--HERE THEY COME!!! LOOK OUT--
Sound: Ominous static.
MON MOTHMA: That’s all the transmission that got through.
LEIA: It’s a massacre down there.
ACKBAR: (pause, then tightly) The people of Calamari were the first to defy the Empire, years ago. When the Death Star was created, we were scheduled to be one of the first planets annihilated by that terrible weapon. When the Emperor was killed, we thought we’d been spared, but now...whoever is reunifying the Empire is carrying out the Emperor’s decision to ‘discipline’ us.
LEIA: Don’t give up, Admiral Ackbar. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Luke, it’s the power of hope. And the power of strong will. We’ll save your planet.
SCENE 1-26 EXT. DA SOOTCHA CAVERN
Sound: Starfighters warming up.
MON MOTHMA: Green and Blue Squadrons will leave at once in their X-Wing Fighters to escort and defend the evacuation of Calamari. General Calrissian, are you prepared to pilot our remaining captured Star Destroyer against these World Devastators?
LANDO: I don’t know. After what I did to the last Star Destroyer, I’m not sure I’m qualified to pilot anything fancier than a garbage scow. How about you, Han? (grudgingly) You’re the best star pilot in the galaxy.
HAN: Ah, sorry, uh.... You’ll have to wing it, Lando. I’ve got my hands full wet-nursing all these new fighter pilots that have joined the Rebellion. But, uh.... good luck.
SCENE 1-27 INT. HAN AND LEIA’S QUARTERS
Sound: The hum of a holoprojector. A faint lullaby tickles at the air.
LEIA: Hello, little Jacen.... oh, and there’s my beautiful Jaina. Oh, I miss you so much...
Sound: Door opens.
HAN: Hey, Leia, I--oh, there you are. Looking at those holograms of our kids again.
LEIA: (sigh) I can’t help it, Han. They’re so far away...
HAN: Leia...you know it’s better this way. As long as they’re hidden away on New Alderaan, they’re safe from the Empire.
LEIA: But sometimes I want to reach out and hold them so much I--
Sound: The hologram is disrupted.
HAN: Don’t! You’re breaking up the projection.
LEIA: (giggles) You like looking at their pictures as much as I do.
HAN: Yeah, I guess so.
LEIA: Look, Han. She has your hair. And he has your eyes.
HAN: Yeah.... and if they’re lucky, they’ll both have your smarts. With my looks and your brains, they’ll be the stars of the Galaxy.
LEIA: The next generation of Jedi Knights.
HAN: They’re gonna be the leaders of hundreds of worlds, and here I am, their old dad the smuggler, tickling them under the chin like a doting old moisture farmer. (chuckles)
HAN: Oh, me. This life. I got a beautiful wife, a nice soft bed, pictures on the walls.... yep, just what I always wanted.
Sound: Holoprojector is turned off. The lullaby fades.
LEIA: Han...it’s not like you to turn down an assignment like you did today.
HAN: Leia, this endless war...it’s like we’ve been alone for only five minutes since we got married.
HAN: I really wanted to go with Lando. But I accepted this other assignment so we’d have a chance to be together.
LEIA: Han...something terrible is happening to Luke.
HAN: Oh jeez, Leia...for once in my life, I’m trying to be sensitive and romantic, and see where it gets me? Luke can take care of himself!
LEIA: I can feel him, Han. He’s getting farther and farther away.... we must help him.
HAN: We need some time to ourselves, Leia. For you and me. Luke doesn’t want any help. He says he has to do it alone, and I believe him.
HAN: I mean, who am I to challenge the judgment of a Jedi? Besides.... (slyly) You’ve got enough to worry about right here...
LEIA: (giggles again) Do I?
HAN: Uh huh. After all, beautiful princess here alone with a notorious scoundrel...(both giggle).... who knows what could happen...
Sound: Fade out on kissing sounds.
SCENE 1-28 INT. PRISON SHIP/ EXT. SPACEPORT
Sound: Ship’s engines.
LUKE: Uhh...whatever grabbed me, it was no energy storm...and it’s left me somewhere dark. And cold.
ARTOO: BEEPS A WORRIED GREETING.
LUKE: Artoo, is that you?
ARTOO: REPLIES IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.
LUKE: I don’t know where we are. Some sort of ship. Whoever...whatever captures us has kept us in the dark. But I don’t need light to see...
Sound: The Force rises in Luke.
