Based on an original story by Jo Duffy
1-1 ENDOR FOREST
SFX: Forest noises.
LUKE: Okay... (inhales)... feel the Force... (louder) if you think you can beat me, give it your best shot... and don't hold back...
SFX: Lightsaber ignites.
LUKE: I'm ready whenever you are.
SFX: Forest noises... uncomfortably still. Luke's breathing... his heartbeat...
LUKE (echoing.... with the Force): Reach out... there... there... the spears!
SFX: A spear knifes through the air. The lightsaber hisses again, and the wood is cleaved, landing on the grassy floor.
LUKE(echoing... with the Force): ... the rocks...
SFX: A sling launches rocks into the air, the lightsaber lances out, hissing as it strikes stone.
LUKE (echoing... with the Force): the warriors...
LUKE (grunts with exertion): Gah!
WICKET: Aieee... ah? Gvek? Tunglo hotho esteawa?
LUKE: No worries, Wicket. I got you. And I'll set you down there on that rock.
WICKET: Grrrr.... nyub! Eechee ween! Grrr.... ah!
SFX: Slow clapping.
LANDO: Very impressive, Luke. There's nothing quite like seeing the last of the Jedi beat up a bunch of cute little critters a third of his size.
LUKE: Um... hello, Lando, Chewie, Admiral Ackbar.
SFX: lightsaber retracts.
THREEPIO: Really, General Calrissian. That is hardly fair to Master Skywalker or the Ewoks. Had you been here on Endor during the final battle, you would have seen that the Ewoks are quite ferocious indeed. Why they even had the good sense to recognize me as a deity of sorts --
LUKE: Thanks, Threepio, but I think Lando was kidding. With the war over in this part of the galaxy, and all of the Jedi gone, it would be easy for me to get rusty without constant training... and where am I going to find a decent remote trainer in these forests?
ACKBAR: Then you will forgive this intrusion, Jedi Skywalker.
LUKE: Of course, Admiral. I may be a Jedi, but I am still a Commander in the Alliance Forces, and you are my superior. If there is a mission to be carried out...
ACKBAR: Actually, Commander, your Jedi Knighthood is precisely why I am here. The aims of the Alliance are radically changing. It's old warriors like myself and Madine who are finding the changing times very trying.
Before the Empire, there was the Republic. And however decayed the Republic became, or however tyrannical the Empire was, their purpose was uniting the galaxy. That was never the goal of the Alliance, but now it must become so.
LUKE: And if the New Republic is to resemble the glory of the Old, a Jedi Knight would be the perfect symbol for such unity.
ACKBAR: Precisely. I have never given much credence to symbols, but Mon Mothma is of a different opinion. I know, for instance, that we Mon Calamari are symbols of the soul of the Alliance, but I do not see our contributions outshining those of, say, the Alderaanians.
As the Alliance is to grow to a New Republic, it would be just as tyrannical if we were to impose an new system of government without giving the people their say. That is why, by Mon Mothma's decree, the first political goal of the Alliance in this new time is to organize a Galactic Congress.
LUKE: So where do I fit in? I'm no politician...
ACKBAR: No, but you are a symbol. And as a symbol, you should at least learn diplomacy. You are to go forth to meet with the rulers of certain worlds, and offer their chance to participate in our councils.
LUKE: This is a part of Jedi Knighthood I always knew I would have to face. If not now, then later. So why not now? Who's going with me?
CHEWBACCA: Arrughooo... arr. Rooof..
C-3PO: Chewbacca feels he has much to learn from the Ewoks, and as such requires my presence for translation. Furthermore, with an upcoming mission to Kashyyyk, he wishes to stay ready for that.
LANDO: And if the good Admiral can see fit to granting an illustrious war hero like myself some time off, I'm trying to get back to Bespin. See how the ol' city and Lobot are holding up.
ACKBAR: And General Solo and Princess Leia Organa are away on Tatooine at the moment.
LUKE: So... I'm alone?
PLIF: Not exactly, Luke. It would be my very great pleasure to accompany you.
LUKE: Thanks, Plif. I would appreciate that.
PLIF: As spokesmind of my people, the Hoojibs of Arbra, I feel it is my duty to do whatever I can to help you in your diplomatic efforts. After all, I can go anywhere where there's pure energy to eat, and intelligent beings to communicate with and learn from.
LUKE: Thanks, Plif. With Artoo gone with Han and Leia, I could use the company aboard my X-wing.
ACKBAR: Your vessel is fueled, and we have prepared a flight plan for the worlds you are to visit. Astrogation coordinates have been calculated in advance.
