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Star Wars

Star WarsAs construction nears completion on the Empire’s awesome new battle station, the moon-sized Death Star, members of the Rebel Alliance procure its construction plans, entrusting them to Princess Leia Organa. But Darth Vader is quick to capture her ship, kill much of the crew, and take her prisoner. But she has already passed the plans on to the adventurous R2-D2, who abandons ship along with C-3PO, landing on nearby Tatooine. Scavenging Jawas salvage the two droids and auction them off to Owen Lars, who hands them over to his nephew, young Luke Skywalker, to get the droids into shape to serve around their farm. Luke accidentally activates a recorded message from Leia, a desperate plea for the assistance of Obi-Wan Kenobi. When Owen forbids Luke to track down Kenobi to ask him about the message, R2-D2 sets out on his own to find him. Luke and C-3PO catch up to the determined droid, but are attacked by desert-roving Tusken Raiders, and saved at the last minute by the cloaked hermit, Ben Kenobi. Upon seeing Leia’s message, Ben admits that he is actually Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the very last Jedi Knights, and tells of how he witnessed the murder of Luke’s father, Anakin.

Imperial forces trace the two droids to Tatooine, following their trail to Owen’s farm. When Luke discovers that his uncle and aunt have been killed by the Empire, he pledges to follow the elderly Jedi Knight to the planet Alderaan. They go to the seedy Mos Eisley spaceport, where they happen upon the renegade space freighter captain Han Solo and his Wookiee sidekick Chewbacca. Solo, desperately in need of money to pay off crime lord Jabba the Hutt, takes Luke, Obi-Wan and the droids on as passengers, but quickly realizes that his passengers have attracted the interest (and firepower) of the Empire. Solo’s ship, the Milennium Falcon, arrives at Alderaan to find the planet has been smashed into lifeless bits – the handiwork of Darth Vader and the Death Star. Solo accidentally runs into the Death Star not far away, which seizes the Falcon in a tractor beam. Han, Luke, Chewbacca and the droids try to evade the Imperial forces and rescue Leia, while Obi-Wan sets out to disable the Death Star’s tractor beam and face Darth Vader one final time. Obi-Wan is cut down in a lightsaber duel with Vader, but the others succeed in escaping, unaware that a homing device has been planted on the Falcon, allowing the Death Star to track the ship down to the Rebel base on the third moon of Yavin.

With only a short time to spare, the Rebels must prepare for a fight to save themselves from extinction – and Luke Skywalker, in becoming the hero of the ferocious battle against the Empire, brings himself to the attention of Darth Vader.

Order the DVDswritten by George Lucas
directed by George Lucas
music by John Williams

Cast: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia Organa), Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin), Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), David Prowse (Lord Darth Vader), Jack Purvis (Chief Jawa), Eddie Byrne (General Millard), Phil Brown (Uncle Owen), Sheelagh Fraser (Aunt Beru), Alex McCrindle (General Dodonna), Drewe Hemley (Red Leader), Denis Lawson (Red Two – Wedge), Garrick Hagon (Red Three – Biggs), Jack Klagg (Red Four – John “D”), William Hootkins (Red Six – Porkins), Angus McInnis (Gold Leader), Jeremy Sinden (Gold Two), Graham Ashley (Gold Five), Don Henderson (General Tagge), Richard Le Parmentier (General Motti), Leslie Schofield (Commander #1), James Earl Jones (voice of Lord Darth Vader)

Notes: The subtitle “Episode IV: A New Hope” was added to the opening crawl for the movie’s 1981 re-release, presumably to be consistent with the labeling of The Empire Strikes Back as Episode V.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Star Wars Holiday Special

Star WarsOn the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, Chewbacca’s family awaits his return for the yearly celebration of Life Day. But when he doesn’t arrive on time, they assume the worst and begin secretly contacting members of the Rebel Alliance, including Luke and Leia. Chewie’s wife Malla, his father Itchy, and his son Lumpy begin to fear the worst when the Empire blockades Kashyyyk and stormtroopers begin to search residences. Han and Chewie must battle their way through the blockade, not only to reach Chewie’s family in time for Life Day, but to save them from Imperial troops that could uncover their secret connection to the Rebels.

