In the first installment of our saga, Sullustan space patriot and holonet personality Axel Josen, along with his protocol droid Theydon 1U2NO, ran the Trade Federation blockade surrounding Naboo in order to unravel a galactic conspiracy. He is after the plans to a super weapon being developed by the New Galactic Order. So far he has evaded capture, sold some survival food buckets, and learned that the schematics are being kept by the super weapon’s Gungan designer, Brinto Tass. Can Axel find the amphibian arms dealer in Gwa Gwa City and convince him to hand over the plans for this so-called Death Star?
Zack: First question: can I fly to Gwa Gwa City in the Eagle of Freedom or am I going to have to get in one of those squid submarine things?
Steve: You will have to get in a bongo submarine. But first you’re going to have to convince one of the sleazy marsh Gungans to take you to Gwa Gwa City.
Zack: I’ve got a blaster to do my talking for me. And Theydon 1U2NO to translate if the Gungans don’t speak blasterese.
Steve: There is a small surface trade outpost where the marsh Gungans do some trading with the Naboo. They look up in surprise to see the Eagle of Freedom descending to the edge of the marsh. Their makeshift landing pad was designed for Naboo aircraft and your blockade runner is enormous and knocks over the hut nearest the landing pad.
Zack: I like to make an entrance. Are the natives restless?
Steve: You mean are they gathering in a mob with frog pitchforks? No.
Zack: I can’t imagine frogs using pitchforks or leading any sort of agrarian life.
Steve: Okay, I guess they mostly eat bugs and fish, but tridents are sort of pitchforks and they use those along with their slingshot weapons where they throw orbs around.
Zack: I can definitely picture frogs throwing orbs around.
Steve: There are several Gungans waiting for you when you walk down the ramp. They don’t seem dangerous.
Zack: Never turn your back on a drug or a Gungan. Or the government. Alright, I am going down the ramp with a wagon full of my survival food buckets.
Zack: Hello primitive slime dwellers! Did you know that the government in Naboo city wants you to be passive so they are secretly adding estrogen to your water to turn you all into GIRLS!? Your water is contaminated. Your food is contaminated. And I have the solution, with my Axel Josen Survival Food Ration Buckets. Every bucket contains 40 servings of nutritionally balanced space oats. Reasonably priced, for a limited time only. This food is shelf stable for up to 12 parsecs. Do you guys even have money?
Steve: We so gotsa spendin’ orbs!
Steve: They hold out small glowing orbs that they all seem to keep in pouches on their belts.
Zack: Uhhhh how about this, guys: I give one of you a few buckets of this delicious, nutritious, protein rich and toxin free super survival food and you take me to Gwa Gwa City in your bongo submarine and introduce me to Brinto Tass.
Steve: When you mention the name Brinto Tass the Gungans begin to clear out. The crowd disperses until there is only one Gungan remaining.
Zack: Well hello there, truthseeker. Do you want to get to the bottom of a conspiracy threatening to tear down the false facade of this so-called republic and shine the light of knowledge on the darkest corners of the galaxy?
Steve: He seems to be chewing on something. After a few seconds he blinks and spits out one of the glowing spending orbs into his hand. “Yousa can eats thems too.”
Zack: Ah, a true patriot. Subverting the fiat monetary system that the fatcats in swamp washington use to enslave the sheepogs!
Steve: Isa takes you to Gwa Gwa City. Give me two buckets.
Zack: You drive a hard bargain. I’ll need some of those glowing orb things.
Steve: He screws up his face and sort of shakes his body around and several of the glowing orbs plop out of his bell bottoms and onto the ground at his feet.
Zack: Yeah, I’ll pass.
Steve: He takes two buckets, dumps out all the food inside, and fills them up with the marsh mud. “Isa ready lets go to my subamarine.”
Zack: I’m going to put some waders on Theydon so he doesn’t get mud in his circuits.
Steve: Theydon is very happy. He says, “Oh thank you very kindly, master Axel, that is most generous of you. Mud is so very troubling when it gets into my sprockets.”
Zack: Pipe down I don’t have a co-host. I’d leave you in the ship but I don’t know what sort of slobbery bullshit this boss frog is going to be talking.
Zack: Does this frog man with the submarine have a name?
Steve: Meesa name is Cha Cha Jenks.
Zack: Shabba Ranks it is. Let’s go, Shabba.
Steve: He takes you to his submarine, which is like a cross between a manta ray and a squid. It’s beat up and the main cockpit that he sits in is leaking. “Yousa kicks burrito wrappers outsa de way.” The submarine rumbles to life, stalls, starts again and dives down under the water. The marsh gives way to the open ocean and the sub goes deeper and deeper until you see a huge underwater city glowing in the darkness.
Zack: “This chair I’m sitting in smells like fish farts.”
