Recently a screenplay has surfaced of a discarded project from a major science fiction film studio. We believe that this film was part of a planned trilogy, with previous titles including the (now lost) The Phantom Heresy and Attack of the Convulsionnaires. Notes suggest that another six films, possibly set later in the series, include A New Pope, The First Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jesuit, The Faith Awakens, The Lourdes Jesuit, and The Rise of Newman. Here we present excerpts from the third and only surviving script from that series.
A long time ago in a Pontificate far, far away…
STAR CRUSADES: REVENGE OF THE JANSENISTS
War! The Kingdom is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Jansenist Archbishop, Cornelis Steenoven. There are heroes on both sides. Concupiscence is everywhere.
In a stunning move, the fiendish Regalist leader, the Marquis of Pombal, has swept into the Kingdom’s capital and kidnapped Chancellor Le Paige, leader of the Parlement of Paris.
As the Schismatic Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jesuits lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor. . .
GREGOIRE: The Jesuits are selfless . . . they only care about others.
LE PAIGE smiles.
LE PAIGE: Or so you’ve been trained to believe. Why is it, then, that they have asked you to do something you feel is wrong?
GREGOIRE: I’m not sure it’s wrong.
LE PAIGE: Have they asked you to betray the Jesuit rule? The Constitution? A friendship? Your own values? Think. Consider their motives. Keep your mind clear of casuistry. The fear of losing power is a weakness of both the Jesuits and the Jansenists.
GREGOIRE is deep in thought.
LE PAIGE: Did you ever hear the tragedy of Blaise Pascal, the Mathematical?
LE PAIGE: I thought not. It’s not a story the Jesuits would tell you. It’s a Jansenist legend. Blaise Pascal was a solitaire of Port-Royal, so powerful and so wise he could use probability to create faith … He had such a knowledge of efficacious grace that he could even keep the ones he cared about from lachrymal fistulae.
GREGOIRE: He could actually save people from painful eye ailments?
LE PAIGE: Efficacious grace is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be supernatural.
GREGOIRE: What happened to him?
LE PAIGE: He became so ascetic . . . the only thing he was afraid of was ending his ascesis, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice forced him to sign the Formula on his deathbed. (smiles) Pascal never saw it coming. It’s ironic…he could save others from doubting, but not himself.
GREGOIRE: Is it possible to learn this power?
LE PAIGE: Not from a Jesuit.
MARQUIS OF POMBAL: It won’t be long before the armies of the Pope track us here. I am sending you to the Muratori system. It is a moderate planet which generates a great deal of rationalizing interference. You will be safe there.
CARDINAL NOAILLES: Safe? Chancellor Le Paige managed to escape your grip, Marquis, without Archbishop Steenoven. I have doubts about your ability to keep us free of enthusiasm.
MARQUIS OF POMBAL: Be thankful, Cardinal, you have not found yourself in my grip . . . Your ship is waiting.
LORENZO RICCI is deep in thought.
The JESUIT removes his cloak and jumps down behind the MARQUIS.
RICCI: Hello, there!
MARQUIS OF POMBAL: Father Ricci, you are a bold one. I find your behavior bewildering . . . Surely you realize you’re doomed, (to mendicants) Expel him!
About a HUNDRED BATTLE MENDICANTS surround RICCI, MARQUIS OF POMBAL, and his BODYGUARDS. RICCI looks around, then walks right up to the MARQUIS OF POMBAL. They stare at each other for a moment.
MARQUIS OF POMBAL: Enough of this.
The BODYGUARDS raise their power crosiers to knock RICCI away, but RICCI ducks as the deadly crosiers whistle over his head. The Jesuit’s lightsaber ignites, and RICCI deftly cuts one BODYGUARD in two. His crosier flies into the air and is caught by the MARQUIS OF POMBAL. The other THREE BODYGUARDS attack RICCI with an intense fury. RICCI uses casuistic mind-tricks to release a piece of equipment from the ceiling. It drops on the BODYGUARDS, smashing them. RICCI walks toward the MARQUIS OF POMBAL, slashing the last BODYGUARD to pieces. BATTLE MENDICANTS move toward RICCI.
MARQUIS OF POMBAL: Back away. I will deal with this Jesuit regicide myself.
RICCI: Your move.
MARQUIS OF POMBAL: You fool. I have been trained in your Jesuit arts by Archbishop Steenoven himself. Attack, Ricci!
LE PAIGE: Monseigneur Le Tellier. I take it the Marquis of Pombal has been destroyed then. I must say, you’re here sooner than expected.
LE TELLIER: In the name of the Parlement of Paris, you are under arrest, Chancellor.
LE PAIGE: Are you threatening me, Monseigneur Jesuit?
LE TELLIER: The Parlement will decide your fate.
LE PAIGE: (burst of anger) I am the Parlement!
LE TELLIER: Not yet!
LE PAIGE: It’s regicide, then.
LE TELLIER: You are under arrest, My Lord.
After an intense fight, GREGOIRE enter the scene. LE TELLIER has cornered LE PAIGE and deprived him of his lightsaber.
LE PAIGE: Gregoire! I told you it would come to this. I was right. The Jesuits are taking over.
LE TELLIER: You old fool. The oppression of the Rigorists will never return. Your plot to regain control of the Kingdom is over . . . you have lost . . .
LE PAIGE: No! No! You will be suppressed!
LE PAIGE shoots convulsionnaire lightning from his fingers.