Cartoon: Han and Chewie return from a mission to recover a magical talisman, but they make no contact with base – and overshoot the rendezvous point at high speed, crash-landing the Falcon on a watery world. Luke and the droids give chase in a Y-wing, also crashing on the planet. Their ship falls victim to a hungry sea creature, but they are rescued by an humanoid, covered from head to toe in armor, who identifies himself as Boba Fett. He leads them to the Falcon, where Han has fallen victim to a “sleeping virus” – and Luke soon succumbs as well. Boba Fett offers to steal the antidote from a nearby Imperial base, but Chewie is suspicious and insists on accompanying the Rebels’ new benefactor. While Boba Fett and Chewie are breaking into the Empire’s stronghold, Threepio and Artoo eavesdrop on a message from Darth Vader – a message intended for Vader’s hired gun, the bounty hunter known as Boba Fett.

written by Rod Warren, Bruce Vilanch, Pat Proft, Leonard Ripps and Mitzie Welch
directed by Steve Binder
music by Ian Fraser
songs by Mitzie Welch and Ken Welch

Cast: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader), Beatrice Arthur (Aknina), Art Carney (Sundan), Harvey Korman (Video chef/Morphian host/Krelman), Diahann Carroll (Hologram singer), Jefferson Starship (Hologram band), Mickey Morton (Malla), Paul Gale (Itchy), Patty Maloney (Lumpy), Jack Rader (Imperial officer), Stephaine Stromer (Imperial officer), Michael Potter (Imperial officer), The Wazzan Troupe (Hologram performers), Yuichi Sugiyama (?), The Mum Brothers (?), Claude Woolman (?), Lev Mailer (?), John McLaughlin (?)

Appearing in footage from Star Wars: David Prowse (Darth Vader), Alec Guiness (Obi-Wan Kenobi)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

The Empire Strikes Back

Star WarsIn the wake of their destruction of the Death Star, the Rebels are forced even further into hiding by the Empire’s relentless pursuit, especially now that Darth Vader has learned the identity of the Rebel pilot who toppled the Empire’s mighty space station. Luke Skywalker, while investigating a meteorite which has just crashed near the new Rebel base on the ice planet of Hoth, is attacked by one of the indigenous predators. Luke uses his budding skill with the Force to escape from the creature, but is too badly injured to return to base on his own. The image of Obi-Wan Kenobi appears, urging Luke to go to Dagobah, where he will find the last of the Jedi Masters, Yoda. But before Luke can ask any questions, Han Solo rescues him just in the nick of time.

What Luke doesn’t realize until it is too late is that the “meteorite” he sighted was an Imperial probe droid landing on Hoth. Darth Vader and his task force follow the probe droid’s lead to Hoth and launch a devastating ground attack, killing many of the Rebels and forcing the rest to retreat even further – but Vader’s real quarry, Luke, evades him yet again. Luke and Artoo slip away to Dagobah, while Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO escape aboard the Millennium Falcon. The Imperial forces pursue the Falcon through a treacherous asteroid field, while Luke crash-lands in the swamps of Dagobah and reluctantly befriends a small green creature who promises to take him to meet Yoda. During the pursuit of the Falcon, the Emperor contacts Vader with a new agenda – Luke Skywalker is to be turned to the dark side of the Force, not killed.

The creature who is helping Luke soon reveals that he is Yoda himself, and despite reservations about Luke’s lack of patience and his anger, both Skywalker pedigrees that led his father to a dark fate, the last living Jedi Master begins Luke’s training. Halfway across the galaxy, Han decides to find a safe haven for the Falcon and its beleaguered crew after too many close calls, ultimately choosing Bespin’s Cloud City, which is run by an old friend of his (and the original owner of the Falcon), Lando Calrissian. But shortly after arriving at Cloud City, C-3PO is blasted to bits, and Lando delivers Han and the others into the hands of Darth Vader and bounty hunter Boba Fett. Worse yet, as a test of a carbon-freezing process which he hopes to use to capture Luke as a gift for the Emperor, Darth Vader has Han frozen in carbonite before handing him over to Boba Fett. Lando, growing worried that the Imperial presence on Cloud City will become permanent, switches sides to join with Leia and Chewie, who are suspicious of his motives, but they trust him when he tells them where to find Fett’s ship.

In the meantime, Luke has experienced a vision of a future in which his friends are being killed by the Empire, and he hastily postpones his Jedi training to go to Bespin to help them, much to the dismay of Yoda and Obi-Wan. Luke arrives just in time to see Han’s frozen body being taken to Boba Fett’s ship, but he is unable to help his friends. Luke has just stepped into a trap carefully orchestrated by Darth Vader, who reveals, after a lightsaber duel with Luke, that he is actually Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father.

Boba Fett escapes Cloud City with Han in custody, taking him back to Jabba the Hutt. Leia and Lando are unable to stop the bounty hunter, and Luke now faces the prospect that his destiny, like that of his father, may lead him to become a servant to the dark side of the Force.

