"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"THE STAR WARS"

Story Synopsis

by

George Lucas

May, 1973



Deep Space.

The eerie blue-green planet of Aquilae slowly drifts into
view. A small speck, orbiting the planet, glints in the light
of a near-by star.

Suddenly a sleek fighter-type spacecraft settles ominously
into the foreground moving swiftly toward the orbiting speck.
Two more fighters silently maneuver into battle formation
behind the first and then three more craft glide into view.
The orbiting speck is actually a gargantuan space fortress
which dwarfs the approaching fighters. Fuel pods are
jettisoned. The six fighters break off into a power dive
attack on the huge fortress.

Lazer bolts streak from the fighters creating small explosions
on the complex surface of the fort. Return fire catches one
of the fighters and it bursts into a million pieces. Another
of the craft plows into a gun emplacement jutting from the
fortress causing a hideous series of chain reaction
explosions. The chaos of battle echoes through the vastness
of space.

It is the thirty-third century, a period of civil wars in
the galaxy. A rebel princess, with her family, her retainers,
and the clan treasure, is being pursued.

If they can cross territory controlled by the Empire and
reach a friendly planet, they will be saved. The Sovereign
knows this, and posts a reward for the capture of the
princess.

She is being guarded by one of her generals, (Luke Skywalker)
and it is he who leads her on the long and dangerous journey
that follows. They take along with them two hundred pounds
of the greatly treasured "aura spice", and also two Imperial
bureaucrats, whom the general has captured.

The two terrified, bickering bureaucrats crash land on Aquilae
while trying to flee the battle of the space fortress. They
accidentally discover a small container of the priceless
"aura spice" and are rummaging around the rocks pushing and
pulling each other trying to find more when they are
discovered by Luke Skywalker and taken to his camp.

The princess and the general are disguised as farmers, and
the bureaucrats join their party with the intention of
stealing their "land speeder" and "aura spice". It doesn't
take them too long to realize the general isn't a farmer and
that they are captives about to embark on a dangerous mission.
The two bureaucrats are essentially comic relief inserted
among the general seriousness of the adventure.

The small group in their sleek, white, two-man "land speeders"
travel across the wastelands of Aquilae, headed for the space
port city of Gordon, where they hope to get a spacecraft
that will take them to the friendly planet of Ophuchi.

At a desolate rest stop, the rebels are stopped and questioned
by an Imperial patrol. Apparently satisfied, the captain
lets the group continue on their way, but a short distance
into the wilderness, they are attacked by the patrol. The
Imperial patrol of twelve men is no match for the incredibly
skilled and powerful general, who makes short work of the
enemy.

One of the two-man "speeders" is destroyed in the fight and
the bureaucrats must ride on the back of the remaining one,
which slows the group down considerably. They drive into a
storm, run low on food and water, but eventually make it to
the ruin of a religious temple. In the temple they discover
a rebel band of ten boys (aged 15 to 18) who are planning an
attack on one of the Imperial outposts. The boys laugh in
anticipation of the blow they will strike the Empire in the
name of the princess. They all stop laughing, but the laughing
continues and they look around in consternation. Into the
sanctuary ambles Skywalker, scratching himself, amused at
the idealism of the youths. He barely glances at them. The
contrast between the boy rebels with their terse nods, their
meaningful glances, and Skywalker, a real general, a real
man could not be greater. The boys plead to join the party
to protect the princess, but the general refuses, and insists
they all return to their homes. They say they have no place
to go and begin to follow the party across the wasteland.

One night the party is attacked by one of the large beasts
that roam the plains, and is eventually killed by the boy
rebels. The general reluctantly accepts the presence of the
boys, and allows them to join the group.

The general, one of the bureaucrats, and one of the boys,
venture into a shabby cantina on the outskirts of the space
port, looking for the rebel contact who will help them get a
spacecraft. The murky little den is filled with a startling
array of weird and erotic Aliens laughing and drinking at
the bar. The bureaucrat and the boy are both terrified as
the general orders two drinks and questions the bartender
about the rebel contact man. A group of bullies begin to
taunt and ridicule the boy. Skywalker attempts to avoid a
confrontation, but worse comes to worse, and he is forced to
fight. With a flash of light, his lazer sword is out. An arm
lies on the ground, one of the bullies lies double, slashed
from chin to groin and Skywalker, with quiet dignity, replaces
his sword in its sheath. The entire fight has lasted a matter
of seconds.

Skywalker, the princess, and their party make contact with
the rebel underground, but not before an Imperial spy, who
followed them from the cantina, reports their plans to the
city governor. The rebels enter the space port to board a
trader's ship, whose captain is friendly toward the rebels.
The group doesn't realize until it is too late, that it is a
trap. Guards pounce on them from everywhere. The princess,
the bureaucrats, and the boys run for a ship while Skywalker
holds off the guards. They narrowly escape in a stolen space
fighter and lose themselves among the giant Imperial fleet
looking for the rebels.

