Star Wars: Parallel Universe

Everyone knows that Star Wars was set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But what if it had been set in a parallel universe, one that is oddly closer to home?

[An Imperial Star Destroyer chases the Princess Leia’s consular ship, the Tantive IV. A battalion of stormtroopers is planning how they will board it.]

Stormtrooper Sargeant: Right lads, the front door is here (pointing at a holographic schematic of the interior of the Tantive IV). We will blow up the front door, climb through the hole, and proceed to rush any defenders we encounter down this very narrow corridor, ducking and diving past any blaster fire. Casualties should be no higher than 80%. Do we have any volunteers to be first through the door?

Stormtrooper 51-55Y: Sarge, wouldn’t it make more sense to go in another way, one where they won’t be waiting for us? We’ll be sitting ducks walking straight through the front door.

Stormtrooper Sargeant: What?!?!? You want to sneak up on them from behind, and miss the glory of getting shot in the head at the earliest opportunity? No, a frontal assault, that is the best policy for us Imperial Stormtroopers! Anyhow, our armour is made of strong plastic, and should be able to deflect most blaster shots.

Stormtrooper 51-55Y: Can’t we just switch off the rebel’s oxygen, or gas them, or blow them up, or at least switch off the lights before we board? I’m just trying to think of ways to reduce the number of casualties.

Stormtrooper Sargeant: Lookie here, I was killing Jedi back when your DNA was still being reconstituted, and I can tell you, I have never met a stormtrooper who was so keen on unorthodox battle tactics as you. It is our job to run headlong into battle. The glory of the Empire depends on it.

[The sound of Lord Vader approaching down the corridor, breathing heavily]

Stormtrooper 51-55Y: Alright, alright, I’ll go first. Anything to get away from that asthmatic wheezebag.

[Princess Leia gives R2-D2 a message, then hides around the corner]

C3-PO: What are you up to R2-D2?

R2-D2: Buzz, tweet, beep (translates as: Can you believe it? They have me carrying messages around like a bloody homing pigeon. I’m an astrodroid, not the Pony friggin’ Express. Silly cow should just learn how to use email. She tried to phone but it seems she cannot get any reception in this quadrant of the galaxy. So now I have to carry this message to that stupid old duffer, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Remember him? No of course you don’t, you had your bloody mind wiped, didn’t you? I’m surrounded by imbeciles.)

[Stormtroopers see Princess Leia hiding]

Stormtrooper 1: Set for stun

Stormtrooper 2: Set for stun? Ha! We didn’t have a stun setting in the good old days. We’d surround those Jedi and shoot and shoot and shoot until their bodies were charred from blaster burns. We may have been psychopaths, but we were loyal psychopaths. Back then we were warmongers, not peacekeepers. A lot of the glamour has gone out of the job for me. I mean, half of our men lie dead back there, and now we’re setting our blasters to stun. In the old days we would have just shot their ship right out of the sky…

[Stormtrooper 1 turns to Stormtrooper 2 and fires on him. Stormtrooper 2 falls to the ground.]

Stormtrooper 1: Another casualty of friendly fire.

[An escape pod from the Tantive IV whizzes past the window of an Imperial gunman, manning one of the turbolaser turrets]

Imperial Gunman: There goes an escape pod. Who left those hanger doors open!

Imperial Gunman Supervisor: Calm down. There’s no life signs. It must have launched because of a short circuit. There is no conceivable way that escape pod could be used to carry the secret blueprints for the Death Star.

Imperial Gunman: Suppose you’re right.

Imperial Gunman Supervisor: Anyhow, we need to be more environmentally conscious. I was on a training course the other day and they’ve introduced targets to get the Imperial Fleet to be carbon neutral within the next ten years. Do you know how much carbon is consumed by every turbolaser shot? To offset the carbon emissions of a Star Destroyer like this you need a forest the size of Endor.

Imperial Gunman: It’s all the fault of those clones, if you ask me. Can you imagine how much energy, not to mention money, is wasted growing those stupid clones in great big vats, then teaching them and training them, but most of them get shot a few seconds after entering battle. And we waste a helluva a lot on making that stupid plastic armour they wear. They might as well go into battle just wearing their boxer shorts.