Order the DVDsstory by George Lucas
screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kadsan
directed by Irvin Kershner
music by John Williams

Cast: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), David Prowse (Darth Vader), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Frank Oz (Yoda), Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), John Hollis (Lando’s Aide), Peter Purvis (Chief Ugnaught), Des Web (Snow Creature), Clive Revill (Emperor Palpatine), Kenneth Colley (Admiral Piett), Julian Glover (General Veers), Michael Sheard (Admiral Ozzel), Michael Culver (Captain Needa), John Dicks (Imperial officer), Milton Johns (Imperial officer), Mark Jones (Imperial officer), Oliver Maguire (Imperial officer), Robin Scobey (Imperial officer), Bruce Boa (General Rieekan), Christopher Malcolm (Zev – Rogue 2), Denis Lawson (Wedge – Rogue 3), Richard Oldfield (Hobbie – Rogue 4), John Morton (Dak – Luke’s gunner), Ian Liston (Janson – Wedge’s gunner), John Ratzenberger (Major Derlin), Jack McKenzie (Deck lieutenant), Jerry Harte (Head controller), Norman Chancer (Rebel officer), Norwich Duff (Rebel officer), Ray Hassett (Rebel officer), Brigitte Kahn (Rebel officer), Burnell Tucker (Rebel officer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Empire Strikes Back

The Adventures Of Luke Skywalker: The Empire Strikes BackIn the latest installment of the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Luke and his fellow Rebels are on the run from the Empire following the destruction of the Death Star. With Ben Kenobi gone, Luke has nowhere to turn for more Jedi training, until he sees an apparition of Ben on the ice planet Hoth, instructing him to seek out Dagobah and Yoda, the last of the Jedi Masters. Leia and Han, in the meantime, escape an Imperial attack on Hoth and, after a near-suicidal dash through an asteroid belt in the Millennium Falcon, seek help from Han’s old friend (and fellow scoundrel) Lando Calrissian. Luke goes to Dagobah, meets Yoda and begins his training, finding that the path to becoming a Jedi Knight is anything but easy. When Luke uses the Force and sees a vision of Leia and Han in trouble, he leaves Yoda to help his friends, unaware that Darth Vader is waiting for all of them.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Continue reading

A Wind To Shake The Stars

Star WarsOn the distant desert planet of Tatooine, far from either the Galactic Empire or the Rebellion, Luke Skywalker lives the simple existence of a moisture farmer, toiling away on his Uncle Owen’s farm and trying to fit in with his friends at Anchorhead. Ever since his friend Biggs left to join the Imperial Academy, Luke’s been a bit of an outcast, and he doesn’t win many friends by beating the local bully in a high-speed canyon race. While working on the farm, Luke spots a fierce firefight in orbit of Tatooine, and tries to tell his friends about it, but as usual they blow him off. Biggs returns for a visit, and once they’re away from the others, Biggs tells Luke of a momentous decision – despite having graduated from the Imperial Academy, Biggs plans to jump ship on his first assignment and join the Rebellion.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

Cast: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Ann Sachs (Princess Leia Organa), Perry King (Han Solo), Bernard “Bunny” Behrens (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Brock Peters (Lord Darth Vader), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Keene Curtis (Grand Moff Tarkin), John Considine (Lord Tion), Stephen Elliott (Prestor), David Ackroyd (Captain Antilles), Adam Arkin (Fixer), Kale Brown (Biggs), David Clennon (Motti), Anne Gerety (Aunt Beru), Thomas Hill (Uncle Owen), David Paymer (Deak), Joel Brooks (Heater), John Dukakis (Rebel), Stephanie Steele (Cammie), Phillip Kellard (Customer #2)

Supporting Cast: James Blendick, Clyde Burton, Bruce French, David Alan Grier, Jerry Hardin, John Harkins, Meschach Taylor, Marc Vahanian, John Welsh, Kent Williams

Points Of Origin

Star WarsThe Tantive IV, a diplomatic ship from Alderaan, is forced to land on Ralltiir by an Imperial blockade. Princess Leia Organa is outraged, but bluffs her way past the Imperials, even using a keen knowledge of Imperial regulations to set Lord Tion, an Imperial officer, against Darth Vader, who has just arrived to crush a rebel uprising. Leia returns to Alderaan, where her father, Bail Organa, sympathizes with the rebellion but doesn’t wish to take up arms. Unfortunately, Lord Tion follows Leia to Alderaan, taken enough with her to propose marriage (with a side offer of Imperial protection for Alderaan), but the meeting turns sour when Tion learns that Leia and her father have not only sympathized with the rebels, but have aided them. In an ensuing struggle, Tion takes a fatal tumble from a balcony in the royal palace, and Bail realizes that Alderaan can no longer escape involvement in intergalactic affairs. He sends Leia, once again in the Tantive IV, to the planet Toprawa to steal the plans for a top-secret Imperial superweapon mentioned by Tion before his death.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Black Knight, White Princess, And Pawns

