The Last Jedi - Star Wars - Episode VIII

This contains no spoilers of any kind! A war orphan with supernatural powers convinces a disgraced Jedi Master to teach her the ways of The Force, but when she learns his dark secret and is tempted by the Dark Side, she must decide for herself which path to follow.

cover art by: Richie Montez
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3. Chapter 3

INT. STAR DESTROYER FINALIZER - VISITOR'S QUARTERS - DAY

Leia looks longingly out at the stars through the floor-to-ceiling transparisteel wall of her luxurious V.I.P. suite. A Tie Fighter patrol flies past. She turns away and resigns herself to an oversized sofa. She sits and casually reaches under the sofa. A compartment slides open and she removes an eight-inch vibroknife. The door unlocks, and Kylo enters in full battle gear. She stands and hides the weapon on herself with a dispassionate cool. Kylo pushes up his mask.

KYLO: (sarcastically) Mother.

Leia shocked at her son's scarred face, steps up to him and caresses his cheek.

LEIA: Look what they've done to you.

KYLO: Spare me the concerned mother act. Han was a much better liar than you.

LEIA: Oh, not this again.

KYLO: You're a princess and the Minister of State for the New Republic, and he was an outlaw and a womanizer.

LEIA: No, you're wrong. He loved me. Han would never do that. You don't know him like I do.

KYLO: You lie to yourself, but none of that matters now that he's dead.

Leia slaps him and immediately regrets it. Kylo gives a little smile of self-satisfaction.

LEIA: Ben, stop this and come home.

KYLO: I'm sure you'd like that. I must be a terrible embarrassment to you and your Resistance. If you really wanted to make a difference, you'd join me.

LEIA: What?

KYLO: Your presence can influence entire worlds. We'll unify the galaxy and usher in a new era of peace and order.

LEIA: Under the boot of the First Order.

KYLO: How can you defend the New Republic when you, a founder, abandoned them? The New Republic is nothing more than an elitist assembly of selfish children. When I put an end to all of that, where will you be? Will you be here shaping the future, or will you be a forgotten relic of an insignificant faction?

She turns away from him.

LEIA: I didn't want to believe it, but you are truly blind.

Anger swells in Kylo's face. He grabs her.

KYLO: It is you who lack vision, rolling in filth, scurrying from one hole to the next, like womp rats. Your bumbling anarchists are no match for the strength that comes from order and discipline and respect.

Leia pulls the knife and brings it to Kylo's neck. A small nick drips down the blade.

LEIA: I found it in my suite. Perhaps it was an oversight, but how can that be from an organization that prides itself on order and discipline?

Kylo smiles. He twists the knife from her grip.

KYLO: We are more alike than you think. Join me and we'll rule the galaxy as mother and son.

LEIA: I will never join you.

KYLO: Too bad. We would have made a formidable team, but if it's suffering that drives you here, then you will suffer beyond imagination.

He cups his hands behind her head and stares deep into her eyes. Leia squirms uncomfortably.

LEIA: No, Ben, stop.

Her agitation builds to real pain, but Kylo seems to enjoy it even though he sheds a tear. Leia struggles to get away.

LEIA: No! Stop it!

He holds her tighter, closer. His breathing quickens as he digs in deeper into her mind. Leia screams.

EXT. AHCH-TO - JEDI TEMPLE - EVENING

Between mounds of stacked stone graves, a mist lingers and swirls around Rey's knees as she walks.

REY: Master Luke?

She approaches a single headstone set apart from the others and kneels before it. The slate is blank. Does she dare touch it? She reaches out a shaky hand, fearful of what she may learn. Her fingertips almost touch it.

LUKE: Psychometry is a rare ability and a skill forbidden by the Jedi.

Rey turns to find Luke behind her.

LUKE: Strong emotions embed themselves into objects, but their imprints are misleading out of context. Powerful emotions cloud judgment, suppress clarity, and occlude objectivity.

REY: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be disrespectful. I just... Is this her?

Luke nods.

Rey lets that float as she builds up the courage to pry.

REY: In my vision, she was pregnant-

Luke suddenly turns away, dazed.

REY: (to herself) Good job, Rey.

A strong breeze kicks up. Luke rubs his head, but the pain grows. He falls to his knees. Rey rushes to his side.

REY: Master Luke, I'm sorry.

LUKE: (through the pain) It's Leia. We're not safe. He knows.

Rey helps him to his feet. The breeze becomes gusty. Luke struggles through the pain.

LUKE: Kylo. He's coming for us.

REY: Tell me you have a ship hidden away.

He looks at Rey dead in the eye.

LUKE: There is no way off this planet. We must face him. I can teach you.

REY: Are you mad? There's no time.

LUKE: There is never enough time. A Jedi's training never ends, but for you, we'll have to skip the basics.