LUKE: And I don’t care how thick these walls are...they’re nothing compared to the power of the Force...we’re inside an Imperial dungeon ship. The kind they used to transport Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars.
LUKE: And it looks like we’ve reached our destination.
ARTOO: BLEEPS IN SURPRISE.
LUKE: A planet...somewhere in the core of the galaxy. Surrounded by THOUSANDS of warships...Gigantic--ahh!!! It’s entirely enveloped in the Dark Side of the Force...if there is a dark center to the universe, Artoo, this is it.
Sound: Door opens.
DARK GUARD: (echoing) We are ready to receive the prisoner.
Sound: Footsteps on metal.
DARK GUARD TWO: (amplified and echoing) JEDI KNIGHT, WELCOME. PLEASE...COME WITH US.
LUKE: I’m not going anywhere until--
DARK GUARD: Activate Dark Force cage.
Sound: An electrical field is engaged, and Luke and Artoo yell and grunt as they are forcibly yanked inside.
DARK GUARD: Dark Force cage energized. Prisoner contained. Inform His Excellency that his...guest has arrived undamaged. Take him to the Great Hall.
SCENE 1-29 EXT. PALACE ENTRANCE
Sound: Humming of Dark Force cage as it moves. Footsteps on metal again.
LUKE: Artoo, are you functioning?
ARTOO: BLEEPS OUT “BARELY.”
LUKE: I’m glad one of us is. I...I don’t understand...(echoing throughout the scene) my mind...these whispers in my head...can’t.... seem to...concentrate...
DARK GUARD: This cage is designed to hold Jedi. It disturbs the power of the Force. Neither your mind control abilities, nor your control of physical objects will work while you’re in the cage.
LUKE: Ungghhh...then I guess I’ll have to resort to some old-fashioned questioning. What planet are we on?
DARK GUARD: You are on the planet Byss, at the very center of the Galaxy.
LUKE: What’s that.... whispering I hear?
DARK GUARD: Whispering?
LUKE: Yes.... those voices.... so sinister...
DARK GUARD: I hear nothing.
LUKE: Who are you?
DARK GUARD: I serve his Excellency.
LUKE: Who’s that? Some two-bit Imperial governor with delusions of grandeur?
DARK GUARD: You are foolish to mock your new master. As you’ll soon see.
Sound: Footsteps stop.
DARK GUARD: We have arrived at the Palace.
Sound: The Palace gates open.
IMPERIAL SENTINEL: Release the prisoner. We will take him from here.
LUKE: Who are these big ugly guys in the armor? They look familiar.
DARK GUARD: These are Imperial Sentinels. The elite warriors of the Empire. Deactivating Dark Force cage.
Sound: The field fades, and the cage door is opened.
LUKE: (sighs with relief)
IMPERIAL SENTINEL: Prisoner. Out.
LUKE: This is it, Artoo.
ARTOO: SAYS “THIS IS WHAT?”
LUKE: This is where my opponent--whoever he is--is waiting.
IMPERIAL SENTINEL: I said...OUT!!!!
LUKE: Don’t threaten me!! I’m here because I choose to be here!!
Sound: The Force rises.
IMPERIAL SENTINEL: (gasps in pain, hits ground)
IMPERIAL SENTINEL TWO: (does the same)
LUKE: That should teach you to offend a Jedi Master. Now to face your leader.
ARTOO: BEEPS AN ELECTRONIC RASPBERRY AT THE SENTINELS AS HE DEPARTS.
Sound: Footsteps fading into the distance, as well as Artoo’s treads.
IMPERIAL SENTINEL: Impudent whelp!! I will--
DARK GUARD: --do nothing. Let him believe it is his free choice if he wants. But he is walking to his doom.
SCENE 1-30 INT. THRONE ROOM
Sound: Footsteps and treads.
LUKE: This Palace is like a maze. But the Force is leading me. Here.
Sound: Steps and treads stop.
LUKE: But this looks like...a throne room!
A FAMILIAR, OLD, CRACKLY VOICE: Yes...MY throne room!
LUKE: YOU!?!?! THE EMPEROR!!!! EMPEROR PALPATINE:Yes. LUKE: But you’re---
EMPEROR: Dead? Young Skywalker...You of all people should know the power of the Dark Side. And you WILL know...oh, yes...for you are destined to rule the Empire by my side!! FOREVER!!!!
Music: The chilling Imperial March, then fade to silence.
