"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. The episode has yet to receive a home video release in any form.
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. 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 boy some good. 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 space port. However, Threepio and Artoo stop him from doing so. Preparing to change ships at Zallakesh spaceport on Chuzalla, Jann leaves Coby in the care of the droids. At the spaceport they pass a ship labeled the Starhunter's Intergalactic Menagerie. 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 blames Artoo and Threepio for the loss of his pet and forces them to buy a Blackhawk Destroyer which he had been admiring earlier. Leaving the planet'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.
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 carrying spears. The clan of natives—known as Fuzzum—were bought out of their caves by the Starhunters, and are now being hunted and used as slaves. Threepio comes up with a risky plan to create a diversion by imitating the call of a spotted jugadoo. 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 humanoid called Greej. After Coby releases them from their cage, a patrol droid spots them. Artoo fires off a flare to signal the native clan, who start freeing the rest of the captured creatures. During the fight, Artoo blows a fuse and shuts down.
Meanwhile, C-3PO has attracted the affections of a real spotted Jugadoo and the bumbling Starhunters have been caught in their own nets while chasing the creature. During a face off against the Starhunters, Jann Tosh arrives to save the day, having followed the Blackhawk's distress call.
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, Artoo and Threepio take their leave of Jann and remain on the unknown planet surrounded by dancing natives and a lovestruck Jugadoo.
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