EPISODE IV

Part 1


Authors note:

OK, actually this is more of a Star Wars Lampoon done with Tezuka characters from the Astro Boy manga than a true cross over. I did include one character from someplace else however.

I don't own Astro Boy or any of Tezuka's characters which are used here with the greatest respect for the late Dr. Tezuka. And as for George Lucas, well he's probably lost count of the number of Star Wars parodies that are out there, so what's one more?


The Imperial battle cruiser slowly advanced closer to the ambassador's ship, firing its weapons as it approached. Inside the smaller ship, the crew ran about in panic trying to destroy any information that would be of use to the enemy. The defenders vainly fired their lasers at the warship, but the low yield weapons could not penetrate the larger ship's heavy shielding.

Among the crew running madly about were two robots. The smaller one was a general purpose R2 type utility 'bot equipped with various tools and sensors. Roughly cylindrical in shape, it looked rather like a trash can. In fact, that was its name. Trashcan spoke with squeaky barking noises that only other robots could understand. Following Trashcan rather closely, was a taller, humanoid looking robot named Bender. This was a protocol and bending unit robot. Standing almost six feet tall, his brushed metal skin was of a golden color which would have been quite reflective if he had been kept cleaner.

Suddenly the ship shuddered and rocked as a particle beam weapon fired by the battle cruiser scored a direct hit on the engines of the smaller one.

"They just shot down the main reactor, we'll be destroyed for sure! This is madness!" Bender cried out.

Trashcan acknowledged him with "Bark! Bark!"

"We're boned! There will be no escape for the princess this time!" Bender added.

"Bark! Bark! Bark!" replied Trashcan.

The ship shuddered again as it was pulled into the battle cruiser's cargo bay with a tractor beam.

Trashcan turned and entered a narrow corridor off the ship's main hallway. Bender followed his companion into the narrow alcove just as the storm troopers blasted their way into the ship. Sparks, fire, and smoke poured into the main hallway as the enemy cut their way through the ship's hull. The troopers poured into the main hallway and laser fire erupted. The ambassador's soldiers fought a hopeless battle against the better equipped storm troopers, who wore armored space suits, and had higher powered laser rifles.

Hidden in the darkness of the narrow passageway, Princess Uran inserted a computer memory card into one of Trashcan's storage slots. She typed some commands on the small robot's external keypad, pulled the hooded veil over her head and slid away into the darker end of the corridor.

Trashcan reversed his steps to head back into the main corridor, where he bumped back into Bender who had momentary lost track of his smaller buddy.

"Where have you been?" Bender asked.

"Bark! BarkBarkBark!" Trashcan answered, heading with a clear purpose down the corridor.

"What secret mission? Where are you going?" Bender cried as he ran after the little 'bot.

Trashcan quickly turned to enter one of the ship's escape pods.

"This is madness, we'll be deactivated for sure!" Bender complained as he followed Trashcan into the pod.
"I'm going to regret this!" he added as the door closed behind them as the pod left the ship heading for the surface of the planet below them.


Darth Shadow entered the ambassador's ship though the gaping hole left behind by the storm troopers. The sinister figure almost appeared to be a robot, dressed in a jet black armored suit with a domed helmet for a head. Shadow grabbed one of the members of the ambassador's party by his neck and started to throttle him.

"Where are the plans? We intercepted a transmission being beamed to your ship!" Shadow growled in a deep, electronic voice.

"This is a diplomatic mission, we are not spies!" the man complained.

"If this is a diplomat's ship, then where is the Ambassador?" Shadow roared back at him.

Shadow twisted his wrist slightly and dropped his helpless victim to the floor, where he lay lifelessly.

Two of the storm troopers entered the hallway holding on to a short female dressed in a white flowing dress.

"Darth Shadow, only you could be so bold!" Princess Uran said defiantly.

"The stolen plans to a secret military installation were beamed to this ship!" Shadow said angrily to the princess. "Where have you hidden them?"

"This is a diplomatic mission." Uran started to protest.

"You are a spy for the rebel alliance, and a traitor!" Shadow said, and then talking to one of the troopers, "Take her away!"

One of the commanders of the storm trooper unit came up to Shadow and saluted.

"Find me those Plans!" Shadow ordered.

"The plans don't seem to be on board, sir." The uniformed man replied with some fear in his voice.

"An escape pod was jettisoned, but there were no life forms on board." he added.

