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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6. Chapter 5

EXT. KRANT - SPECTER BASE - REAR ENTRANCE - NIGHT

Through the tree line, the dimly lit Resistance base hides quietly surrounded by the sounds of woodland creatures. The Falcon rumbles by overhead. Its engine moan fades. A twig snaps and a hidden sentry droid's lights pop on. It cycles through different frequencies as it scans the woods. Through a thermographic sensor, it finds a glowing orange figure, then a white flash. A bolt punches through the droid's head. Its lights go out.

INT. SPECTER BASE - SECURITY STATION - NIGHT

A perimeter alarm flashes on the base map and cadet NISHA, a young, female, hammer-headed ITHORIAN logs the event.

NISHA: Sir. We've lost contact with SD-34.

Security chief, CYPRISS, looks over her shoulder.

CYPRISS: It's probably that pack of scaregs again. Send a team to check it out.

EXT. SPECTER BASE - LANDING ZONE - NIGHT

Lando, Chewie, and Threepio escort Finn off the Falcon, in a pair of binders, to a waiting armed detail.

LANDO: I believe this is yours.

GUARD: We'll take it from here, General.

FINN: You're making a mistake. I'm not a criminal.

KABOOM! A fireball billows up from behind the base. Sirens sounds.

LANDO: Go! I'll watch him.

The team hops onto their speeder and takes off to the base.

LANDO: I don't like the looks of this, Chewie. Start refueling the Falcon, we may be leaving in a big hurry.

INT. SPECTER BASE - REAR ENTRANCE - NIGHT

THE KNIGHTS OF REN, in heavy black battle gear and armed to the teeth, enter the base through the flaming remains of a reinforced blast door. A hulk of a man, TAUG REN, 30s, holsters a rocket launcher. Resistance troops, scattered about the large maintenance bay, take cover and open fire on the intruders.

ARIGAV: Taug!

ARIGAV REN, in a hooded black cloak and skull-like mask, tosses a battle-ax to Taug, ignites a purple lightsaber and deflects incoming blaster bolts in one fluid movement. The soldiers duck, but one catches a ricochet in the chest. Taug grasps the handle. The blade spins chainsaw-like.

BEZ MILOSTI REN, in a long black coat and single shoulder pauldron, scales a chain to a catwalk and snipes Resistance fighters from above with a long gun. Taug slashes through the posts of an overhead crane. Resistance soldiers scramble from their cover as it falls.

MYRKKY REN, with two bandoleers of plasma clips and thermal detonators, extends a stiletto style vibrobayonet from his repeating blaster. He slides behind a barrier, slashes, and stabs two Resistance soldiers then shoots down fleeing enemy. The soldiers escape through a slowly closing fire door.

MYRKKY: Skhal! The door!

SKHAL REN, with his blue tipped electrostaff, wedges it under the closing door but saves only a small opening.

TAUG: Move, Skhal. I'll blast it.

ARIGAV: No! You'll collapse the opening.

LASCENDU REN runs toward the door.

SKHAL: Lascendu, no!

She slides under feet first through the opening. On the other side, she springs up into a maelstrom of blaster bolts. She ignites her two yellow lightsabers and deflects the shots at the Resistance soldiers. Taug grabs the door and struggles to lift it up. Bez Milosti strolls up to watch but offers no help.

ARIGAV: Myrkky! Get through there.

MYRKKY: I don't take orders from you. Send Bez Milosti, he's not doing anything.

BEZ MILOSTI: It sounds like Arigav is going to challenge Kylo again?

ARIGAV: Someone's got to do his job.

TAUG: (grunting) Will you two stop fighting?

Alone, Lascendu uses her lightsabers to deflect blaster bolts. Entrenched soldiers, several of which lay dead on the floor, continue to fire in vain. As another soldier catches a shot in the chest, the others give up escape deeper into the turns back to the door and hits the lock. When she touches the switch, she sees Rey's face flashes for an instant. The door swishes open and Arigav leads the others on, but Skhal checks on Lascendu who stands dazed in the doorway.

SKHAL: Are you okay?

She blinks back her attention.

SKHAL: Another vision?

LASCENDU: Maybe. No. It's nothing. Come on, let's get this done.

