Sunday, October 23, 2005

Vader's drunken celebration

The week before going to Yavin IV was very intense around here - at least for us worker folk. As for the higher ups, they seemed to be in good spirits after tracking down the Rebel base. Most "Death Star" employees knew that whatever success we had against the Rebels would be closely scrutinized, so the officers who were looking to be upwardly mobile worked extra hard (show-offs).

As for me, hey, I had no designs on being a Grand Moff or being one of those cloaked guys who
follows Palpatine around (what do they do? clean his shoes? wash his hands?) so I kept business as usual. Still, it made it a little harder to get some company during the down time. I hadn't forgotten the advice of the random droids from the week prior, but I still didn't have the nerve to try to "be myself" around Officer Hot Stuff. Instead, I had the most peculiar drinking partner down at the Death Splash Bar and Grill.

Three days before our departure for Yavin IV, I sat down for a Corellion Ale all by my lonesome at the bar. There wasn't anyone else in the place so I settled in with a drink and just sent my gaze towards the vid screens showcasing various galaxy sports. Halfway through my drink, I heard a distinct mechanical breathing behind me. My head slowly rotated back to see Darth Vader at the bar. I hope he didn't remember the peeing incident or our run-in during the turbolaser maintenance operation.

You know, for a station with several thousand employees, we sure do run into each other a lot. Funny, huh?

Anyways, I figured it was best to be polite (in a "I'm not scared to be here - really!" kind of way), so I mustered up, "Lord Vader, what a...pleasure to see you here. Come to check out the intergalactic blitzball tournament on the vid screens?"

Vader's giant helmet turned to me. "No," he said.

Awkward pause. Seconds turn into hours as the only noise is Vader's mechanical breathing.

"I wanted a drink," Vader finally said.

"Oh...cool, well, um...pull up a stool if you want some company," I said. How does Vader drink?

The bartender approached Vader with a noticeable hesitation and small glimmer of fear in his eye. "Lord Vader, welcome to the Death Splash," he said with a waver in his voice. "What can I get for you?"

"Do you know how to mix a Poodoo Pod Paradise Popper?" Vader asked.

"Oh, well, for you my lord, certainly. I'll, um, have to get my mix book. Hey, that's a pretty strong cocktail, ain't it? I mean, I'm sure you can handle it - it'd certainly knock my socks off. Don't get too many requests for that, but...um...lemme get my mix book and it'll be right up," said the bartender. He disappeared for a few seconds, then burst through the kitchen door cradeling eight different bottles with a book balanced on top. He took a single shot from each bottle, then pulled a hose down from the ceiling and squirted a blast of lemon mixer and reached undereath the bar for a Dantooine Soki fruit to put inside. "There you are, my lord. Do you need anything else?"

"I need a straw," Vader intoned.

"Oh, yes, how silly of me. Of course, my lord. Um...would you like a bendy or straight straw?"

"I need a straight straw," Vader said. The bartender grabbed a large red straw from underneath the bar and placed it in Vader's Poodoo Pod Paradise Popper. Vader took a small metal straw from his belt and attached it to the underside of his helmet, then hooked the red straw up to it. In roughly twenty seconds, the Paradise Popper disappeared up the straw and into the helmet. "Another," Vader said.

So that's how Vader drinks. And from the look of things, he likes to get blasted. Vader had three more in a row before he finally settled down next to me. His large shoulders had a slight rock to them, causing his cape to shake from side to side.

Vader was drunk.

"So, um, Lord Vader, how goes things?" I asked.

"Oh...you know...things are going," he said. "I haven't had a drink in a long time, I have forgotten how much of a...kick...these have."

"Are you celebrating something?" I asked.

"Actually, yes. I accomplished something the other day that I have been wanting to do for years. Now that it is done, I am not sure how I feel about it. Sometimes...sometimes, you just WANT something so much, then when it happens, it is like, 'that's it?'" Vader paused. He tilted his head skyward for a second.

"Man, I know how you feel. There's this officer here who's absolutely beautiful. Ive watched her from afar for so long, then in the past few weeks, I FINALLY get a chance to talk to her and I make a total ass of myself. I don't know what to do," I said. I can't believe I'm discussing Officer Hot Stuff with Darth "Holds His Liquor" Vader.

"I was in love once. She was beautiful, intelligent, kind..." Vader leaned in close and put his arm around me, "And...shhhhhhhh...do not tell anyone this...but she was a demon in the sack. Man, she had a nice ass," Vader sat back up and his shoulders started to shake. "Ha ha, ha ha, ha ha," he laughed in a weird mechanical cadence.

"So what happened to her?" I asked.

"I...uh...I...do not wish to talk about it," Vader said.

"Oh, I gotcha. Bad break up, huh?" I said. "Better to have loved and lost and all that stuff."

"Yeah," Vader said.

"So, what were you celebrating?"

"Oh, that. Yes. Well, I finally killed the jerk who chopped off my arms and legs and left me to burn in lava," Vader said.

How the hell does someone respond to that?

"Yup, I just chopped him down with my lightsaber. He was blubbering about being all powerful and then one swipe - boom, he goes down. And now that it's over...man...that was a lot of anger, and you wonder what it was all about. Should I have talked with him first before we started fighting? We used to be friends - a team. I hadn't seen him in years and years. Should I have told him that he made mistakes in the past? Should I have tried to convince him to see my side? Or were we just two old men, fighting over an issue that was really settled years and years ago." Vader looked at his drink. "I suppose that is why I am here. Just trying to figure it out before we get to the next important issue."

Boy, give Vader a little alcohol and he just goes off.

"I wonder if I made the right decision. I wonder how things might have been if we had talked before we fought all those years ago. Sometimes, you just wonder, how did I get here and was it all worth it? I cannot say that I know. All I know is that I finally got my revenge, but it did not feel as good as I thought it would. Maybe those emotions were empty, just spectors of old anger," Vader said.

I should have been recording this. Darth Vader, drunken philosopher. I put my hand on Vader's shoulder. "Hey, we all do stupid things. Sometimes, you just gotta live with it, learn what you can, and go to the next thing. Be positive, you know?"

"Yeah...you are probably right. I must go now," Vader said. He stood up, turned around, and took a step to the exit - apparently, he didn't notice that his cape was caught around the stool. He jerked back and grabbed the bar to get his balance. "Ha ha, ha ha - whoops," he said. Vader waved his arm and his cape magically untied itself and floated back down to his side. "No one saw that, ha ha, ha ha, oooooooooo," he said as he stumbled out the exit, putting a gloved hand to his helmeted head.

Well, I suppose if random gold droids can give me love advice, I can have a heart to heart with Darth Vader.

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