Just unearthed in the New Republic Archives Section, this transcript of a recording that gives a fascinating glimpse into the preparations for the awarding of the Yavin Four Medal to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo…
Bernie: ….am Bernie Rordak, and this is my assistant Jeff, Jeff, say hello to…What have you got there?
Jeff: It’s my Dictaphone, because the last set of notes I took, I couldn’t read them. I thought I’d record this..
Bernie: Yeah, yeah, great idea. Sorry General, you were saying?
General: Listen, we don’t have long to put this together, those ships are already on their way back from the Death Star, and the Princess wants to make a big old hoo-hah… I mean, we all think there should be a decent ceremony to acknowledge the bravery of these men.
Bernie: And you came to the right man, General. I’m thinking stirring trumpets, an honour guard, maybe long banners blowing in the breeze as our heroes stride up the concourse…
General: No trumpets.
Bernie: Excuse me?
General: Listen son, I’m all in favour of honouring these guys, but trumpets give me a damn headache. No trumpets, bagpipes, penny whistles or light jazz. Get me?
Bernie: I’m liking the thought of some dignified silence.
General: Better. I’ll leave you gentlemen to carry on.
Bernie: General, where exactly are we going to set all this up?
General: We thought one of the temples would have the right ambience. But you don’t have long, remember, and there’s going to be a certain amount of cleaning up to do.
++++Sound of door closing as General exits.++++
Bernie: Jeff, get hold of the service droids, tell ‘em to load up with mops and buckets and follow us out to the temples. We got to find the cleanest one we can and set up double quick. We do this job right and we’re set for life as THE guys to come to for your high-end organisation….
Jeff: Right. I’ll meet you at Temple three, it’s just the other side of the courtyard.
Bernie: Don’t forget the cleaning droids and TURN THAT DAMN RECORDER OFF!
++++Recording cuts off abruptly.++++
++++Recording cuts in again.++++
Jeff: What’s on the cart, Bernie?
Bernie: I got the banners. There were a whole bunch of Denebian silk banners in one of the storerooms. I heard the Princess shipped them out of Alderaan a while back and she was planning to make ‘em into dresses. Sick of those white outfits, so these’re all colours, and worth a damn fortune.
Jeff: Won’t she be mad you’ve taken ‘em?
Bernie: What’s she going to do, stop the ceremony and shout “Hey, that’s my collection of stolen silk banners!” Gee, would you look at the inside of this place? It’s freakin’ HUGE! Are there any lights?
Jeff: Some of these cleaning droids have built in headlights.
Bernie: Well, set ‘em going, I want to see how far back this place goes. And it’s high too, just hear that echo! Man, I wish we could have trumpets… Always gives things a touch of class…Maybe the General would let us have the one, you know? The lone, haunting notes of a solo trumpeter as the heroes march up the..
Jeff: They’re not soldiers, they’re not gonna march.
Bernie: They’re not soldiers? Why the hell are they getting medals?
Jeff: They blew up the freaking Death Star, Bernie, you want to just shake ‘em by the hand and say “Thanks”?
Bernie: Don’t get fresh with me, Jeff, you’re MY assistant, remember? Jeez, what did I just tread in? Get that droid over here, there’s crap all over the floor here….
Jeff: It’s over here too. And there. It’s everywhere in here.
Bernie: Well what is it? Where did it come from? Can we get it cleaned up please?
Jeff: There you go, the droids are getting to work on it. It looks like bird crap, but…well, bigger.
Bernie: Birds? I didn’t see any birds flying in or out.
Jeff: Of course not. Yavin four doesn’t have any birds. The nightbats would eat ‘em all.
++++Silence for a full minute.++++
Bernie: Jeff… I realise I may regret asking this, but what the hell are nightbats?
Jeff: They’re..well, they’re bats, right? Flying mammals about three to four feet long. They live on fruit and carrion, they’re fiercely territorial and they like to roost in…old…buildings…Uh oh.
Bernie: Jeff… What are you doing?
Jeff: (Speaking as if exerting himself) I’m trying to lift this droid…so the headlights point up at the ceiling…. Oh. Oh dear.
Bernie: There’s …There’s hundreds of them. Are they sleeping?
Jeff: Well, they probably were until I shone the light on them.
++++Angry screeching noises follow. There is the sound of running feet and screaming.++++
Bernie: Arrrrgh! Get ‘em off! Where’s the freaking door? Aaaaaaaargh!
++++Recording cuts out again.++++
Bernie: Ow. Ow. Jeez, my face! And my hair! Jeff, is this blood?
Jeff: No. No it’s not.
Bernie: No? Then what is it? Aaaargh, it’s CRAP! THEY CRAPPED ON MY FACE!
Jeff: Bernie, we have to use a different temple.
Bernie: Jeez, ya think? Palpatine on a pogo stick, Jeff, of COURSE we need a different temple!
Jeff: So why don’t we ask the Motor Pool to clear out of temple five? They only have about ten speeders in there, and it won’t take much to clean up the floor.
Bernie: They have much room?
Jeff: Big enough to work on ten speeders at once, Bernie.
Bernie: Sold. I’ll go talk to them and you get the droids back for cleaning duty. No, scratch that, I’m taking a sonic shower, THEN I’ll talk to the motor pool.
Jeff: Can I take a shower too? Look, the droids are here now.
