- "Every time I touch anything mechanical, it turns hostile."
"The Pirates of Tarnoonga" is the seventh episode of Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Written by Peter Sauder and directed by Ken Stephenson, it originally aired on ABC on October 19, 1985.
The fuel heist
Jessica Meade and the droids, C-3PO and R2-D2 are on board her freighter ship transporting fuel supplies to King Mon Julpa on Tammuz-an. C-3PO attempts to deal with a modulator overload but trips on water. He calls R2-D2 for help. The astromech droid handles the problem and throws C-3PO down a trapdoor. C-3PO protests but R2-D2 ignores him.
Jann Tosh pilots an RZ-1 A-wing interceptor and escorts the freighter back towards the planet. He mentions that an empty decoy ship has been deployed and dispatched in a different direction in the hopes of discouraging a possible pirate attack. C-3PO later joins Jessica and R2-D2 in the cockpit.
As luck would have it though, Captain Gir Kybo Ren-Cha and his pirates, piloting stolen Imperial TIE/LN starfighters attack the freighter ship. While Jann is preoccupied with the TIE fighters, the ship is boarded by a pirate ship using a tractor beam. Pirates led by Gir Kybo Ren-Cha burn a hole through the floor and claim the vessel and its crew. The pirates take Jessica and the droids prisoner.
Jann manages to shoot down one of the TIE fighters. Over the holoprojector, Jessica tells Jann to flee. Jann contacts Mon Julpa and informs him about the fuel shipment heist. Mon Julpa tells Jann to save himself but Jann vows to pull through. The pirates also trap Jann's A-wing as well.
Captives of the pirates
They bring their captive ships to a hidden mountain base on the watery planet known as Tarnoonga. The prisoners and their ships are brought to a hangar. C-3PO translates for a human man speaking an unknown language. The man explains that Jessica is to be a guest of Captain Kybo and that she will not be harmed. Jann spots several armed starfighters and believes that the pirates are preparing for an invasion of Tammuz-an. A long-necked green alien leads Jann and the droids down a makeshift life. C-3PO misses the lift and falls but R2-D2 saves him with an inflatable float. C-3PO lands safely but his bipedal stabilizers are contracted.
The green alien leads the trio to Kybo Ren's throne room, where he is seated with Jessica. After ordering silence from his court, he asks Jann and Jessica why they thought that he would attack an empty decoy transporter. Jann credits Kybo Ren's spies with the heist. Kybo Ren boasts of his victory. Jann says he is mistaken. Kybo Ren claims that Mon Julpa has not enough fuel for one starfighter and vows to conquer Tammuz-an. Speaking in an alien language, Kybo Ren talks about his plans to attack Tammuz-an with the Demolisher and using R2-D2 and C-3PO after feeding Jann to a sea creature the following day.
Later, Kybo-Ren takes Jann, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Jessica on a cargo skiff to the sea, intending to feed Jann to a large green sea monster called the Miridon. As Jann is thrown overboard, his restraint glow red. R2-D2 and C-3PO jump into the sea in an attempt to save Kybo-Ren. Jessica is horrified.
Under the sea, R2-D2 activates a propeller system from the top of his dome and begins swimming away. C-3PO struggles with a jellyfish while R2-D2 provides Jann with a breathing apparatus. While C-3PO struggles with the jellyfish, C-3PO frees Janns from his restraints using a welder. Threepio and Jann grab a hold of Artoo's legs as the small astromech droid evades the Miridon's powerful teeth. Artoo manages to outmaneuver the sea monster and causes it to ensnare itself within the wreckage of a sunken freighter ship.
Escaping the pirates
The droids and Jann break back into the pirate's base by cutting through an underwater net. Returning to the sea caverns, they find them preparing for their assault on Tammuz-an. Jann resolves to find Jessica and pulls two pirates who are fishing while sitting on a cargo skiff into the water. Jann and the disguised droids them sneak past a sleeping Gamrrean guard into the throne room. C-3PO mistakes a sleeping guard for Jessica. He is pursued by the aroused guard who bumps into the Gamorrean and another pirate. Following a brief fight, Jann and the droids steal a HydroPlane and try to find Jessica.