"She must have hidden the plans on board the escape pod. Send an detachment of troops down to the surface of the planet and recover those plans!" Shadow ordered.


On the desert surface of the planet the two robots were slowly heading away from where the escape pod had dropped them. It had only taken Trashcan a few seconds to decide on the correct direction to travel, and he now did so with a stubborn determination.

"What makes you so sure there are settlements in that direction?" Bender complained.

"Barkbarkbark Bark!" Trashcan answered.

"Don't get technical with me!" Bender replied. "I think you're full of crap, we should go this way." Bender said pointing 90 degrees to the west of their current course.

"Bark bark!" Trashcan countered.

"Well you can just byte my shinny metal ass!" Bender said. "You go that way, you'll be malfunctioning within a week!" Bender yelled back as he went off in his own direction.

Darkness fell quickly on the planet's surface. Trashcan continued to plod along when suddenly two hooded figures jumped out from behind a rock. These were the native people of the planet, who collected broken down robots, repaired them, and sold them for a profit to the off world colonists from the empire. The Jetters, as they were called, were short beings dressed in blue leggings and red scarfs which they wore under a dark hooded robe. Their eyes glowed in the dark. One of the creatures fired an EMP pistol at Trashcan which engulfed him in a glowing ball of plasma. As the energy drained off, the small robot fell over. A group of the Jetters picked him up and carried him to over to their huge tank like transport. They welded a restraining 4X150 vacuum tube onto him and hauled him aboard the transport, which they boarded and disappeared into the night.

By mid morning the next day Bender was still walking in the direction that he had chosen. He'd seen nothing but some rocks, a lot of sand, some more rocks, and a lot more sand.

"That malfunctioning little twerp! He tricked me into going this way!" Bender muttered. "But he won't do any better."

Suddenly in the distance he thought he saw something moving slowly across the horizon. As he got closer to it he saw it was some kind of vehicle on tank like treads.

"Over here!" Bender yelled. "A transport! I've been saved."

The lumbering monster slowed and stopped. Suddenly Bender was surrounded by a crowd of Jetters, the annoying creatures started to poke at him and make squeaking noises. "Hey keep your smelly little hands off me!" Bender yelled. "You can all byte my shinny metal as..."

Suddenly he was shot with an electronic gun and he blanked out. When he came to, he was inside the transport sitting next to a few other robots. It was dimly lit inside the noisy vehicle, which was about as agile as a three story house on tank treads (actually a good description of it.) Bender noticed he now had a 4X150 restraining tube welded to his shinny metal ass. He also noticed a familiar little robot sitting next to him.

"Trashcan! It's you!" he said, actually somewhat happy to see his friend again.

"Bark!" Trashcan agreed.

The transport traveled for several hours before coming to a stop. The Jetters opened the cargo bay doors up, and started to herd the robots outside.

"We're boned!" Bender sighed. "Do you think they'll melt us down?" he asked Trashcan.

"Bark?" Trashcan answered.

Bender and Trashcan were lined up with several dozen other robots in front of the transport. They had stopped by a farmhouse where a family of colonists were trying to meek out a living growing what they could in the dry climate, and extracting water and minerals from underground wells with the aid of high tech machinery.


Astro Skywalker Tenma lived with his Uncle Boon and Aunt Sapphire. Astro's Uncle was already walking toward the Jetters to take a look at the robots they had brought to sell. Astro was dressed in a white desert outfit that protected his skin from the harsh sun. The tops of his red boots were hidden by the long white pants. As he left the house to run after his Uncle, his Aunt called out to him.

"Astro, tell your Uncle that if he gets a translator, to be sure that it speaks Bullcheet." She said.

"I'll remind him, but it looks like we won't have much of a choice" Astro answered.

When he caught up with his Uncle, Boon was already interviewing one of the robots.

"I suppose you are programmed for protocol and etiquette?" Boom asked Bender.

"You can bet your sweet ass I am!" Bender said.

"Well I have no need for a protocol 'bot" Boon replied.

"Of course you don't, not here!" Bender answered. "That's why I have been programmed to speak several hundred different languages and their sub-tongues." Bender shot back with his fingers crossed behind his back.

"What I need is a robot that understands the language of moisture evaporators." Boon said.

"Well my last job was programming bending units, very similar in protocol to your evaporators." Bender lied.

