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.

Tatooine Haunts

Return Of The Jedi NPR Radio DramaOn Tatooine, Luke Skywalker is occupying Ben Kenobi’s old desert hut, preparing a new lightsaber for himself – to be wielded in the artificial hand that has replaced the one Darth Vader cut off at Cloud City. A carefully orchestrated plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt is finally set into motion, despite Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca having seemingly vanished after coming to Tatooine themselves. Luke sends R2-D2 and C-3PO to Jabba, with orders for Artoo to play a message Luke has recorded for Jabba’s eyes only. But when Artoo plays that message, Threepio is horrified to hear Luke’s voice offering the droids to Jabba as a gift – as a token of his esteem in hopes that a deal regarding Han Solo can be worked out. Artoo is pressed into service as a waiter aboard Jabba’s sail barge, and Threepio is forced to serve as the sluglike ganglord’s interpreter. A new bounty hunter, Boussh, arrives – with Chewbacca in chains. Jabba is delighted by the new arrival and allows Boussh to stay in his palace, but the bounty hunter is not all that he – or she – appears.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
additional material by John Whitman
based on the screenplay Return Of The Jedi by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

Season Three Cast: Joshua Fardon (Luke Skywalker), Perry King (Han Solo), Ann Sachs (Princess Leia Organa), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Bernard Behrens (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Ayre Gross (Lando Calrissian), Edward Asner (Jabba The Hutt), Paul Hecht (The Emperor), John Lithgow (Yoda), Brock Peters (Lord Darth Vader)

Season Three Supporting Cast: Ed Begley Jr. (Boba Fett), Samantha Bennett (Arica), David Birney (Anakin Skywalker), Peter Dennis (Moff Jerjerrod), David Dukes (Bib Fortuna), Peter Michael Goetz (General Madine), Ian Gomez (Salacious Crumb), Martin Jarvis (Barada), Jon Matthews (Wedge), Natalija Nogulich (Mon Mothma), Mark Adair Rios (Admiral Ackbar), Yeardley Smith (9D9), Tom Virtue (Major Derlin), Ken Hiller (Narrator), with Samantha Bennett, Rick Hall, Andrew Hawkes, Sherman Howard, Karl Johnson, John Kapelos, Ron Le Paz, Joe Liss, Paul Mercier, Steven Petrarca, Jonathan Penner, Gil Segel, Nia Vardalos and Ron West

Fast Friends

Return Of The Jedi NPR Radio DramaHan has been released from his carbonite prison by the bounty hunter Boushh, who has in turn been unmasked as Princess Leia – just in time for both to be captured by Jabba the Hutt. Leia is put in chains (and not much else) to serve as Jabba’s new dancing girl, and discovers that more help is already close at hand – Lando Calrissian has disguised himself to take the place of one of Jabba’s palace guards. Han and Chewie are reunited in Jabba’s dungeons, but the reunion may be a short-lived one – both are sentenced to death. A mysterious figure arrives in the dead of night, convincing Jabba’s lackeys to give him access to the gangster lord himself. The stranger reveals himself to be Luke, here to bargain for the release of his friends. Even though he has arrived unarmed, Luke demonstrates an increasing command of the Force as a weapon when the negotiations turn hostile.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
additional material by John Whitman
based on the screenplay Return Of The Jedi by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Prophecies And Destinies

Return Of The Jedi NPR Radio DramaSentenced to die by digestion in the belly of the Sarlacc, Luke and his friends stage their last stand in a desperate battle aboard Jabba’s sail barges. After blasting their way out of captivity, the Rebels have a new obstacle to contend with – Imperial star destroyers have blockaded Tatooine. Artoo signals the surviving bounty hunters and mercenaries at Jabba’s palace to convince them that the Empire is here for them, and a fierce firefight ensues – during which the Millennium Falcon and Luke’s X-Wing are able to slip away without firing a shot. Luke, with Artoo in tow, splits off to visit Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah, while the Falcon rejoins the Rebel fleet. Darth Vader arrives aboard the still unfinished second Death Star, and while his presence is enough to stir terror in the heart of the Imperial officer overseeing the station’s construction, Vader brings even darker news: Emperor Palpatine himself is en route to the Death Star as well, intent on personally witnessing the destruction of the Rebellion. And perhaps the Emperor is closer to his goal than he realizes, for across the galaxy, before Luke’s eyes, and before he has completed his training, the last Jedi Master has become one with the Force.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
additional material by John Whitman
based on the screenplay Return Of The Jedi by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Notes: A bit of throwaway dialogue in this episode – written well after Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy of novels – tries to set one foot into the expanded universe when Han says he heard that Lando “almost wrecked the Falcon on Coruscant” – which seems like an insanely dangerous place for anyone to take the Falcon if, as implied in the prequel trilogy, it becomes the seat of the Imperial government. Then again, maybe it’s a different Coruscant, as here the planet’s name is pronounced “chorus can’t.”

