How to Transform Star Wars
It is less than a month before Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters. Seeing as how I am a media fellow, I find it only fair to warn you that big changes (and surprises) are in store. All those trailers and TV spots? A misdirect. Just for you folks, I have pulled back the curtain of secrecy and have information for you. The Star Wars franchise is about to get bigger than you ever dreamed.
Since this is a rather epic pitch, I present it in two versions. You can watch me wing it, complete with flubs, or you can read the “official text” below. Or both. Enjoy!
The film starts with the John Williams score and trapezoidal text-crawl. (Bye 20th Century Fox fanfare.) Peace has reigned over the system. Leia, Luke, and Han are all enjoying their second stage in life as the Padawans find their way and merriment is the rule of the day. However, on the nearby moon of Endor, a tragic disaster is about to play out.
The Ewoks are gathered in their typical festive style. They dance about, they sing, they jibber and jabber as only those furry little creatures can do. But slowly, over their drums and flutes, they hear a loud metallic noise. It gets louder and louder, growing from a background noise into a booming threat that overtakes the music. There is a shock sent through the Ewoks and they all fall silent as a giant shadow looms over them. A metallic hand reaches down and grabs three of them in its claw. They all chitter away excitedly until the claw squeezes tighter, crushing them all. It drops three furry clumps dozens of feet to the ground and snatches up another. This time, the metallic titan emulates their language and asks a series of questions. The captive Ewok answers the questions quickly in a terrified tone as more shadows join the first. A dark army has surrounded the Ewoks’ campfire. The Ewok squeaks out a few more panicked phrases until it too is crushed.
“A Death Staaaaaar”, the leader says. “Interesting. And yet, too small for my purposessssss.” With that, the slaughter of the Ewoks begins.
Switch to our heroes. Leia and Han are watching children at play. Han soon joins in as he sees Chewie about to give an unfair advantage to one side. “Not so fast”, he yells as he sets out to even the odds. Luke walks up and hugs his sister, reminiscing about what has come before and how it has been a long journey to this idyllic time. Just then, the siblings feel a great disturbance in the force. They both sense the removal of the Ewoks from the world. Luke quickly grabs C-3PO and R2-D2 and makes his way towards Endor.
Upon arriving, he is greeted by countless deaths. He searches his old friends, looking for any sign of hope. He senses a lone voice, and rushes to the creature’s side. The little round eyes look up at Luke and manage to mutter out four syllables. Luke turns to C-3PO, his language expert, and asks what he said. “I’m not sure I quite understand it Master Luke. It is the strangest thing. However I am quite certain he said, ‘Decepticons’.”
From there, the movie rushes forth. Luke returns to share what he knows. Leia forms a council and discusses this new threat. As the palace begins to take on a general feeling of disarray, walls break down and Megatron enters the scene. Followed by Starscream, Soundwave, and the usual gang of twerps, Megatron declares himself the new leader and how he expects these pitiful weaklings to mine the planet’s resources for him. What he doesn’t see is that Leia is bolstering her brother’s strength. Luke is then able to lift Megatron off the ground using the force, and throw him across the room in our first, “Yeah, buddy!”-nerd moment. Lightsabers light up and pistols are pointed as the room quickly turns to attack the Decepticons. Starscream, being Starscream, calls out, “Retreeeeeeat” and flies away. Megatron, taken aback by Luke’s power and realizing he has no back-up, flees the scene.
Unbeknownst to the Decepticons, Han is on their tail. As soon as Megatron had revealed himself to have flight capabilities, he and Chewie had made a beeline for the Millenium Falcon. A few stray pilots that had been in the hangar join his mission, and it is the air-chase scene of the first act. Decepticon jets are flying away and spinning to avoid the royal fleet behind them. Han singles out Starscream and blasts sections off of his tail and body. Megatron, outraged at such an affront, turns and opens fire, effectively blowing up all the crucial parts of the Millenium Falcon. In the second nerd moment, we watch as the Millenium Falcon turns into a fireball, crashing on the ground and splitting into thousands of pieces. (Naturally, Han and Chewie had managed to eject. Chewie hugging Han to protect him from the blow but breaking a few of his fur-covered limbs in the process.)
