STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE CREVASSE REACHES– chapter eight
Last time on THE CREVASSE REACHES… Luke and Han talked about old times… We learned of Syndoor’s exile and the Empress’ plan… Elix saved MeCoulm’s crew in the hangar…
This time… Cloud City is under attack by The Crevasse and their “special officers of night”… Luke and our heroes listen to Leia’s secret message… The Assassin, Kuwani Saewa, strikes again…
***To preface, this is a spec script to demonstrate my abilities. This is NOT the *REAL* script for EPISODE VII.***
***Formatting has been altered to fit more in less space. This is a continued experiment called PICTUREplay. Listen, read, look, scroll.***
(listen to this excellent score from PLANET OF THE APES -1968- by JERRY GOLDSMITH)
EXT. CLOUD CITY – SUNSET
Sunlight basks the wispy clouds surrounding the OPULENT floating Cloud City. The warm sunset SPARKLES across the shining towers.
A ship departs from one of the many floating hangars. It streams across the clouds and higher into space.
The clouds re-settle. A moment.
THEN, stealthily from within, three sleek ships appear, SHIMMERING with adjusting colours, and maintaining a chameleon-like invisibility.
Dark storm clouds roll in with the ships, overwhelming the brilliant pastels and filling them with rain and lightning.
EXT. HANGAR PORT – SAME
A crew navigates ships to and from port. One member points up and YELLS, as a sleek ship FIRES into the hangar.
Panicked crews run. A departing ship EXPLODES.
The jet deactivates its cloak – its sleek body goes black – as it BLASTS apart the crew and lands on the empty hangar.
INT. CLOUD CITY TOWER – SAME
A cloaked man rushes down a long hallway, flanked by armed guards. It’s LANDO. He talks to his earpiece as he struts.
LANDO: Who? What do you mean you don’t know? Do you know how many diplomats from across the galaxy are here? (listens, smirks) A lot. So. Protect them.
Lando enters ANOTHER hallway. The doors SLIDE closed behind.
A bald cloaked assassin approaches. He THROWS one of the guards with the Force. He BLASTS the other.
The thrown guard quickly returns fire. It SPARKS the armour.
Lando BLASTS the bald head. Flesh PEELS off. SPARKS. But he keeps advancing. The blasted guard FIRES from the ground.
The assassin REACHES out and sends the guard flying into the door. It SLIDES open just after he clumps to the ground.
Lando arrives at the other guard, who’s passed out. Lando grabs a grenade from the guard’s belt.
FZZAK. A blast GRAZES Lando’s arm. He WHIPS the grenade. KA-BLAM. The enemy explodes. SPARKS.
LANDO: At least THAT worked.
Lando rises. Holds his shoulder. He looks out the window.
The enemy’s BLACK ships fight ships visiting Cloud City.
LANDO (OS): Send all available units to the hangars. We got trouble.
Lando leans against the glass, holding himself up, while he watches the ships fire lasers in the dark storm.
LANDO (TO COMM): Scan their ships. Find out where they came from. And who’s with ‘em.
EXT. CAVE – AFTERNOON
A long thin speeder cruises the desert. It slows at the cave. The droids aren’t standing watch anymore.
The braided assassin, KUWANI SAEWA, parks her long speeder next to MeCoulm’s at the bottom of the cliff.
MeCoulm taps the R2 unit on its domed head. R2D2 whistles.
MECOULM: Um, the R2’s ready. Are you? Guys?
(click, listen, scroll – PICTUREplay)
Luke and Han lean in, curious. They look to another.
PSSHT. A holographic image spotlights from R2 onto the cave floor. It’s Leia. Chewie groans a sad howl.
LEIA: Luke. If you’re watching this, the worst must have happened.
The image of Leia paces. She holds her smaller pregnant belly. MeCoulm wells up. He looks to the solemn faces of Luke and Han.
MECOULM: Uh, should we be here for this?
LUKE: Stay. No more secrets.
LEIA: –new planets searching for some remnant of the Empire. Our Intel points to the solar system, KASDAN-77, named for its recent discoverer.
Han grabs a glass straw. Cracks. Inhales.
LEIA (CONT.): The Empire survives. Palpatine has woven quite an elaborate plan far beyond the Death Star. Beyond Vader.
Luke flexes his robot hand, now re-attached.
LEIA (CONT.): His contingency plans sprawl far into the future. The Empire has prepared for nearly 30 years. If you’re hearing this message, they must have returned.
MeCoulm looks to Han. This is bad news. Han doesn’t seem so concerned with that. He’s intently watching Leia. Just her.
LEIA (CONT.): Fear not, the Republic has a plan. Lives were lost retrieving important data. The Empire has small concentrated cells spread throughout the galaxy, operating under the moniker of THE CREVASSE.