Star WarsThe Tantive IV makes a sudden stop in Imperial space, and two droids – astromech droid R2-D2 and interpreter C-3PO – are assigned to perform an important task for Princess Leia: R2-D2 is to act as if performing extravehicular repairs on the ship’s hull, though he’s actually receiving a secret rebel transmission containing detailed plans of the Empire’s top-secret Death Star project. Leia’s next stop is to present those plans – and a plea to come out of retirement – to General Obi-Wan Kenobi, a veteran of the Clone Wars living in seclusion on the planet Tatooine. But before the Tantive IV can make its escape, an Imperial Star Destroyer gives chase, bringing the ship to a halt. A platoon of stormtroopers, with Darth Vader behind them, boards the Tantive IV, killing most of the crew in the process. Desperate to keep the Death Star plans from being found in the ship’s computer, Leia hides them in R2-D2’s memory and instructs him to abandon ship in an escape pod. C-3PO, trying to dissuade the little droid from following those orders, winds up in the escape pod with him – and then finds himself on the surface of Tatooine. But aboard the Tantive IV, Princess Leia cannot escape capture – and interrogation by Vader.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

While Giants Mark Time

Star WarsOn Tatooine, Threepio and Artoo bicker over the smaller droid’s constant chatter about an important mission, and Threepio finally leaves Artoo to his fate and wanders aimlessly through the desert. But the droids aren’t alone – Imperial troops have tracked the escape pod to the planet and have guessed that one or both droids are carrying the stolen Death Star plans. Threepio seeks refuge in a ground-roving transport – but is then picked up by Jawas to be resold as salvaged goods. Threepio gives away Artoo’s position to the Jawas, who pick him up as well. The Jawas take their scaveneged droids and equipment to auction off at the nearest settlement, a moisture farm belonging to Owen Lars. Artoo takes the liberty of sabotaging the only other mechanic droid – an R5 unit – to ensure that he’ll be freed from the Jawas and can then continue looking for General Kenobi. Owen buys both Artoo and Threepio and then entrusts them to Luke for cleaning and repairs before they begin working on the farm. During cleaning, Luke inadvertently triggers a holographic plea for help from Leia, recorded in Artoo’s memory, and Artoo protests that the message is meant for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke suspects that a local hermit named Ben Kenobi may have some connection – but while Luke reports his suspicions to Owen, Artoo slips away from the Lars farm to continue his quest.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Notes: Luke says that Uncle Owen once “ran Ben Kenobi off our property,” and later Owen warns Luke away from “talking to strangers about our family,” a couple of fascinating foreshadowing footnotes. Since the scripts for the Star Wars radio drama were written after the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back, more concrete hints could be dropped about the fate of Luke’s father.

Jedi That Was, Jedi To Be

Star WarsLuke and Threepio leave just before dawn to track down R2-D2. They find the little droid, but quickly come under attack from Tusken Raiders. Luke escapes being killed only when a howling sound scares the Tuskens away – a sound made by Ben Kenobi, who admits that he was once Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ben takes Luke back to his secluded home, helps him repair damage Threepio received during the fight with the Tusken Raiders, and presents Luke with something that belonged to his father: a Jedi lightsaber. When Artoo replays Leia’s message for Ben, the old Jedi resolves to make the trip to Alderaan to help the rebels, but when he asks Luke to join him, Luke is more worried about his uncle’s reaction. But as he gives Ben a lift to Anchorhead to find a ship for the journey, Luke sees the first evidence that the Empire’s search for the missing droids is getting too close to home.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Millennium Falcon Deal

Star WarsWith his aunt and uncle dead at the hands of the Empire, Luke accompanies Ben Kenobi to Mos Eisley Spaceport, a disreputable place where Ben hopes to find a ship to Alderaan. A space pilot points Ben in the direction of a huge Wookiee, Chewbacca, who serves as the co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon, a Corellian freighter. Ben is introduced to Han Solo, a cocky space pilot who quickly clears his schedule when Ben promises a small fortune in exchange for a ride to Alderaan. After the deal is closed, Ben and Luke go back into hiding until Solo is ready for liftoff – and Imperial stormtroopers close in on Mos Eisley in their hunt for the droids. But they’re not the only ones being hunted, as a bounty hunter named Greedo is on the trail of Han Solo.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Han Solo Solution

Star WarsLuke and Ben sell Luke’s landspeeder to pay for their passage to Alderaan, while Han and Chewbacca prepare the Millennium Falcon for liftoff. Han’s urgency is now doubled after doing away with Greedo, he’ll be a higher profile target for Jabba the Hutt’s thugs, and Han is most worried about an expert bounty hunter named Heater. Just as Luke, Ben and the droids arrive for liftoff, Imperial troops raid the Falcon’s docking bay and open fire. Han and his passengers blast into space, narrowly evading Imperial Star Destroyers and slipping into hyperspace.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Death Star’s Transit