LANDO: Though I'm sure Luke here could have magically pulled the numbers out of the air with the Force...
LUKE: Well... then I guess there's no reason to dawdle.
PLIF: Shall we be off, then?
LUKE: Might as well. May the Force be with you, Admiral. I'll have time to read the briefing en route. Where's the first stop-off?
ACKBAR: A world close to my heart, and one with which you have some history. Our sister planet of Iskalon.
SFX: Transition. X-wing engines up. Interior cockpit sounds.
1-2 LUKE'S X-WING
LUKE: You comfortable, Plif?
PLIF: Yes, Luke. Your shoulder makes a suitable perch. However, I must note that I can sense your own discomfort... you've been quiet about Iskalon.
LUKE: It was only a few months ago that I was there. It was an Alliance mission. It was a beautiful planet. A peaceful world. I made good friends there.
PLIF: It was a beautiful planet, Luke? I feel something dreadful in your thoughts. Please don't bother about me, Luke. If it hurts you that much, you needn't think about it...
LUKE: No... no. It's okay, Plif. It isn't like a Jedi to run away from his problems. You'll see for yourself after we land anyway.
SFX: X-wing engines up. The atmosphere begins to buffet the craft.
LUKE: While we were here, the Empire bombed the main city of Pavillion.
PLIF: That's horrid. With an acquatic planet such as Iskalon...
LUKE: Yes... the bomb did far more damage than it would have done elsewhere. It amounted to genocide. The few survivors turned completely against offworlders in desparate self-defense.
LUKE: Yes... and... I guess I still feel those deaths on my conscience, because it was our presence that made the Empire strike. I mean... I know it wasn't me that pressed the launch button... but had Leia and I not been here...
PLIF: This planet would have undoubtedly still be under the heel of the Empire. It is the risk of freedom, Luke.
LUKE: I know, Plif. But knowing and feeling are two different --
SFX: A sensor alert pings.
PLIF: What's wrong?
LUKE: Something I thought I'd never see on Iskalon... there, on that wreckage.
PLIF: A starship?
LUKE: Yes... an offworlder ship. An air-breather's ship parked on what used to be Pavillion's main concourse... We had best check this out.
PLIF: Are you certain that's wise, Luke?
LUKE: We are ambassadors, Plif. With the Empire gone, slavers and pirates have taken to ransacking worlds. We can't let that happen here. Iskalon's been through too much. Besides, it's a light freighter. There can't be that many of them... and I do have my lightsaber.
PLIF: Oh, dear...
LUKE: And with our keen senses, we should be able to detect anyone trying to jump us.
PLIF: I'm not terribly certain I want to know if that's coming...
2-1 ISKALON PLATFORM
SFX: X-wing engines up.... transition to ocean sounds. The crash of waves. The cry of gulls. The rocking of the deck.
LUKE: You're lucky, Plif. You're small enough that your sea-legs shouldn't take too long to get adjusted.
PLIF: Luke, riding on your shoulder, it is your sea-legs that I must adjust to.
LUKE: I don't sense any danger... let's take a closer look.
PLIF: Oh my...
LUKE: Relax, will you? You don't want to distract me, do you? Well... it's a Corellian freighter. Looks pretty souped up, too. From the looks of it, its registration markings have been scored off... probably smugglers. Han would know best... if he was here... Plif?
PLIF: Oh... sorry, Luke. Just... there's so much water.
LUKE: Yes.. it's pretty amazing after the forests of Arbra. I know how you feel. I've seen Drexel, Aquaris, Calamari and here... and no matter what, I can't get over it. Coming from Tatooine, an ocean this big just is impossible to comprehend...
PLIF: Yes... oh... oh, my... Luke! I sense —
LUKE: Look out!
DANI: You!! At last (makes a grunt of exertion as she jumps)!
LUKE: (Moves out of way) woah..
SFX: Dani hits the deck.
PLIF: Good dodge, Luke... a Zeltron. My, you certainly seem to have some power over members of that species.
LUKE: Well.. this Zeltron is what you may call an old friend. Hello, Dani.
DANI: Luke... oh, Luke... Oh, how I've missed you... you have no idea.. Have you missed me? Oh... Luke, I'm so sorry I left you without warning.. Oh.. Luke.. Luke, I love you...
LUKE: I know... Um. Dani... this is Plif. He's a Hoojib. Behave yourself around him... he's a telepath.
DANI: Hello, fuzzling. Luke... you know I have no shame for my feelings for you...
RIK (off): Or any other male who happens along your way.
