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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4. Chapter 4

INT. BATTLECRUISER PROMINENCE - LANDING BAY - DAY

Poe slides down the ladder and looks around the spotless and modern hanger bay. BB-8 drops out of the X-wing and lets out an impressed whistle.

POE: It's not that nice.

Myri's EX-1 fighter enters the landing bay and lands nearby.

POE: Wait here.

He marches toward Myri with a few choice words on his lips. Myri climbs down, pulls off her helmet, and brushes back her hair. Poe sees her for the first time and is thunderstruck.

MYRI: (annoyed) What are you staring at?

The black and purple BG-3 droid rolls up next to her. Poe snaps out of his daze and tries to recover gracefully.

POE: You've got a lot to learn about being a starfighter pilot.

BB-8 rolls up behind Poe for a closer look at BG-3.

MYRI: For your information, I wrote the book on starfighter engagement. But of course, you wouldn't know that having washed out of the academy, Poe Dameron.

POE: I didn't wash out. I quit, along with all the great pilots of the original Rebellion. But, what would you know about the Rebellion?

Myri, half listening, looks past him and waves.

MYRI: Hello, father.

Poe turns to see Wedge wave back. He manages a sheepish smile and half-hearted wave.

POE: (in a clenched smile) You could have told me you were Myri.

MYRI: Where's the fun in that?

Wedge and Captain Canady approach. As Myri hugs Wedge, she flashes Poe a sneer. Captain Canady extends a hand to Poe.

CAPTAIN CANADY: Poe Dameron, you've certainly lived up to your reputation.

POE: Thank you, sir. It's an honor to serve with the Republic Defense.

MYRI: Yes, it is.

POE: Bee, contact Admiral Ackbar?

BB-8 beeps and projects a large hologram of Admiral Ackbar.

CAPTAIN CANADY: Admiral, thank you for joining us. I apologize for the delay.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Apologies are unnecessary, Captain.

Admiral Bashier stops to fraternize with his pilots.

WEDGE: Admiral egos, the only thing larger than their fleet.

Admiral Ackbar gives Wedge the fisheye.

WEDGE: What? It's true.

Admiral Bashier approaches the waiting party.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: Admiral Ackbar, the New Republic Defense appreciates your assistance, but this cannot continue. We simply cannot protect you and fight the First Order.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Admiral, I commend you on your commitment to the New Republic charter, but the First Order intends to use your own standing orders against you. You must reassemble your fleet or risk losing them all.

Admiral Bashier looks at Captain Canady suspiciously.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: How did you come by this information?

WEDGE: From a Resistance agent on Valrar.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: A Resistance agent on Valrar.

WEDGE: Yes, sir.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: (sarcastically) Are you stealing their latest advancements in logging technology?

WEDGE: That information is classified.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: Despite any rumors, you may have heard, the New Republic Defense has this situation under control. However, interference from rogue factions could undermine our abilities to operate effectively.

WEDGE: Rogue faction? The only reason the New Republic Defense exists is because of us. When I was at Yavin 4-

MYRI: Dad, nobody wants to hear your war stories. You're embarrassing yourself.

The men shift uncomfortably. Wedge's anger grows.

WEDGE: (with restrained fury) That's your mother talking.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: We're done here.

Admiral Bashier turns and leaves. Myri follows close behind.

Captain Canady reluctantly turns and joins them.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: It's your ego that can't be contained. You need to fix this, Captain.

Admiral Ackbar's hologram disappears. Wedge, frustrated and a little embarrassed, turns to Poe for some validation.

WEDGE: I say let the Republic learn their lesson. When they come crawling back, then we'll be the ones in command.

POE: We can't do it alone.

WEDGE: We defeated the Empire alone, with instinct and action, not meetings and memos from bureaucrats.

POE: When the Rebellion was ten times our size and it still cost billions of lives. We have the experience. They have the firepower. We need to unite.

WEDGE: Tell that to Bashier. He's the one being unreasonable.

POE: If we can't collaborate, we'll just participate. They have no authority over us.

Wedge's mood lightens.

WEDGE: That'd put a buzz-beetle in Bashier's beret, but the admiral won't be tipping his hand to Canady any longer. How will we track them?

CUT TO: With one foot on the ladder, Poe straightens from his cockpit and tosses a device to Wedge who gives it a curious look.

WEDGE: An Imperial tracker, where did you get this?

Poe jumps down from the ladder.

POE: Chewbacca found it on the Millennium Falcon.