"Can you speak Bullcheet?" Boon asked.

"Man, I'm the best Bullcheeter in the galaxy" Bender said proudly.

"OK, I'll take him!" Boon yelled to the Jetters, "and that R2 unit too" he said pointing to Trashcan.

"Take those two 'bots to the garage, clean them up and oil them" Boon told Astro.

"Ah rats!" Astro complained "I was going to go into town to pick up some power converters!"

"You can fool around with your friends some other time. I want those new 'bots put to work by the morning!"

"All right." Astro sighed. "OK you two, come along with me."

Astro led Bender and Trashcan into the garage.


Before long, Bender was soaking in an oil bath and Astro was carefully cleaning Trashcan using hand tools.

"Thank the makers! This oil bath is going to feel soooo gooood!" Bender said as he sank into the warm oil. The oil in the bath suddenly started to boil as Bender cut a huge fart.
"I needed that!" he laughed.

"My friends are right, I'm never going to get out of here!" Astro complained as he probed into Trashcan's crevasses to remove impacted gunk.

"You've got quite a bit of carbon scaring, have you guys seen much action?" Astro asked.

"Well what with the rebellion and all, I'm surprised we are in operating order at all." Bender remarked.

"You've been with the rebellion? Have you guys seen any battles?" Astro asked.

"Yeah, we've been in a few." Bender bragged.

Astro's screwdriver got jammed in an access hole in Trashcan's outer casing. As he freed it, he popped out a bit of scrap metal that had been jammed in there. Suddenly, Trashcan began to project a holographic image into thin air a few feet in front of him.

The image of Princess Uran appeared. She repeated the same bit of a message over and over again.

"Help me Professor Ochanomizu, you're my only hope!"

"Who is she?" Astro asked. "She's beautiful!"

"Bark! Barkbark!" Trashcan said.

"She was a passenger on our last voyage, a person of some importance, I think" Bender said slyly, adding, "He says that he is the property of a Professor Ochanomizu, a resident of these parts."

"Well I don't know anybody by that name. I wonder if he means old man O'Shay. He's a hermit that lives out in the desert past the dune sea." Astro thought out loud. "Ask him if he can play the entire message." Astro added.

"Bark! Barrrkkk! Bark Bark!" Trashcan replied.

"He says that the restraining tube is short circuiting his recording system, and that if you remove it he could play the entire message." Bender said.

"Well I guess he's too small to go very far." Astro said as he grabbed a wrench and removed the thing. As soon as he finished, the recording shut down.

"Hey! Play the entire message!" Astro demanded.

"Bark! Bark!"

Bender slapped Trashcan on the head. "What do you mean, what message? Rust Bucket!" He yelled at the little robot.

"ASTRO! Dinner!" Aunt Sapphire yelled from the house.

"Coming!" Astro yelled back. "Hey Bender, see what you can do with him?" He said as he left the garage.


Astro sat down at the table with his Uncle Boon and Aunt Sapphire for the evening meal.
"You know, I think that little R2 'bot may be stolen." Astro said. "It had a recording that indicated it belonged to someone named Professor Ochanomizu. I wonder if he's related to Old man O'Shay?"

"I don't think he's still around." Boon said. "He died about the same time as your father."

"He knew my father!" Astro asked excitedly.

"I didn't say that!" his uncle answered. "Anyway those 'bots belong to us now. Tomorrow, you should take that R2 unit over to Anchorhead and have its memory erased. That will put an end to that!"

"You know, I think these 'bots will work out rather well for us. Maybe I can put my application in for the academy after we get them installed." Astro piped up.

"But I need you until after the harvest!" his Uncle replied. "If we earn enough money from this season's harvest you can apply to the academy next season."

"But that's a whole year!" Astro protested.

"It's only one more season." Boon said.

"I guess I'm never getting out of here!" Astro cried out. He wolfed down the last bite of his meal and ran out of the house. He sat on a large mound of earth watching the twin suns slowly set before walking back into the garage.

As he entered, Bender jumped out from where he was hiding.

"Don't deactivate me! It wasn't my fault. I told him not to go, but he kept babbling on about his mission."

"Damn, that R2 unit ran off!" Astro cried. "That 'bot is going to get me in trouble!"

"Maybe we should go after him?" Bender suggested.

"We'll have to wait until morning." Astro said. "It's too dangerous at night with all the sand people out in the desert."