How the Emperor Stole Christmas
November 30, 2016 Leave a comment
[DIRECTOR’S NOTE: The following Christmas poem, written by Star Wars fans for Star Wars fans, works best if read in the deep, laconic manner of Boris Karloff, James Earl Jones, Keith David, or Epic Voice Guy. As this piece hews more closely to the original book than to the Chuck Jones animated adaptation, we leave it to the individual reader to invent and insert musical numbers at their own discretion.]
Every Jedi down on Coruscant liked Christmas a lot
But the Emperor, who lived just this side of Coruscant, did NOT!
The Emperor hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now please don’t ask why. He’ll kill you without reason.
It could be that electricity in his eyes was too bright.
It could be, perhaps, that his robe was too tight.
But I think the most likely reason of all
Was that his heart was two sizes too small.
But whatever the reason, his robe or his eyes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating Jedis.
[Okay, so it’s actually “one Jedi” and “many Jedi”. Don’t be a jerk.
We needed it thusly for the rhyme scheme to work.]
Staring down from his balcony with his sour Sidious frown
At all the warm, lighted windows hundreds of stories down
For he knew every Jedi down in Coruscant below
Was now busy hanging bushels of mistletoe.
“They’re all decorating!” he snarled with a shrug.
“Tomorrow is Christmas! Bah! Humbug!”
[Okay, so that reference belongs in a different tale.
Please stop taking the wind out of our sail.]
Then he growled, his eeeevil fingers nervously drumming.
“I will find a way to keep Christmas from coming!”
For tomorrow he knew all the Jedi, be they apprentice or master,
Would rush to their trees (the apprentices a bit faster)
And then! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! NOISE!
That’s one thing he loathed! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
[Perhaps that seems just a bit too repetitive,
But that’s how Seuss wrote it, and we aim to be competitive.]
Then the Jedi young and old would sit down to feast.
And they’d feast! And they’d feast! And they’d FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!
[One must wonder if, when Seuss ran out of rhymes,
He decided instead to repeat the same word many times.]
They would feast on blue pudding, and Jedi-recipe casserole,
Which was something the Emperor regarded with extreme vitriol!
And THEN they’d do something he liked least of all,
Every Jedi on Coruscant, the tall and the small,
Would sit close together, eyes closed, not one blink,
They’d meditate together, do nothing but think!
They’d think! And they’d think! And they’d THINK! THINK! THINK! THINK!
[Yes, we authors are thinking the same thing, too,
Thanks to Seuss, we have inadvertantly paid homage to Winnie-the-Pooh.]
And the more the Emperor watched all this Jedi meditation,
The more the Emperor thought, “I must remedy this situation!
For scores of years I’ve tolerated it now,
I must destroy Christmas! …But HOW?”
Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
THE EMPEROR GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
[Uh-oh! Nothing rhymes with ‘idea’!” thought Dr. Seuss,
‘Time to be redundant again! I’m Dr. Seuss! I can’t lose!]
“I know just what to do!” The Emperor laughed in his throat.
And he donned a floppy Santy Claus hat and coat.
He chuckled menacingly, his eyes all a-tingle,
“What a villainous plan! I look just like Kris Kringle!”
[We know. We know. You now ask us whether
We authors, in our heads, are remotely altogether.
All we can say is, consult the original text.
If we’ve baffled you already, just see what’s next.]
“All I need is a reindeer…” The Emperor’s thoughts were distinct.
Only problem is, thanks to him, reindeer were now extinct.
Did that stop ol’ Sidious? No! He simply said,
“So I can’t have a reindeer! I shall make one instead!”
So using his powers, he resurrected Darth Maul.
And, using more Sith magic, turned his horns into antlers, five feet tall!
[Okay, okay, and he sewed Maul’s body back together, alright?
Must you nitpick like a vulture at everything we write?]
THEN he converted a Sith speeder into a facsimile sled
And hitched up Maul with a harness on his body and head.
Then the Emperor yelled, “Giddyap!” and the sled sped away
Toward all those Jedi homes where sleeping Jedi lay.
All homes were dark. Nobody raced to their window, or threw open a sash,
All the Jedi dreamed sweet, wholesome dreams– not a single ounce of “slash”.
[That’s right, fans — homage and in-joke in the same verse.
And, unlike Ed Wood, our next work will be even worse!]
At the first ramshackle hut, “This is stop number one!” Darth Claus hissed,
And he flew up to the roof, each hand clenched in a fist.
Then he went down the chimney, not a tricky proposal.
Such is easy when the power of the Dark Side is at your disposal.
With soot stuck in his nose, he emerged from the fireplace flue.
Then came the sound of Pure Evil announcing, “Ah-CHOO!”
Upon the fireplace were the Jedi stockings, all hung in a row,
“These stockings,” he grinned, “are the first things to go!”
He blasted them to pieces! And around the whole room,
Every single present eventually went “kaBOOM!”