Wedge gives Poe a one-armed hug.

WEDGE: Devious. You're like the son I never had. Where should we install it?

Poe looks over at Myri's starfighter.

POE: I know just the place.

EXT. AHCH-TO - FOREST - DAY

Blindfolded and surrounded by birdsong, trees, and rays of sunlight, Rey swings her lightsaber in swift-measured movements. Luke watches with a critical eye. Rey parries, spins, and attacks with a difficult move. She lands off balance and stumbles into a tree.

LUKE: Stop there.

Rey lets out an exasperated sigh.

LUKE: When your mind is unbalanced, your body will follow. First position.

He uses a long, thin stick and taps her arms and legs into their proper position when they simultaneously sense a presence in the Force. Rey pulls off her blindfold and raises her lightsaber, but Luke steadies her. Through the trees, an eight-foot tall, white stag-like ASHLING, with an immense twisted rack finds a patch to graze.

Luke and Rey watch from behind a large tree.

LUKE: (in a whisper) The ashling are Force-sensitive, like many creatures of this world. Clear your thoughts and reach out to him with your feelings.

She closes her eyes and concentrates. Slowly, she senses its heartbeat. It grows from a murmur into deep pounding.

The stag senses them and looks up. The heartbeat quickens.

LUKE: Go to him. Do not be afraid.

Rey steps out into the clearing and slowly approaches the beast with a hand full of long grasses. He lowers his antlers, paws at the ground, and gives a threatening snort. His muscles ripple and flex. Rey hesitates. The ashling becomes more agitated.

Luke takes an intervening step but stops as Rey regains her confidence. Only a few inches away now, she offers up the grasses. The stag sniffs suspiciously and gives an unsettling grunt. After a moment, he sniffs them again. His lips snap noisily as he grasps the greens. Chewing, he sniffs Rey's face and pushes her gently with his nose. Rey slowly reaches out and strokes his muzzle. She turns back to Luke with a victorious smile. Luke nods.

INT. STAR DESTROYER FINALIZER - ASSEMBLY ROOM - DAY

Kylo and General Hux rise in tandem before the giant projection of Snoke as he looks down on them from his throne.

SNOKE: General Hux, I'm uncomfortable with most of our military resources engaged in your operation. Your overreach has left us defenseless.

GENERAL HUX: Supreme Leader, the Resistance has allied their forces with the New Republic as I anticipated. When their defensive capabilities are depleted, we'll overwhelm them with a massive attack.

He pounds his fist in his palm for emphasis.

SNOKE: You underestimate the influence of the Resistance. Crush them now, before outlying planetary forces come to their aid.

GENERAL HUX: Yes, Supreme Leader.

SNOKE: Why is General Organa still alive? We know the location of the Resistance and Skywalker, do we not?

KYLO: She may be lying about the location.

Snoke glowers.

SNOKE: General, I wish to speak to my apprentice alone.

GENERAL HUX: As you wish, Supreme Leader.

General Hux turns and flashes Kylo a smug smile as he leaves.

SNOKE: I'm disappointed. I thought we had finished your training, but you still resist. Do you need more guidance?

KYLO: No, my master. Through your strength, I have shed the last of Ben Solo.

SNOKE: That is for me to determine.

KYLO: What more must I do?

SNOKE: Destroy Luke Skywalker and bring the girl to me. Afterward, you'll dispose of General Organa.

KYLO: I will not fail you.

SNOKE: Have your knights accompany you.

KYLO: Master, that is not necessary.

SNOKE: This may be our only opportunity. I will not risk losing him again. He must not survive.

Snoke sits back in his chair.

SNOKE: I sense an uneasiness in you.

KYLO: I fear some in the First Order are working against me.

SNOKE: As you should. Someone will always try to depose you, just as you hope to depose me.

KYLO: Master, I would never-

SNOKE: I can sense it, and I expect nothing less. It's what drives men like us. And when that day comes, you had better be ready, because I will not hesitate to destroy you.

EXT. AHAKISTA - DAYSTAR CASINO - DAY

Under the dripping Falcon, the valet droid squawks and groans angrily at Lando. Lando rudely tosses credits at the droid.

LANDO: For your trouble. The droid continues to complain as the security guards toss Finn and Threepio at Lando's feet.

Mettga, with a long Gaderffii stick, pushes Chewie. Chewie rips it from his grip and snaps it in two. Mettga back away slowly.

