Yub Yub

Han & Chewy take care of two scout troopers,

but two others get away on speeders.

Luke & Leia follow, cruising over

logs, under branches, Luke bossing his sister

 

around, a back seat driver, until he

finds his own damn bike.* Leia falls off her speeder

& into the ferns. When she’s eventually

woken up by a small furry creature

 

with a wooden spear, she leans against a jungle-wet

log & invites the little furball to sit

next to her. The Ewok sniffs the air

& grips his spear just before a trooper

 

yells freeze. This is team work: the Ewok gives him a quick

jab, & Leia hits him on the head with a stick.

 

* If they weren’t orphans, their back-speeder conversations would totally have gone like this: Leia: Queen, I mean Senator, I mean Mom… Luke totally crossed onto my side of the seat. Luke: But Leia looked at me funny. Anakin: I’m gonna turn this speeder around unless I get some peace and quiet (and also to be supreme ruler of the galaxy).

Advertisements

The Plan

Admiral Ackbar presents the members

of the rebel alliance with a simple

hologram of the remodeled battle

station, which orbits the forest moon of Endor.

 

For any attack to be successful,

he stresses, first the band of rebels

has to penetrate the energy field

generator on Endor & shut down the shield…

 

When our heroes head out in a stolen

imperial shuttle, Chewy keeps

just enough distance to the Death Star (he need

only fly “casual,” or so says Han). They land on

 

Endor (phew), & somehow R2 scoots

along, his wheels gliding over rocks & logs & roots.*

 

* In theory he can fly. So why not here? Maybe he has off-road tires. My car can barely navigate a dirt road, but R2 seems to slide through old growth jungle as though he’s cruising through the strip on Miami Beach.

A Certain Point

Obi-Wan appears, seeming to part the fog

& vines of Dagobah’s murky bog

 

as though he’d just been out for a stroll & by luck

had happened upon the distraught Luke.

 

Obi-Wan, why didn’t you tell me? Luke inquires,

pissed. You told me Vader betrayed & murdered

 

my father. Obi-Wan responds, ever the guide:

Your father was seduced by the dark side

 

of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin

Skywalker & became Darth Vader. When

 

that happened, the good man who

was your father was destroyed. So what I told you

 

was true, from a certain point of view. Ugh. What other

family secrets did he know? Was a Wookiee Luke’s mother?*

 

* This is not likely based on the amount of relatively bald skin on Luke’s body. But still, a good general rule: if you know things about me and my past, please divulge them.

Another

Luke crouches in Yoda’s cramped hole.

Yoda, grunting his way across the room,

has grown all too obviously old,

but he rasps out a few giggles, like blooms

 

in a coffin, as he speaks of his end: Soon will

I rest, forever sleep. Luke’s brow furrows. He’s off

message*: Master Yoda, you can’t die! Yoda coughs:

Twilight is upon me, & soon night must fall.

 

Luke tucks his mentor into his bed

as though he were a baby & not one on death’s

brink. When gone am I the last of the Jedi

will you be, Yoda says, his speech & breath

 
labored. & just before his sheets collapse on air

he adds the kicker: there is another Skywalker.

 

* again

Foreseen

The Emperor arrives on the Death Star

surrounded by his Royal Guards, each arrayed

in their best red. Presumably they’re there to make sure

no one bumps off the Emperor (or, say,

 

tosses him into a power core*). Vader

first kneels before him, then he rises

& the two take a stroll together.

Since he’s hooded & cloaked, all we can see is

 

the emperor’s scorched & disfigured chin, the strict

lines of his mouth. He advises his apprentice

to be patient. Soon enough, he predicts,

Luke will seek him out. In the end, he hisses,

 

they’ll convert him to the dark side. His eyes gleam

because everything’s proceeding as he has foreseen.

 

* Seriously, you’re not needed when I’m walking among stormtroopers; they’re already converted. But when the Skywalkers (a Jedi and one who was once a Jedi) are alone with me, I could probably use your help, and yet you’re nowhere to be found.

Escape

Leia wraps her chain around the slimy breadth

of Jabba’s neck & pulls until the worm of his

tongue lolls out not in lust but in death.

When R2 zaps her chains, she clutches

 

a gun, takes a few shots, & jumps off the main barge

as it erupts into flame. The Millennium

Falcon & the X-wing take off from

Tattooine & quickly diverge

 

paths, with Luke heading, as promised, back toward

the Dagobah system. When Luke says

he’s on his way to visit an old friend, the word

friend takes emphasis, but he might as

 

well have accentuated old: as Yoda says*

himself, he’s seen over 900 birthdays.

 

* Or will say in a following scene.

Elegy for Boba Fett

The end’s not pretty: on the skiff, Chewie warns

Han—who’s still blind—that Boba Fett’s

right behind him. Han’s ax snags Fett as he turns,

accidentally firing up his jet

 

pack. Fett darts erratically into Sarlacc’s

mouth (crunchy outside, chewy inside, the perfect snack*)

& all we’re left with is the memory

of the 27 words that the coolest bounty

 

hunter uttered in Episode two (ugh, I mean

five**): As you wish… He’s no good to me dead… What

if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me…

Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold. He got

 

two minutes & change of screen time & now, may he rest

in peace, a thousand years before he’s digested.

 

* From a Sarlacc’s point of view, at least.

** Don’t judge. You know you do that, too.