Star WarsDarth Vader’s Star Destroyer arrives at the Death Star, where the mere sight of the massive battle station causes Princess Leia to say its name – proving to the Sith Lord that she knew of the top-secret weapon’s existence. When a subsequent interrogation session proves fruitless, Grand Moff Tarkin suggests forcing Leia to divulge what she knows by threatening something dear to her, and sets the Death Star on a course for Alderaan. Even when Leia gives Vader and Tarkin a location where they will supposedly find the rebels, the Death Star opens fire on Alderaan anyway, obliterating the planet completely.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Rogues, Rebels And Robots

Star WarsEn route to Alderaan in the Millennium Falcon, Ben begins Luke’s training in the ways of the Force, starting with basic lightsaber technique and awareness of the Force. Despite Han’s teasing, Luke practices until he’s able to fend off the attacks of a remote drone while blinded by the blast shield of a flight helmet. But this small victory is short lived as Ben senses something terrible, a cataclysmic disruption of the Force. When the Falcon comes out of hyperspace, Han finds he’s arrived not at Alderaan, but in a dense asteroid field – and despite the fact that the ship has arrived at the right coordinates, there’s no planet to be found. A lone Imperial TIE fighter appears, and Han gives chase – unaware that the pursuit will lead him into the jaws of the Death Star itself.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Luke Skywalker Initiative

Star WarsBen, Luke, Han, Chewbacca and the droids hide themselves in the Millennium Falcon’s concealed smuggling compartments – and amazingly, they survive, despite Threepio’s built-in disinclination to stop talking, which nearly gives them away. Through the Force, Ben Kenobi senses a presence aboard the Death Star, and insists that he must go on alone to face it and to disrupt the tractor beam that would end any escape attempts. He leaves Luke, Han, Chewie and the droids to cool their heels in a secure area, but when R2-D2 plugs into the Death Star’s computers and locates Princess Leia on board, Luke changes the plan. After some cajoling, Han and Chewbacca accompany him on a daring raid of the Death Star’s detention block, freeing the Princess – and then plunging into more trouble in a makeshift escape into a trash compactor.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Jedi Nexus

Star WarsC-3PO and R2-D2 talk their way out of Imperial capture and try to find a safe place to plug into the Death Star and avert certain doom for Luke and the others. Meanwhile, just as Ben Kenobi has sensed his presence, Darth Vader has sensed Ben’s – and sets out to meet him face-to-face. Luke, Han, Leia and Chewie manage to escape death in the trash compactor, but immediately encounter stormtroopers while they try to return to the Falcon. What they don’t know is that a duel looms ahead which will rob Luke of his mentor, but give him a chance to escape with Leia.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Case For Rebellion

Star WarsThe Millennium Falcon arrives at the Rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin – a base which now has mere hours to prepare for an attack by the Death Star. Luke, still mourning Ben’s death, volunteers for a Rebel attack on the huge space station – something Han feels is a suicide mission, especially given Luke’s lack of combat flying experience. For his part, Han intends to cash in his many favors and get out of the Yavin system before the Empire starts destroying planets, and his bluntness startles his newfound comrades. Luke tries to explain that the Empire will clamp down on all trade, legal or otherwise, but Han is sure that he and Chewie can survive, and after reaping his reward, blasts off for safer havens.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Force And Counter Force

Star WarsAs the Rebels launch their foolhardy attack on the Death Star, Admiral Motti tries to convince Grand Moff Tarkin that, as the space station’s commander, he holds enough power to challenge even the Emperor – and despite a warning that Motti’s suggestion is treasonous, Tarkin seems emboldened by the idea, enough that he declines the option of readying his personal escape craft. Vader personally leads the Imperial TIE fighter pilots to take on the approaching Rebel force ship-to-ship. The Empire’s crack pilots whittle the Rebels down to just a handful of ships. It will take only one Rebel fighter to reach the target ventilation shaft, fire a computer-guided torpedo into it, and destroy the Death Star – and before he knows it, Luke Skywalker is that sole Rebel, and Darth Vader makes it his personal mission to eliminate him.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Freedom’s Winter

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaIn the wake of their successful mission to destroy the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance has stirred up an Imperial hornets’ nest. Driven from the relative safety of the Yavin system, the Rebels set up shop on an ice planet called Hoth, which is inhospitable bordering on unsurvivable. This distant outpost requires constant resupply of equipment (and soldiers) capable of surviving sub-freezing temperatures, but the Empire has been tightening the noose by blasting supply convoys out of space. Han and Luke are surveying Hoth’s surface to pinpoint the cause of unusual sensor readings when Luke heads out on his own to investigate what looks like a meteor impact. But before he can reach it, Luke is savagely attacked by a wampa, a vicious carnivore native to Hoth. He’s able to summon the power of the Force to help him escape the wampa’s lair, but even the Force can’t stretch the limits of human endurance – without backup or a way to get back to the Rebel base, Luke is stranded in the frozen wasteland overnight.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