Lightsabers! And droid parts! Tan boots! Drums!
Space chess boards! Hoverboards! Popcorn! And, uh…plums.
By his hand he disintegrated them all quite nimbly,
Leaving naught but dust, less sneeze-inducing than the soot in the chimbley!
[Shut up. Just shut up. We don’t want to hear it.
Don’t you have one shred of the Christmas spirit?
If Seuss can say “chimbley”, why can’t we?
I bet “Whoville” doesn’t bug you. Look, just let us be.]
Then he marched to the icebox and blew it all to smithereens!
The pudding! The casserole! The uncooked lima beans!
Packages and cans went up in a flash
Every last Yoda-brand snack treat was now a pile of ash!
After annihilating every last candy bar with glee
“And NOW!” grinned the Emperor, “To dispense with the tree!”
And the Emperor raised his hands to complete his task without remorse
When behind him he felt a tiny emergence in the Force.
He turned around fast and there a little Jedi stood,
Li’l Anakin, still in pajamas, complete with feeties and a hood!
The Emperor had been caught by this tiny Padawan
Who’d just gotten up to go “number one”
He stared at the Emperor and said, “Santy Claus, what,
What are you doing with our Christmas tree? WHAT?”
But you know, that old Sith was so smart and so slick,
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
Then he thought better of it, and instead raised a palm,
And said, “You never had a tree,” completely calm.
“I never had a tree,” Anakin repeated,
And Anakin went back to bed, his “number one” completed.
And with the nosy little person out of the way,
The Emperor proceeded to make Christmas Tree Flambé.
And, as an afterthought, he blew up the log in their fire!
Then back up the chimney went that fiendish sire.
Leaving the but looking like the remains of a funeral pyre.
[Up till this point, Seuss made every rhyme a pair.
Why’d he make this part a trio? ‘Cause he can. So there!]
Then he did the same thing to the other Jedi huts
Destroying their Christmas possessions! What a putz!
At a quarter past dawn, all Jedi were still a-bed.
All the Jedi still a-snooze, while the Sith duo gloated in their sled,
They’d destroyed it all! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And tinsel! And trimmings! And trappings!
The lights! The wreaths! All those presents!
Even an autographed photo of Donald Pleasance!
Six thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit!
He rode up with Maul, so his triumph he could trumpet!
“Fie on the Jedi! Just wait till they awaken!
They’ll think themselves by the Christmas spirit forsaken!
They’re just waking up! And as every sleeping bag unfurls,
Their mouths will hang open. then they’ll cry like little GIRLS!”
“That’s a whimpering,” scoffed Sidious, “that I simply MUST hear!”
So he paused and felt along the Force for any massive displays of fear.
And he did feel something from across the snow,
Barely noticeable at first, then it started to grow…
But the sensation wasn’t fright! Why, it felt like…celebration!
And it came from every part of the whole Jedi nation!
He stared down at the Jedi temple! The Emperor popped open his eyes!
He shook with fury at the shocking surprise!
Every Jedi down below the mountain, the tall and the small,
Was singing! With no presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas. And what was more irritating,
Was that their singing was more annoying than their blasted meditating!
They sang lots of Jedi carols, like “Hark the Herald Jedi Sing”
And “Jedi We Have Heard on High”! Did their voices ever ring!
Despite his meddling, Christmas indeed CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Emperor, his breathing shallow in the thin mountain air,
Stood frustrated and perplexed: “This is simply not FAIR!
It came without presents! No wrappings or tags!
It came without packages! Boxes! Bags!”
And he puzzled three hours till Maul got really bored,
Then a thought finally entered the Emperor’s thick gourd!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a mall.
Maybe Christmas means a little bit more than that after all!”
And what happened then…? Well, on Coruscant, they say,
That the Emperor’s heart grew three sizes that day!
But then a fateful last few flakes of soot
Fell off his hood and went right up his snoot
He tried not to sneeze, for he knew what it would do,
But at long last he had to bellow out a loud. “AH-CHOOOOOOOOOO!”
And more powerful than a horde of reporters at Skywalker Ranch
Came down the entire mountain! It was an AVALANCHE!
As the Emperor and Maul fell to their doom,
Meanwhile down below, Christmas was in full bloom!
For during this death scene, out of the sky flew
The Jedi’s friends from the planet Naboo!
They brought in more presents! And decorations! And food by the ton!
And little Anakin said, “God bless us…every one!”
[Okay, maybe you saw that coming a mile away.
But it won’t seem half as corny on your actual Christmas Day.]
* * * * *
[MCC ARCHIVES NOTE: My best friend/future wife Anne and I originally posted the preceding Dr. Seuss homage online December 19, 1999, one of several collaborations from our early internet days. I’ve applied some light remastering for its 2016 premiere here on MCC for a new generation of hopefully benevolent readers. Cheers!]