star wars catcher

Star Wars vs. Catcher in the Rye

LAST WEEKEND, IN AN ATTEMPT to get organized, I bought a file cabinet and went through all the boxes in my garage. Instead of becoming organized, however, I spent Saturday assembling the most complex piece of Ikea furniture known to man, and them I spent Sunday reading through all the writing stuff I had saved from high school. Most of it was just embarrassing, but I found this one assignment worthy of sharing.

For A.P. English homework one night, we were given this assignment: rewrite a famous fairy tale or well-known story in the style of your favorite author. I chose Star Wars and J.D. Salinger. So, from the mind of my seventeen-year-old self, here is what it might have been like if it had not been Luke Skywalker, but Holden Caulfield, who was destined to save the galaxy from the Empire.

I never did like my Aunt and Uncle very much, to tell you the truth. Aunt Beru’s face was chubby as hell, and old Uncle Owen never shaved, and he was always yelling, no kidding. One time he yelled at me about these droids and the harvest for about ninety hours. His voice was scratchy as hell after that for like ten years.

Anyway, after my Aunt and Uncle were burned all to hell, I met this old man. He saved me from the sand people and all, and he gave me a fancy flashlight that cut things pretty good. What he did, he told me I should go to Alderaan with him. It nearly killed me, I swear to God. Anyway, about fifty years later we finally got off the goddamn planet. I had to sell my goddamn landspeeder, but I didn’t care. When I visited the academy one time, what I had to do, I had to hide my landspeeder. This guy Wedge, old Wedge had a cheap landspeeder. I hate that. Things like that are always happening. Some guy you know has a cheaper landspeeder than you, so you have to end up hiding yours, and then he parks his goddamn cheap landspeeder right out in front of your house. It gets me mad as hell, it really does. Wedge and me didn’t use to get along so hot, but now we’re okay. His Uncle Tarken is a real crumby bastard, though.

Me and this old man got a ship. This other guy drove it. It was a piece of crap and all, but it went faster than hell. Anyway, about sixty hours later we got sucked into this space station and all. It was big and round and black as hell, and the old man had to turn off the goddamn tractor beam. Lousy bastards had a tractor beam, I swear to God. I hate phony crap like that. If you want people to come to your house, you shouldn’t name it some crumby thing like the Death Star. And if you do do that, you shouldn’t make people come there who don’t want to. I hate that, I swear to God I do.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you something. This happened later, but if you really want to know, I always thought chronological order was a bunch of phony crap. There was this old green guy, and he was real short. He was about 900 years old. He had to live in this crappy swamp because he was short and green and wrinkly and 900 years old and all. That really makes me mad. Well, one day, what he did, he went and died on me. It was kind of neat the way he disappeared under his blanket and all, but I missed him. Especially after he kept telling me, “Use the force and all.” Anyway, before that I hit my head on the ceiling. His house had these really short ceilings because he was short and he didn’t need very tall ceilings or anything, so they were short. I liked that and all. If his ceilings were tall, it’d be kind of phony, like he didn’t think he was short and green and all, even though he was. Anyway, after he disappeared, I got mad as hell I know it’s crazy, I know it is, but what I did, I dumped all this gross stew on my head and went outside and balanced rocks and all.

Anyway, at that phony Death Star place, the old man died and all. I hated it because I kept yelling “No!” really corny, even worse than Kurt Russell in that frozen pizza movie. Anyway, about fifty years later we went to this cloud place, after we saved the princess and all. Then, you’ll never guess what happened. I had to fight this phony bastard named Darth Vader and all. What a phony bastard! His name was even full of more crap than his house. The Death Star.

I was fighting him with my fancy flashlight and everything, and what he does, he cuts off my goddamn hand! The lousy bastard cut off my goddamn arm for chrissake! Then he says, “Luke, I’m your father and all, and you have to come rule the world with me and everything.” And I said no really corny again, and he said, “Come on Luke, you know it to be true and all.” And I sort of did, you know? I kind of felt some family resemblance, to tell you the truth. But right after I thought that, this big gust of wind caught me up and blew me into these waterslides, except I think they were broken because there was no water.

Anyway, sometime around here I had to fly this goddamn X-wing fighter. It’s like an airplane and all, but it has all these goddamn wings everywhere and S-Foils and proton torpedoes. I had to fly it through this trench and all, with guns shooting at me. IT almost killed me. Really, it did. No, really. Then, and I swear to God this is true, my dad comes up behind me in this goddamn Tie Fighter and starts shooting at me, no kidding! What a crumby bastard! Shooting at people, just because he has to wear a mask and breathe real loud and all. I hate that. Stuff like that always happens. You get some guy who can’t breath right or gets seduced by the dark side or something, and they have to go shooting at everyone else for it. Like it’s their goddamn fault he sounds like a goddamn scuba diver.

To tell you the truth, I could have told you a lot more. Boy, could I. I say that a lot. ‘Boy,’ I mean. I also say things like “No!” and “Ben!” and “Lea!” One time I said “Carrie!” real loud and everyone in the universe heard me, even Stephen King, I swear to God. It killed me. Anyway, I have to test my goddamn phony hand with this crumby electric thing, so I guess I have to go. To tell you the truth, you’re kind of boring to talk to anyway. May the goddamn force be with you, and all that crap.

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Jeff Garvin

Author of SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN. Vegan, Gryffindor, aspiring revolutionary.

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