"Coby and the Starhunters" is the ninth episode of Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Written by Joe Johnston and Peter Sauder and directed by Ken Stephenson, the episode originally aired on ABC on November 2, 1985.
Co-writer Joe Johnston previously served as art director for Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, as well as production designer for Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. Prior to his work on this episode, he wrote the book The Adventures of Teebo: A Tale of Magic and Suspense.
On the planet Tammuz-an, Prince Coby has been accepted into the Imperial Academy. C-3PO, R2-D2 and their master Jann Tosh, who is still awaiting the results of his own senior application, have been assigned to accompany Coby to the Academy. C-3PO grumbles about Prince Coby's heavy luggage but Coby ignores his concerns.
As the young prince bids goodbye to King Julpa and Princess Gerin, his father, Lord Toda indicates he is hoping the re-training program will do the strong-willed boy some good. Lord Toda is concerned about his son's lack of ambition. Coby's pet Tessellated Arboreal binjinphant Ingey troubles C-3PO, prompting the droid to tell Ingey to put his pet on a leash. Gerin wishes her younger brother goodbye. Coby wishes King Julpa and his father farewell. Tosh promises that he and his droids will get Coby to the Academy safely.
While the droids struggle with Coby's luggage, they find that Coby has left. While Tosh deals with the luggage, Threepio and Artoo go off to find him. Coby has recently inherited some money from his great-uncle, and wants to spend it on a couple of war-droids at the Tammuz-an spaceport. However, Threepio and Artoo stop him from doing so. Coby grumbles that the two war droids would have been better companions that R2-D2 and C-3PO.
Trouble on Zallakesh
The droids and Jann travel with Coby to Zallakesh spaceport on the planet Chuzalla for a stopover on their way to the Imperial Academy. Coby wants to explore the spaceport but C-3PO regards Zallakesh as a criminal haven. While Jann checks on their connection transport, he leaves Coby in the care of the droids.
At the spaceport they pass a ship labeled the Starhunter's Intergalactic Menagerie, which boasts star creatures from the "outer galaxies." As soon as Captain Stroon and his assistant Slarm catch sight of Coby's rare and valuable pet, Ingey, they decide to steal it. Coby wants to visit Honest Tobar's Used Spacecraft, which stocks old ships. C-3PO refuses to lend Coby money to buy a ship, telling him to respect his elders
A defiant Coby enters the starship lot and takes interest in a Blakhawk Destroyer. However, he finds that Slarm has cut Ingey off his leash and kidnapped his pet. Slarm flees aboard the Starhunter's Intergalactic Menagerie. Coby follows them to the ship and demands that they release Ingey. C-3PO offers to reason with the merchants but they depart on their ship, leaving the trio behind. Prince Coby falls off the departing starship and lands on top of a roof before bouncing onto a mounted animal, knocking its rider off. R2-D2 rescues Coby, who is upset about the loss of his pet.
Seeking to rescue Ingey, he and R2-D2 buy the Blackhawk Destroyer from a tentacled alien merchant, who allow them to go on a joyride. Coby struggles to control the ship but R2-D2 manages to pilot the ship. R2-D2 convinces Coby to pick up C-3PO from the streets. R2-D2 then flies the ship into space. Leaving Chuzalla's atmosphere, they catch up with the Starhunter's ship just in time to attach themselves to its hull with their magnetic landing gear before the larger vessel jumps to lightspeed.
Meeting the Fuzzum
After dispatching from the Starhunter's ship, Artoo crashes the Blackhawk Destroyer in the jungle of an unknown planet, which is located somewhere in the Dandelo system. Threepio sends out a distress call just before they are caught by a group of bird like natives known as Fuzzums carrying spears. Translating, C-3PO tells Coby that they think they are "Starhunters" and that they want to sell C-3PO and use R2-D2 for a stew pot. When Coby asks about him, he explains that they want to cook him for stew.
C-3PO talks to the Fuzzums, explaining that Coby and the droids had traveled all this way to save an animal. C-3PO explained that it was love and thinks he has got through to them. The Fuzzums lead Coby and the droids to a series of caves, which used to be their homes until the Starhunters forced them out. C-3PO explains that Fuzzums are now hunted as well and used as slaves. The Starhunters force them to help hunt and trap other animals. Coby spots Ingey, who briefly escapes out of his bag but is recaptured by a droid and placed in Cage Seven. Slarm breaks his glasses in the process.
Fighting the poachers
Coby wants to rescue his pets but R2-D2 and C-3PO counsel him to wait. C-3PO comforts Coby and decides to work on a rescue plan. At the Fuzzums' camp, C-3PO comes up with a risky plan to rescue Ingey and the animals by creating a diversion that involves imitating the call of a spotted jugadoo. The Starhunters gather their weapons and nets. While the Starhunters are in the forest trying to catch the animal, Coby and Artoo sneak to the cages and find Ingey locked up with a male humanoid called Greej.
Greej warns them that the patrol droid is about to make his round while R2-D2 gets to work unlocking the cage. When Coby asks Greej if he can fly a starship, he replies that he could try. Meanwhile, C-3PO has attracted the affections of a real spotted jugadoo , who grabs him with his trunk. The Starhunters drop their nets but capture C-3PO instead. The real jugadoo charges at them.
R2-D2 succeeds in freeing Greej and Ingey but they are confronted by the patrol droid. While Greej struggles with patrol droid, Artoo fires a flare to signal the Fuzzums, who attack a patrol droid guarding the caves. R2-D2 tries to rescue Greej from the claws of the patrol droid but the patrol droid hurls R2-D2 aside, causing him to blow a fuse and shuts down. The patrol droid is about to hurl Greej over the edge but Ingey convinces Coby to fire a laser weapon, which causes the patrol droid to fall off the catwalk into a deep chasm.
While the Fuzzums liberate the captured animals and their kin, Coby helps Greej who is hanging to the door frame above the destroyed section of the catwalk. Coby is upset that R2-D2 has shut down but Greej offers to fix him. Hearing C-3PO's cries, Coby and Greej rush to safe him just as Artoo begins to reboot. They find C-3PO fleeing the Jugadoo, which is dragging the Starhunters in a net. Coby introduces C-3PO and Greej to each other. C-3PO flees a jugadoo, which has a crush for him.
Following a brief struggle, the leading poacher Captain Stroon manages to regain control of the laser weapon. He plans to evacuate with his men at gunpoint. However, Jann arrives to save the day and shoots the laser weapon out of Stroon's hands. He orders the poachers at gunpoint to enter a cage. When Coby asks Jann how he found them, Jann replies that he followed the Blackhawk's distress call. Coby relates his adventures to Jann while the Starhunters are marched into captivity.
While the Fuzzums celebrate the liberation of their village, Jann and Greej repair R2-D2. As they reactivate Artoo, Greej recounts how he used to run a traveling animal sanctuary, before Stroon and his gang took it over. The good natured Greej planned to return the animals to their natural planetary habitats, but he was short of money. Coby decides to give Greej his uncle's inheritance, after which the older alien takes on the young prince as a partner.
Jann Tosh reveals he has been accepted into the Imperial Academy. Since he is not allowed to take his droids with him, Jann released Artoo and Threepio from his services. No longer master and servants, they part as friends. Artoo and Threepio take their leave of Jann and remain on the unknown planet surrounded by dancing natives and a lovestruck Jugadoo. R2-D2 reassures that they will be alright together.
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