He holds out his lightsaber to her, but Rey is reluctant.

LUKE: To walk the narrow path of a Jedi is a noble privilege. However, if you stray from the code of honor, the temptation of the dark side will forever dominate you, as it has me.

Rey stares at it, vacillating between courage and fear. Finally, she grabs the hilt and extends the blade. A rush of excitement vibrates through her body and she raises the blade above her head with conviction.

EXT. BILBRINGI ORBIT - BATTLECRUISER PROMINENCE - DAY

The Prominence, alone, burns as it fends off Tie Fighters with its turbolasers and missiles.

INT. BATTLECRUISER PROMINENCE - BRIDGE - DAY

Captain Canady extinguishes a fire as a medic wraps the burned face of the comm officer. Captain Canady gets on the comm.

CAPTAIN CANADY:

We're getting pounded up here. We need support. What's your status?

EXT. BILBRINGI - CAPITAL CITY - DAY

Myri's EX-1 and her squad follow in formation as they bank and dive around toppled towers and through columns of smoke.

Casualties from both sides litter the streets.

MYRI: We've taken out their ground forces.

CAPTAIN CANADY Stay only until the planetary defense takes over. We need you here.

MYRI: Copy that.

The squad locks onto an AT-AT's knee and fires missiles. The AT-AT fires flak from a turret mounted on its back, but the ships disperse. The missiles hit and the AT-AT crumbles to the ground. Tie Fighters hit and run. Froog groans in frustration.

FROOG: The bucketheads won't engage. They're just toying with us.

ALEXA: They're trying to keep us from the Prominence.

MYRI: Rapier Two, take the squad and defend the battlecruiser. If the TIEs won't fight us as a group, I'm betting they will if I'm alone.

KORTU: Good hunting, Rapier Leader.

The team splits and rockets off into the sky.

CAPTAIN CANADY: Another vessel has just entered-

A loud bang rocks her ship and several missed shots fly by. BG-3, Myri's astromech droid, beams an alarm.

MYRI: I see them. Just get my comms online.

Three Tie Fighters swoop in and give chase.

MYRI: Let's see what you're made of.

She takes them on a wild tour through the devastated skyscrapers. She out-maneuvers the Tie Fighters, shoots down two, but attracts eight more. Fear creeps up on her.

MYRI: Come on, Myri. You're better than this.

Cannon fire surrounds her as she zigzags and takes more hits. The radio crackles and BG-3 whistles with success.

POE: (radio crackles) Whoa! That's quite the TIE rack.

Poe's black and orange X-wing swoops in and takes out two fighters, the rest scatter. Myri breathes a sigh of relief, gets her game face back on. She chases a fleeing Tie Fighter.

MYRI: Bilbringi pilot, the New Republic Defense is handing off operations to your State military.

She shoots and obliterates her Tie Fighter target.

POE: Bilbringi?

She looks over as Poe's X-wing barrel rolls and shoots down the another Tie Fighter.

POE: (playfully) I'm insulted.

Poe flies up parallel to Myri and looks over at her.

MYRI: (sarcastically) Oh good. It's the Resistance. You're just in time for the bars to open.

POE: Say, that's a nice ship. You should take better care of it.

MYRI: I don't need the help of some backrocket space cadet.

POE: What? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me saving your astromech.

Bilbringi fighters whoosh past.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: The Bilbringi air command has taken over planetary operations. All fighters report to sector two-five.

POE: Two-five, copy that.

Poe salutes Myri, banks hard, and takes off into the sky. Annoyed, Myri lets out a low growl and follows after him.

EXT. BILBRINGI ORBIT - DAY

Several squads from the New Republic and the Resistance join the dogfight already in progress. Tie Fighters focus solely on the damaged Prominence. Cannons fire volleys as the Echo of Hope pushes into the cloud of Tie Fighters that engulfs the Prominence.

POE: Okay, people, here's the plan. Shoot the bad guys then go home.

L'ULO: Good plan.

Black Squadron scatters. They pick targets and engage.

MYRI: Select the easy target. Don't let them bait you into a chase. That's how you get killed. And do not fly through debris fields. It's dangerous and childish.

A Tie Fighter explodes and Poe whoops as his X-wing punches through the explosion. BB-8 sequels.

POE: That never gets old.

Jessika weaves and dodges to shake off a Tie Fighter.

JESSIKA PAVA: I've got one on me. I can't lose him.

POE: I got him. Bank left.

Jessica turns sharply and the Tie Fighter follows, exposing his large foils. Poe fires. Tie Fighter tumbles and explodes. Poe engages another Tie Fighter and gives chase. Poe fires and misses as the Tie Fighter weaves. Poe lets out a small groan of frustration. He tails it in a high-speed chase along the Prominence hull. He gets him locked in on his computer.

