Star Wars
According To Jack

Episode I
The Phantom Menace

Scene 9: Death Comes Knocking

While Jar-Jar lies curled in a ball snoring near the picture window in the living room, the companions and the Skywalkers lounge around the dining room table, picking at the last of the roast beast. Panaka stretches and rubs his belly. "Mrs. Skywalker, that was delicious! Worthy of a palace feast!"

Shmi blushes. "You're too kind."

Watto belches. "Yup, that's what my daddy always told me. Marry a cook, don't care how they look!" They all glance awkwardly at Shmi as Watto continues. "It's getting late. We can bring in some bedding for you folks to crash down here. It's not much, you'll have to share blankets. In the morning, Ani can finish fixing up your ship, and then I guess you're off to outer space!"

"I can finish it now!" protests Anakin.

"No, it's way past your bedtime!" insists Watto. "'Sides, the grownups need to finish going over the details of their contract."

Captain Panaka tries to hide his irritation as he says, "Don't worry, Mr. Skywalker. You'll get your reward."

They're startled out of their negotiations by a slow pounding knock at the door. The Jedi rise to their feet, hands to saber hilts. Watto floats up out of his chair as well.

"Hey! No worries! I'm expecting a guy!" The Jedi frown. "I'll shoo him off, don't you trouble yourselves. No problems here. Just relax and I'll take care of it." The Jedi remain standing as he moves through the living room to the front entranceway, following to keep him in their view. Anakin hops out of his chair and walks out in front of them.

"Seriously, no problem," Watto says as he opens the door. But when he looks out, his demeanor changes completely. Trembling, he lands on the front steps and crawls backwards, pointing at the Jedi.


Darth Maul strides into the Skywalker home.

Rotten teeth grin from a maroon face covered with black tribal tattoos; from his bald head spring rows of dirty yellow horns. Bloodshot orange eyes pierce Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon as his disgusting voice rattles through their heads.


Lightsabers blaze to life. Maul's shines ruby red.

"Anakin, drop!" Qui-Gon shouts. The boy drops, and Qui-Gon leaps over him. Red saber meets green.

"Ani, get to the ship! Take off! Go! Go!" orders Obi-Wan. Anakin dashes back through the dining room. Shmi screams, while everyone else scrambles from their chairs to get down the stairs to the garage exit.

Bits of upholstery fly about the room as sabers spin. Jar-Jar wakes quickly and bolts. Maul jumps to avoid him; Qui-Gon must pull back what might have been a swift killing blow to avoid hitting the fleeing creature. The coffee table gets sliced in half, and with a wave of his hand, Maul sends the pieces hurtling at the Jedi. Qui-Gon waves his aside, but Obi-Wan is knocked to the floor.

"Help them take off!" the elder Jedi shouts to the younger, thrusting his palm toward the Sith. Maul flies backwards out the front picture window, glass shattering around him. Qui-Gon leaps after him.

Obi-Wan retreats down the stairs and into the garage. The hatch to the landing shuttle lies open as a ramp, with everyone already inside. The Captain and the Handmaiden huddle close. Jar-Jar sits in a ball with his head between his legs. Anakin is on his back under a control panel; he peeks out and shouts, "Ben! I almost got it! Start her up!"

Obi-Wan jumps into the pilot seat, looks over the dashboard controls and mutters to himself. "I hate flying."

Maul sends the glass shards flying toward Qui-Gon, who barely gets his hand up in time; they disintegrate into sand around him. Then they are in the middle of the road, lightsabers clashing beneath the glow of the streetlamp.

With a crash, the landing shuttle bursts through the garage door, splinters flying. It hovers upwards a bit, then drops nearly to the ground with a jolt.

"Just a few more ticks!" shouts Anakin.

Darth Maul's strikes come quick and aggressive, driving Qui-Gon away from the shuttle. It's all Qui-Gon can do to protect himself.

From out of the garage comes an electronic cry, "Wait for us!" Artoo floats out and through the shuttle hatch, carrying Threepio.

"Got it!" Anakin shouts as they zip above the housetops.

In the cockpit, Captain Panaka looks over Obi-Wan's shoulder. He points to Qui-Gon. "Over there! Fly low!"

"Yeah, no problem!" Obi-Wan says nervously, eyes glued to the dashboard display.

With a wobble, he manages to get the shuttle up behind Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon swings his saber with all his might, sending Maul backwards several steps. Taking his chance, Qui-Gon leaps and lands gracefully on the hatch ramp.

"NO!" From the house runs Shmi Skywalker, screaming. "ANI! COME BACK!"


Anakin makes as if he's going to jump from the aircraft, but Qui-Gon grips the boy tight. Grinning wildly, Darth Maul paces towards Shmi. The hatchway begins to close.


The shuttle blasts into space with a bang.

Next Scene: Outer Space