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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