Both camps realize they have much to learn. Megatron wants Soundwave to find out what sort of power Luke had over him. And Leia proclaims that they will need more resources. She sanctions any and all idea that will lead to destroying this new threat to their way of life.
Which is when Peter Cullen comes to save the day.
Luke is sitting with R2 and C-3PO while Leia goes to yell at/ tend to Han and Chewie. “Of all the… you stupid… how could…”; you get the idea. Luke once again feels something in the force. But this time it is something encouraging. He immediately feels a sense of comradery. Ghost Anakin, Ghost Yoda, and Ghost Ben sit there and encourage him to reach out, to experience a trust in new things. As they fade from view, a series of meteors start to fly through the air. The fiery objects almost seem to be headed straight towards him. C-3PO begins to fret and strongly suggests they should seek cover. Luke slowly stands and R2-D2 stands in ready by his master.
The meteors come closer and closer, finally crashing within mere yards of where Luke is standing. Luke slowly and calmly pulls back his hood and holds his lightsaber; it glows into action, ready to do battle. Giant machines, just like the ones that attacked the palace come ever closer. Luke finds himself surrounded, but he remains ready to confront this new arrival. A familiar voice comes out. “Greetings citizen. We mean you no harm. I, am Optimus Prime. And we have come to help with you and your kind with a serious threat.”
Jedi and Autobots are now pals.
Meanwhile, on a nearby planet, construction is underway. Megatron is fuming and raging, as he is wont to do. He barks at the alien workforce to move faster and his Decepticon crew is only too eager to take out their defeat on the captives. We find that Megatron is using all the skills, resources, and materials he can assemble to create the ultimate base. Not only will this contraption absorb all the Energon around, but it will also act as their home base with immeasurable firing power. Inspired by what has come before, he has named his new project, The Death Nova.
Soundwave, being the dutiful researcher that he is, has a few pieces of information for Megatron. He explains The Force and the effects it seems to have and how it might be harnessed. For their purposes, it is actually a two-bladed sword (lightsaber?). On the one hand, the Jedi have learned to use it and are experts. On the other, it turns out that The Force acts as a more powerful form of Energon. If they can use The Death Nova to collect this matter from across the universe, they could be even more powerful than ever before. The human-robot stakes have officially been raised from meager global domination to the quest for ultimate power. Both sides will have their circumstances changed if The Death Nova is brought into being.
The Autobots have officially been introduced to their human counterparts. Leia assigns different tasks, pairings are made, all while Han claims that he can’t trust any of these machines. The only gear he ever trusted besides his blaster is now obliterated and gone forever. He rejects these new machines and secretly pines for his old ship. If he was a rebel before, this is now a Han bent on shunning anything the Autobots (or Decepticons) have to offer. He thinks the humans should be able to defeat the machines on their own. “They’re just gears and motors”, he bitterly states. Han’s a human-first kinda guy. If The Force is still confusing to him, these new elements are even more rejected by his skepticism.
A fun little pairing that emerges is R2-D2’s affinity for Optimus Prime. He has never before seen a “droid” that has such presence. Optimus is huge, confident, and leads others in their quest, even humans. R2-D2 soon has an idol to follow around. Cue shots of gigantic Optimus and little R2 zooming around at his ankles, beeping excitedly. Optimus is the ultimate big brother he never had, and eventually it creates a pull on R2’s loyalty. Does he stay with Master Luke, or does he stick with Optimus?
And of course, Ratchet and C-3PO form a bond. C-3PO knows of legends that say the world once had transport to other planets without planes or ships. Between c-3PO’s knowledge of the planet and lore, and Ratchet’s Autobot tech and savvy, the two soon find an ancient tomb. In it are a series of symbols and a metallic ring. The robotic two-some have found this planet’s Stargate.
We switch back and forth between the warring factions. Leia is using her troops to try to keep the Decepticons at bay. The Decepticons are constantly attacking the world, trying to harvest slaves and resources. C-3PO and Ratchet think they have the Stargate working. Soundwave believes he is ready to test The Force collection. The tech war is on.
Soundwave flips on his device and collects in an Energon Cube… The Emperor.