LUKE: Did you know this, Han?
Han stares at Leia. Sad. Lost. He nods his head, negative.
LEIA: They believe in the Jedi legends of the chosen one. The saviour. If they absorb his blood, his energy, they will be all-powerful and never-ending.
MECOULM: That’s some crazy stuff right there.
LEIA: As unbelievable as this all sounds, THEY believe it. That legend has a name. They call him the SKY WALKER.
Luke gasps. Han inhales on the glass straw.
LEIA (CONT.): They look for you, brother. As do I. The Force tugs at me. I can feel it at night, as I fade to sleep. It pulls. It reaches. I don’t know how it works. I don’t know what it means. I can only hope it’s you… Luke?
HAN: Was it? Luke? Was it you?
MeCoulm and Han look to Luke. Hopeless. Luke just shakes his head no. He looks to his black robot hand.
LEIA: The resurrected Empire must not find you. Our lives. The new Rebel Republic. All depends on you.
MECOULM: No pressure
LUKE: Why me?
HAN: Don’t you get it? My boy’s a Skywalker.
LEIA: If you find them, don’t go alone. It’s too dangerous. A Jedi lives and dies by other Jedi. And they will have many.
Luke’s hood falls over his face, creating heavy shadows.
LEIA (CONT.): Join us. Help save the SKYWALKERS, Luke. You’re our only hope.
HAN (acidic): Only?
Han rises to leave. MeCoulm and Chewie join him.
LUKE: Han? Wait.
HAN: I’ve heard enough. I’ll be outside.
They leave. R2D2 whistles to the other R2. It spins to stay.
LEIA: I have encoded the starmaps on the disc. We suspect the Crevasse in several unexplored regions. Together we will find them and cancel their reach. Han will assemble a crew.
Leia looks over her shoulder, and bends towards the R2.
Han secretly listens from the cave tunnel. Alone.
LEIA (CONT.): Luke, watch after Han. I worry of him. It wasn’t the first miscarriage. Or the second. It was the third. A boy. It sent him over the edge. He took to the glass. I’m worried, Luke.
Han thinks a moment. Nods, affirmative, with a sigh.
Luke lowers to his sister. He reaches out with his human hand. The hologram is disturbed. He retreats his hand.
LEIA (CONT.): Since I am no longer here, help keep my family together. If I should have a baby, take it and raise it as your own. I don’t care what Han says. This Skywalker MUST be tended to with careful hands.
Han is STUNG by the words. He leaves the tunnel.
LEIA (CONT.): Save us, Luke. Save yourself.
Luke edges his face closer and closer to the hologram.
LEIA (CONT.): May the Force be with you.
The hologram BLIPS out.
LUKE: And also with you.
Luke stares. Thinking. Wondering. THEN, he SENSES something.
(more legendary JERRY GOLDSMITH)
EXT. CLOUD CITY – (DARK) SUNSET
Ships have taken to the clouds to defend Cloud City, whether they are equipped for combat or not.
A sleek black enemy jet attacks. It bobs and weaves through lasers, easily BLASTING apart several ships in mere seconds.
Another jet land closer to Lando’s building. It clears the runway with its nose, running OVER crewmates.
A plank extends from the black ship. A cloaked figure exits. A BALD head pelted by rain.
Then a step behind, boots with high collars exit. A tall cloaked Hispanic man, DA’LYK.
A crewmate FIRES a heavy blaster. SNAP HISS. Da’Lyk ignites his bright ORANGE lightsaber and BATS the lasers right back.
DA’LYK: Go. Spread fear amongst the Rebels. Tell them of our mission. Find the promised one amongst the Clouds.
Lando stares out of the window. The chaos below. AND, the GLOW of an orange lightsaber, held by Da’Lyk, walking down the hangar in the distance. Batting lasers away, casually.
Da’Lyk STOPS in his tracks, SENSING something. He CRANKS his neck, pelted by the wind and rain. He looks up to Lando, staring out through the window.
Lando GULPS. The Jedi definitely sees him.
LANDO (TO COMM): We need help. Find me General Solo. Prepare for a batch communiqué across the Rebel Network.
EXT. CAVE – DAY
Han exits Luke’s cave, a glass straw dangling from his lips. He looks down to the valley below.
MeCoulm and Chewie attend to their speeder. Chewie roars. MeCoulm scratches his head.
Han can’t quite see what they’re doing – grabbing something?
MeCoulm PULLS a camouflaged tarp off of a long thin speeder.
Han notices. Two speeders. Too late. WHAM! He falls. Struck from behind. He spits out the broken glass straw.
KUWANI SAEWA stands over him. Scarf covering her face. Her BRAIDS whip in the wind.
