May The Force Be With Me
by Patricia Draznin

For the past two weeks in a galaxy not so far away, just south of Highway 34, I’ve been harnessing THE FORCE to navigate through the Star Wars trilogy. Luckily, Revenge of the Sith was easier to follow than the previous episodes starring 237,000 characters that couldn’t act. But I love this saga—it’s epic and penetrating, and the only topic I could ever discuss with a teenager if I had to. We could compare Jedi memorabilia, like the Stormtrooper 8” Fine Bone China Collector Plate, the Chewbacca mouse pad, and the Darth Vader “Who’s Yer Daddy” T-Shirt.

Episode III is where Anakin finally oozes into the Dark Side, as much as we’re rooting for him to snap out of it. The Jedi opposition includes the army of white metal dudes called The Clones, General Grievous—a post-nuclear insect on steroids, and Count Dooku, the former Jedi who falls to justice for turning to Sithdom and also for having such a disgusting name.

SPOILER ALERT: Go see the movie before you read on. It’s okay; I’ll wait...

Meanwhile, there’s another disturbance in THE FORCE. Chancellor Palpatine—a Jedi Council member with an AARP discount on lightsabers whom the Jedis don’t trust due to the dum-dum-da-dum music in the background—appoints himself Emperor and Commander-in-Chief of War At All Cost, even if it inhales The Republic’s entire millennial tax budget.

Meanwhile, Anakin’s mental condition goes untreated. (“Which guys are the good guys? Wouldn’t I look great in black? I bet my voice would sound deeper.”) Torn between Palpatine and the Jedi, Anakin can’t decide which John Williams theme music to believe. He also has death visions about his pregnant wife Padmé—whom he married in an Elvis chapel on Naboo, and who is too distracted by Fischer Price catalogs to notice how much time her hubby is spending in Sith chat rooms.

Meanwhile, Palpatine tells Anakin about a Sith master who could save people from death but was killed by his own apprentice. This would have been a good time for Anakin to ask, “Who WAS that psychopathic apprentice?” But Anakin is hungry for power like a mouse in a Velveeta factory. (“Hmm, a job with benefits; why does Dark get such a bad rap? Is being The Chosen One all it’s cracked up to be?”) He can’t decide. Wait, yes he can. Eeny meeny… Done. He scrapes the Jedi decals off his locker, he attacks Padmé, who falls to the ground before she can finish her acting lessons, and the rest, as they say, is galactic history.

This final installation leaves us sadder, wiser, and pondering the mysteries of THE FORCE, five actually:

  1. If someone promises to save your wife if you switch sides, shouldn’t you get it in writing?
  2. Is there an Obi-Two?
  3. Do Gray Shields work for common household pests?
  4. Do the Hologram people earn the same wages as if they actually attended the meeting?
  5. Can we start our sentences with prepositions and end them with verbs? WITH ME, MAY THE FORCE BE.

Copyright 2005 Patricia Draznin


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