POE: Ah, gotcha.

Myri cuts him off, steals his kill.

POE: Hey! That was my kill!

MYRI: This is not a game; it's a war. Get over yourself.

She barrel rolls away after another fighter.

POE: (under his breath) Republic vac-head.

BB-8 tweedles in agreement.

WEDGE: Poe, we need you. They're are trying to rupture the core of the Prominence.

POE: Black Squad, on me.

Black Squadron falls into formation as they race toward the stern where Rogue Squadron fiercely fends off the kamikazes.

WEDGE: Blue Six, you're too close.

ZARI BANGEL: I can handle it, Rogue Leader.

ZARI BANGEL dives into the oncoming Tie Fighters, guns blazing. She takes out one after another in short succession.

They overrun her and a Tie Fighter foil clips her wing. They both spin out of control.

JESSIKA PAVA: Zari!

The TIE crashes into Prominence and Zari collides into another oncoming Tie Fighter. Stunned, Jessika watches the dispersing explosion. The last wave of Tie Fighters comes like rain. The X-wings fire but there's too many of them.

POE: Jessika! Stay focused.

KARE' KUN: There's too many of them.

POE: Stay on them.

KARE' KUN I can't. I-

Jessika swoops in under, Kare' with her cannons blazing. Cheeks wet with tears, Jessika grits her teeth and unloads vengeance on the suicidal Tie Fighters. Poe frantically shoots down Tie Fighters and lets out a war cry as the overwhelming fleet barrels down on them. From behind, hundreds of cannon shots stream past as Rapier Squadron joins the fight and finishes off the fleet in a finally of fireworks. Poe lets out a sigh of relief.

POE: Thanks for the assist, Rapier Leader.

MYRI: Black and Rogue Leaders are to report to the Prominence.

POE: Copy, that. All Resistance squads return to your docking bays. Repair, refuel, and reload. This is only the beginning.

The squadrons divide and return to their respective starships. Poe and Wedge follow Myri to the still-burning Prominence.

EXT. AHAKISTA - DAYSTAR CITY - DAY

Towering hotels and casinos with grand marquees light up the city, like a Los Angeles-sized Las Vegas, as the sun sets. Street musicians and performers attract small crowds of tourists along the bustling streets. A young, red-skinned TOGRUTA couple stops to watch a BITH quartet. The fanfar player's routine drifts as he looks up. They all follow his gaze, slowly turn, then run. The Falcon, upside-down, flies low over the street.

Through the cockpit window, Finn, Chewie, and Threepio hang from their seats and howl. The Falcon banks, flips upright, and stops just above the Daystar Casino's magnificent fountain. The engines cut and the Falcon falls into the pool, soaking the onlookers. The Falcon rises out of the water on its landing gear.

INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - LOUNGE - DAY

Threepio stands clad in Han's clothes and with the DL-44 blaster strapped to his thigh.

THREEPIO: This will never work.

FINN: If you're gonna look like a bounty hunter you gotta dress like one. No one will take you seriously if you look like the furniture.

THREEPIO: Why can't you do this?

FINN: Because you know customs and etiquette and six million languages.

THREEPIO: Seven million.

FINN: Exactly. Stormtroopers... we don't get out much unless it's to shoot something. And Chewie, he...

They look at Chewie.

FINN: ...his accent makes him difficult to understand.

Chewie grunts dismissively.

FINN: All you have to do is casually ask around and see if you can find out where Leia is being held. By the way, you look great.

Finn sticks a fedora on Threepio's head.

INT. DAYSTAR CASINO - DAY

Loud electronic dance music, synchronized laser lights, and slot-machine tones fill the towering, ultramodern atrium. Threepio enters like a boss, flanked by Chewie and Finn.

THREEPIO: This is a treacherous place. We must all do our best to blend in.

FINN: Blend in. Got it.

Aliens from around the galaxy mill about as super-sexy chrome droids distribute complimentary drinks.

THREEPIO: Oh my word. I can see her data port.

Behind a grand circular bar, blue-skinned, PANTORAN go-go dancers shake and shimmy. In the center, a DJ in a gold helmet and a silver droid with a wide visor tops a tall platform. Chewie catches a scent and follows his nose to a sprawling buffet featuring a roasted nerf turning on a spit.

FINN: I've never seen anything like this.

As they pass the dancers, they wave to Finn and summon him.

THREEPIO: The volume is uncomfortably loud. Perhaps I should speak with the manager. I'm sure everyone would appreciate my intervention.

Finn gawks at the dancers and lags behind.

FINN: Uh huh.

Now alone, Threepio passes close by a slot machine. JACKPOT! Lights flash and bells ring. A three-eyed GRAN lets out a goat-like bleat of celebration.

THREEPIO We must be careful not to draw any unwanted attention. Any confrontation could lead to real trouble.