Steve: “This Gwa Gwa City. It is very good city.”
Zack: No such thing as a good city, my friend, because cities are governed by corrupt tax-sucking parasites who want to rob everyone of their freedoms big and small. Guess what? I don’t have KIDS so I don’t have to pay for SCHOOLS. And I’m not talkin’ schools of fish. It’s THEFT. All tax is theft, Shabba.
Steve: You arrive at the bubble city and enter the air-filled docks. The submarine pods open and the place smells like you would expect an underwater city inhabited completely by frogs to smell.
Zack: Going to check the docks to make sure there aren’t any black submarines to take us to the FEMA bubbles.
Steve: Looks pretty normal.
Zack: That’s just how they want it to look. The more normal things look, the more nervous I get.
Steve: Well, keep in mind, it looks normal for an underwater frog city made of linked bubbles of energy.
Zack: Does Shabba know where Boss Tass lives?
Steve: Oh yessa meesa show you where heesa lives.
Zack: I turn to Theydon and ask him to translate a messae for me to Shabba. “Tell him, ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH I HATE THE WAY YOU TALK!'”
Steve: Theydon carefully translates, “Heesa real mad at yousa talkin’.”
Steve: Shabba straightens up. “My apologies. That’s something we do for the tourists so they think we are simpletons. Actually, we are the most advanced and powerful race in the galaxy.”
Zack: I knew the Gungans were the puppetmasters! Other holonet hosts will talk about the Trandoshans being the great manipulators, which I think is disgusting and racist. Because it was the Gungans!
Steve: Yes and actually I work for Boss Tass. He employs me to deal with security threats. Like you…
Steve: He draws his slingshot and stretches the sling, ready to fire a glowing orb at you.
Zack: Is this a roll initiative sort of situation? Because Axel will shoot first as many times as possible.
Steve: You could try to draw your blaster and waste him, but he already has his orb aimed at you. “Hand over the weapon, interloper.”
Zack: Just like Barlock Obemma of the rim worlds. Always trying to get his hands on our guns to pacify the population. I reluctantly hand over my blaster. But I have a secret weapon: Theydon is a broadcasting tower.
Steve: I don’t know dude you’re like a mile under water.
Zack: Do they get the holonet here?
Steve: I’ll say yes.
Zack: Then he can broadcast to the holonet.
Steve: So you’re sending a distress signal?
Zack: No! I’m distressed at all times about the state of the galaxy. I am going to go live with my show when the time is right. I’m just laying the groundwork and telling you I am doing everything possible to keep Theydon 1U2NO around.
Steve: Shabba marches you to a huge, gross lumpy palace heavily guarded by Gungans. He keeps his orb slingshot aimed at you at all times.
Steve: You enter the throne room of the big, blobby frog dude Boss Brinto Tass. He is sitting on a throne with whatever passes for a couple sexy frog babes hanging on his legs like a Frazetta painting of Conan.
Zack: Paint with your words, Steve. I want to know what you think a sexy frog babe looks like.
Steve: Sort of like if you combined the Dark Queen from Battletoads with the Battletoads.
Zack: Do they have hair?
Steve: They have like coral tiaras and bikinis made out of shells.
Zack: They sound beautiful.
Steve: Boss Tass starts laughing “Well, well, well, if it isn’t Axel Josen. You know, I listen to your show. Very funny stuff. You almost know the truth. What did you think you would find here?”
Zack: Starting my show.
Zack: “Hold on a second, Boss Tass. I have about two minutes of clips set to the Doors before my show starts.”
Steve: Riders on the Storm?
Zack: Usually open with Break On Through and close with The End.
Steve: A little too on the nose.
Zack: Everyone is a critic, but they’re not asking the questions they need to ask. How are the separatists financing a superweapon capable of destroying a planet? Why has Sifo-Dyas ordered a clone army? Why won’t the Jedis open up their archives to the public?
Steve: All good questions, Mr. Josen, but I can’t give you answers. You see, I work for someone else.
Zack: Even the puppet masters have puppet masters. Who do you work for, Tass?
Steve: A door opens and a robed creature with glowing golden eyes and a head like a girls’ bicycle seat walks out. Yep, you guessed it, it’s Hem Dazon. One of the aliens who turns to look at Luke when he walks into Mos Eisley cantina.
Zack: “Hem Dazon!”
Steve: “That is my false name. My true name is Darth Luminati.”
Zack: What do you know about the Project for a New Galactic Century? Why did the Jedis buy a million coffins?
Steve: “Unfortunately, I will not be answering your questions. You have fallen right into my trap. This is the end, Axel Josen.”
Zack: We’re only like ten minutes into a six hour episode!
Steve: Darth Luminati starts force choking the crap out of you.