Meanwhile, Jessica attempts to escape Ren's ready room by rewiring the doors. She is blocked by Kybo Ren, who has become infatuated with the young pilot's enthusiasm and brazen demeanor. He decides to keep her as his personal consort and offers to by her kingdoms with the spoils of Tammuz-an. Ren boasts of the power of his Demolisher starship. She keeps him distracted with a remote seeker, while she makes her way down the corridor. Ren's henchman, Jyn Obah tries to catch Jessica, but she succeeds in getting back to her ship. She traps Jyn within the blast doors of her freighter.
Back at the sea caverns, Jann and the droids' HydroPlane dodges fire from a speeder-mounted laser cannon. Fortunately for the heroes, the Miridon resurfaces and sends Ren's men scurrying for higher ground. Jann and the droids crash their HydroPlane on the shore. C-3PO is initially unhappy with R2-D2 for cutting a hole in the net and letting the Miridon in. Jann is pleased since the sea monster is damaging the pirate base, distracting the pirates.
The trio are cornered by Kybo Ren but the pirate captain is trapped in a net by Jessica. With the pirates distracted by the Miridon, the droids, Jann and Jessica escape aboard Jessica's freighter and Jann's A-wing interceptor. Kybo Ren orders his pirates to attack Tammuz-an immediately.
Following a dogfight with TIE fighters, Jann and C-3PO's A-wing is caught in the tractor beam of the Demolisher, which turns out to be a stolen Imperial Gladiator-class Star Destroyer. Kybo Ren boasts of his victory before taking the Demolisher into hyperspace. He brags that he has the ability to completely deplete Tammuz-an of its supply of riches.
Exiting hyperspace, C-3PO fears that Jessica and Mon Julpa don't stand a chance against the Star Destroyer. C-3PO and R2-D2 finds themselves loading weapons to be used for the planned attack on Tammuz-an. The two are being watched by another droid. R2-D2 purpose loads one of the detonators backward and traps the sentry droid with a magnet, loading it into the gun conveyer belt. They find Jann in his cell. Hearing over the intercom that Kybo Ren has sighted Jessica's freighter, the trio head to sabotage the ship's weapons systems and bridge.
Trapping the pirates
Ren notices Jessica's freighter flying away from Tarnoonga and opens fire on it, intent on vaporizing its cargo of fuel. It turns out to have been the decoy all along, though, and she manages to reach an escape pod before her ship is destroyed. Jann reveals that Jessica had been flying a decoy and by capturing them, they had let the real freighter carrying the fuel fly through.
As the Demolisher approaches Tammuz-an, King Mon Julpa sends out the entire Tammuz-an space navy, recently refueled from the other freighter that had been pretending to be the decoy. Squads of A-wing fighters swarm over the Demolisher and engage Ren's TIE Fighters. Before the Tammuz-an capital ships can join the battle, Jessica also informs Mon Julpa that Jann and the droids are aboard the Star Destroyer.
Inside the Star Destroyer, R2-D2 sabotages the ship's weapons systems by inverting a proton torpedo tube inside the launch bay. As the ship's systems begin going haywire, Jann, Threepio and Artoo manage to get back to Jann's fighter and escape from the ship. They reunite with Jessica and return to Tammuz-an. The other pilots of the space navy successfully repel Ren's fighters, forcing them to retreat.
Mon Julpa sends a transporter to pick up the pirates and congratulates Jann and the droids for being the best decoys that anyone could hope for. Following the battle, C-3PO says he is surprised that they were risking their necks to save an empty fuel freighter. Jann explains that they had to convince Kybo it was real so that the real freighter could slip through. Jessica adds that they had to make Kybo believe he had won the battle before it had started, adding that his over-confidence was his downfall. C-3PO and R2-D2 bathe in an oil bath, sharing toys
"The Pirates of Tarnoonga" was released on DVD in 2004 as part of the feature film The Pirates and the Prince. The English subtitles on the DVD spell Captain Kybo's name as Kyboren. Information supplied by the Databank provides the correct spelling. The episode was adapted into the children's storybook entitled The Pirates of Tarnoonga: A Droid Adventure by Ellen Weiss.
The red symbols painted on the deflector wings of Kybo's TIE Fighters are meant to represent wampa skulls. Kybo has a similar design on the front of his shirt.
The landscape of the interior caverns of Tarnoonga bears a striking resemblance to the sinkhole grottos of Utapau as seen in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Whether or not the production design for the Utapau landscapes was inspired by the Droids animated series is unknown.
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