[Imperial Commander walks up to Darth Vader aboard the Tantive IV]

Imperial Commander: Lord Vader, the battle station plans are not aboard this ship. And no transmissions were made. An escape pod was jettisoned during fighting. No life forms were aboard. We’re all completely stumped as to what happened to those plans.

Lord Vader: You idiot! Do I have to think of everything? I’ll string up those nincompoops in laser targeting for this! And who left the hanger bay doors open this time?

[Jawas hiding in the rocks on Tatooine, waiting for droids to wander by]

Jawa: (mutters to himself) This has to be the stupidest idea we’ve ever had… hiding in the rocks in a desolate expanse on a sparsely-populated desert planet… in the hope that a stray astrodroid will wander by so we can capture it. What do they think is going to happen, that robots will start falling from the sky?

[Stormtroopers on Tatooine, examining the crash site of the Tantive IV’s escape pod]

Stormtrooper: (holds up a metal ring he found on the ground) Look Sir! Droids!

Stormtrooper Sergeant: (sarcastically) ‘Look Sir! Droids!’ And which unit are you with: Stormtrooper CSI? Did they just transfer you in from a crack team in Forensics? Fancy yourself as a regular Sherlock Holmes, do you? That metal could have fallen off anything!! The escape pod is made of metal! We got tracks in the desert, one with footprints, one with wheelmarks, and no life signs. However, you’re still looking around for evidence of what was inside the escape pod. Of course it was droids! They must have cooked up a defective batch when they cloned you, boy. You hold on to that bit of metal, son. It goes with the plate in your head.

Stormtrooper: No sir. The plate in my head is made of strong plastic, sir.

[Jawas off-loading droids from their giant sandcrawler transport at the Skywalker homestead]

Jawa 1: We came all this way to sell droids to rednecks? Why didn’t we just drive into the droid market in town? These hicks farm moisture, for cryin’ out loud.

Jawa 2: Well, I’m sure as hell not paying to park this transport in Mos Eisley, especially since they introduced congestion charging. Ever since Mos Eisley council adopted that carbon neutral policy it’s just been one more tax on sandcrawlers after another. I wouldn’t mind if they spent the money on public transport, but have you ever seen a bus out here?

[Uncle Owen, standing with the Jawas by the sandcrawler, tells Luke to clean up the droids he just bought from them, an unknown red R2 unit and C3-PO. R2-D2 chases after.]

R2-D2: Beep, tweet, beep, blurp (translates as: Oi! How dare you pick that old garbage can ahead of me! It looks more like Dusty Bin than an R2 robot. I’m an exceptionally well-made droid, you know. And another thing…)

[Jawa restrains R2-D2 and it stops and falls silent. C3-PO and the other R2 follow Luke.]

Luke: This way (gestures that the droids should follow him)

[Red R2 droid follows haltingly, then blows up, emitting smoke from its head]

Luke: Uncle Owen! This R2 unit has a bad motivator, look!

Owen: (turns to Chief Jawa) Hey, what you trying to push on us?

Chief Jawa: Give me a break! If he’s got a bad motivator, then you go motivate him. Okay, okay, you can pick another robot, but no refund.

Jawa 2: (aside to Chief Jawa) Next these farmers will be asking us to provide a warranty and 24/7 support. I tell you, we should get out of this business of selling second-hand droids. There is no future in it.

Chief Jawa: And do what instead?

Jawa 2: On-line gambling. It’d be an instant hit on this planet, I tell you.

[At the dinner table in the Skywalker homestead]

Luke: You know, I think that R2 unit we bought might have been stolen…

Owen: What makes you think that?

Luke: Says he belongs to someone called Obi-Wan Kenobi…

Owen: Luke, sorry to break it to you, but of course the robot was stolen! Do you think the Jawas drove out all the way out here to sell us legitimate second-hand merchandise? Geez, boy, you’re so naive at times. And you want to go off and galavant with your friends at the academy? You wouldn’t last five minutes…

[Luke and C3-PO in the speeder, looking for R2-D2 who has gone missing]

Luke: There’s a droid on the scanners, hit the accelerator!

