And here it is: the last of the 76 poems in the cycle. In less than 24 hours Episode VII will be unleashed upon the world. I’m kinda ready. Thanks for tuning in. And may the form be with you. Always.
When the last saber has retracted back
into itself, & the last Ewoks
have finished their fur-blurring dance & smacked
each other on the back… When they’ve knocked
up against all the main characters
(who are all hugging one another), & the brass
has repeated the main theme one last
time… When the credits have unreeled against the stars…
all we can do* is press rewind. Technology
may advance at the speed of light, but so
what? All we want to do is go back: we
want to revisit a long time ago…,
we want our own youth, we want to think
back to the days before we’d heard of Jar Jar Binks.**
* Well, technically, there are infinite options, but the following is the most logical, given your obsession.
** or flying R2, or the way the viceroy’s lips don’t match his voice as though he were in a badly dubbed foreign film, or death sticks, or Anakin whining about sand that gets everywhere, or Wookiees who yell like Tarzan, or Palpatine’s aquatic opera, or General Grievous’ asthma, or…
As Luke carries him to his ship, Vader wheezes
& rasps, close to his end. Luke, he implores,
help me take this mask off. Luke freezes.
But you’ll die. Vader gasps. Just for
once let me look on you with my own
eyes. Luke lifts off the mask. Inside is the ruined
face of a man, pale & scarred from a duel on
Mustafar.* Now go my son, Anakin
says without his signature inhalations,
leave me. But Luke carries his father
to his ship & flies to Endor. There, the good son
lights a pyre, & flames whip & lash at the mask. Others
party, but Luke stands alone, flashing a quick grin
at the ghosts of Yoda, Obi-Wan, & Anakin.**
* This is what happens when a stud like Obi-Wan tells you not to try it and you try it.
** The trilogy, alas, is over. Now all you have to look forward to in the next 32 years is Jar Jar Binks. Yousa screwed. Meesa screwed. We allsa screwed.
The Emperor approaches with an easy stride
to address Luke, the victor of the saber duel.
Your hate has made you powerful.
Now… take your father’s place at my side.
Luke retracts his saber. I’ll never turn to
the dark side. Palpatine grimaces. So be
it, he croaks. His limp hands suddenly rigid, he
blasts Luke with a jagged stream of blue
volts. While Luke writhes about on the floor,
Vader looks back & forth between his two
options: master & son. Then he lifts the emperor
& throws him over the edge into
the Death Star’s power core. The void gleams
with a sudden blue haze, but Vader sizzles & steams.*
* That’s not supposed to sound quite as appetizing as it does.
Well, gang. Looks like we’re getting down to it. The Force Awakens in four days. And look: I did the math right! We’ve got four sonnets to go. Here’s today’s adventure:
A few Rebel ships angle down into
a jagged groove of the Death Star,
pursued by a knot of Tie fighters. As the crew
speeds toward the vulnerable center
of the battlestation, one of the Empire’s
Star Destroyers, damaged, daggers
the dark orb till it erupts with a plume of fire.*
Then, to a blast of trumpets, Lando pulls the trigger
in the Falcon, & the ship’s lasers kiss
the power generator on
both cheeks. The explosion chases the Falcon
out of the tunnel. As all of this
is going down, Luke, weakened & scarred,
is being tortured inside the Death Star:
* I always wanted to write a mixed metaphor x3. But enough about me. What do you think of my mixed metaphor?
Luke can’t take it anymore. He summons his
saber to his hand & takes a swipe
at the emperor. His swing is
deflected as his green plank of light strikes
his father’s red, making an x
in front of the Emperor’s face. Palpatine cackles
as the two begin to duel. Luke kicks
his father down the stairs (is that legal?*)
but Vader gets back at him when he learns
that Luke’s got a twin sister. Perhaps she’ll turn
to the dark side, he says. That hits a nerve
with Luke, & he goes off, striking his saber
down like a broad ax over &
over until he cuts off his father’s hand.
* The rulebook states that yes, this is legal.
While the Ewoks are taking care
of the stormtroopers on Endor, Han discovers
that the generator’s back entrance code has been
changed. R2 wheels into action & tries to open
it, but when he’s shot he can only sizzle
& smoke. Han tries to hotwire it until
he’s cornered by an AT-ST. When he finds out that
Chewy’s inside, Han gets an idea: use the AT-
ST’s radio to call for backup. He
does. When the back door to the energy
field generator opens, Han sticks
a couple of charges to the ceiling &, slick
as grease,* runs back outside. He escapes
just before the two bombs detonate.
* Not really. He looks thoroughly uncomfortable as he runs. I mean, I know the guy knows how to book it; I’ve seen Indiana Jones in which Harrison Ford bounds like an antelope on the moon.