Bernie: Aw, hell, they’re covered in bat crap! They’ll make the place worse!
Jeff: Fine. You go shower, I’ll get the cleaning droid cleaning droids out here…
Bernie: Did you just stutter? The cleaning droid cleaning droids?
Jeff: They’re the droids that clean the cleaning droids. And when THEY get dirty…
Bernie: I don’t want to hear it! I’m showering, and then I’ll meet you and the CLEAN droids in the Motor Pool!
++++Jeff mutters something about sonic showers as the recorder is clicked off.++++
++++Recorder clicks on again.++++
Bernie: Jeff, what happened to your face? Was that the bats?
Jeff: No, the Motor Pool boss didn’t like me. We had a bit of a…discussion, and he hit me.
Bernie: So we don’t get the Motor Pool?
Jeff: Yeah, we do, I talked to the General and he sorted it.
Bernie: Intiative, I like it, Jeff.
Jeff: Yeah, but we’re gonna be walking everywhere from now on.
Jeff: No rides for us on any vehicle on planet. I think we may have pissed off the wrong people.
Bernie: Come on Jeff, we have another hour to get this done, then we’ll be the golden boys with the people at the top. Mr Motor Pool will be begging you to ride in his speeders, I guarantee it.
Jeff: What’s in the box? More banners?
Bernie: No, it’s…Wait, where ARE the banners?
Bernie: Jeff, what the hell happened to my banners?
Jeff: The bats, Bernie. The ones they didn’t crap on or shred, they took away.
Bernie: Took away? What for? Nests? They hang upside down, don’t they?
Jeff: I don’t know, nests, draught excluders, hats, freaking prom dresses, I didn’t ask! I just got the hell out of there like you did and I am NOT going back in to look for banners!
Bernie: Ok, ok, take it easy. The box has the medals in. Look…
++++Sound of opening box and Jeff’s gasp.++++
Jeff: Where the hell did you find three medals so fast?
Bernie: You promise you won’t breathe a word? On your life?
Jeff: I promise.
Bernie: They’re actually the restraining belts and buckles from a junked speeder. I went via the droid repair shop after my shower and got ‘em plated while they were fixing up Skywalker’s Threepio unit.
Jeff: Can I take one out?
Bernie: Well, ok, but be careful, because the stitching isn’t quite…Godammit Jeff!
++++There’s a sound of ripping fabric and the clang of a medal hitting the floor, then falling again.++++
Jeff: Damn! The inspection grate!
Bernie: Well, lift it out and get my medal back! We only have three!
++++Sounds of straining.++++
Jeff: It’s locked down.
Bernie: Get a key then!
Jeff: From the Motor Pool boss? That’s not going to happen.
Bernie: Well, that’s just great! Well done Jeff, great job, we now only have two medals and three heroes.
Jeff: I’m really sorry Bernie. Really.
Bernie: Oh, you will be.
Bernie: See, Skywalker fired the torpedoes, so he gets a medal. The Princess has the hots for Solo, so HE gets a medal. But that Wookiee…He’s not going to be getting a medal now. And you know who’s going to tell him?
Jeff: Oh no….Bernie…Please…
Bernie: Don’t Bernie me. And find me a whole bunch of tiles. Big ones.
Bernie: We can’t have our heroes marching…excuse me, WALKING up the centre of this place and clanging away because they’re walking over damn inspection pit grids, can we?
Jeff: (sighs) Yes Bernie.
++++Recorder cuts off.++++
++++Recorder back on.++++
Jeff: Here’s the last of the tiles, Bernie.
Bernie: Good. I can’t believe we had to lay these ourselves. Thank god the cleaning droids got the rest cleaned up. Did you sort out the wardrobe for the heroes?
Jeff: Yeah. Well, Solo was easy. Skywalker’s a bit… well, weedier, to be honest. The only jacket we could find in his size was…a bit…disco.
Bernie: Not the gold one?
Jeff: There wasn’t a lot of choice, Bernie.
Bernie: Twenty minutes and this will all be over.
Jeff: There’s something else…
Bernie: Oh, please, tell me more bad news.
Jeff: Skywalker wants his R2 unit at the ceremony…
Bernie: So he’s hard up for a plus one, why do I care?
Jeff: It got shot up pretty bad during the attack. The techs say it’ll be a week or two before it’s functional.
Bernie: Hellfire. No, wait a minute… Is Skywalker a tech?
Jeff: Er…I don’t think so. I mean, he can handle a hydrospanner, from what I hear, but he’s a pilot more than a droid expert.
Bernie: Then ship in some other blue R2 unit and polish it up good. Tell the Threepio unit that you’ll mindwipe it if it gives the game away and keep Skywalker away from the R2 during the ceremony.
Jeff: That’s brilliant!
Bernie: Yeah, I’m brilliant, that’s why I’m on my hands and knees fixing tiles to the floor of an ancient temple so we can award safety belts to someone half my age. Dammit Jeff, I got into this game to AVOID manual labour.
Jeff: It’s been a tough day, huh?
Bernie: Yeah…Oh, but I think it’s going to get worse for you.
Bernie: Looks like someone told the Wookiee he’s not getting a medal. And he’s not happy…
++++Sounds of running feet, followed by roaring and general chaos. Recorder shuts off.++++