[Sound of sirens wailing. A flying police droid pulls up alongside Luke’s speeder, and signals them to halt, which they do.]

Police droid: In a hurry? Step out of the vehicle please. Do you know how fast you were going? They call these things speeders for a reason…

Luke: Sorry sir, we lost our droid.

Police droid: Lost your droid? In the middle of the desert? A likely story.

Luke: Yes, I took his restraining bolt off…

Police droid: WHAT!! Are you some kind of droidist bigot? You put restraining bolts on robots? Keeping droids restrained is a serious offence. They’re not slaves, you know. Show me the droid’s ownership papers.

Luke: I don’t have any papers. We bought them from the Jawas yesterday…

Police droid: Receiving stolen merchandise? It’s one thing after another with you, isn’t it, young man?

Luke: Please sir, I am in so much trouble already. Is there some way we can work this out?

Police droid: What do you mean? You going to offer me some moisture?

Luke: How about 15 minutes in the ‘company’ of golden boy there? (points to C3-PO, still sitting in the landspeeder)

Police droid: I like a bit of posh. Make it 30 and it’s a deal.

[Sandmen on a hilltop see Luke rapidly approaching in his speeder]

Sandmen Leader: Quick, to the Bantas! His landspeeder will never escape our fleet-footed animals!

Banta: (aside) Another bloody speeder chase. Do I look like I’m built for speed? No wonder these sandmen still live in tents…

[Obi-Wan Kenobi takes Luke and the droids back to his home]

Luke: Ben, this droid claims to the property of an Obi-Wan Kenobi, do you know him, is he a relative of yours?

Obi-Wan: He’s me! I changed my name because I got sick of everyone making fun of it.

Luke: How did you know my father?

Obi-Wan: He was a good friend. We fought together in the clone wars, back when I was a lot younger, shorter and more Scottish. That reminds me. Here, your father wanted you to have this… (walks over to fetch something from a trunk)

Luke: What is it?

Obi-Wan: It’s your father’s light sabre.

Luke: (shaking and smacking the light sabre) It’s not working (holds the end up to his eye, pressing the button as he does) Are the batteries flat?

Obi-Wan: Let me see (takes the light sabre) – you left the safety on.

Luke: How did my father die?

Obi-Wan: He’s not dead. Darth Vader is your dad. He’s the most evil guy in the galaxy.

Luke: No way!

Obi-Wan: We’ve all been lying to you since you were a boy. We hid you here, with your uncle and your auntie, to keep you safe from your father.

Luke: So they’re not my real uncle and aunt? And my real name is Luke Vader, not Luke Skywalker? And you hid me on this horrible desert planet because nobody would think to look here?

Obi-Wan: No, they’re your real uncle and aunt. And Skywalker’s your real name; it was your father who changed his name. He decided Vader would sound more scary. He used to be called Annie Skywalker. And I thought my name was bad! In fact, your father was raised very close by; Owen is his half-brother. We hid you in the one place we knew Vader would never think to look: with his relatives! He was always terrible at keeping in touch with his family – he never wrote his mum a single postcard – so we assumed he’d never come back, not even at Christmas.

Luke: Seems like a strange plan to me… (starts to wonder if Obi-Wan is mad) Anyhow, this hot chick left some message for you in this droid….

(R2 starts to project message of Princess Leia)

Obi-Wan: That’s no hot chick… that’s your sister, Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.

Luke: Come on! You expect me to believe all that!??!? And my sister’s a Princess but I got stuck here farming moisture in the middle of a desert planet? Uncle Owen said I was naive, but I’m not gullible!

Obi-Wan: (waves fingers in front of Luke) you will forget everything I have just said (aside) I should have realized he’d never believe me anyway.

Luke: So what happened to my father?

Obi-Wan: He’s dead. Let’s leave it at that, shall we?

To be continued….

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