TAPE ONE/ SIDE TWO
SCENE 2-1 INT. THRONE ROOM
Music: A short, chilly piece (from TESB), then fade.
EMPEROR: Well, young Skywalker. I am pleased that you have come to me once again.
LUKE: (disbelieving) The Emperor...alive...somehow, I knew. But I saw you die...
EMPEROR: Yes, you knew, didn’t you? You.... sensed it. You are in touch with the Dark Side already. You’ve grown very strong in the Force since last we met. But then, so have I. Guards, you may leave us.
Sound: Twin sets of footsteps, fading off.
LUKE: How did you survive?
EMPEROR: Survive your foolishness over the moon of Endor? Survive the base treachery of your poor, weak father? (cackles) That was not the first time I “died.” Nor will it be the last. Such are the mysteries of the Dark Side of the Force. Mysteries you will soon learn well. You see, my young apprentice, flesh does not easily support this great power. After all, I live primarily as energy, formless and powerful. For many years, I have been under a dire necessity. My body has decayed again and again. And each time, I have needed to take another, transferring my essence into a humble clone of the man I once was.
EMPEROR: Yes, young Skywalker. The dying is painful--the transition is terrible to endure. But the suffering is a small price to pay for eternal life. (pause) Well, my young apprentice, your father is dead. Have you come to join me? Will you take the place that rightfully belongs to you?
LUKE: (grunting with effort) I...can’t...think...
EMPEROR: You hesitate. Let me offer you an incentive. Screen on.
Sound: Viewscreen comes on, and we hear the sounds of destruction again.
EMPEROR: Behold the battle raging across the planet Calamari. Those pathetic Rebels flee before the might of my World Devastators. You have only to kneel before me, and they are yours to command.
EMPEROR: The Rebels had their chance! They had years to reclaim the galaxy, while my discorporate mind drifted across the empty reaches of space, to return to this cloning chamber. I spent five years in hiding, while your friends tried to fulfill their dream. But without the Jedi Knights, they failed miserably. And now, I have outflanked them! Working in secret, I have created weapons such as the galaxy has never seen! These World Devastators are utterly invincible. They are invulnerable to attack. Even if every member of the crew were destroyed, the ships themselves would continue in their destructive purpose, directed by a special master control program which I maintain.
Sound: Artoo pops open his top, and pulls out Luke’s lightsaber on an arm.
ARTOO: URGES LUKE TO TAKE THE LIGHTSABER.
LUKE: (sounding lethargic) What’s that...Artoo? Oh...my lightsaber.
EMPEROR: It is your destiny, my friend. To succeed your father. To wield my discipline over the worlds that have betrayed me.
Sound: Luke’s lightsaber ignites!!! LUKE: NEVER!!!
EMPEROR: Once again you stand before me, lightsaber in hand. And once again, you hesitate. I know. I know too well, my young friend. My promise of power does not entice you? And a stroke of your lightsaber might help the cause of billions--but will it mean the end of the Dark Side?
LUKE: (straining) Strike...everything that I am cries out for me to strike...
EMPEROR: Is it so difficult to decide, my son? Surely you know that if you strike me down in anger, I will live again! Perhaps I will even live--as you!!
Sound: The lightsaber hums and cracks as it strikes--something...
EMPEROR: (laughs) You strike the throne, but not the man! You miss by inches! But you miss on purpose! I see you have grown wise in the ways of the Force. You have achieved control; you are no longer the impulsive youth at war with your own anger. Excellent...
LUKE: I...will not...kill you...
EMPEROR: But you can still conquer me. By learning the secrets of the Dark Side. We both know there is no other way for you.
Sound: The Emperor’s voice echoes at “you,” and continues to reverberate in Luke’s mind, along with other whispers.
LUKE: (echoing himself) The secrets of the Dark Side...those whispers...that’s the Dark Side. The seduction of its’ power.... but maybe for once...it speaks the truth...Maybe I must challenge the Dark Side...from within.........
EMPEROR: Your decision, young Skywalker! NOW!!!
Sound: The lightsaber deactivates, and clatters to the floor.
LUKE:YES. Sound: Rustling of cloth, as Luke kneels before the Emperor.
LUKE: (with a new, dangerous tone to his voice) My father’s destiny...is my own.
EMPEROR: (triumphant) It is done, my young apprentice! Let us celebrate our conquest of the galaxy!!(A long, echoing laugh...)
Sound: The cavern hanger is in full bustle.