LANDO: Do you have any idea how long it took me to get in that game?

THREEPIO: Sir, I deeply regret-

LANDO: What are you doing here, Threepio?

FINN: We're trying to rescue-

LANDO: Did I ask you?

THREEPIO: General Leia was captured by the First Order-

LANDO: Captured, Leia? Who told you that?

THREEPIO: Well, he did, sir.

FINN: It's true.

Lando sizes him up.

LANDO: And who the hell are you?

FINN: Finn.

LANDO: Finn? That's it? Just, Finn?

THREEPIO: His full name is FN-2187.

Finn winces at the sound of his old designation.

LANDO: Stormtrooper?!

Lando pulls his blaster. Finn throws his hands up.

FINN: Don't shoot. I'm not a stormtrooper, not anymore.

LANDO: Stormtroopers don't defect.

FINN: Yeah, do you know why? Because any stormtrooper who fails to follow orders goes to re-education. Many don't return. I couldn't go through that, not again.

A hint of doubt enters Lando's mind.

LANDO Who authorized this mission, Threepio?

THREEPIO: Well sir, to be honest, it was Finn who- (humbled) who informed me of the mission.

LANDO: That's what I thought. Chewie, lock him in the cargo hold. We're taking him back to the Resistance.

Chewbacca begrudgingly obeys.

INT. AHCH-TO - GROTTO - DAY

Rey's foot dips into the still water. Ripples cascade and shimmer, and a single drop echoes. Tree roots and scattered daylight poke through the high ceiling of the creepy cave. She faintly hears-

REY'S VOICE: (whispering) Rey.

Rey stops and listens intently. Did she really hear that? Drip. She strains to see into the shadows.

REY'S FATHER: Rey.

She definitely heard it. She ignites her lightsaber, holds it up for extra illumination and wades deeper into the water.

REY: Master Luke?

She sloshes slowly through the pool. A black tentacle slithers past her in the knee-high water. She jerks away from it and holds out her blade ready to strike, but it disappears back under the water.

REY'S MOTHER: We've come for you.

A feminine silhouette moves from shadow to shadow. Rey squints at the figure.

REY: M- Mom?

Rey moves toward the shadow.

Kylo's signature red lightsaber appears with a snap-hiss.

The red glow reflects off his mask. Rey gasps.

KYLO: What are you afraid of? The Force is not dark or light. It is the Force.

Rey positions herself to fight.

REY: I'm not afraid.

Next to Kylo, two yellow sabers extend and illuminate a woman in black, form-fitting armor and helmet with chrome trim.

KYLO: I can teach you things.

Fear creeps up on Rey, and she takes a step back. The pool begins to churn. An electrostaff crackles with blue electricity. A man in worn, black stormtrooper armor with a modified helmet and a poncho draped over one shoulder, steps to Kylo's right.

KYLO: Secrets he's keeping from you.

Rey takes another step back. Black tentacles rise all around her. They grab and pull her down onto her hands and knees. Her lightsaber glows below the surface and boils the water around it. She strains against the beasts and cries out. Another tentacle wraps around her face and head, and they pull her into the depths of the pool.

The pool waters calm. Drip.

EXT. AHCH-TO - ISLAND COASTLINE - EVENING

In deep contemplation, Luke looks out over the water from high atop a cliff. Rey, soaked and shivering, marches mad as hell toward Luke, red pockmarks on her neck and arms.

REY: I could have been killed!

LUKE: And yet, here you are.

REY: You're supposed to be training me!

Luke turns to her, calmly.

LUKE: And you're supposed to be learning.

He hands her his cloak. Rey grabs it thanklessly.

LUKE: You were afraid, and now you're angry. You know where this leads.

REY: I'm not angry. I just don't understand. You could have at least warned me about those, those things.

Luke gives her a reassuring smile.

LUKE: You don't understand? That's good. You've chosen knowledge over hatred. Those things are Sarmin. They use the Force to sense fear and find prey, as do all creatures of the Dark Side. This is why you must control your emotions and trust your feelings.

REY: You want me to control my emotions and trust my feelings?

LUKE: Emotions are internal, passionate, and selfish. They blind you to the truth and influence your decisions. Feelings are benevolent and empathetic. Combined with the Force, your feelings will enhance your senses and predict your opponent's behavior.

Rey still looks indignant. Luke grabs her shoulders.

LUKE: Learn from your mistakes. When you confront the Dark Side, you must have no sign of fear or hate, or they will consume you.