CHIHDO (off): Humanoid or not. Alone or in a group. As long as he's breathing...
RIK (coming closer): Or able to move under his own power...
LUKE (stifling laugh): Plif... these are Dani's partners. The Corellian is Rik Duel. The Rodian is Chihdo.
RIK: Good to see ya, again, kid! My... you're growing aren't you? No hard feelings about you taking off with Dani, either, since she came back to us richer than she left. That's a cute little toy you got there, Skywalker.
PLIF: Indeed... what's a toy?
RIK: Hey, and it talks... you should market them, kid. Get rich off Gamorreans. So... how does it feel to be a successful veteran, eh, kid? News about Endor is racing all over the smuggling community. Hell, salvagers are salivating looking to pick another Death Star wreck apart.
CHIHDO: It's a living, Skywalker. Now that there aren't galaxies to save, you looking to join the operation?
LUKE: Wait... what operation?
RIK: We could use a man like you, Luke. Lemme tell you, this caper's got a very high profit potential. A way to line your retirement home with all the Jedi knickknacks you want... and fuzzy accessories.
RIK: Low risk factor, you set your own hours. See the galaxy, meet new people..
LUKE: Why is it I always sense trouble when I see you smile, Rik?
RIK: We'd be happy to take you on as a junior partner, Luke. You and your pet can split a share between you...
LUKE: Plif isn't a pet, Rik. He's a friend. And I can't help but notice you haven't mentioned what exactly this caper is you're working on.
RIK: That's just it, Luke... I have. Salvage, of course. Iskalon, and dozens of planets were pretty much wiped out before Endor. That leaves a lot of valuable tech equipment, goodies and what-nots just lying around to be claimed. We're heading for Iskalon's twin, Gamandar, after we've finished here...
LUKE: And it's no longer war profiteering since there's no war...
RIK: Oh, Luke... there you go again, painting everything with that Rebel do-good nature of yours... What good are these things doing just floating in the ocean [next goes under]... the way I see it, we're extending Iskalon's legacy, letting people across the galaxy see what it was all about...
PLIF: These people are the most immoral, callous...
LUKE (telepathically): These people aren't immoral, Plif. They're shallow, unimaginative, and opportunistic. Other people's tragedies aren't real to them...
RIK (continuing): ... So, kid. Are you in, or what?
LUKE: Rik... this may be hard for you to understand, but I'm on a diplomatic mission. What's more... I was here when the Empire dropped their bomb on Iskalon...
RIK: Perfect! Then, the way I see it, you're entitled to some restitution...
LUKE: Rik... Dani, Chihdo. Have you really thought about what you're doing?
DANI: As much as we ever do, darling... I thought you'd be pleased....
DANI: Yes. Until we get to the resale part of the operation, this caper is totally open and above-board.
CHIHDO: Yeah... c'mon, kid. Who's it hurting?
LUKE: Well, the Iskalonians for one.
RIK: Ahh... from what I hear, they've cut off relations with the surface after the big blowup. They're not missing this stuff... I mean, look...
SFX: rummages through supply bin.
RIK: They're not likely gonna need their old rebreathing gear, are they? And what do they care about artwork, anyway?
LUKE: This is still their world, Rik. Can't you respect their wishes and stay away?
RIK: Don't give me that respect scrap, Luke. You're here aren't you? And why is that...
LUKE: I'm a diplomat...
RIK: Looking for the Alliance's best interests... well, I'm a diplomat too, Luke. I'm looking for my best interest... The galaxy's changing, kid. Besides, it's better that it's me rather than some Zygerrian slaver combing the ocean floor looking for Iskallonians to sell..
PLIF: Luke... do you sense that?
LUKE: Yes... it's not anger... but something... something...
SFX: Water begins churning.
RIK: It's survival of the fittest, Luke. Finder's keepers. Whatever... We're not going to wind up on the bottom of the food-chain just because we were too ignorant to miss an... opportunity...
SFX: Chiaki water serpent lets out a terrible roar!
LUKE: Rik, get down!
SFX: The surge of water as the Chiaki lunges... a snap of its jaws, and a splash as it returns to the water...
RIK: Woah! That giant sea-snake almost bit my head off!
LUKE: It's called a Chiaki, Rik, and it apparently shares your view on devouring the weak.
PLIF: Luke... the creature's thoughts are most rudimentary, but I picked up something... coming up to the surface like that is not natural for it. Something drew it here..
DANI: Look! In the water...
CHIHDO: It looks like sliced chunks of meat...