At that same moment, C-3PO has dialed up a planet that he believes is quite benign as a test. Sure enough, he steps through the Stargate and finds nothing but colorful horses and bears. Just as he is about to close the Stargate and dial home, an unexpected effect occurs. The entrance of The Emperor in a some-what solid state corrupts the force. Since the Stargate acts as a wormhole (Einstein-Rosenburg Bridge, portal, whatever), it sucks/transports some of that corruption through to the innocent land without C-3PO noticing. He unwittingly closes the Stargate, trapping the corruption in the souls of the nearby horses, and dials up home.
Without them realizing, C-3PO and Soundwave have managed to turn My Little Ponies to The Dark Side. They are now bent on using their pink and purple bodies for evil. The only thing that can purge the evil and restore balance? The Care Bears! Spin-off! Coming next summer to theaters!
Returning back through the Stargate, C-3PO confabs with Ratchet. The Autobot tells the legend of a group of machines that are piloted by humans, but still have the ability to stand toe-to-toe with Decepticons. There are no Stargates close to Cybertron, that much he is sure of, but what if one of the cartouches by the Stargate can take them to these other machines? Wouldn’t that be worth sending a search party for? C-3PO goes to talk to Leia and the Royal Council while Ratchet starts running simulations and coordinates through his mainframe.
Leia has finally gotten Han to re-commit to fighting with the Autobots. He still claims that he doesn’t trust those “rusted, over-featured, self-serving machines”, but he realizes that it will take more than his blaster to defeat Megatron.
While the Council is discussing C-3PO’s suggestion, Soundwave and Megatron have The Emperor in an Energon cube. The rest of the Decepticons look on in hungry anticipation. They all want an upgrade. They all believe they deserve the first shot. Megatron is as power hungry as ever, demands that the Emperor be transferred to his power source. He grabs the cube, tries to ingest it, and is immediately overwhelmed by the power. He can feel The Emperor trying to take over his systems, and he throws the cube across the room.
Starscream makes a grab for it, but Megatron shoots the cube out of his hands. Who should happen to pick it up, but Devastator. Megatron starts to attack Devastator, but stills his own shot. The green behemoth is not sparking and writhing with power. It seems that since the giant is made up of six different Decepticons, the power is dispersed among them. It appears that the power allotment is just right for the Constructicons. What’s more, the formerly dense and thug-like speech of Devastator is now replaced by The Emperor, whose mental faculties seem to be just as sharp inhabiting the massive robot as when he was a cloaked figure. He christens his new form, Emperor Devastator. In fact, he has an idea for a weapon to make the robot even more formidable.
At the Royal Council, the full details and hopes of the Stargate are met with cautious excitement. “It will never work”, “It is our best hope”, and “We took a chance on one shot in the Death Star, is this any different?” echo off the walls. Leia calls for quiet, and then makes her decision. Ratchet will stay behind and monitor things from their Stargate. As an exploration team, Han, R2, C-3PO, Lando, and Chewie will go. They are just scruffy, crazy, and brave enough to come back with something useful.
What they don’t realize is that their meeting has a few eavesdroppers. In the upper rafters of the mighty palace, Razorbeak has been making his home. He has recorded the entire plan and now flies back to Soundwave to report to Megatron. However, unseen by Razorbeak, is another unscrupulous fellow. Bobba Fett, still a little sore at Luke and Leia from their last encounter, has been watching Razorbeak’s every move to decide what part in this affair he might play. Whichever side comes out on top, and therefore profits him, will be the side that gets Fett’s allegiance.
The arms race continues. The Stargate 5 return to Ratchet, who believes he has found the world spoken of. He sends them through and talks to Bumblebee about the longshot they have taken. However, he takes some comfort in the knowledge that their probe shows the Stargate on the other world is not only functioning, but large enough to transport just about anything they can think of. Only, what could possibly be on that world?
Meanwhile Soundwave continues to work and fine tune. He collects smaller amounts of The Force into Energon cubes and installs them into the Decepticons. Emperor Devastator stands next to Megatron and watches the entire process with a wicked gleam to his robotic face. As the former Imperial Guards march around and work on weapons, it appears that Emperor Devastator retains his power over The Force. Megatron brims and twitches with the new power he feels rushing through his systems. He fires off powerful blasts that melt the walls and throws his minions hundreds of feet away. He cackles with dark satisfaction.
