The Only Way to Save the Franchise
Since I won a couple of bucks playing poker over the last week or two, and since my wife was kind enough to say it was okay, I went ahead and ordered WrestleMania 21 on pay-per-view this Sunday.
Also, I saw the trailer for the final Star Wars movie.
It got me thinking.
We can all agree that the two newest Star Wars movies were really bad, right? I mean, they're okay for huge, huge Star Wars fans who would line up around the block to look at Polaroids of George Lucas trimming his beard, but, for just people? People who are happy to acknowledge the phenomenon of the first three films, enjoyed them somewhat but weren't all that "into" them? Really bad.
There's only one way they can save the franchise now, and, after watching WrestleMania 21 (which took place in L.A. with the theme "WrestleMania Goes Hollywood"), I know what it is.
[two things: 1) the general concept -- not the part where it has to do with Star Wars, but certain themes involved -- comes from Bill Simmons, and he should be so acknowledged, and 2) I'm not enough of a Star Wars person to know the characters or mythology pretty well, so I'll just be guessing as far as that's concerned]
INT. GALACTIC SENATE - DAY
THE WWE INTRO PLAYS, MUSIC RISING IN A CRESCENDO UNTIL THE COMPANY LOGO FLASHES ACROSS THE SCREEN. SILENCE FOR A BEAT, THEN:
FIREWORKS AND PYROTECHNICS EXPLODE INSIDE THE GALACTIC SENATE AS REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE FAR CORNERS OF SPACE SCREAM THEIR HEADS OFF AND CLAMOR TO WAVE AT THE CAMERA. HEAVY METAL MUSIC BLARES FROM THE LOUDSPEAKERS.
WWE ANNOUNCER JIM ROSS: Welcome everybody, you're looking live at the Galactic Senate, where in a few short minutes we hope to hear from Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, who we're hoping will explain his... shall we say "curious" actions over course of the last few weeks.
WWE ANNOUNCER JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER: That's right, JR, everybody wants to know: what is Anakin Skywalker thinking?
THE LIGHTS DIM. THE STAR WARS THEME IS HEARD THROUGHOUT THE ARENA.
JR: Here we go, King, business is about to pick up!
OBI-WAN KENOBI EMERGES FROM BACKSTAGE AND PROCEEDS TO MAKE HIS WAY DOWN THE RAMP TO THE FRONT OF THE SENATE, HIGH-FIVING FELLOW SENATORS IN THE CROWD AS HE GOES. WHEN HE REACHES THE STAGE AT THE FRONT OF THE SENATE WHERE MACE WINDU IS WAITING, HE GREETS MACE, PICKS UP A MICROPHONE AND BEGINS TO SPEAK.
OBI-WAN: Anakin Skywalker...
A SMATTERING OF BOOS COMES FROM THE CROWD.
OBI-WAN: ...Anakin Skywalker, I'm out here because I want one thing from you. I found you, I trained you, I made you into the Jedi you are today.
OBI-WAN: For that I don't want gratitude, I don't want reverence, I don't even want respect. For what I've done for you, Anakin, I want an answer. I want an answer for your erratic behavior, I want an answer for why I've seen you hanging around talking to the Sith, I want an answer for just how the hell you've been conducting yourself lately. Anakin, get your ass out here!
ANAKIN SKYWALKER'S MUSIC -- ALSO THE STAR WARS THEME, HITS. SKYWALKER EMERGES, STANDS AND REGARDS THE CROWD FOR A MOMENT, THEN PROCEEDS SLOWLY DOWN THE RAMP.
JR: Here he comes, King, Anakin Skywalker, the young man whose behavior over the past few weeks has been quite controversial to say the least.
KING: Yeah, nobody's quite sure what he's going to say. How's he gonna explain himself to Obi-Wan and Mace Windu?
HE REACHES THE FRONT, GRABS THE MICROPHONE AWAY FROM OBI-WAN, AND STARES MACE WINDU AND OBI-WAN DOWN.
ANAKIN: You want an answer, huh?
ASSORTED BOOS FROM THE CROWD. OBI-WAN APPEARS TO TELL ANAKIN THAT "YOU"RE DAMN RIGHT I WANT AN ANSWER."
ANAKIN: You want an answer. You want to know why I've been behaving the way I have, why I've been losing my grip on everything that's important after all you've done for me. Is that it? Is that it, huh?! You want an answer!?!
ANAKIN IS NOSE-TO-NOSE WITH OBI-WAN NOW. OBI-WAN IS JAWING RIGHT BACK AT ANAKIN, BUT SINCE HE DOESN'T HAVE A MICROPHONE WE CAN ONLY GUESS AS TO WHAT HE'S SAYING.
ANAKIN: Well, I got your damn answer! I can tell you exactly why I've been doing what I've been doing!
ANAKIN PAUSES, THEN TURNS DRAMATICALLY AWAY FROM OBI-WAN.
ANAKIN: I was scared.
OBI-WAN AND MACE WINDU EXCHANGE CONFUSED WORDS; COULD THEY HAVE HEARD RIGHT? ANAKIN TURNS BACK TO OBI-WAN.