LUKE: Someone baited this thing... led them here... Dani, Chihdo, get out of here! Get away from the edge!
ISKALONIANS: Death to surfacers! Get them! (Etc. -- wild lines)
SFX: The crash of water as the mob surfaces. Angry cries and shuffling.
CHIHDO (gasping): How did you know?
LUKE: I didn't — but the Force did. Dani, get down!
DANI: Luke! Be careful!
CHIHDO: Who are they?
LUKE: Who do you think? The Iskalonians! (Ugh)... (effort of conflict)
RIK: Hey, all they've got are clubs and sticks! Our blasters should make short work of —
LUKE: Don't, Rik! I'll take care of this!
CHIHDO: Yeah, kid! Stick 'em with your light-sword! I'm right behind you!
LUKE: No you're not Chihdo... I'll handle this better without your distraction!
RIK: What the — the kid's floating Chihdo away! Dani, you never told us he was that good..
DANI: I didn't know he was that good.
PLIF: Commander Skywalker has grown a great deal, in a great many ways...
LUKE: (Grunts with exertion in the background)
RIK: I don't get it... why isn't he using his saber...
DANI: He doesn't want to kill them.. he's using his hands and his mind to subdue or deter them... how chivalrous.
PLIF: Luke sympathizes with the Iskalonians more than you could guess, but that doesn't mean he wants them to hurt you, no matter how much you deserve it.
RIK: Don't lecture me, hamster.
PLIF: Oh, no! Commander Skywalker! Behind you!
DANI: Those two Iskalonians have stingers! Luke!
SFX: The blaster-like squeal as the stingers fire. The snap-hiss of the lightsaber.
CHIHDO: The kid can do that? Man... I underestimated him....
RIK: Yeah, well... the Iskalonians can't parry blaster bolts. I say if they want to turn it ugly, we turn it back on them...
LUKE: Listen! All of you! I didn't come here to fight or to rob you. Please... let's talk this over before someone gets hurt.
ISKALONIAN: Coward! Let's rush him!
ISKALONIANS: Yeah! Get the surfacer!
KIRO: Do so, and you'll prove yourself fools! The off-worlder isn't concerned about his saftey. He's worried about yours...
RIK: Who's the blonde gold-skinned fish-kid?
CHIHDO: I take it Kiro's his name...
DANI: He's cute...
RIK: Heel, Dani...
KIRO: Are you all as mindless as the Chiaki? If you don't know our enemy by his excellence, then you should at least recognize the weapon of a Jedi Knight! The weapon of Luke Skywalker!
LUKE: Thank you, Kiro.
KIRO: It is good to see you again, my friend. I hadn't looked for your return so soon.
LUKE: I bring good news, Kiro. The Emperor is dead. The Empire's power is broken.
KIRO: While it pleases me to hear it, Luke, that is hardly news. The entire school has known it since the day these scavengers came.
RIK: Us? Hey...
KIRO: Luke, how can you — a warrior and a friend — go the way of their kind? I thought you Jedi valued honor.
RIK: Look... I'm just an honest businessman trying to get by...
LUKE: Believe me, Kiro. I had no idea they were here. They have no right to be here, and no status in the eyes of the Alliance.
KIRO: Then why are they here?
LUKE: Well... to put in your terms, after the predators come the parasites and the scavengers.
RIK: Hey, I resent that!
LUKE (with anger): You have no right to resentment, Rik.
KIRO: What brings you here, Skywalker?
LUKE: Myself and my companion, Plif the Hoojib, are diplomats representing the Alliance of Free Planets. We're here to see if your people need our aid, and to invite them to send a representative to our congress. Everyone is to have their say in the setup of the new governement and trade systems.
MONE: And if they want no say?
MONE: I am glad to see you again, Skywalker. But you must not remain.
LUKE: I see. I gather you've inherited your father Primor's position, and speak for all your people.
MONE: Yes. I speak for the school now, and as their leader, I tell you: you must go. Now. And take the other offworlders with you.
LUKE: Mone... I agree with you. These three should go, and I'll see to it that they do. But now that the Empire has been overthrown, it's no longer necessary for you to shut yourselves away.
MONE: The school decides what is necessary for itself. We need no outsiders to tell us this. Luke... please understand. As the leader, I must express, as best I can, the will of my people... (quieter) my own wishes and feelings do not enter into it.
LUKE: I do understand, Mone.
MONE: Good. Then, leave at once.
LUKE: That I don't understand. Your people are safe now. Why keep hidden?