EXT. AHCH-TO - HILLSIDE - DAY

Storm clouds roll in. As the ashling finds a tuft of grass to dine on, it senses danger and looks up. Kylo's black command ship glides past and sends the great white stag running. The ship folds its wings and lands.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE - DAY

Luke and Rey's lightsabers clash in the Hall of Knights. Luke lunges and Rey deflects then feigns an attack. Luke drops his guard and Rey pauses. Luke stares at nothing.

LUKE: He's here. It's too soon. You need to hide.

REY: Hide? Hide? I thought that the whole point of this was to confront him.

LUKE: You're not ready, not yet.

Luke leaves a disappointed Rey in the center of the hall.

EXT. JEDI TEMPLE - PROMENADE - DAY

Kylo stands at the base of the steps and looks up through his mask as Luke appears at the top. He looks down at Kylo with a warm smile.

LUKE: (jokingly) You have my father's eyes.

Kylo climbs the steps. Thunder rolls in the distance.

LUKE: I won't fight you.

KYLO: Then you'll die a coward.

LUKE: I'm surprised you're here alone. It's not like Snoke to act without precautions. You do not possess the full strength of the Dark Side. The light is still in you. Even Vader couldn't eliminate it completely.

Kylo ignites his blade as he reaches the top. Luke makes no movement even as Kylo comes face to face with him.

KYLO: I will purge any light when I strike you down and extinguish the Jedi forever.

Kylo tries to strike, but Luke's blade, seemingly from nowhere blocks it. They glare at one another through crossed blades.

LUKE: Even if you do defeat me, my death will not extinguish the Jedi.

KYLO: Where's the girl?

LUKE: You're too late. I've already prepared her for you.

KYLO: She's no Jedi. She's not even a padawan. The only thing she'll become is an unmarked grave.

Kylo attacks with a flurry of swipes. Luke deflects the attacks in a Zen-like state. Lightning flashes and thunder booms. Kylo's face contorts as his anger swells in attack after attack. Luke stays calmly on the defensive. Kylo overextends his thrust, and Luke easily pushes him over. Kylo falls embarrassingly to the ground.

LUKE: After all those years, do you remember nothing I've taught you?

Kylo looks up at Luke as he catches his breath.

LUKE: You fear her, Rey. I can feel it.

KYLO: I'm not afraid of her.

LUKE: You're afraid of her potential, what she might become.

KYLO: NO!

Kylo hurls himself at Luke in one great leap.

EXT. KRANT - SPECTER BASE - LANDING ZONE - NIGHT

Waves of people flee past the Falcon toward the transports.

FINN: What's happening?

LANDO: Quiet, you. (to Threepio) What's happening?

THREEPIO: It looks like they're evacuating.

LANDO: You're a fountain of knowledge.

Artoo appears out of the crowd.

THREEPIO: R2-D2! Am I glad to see you.

He beeps and whistles urgently.

THREEPIO: Good Heavens! He says The Knights of Ren are attacking the base.

LANDO: Where's Leia?

Artoo lets out a saddened series of tones.

THREEPIO: Captured.

FINN: See? I told you. (to Chewie) Didn't I tell him? I told him.

Lando flashes Finn a look of annoyance. An explosion and the sound of a firefight erupt from the base.

LANDO: Come on. Maybe we can buy some time.

INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - LOUNGE - NIGHT

Lando pushes Finn onto the bench seat.

LANDO: Watch him, Artoo.

Artoo produces his electric prod.

LANDO: (to Threepio) Can you operate the cannon?

THREEPIO: I'm not a battle droid.

Finn stands.

FINN: I can fire those cannons.

Artoo shocks him back onto the seat.

FINN: Ow!

He moves to shock him again.

LANDO: Wait, Artoo.

Lando removes the binders against his better judgment.

LANDO: One misfire, and I'll have Chewie remove your head.

Chewie gives a sympathetic moan.

LANDO: Whose side are you on?

Finn climbs down the ladder and into the quad cannon turret.

EXT. SPECTER BASE - LANDING ZONE - NIGHT

The Falcon lifts and circles toward the building. Finn fires at the Knights as they emerge from the huge doors. Skhal deflects a shot, but the others explode around them and force them back inside. Finn fires at vehicles and equipment to create a burning barrier between the Knights and evacuees. Taug pulls his rocket launcher and fires at the Falcon.

INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - TURRET - NIGHT

Finn's eyes widen as warning alarms beep.

FINN: Incoming!

EXT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - NIGHT

The impact rocks the ship and almost sends it into the forest, but Lando pulls out of the dive.

INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - COCKPIT - NIGHT

Alarms beep and flash as the console sparks and smokes. Chewie howls and flips switches to mitigate the damage.

THREEPIO: We've lost our shield generator. Another hit and we're done for.

Through the window, Lando sees the transports lift off.

LANDO: All right, let's get out of here.

EXT. SPECTER BASE - NIGHT

The Falcon swoops and makes for the night sky. Bez Milosti and Arigav appear as Taug aims his rocket at the scattering white whale-like GR-75 medium transports. He can't decide which one to fire upon.

LASCENDU: That one. The others are nearly empty. I can feel it.

Taug's computer struggles to lock onto the target. Bez Milosti grabs the rocket launcher away from Taug and fires quickly. The transport slips away, out of sight. Bez Milosti tosses the launcher back and Taug and walks off as the transport explodes in the distance.

EXT. AHCH-TO - JEDI TEMPLE - PROMENADE - DAY

Kylo wears down Luke with raw power. Luke struggles to disperse one brutal strike after another. Kylo sneaks in a punch to the side of Luke's head. Luke stumbles but regains his balance as Kylo gives him another barrage of attacks. Luke finally Force pushes Kylo off the temple promenade. Kylo hits a wall of rock and falls to the ground. Luke takes the lull to catch his breath and rub his face. Kylo stands, ready to go again.

KYLO: The Jedi have made you weak.

LUKE: And Snoke has made you a slave.

KYLO: What kind of life has no emotion, no passion, nothing but blind obedience to a set of rules. That's the life of a slave. If you only knew the power-

LUKE: Oh, I know it. I've seen what it can do and seen its wake of destruction. You are in your final days.

KYLO: This is only the beginning.

Kylo stands ready to attack again.

LUKE: Snoke knows you'll never fully turn. (realizing) He doesn't want Rey dead. He wants her to replace you.

KYLO: That will not happen.

LUKE: He will kill you.

KYLO: Not if I kill him first.

LUKE: Ben, He'll never let you take his place. Never. There is too much of me in you. Even if you do kill me and Rey, Snoke will find someone to replace you.

Kylo stares at the ground and takes this in. Rain begins to fall.

LUKE: There is a way you can defeat him.

Kylo looks up. Luke extends a hand to him.

LUKE: Come back to us, it's not too late.

Kylo stares at Luke's coaxing hand.

KYLO: I- I can't. I killed my father.

LUKE: I know, Ben. I also know Han loved you, and he wouldn't have it any other way if it meant your return.

Kylo sheaths his sword and starts toward Luke. Luke gives him and exhausted and forgiving smile. Thunder rolls. Kylo reaches out toward Luke.

KYLO: I won't go back.

Luke's smile fades and Kylo sends Force lightning at Luke. Luke raises his blade to deflect the bolts, but his prosthetic limb shorts out. The lightsaber flies from his hand.

Kylo gives him another blast of Force lightning. Luke cries out and writhes in pain. He crawls toward his lightsaber on his belly. His prosthetic hand malformed and disabled. Kylo, with clenched teeth and an evil grin, continues to shock Luke over and over again. Luke reaches over a toppled column toward his hilt, but another blast leaves Luke slumped over the stone, unmoving. Kylo casually walks around and picks up Luke's lightsaber. He examines his trophy with pride and ignites the blue blade.

KYLO: How fitting it is that you should die by your father's sword.

Kylo hovers the blade over Luke's neck then raises it above his head. He hesitates.

KYLO: Goodbye, Uncle Luke.

He brings it down hard, only to be stopped by Rey's green blade. Kylo and Rey's eyes meet. He slams his shoulder into her side and she stumbles backward but doesn't fall. Kylo spins his blade with pompous swagger. KYLO: So, you think you're a Jedi? Rey positions herself between Kylo and Luke and takes her practiced stance. She does her best to tamp down her nerves, but her fear is obvious.

REY: Yeah. I'm a Jedi, a powerful Jedi, but merciful. If you leave now, I'll allow you to live.