LE PAIGE: He is a heretic, Gregoire!
LE TELLIER: He’s the heretic. Stop him!
LE PAIGE: Come to your senses, boy. The Jesuits are in revolt. They will betray you, just as they betrayed me.
LE TELLIER: Aarrrrggghhhhh . . .
LE PAIGE: You are not one of them, Gregoire. Don’t let him kill me.
LE TELLIER: Aarrrrggghhhhh . . .
LE PAIGE: I have the power to save the Gallican Church. You must choose. You must stop him!
LE TELLIER: Don’t listen to him, Gregoire.
LE PAIGE: Help me! Don’t let him kill me. I can’t hold on any longer. Ahhhhhhh . . . ahhhhhhh . . . ahhhhhhh . . . I can’t … I give up. Help me. I am weak … I am too weak. Don’t kill me. I give up. I’m dying. I can’t hold on any longer.
LE TELLIER: I am going to end this once and for all.
GREGOIRE: You can’t kill him, Master. He must stand trial.
LE TELLIER: He has control of the Parlement and the Court. He is too dangerous to be kept alive.
LE PAIGE: I’m too weak. Don’t kill me. Please.
GREGOIRE: It is not the Jesuit way . . . He must live . . .
LE PAIGE: Please don’t, please don’t . . .
GREGOIRE: I need him . . .
LE PAIGE: Please don’t . . .
Just as LE TELLIER is about to excommunicate LE PAIGE, GREGOIRE steps in and cuts off the Jesuit’s hand holding the lightsaber.
As LE TELLIER stares at GREGOIRE in shock, LE PAIGE springs to life.
LE PAIGE: Grace! Unlimited efficacious grace!
The full force of LE PAIGE’S powerful convulsionnaire lightning blasts LE TELLIER. He attempts to deflect them with his one good hand, but the force is too great. He convulses out the window and falls twenty stories to his death, though he is miraculously cured of an eye disorder on the way. No more screams. No more moans.
GREGOIRE: I pledge myself to your teachings. To the ways of St. Augustine.
LE PAIGE: Good. Good. Grace is strong with you. A powerful Jansenist you will become. Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth… Blois.
GREGOIRE: Thank you, Monseigneur.
LE PAIGE: Arise, Bishop.
LE PAIGE is putting on his dark cloak: he is now fully DARTH FEBRONIUS.
LE PAIGE: Because the Company did not trust you, my young apprentice, I believe you are the only Jesuit with no knowledge of this plot. When the Jesuits learn what has transpired here, they will kill us, along with the King.
GREGOIRE: I agree. The Jesuits’ next move will be against the Throne.
LE PAIGE: Every single Jesuit is now an enemy of the Kingdom. You understand that, don’t you?
GREGOIRE: I understand, Monseigneur.
LE PAIGE: We must move quickly. The Jesuits are relentless; if they are not all suppressed, it will be civil war without end. First, I want you to go to the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. We will catch them off balance. Do what must be done, Lord Blois. Do not hesitate. Show no mercy. Only then will you be strong enough with the reasonable side of the faith to save the Gallican Church.
GREGOIRE: What about the other Jesuits spread across Christendom?
LE PAIGE: Their betrayal will be dealt with. After you have suppressed all the Jesuits in the Lycée, go to the Muratori system. Wipe out Cardinal Noailles and the other Third Party leaders. Once more, the Jansenists will rule the Church, and we shall have the Peace of Clement IX.
LE PAIGE: Emperor Joseph, the time has come. Execute Dominus Ac Redemptor.
JOSEPH II: It will be done, my lord.
ST ALPHONSUS: I hear a new apprentice, you have, Cardinal. Or should I call you Darth Febronius?
DARTH FEBRONIUS: Monseigneur Liguori, you survived.
ST ALPHONSUS: Surprised?
DARTH FEBRONIUS: Your laxism blinds you, Monseigneur Liguori. Now you will experience the full power of tutiorism!
DARTH FEBRONIUS: I have waited a long time for this moment, my little Neapolitan friend. At last, the Jesuits are no more.
ST. ALPHONSUS: Not if anything I have to say about it, Lord Febronius.
ST. ALPHONSUS uses Baroque Marian devotionalism to throw DARTH FEBRONIUS back, knocking him clear over his desk and onto the floor in a heap.
ST. ALPHONSUS: (continuing) At an end your rule is and not merciful enough it was, I must say.
MEDICAL MENDICANT: My Lord, the Constitution is finished …
DARTH FEBRONIUS: Good. Good.
The MENDICANT moves back to the table where DARTH BLOIS lies. The table begins to move upright. DARTH FEBRONIUS moves in next to DARTH BLOIS.
DARTH FEBRONIUS: (continuing) Lord Blois, can you hear me?
DARTH BLOIS, with his dark mask and helmet, moves up into the frame until he is in a CLOSEUP.
DARTH BLOIS: Yes, Monseigneur.
DARTH BLOIS looks around the room.
DARTH BLOIS: (continuing) Where is the Gallican Church? Is it safe, is it all right?
DARTH FEBRONIUS moves closer to the half droid/half man.
DARTH FEBRONIUS: I’m afraid it died … it seems in the Terror, you killed it.
A LOW GROAN emanates from BLOIS’s mask. Suddenly everything in the room begins to implode, including some of the MENDICANTS.
DARTH BLOIS: I couldn’t have! It was alive! I felt it! It was alive! It’s impossible! No!!!