An awfully long long time ago, in a place nowhere like here or wherever the heck you are, there was a story where knights fought with swords, battled strange monsters, went on long journeys and saved damsels in distress. More recently, I parodied that story in Star Wars: Parallel Universe and in countless more installments since. By countless, I mean seven, but that is quite a few. Now it is time for the latest installment, which is the first installment of the third installment, or of the sixth installment, depending on how you count these things. It is time to return to Parallel Tatooine, where R2 and ‘3PO are making their way to see Jabba…
[C-3PO and R2-D2 trundle up to the forbidding door of a half-buried palace-cum-fort basking under the blazing sun of Tatooine.]
C-3PO: I canâ€™t see a doorbell anywhere.
R2-D2: Bleep twert (translates as â€œI canâ€™t even see one of those ports that I like to stick my appendage intoâ€.)
C-3PO: Enough of your appendage. Youâ€™re always sticking that thing into every passing hole. Really. I think you need a cold oil shower before you go and overheat yourself.
R2-D2: Whistle-beep (â€œYouâ€™re just jealous because at least I get my end in now and again. Itâ€™s not just your voice thatâ€™s effeminate.)
C-3PO: This bickering isnâ€™t getting us anywhere. Look for a doorknob, will you? And if you find one, try not to mate with it.
R2-D2: Tweet (â€œI canâ€™t see anything. Just knock on the doorâ€)
C-3PO: Wait, look. This might be it. (C3P-O points directly at a small round button to the right side of the doors.)
R2-D2: Whistle-tweet (â€œDonâ€™t just point at it, press the bleedinâ€™ thing.)
[C-3PO presses the button]
[They wait a few moments]
R2-D2: Whistle (â€œDid you press it right?â€)
C-3PO: Of course I pressed it right. I know how to push a button.
R2-D2: Beep bleep (â€œYou know how to push my buttons, and thatâ€™s a fact. Press it again.â€)
[C3P-O Presses the button again]
[Nothing happens for a minute]
C-3PO: Maybe itâ€™s not working.
R2-D2: Bleep beep (â€œMaybe theyâ€™re out. I said we should have called ahead but would anyone listen to me?â€)
C-3PO: Iâ€™ll try knocking. (He raps his knuckle on the door, which makes an echoing metallic noise.)
[They wait for another minute.]
R2-D2: Tweet (â€œThis is hopeless. Iâ€™m going to have a look round the back.”)
C-3PO: Iâ€™ll wait here.
[R2-D2 exits left to survey the circular perimeter of the palace-fortâ€™s outer walls. The sun begins to set in the distance. Another ten minutes go by and nothing happens. C-3PO knocks on the door again. A quarter of an hour goes by and R2-D2 returns, entering from the right.]
C-3PO: Does it look like anyoneâ€™s in?
R2-D2: Tweet-bleep-beep (â€œI couldnâ€™t tell. Thereâ€™s not a single bloody window as far as I can see.â€)
C-3PO: Thatâ€™s a shame. Such a sunny planet. Youâ€™d think theyâ€™d prefer a bit of natural light to brighten the mood. But I suppose the viewâ€™s not up to much. Did you check the roof, to see if there were skylights?
R2-D2: Beep beep (â€œHow do you expect me to get up on the roof?â€)
C-3PO: With those rockets you keep in your legs, of course.
R2-D2: Beep (â€œWhat you on about?â€)
C-3PO: R2-D2… has your wiring become so defective that youâ€™re suffering robodementia? Fly up with your rockets!
R2-D2: Bleep, whistle (â€œOh yeah. I forgot all about them. You know, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve used these rockets for twenty years. I feel I right Charlie, I tell you. I just got a Stannah stairlift fitted in master Skywalkerâ€™s townhouse, so I could get up and down the stairs. I completely forgot I could just fly up and down anytime I liked.â€)
C-3PO: Well, go on then, you stupid bucket of bolts.
[R2-D2 flies off, going vertically straight up until out of view. C3P-O waits patiently and quietly. Another ten minutes pass before R2-D2 returns.]
R2-D2: Bleep tweet (â€œWell what?â€)
C-3PO: Well, the sun has nearly gone down and weâ€™re still outside, thatâ€™s what. Did you see anything?
R2-D2: Beep (â€œI did have a pretty good view from up there. But it’s mostly desert round here.â€)
C-3PO: Was there a window? Is anyone in?
R2-D2: Bleep-tweep. Beep. (â€œOh sorry. I completely forgot about that. I just got carried away flying around for the first time in years. Let me go have a look again.â€)
[As R2 is about to take-off, the doors start to open. A Gamorrean, a green-skinned cross between a pig and a human, comes out. It wears a wide-brimmed hat, carries a shopping bag and leans on a walking cane. After closing the door, it takes out a key and careful turns it in the lock. Then it turns, noticing the droids for the first time.]