Finn leans in as a dancer gets up close and personal. Threepio passes an unoccupied slot machine.

THREEPIO: I have no understanding why one would participate in games of chance when diversified investments in well-founded businesses will yield far greater gains with minimal risk.

JACKPOT! The JAWA at the machine next to it hops off his seat and collects the reward as it pours onto the floor.

At the buffet, Chewie strikes up a conversation with a reptilian TRANDOSHAN. Threepio turns to find he's alone and does a double take.

THREEPIO: Where is everyone?

He hurries down an aisle of slot machines and ignites a cascade of jackpots. A joyous roar goes up and people scramble for the winnings like children under a spent piñata. On the stage, Finn gyrates with the dancers. the crowd eggs him on. He pulls off his shirt, spins it over his head, and whips it into the audience as the girls dance around him.

THREEPIO: Chewbacca? Finn? Where are you?

An overhead drone spies on Threepio as he turns down another row and sets off more slot machines. One particularly attractive Pantoran seductively dances up against Finn Their lips get closer and closer. Finn closes his eyes, but Threepio pulls him away before they kiss.

FINN: Hey! What are you doing? I'm trying to blend in.

The spectators boo as Threepio drags Finn offstage only to be met with the sagging, leathery faces of three WEEQUAY, dressed in suits and armed with glowing stun batons.

THREEPIO: I deeply apologize. This was all just a misunderstanding.

With a large roar, Chewbacca appears and tosses one of the Weequay guards over a crowded Sabacc card table. THREEPIO: Oh no! Chewbacca, stop! Stop this nonsense at once. A second guard shocks Chewie as Finn jumps him.

THREEPIO: This this madness!

INT. DAYSTAR CASINO - VIP ROOM - DAY

A triangular-headed ARCONA groans and folds cards, followed by a green-skinned, thin-lipped, DUROS and a heavy-set CORELLIAN woman in a white gown and gold necklace. Gorga the Hutt peeks through a monocle at what looks like a winning Sabacc hand. He glances at his merger stack of chips. Across the table, behind tall stacks of chips, in a fine suit, purple silk tie, and matching cape clasped by a gold chain, smiles LANDO CALRISSIAN. Two near-naked women stand on either side of him. In his signature, super sexy, voice-

LANDO: So, what's it going to be, Gorga?

Gorga, torn between winning and pride, goes with greed.

GORGA THE HUTT: Perhaps a line of credit? You know I'm good for it.

Lando raises a discerning eyebrow.

GORGA THE HUTT: I have a nineteen-hundred series Corellian freighter I'd be willing to use as a retainer.

LANDO: How about the bounty on Leia Organa?

GORGA THE HUTT Lando, I thought this was a friendly game between friends. Now I see your loyalty to the Resistance isn't as detached as I was lead to believe.

LANDO: I severed my ties with the Resistance long ago. This is just a favor for an old friend.

GORGA THE HUTT: Your obligation to Solo died with him, but that makes no difference to me. The honor of my family is worth far more than a hand of Sabacc.

LANDO: Even more than a small, but lucrative, gas mining operation?

GORGA THE HUTT: Cloud City was lucrative before the end of the Empire, but now-

LANDO: But now it's no longer on Bespin. It has a new home and it's poised to mine something more valuable than Tibanna gas. All it needs is cheap labor. I know you can manage that.

Gorga looks at him intrigued, but with skepticism.

LANDO: Like you said, your obligation to Jabba died with him, but aside from that, ask yourself, 'What would Jabba do?'

Gorga knows exactly what Jabba would do, but before he can agree, a hologram of Finn, Chewie, and Threepio, all in binders, projects down onto the table. METTGA, the Weequay security guard steps into the image.

METTGA: Your Eminence-

GORGA THE HUTT: Do you not value your life?

METTGA: I'm sorry, Your Eminence, but we caught these three running a scam.

GORGA THE HUTT: Then kill them and don't bother me.

Lando laughs out loud.

LANDO: Those three? I find that hard to believe. I'll tell you what; I'll cover your losses if you turn them over to me. I'm in need of some cheap labor myself.

THREEPIO: Lando! Oh, thank the Maker.

Gorga slyly turns to Lando and smiles.

GORGA THE HUTT: Friends of yours?

LANDO: No, I've never had the pleasure, but my reputation is quite extensive.

Gorga isn't buying it.

GORGA THE HUTT: I'll bet that the Wookiee is none other than the notorious Chewbacca. Excellent work, Mettga.

LANDO: Forget them. Let's finish this game. Are you in or out?

THREEPIO: What?

Chewie lets out a long howl.

GORGA THE HUTT: Fine. Cloud City for the Huttslayer.

LANDO: And those three.

GORGA THE HUTT: What? No! Either Leia or the criminals, not both.

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