"The White Witch" is the first episode of Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Written by Peter Sauder and directed by Ken Stephenson, the episode originally aired on ABC on September 7, 1985. It served as the pilot episode to the series.
After being jettisoned over the deserts of Ingo by an unscrupulous former master, C-3PO searches the wreckage for his droid companion R2-D2. C-3P0 believes that his companion has been consumed by the corrosive acid salt and farewells. However, R2-D2 soon surfaces from the sand, prompting C-3PO to grumble. The two droids begin traveling through the desert when they spot a passing landspeeder.
The first landspeeder passes them but a second landspeeder driven by an orange-haired human man named Thall Joben stops for them. C-3PO introduces himself and R2-D2 to Thall. While Joben has a look at R2-D2, a second landspeeder driven by Jord Dusat arrives. Jord says that they have been looking for an astromech droid and asks about R2-D2's condition. Joben says that R2-D2 has some circuit corrosion and a few dents but that he can be fixed. C-3PO panics about being ignored but Joben and Dusat reassure him that they are his new masters. Jord welcomes C-3PO to their racing team and the two racers travel home with their new droids.
The restricted zone
Thall and Jord travel through a restricted zone. They are noticed by a masked human woman who fears that the seeker droids will destroy them unless she helps. C-3PO spots the seeker droids and alerts Thall, who accelerates his speeder. Thall drives the speeder towards a canyon, causing one of the seekers to crash into a rockface. Due to a sudden jerky movement, C-3PO falls off his speeder. Thall narrowly avoids colliding with a second seeker drone.
Two more seeker drones pursue Jord, who bails out of his speeder in a bouncy suit. Thall goes to pick up Joben. Meanwhile, C-3PO encounters a Fromm Tower Droid, which prepares to shoot him. However, the masked woman throws a grenade which destroys the armored vehicle. C-3PO is relieved. From a distance, the masked woman removes her face covering, revealing herself as a woman with dark hair. Believing that C-3PO took out the Tower Droid, Joben congratulates the droid. Thall decides they should leave since somebody doesn't want them there.
Trouble with the Fromm Gang
Meanwhile, the Fromm Gang's head of security Vlix Oncard informs Tig Fromm that the intruders have escaped. When the assistant asks whether they should inform his father Sise Fromm, Tig refuses and vows to complete the Trigon One, which he plans to unleash on the Fromm Gang's rivals. The assistant is concerned about the two intruders exposing their secret project but Tigs vows to take care of them first.
At a speeder shot, Thall and Jord work on Thall's landspeeder, which was damaged during the skirmish in the desert.Jord laments over his lost speeder. Thall introduces the droids to his prized landspeeder, the White Witch. Jord is modest about his contributions but Thall points out that his friend does most of the hard work and driving. Jord is optimistic about racing the White Witch but Thall points out that they must first get the speeder offworld. Jord says they have a whole team before hugging the droid.
Later that night, Kea spots two armored landspeeders converging on Thall's speeder shop. Jord is cornered by a muscle droid. C-3PO warns Thall about the intruders. Returning to the speeder shop, the three find Jord missing and the speeder shop in messed. They are joined by the dark-haired woman, who reveals that a pair of Muscle droids kidnapped their friend. She introduces herself as Kea Moll and explains that her Starruner-class starship was damaged on the salt flats due to engine troubles. She seeks Thall's services as a mechanic but realizes that he has his own problems.
Thall senses movement outside the speeder shop and goes out to investigate. C-3PO thinks there is nothing out there. While Thall is attempting to restart his speeder, he is confronted by several muscle droids. Kea comes to the rescue and uses the White Witch to rescue Thall and drive away the intruders. Vlix is not impressed with the droid's performance but Tig tries to brush it off as a glitch. Tig says he doesn't trust anyone who are not droids. Vlix disagrees and mocks him by calling him Tiggy. Tig fears that word will get out about his secret operations base or the Trigon One.
Later, Thall and Kea survey Tig Fromm's secret base, which is guarded by a Fromm Tower Droid. Kea thinks that Thall's friend Jord is in there. R2-D2 has already infiltrated the base. When C-3PO asks how they will get his companion out, Thall says that they can use a decoy to get him in and out. C-3PO is pessimistic about having to serve as a decoy. Inside the base, R2-D2 connects to an access terminal. With R2-D2 in place, Thall uses the White Witch as a decoy to draw a Tower Droid and behead it. This allows R2-D2 to rejoin them.
Thall, the droids, and Kea discover a service tunnel. R2-D2 also gives Thall a schematic of Fromm's base including his detention cells. Thall asks C-3PO the chances of getting the Witch trough the service tubes, picking up Jord, and getting out. C-3PO is pessimistic that they will succeed while Thall and Kea are more optimistic.