Zack: “Can’t…gak! Silence…….. the voice…… of the people!” Has Shabba let his guard down?
Steve: Yes, actually. He is laughing about your impending demise.
Zack: Going to try to grab my pistol back from his belt or wherever he put it and blast Darth Luminati.
Steve: Normally I would just kill your dude, because you walked right into all this, but I’ll say you get the blaster out and fire off a shot. It misses Darth Luminati, but it zaps the throne and knocks it over, interrupting his concentration.
Steve: The room descends into chaos.
Zack: I am going to try to shoot Shabba’s orb sack to make his orbs explode. And then make my escape.
Steve: You successfully blast Shabba’s orbs and he explodes disgusting frog man guts everywhere. Theydon was closest to him so he gets really drenched in guts. He’s all, “Oh dear me I seem to have something viscous on my sensors.”
Zack: Ladies and gentlemen, we are getting the hell out of here!
Steve: Boss Tass is summoning his guards and taking cover. Darth Luminati has drawn an orange lightsaber and he is coming after you.
Zack: I’m getting out of this throne room. There is no way I can take on a Jedi and a bunch of Gungan guards.
Steve: You race out into the hall, pursued by flung orbs of death. You remember the way back to the docks, but you are in a vast palace.
Zack: I can’t leave yet. I need to find the Death Star plans. I’m going to look around for a garbage can and put it over my body and pretend to be one of those gonk robots. I’ll send Theydon in the opposite direction.
Steve: Your ruse seems to work, even though you are breathing in horrible frog man garbage smells. You hear the guards run off in the opposite direction and there is no sign of Luminati. The down side is you can’t really see where you’re going.
Zack: Thinking about where a giant frog dude would keep secret plans, I think a vault of some sort or maybe his office.
Steve: A frog man doesn’t have an office.
Zack: Well, how would I know? They seem reasonably civilized. Since they’re so secretive I would look for like his log he sits on our his mud pit or whatever it is frogs like for relaxation and then I bet there’s a secret door that leads to his real office. The one where he spends all day doing important stuff like playing minesweeper.
Steve: This plan is really bad. I’m just saying, dude. You manage to find his bedroom which is like a big lily pad floating in a pond. There are a couple of hot frog babes floating on it.
Zack: I’m going to drop the trash can and take them hostage. I know it’s not heroic, but sometimes when you’re after the truth you have to do things that aren’t “nice” and “by the rules.” “Sorry, ladies, but I need to know where the boss keeps his computer disks.”
Steve: They point to a hidden hatch behind an erotic statue.
Zack: Heading down the hatch.
Steve: It’s like one of those escape slides people use to get out of burning high rise buildings crossed with a water slide. You go shooting down the tube and come out in a decorative pool in a room with high-backed leather chairs, a crackling fireplace, and huge maps of the galaxy. There are computers all over the place.
Zack: I have some computer skills. After all, I created Prison Planet on the holonet.
Steve: You find his private files. You would expect a bunch of creepy sex videos or something, but there is none of that. The pervert frog ruler is only a facade like the others for Boss Tass. All of the files are schematics, maps, and test videos of various weapon systems.
Zack: Searching for the death star schematics and uploading them straight to my site on the holonet.
Steve: It starts uploading, but because you are so far underwater, the connection is really slow. And this is really a big file. It’s like a CAD file for something as big as a planet.
Zack: Imagine just saving some minor changes on that thing. It would take hours.
Steve: But zip files are really advanced, so it shrinks down and will only take about five minutes to upload. Plenty of time for Darth Luminati to emerge from the tube. His lightsaber snaps open again.
Steve: “Your luck has run out, Josen!”
Zack: “You went down that whole long water slide and that was the best line you could come up with?” I’m blasting him for disrespecting the proud tradition of final battle quips.
Steve: He deflects and dodges your blaster bolts. He comes rolling up much closer to you.
Zack: Point blank lasering him.
Steve: He cuts off your hand.
Zack: “Now I can’t clap at the great quip you’re about to drop right before you finish me off.”
Steve: “Your survival oats suck.”
Steve: He swings his lightsaber through you and your empty clothes drop to the floor.
Zack: Haha the old empty clothes trick.
Steve: No, you’re a ghost now. You were so attuned to the truth it has turned you into a ghost. You can see the computer screen through the spirit realm as the upload finishes.
Zack: YES! I win!
Steve: Darth Luminati walks over and notices that on the computer. “Eh, nobody will believe it anyway.”
Zack: Dark ending, Steve! It has been years since either of us has done a total party kill.
Steve: Technically not a TPK since your droid survived.
Zack: Still, very dark.
Steve: Quit complaining! You can even come back as a ghost.
Zack: Well, at least I didn’t live to see what will become of this once great galaxy under the new regime.