She puts a finger to her scarf. SHHHH.
HAN: You? My SON?!
Faintly, the sound of Vader breathing echoes from the cave. SNAP HISS! A green saber GLOWS from within the shadows. Slowly, an outstretched BLACK hand becomes visible.
FWOOM. The assassin is thrown off the cliff by the Force.
LUKE: You alright?
HAN: Look out.
Kuwani rises from the cliff. Her violet lightsaber ignites.
KUWANI: I did not come to fight.
HAN: Too late.
Han WHIPS out his blaster. SHOOTS. She deflects the laser with her saber. And PULLS the blaster from Han’s grip, through the air, to her hand. She AIMS it at Han.
LUKE: Han. Let me.
Luke stands his ground, two-handing his saber.
Kuwani tucks Han’s blaster away, close to her holstered blaster. And two-hands her glowing saber.
HAN: Do it. She took my son. I saw her.
Luke and Kuwani duel.
He moves fast for his age. She is faster.
KUWANI: It’s not what you think.
HAN: Kill her, Luke!
The Jedi fight. They trade SWIPES and STRIKES for a while.
Her scarf unravels during the melee. She has a pierced hoop in her lower lip.
They fight face-to-face, no bouncing around.
They lock sabers, the energy CRACKLES loudly.
LUKE: Who are you?
The Jedi separate. And stand their ground.
Chewie and MeCoulm have traversed the cliff. They rush to Han. The Wookie growls.
Han takes a blaster from MeCoulm. He aims it.
HAN: She’s with the Crevasse. Kill her.
Luke reaches out and PUSHES Han with the Force. Just enough. Han stumbles back, lowers the blaster. He scowls at Luke.
LUKE: No. Han. I need to know.
KUWANI: I am Kuwani Saewa. I was lied to by my master. He of the Crevasse. If you want to stop them. I will show you how.
HAN: You can’t trust her.
MeCoulm and Chewie stand in front of Han, protecting him.
KUWANI: I lived my whole life unaware of the Republic. I only just learned of you. The man. I was only taught of the myth. I was told you were our saviour. The Master of all Masters.
LUKE: What is it you want?
KUWANI: To ensure your success against the Crevasse. They reach for you. They hope to hold you in their grasp. And crush you.
HAN: It could be a trap. Can’t you use the Force and scan her mind or something?
KUWANI: I will tell you what you would find there. I know of their stations. The location of their cells. The base of the Empress. She who leads the Crevasse.
Luke watches her patiently. He momentarily closes his eyes.
HAN: You believe this, Luke? Is it true?
KUWANI: Notrhupa. Home to your new colony. I am quite certain.
HAN (realizes) Notrhupa? No. Just great. Whadda ya think, Luke?
LUKE: I believe.
Saewa nods affirmative. SNAP HISS. Her saber retracts.
MeCoulm looks to the scene. Han stunned. Chewie confused. Luke passively retracts his saber.
LUKE: Leia was right. I can feel it now. Somewhere in the distance. A great beacon. She speaks the truth.
Kuwani steps towards Han, BENDS to a knee.
He watches. Cautious.
She lowers her head, pulls aside her braids, revealing her neck. She holds out her saber. Flips it. Offering her saber to Han. He is puzzled, but contemplative.
KUWANI: Allow me to repent, Solo. I was betrayed. I wish to make amends.
HAN (thinks a moment): Alright. I’ll give her a chance… But, Luke, don’t ever use The Force on me again. For anything.
Luke nods. He lowers his head. Then jolts with pain.
LUKE (sensing): There’s. Something. Coming.
Kuwani looks to the sky, and rises, searching the clouds.
BRRRRP. Han’s bracelet blinks with light. Same with MeCoulm’s. The R2 units begin to whistle too.
HAN: A batch communiqué. Let me. Your R2 gave me a headache.
Han’s red and orange R2 whistles. An updated hologram beams out. A black window forms in the air. The image shows back and front.
It’s LANDO CALRISSIAN, hunched over a console, a bloody rip in his shoulder. He’s out of breath.
LANDO: This message is intended for transmission across the Rebel Network.
NEXT TIME on THE CREVASSE REACHES… Tatooine is under attack – on the ground, and in the stars above… We also find out what’s happening on Notrhupa and the Rebels on the ground there… Meanwhile, Syndoor prepares himself, as a precaution – he does not trust the Empress…
What did you think?
Is Kuwani to be trusted? What are the young Sith taught about history? Much like the Rebels, did the enemy believe their war was won decades ago?
Is Luke to be trusted? Is he tempted by the Dark Side? Is he with The Crevasse somehow?
How will our heroes defend Tatooine from the Empire?