Defeating the Galactic Empire
“My father is dead! Obi-Wan said you murdered him!”
A defiant Luke Skywalker stared at his nemesis, an intimidating, black-clad Sith lord.
“No, he’s not,” Darth Vader objected. “He’s at work.”
“That’s so not what he says! He says, ‘No, I am your father’.”
“But how can I be your dad exactly?” said the tinny voice from within the plastic, yellow bucket helmet. “I’m your brother!”
Eddie sighed. Trying to explain that his seven-year-old brother didn’t play his part right was … difficult, because Richie just didn’t get it.
“Yeah, well, you’re my brother for real okay? But right now, we’re playing Star Wars and I’m Luke Skywalker and you’re Darth Vader, and Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s dad.”
“So why isn’t Luke called Luke Vader, then? Did his mum and dad split up? You know, like Lennie’s parents?”
Lennie was the boy next door whose parents had divorced the year before, causing much ado among the children on the cul-de-sac. After all, it meant he would get twice the Christmas presents!
“Yeah, but Lennie’s parents don’t live in outer space.”
“I suppose.” Richie fell silent.
On the other hand, Eddie was pretty sure you didn’t bother to change names and stuff like that up in space and in galaxies far, far away, because up there, you were too busy with all those rebels and robots and Ewoks and X-Wings and tiefighters and stormtroopers and loads of other fantastically remarkable things. In space, there’s simply no time to bicker about puny things like surnames. Surely even Richie should be able to get this?
“Look, are we doing this or not?”
Luke poked his nemesis with a lightsaber, but surprisingly, Vader didn’t parry. Or attack.
“Rich, you’re supposed to fight back!”
“But I can’t see!” whined the voice from within the bucket. “You said I couldn’t take the helmet off because then I’d die!”
“Yeah, but that’s just Darth Vader,” said Eddie with as much patience as his eleven-year-old self could muster, adding, “And he doesn’t die until the end.”
Darth Vader didn’t look anything near as intimidating without his helmet, but fighting with broomsticks suddenly became a whole lot easier, and that’s all they cared about.
It wasn’t too difficult for the lone rebel to conquer the Death Star (decking), even if Darth Vader stooped to such dirty tricks as waking up Emperor Palpatine (Blackie, the family cat) from a comfortable snooze in the hammock and tried to get her to flex those sharp claws at Luke and thereby almost defeating him.
It didn’t go quite according to Vader’s plans, because the only thing the evil emperor did in Luke’s arms was to stretch out and lick his chin. Vader instantly got jealous and complained until the emperor was returned to him, but Blackie had other ideas and soon wriggled out of his grasp and slipped away under the hedge at the bottom of the garden.
Eddie poked Richie with the broomstick again and triumphed. The Empire was defeated – at least for the time being. Dinner time beckoned, but they could always try again later, or the next day. Maybe it could be the Empire’s turn to win tomorrow … or maybe the Doctor could win, like he had done a memorable Sunday afternoon only a couple of weeks ago, when the stormtroopers were backed up by a couple of Daleks. And there was of course the time when Indiana Jones had brought the Galactic Empire to its knees, or the time some turtles were practicing their ninja skills with Yoda in a Dagobah swamp, or when a gang of Caribbean pirates infiltrated Jabba the Hutt’s cave in search of treasure. Not to mention what Batman had done on the forest moon of Endor …
May the Fourth be with you! 😉