Watch Where You Stick That Light Saber, Pal

By Dave Barry



THERE ARE SPOILERS ABOUT EPISODE 1 IN THIS JOKE!!!!!!!!! PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED WITH CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE PLOT AND, ESPECIALLY, THE MOVIE ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Or if you want to save it until you've seen the movie, it made me laugh out loud!)


It's coming! Put your ear to the page and listen...
BOM-bom! Bom bom bom BOM-bom! Bom bom bom BOM bom! Bom 
bom bom bom . . . .

That's right: It's the theme from Star Wars, the movie series 
that gave the world a whole new lexicon, including such phrases 
as "the Force," "Death Star," "light saber," "lexicon" and 
"licensed merchandise."

Star Wars has become an important and cherished part of our 
shared cultural heritage, like Starbucks and Pez. And soon another 
chapter will be added to the Star Wars legend with the release 
of the long-awaited new installment in the series, entitled 
Episode One: The Empire Gets a Building Permit. On the day this 
movie is released, millions of Americans will flock to movie 
theaters to share in the excitement and wonder of being told that 
the theater is sold out through October because all the tickets 
have been snapped up by crazed drooling Star Wars geeks wearing 
officially licensed Han Solo underwear.

What explains the powerful appeal of the Star Wars series?  Speaking 
as one who saw Return of the Jedi on video at least 14,000 times 
when my son was four and refused to watch anything else but also 
refused to be left alone with Jabba the Hutt, I would say that the 
key element is the theme of Good vs. Evil. Good is of course 
represented by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who has the Force, a 
mystical, universal power that causes him to be attracted to his 
sister. Fortunately, Luke gets over that and meets a wise Jedi 
master named Yoda (Raymond Burr) who trains Luke to harness the 
awesome power of the Force so that he can speak lines of really bad 
dialogue without laughing.

Along the way, Luke meets many memorable characters, including 
Han Solo (Indiana Jones), Chewbacca (Sonny Bono), Princess 
Leia (Prince) and two quirky, lovable robots, C-3PO (Tony Danza) 
and R2-D2 (F7-Z9). After many hair-raising adventures, Luke finally 
goes to the Death Star (Marlon Brando) where he confronts Evil in 
the form of his father, Darth Vader (voice by Perry Como) and, in 
a heartwarming scene of reconciliation, beats him up. The dramatic 
climax comes when Luke removes the helmet from the dying Vader and 
gazes, at last, into the eyes of the person beneath the harsh, 
forbidding mask (Martha Stewart). In the end, Good triumphs over 
Evil, and Luke and his friends celebrate on the planet of the Ewoks, 
a race of fun-loving, short, hairy creatures (Robin Williams).

As humans, we relate to this timeless story because we all go 
through the same kind of moral struggle in our own lives. We have a 
Force within us, and sometimes we use it for Good, as when we decide 
to have a salad instead of a cheeseburger and fries; but sometimes 
we turn toward the Dark Side, as when we load up our salad with a 
fatty ranch dressing, or we take all the remaining artichoke segments 
from the salad bar, leaving none for the next person in line (Nick 

These timeless themes explain why we are all so excited that 
director George Lucas (Inc.) has decided, despite the very real risk 
that he will make billions of dollars, to come out with a new episode 
of Star Wars. Until recently, specific information about the new 
episode was "Top Secret" -- nobody knew the plot except Lucas, the 
actors, and of course the government of China. Fortunately, however, 
I have obtained, from high-level sources who asked not to be 
identified (Al and Tipper Gore) specific details on the plot. If you 
don't want me to spoil the shocking surprise ending (Liam Neeson gets 
killed), stop reading right now, because here is . . . 

THE PLOT: There is big trouble brewing in the universe (California). 
The evil and greedy Trade Federation (Microsoft) is planning to 
invade the tiny planet of Naboo (Naboo), which is inhabited by a 
race of strange frog-like beings (the House Judiciary Committee). 
Two Jedi knights, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn (Siegfried and Roy) go to 
Naboo, where, after overcoming numerous special effects, they are 
joined by the Naboo queen (Dennis Rodman). They escape in a space 
ship, but when the D'-cell batteries in their light sabers run low, 
they are forced to land on the evil, Hutt-controlled planet of 
Tatooine (New Jersey). There they meet 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker 
(Danny DeVito), and they realize that he has the Force when he is 
able, without physically touching it, to raise and lower a garage 
door. After a meeting with the ancient Jedi Council (the Rolling 
Stones), Anakin and the others return to Naboo for a climactic finale 
in which Siegfried (Roy) battles with the evil warlord Darth Maul 
(Marv Albert) to determine who will ultimately control the tie-in 
rights for Star Wars collectibles (Pepsi). As the movie ends, we see 
the young Anakin preparing to face an uncertain future consisting of 
at least 14 more sequels, and we hear the stirring sound of . . . 

BOM-bom! Bom bom bom BOM-bom! Bom bom bom BOM bom! Bom bom bom 
bom . . . ...

. . . and we feel the Force welling up from deep inside ourselves. 
And so we burp.

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