MONE (angered): Because. Because we learned a bitter lesson at the hands of outworlders. We learned that you... you are arrogant and have no understanding of your place in your ocean... in the ocean of space. You will act in what you see as your own individual best interests, at the expense of the school. Never realizing that to go against the group is to commit a very slow and inevitable suicide... for all.
You say there is no more Empire, Luke. But we see now that there is still an evil. An evil that can infect our waters if we let aliens enter our ocean. This lesson cost me much of my home, many of my friends, my entire family. All on Iskalon can speak of similar losses. We will not swim against obvious currents, Luke. Never again.
LUKE: I guess I do see. And I am sorry.
KIRO (into uncomfortable silence): Mone. Say you'll send a representative. I want to leave here, to see the things that Luke can show me. To learn...
MONE: I'm sorry, Kiro. I cannot send you. It is not what the school would want. You are needed here.
KIRO: Why? We've adjusted to the damage. You don't need me to guide and protect our people. We are rebuilding...
MONE: No. Anyone who leaves here without the approval of the school is not part of the school, and may never represent us.
LUKE (below his breath): "Then I guess I'm going nowhere..."
LUKE: Sorry... I remember a similar conversation ages ago on a world unlike this. Mone... I —
MONE: Goodbye, Luke. Please give my regards to the others. Tell Lando that... that the memories of earlier days helps me sometimes... but tell him never to come here.
LUKE: Right. So long. Take care of yourself, and May the Force be with you.
PLIF: A nice chap... is he always so sad?
LUKE: I saw him smile once... but that was long ago. All right, you three. We're leaving now, and I want no arguments.
RIK: You're right there'll be no arguments. What makes you think that just on your say-so we'll just...
CHIHDO: I'll start up the drives...
RIK: Because personally I don't intend to just pack up...
DANI: Rik... drop it.
RIK: It's a free galaxy and... aww... we'll be ready whenever you are.
3-0 ISKALON PLATFORM
LUKE: Are you done with the power cell?
PLIF: Just a few more ergs... there.. sufficiently nourished. Thank you, Luke. How's the ship?
LUKE: She's prepped for take-off. Strange not having Artoo here to do it.
PLIF: Well, were I more technically advanced, I would offer you my assistance.
LUKE: It's okay, Plif.
PLIF: Your disappointment is quite potent...
LUKE: I had hoped it wouldn't be this way... but I suspect Iskallon is not alone. So many worlds were ravaged by the Empire... by the galaxy... that they see no place for themselves in the big picture. It's just so easy to build walls and close yourself off from the rest of the universe. I once joked I lived on the farthest world from the bright center of the universe... but at least I could leave. By closing off Iskalon, Mone is not only robbing his world of its potential, but also the potential of the Iskalonians...
PLIF: Someone's coming...
KIRO (filtered): Iskalon has no space travel. I will not stagnate on a closed world. Is there room for me in your ship?
PLIF: That garb he wears... almost noble.. as a knight.
KIRO (filtered): It is the traditional rebreather garb of the Iskalonian travellers. The plastics are high-impact, and keep the water circulating. The more modern suits were destroyed in the blast, or cannibalized by your friends.
LUKE: Then the least they can do is provide you transport. My ship only seats me and Plif, but we are all heading the same way...
RIK: Waitaminute... we're not taking on passengers.. not for free anyway, unless fishboy here provides a service...
DANI: Oh, I believe he does...
LUKE: After robbing from his world, the way I see it, he's entitled to some restitution...
RIK: All right, all right. But we renegotiate once we get to Shawken, okay? And no Jedi mind tricks either, kid. I've got my eyes open.
KIRO: As do I... for the first time...
RIK: C'mon, time is credit. Let's get off this soggy ball.
LUKE: We will speak again soon, Kiro.
KIRO: Good. I have much I wish to learn from you...
PLIF: Our troupe grows. At least such a varied entourage speaks to your skills of a diplomat.
LUKE: I guess that's one way of looking at it.
SFX: Luke climbs into the cockpit of his X-wing.
PLIF: Kiro is most interesting...
LUKE: Yes. I sense great potential in him...
PLIF: Yet I sense fear from you?
LUKE: Then I am at fault. Anger, fear, agression. That's the dark side of the Force. But it still worries me... he looks to me as a mentor...
PLIF: You can teach him much, Luke. He is very young.
LUKE: So am I, Plif. And inexperience breeds mistakes... c'mon. Let's go.
SFX: X-wing engines power up. The vessel rises into the sky.
ISKALONIAN: I can't believe Kiro chose to leave the school. Will he not miss his home?
was his choice to make. He shall miss us no more than we shall miss