Garmorrean: (Startled, speaking in a high pitch female-falsetto voice) Ooh, you gave me a fright. You shouldnâ€™t creep up on people like that. I was just going to do me shopping.
R2-D2: Beep-tweet (â€œWeâ€™re here to see Jabba the Hutt.â€)
Garmorrean: Iâ€™m sorry, I donâ€™t understand beep-beep talk, deary. Speak-a-dee-ING-LISH?
C-3PO: I speak English, maâ€™am.
Garmorrean: Well, how can I help you then?
C-3PO: We want to speak to Jabba the Hutt.
Garmorrean: Whatâ€™s that? Iâ€™m a bit hard of hearing, duck.
[C-3PO awkwardly ducks for cover as if somebody might be firing at him.]
C-3PO: Oh no!! Are we in danger?
Garmorrean: No deary. ‘Duck’ is a colloquial form of address. I thought you said you spoke English?
C-3PO: It must be one of the dialects Iâ€™m not so familiar with.
Garmorrean: Well, I canâ€™t stop here chatting all day. The shops close in half an hour. (She looks at the setting sun.) And I donâ€™t want to be carrying my groceries home with those cheeky sandpeople about, neither. Last time they pinched me choccy digestives, they did. Went right up to my bag and grabbed it off the top, then ran away on one of those fast-moving Bantas of theirs. Iâ€™m too old to chase after them these days, I tell you ducky.
C-3PO: Very good, but I assure you we have no interest in chocolate-covered snacks designed to accompany a pot of tea. Weâ€™re here to see Jabba the Hutt.
Garmorrean: Shabba the mutt? We donâ€™t keep any dogs.
C-3PO: Jabba the Hutt.
Garmorrean: Abba the Zutt? Sounds like a rock band.
C-3PO: (Shouts) Jabba the Hutt!
Garmorrean: Pat on the butt? Ooh, cheeky! Iâ€™m too old for all that. (She points at C-3P0â€™s nether regions with her cane) And it doesnâ€™t look like youâ€™re fitted with all the parts I need, either.
C-3PO: (Shouts as loud as he can) Jabba the Hutt!!! We want to see Jabba the Hutt!!!
Garmorrean: Oh, itâ€™s Jabba the Hutt you want to see, is it? Heâ€™s so lah-dee-dah. Jabba the Hutt. Why doesnâ€™t he just call himself Jabba? Everyone can see heâ€™s a Hutt. Heâ€™s thirty-foot round and slithers like a great fat greasy snail. Then again, I suppose calling himself â€˜the Huttâ€™ helps to distinguish him from Jabba the Jawa, Jabba the semi-human, and Jabba the weâ€™re-not-quite-sure-what-he-is-but-we-know-we-donâ€™t-much-like-the-look-of-it.
C-3PO: Is he in?
C-3PO: Jabba the Hutt!!!
Garmorrean: Youâ€™ve come to the wrong address, deary. His house is in the next rocky escarpment over. (She points with her cane in the direction of the setting sun.)
R2-D2: Bleep-tweet (“I said we should have checked on Google Maps before setting off.”)
C-3PO: (Raises his hand to his eyes, to shield them from the light.) I canâ€™t see any escarpment.
Garmorrean: Thatâ€™ll be because itâ€™s over the horizon.
C-3PO: (Disappointed.) Oh. So itâ€™s a long walk then?
Garmorrean: I should say so. Three days by foot. Come to mention it, how did you get out here in the first place?
C-3PO: We took a taxi from Mos Eisley.
Garmorrean: Oh, those taxi drivers. I bet you hailed an illegal cab, didnâ€™t â€˜cha? None of them know where theyâ€™re going. Itâ€™s lucky he took you to me and not to one of those droid recycling centres run by the Jawas. Itâ€™s late now. Not safe for you to go walking about on your own. Tell you what, if you come with me and help carry me shopping, tomorrow morning Iâ€™ll give you a lift over to Jawaâ€™s in my landmoderater.
C-3PO: Your landmoderator? Whatâ€™s that?
Garmorrean: Itâ€™s like a landspeeder but for people who donâ€™t want to get a fine for going too fast. Theyâ€™ve stuck a load of cameras up in the last twelve months, and I canâ€™t afford to pay a bleedinâ€™ ticket each time I go to the shops.
R2-D2: Whistle-bleep (â€œSilly old bag. Come, letâ€™s help her with her shopping before we seize rigid from listening to her boring conversation.â€)
Garmorrean: (Strikes R2-D2 with her cane.) Cheeky!
R2-D2: Beep-bleep (â€œI thought you said you didnâ€™t speak beep-beep language!?â€)
Garmorrean: Thatâ€™s right, but I can tell when a naughty little garbage can like you is giving me some trash talk!
R2 and ‘3PO did not get very far, did they? Perhaps they will do better in the next installment of the Parallel George Lucasverse…