ANAKIN: That's right, I was scared. I was scared I didn't have what it takes to be an elite Jedi. I was scared I'd betray the trust you placed in me, that I wouldn't live up to the potential you knew I had. I was scared. But now I'm here. I'm back. And I'm ready.
ANAKIN EXTENDS HIS HAND TO OBI-WAN. OBI-WAN LOOKS AT ANAKIN'S HAND, THEN LOOKS UP AT THE CROWD. THE CROWD CHEERS.
KING: See, JR, he's coming out here to apologize!
OBI-WAN FINALLY TAKES ANAKIN'S HAND AND SHAKES IT, THEN PULLS HIM IN FOR A HUG. THE CROWD CHEERS. ANAKIN SHAKES HANDS WITH MACE WINDU, AND THE THREE RAISE THEIR ARMS TRIUMPHANTLY.
JR: Well, it sure looks like young Anakin Skywalker has sorted out all of his --
JUST THEN, MASSIVE PYROTECHNICS EXPLODE IN THE ARENA, FOLLOWED BY THE DARK, PORTENTOUS STORM TROOPER THEME ("Bum Bum Bumm, Bum BA Bummmm, Bum BA Bummm...").
JR: What the... that -- that's Chancellor Palpatine's music! What in the world -- he's not scheduled to be here tonight, folks...
CHANCELLOR PALPATINE MAKES HIS DARK, HOODED WAY DOWN THE RAMP TO A CHORUS OF BOOS. HE REACHES THE STAGE AND STARES DOWN OBI-WAN, MACE WINDU AND ANAKIN SKYWALKER. HE GRABS A MICROPHONE AND BEGINS TO SPEAK.
PALPATINE: You fools.
A LONG, SUSTAINED CHORUS OF BOOS. PALPATINE CASTS HIS EYES TOWARD THE ASSEMBLED CROWD.
PALPATINE: Shut up.
MORE BOOS. PALPATINE TURNS BACK TO OBI-WAN AND SKYWALKER.
JR: Folks here tonight not too impressed with Chancellor Palpatine, it looks like.
KING: Come on, people, this is the Chancellor of the Republic here. Show some respect.
PALPATINE: Skywayler, Obi-Wan, your time is coming to a close. The era of the Sith is beginning, and you shall be powerless to stop it. The rebel faction will be crushed, and you and your puny Jedi will be disposed of if you are so foolish as to try to get in my way.
MORE BOOS. AS PALPATINE HAS BEEN ENGAGED WITH OBI-WAN AND MACE WINDU, ANAKIN HAS SNEAKED BACK BEHIND THE TWO OF THEM AND PICKED UP A STEEL FOLDING CHAIR.
OBI-WAN: That's real nice, Chancellor, that's great. That's great. Just tell me, though: how do you plan on accomplishing all that?
PALPATINE: Well, we'll start with this!
ANAKIN TAPS OBI-WAN ON THE SHOULDER AND, WHEN OBI-WAN TURNS AROUND, ANAKIN SMASHES THE STEEL CHAIR OVER HIS HEAD. OBI-WAN GOES DOWN HARD. THE CROWD GOES ABSOLUTELY LIVID WITH BOOS.
JR: Oh my God! My God almighty! Anakin Skywalker just -- just -- absolutely leveled Obi-Wan Kenobi with that steel chair!
KING: I can't believe this!
ANAKIN HITS MACE WINDU WITH THE CHAIR.
JR: What in the hell is going on here? What has Anakin Skywalker done?
ANAKIN TURNS AND FACES PALPATINE. ANAKIN THEN WHIPS OFF HIS JEDI ROBES TO REVEAL A COMPLETE DARTH VADER OUTFIT (MINUS THE HELMET) UNDERNEATH. ANAKIN AND PALPATINE EMBRACE. BOOS UPON BOOS.
JR: Anakin Skywalker has just double-crossed his Jedi brothers! That son of a bitch!
THE STORM TROOPER THEME MUSIC STARTS UP AGAIN AS ANAKIN AND PALPATINE BEGIN STOMPING A HELPLESS OBI-WAN.
JR: Now Skywalker and Palpatine are going after Obi-Wan...
KING: They're puttin' the boots to him, JR!
JR: What in the hell is the meaning of this?
A COUPLE OF PUNY WWE REFEREES RUN OUT AND ATTEMPT TO STOP THE CARNAGE BUT ARE SUMMARILY DISMISSED WITH LITTLE EFFORT BY ANAKIN AND PALPATINE, WHO CONTINUE TO BEAT UP ON OBI-WAN.
JR: After all Obi-Wan has done for him... why, Anakin? Why?
AS THE STORM TROOPER MUSIC CONTINUES, ANAKIN AND PALPATINE RAISE THEIR ARMS IN TRIUMPH OVER A PRONE OBI-WAN KENOBI. JEERS AND DEBRIS REIGN DOWN ON THEM FROM THE CROWD IN EQUAL MEASURE.
JR: Anakin Skywalker has crossed over to the dark side! Things may never be the same in the galaxy again! My God, what a night! What a night!
THE WWE LOGO APPEARS.