Kylo smiles with amusement.

KYLO: No. I'm ready to die. Are you?

Kylo attacks with Luke's lightsaber and Rey deflects. She recovers in time to parry another attack. Kylo enjoys himself. He lets out a series of attacks that force Rey to give up ground, but she leads him away from Luke. Kylo's attacks come faster and more aggressive. Rey can barely keep up until she spots an opening and swings. Kylo blocks her strike, but his anger erupts and he goes berserk. He scores a hit across Rey's shoulder. Rey spins and retreats into a narrow passage of the temple.

REY: (to herself) The Force is with me. The Force is with me.

Kylo slashes at the walls as he follows her inside. Rey turns left and right until she exits at the edge of a cliff. Kylo rounds the last turn.

KYLO: You won't be the first Jedi I've killed, but you will be the last.

He advances on her, determined. Rey looks fearless but clearly, favors her injured shoulder. Kylo stops. He looks worried. Confidence boosted, Rey stands taller with her blade high. Kylo turns and runs. Rey amazed, hears a loudening roar of engines. She turns to see the Falcon rise above the temple.

INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - TURRET - DAY

Finn, in the gunner seat, locks onto Kylo. FINN: This is for Nines, Slip, and Zeros.

EXT. JEDI TEMPLE - PROMENADE - DAY

Finn fires and Kylo ducks back into the temple as stone shatters from the blasts. Without landing, the Falcon's ramp lowers with Chewie on the edge. He reaches out with his paw.

REY: We have to get Luke.

With no place to land, the Falcon circles the promenade and Chewie hops out near Luke. The Falcon hovers and Rey watches from the ramp as Chewie carries Luke's limp body.

INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - COCKPIT - DAY

Lando holds the stick steady.

REY: Okay, we're in.

Lando flips a switch above him and pulls the yoke.

EXT. JEDI TEMPLE - PROMENADE - DAY

The Falcon's ramp closes as it banks and departs.

EXT. HIGHLANDS - DAY

Kylo sprints across an open field littered with rock outcroppings. The Falcon closes the gap between them. Kylo looks back as it is almost on top of him. He quits running and ducks into a grouping of stones. He looks out as the Falcon flies past and toward his black command ship.

KYLO: No.

Kylo steps out of his cover as the Falcon fires on his ship.

KYLO: No!

It launches a concussion missile and blows the ship to hell.

KYLO: Nooooooo!

Kylo falls to his knees in defeat as the Falcon rises up into the overcast sky.

EXT. HALMAD ORBIT - DAY

The two Star Destroyers pummel the Intrepid. Only a few cannons fire on the Echo of Hope and Prominence.

INT. STAR CRUISER ECHO OF HOPE - BRIDGE - DAY

Admiral Ackbar watches the battle from his captain's chair.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: Extend your deflector shields around the Intrepid. We can take the hits.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Yes, Admiral. (to his officers) Divert all auxiliary power to the forward deflectors shields and keep trying to hail-

COMM OFFICER: I've got the Intrepid, sir.

FREELAND (V.O.): (broken up transmission) This is acting Captain FREELAND.

INT. DREADNOUGHT INTREPID - BRIDGE - DAY

Red lighting washes over the dead crew and scorched superstructure. A fire suppression droid uses a dry fog to extinguish flames. A bloodied and burnt FREELAND leans on the flight console. FREELAND: Our main cooling system has breached and it's only a matter of time until the power cores destabilize. The rest of the crew is evacuating.

INT. BATTLECRUISER PROMINENCE - BRIDGE - DAY

Admiral Bashier looks out at the crippled Intrepid.

FREELAND (V.O.): I'm going to scuttle the ship and take these bastards-

The communication goes dead. Admiral Bashier stands with alarm and he stares out at the burning Intrepid.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: Port deflector shields to maximum! Fire maneuvering thrusters! Get us away from the Intrepid.

EXT. DREADNOUGHT INTREPID - DAY

The Prominence and Echo of Hope split as the Star Destroyers move closer, concentrating their firepower on the Intrepid. Escape pods eject and fly off toward the planet. Tie Fighter move to intercept and destroy them.

POE: All fighters get clear of the Intrepid. Defend the escape pods.

The fighters scatter. The Intrepid fires its thrusters and charges forward.