Cast: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Perry King (Han Solo), Ann Sachs (Princess Leia Organa), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Brock Peters (Lord Darth Vader), John Lithgow (Yoda), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Bernard Behrens (Obi-Wan Kenobi), James Eckhouse (Beta), Peter Friedman (Dak), Ron Frazier (Deck Officer), Merwin Goldsmith (General Rieekan), Peter Michael Goetz (Ozzel), Gordon Gould (Veers), Paul Hecht (The Emperor), Russell Horton (2-1B), James Hurdle (Controller), Nicholas Kepros (Needa), David Rasche (Piett), Alan Rosenburg (Boba Fett), Jay Sanders (Imperial Pilot), Don Scarino (Wedge), Ken Hiller (Narrator)

Supporting Cast: David Alan Grier, Sam McMurray, Steven Markle, Stephen D. Newman, John Pielmeier, Geoffrey Pierson, Gary Tacon, Jerry Zaks

The Coming Storm

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaHan Solo, still planning to go independent again as soon as possible, sets Chewie to the task of repairing the Millennium Falcon. But when he learns that Luke hasn’t returned to the Rebel base, Han sets out alone to find his friend. Luke, in the meantime, is barely alive – but hearing the voice of his fallen mentor, Ben Kenobi. The image of Ben tells luke to seek further Jedi training on the planet Dagobah, but can offer him no other help. Han finds Luke and sets up a shelter – but his own tauntaun, a beast of burden unique to Hoth and necessary for traversing its surface, dies from exposure to the cold…and now they are both stranded without a way to return to the base.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

A Question Of Survival

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaAfter barely surviving a night stranded on the surface of Hoth, Han and Luke are rescued by search teams in Rebel snowspeeders. But as Luke recovers, Han and Chewie are assigned a new mission – sensor readings indicate something suspicious on the surface, transmitting a signal. What they find is an Imperial probe droid, perfectly capable of defending itself, and yet it blows apart even with a glancing shot from a blaster. The Empire is now aware of the Hoth base, and even though the probe droid didn’t have time to specifically pinpoint a rebel presence, it’s enough to convince Darth Vader – now commanding the Imperial Starfleet after surviving the Death Star battle – that the Rebels are there. And the Dark Lord of the Sith now has a personal score to settle with Luke Skywalker.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Fire And Ice

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaA botched attempt to bring Imperial Star Destroyers into the Hoth system quickly tips the Rebels off to the impending attack – and costs an Imperial admiral his life when Vader learns of it. Now a less efficient ground assault must be mounted if Vader’s forces are to prevent the Rebels from evacuating Hoth in one piece. Massive mechanical walkers are deployed to the surface, and Luke leads Rogue Squadron on a desperate mission to fend off the attack and buy time for the evacuation. But when Luke’s tail gunner is taken out by enemy fire, his snowspeeder becomes a sitting duck in the battle.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Millennium Falcon Pursuit

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaThanks to the valor of Rogue Squadron, most of the Rebel forces are able to escape Hoth. Luke and Wedge are among the last Rebels to evacuate, but instead of following Wedge to the rendezvous point, Luke instead follows Ben Kenobi’s call to the Dagobah system. In the meantime, Leia’s escape is cut off by an Imperial attack, and Han manages to get her out of harm’s way aboard the Falcon, with Threepio in tow. But escape is no easy task: the Imperial forces seem to be paying special attention to the Falcon. Han plunges his ship through an asteroid field to evade Imperial TIE fighters, briefly setting down in a cavern inside one particularly large asteroid to make hasty repairs. As it turns out, the cavern isn’t a cavern at all, but the gaping – and now rapidly closing – maw of a gigantic space slug. And aboard the flagship of the Imperial fleet, Darth Vader orders his men to continue hunting for the Falcon, despite the danger of the asteroid field. Vader is now acting under new orders from the Emperor – capture Luke Skywalker and turn his growing prowess with the Force to the dark side…or kill him.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Way Of The Jedi

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaLuke arrives at the cloud-shrouded swamp world of Dagobah, where he loses control of his X-Wing and crashes it into a marsh. He and Artoo are able to swim to safety as their only means of escape sinks into the bog. As they recover what survival supplies they can and try to figure out what to do next, Luke senses a presence nearby – and draws his blaster on a small green humanoid creature who has been watching him for some time. The strange being, who seems to be amused by everything from Luke’s presence to his predicament, invites him to share a meal. Only when Luke’s host reveals knowledge of Luke’s father does it become clear that Luke has found Yoda, the Jedi Master. Soon, his diminutive mentor is opening Luke’s mind to new ways of harnessing the Force – but when Luke ventures into a cave which Yoda warns is inhabited by the energy of the dark side, he encounters an image of Darth Vader. In the ensuing lightsaber battle, Luke cuts his foe down – only to be shocked when Vader’s mask is cut away to reveal Luke’s own face within.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