Leia, Optimus, and the Royal Council do their best to strengthen their defenses. There are plenty of brilliant military minds at work, and plans quickly come together. They have the advantage in numbers and familiar territory. But even Leia can tell that The Emperor is free. She excuses herself and seeks advice from Ghost Yoda, Ghost Anakin, and Ghost Ben. They tell her what she already knows, that she must put her trust in her friends and family.
She turns to Luke, who is in whispered conference with Optimus. The two are exchanging information on their foes. They begin to get an idea just how dangerous the combination of The Emperor and Megatron could be. They feel quite safe that the two would just as soon blow up the planet as deign to look upon Luke or Optimus’ faces ever again. Their utmost may not be enough. Luke, impatient at waiting around, takes a few trusted Padawans with him, gathers the fastest Autobots, and sneaks off in search of Megatron.
On the other side of the Stargate, the five explorers find themselves in a desolate land. Clearly, there was once a civilization there, but no one at present. R2 scans the area and leads them to a palace a few miles away. In the palace, and in four dank and dusty areas nearby, they come across five robotic transports. They look almost like lions. Will they still work?
At our heroes’ home, Fett makes his way to the Decepticon camp as he follows Luke and his crew. He weaves his machine in and out of ruts and trees, making sure that no one sees him follow. He still hasn’t decided what hand will be dealt.
Luke and Jazz fly to the Decepticon world and make a quick survey. They see the Death Nova looming over them, looking larger and more menacing than anything they have witnessed before. Jazz points out the guns and rifles being constructed for the Imperial Storm Troopers. And Luke, a chill running down his back, recognizes the voice of The Emperor, even through the metallic tinge his voice now has. Knowing that more resources are needed, they return to their forces and head back to inform Leia.
Unseen by all, Bobba Fett makes his way into Megatron’s headquarters. He disguises himself in the garb of a Storm Trooper and marches to the highest-security part of the room. For yet another nerd moment, we watch as Fett single-handedly takes out Razorbeak and Ramjet. Deft movements, application of acid, and a localized EMP make short work of the two guards. (He curses himself for using his EMP so soon. He knows that the Decepticons will now go to great lengths to quickly shield themselves against those attacks again.) However, he finds that his spying and stealth has paid off. He sneaks away back to the Stargage… with a base version of the All-Spark.
Megatron is enraged when Ramjet and Razorbeak’s sensors alert him of the intrusion. Their headquarters have been invaded and he knows that it must have been Optimus (even though Prime knew nothing of Fett, or his plans). Tired of waiting for the Death Nova to be completed, Megatron calls his troops to him. Emperor Devastator, tired of gathering his strength agrees. The time for attack is now.
Leia and her Council are listening to Luke’s report as great booms and explosions are heard. Before they know it, the skies are filled with Decepticon attackers. Astrotrain, Starscream, Soundwave; all the most dangerous Decepticons are on their way. Megatron is firing off energy like they have never seen before. And, gloriously enjoying the slow wake of doom, Emperor Devastator is coming as well.
The Royal Council rushes to action. All ships are put to the air. The families are hidden underground. Prime orders what jetpacks they have managed to build to be put to use, but he stays on the ground with the normal troops and the land-based Autobots. Leia and Luke take to the sky to shoot down those that they can.
But Emperor Devastator is simply too much. He is laying waste to all who would oppose him. Autobots are melted in half. Jets stop in midair, hover in front of Emperor Devastator, and helplessly crunched into wreckage that falls to the ground, felling those it falls on. Clearly there is no way for this green machine of death and destruction to be stopped.
Until the Stargate Five roar through the Stargate and back to the surface. Each person is commanding their own Lion. Chewie is in Blue, R2 in Yellow, Lando in Green, C-3PO in Black, and of course, Han in Red. R2-D2, having scanned the system, transmits the data to C-3PO who informs the others of what they are about to do. “Form feet and legs.” “Form arms and body.” And, in a way that only Han could make sound cool, he gruffly and excitedly calls out, “And I’ll form, the head!” His new machine suits him just fine. It isn’t the Millenium Falcon, but it will do.
