Sunday, January 29, 2006

star wars redux


Luke and the two droids follow Ben into the smoke-filled cantina. The murky, moldy den is filled with a startling array of weird and exotic alien creatures and monsters at the long metallic bar. A huge, rough-looking host stops Luke and Ben and the droids.

HOST: Welcome to the Mos Eisely Cantina. Two for dinner?

BEN: Two.

LUKE: And we've got these two droids with us.

HOST: Yeaaah. Yeah. You know, they look like really great droids? But we can't really have them in the dining area? We've got a Droid Funtime Room here. Just stick these numbered tags on your droids and you can pick them up once you're all done.

Droids are led away by busboy.

R2-D2: Bleep bloop-bloop squaawk.

BUSBOY: Sure, whatever.

HOST: Okay, I'll set you up with some menus and drinks and then I'll be by to take your order.

The host ushers Luke and Ben to a table. They sit.

LUKE: What are we doing in this place, Ben? I thought we were looking for a starship.

BEN: There'll be a pilot here, don't worry.

WAITER: Comes up to table. Hey, everybody having a good time here at Mos Eisely Cantina?

BEN: Yes, thanks.

WAITER: Aaaalright then! Claps hands. Can I get you folks something to drink?

BEN: I'll have a Strawberry Surprise Shake.

LUKE: Set me up with Vanilla Blast Cola.

WAITER: Hey, you want to Eisely Size those drinks? Only twenty cents more for nearly twice the size, and still with the non-stop refills if you order a meal to go with your beverage!

LUKE: Sure, sounds good.


BEN: Thanks, no. Counting my calories.

WAITER: Hey, buddy, I hear you. Yes I do.

Silence. Ben studies menu.

WAITER: Okay, be right back with a Vanilla Blast and a Strawberry Surprise!

Waiter leaves.

LUKE: Holy crap.

BEN: I know. How thick do you have to ladle it on there, buddy?

LUKE: It's like, we're already sitting down -

BEN: Yeah, deal's closed, no need to keep selling us on it. Flips through glossy menu pages. Hey, do you want to split an appetizer? You should really try the calamari.

LUKE: I don't know. I'm not a big seafood guy.

BEN: It's just that I won't be able to eat an entire appetizer to myself.

LUKE: How about the crab and artichoke dip?

BEN: Yeah, we could do that. I guess.

LUKE: So we'll go with that?

BEN: I suppose.

LUKE: It comes with oven-warmed slices of pita.

BEN: It's just that I had that last time I was here.

LUKE: Hmmm... maybe we could skip the appetizer.

BEN: No, no. You feel like the dip, we'll have the dip. I'm treating you, remember?

Waiter reappears with a drinks tray.

WAITER: Okay, folks, one Strawberry Surprise for the distinguished gentleman... and one Vanilla Blast Cola for the handsome young man.

BEN: Good job describing us. One compliment for the overeager waiter.

WAITER: Ah-ha-ha. Yeah. So, have we had a chance to look over the menu and come to a decision?

BEN: We'll have the calamari to start -

LUKE: I thought we were having the dip.

BEN: Indeed. I thought about that? And I realized that I just couldn't have the dip twice in a row. But you go right ahead and order it, that's fine with me.

LUKE: Okay, I'll have the crab and artichoke dip to start. And I'll have the Womprat Burger on a Ciabatta loaf to follow, with a green salad, ranch dressing on the side.

BEN: Wow, Womprat Burger.

WAITER: And what will you be having for a main course?

BEN: I was going to order the thin-crust pesto pizza, but I think I'll stick with the calamari.

WAITER: You know, we have a lunch-size pizza, it's not much smaller but it's half the price -

BEN: Just bring me the calamari, thanks.

The waiter nods And heads off to the kitchen.

LUKE: You don't want the pizza?

BEN: Well, I was going to order it, but you know, I'm a retired Jedi, money's a little tight -

LUKE: Oh geez, Ben! I'll throw in for the extra appetizer!

BEN: What? What are you talking about? I'm treating you. It means a lot to me to take you out and spend some time hanging out with you.

LUKE: It means a lot to me too.

Silence. Luke sips at his cola, Ben drums his fingers on the table and stares at the salt shaker.

LUKE: Are you alright Ben?

BEN: Oh yeah, I'm great! Pause. It's just that - ah, never mind.

LUKE: Okay. I just don't like to see you in a bad mood.

BEN: Bad mood? I don't think I'm in any kind of mood.

LUKE: Really?

BEN: It seems to me that you're the one in a mood. What with that production over the crab dip.

LUKE: What?

BEN: I can't help feeling that you took advantage here.

LUKE: Advantage?

BEN: When people take you out to eat, it's considered good manners not to order every item on the goddamn menu.

LUKE: I'm sorry Ben. I thought you wanted - you know -

BEN: Yeah, well maybe you should ask next time.

