Well, not really – Dungeon Crawl Episode V: The Empire Crawls Back was one of our greatest adventures yet!
Our ragtag crew of irreputable rebel scum, codenamed “Sunshine Harvester”, were:
- Nadia Collins as Princess Armadillo – the only galactic princess who can curl up into an armoured ball when threatened! (And seriously: check out the costume in the photos below. This is why we love having Nadia back – she backs up her puns with arts and crafts.)
- Bernard Caleo as Gary Solo, an actor in interspecies erotica with Outer Rim Pictures, forced to retire after he lost some vital “equipment” on a Tatooine shoot with the Sarlaac.
- Rama Nicholas as Looter “Lootsy” McLooterson, pilot of the surprisingly sexy starship the Hefty Rancor, and secretly suffering from hair loss.
- Danny McGinlay as Bendak “Benders” Starkiller, Jedi Academy dropout and pod race fan from the far Outer Rim, specifically the planet Dandenong. Turned out to be familiar with most of Gary’s work, with favourite films including Some Like it Hutt, Wampa Stomper, Dagobabes and Naboobs.
The team meet with Mon Mothma, leader of the Rebel Alliance, on a secret starship base. Recently evacuated from Hoth, Mothma stops counting all the Bothans lost bringing her information, secret plans and breakfast long enough to explain that she left a very important briefcase behind at the Hoth base, and she wants Sunshine Harvester to retrieve it for her. Landing on Hoth, the crew find no evidence that the Imperials are still there – but they are attacked by a wampa! Thankfully, though, it turns out to be Fluffy, Lootsky’s old pet who’s now all grown up – and she knows just where he likes to be scratched. He refuses to come along for the ride, though, as he has become enamoured with Princess Armadillo – especially when she curls up into a ball. While he’s distracted, Gary accesses the base computer systems and finds that the Stormtroopers all shipped out to Bespin – and they took the case they’re after with them.
They fly to Cloud City, now renamed Death City by the occupying Imperials, who’ve painted it black and put skulls everywhere. Oh, and built a Pieface. There they meet Brian, an unfortunate bachelor whose mates froze him in Carbonite as a buck’s night prank. He’s been there a while and seen the Stormtroopers come and go, but it’s not until Armadillo accidentally breaks his arm off that he talks: the Trooper with the case sold it on eBay to a guy from Coruscant.
The Hefty Rancor makes short work of the trip to Coruscant, the planet made of cities and home of Bender’s source of income, Coruscanterlink. There they meet a bounty hunter named “The Dude” who seems to be the real deal: he’s wearing a vest, and during the back and forth over what he knows, shoots first – badly wounding first Lootsky and then Gary. Both entreat Benders to “use…the…f…”, but he’s confused until Gary utters the word “fridge”. Using his mastery of the Force, Benders grabs a bar fridge and smashes it into the Dude’s face, whereupon his bravado evaporates and he admits that he found the vest and gun on the body of a dead bounty hunter – along with a GPS tracking device that can find the case.
After applying healing salve to their fallen, all four of the Sunshine Harvester crew grab flying Segways and head to the source of the case’s signal: the Emperor’s Palace! And, in fact, it’s right in the Emperor’s throne room – where the Emperor himself appears, taunting them with the bag they’re after! His lightsaber turns out to be somewhat inadequate, however, and Armadillo manages to fell him with her own saber, whereupon he vanishes. One of the Imperial Guard reveals that he let the Harvesters in as a prank, and they go through the bag, finding nothing much important beyond some receipts. They plan to return to Rebel headquarters, but Gary has a great idea – he’ll put on the Emperor’s robe and play a joke on Mon Mothma! It’ll be hilarious!
Well, it’s less hilarious and more…deadly. Mothma has a heart attack on seeing what she thinks is the Emperor, and is never able to explain what was so important about the bag. Our heroes, though, decide to get paid anyway, by stealing her credits, and they fly off into the stars to fulfil their dreams…
Thanks to everyone in the cast, to our audience, to Jess and Darryl for the props and costumes, and of course to Rob Young, who took all the amazing photos you can see below. Plus special congratulations to Danny McGinlay for winning “Pun of the Match” – partly for all the Star Wars porn movie titles, but mostly for the comment that everyone had a “vested interest”. See you next month!