Meanwhile, Jord is brought by Vlix before Tig Fromm. Tig vows that he is different from his father Sise Fromm and that technology is the key to the power of the new Fromm Gang, not ancient blood ties and old world methods. Jord is aware of the infamous Sise's criminal operations which include kidnapping, extorting and blaster running. Tig warns that he is an ambitious man and dismisses his friendship. Jord asks what he wants to know.
Tig replies that he wants his silence, fearing that information about his base will leak into the hands of his rivals Jabba and Arnat. Jord senses Tig's ambitions but Tig doesn't react well to his jokes and humor. Tig instructs Vlix to transfer Jord to his father's stronghold on Annoo. Jord says that his friends will get him out but Vlix throws him to the ground and claims that he is better than Tig's droids.
Meanwhile, Thall reveals that one of his previous customers left behind a blue lightsaber. Thall uses his lightsaber to cut down a blast door. While Thall and R2-D2 travel through the service tube, he tells C-3PO and Kea to monitor his position and to redirect the traffic out of his path. C-3PO and Kea work together to guide Thall past a loading area. While they are redirecting the traffic, the two are confronted by a blue Fiddler 10 droid. C-3PO claims they are maintenance droids and the automatic service systems are malfunctioning.
The Fiddler 10 droid points out that it is part of the maintenance crew and doesn't recognize them. C-3PO claims they are security and that somebody sabotaged the systems. A second Snic 2-4-2 droid arrives. C-3PO tries to claim the new droid is the culprit but the droids realize that C-3PO and Kea are intruders. A scuffle breaks out and the two Fromm droids are destroyed when they collide. Kea compliments C-3PO for his fighting prowess.
Thall warns C-3PO that the gates are closing. Kea and C-3PO try to open the gates but find that it has an override system. C-3PO kicks the control console, giving Thall and R2-D2's speeder enough time to slip through. Kea helps C-3PO up. Thall travels up the elevator shaft, narrowly avoiding being crushed by a descending lift. Thall takes his speeder through a lift door. A joyous Jord knocks two Fromm droids into a lift shaft and rejoins his friend. Thall frees Jord from his restraints with his lightsabers.
Escaping the Fromms
Thall and Jord's speeder dodges laser fire. Watching the escape via security cameras, Tig orders Vlix to cut off the escapees at Subsection Five. C-3PO however redirects the Snic 2-4-2 droids to Subsection Six. The White Witch plows through several Fiddler 10 droids. Tig orders Vlix to send more cruiser droids, shut down the power to the laser pods, and to seal exits. Vlix warns that the sentry droids will blow up his droid cruisers. Tig panics and tells Vlix to shut down power to the laser pods. Vlix grumbles that this is what happens when you send droids to do a man's job.
Thall races on the White Witch through the service tunnel with R2-D2 and Jord. Kea and C-3PO prepare to exit the control room but are confronted by several Snic 2-4-2 droids. C-3PO pretends to have captured Kea but Thall rams through the Snic 2-42 droids. C-3PO calls out to his master. Thall returns and together they go through a garage full of several deactivated Fromm Tower Droids. The group find their path out of the garage blocked by several droid cruisers.
C-3PO heads to the override controls, which is guarded by a security droid. C-3PO tricks the security droid into destroying most of the console, allowing him to reactive the Fromm Tower droids. The Tower droids race out but are attacked by the cruiser droids, with several being destroyed. Thall takes advantage of the fighting to escape with his friends. They flee past several seeker droids through a canyon which leads into the restricted zone. A spherical droid gives chase but Thall destroys it with an object.
Meanwhile, Vlix chastises Tig Fromm for his failure, warning that the other gangs won't respond well to their attempted take over. Tig wants to take a long vacation and suggests the swamps of Borga. Vlix chuckles.
While flying through space aboard Kea's ship Sand Sloth, Jord says that this is the last they will hear from Tig Fromm for a while. Jord thanks Thall for getting them and the White Witch offworld so that they can compete in the Boonta Speeder Race. Jord is jubilant. Kea points out that she was the one who risked her neck to save theirs. Jord is grateful towards R2-D2 for helping them but C-3PO doesn't think well of R2-D2's abilities. C-3PO boasts of his abilities but is humbled when he trips.
"The White Witch" was released on VHS twice; in the US, it was released in 1990 by J2 Communications as part of their "The Star Wars Trilogy Animated Collection", where it was featured on the Volume 1 "Special Double-Length Edition" cassette along with "Escape Into Terror". The second VHS release was in the UK. However, it has yet to receive an official DVD release anywhere.
This episode was adapted into the children's storybook entitled The White Witch: A Droid Adventure. The title of the episode may be a reference to Jadis the White Witch, who is the chief villain of C.S. Lewis's novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
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Notes and references
- "A Star Wars CELibration" – Star Wars Insider 27
- "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO"—Polyhedron 170 states that Star Wars: Droids is set 15 years before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The New Essential Chronology places the events of A New Hope in 0 BBY, meaning that Star Wars: Droids takes place in 15 BBY.