It’s a Trap

The shield, still up, keeps the attacking

rebels at bay. Pull up! Lando snaps,

& suddenly enemy ships wing

their way into sector 7. It’s a trap!


Admiral Akbar warns. Far too many

Tie fighters swarm around the small fleet

of rebels like gnats.* Then the Death Star fires a beam

at them, scores a direct hit to a ship. Retreat’s


the only option. (Huh… the last time I

checked, the Death Star was able to destroy

an entire planet, so when it only

takes out a single ship it’s slightly


underwhelming.**) The rebels can only yield

to the Star’s fire, hoping Han can knock out the shield.


* Giant steel gnats, that is.

** Right?


Give In

Vader chaperones his son into the presence

of his boss, who quickly releases Luke from his


handcuffs from across the star-dappled room.

Luke seems impressed. Then he puts on his cool face. Soon


I’ll be dead, & you with me. But Palpatine sneers:

we are quite safe from your friends here.*


He points out the window to exhibit A:

from this distance it looks like that cosmic melee


is just a few insignificant flashing lights,

but Palpatine assures him that it’s


the end of the alliance &—he flashes a hint

of a smile—the end of your insignificant


rebellion. Luke eyes his saber on the emperor’s

throne. Palpatine grits his teeth. Give in to your anger.


* Incorrect.

Not Bad

Back on Endor, the Ewok hops on a deserted

speeder, & the troopers pursue

him, leaving the back entrance to

the energy field generator unguarded.

Han flashes one of his half smiles. Not bad for

a little furball. Inside, the crew’s surprised

by a huge battalion of storm

troopers. Defeated, they’re led back outside.


Then horns go off around the forest, & the troopers

are attacked by a flurry of Ewoks,

some armed with bows & arrows, others

operating catapults or dropping rocks


from hang gliders. A stormtrooper’s

worst nightmare* begins as a rustling in the ferns.

* Documented by numerous Empire psychiatrists.


Luke surrenders to a small crew

of officers & is brought before Vader.

He even hands over his light saber,

& the two walk the hallways as though strolling through


a sunlit field.* But the calm’s broken

when Luke calls his dad Anakin Skywalker.

That name has no meaning for me, Vader

snaps, igniting his saber behind his son’s

back. For a moment Luke freezes.

You don’t know the power of the dark side, Vader

says. But luckily, he implies, the Emperor

would be more than willing to tutor him. He is


your master now, Vader says. Luke shakes his head

& exhales. Then my father is truly dead.


* Or possibly an even more bucolic scene. Insert your own Romantic vision here. “And then the Force with pleasure fills/ and dances with the daffodils” etc.**

** Wordsworth used to be one of my best friends. But since I quoted him here, he totally hates me. I asked his sister, and she confirmed it; he totally hates me. Whatever.

On the Bridge

Luke & Leia have a moment on a bridge

suspended over* the Ewok’s tree-top village,


& Luke’s unloading some heavy

news on her: The Force is strong in my family,


he says. My father has it. I have it. His eyes

shift up to meet Leia’s. & my


sister has it… Han steps out into

the cool night air & sees Leia & Luke too


close. Even when Luke takes off, Han’s obviously

jealous. But when he asks Leia what’s up he


presses too hard. Leia turns away. Han holds her,

but his arms can’t fix that her brother’s


facing his death or that she’s the last chance—

should her brother fail—for the Alliance.


* Actually, it’s “among,” but that doesn’t sound quite as good, does it?

C-3PO’s Story

Night falls on the Ewok village, & by fire-

light a bunch of the furry creatures pile

into a room with 3PO to admire

him as he tells the rebels’ story, all the while


unreeling sound effects: Vader’s wheeze,

the zing of a laser, & the surge of a drawn

light saber. The whole crew listens, wide-eyed, to these

stories, as 3PO puts his personal stamp on


the retelling. Maybe there’s even a shred

of merit in the droid making the story his own.

(Ah-hem.*) When 3PO’s done, the Ewoks, led

by the medicine man, approve. As the drums drone


on, the heroes—even (or especially)

the droids—are pronounced part of the family.


* This is an authorial clearing of the throat, as the author attempts to convince himself that writing 76 sonnets about Star Wars wasn’t just a ridiculous idea to begin with.**

** Still not convinced.


Chewy stumbles into a crude trap,

& he, Luke, Han, & the two droids are bagged up

in a net. Then, when R2 razors them free, they

find their bruised & dented selves surrounded by


dozens of Ewoks: bones on their heads, necklaces

of teeth rattling around on their chests, skulls

for headpieces. When 3PO sits up, they all

genuflect & chant, believing themselves blessed


by the presence of a god. In a furry tempest,

the Ewoks haul the crew off to their village in

the trees where the enthroned 3PO’s embarrassed

because his friends are set to be a banquet’s main


course. Then Luke levitates him, & the Ewoks go still.

3PO never knew he had such skills.*


* Is it bad that I think about these things more than, say, I take showers?