The general orbits his ship further and further away from
the planet, until he feels it is safe to head out into deep
space toward Ophuchi. As he maneuvers to break out of orbit,
a patrol craft hails the ship and requests to board and search
her. Skywalker trys to discourage them, but the patrol becomes
suspicious. Skywalker makes a run for it and the patrol craft
fires on them. The rebels return the fire and destroy the
patrol craft. The stolen Imperial ship races toward the safety
of deep space as twelve fighter craft converge on the
destroyed patrol and give chase.

A raging air-to-air battle and chase begins which continues
halfway across the galaxy. The rebel boys shoot down many
Imperial ships under the harsh and uncompromising instructions
of the general. A few of the boys are angered at his cold
and relentless directions, although they grow to respect him
when they begin to see the results of his training. Their
ship is hit several times and begins to break up, causing
them to slow down. They maneuver the crippled fighter to an
asteroid in an attempt to hide from their pursuers.

The trick works, but as they resume their trek across the
galaxy, the ship is rocked by a series of explosions and
plummets toward the forbidden planet of Yavin.

Everyone jettisons safely away from the doomed craft before
it explodes, and using rocket pack, slowly drift to the
foreboding surface. The general, the princess, the two
bureaucrats with the "aura spice", and one of the rebel boys
regroup and set up camp. When only one other boy shows up,
the group decides to split up. The general, princess, and
bureaucrats head for what appears to be a city, while the
two boys go off looking for their comrades. They are watched
by a giant furry Alien, who quietly disappears into the
foliage.

Skywalker and his party race along a narrow pathway riding
"jet-sticks" fashioned from their rescue packs.

They round a bend and see the way is blocked by three or
four Aliens, riding large bird-like creatures. The general
instantly changes direction on to a side path, the others
follow close behind, chased by the Aliens.

Skywalker drops behind the others and begins shooting at the
Aliens with his lazer gun. The Aliens sling a dart-like object
at Skywalker as they rush along the road. The general kills
the last Alien just as he reaches the gate to the Alien camp.
Skywalker cannot curb his "jet-stick" in time and the momentum
carries him directly into the enemies' hands.

The group is surrounded by Aliens. Skywalker jumps off his
"jet-stick" and takes a defense stance. The Aliens give him
room. They seem puzzled by these intruders and jabber to
themselves. Two leaders carry on a heated argument. Finally
one storms off in disgust and the other summons a guard who
steps forward with a large spear in his hand. Skywalker and
the Alien stand surveying each other. The Alien makes a lunge,
the general counters, and the fight begins. A desperate fight
ensues, but eventually Skywalker wins by cutting the Alien
in half with his lazer sword. At this, all the Aliens worked
into a frenzy mob, carry the general off and throw him over
a thousand foot crevasse into a boiling lake.

The general's sure death, terrifies the bureaucrats and moves
the princess. The Aliens lead them to a small hut where they
are imprisoned. Unknown to everyone, the general grabs an
overhanging vine on his descent and swings to safety. He
starts back to rescue the others when he encounters an Alien.
Skywalker starts to attack, but the Alien drops to the ground
jabbering and carrying on. The general recognizes the Alien
as the one who argued with the leader, who ordered his death.
The general trys to communicate with the Alien, but all he
can make out is that the creature worships him and wants to
take him some place urgently.

The Alien leads Skywalker to a clearing where a platoon of
the Imperial guard is lounging, obviously waiting for someone
or something. The general jumps undercover as a herd of Aliens
arrive with the princess and bureaucrats in tow. A trade is
made and the platoon leaves in a "speed tank" with the three
captives. The general tries to follow, but is unable to keep
up.

The Alien leads Skywalker to a small farm where he discovers
the boy rebels are waiting for him. The farm is owned by a
cantankerous old farmer who is married to an Alien.

He tells the group that he hates the Empire and shows them
the location of an outpost where they might have taken the
princess.

The general and his army of youthful warriors plan an attack
on the small Imperial outpost. They use surprise and the
general's rigorous training to overcome the enemy and capture
the outpost. they discover the princess has been taken to
Alderaan, the capitol of the Empire. They make plans to rescue
the princess from right under the nose of the Emperor. The
only craft at the outpost capable of intergalactic travel is
a squadron of one-man devil fighters, which the general trains
the kids to use. When they feel they are ready, they strike
out toward the center of the galaxy and the heart of the
Empire.

Disguised as Imperial rangers, the small armada flies right
through the gates of the impressive city-planet of Alderaan
and stops at the prison complex. After overcoming a series
of difficult barriers and traps they find the princess and
free her.

An alarm sounds. The rebels are forced to fight their way
out of the prison with "multiple lazer guns" and swords. A
few of the boys are killed, but most of them make it to their
spacecraft followed by Skywalker and the princess. They break
through a ring of Imperial ships attempting to stop them and
escape into deep space.

The princess' arrival on Ophuchi is celebrated by a huge
parade, honoring the general and his small band. The princess'
uncle, ruler of Ophuchi, rewards the bureaucrats, who for
the first time see the princess revealed as her true goddess-
like self. The general commissions the "boy rebels" into the
princess' special guard. After the ceremony is over, and the
festivities have ended, the drunken bureaucrats stagger down
an empty street arm in arm realizing that they have been
adventuring with demigods.

THE END

MAY 25, 1973

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