New Allies, New Enemy

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaMaking a mad dash for safety through an asteroid belt, the Millennium Falcon sustains serious damage, disabling the hyperdrive. Han rushes a Star Destroyer head-on, tricking the Imperial ship’s crew by attaching the Falcon to its hull when the smaller ship is too close for sensors to detect it. When he admits that he lost track of the Falcon, Captain Needa is killed by Darth Vader, who then turns the hunt over to a motley gang of bounty hunters. Han manages to slip away from the Star Destroyer fleet by allowing the Falcon to drift away with garbage dumped before the fleet jumps to light speed, and then sets his course for Bespin and its floating Cloud City mining operation. Han believes his friend Lando Calrissian will help repair the Falcon and give the Rebels a temporary safe haven. But on Dagobah, while training with Yoda, Luke senses a darker turn of events on Cloud City – and abandons his Jedi training to save his friends, despite Yoda’s objections.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Dark Lord’s Fury

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaSuspicious things begin happening soon after Han and Leia arrive at Cloud City. Threepio is blasted to bits after wandering off on his own, and Leia is worried when repairs to the Falcon seem to be proceeding slowly. Lando Calrissian escorts Han, Chewie and Leia to dinner – where Darth Vader is waiting. Han and Chewie attempt to challenge Vader in hand-to-hand combat, but when the Sith Lord threatens to use the Force to kill Chewbacca, Han gives up the fight. As it turns out, Vader’s only motive for capturing the Rebels is to use them as bait to trap Luke Skywalker. But one of Vader’s captives won’t be so lucky: Han Solo is to be handed over to bounty hunter Boba Fett, to be taken back to Jabba the Hutt – for which Lando promises to kill Fett.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Gambler’s Choice

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaLuke arrives in Cloud City, suspicious by the lack of any official greeting or acknowledgement of his arrival. He spots Boba Fett and an entourage of stormtroopers, giving chase until they drive him back – and even when he sees Leia and hears her warning that he’s walking into a trap, Luke presses on toward the carbon freezing chamber and an inevitable confrontation with Darth Vader. In the meantime, Lando turns the table on the Imperial troopers, freeing Leia and Chewbacca and leading them toward the Falcon. But he hasn’t quite gained Leia’s trust – a situation which isn’t helped by Boba Fett’s hasty departure with the frozen Han Solo aboard his ship.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Clash Of Lightsabers

The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio DramaThe battle between Luke and Darth Vader rages on in the bowels of Cloud City. Vader is impressed by Luke’s ability with the Force and a lightsaber, but is frustrated by the young warrior’s refusal to give in to hatred and fear. Even when Vader cuts his hand off, Luke announces that he will simply jump from the reactor gantry and throw himself into Cloud City’s hollow core – but the Sith Lord upsets his calm resignation by claiming to be Luke’s father and explains that Ben Kenobi lied about Vader’s origins. But even when Luke is convinced that he is indeed facing his father, he chooses a suicidal leap to joining the dark side.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
based on the screenplay Star Wars by George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Return of the Jedi

Star WarsLuke sends R2-D2 and C-3PO to the palace of Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine, where R2 plays a recorded message presenting the two droids to Jabba as a gift. A bounty hunter soon arrives with Chewbacca in chains, and a thermal detonator in hand to bargain a higher sale price for the Wookiee. But all is not as it seems. The bounty hunter is Leia in disguise, but mere moments after releasing Han from captivity in carbonite, she is captured by Jabba. Luke soon arrives, telling Jabba in no uncertain terms that Han, Leia, and the droids will be handed over to him – or the Hutt will pay a fatal price. Jabba has Luke thrown into a pit with an enormous, ravenous creature, which Luke manages to kill. Enraged, Jabba now sentences the Jedi apprentice – along with Han and Chewie – to be fed to the sarlacc which lurks in the Dune Sea. However, with the help of Artoo and Lando – who had infiltrated Jabba’s operation as a bodyguard – Luke foils this plan as well, releasing his friends and ending Jabba’s reign over the underworld.

Returning to Dagobah to finish his Jedi training, Luke finds that Yoda is in very poor health. The dying Jedi Master tells Luke that only one task remains before the young apprentice truly becomes the last Jedi Knight – but that task is the defeat of Darth Vader. Obi-Wan appears to Luke, explaining the true fate of Anakin Skywalker and both of his children, who are strong with the Force. Luke knows he must defeat Vader – or win him back from the dark side – but doubts his ability to do so. But Vader is already busy constructing a new and more powerful Death Star, this time under the direct supervision of Emperor Palpatine. The Emperor has arranged for details of the new Death Star’s defenses to be leaked into the hands of the Rebel Alliance, hoping that they will commit their entire fleet to destroy the space station . . . which is already fully operational and well-defended, more than ready for a Rebel onslaught.