Pattern And Web

Return Of The Jedi NPR Radio DramaGathered near the planet Sullust, the Rebel fleet is preparing for an all-out, last-ditch attack against the Imperial forces. Lando, piloting the Falcon, will lead Rebel fighters in a direct assault on the new Death Star, while Han will lead a ground assault on the third moon of Endor to take out a shield generator protecting the space station. Chewie, Leia, Luke and the droids join Han’s team bound for Endor in a stolen Imperial shuttle. Once there, the Rebels find the Empire is guarding its installation more heavily than expected – Imperial scout troops on speeder bikes spot Han and Chewie and take off to sound the alarm. Luke and Leia give chase on a leftover speeder, and Luke “liberates” a speeder of his own from one of the Imperial troops in midair. But when Luke finishes off the last of the troops, he returns to Han, only to discover that Leia hasn’t returned.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
additional material by John Whitman
based on the screenplay Return Of The Jedi by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Notes: As Mon Mothma, Natalija Nogulich is on familiar ground – in her previous recurring role as Admiral Nechayev, she had been directing Starfleet strategy in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

So Turns A Galaxy, So Turns A Wheel

Return Of The Jedi NPR Radio DramaHan, Luke, Chewie and the droids are captured by furry natives of the third moon of Endor while searching for Leia. The primitive creatures are quite impressed with Threepio, thinking that he’s a god – and Luke uses that opportunity to impress them even further with a demonstration of the Force. Threepio brokers an alliance between the Rebels and the furry Ewoks, and discovers that they’re no happier about the Imperial presence in their forests than the Rebels are. But even when the Ewoks offer their help, something troubles Luke – namely a revelation from Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi that Leia is his sister. Luke shares this with her, and then goes off to face his destiny, in the form of Darth Vader and the Emperor, alone.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
additional material by John Whitman
based on the screenplay Return Of The Jedi by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

The Blood Of A Jedi

Return Of The Jedi NPR Radio DramaWith the help of the Ewoks, the Rebels overrun the shield generator, but they’re too late to help their own fleet – the Millennium Falcon and its fighter wings emerge from hyperspace into the waiting arms of the Imperial Fleet, as part of an elaborate plan by Palpatine. But the Empire hasn’t counted on the presence of the Ewoks, and the shield generator is destroyed by Solo and his commando group. Lando makes some desperate alterations to the battle plan, and still manages to lead the Rebels into the heart of the Death Star – but aboard that station, Luke Skywalker is fighting his own battle against the power of the dark side of the Force. He may destroy the Empire, save the Rebellion, free the galaxy and become the last of the Jedi – but Luke still may not be able to save his father in the process.

Order this CDwritten by Brian Daley
additional material by John Whitman
based on the screenplay Return Of The Jedi by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
directed by John Madden
music by John Williams

See the first episode for cast information.

Notes: Produced many years after the two original NPR Star Wars adaptations, Return Of The Jedi was funded by Highbridge Audio primarily to produce a set of shows to fill out a planned CD box set; it was later offered to NPR. But the project’s for-profit nature precluded Mark Hamill’s involvement (Hamill had volunteered his time to act in the first two Star Wars radio shows), and the original CD-buying audience of already-indoctrinated fans envisioned for the project meant a slimming down of the number of episodes, and an assumption that certain elements – such as Jabba’s Huttese language – could be left intact from the films with no explanation or translation. Sadly, writer Brian Daley died of pancreatic cancer during the recording sessions.