INT. STAR DESTROYER FINALIZER - DOJO - DAY

A dim light around the perimeter of the octagonal room illuminates racks of weapons and a variety of battle droids. Under a single light in the center, Kylo, shirtless, practices a complicated kata. His back covered in new scars from punishment lashes. He returns to his first position.

KYLO: Run scenario Skywalker Two.

A combat droid powers up and ignites a green lightsaber. A hologram of Luke, as he was when he defeated Darth Vader, projects over the droid. Kylo attacks and they re-enacts the final battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The holo-luke droid gets a swipe in across Kylo's chest, leaving a pale-red burn. Kylo cries out, more in anger than pain. He then attacks the droid with a barbarous rage. The droid tries to defend itself. He cuts off the droid's right hand and kicks him in the chest. The droid falls backward and Kylo hacks him to pieces. The rest of the droids watch expressionless over Kylo's bloodcurdling wail and the slashes of his lightsaber.

INT. STAR DESTROYER FINALIZER - CONTROL ROOM - DAY

Above the docking bay, General Hux and Captain Phasma watch Kylo and his knights board the black Command Shuttle.

CAPTAIN PHASMA: She tried to kill him with a vibroblade.

He turns to her in surprise. She presents the blade.

CAPTAIN PHASMA: Supposedly she found it in her stateroom. Kylo suspects this is your doing, as do others.

GENERAL HUX: (grumbling) Of course he does. Do you?

CAPTAIN PHASMA: It makes no difference to me; I'm merely making a report.

GENERAL HUX: You brought her here. You find the traitor. I don't care how. And Captain, the speculation ends now. Anyone caught repeating such filth is to be shot.

CAPTAIN PHASMA: Sir, if you have any doubt about your reputation, rest assured that the men are behind you... completely.

He tries to read her meaning, but only sees his distorted reflection in her helmet.

CAPTAIN PHASMA: You have their respect and loyalty. Fear is a powerful motivation.

GENERAL HUX: Fear?

CAPTAIN PHASMA: Fear of Dr. Graft and the augmentation the 501st has undergone.

GENERAL HUX: Yes, I also find it unsettling, but that is not their concern, nor yours. Thank you, Captain.

She leaves as General Hux turns away with a scowl and watches Kylo's black shuttle pass through the magnetic shield.

EXT. HALMAD ORBIT - DAY

The Prominence, flanked by X-wings streaks out of hyperspace to find the Intrepid on fire inside a swarm of Tie Fighters.

ALEXA: Where are our starfighters?

KORTU: Destroyed.

MYRI: Turnabout is fair play. Work the perimeter. When I draw them out, ambush them.

Myri swoops in along the ship and picks off easy targets. Several Tie Fighters give and she leads them away. Rapier Squadron follows and blasts her pursuers. The Prominence moves in close to the starboard side of the Intrepid as its turrets take out Tie Fighters. As Tie Fighters move to the port side, the X-wings follow and attack them in a chaotic dogfight. Myri zooms through the pack and knocks off Tie Fighters. X-wings nearby are not so lucky.

ALEXA: There's too many of them.

MYRI: Pull back and regroup.

FROOG: They're right on top of me.

MYRI: I'm almost there. Bank right!

Two Tie Fighters shoot and Froog's ship explodes as Myri arrives too late. The Tie Fighters split. She follows one. It spins and zigzags about, but her targeting computer finally gets a lock until an alarm goes off and blasters hit her from behind.

MYRI: They're on me.

She pulls up and flips about, but takes more hits. BG-3 tweedles in a panic as her ship smokes. An alarm signals a weapons lock, but the Tie Fighter explodes.

POE: Can't live without me.

Myri ignores him. He looks over the damage to her ship.

POE: I don't think that's going to buff out, but at least you look like a real fighter pilot now. (after a moment) What's wrong?

MYRI: Froog's gone. I hadn't lost anyone until now.

POE: I'm sorry, Myri. Want some payback?

Myri gets control of her emotions and becomes determined.

MYRI: Yes.

POE: I'll follow your lead.

Myri dives into a thick swarm and unleashes a reckless firestorm. Poe struggles to maintain her trail as he protectively blasts her pursuers.

POE: Myri, it's getting pretty hairy. Save some of that fight for later.

Two Star Destroyers flash into orbit over their heads. Tie Fighters launch from the landing bay as large turbolasers target the INTREPID.

MYRI: Oh no.

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