Luke joins a Rebel taskforce assigned to destroy the defense shield installation on the forest moon of Endor, which the Death Star orbits. Han almost fatally endangers the mission, but unexpected help arrives in the forms of Endor’s native life form, the Ewoks. Worrying that Vader will sense his presence and capture the entire Rebel team, Luke turns himself over to the Imperial troops as Han and Leia continue their risky gambit to lower the Death Star’s shield in time for a Rebel attack fleet to destroy the station. And aboard the Death Star, the Emperor, with Darth Vader’s help, attempts to lure a second generation of Jedi Knights named Skywalker into the dark side of the Force . . .

Order the DVDsstory by George Lucas
screenplay by Lawrence Kadsan and George Lucas
directed by Richard Marquand
music by John Williams

Cast: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Sebastian Shaw (Anakin Skywalker), Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine), Frank Oz (Yoda), James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader), David Prowse (Darth Vader), Alec Guiness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Michael Pennington (Moff Jerjerrod), Admiral Piett (Kenneth Colley), Michael Carter (Bib Fortuna), Denis Lawson (Wedge), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Dermot Crowley (General Madine), Caroline Blakiston (Mon Mothma), Warwick Davis (Wicket), Kenny Baker (Paploo), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Femi Taylor (Oola), Annie Arbogast (Sy Snootles), Claire Davenport (Fat Dancer), Jack Purvis (Teebo), Mike Edmonds (Logray), Jane Busby (Chief Chirpa), Malcolm Dixon (Ewok warrior), Mike Cottrell (Ewok warrior), Nicki Reade (Nicki), Adam Bareham (Star Destroyer controller #1), Jonathan Oliver (Star Destroyer controller #2), Pip Miller (Star Destroyer captain #1), Tom Mannion (Star Destroyer captain #2), Tony Philpott, Mike Edmonds, David Barclay (Jabba the Hutt)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Rebel Mission To Ord Mantell

Star Wars: Rebel Mission To Ord MantellIn the wake of the Battle of Yavin, the Rebel Alliance abandons its base and sets up shop on the icy planet of Hoth. Luke and Han are assigned to take two X-Wing fighters to scout a jungle planet instead – to draw the Empire’s attention away from the new Hoth base. Once the Empire is diverted from Hoth, Luke and Han return to the ice planet, where Leia is already planning their next mission. Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and the droids plan to pull off a heist of Imperial funds on the planet Ord Mantell, with the help of a Rebel informant who also happens to be an insectoid life form. Han is instantly suspicious, since Narithians are capable of instantaneous telepathic communication with their egg-mate siblings, but Leia assures him that this agent’s sibling is dead – the result of a brotherly rivalry turned deadly when one signed up with the Rebels and the other with the Empire. Even using the Millennium Falcon is a risk, since Han and his ship are wanted not only by Jabba the Hutt, but by the Empire as well. But once Leia and her team arrive on Ord Mantell, their carefully orchestrated plan quickly falls apart: Han’s slip of the tongue reveals Leia’s identity, and the insectoid informant turns out not to be a Rebel sympathizer, but a treacherous bounty hunter. Han, Leia, Artoo and Chewie are disarmed by the bounty hunter, leaving Luke and Threepio to carry off the caper by themselves on a cargo dock where weapons are forbidden. Fortunately for Luke, however, no one seems to remember what a lightstaber looks like…

written by Brian Daley
directed by Jymn Magon
music not credited
(combination of John Williams soundtrack cues and generic production library music?)

Cast: not credited; see notes below.

Notes: Mention an adventure at an offscreen location in the Star Wars universe, and sooner or later, somebody is going to chronicle it, somehow. This entire story springs from a throwaway line in The Empire Strikes Back about Han “running into some trouble with that bounty hunter on Ord Mantell.” Rebel Mission To Ord Mantell follows much the same format and length as an episode of National Public Radio’s Star Wars radio series, but there the similarity ends. (There is no indication that Ord Mantell was ever considered for broadcast, or that any Star Wars audio stories not adapting existing movies were ever in the works for radio.) It features none of the NPR series’ cast, not even Anthony Daniels; Brian Daley seems to be the only link between Ord Mantell and the NPR radio dramas (though this may be the same uncredited cast who appeared in a handful of Star Wars read-along storybooks released by the same label, some of whose stories were adapted from Marvel’s between-movie comics). Ord Mantell was actually produced after the first two radio series. Curiously, despite having access to Lucasfilm’s library of Star Wars sound effects (and a cover credit for Ben Burtt), several sound effects from the 1979 Disney movie The Black Hole can be heard, though this may be because Ord Mantell was released on LP in 1983 on Disney’s Buena Vista Records label. Perhaps not surprisingly, there are many conflicting accounts of Han’s trouble with that bounty hunter on Ord Mantell in prose fiction, comics, gaming media and probably even haiku form; this is the only version to be played out as a full-cast audio drama.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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