LUKE: Look, let's just finish up here and go hire a starship.

BEN: That would be nice. If I have enough cash left over after your Womprat burger, maybe we can strap a rocket to a bathtub and hope for a strong breeze.

LUKE: Ah shut up, you pretentious old cave-dwelling queen.


palinode said...

If I came up to you at a Starbucks and handed you this reimagining of Star Wars on a piece of grubby looseleaf, the first question you'd likely ask (besides "Who are you and why do you think I want to read this?") is: Why did you write this?

I was prompted by a documentary featuring a film critic who interpreted the preponderance of meeting and conference scenes in The Phantom Menace as symptomatic of Lucas' experience. It would go a long way to explaining the stuffy managerial air of much of the film, with rulers and Jedis sitting around in conference rooms, discussing plans and schedules and setting goals.

In the same way, the first Star Wars movie reflects Lucas' adolescence, filled with days of being disciplined by teachers and nights of hanging out in early '60s California, splitting his leisure time between driving around in cars and watching B-movies.

So I thought: what if George Lucas had grown up in any one of the million McSuburbs of the 21st century? His youth would have been marked by theme restaurants, cookie-cutter neighbourhoods, middle management job prospects in the IT industry (How kids today survive that faceless horror of a life, I don't know. Good luck to them). What would the original script of Star Wars have looked like? And then I pretty much abandoned the whole idea when I decided to make Obi-Wan Kenobi a passive agressive asshole.

ZaZa said...

Well, I liked it. Especially that last line. \;+)

blackbird said...


effective nancy said...

You know, it's the pushing of the seafood that confuses me. Wouldn't a locally sourced Womprat burger cost less than calamari flown in from a non-desert planet? Sure, hydroponics can account for the salad, but crabs and squid require more water than I thought Tatooine could spare.

Just, you know, for reality check's sake.

Working From Home Today said...

This is great! Next time, Ben could use a jedi mind trick to get comp'd some twisty bread. --working and tuma lodge

roo said...

Old Ben Kenobi-- the Force of Passive Aggression is strong with him.

Forget light-sabers, that Jedi needs to be bitch-slapped...

palinode said...

Effective Nancy: Owing to massive economies of scale, the fact that womprat are wild game and not domesticated farm meat, and the network of subsidies that allows the Trade Federation to transport foodstuffs for only pennies a parsec, it is entirely possible to have cheap calamari and expensive womprat on Tatooine.

The truth is that the womprat is not hugely expensive. It's just that Ben is such a bitch.

effective nancy said...

A-ha. Thank you for the clarification. Around here, womprat are as common as subwoofers in decal-laden lowered Hondas, so I mistook them as being universally available.

And wouldn't you be a bitter hag if you had to explain moisture farming to people at the cocktail parties your wife drags you to the next galaxy over? Plus he doesn't look as good in his Priscilla outfits as he once did.

mathew said...

this. all *points* this is too much to read on a monday morning (or a sunday night).

i am waiting for the audio version and/or cliff notes.

mathew said...

okay. i read it. i just wanted you to know how much of an effort it was.

btw, that not just calamari - that's mon calamari. most likely some of admiral ackbar's spawn; apparantly there is a little overpopulation issue on planet dac.

Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

Hmmm. I'm ambivalent about this post, and the spelling of the word ambivalent.

I loved it when it was just the post and seemed to be a random bit of humor, but the explanation kind of ruined it for me. I don't need to know why you're hilarious or where your ideas come from, as long as I get to see the results. You know? It's rather like sitting at home, eating an amazing Chicago-style hot dog with all sorts of goodies on top, but then you see a documentary on how hot dogs are made and suddenly the hot dog ain't looking so great.

effective nancy said...

AMG, I must disagree. Think of all those people who didn't know that celery salt is a crucial ingredient to the Chicago hot dog, but whose lives have been enlightened by the knowledge gained from watching that hot dog documentary. It's one thing not to put ketchup on a hot dog, but it's another to grace it with elusive, ephemeral flavors like celery salt.

Also, you make Chicago hot dogs at home? Or you carry out? I wish I lived somewhere they had something worth taking out. By me it's either womprat tacos, or you're out of luck.

palinode said...

AMG, you're clearly not the sort that likes the director's commentary on your DVDs. Which means that you haven't yet listened to Schwarzenegger's commentary track on the deluxe edition of Conan. But that's a story for another time.

I share your ambivalence, although mine revolves around having my weblog compared to processed offall. Nonetheless I see your point - who needs to know how these things are arrived at? Fanatics can wait for the DVD. Non-fanatics can ignore my footnotes.

In future, though, all criticism of my weblog - however mild - must be ALL CAPS WITH HORRABEL SPELING AN NO PUNKSHUATION AND TELL ME I SUCK AND YOU ROX0RS!!!! That goes for everyone.