As Voltron charges at Emperor Devastator, we see the weapon that we suspected he was talking about before. There, for everyone in the battlefront to see, is the largest lightsaber ever constructed. And it lights up with an ominously pale neon-green glow. (One more nerd moment, just for fun.) Those on the ground can hear it hum no matter where they are fighting. As Emperor Devastator swings it through the air maniacally, it sends waves of heat whooshing past and cuts through those in its path.
Voltron’s crew responds with “Flaming Sword”! None of the pilots are great Jedi Knights, or the battle might be over swiftly. But they know that the Constructicons are not made for Jedi or Sith warfare. All they have to do is take out the Destructicon limbs. If they can.
Fett still has his own agenda. He sneaks back down to the Stargate. He threatens to override Bumblebee’s protocols, forcing Ratchet to stop guarding the Stargate, and instead open it for him. A random dial gives Fett a new world to run to: Earth. However, just as Fett’s gate is closing, Bumblebee manages to get off a few shots. He seriously injures Fett and also damages the prototype All-Spark.
The All-Spark is no longer capable of bestowing life unto machines. But as it begins to implode, it sends out a wave of energy, changing a dozen vehicles within its radius. A few Americans see the change, and so begins the quest to control and use these new vehicles. The vehicles that will come to make up M.A.S.K. Coming to theaters next winter, in 3D.
(But remember, Fett isn’t dead. Yet. This sets up the whole trilogy. The first movie is about M.A.S.K. coming together, only to have the Fast Furious crew want to steal the cars. The second movie is M.A.S.K. vs. Fast Furious vs. The Expendables. [Because why have just big guns when you can arm your cars to be big guns?] And the third returns the movie to its Transformer roots as M.A.S.K. and the Fast Furious crew must team-up to stop The Expendables with Decepticon tech. All while Bobba Fett waits for his moment. Obviously, we’ll be having a tie-in with all the major car manufacturers.)
Back on the Star Wars/ Transformers battle, the Voltron/Emperor Devastator battle is simply too evenly matched. Voltron is faster, but The Emperor is more powerful. He is using all of his control of The Force to keep the Decpeticon robots at bay. This whole time, the six robots have been fighting to take back their bodies and The Emperor has succeeded in keeping them subdued.
Luke flies around and decides that the lightsaber is the biggest threat. He closes his eyes, focuses on The Force, and frees his mind. At the precise moment he ejects from his flier. He feels the wind whip against his face as he falls faster and faster. He calls his lightsaber to his hand and it lights up in response. It glows brighter and brighter. With both hands on the lightsaber, he holds on with all his might and falls right at Emperor Devastator.
Too late, The Emperor turns the robot’s black and gray head up, seeing Luke plummeting towards him. With his arms trying to give out, Luke maintains control and cuts through the arm of Devastator, sending the limb crashing to the ground, still holding the massive lightsaber that cuts off.
Before Emperor Devastator can react, Han sees his move. “Now!”, he calls out as he and his Voltron buddies use the fiery sword to cut off Emperor Devastator’s other arm, his head, and with a mighty grunt, plunges the sword deep into the chest of their foe. The Energon and metal melt; Devastator will be no more. And The Emperor becomes ether once again.
Megatron calls for a retreat. The Decepticons head back towards the Death Nova. They are defeated this day, but they are not done in the long run. The Royal Council, the Voltron-Stargate 5, the Autobots, and all the rest celebrate their victory. They agree to house the Autobots and welcome them to the world. They have much to teach each other, and there will be casualties and tragedies before the Decepticons are defeated.
They know they need more resources. And that is why Luke takes it upon himself, with R2-D2 and C-3PO, to adopt a new mission. The three of them will travel through the Stargate, looking for help. Any advantage will be an asset, but Luke has a mission he has only told Leia. He is going in search of other Jedis. (What if they used The Stargate before and were stranded?) Luke is confident that there are others out there. He merely needs to bring them home.
As Luke, R2-D2, and C-3PO head out the gate, it closes behind them, and we hear the triumphant John Williams score.
End Episode VII.
Eat yer heart out, Patton Oswalt.
Update 12/15: Hey look, Paramount stole my idea! Well, part of it.