(November 12, 2016) Episode 52: "A Princess Found”
As the members of the Antarian Rangers and New Jedi Order surveyed Golas Aram’s compound on Irudiru, they observed that he had top-notch security measures in place. The compound was surrounded by laser fences and disguised laser turrets, which enclosed a rock garden and a stone structure. Despite the clear message indicating that Aram didn’t want visitors, the group decided to attempt to contact him. Their attempts were unsuccessful. Aram didn’t respond.
Finally they decided to park their speeder in the landing area nearby. As they exited the speeder, a voice speaking Batchi told them to go away. Neri introduced herself courteously, but the entrance to the compound remained closed. Neri then offered to pay a significant sum for the information they sought. Just as she did this she spotted a vehicle powering up, and the laser fence activated. The group members sprang back into their speeder to pursue the departing vehicle.
As the pursuit began, the Millenium Falcon unexpectedly arrived to block the fleeing vehicle’s path. Neri approached what they presumed to be Golas Arum’s ship and rapped on the cockpit with the hilt of her lightsaber. When Arum still refused to come out, Neri cut her way in. Arum, who turned out to be occupying a hoverchair, revealed that he was afraid to talk. Neri told him who the team sought, and finally her persuasiveness won him over. Arum told her that Princess Leia was probably being held at Ashmead’s Lock - an alien spacecraft that had crashed long ago in the Blighted Lands of Kashyyk and had been converted into an Imperial prison facility. Chewbacca was very distressed when he heard this, as most Wookiees had spent their childhoods being told of the terrors of the Blighted Lands. Lowarra tried to soothe his fears.
Arum told Neri that he would give her the access codes to enter Ashmead’s Lock, and then produced a holdout blaster and fired at her! Neri used her Force power to negate the energy of the shot. The group then returned to Golas Arum’s compound, taking Arum with them as his own ship was too damaged to fly. A fire had started in a hangar bay and ADX extinguished it.
After leaving Arum, the group planned their strategy for accessing the prison ship on Kashyyk. Han Solo and Chewbacca would use the Millenium Falcon to distract the Imperial troops stationed on the planet so that the Sky River Venture could land.
When the Venture arrived in the Blighted Lands, they found it a very desolate and silent place. Abandoned watchtowers loomed over the barren wasteland. Lowarra told her friends that this part of Kashyyk had been barren for more than a thousand years, ever since the spacecraft crashed there. The team walked from the Venture’s landing site to the ship known as Ashmead’s Lock. They had no difficulty entering the mysterious alien vessel. Inside they found the remains of several droids that had been destroyed by what appeared to be lightsaber damage. Then more droids arrived, welcoming the new arrivals to the “processing unit.” ADX fired on them immediately. One of the droids grabbed Neri but was unable to maintain its grasp on the Jedi. She used the Force to send it hurtling away from her. Dash began firing on the droids also, but discovered that her blaster’s charge had been drained. Taanar used the Force to thrust another droid into a door on the far side of the chamber. A third droid grappled ADX. Then a gas began to fill the area, causing all of the humanoids to weaken.
From behind the droids, a lightsaber suddenly flared as Luke Skywalker appeared, shattering one droid with his blade. Neri dispatched another droid and Taanar smashed a third against the wall. Lowarra flew into a rage. ADX blasted the droid Taanar had knocked back, and Lowarra sent the last remaining droid back to its manufacturer in pieces. But now the group members found that they couldn’t open the door to exit the chamber. They were startled when a red lightsaber blade penetrated it from the opposite side, and Luke’s comrade ARD-101 emerged, calling out to Luke that Princess Leia was no longer in the prison facility.
There were several organic beings following ARD. These were the other prisoners of Ashmead’s Lock, who had been released by the droid. But Princess Leia had been moved to another location just before her would-be rescuers had arrived.
As the disappointed group headed back to their ships, they saw TIE fighters arriving to stop their escape. Stormtroopers with jetpacks also appeared. The rest of the group went to hold off the Imperial troops while Luke got the freed prisoners to safety. Lowarra brought down a TIE fighter with a rocket. Neri caused another pilot to crash his ship out of terror. Taanar was wounded when she couldn’t find cover. The Millenium Falcon then arrived to pursue the TIE fighters. Once the Wamp Rat was away with its cargo of former prisoners, the others saw star destroyers arriving and quickly made their escape.
After the rest of the group rendezvoused with the Millenium Falcon, they were met by the rest of the Antarian Rangers. They avoided the TIE fighters patrolling Kashyyk and left the planet again. After they reached open space, they received a coded transmission from the Rebel Alliance: they were needed for a vital mission.