DECK OFFICER: (over intercom) Pinnacle Base trainees, General Solo is now demonstrating the new prototype E-Wing fighter at the main hangar.
HAN: Okay, you trainees, thanks for signing up with the Alliance, now let’s get down to business.
TRAINEE: (whispering) Man, is General Solo in a bad mood or what?
TRAINEE TWO: (whispering) I’d like a blast at his mind--
TRAINEE: (whispering) I hear he’s peeved ‘cuz he’s stuck here with the fleet--
HAN: (loudly) Hey! You guys wanna run this training program? (normally) All right, then. As I was saying--a major weapons manufacturing plant on Norval II just deposed their governor and joined the Rebellion. You’re looking at the result. The latest hot Imperial fighter.
TRAINEES: (whistles and gasps of awe)
HAN: We’ve got it. And you guys get to fly it. Not only do you get to fly it, you get to fly it tomorrow.
TRAINEE: Why’s that, General Solo?
HAN: Cuz’ we just got word we’re getting the stuffing kicked out of us on Calamari by those new World Devastators. I haven’t gone up against them unfortunately, but I’m told they’re meaner than the Death Star. So you guys have got your work cut out for you. Now, over here we’ve got--
THREEPIO: Excuse me, sir, but--
HAN: Later, Threepio. Now, over here we’ve got the latest Alliance fighter craft, the E-Wing--
HAN: It’s a good ship, but we’ve had to beef up the cannons to the point where they might blow up in your face.
THREEPIO: General Solo--
THREEPIO: It’s Princess Leia, sir. She’s locked herself in her chamber. She refuses to answer anyone!
SCENE 2-3 INT. HAN AND LEIA’S QUARTERS
Sound: Door opens.
LEIA: (quiet, distant) Yes, Han. I’m here.
HAN: Sitting alone. In the dark. Can I turn on some lights?
LEIA: Hm? Oh.... yes.
Sound: Han flicks the light switch.
HAN: There, that’s better. What’s going on?
LEIA: (sad) I’m sorry, Han. I just can’t escape this feeling of dread...
HAN: You need cheering up, is all. Come outside, see what’s happening. The whole galaxy is pulling together against the Empire--
LEIA: Han...I shouldn’t have listened to you. I shouldn’t have listened to Luke. I hear...terrible laughter. Something awful has happened, Han. We’ve...(swallows) we may have lost him.
HAN: Hey, Ol’ Luke’s got more tricks up his sleeve than--
LEIA: Don’t be a fool, Han. Luke’s in serious trouble, and I have to help him!! Don’t you see? This isn’t about you or me! It’s not even about our children, because if we don’t help him, our children won’t have any life at all!!! It’s about Luke. It’s about the whole galaxy. Han, he needs me!!
HAN: Yeah. But.... aw man, they told me marriage to a Jedi princess wasn’t gonna be easy.
LEIA: Han, don’t be angry.
HAN: I’m not angry. It’s just, I’ve got this bad feeling about this...
SCENE 2-4 EXT. DA SOOTCHA CAVERN
Sound: Same as before. Footsteps coming up. The sparking of welding tools.
HAN: (somber) Chewie? Chewie?
Sound: Welding stops.
CHEWBACCA: GREETS HAN.
HAN: Chewie, when you finish repairing the flux stabilizers...fuel up the Falcon. We’ve got a date with the Dark Side.
SCENE 2-5 INT. STAR DESTROYER EMANCIPATOR BRIDGE
Sound: The hum of normal ship activity. Comlink static.
LANDO: Affirmative, Rebel base. This is Lando Calrissian. Star Destroyer Emancipator will leave hyperspace over the planet Calamari in fifty-eight seconds.
Sound: Comlink goes off.
WEDGE: General Calrissian, we’ve intercepted a new hyperspace communications channel, beamed between Calamari’s orbit and the galactic core. They’re transmitting images of the destruction of Calamari!
LANDO: They’re doing us a real favor by beaming us those images, Wedge. Recalculate our exit from hyperspace at two degrees from their point of transmission!
WEDGE: Lando, are you crazy?! If we leave hyperspace at those coordinates, we’ll smash right into whatever’s sending the signal!
LANDO: That’s the idea, Wedge.
WEDGE: If you say so, Lando...Coordinates locked in. We exit hyperspace in thirty-three seconds.
LANDO: Stand by to cut in sublight engines. Prepare to fire all forward turbolasers and ion cannons at my command.