INT. STAR DESTROYER - BRIDGE - DAY

The stiff STAR DESTROYER COMMANDER loses his composure as the Intrepid collides with the lead Star Destroyer.

STAR DESTROYER COMMANDER: Maximize shields! Brace for impact!

The bridge crew works frantically and klaxons blare. Through the window, the two hulls scrape against each other. The Intrepid explodes. The Star Destroyer commander reflexively holds up his arms against the explosion and yells.

EXT. STAR DESTROYERS - DAY

The collision and core explosion obliterates the lead Star Destroyer and critically damages the second. Debris bombards both the Echo of Hope and the Prominence and shoves them away from the blast.

INT. STAR CRUISER ECHO OF HOPE - DAY

Alarms flash and sound. The bridge crew works fast.

COMMADOR META: Multiple hull breaches, but the pressures doors are holding.

OFFICER BYCK VAVSON: Admiral, we're losing altitude.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Engage the repulsorlifts.

COMMADOR META: Sir, the repulsor coils are offline.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Fire all thrusters.

INT. BATTLECRUISER PROMINENCE - DAY

The bridge crew handles the emergency, but a few stop and watch as the hull of the Echo of Hope sparks and glows red as it enters the atmosphere.

CAPTAIN CANADY: Lock onto them with the tractor beam.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: Delay that order. Establish communications first. We need to know if they can be saved.

The bridge crew sneaks look at the Admiral.

EXT. HALMAD ORBIT - DAY

The grouped X-wings watch on helplessly as the Echo of Hope and second Star Destroyer burn and are pulled into the planet.

KARE' KUN: Why aren't they helping?

JESSIKA PAVA: Because they don't give a damn.

POE: Of course they'd help.

MYRI: Something must be wrong with the tractor beam.

INT. STAR CRUISER ECHO OF HOPE - DAY

Lights flicker, consoles spark, and the bridge shudders.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Give me full power!

COMMODORE META: I can't. The planet has an incredible magnetic field. It's interfering with the power core.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Get the crew to the escape pods.

OFFICER BYCK VAVSON: Sir, the escape pods will fry as soon as they launch.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Damn it.

Admiral Ackbar weighs his options then pushes the frog-eyed BOLLIE PRINDEL to the side of his engineering console. Bollie points to the huge spikes of the magnetic waveform.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Invert the frequency and modulate the deflector shields to that waveform.

BOLLIE PRINDEL: Yes sir.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Cut the thrusters and divert all power to the anterior hull deflectors.

INT. BATTLECRUISER PROMINENCE - DAY

The pained crew watches helplessly as the Echo of Hope burns.

LIEUTENANT MCCAUL, 30's human male, monitors the Echo of Hope's condition.

LIEUTENANT MCCAUL: Their thrusters have failed.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: They may have been renegades, but they died with honor. Few souls-

LIEUTENANT MCCAUL: Sir, their orbit has stabilized.

Admiral Bashier looks over his shoulder in disbelief.

LIEUTENANT MCCAUL: It's gaining altitude, but I'm reading high levels of radiation. Their power core won't last much longer.

CAPTAIN CANADY: Engage the tractor beam.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: No. It's too dangerous. If their core breaches, we'll all die.

EXT. STAR CRUISER ECHO OF HOPE - DAY

The glow of the Echo of Hope's hull fades as it pulls away from the planet. The second Star Destroyer breaks into pieces. Nien Nunb finishes off the last Tie Fighter. He joins the pack of X-wings as they watch the Echo of Hope.

NEV LEK: They're gonna make it.

ALEXA: Come on, Echo!

BASTIAN: Leave it to ole fish face to escape certain death.

The Echo of Hope continues to climb, but suddenly the rear of the ship explodes in a cascade from tail to tip.

POE: No!

Nien Nunb wails. The fighter pilots writhe in horror.

INT. BATTLECRUISER PROMINENCE - BRIDGE - DAY

Captain Canady swallows his anger.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: They were brave men and skilled fighters, but their lack of discipline and training led to their failure. Let this be a lesson for us all.

Captain Canady storms out. Admiral Bashier ignores him.

ADMIRAL BASHIER: Inform the remaining Resistance pilots that they are welcome to join our fleet. It's the least we can do.

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