The original, 9-page short story version of


Copyright © 1980 by Roger M. Wilcox. All rights reserved.
(writing on this story began 30-September-1980)

The original draft was written on a mechanical typewriter, with no right margin. All spellings, punctuation, capitalizations, stupid jokes, etc. are as in the original.

You have been warned.

The nearly exhausted X-wing fighter still had to make haste to escape from the deadly tie fighter following him. Twisting and turning, the X-wing fighter couldn't shake off the incredibly maneuverable (and much more advanced!) tie fighter. Finally, the tie fighter got the X-wing in the dead center of its crossfire, and fired via its pulsar guns and immobile firing control stick. The first two consecutive, almost simultaneous hits were enough to rup apart the X-wing in a fury of smoke and fire (I thought flames needed air!), and leave no trace of its existence.

Suddenly, another X-wing appeared and started an attack on the tie fighter. However, with great skill and maneuverability, the tie fighter soon became the attacker, and closed in. Once more, the tie fighter had the X-wing in its crossfire, and with an evil snicker, pressed the firing button.

It was then that the tie fighter's pilot realized he had just run out of shots. When he noticed this, he turned in frantic retreat from the battle he was sure to lose now. Despite the extreme speed and maneuverability of the tie fighter over the X-wing, the rebel X-wing was able to catch up with the tie fighter, and begin firing. The shots came successively closer to the tie fighter, and suddenly — he was hit!!!


You're travelling through another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead, your next stop — the STAR WARS zone.


The hit the tie fighter had taken was only a glancing blow and did minimal damage. However, by this time, the tie fighter was almost completely out of fuel , and the fuelometer (actually powerometer, for they rely on solar power) read "RR" — the last level above empty. Fortunately, he'd been doing battle in orbit of a neutral desert planet, and so had a good place to land (or crash-land). He swerved so that he was headed in the general direction of the planet below, and just as he did he ran out of power. He spun around in the atmosphere (all desert planets in these space epics have breatheable atmospheres) with a twisting and turning only possible in a tie fighter out of fuel, a cylon roider (but that's another story!), or anything to fit the background music. Nevertheless, it came down quite rapidly.

Despite the fact that it rolled several meters with its landing gear before it came to a complete stop, it was still intact. The pilot opened his cockpit, stepped out, and gazed at the beautiful desert world which would be his home for a few days at least. Unfortunately, he'd forgotten his pacemaker which he'd left aboard his TIE fighter, and slowly fell down and died beside the war vehicle.

Suddenly, a cloud of dust, big enough to be that of an approaching army was created from over the sand dunes. When the dust cleared, it wasn't an army, but an adolescent shoe-shiner wearing a "STAR WARS" T-shirt. Of course, he was headed in the direction of the "wreck"-age, or how would this story continue?

As he was shouting his war cry of, "Shine! Shine!", he came upon the dead pilot, and said, "Shine — oh. I guess he wouldn't want one!"

Suddenly, he looked up, and saw the greatest device of modern technology. He dropped his shining equipment, and stared in open-mouthed astonishment. "I've always wanted one of these!", he announced, climbing up to the entrance. "I still can't believe it — a real electric can opener!"

He jumped down into the pilot's seat, and saw the mass of foreign buttons before him. "This is not an electric can opener!!"

But what was it?? Well, there was only one (or rather hundreds of) way to find out. Sraglam (Glam, for short) (Yet, that's our shoe shiner!) began pushing every button on the control panel that was in his reach, and even some that weren't. Suddenly, when he pressed one of the buttons (he couldn't remember which one), the entry hatch flew closed.

"Oh, great!", he announced. "Oh, sure! That's just great! NOW what? Oh, fiddle farp! I just remembered — I have clostrophobia! Now I've got to get out of here!"

Despite the fact that his last spoken sentence wasn't grammatically correct, he continued pressing buttons furiously. As he was going across the panel, he encountered a massive, rectangular, red button. Having nothing to lose (or so he thought!!), he pressed it. The button promptly illuminated in a dim red light, followed by a shrill and sustained beep. Then suddenly, something happened that Glam would never have expected. The gigantic Tie fighter lurched forward, and took off! Though it was only a couple of feet above the ground, it was travelling at more than a hundred meters per second. As Glam was thrown back into his seat, he yelled out, "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!"

No time to cry about petty things now, Glam had to stop that thing. Again, he frantically indulged in button pushing. When he came across one minor button, his landing gear retracted; but when he encountered a set of 4 buttons arranged in a diamond and pressed the top one, an upward "arrow" flashed on, and the TIE fighter headed straight up.

It was only a matter of seconds (yet several seconds) before the TIE fighter was out of the atmosphere and into space — the launch had been recharged by the TIE fighter's attached solar panels. It took a good ½ minute, but Glam finally got the TIE fighter under control. After he (apologies to you women's libbers) relaxed, he noticed a rather large switch on the control panel in front of him. He flipped it (having nothing to lose except his life), and a large and immobile joystick shot out of the control panel and hit Glam in the gut (good thing it didn't hit him a little lower!). On the tip of the joystick was a rather large red button. Having nothing better to do, he grabbed the stick and pressed the button. A stream of short green pulses were produced from the front, which headed out into deep space. "Oh, these must be the headlights!", Glam thought. "For flying in deep dark space. With its big, empty areas, and space creeps, a-and boogie men, a-a-and ... YIKES! I scared myself!!"

He quickly turned on the "Headlights," only to find that he needed to continually keep the button pressed in order to make them function. Nevertheless, he kept the button depressed (although he should've made it happy).

Suddenly, a large fighter appeared over the planet's horizon (Glam never would've left Neutral Planet's orbit). This fighter was of basically the same style as Glam's TIE fighter, except it was more elongated and had its solar panels flanged inward so that from the front the fighter looked like a truncated double arrow. In the pilot's seat was the most worstest person someone could ever know. He breathed like an obscene phone caller, wore black robes and a big, black, shiny mask, and I'll give you one guess as to who it was!

The big dude behind the mask suddenly put his voice over the TIE fighter's spacecom. "Turn off your guns!", he demanded. "Don't you know you're wasting shots?"

Sraglam was abrupt to reply, "Ten-four, good buddy! Put the medal to the petal, and the thing to the floor! What's shakin', mean dude?"

"This is Dahth Vader; and cut out that meaningless jibberish!!"

"Darth Vader? What's a Darth Vader??"

"Only the most sinister, super e-val villain in this galaxy! Who are you?"

"Only the best shoe shiner this side of the crabby nebula — SG!"

"And just what is an Essgee??!"

"Sraglam.... who is also the world's biggest sucker!!"

Glam finally remembered what the whole argument was about, and stopped pressing the gun firing button (yep, those are the headlights!).

It was at this point that Glam glanced down, and noticed a low power tank gauge. Unfortunately, it was his own. The only chance he had was to attempt a landing on his home of Neutral Planet. But how was he going to land? He barely knew how to steer the thing!"

He had nothing to lose by trying. He pushed the button directly below the "up" button, and a white arrow flashed on directly below it, pointing down. The TIE fighter swung around, and spun into the planet's atmosphere. As the TIE fighter was about to collide with the sandy ground, Glam pushed the "up" button, and rotated to level flight just in time (yaay!), about twenty or less meters above the ground.

Now what? How was he going to put down the landing gear and come to a complete stop when he hardly knew the buttons (personally, anyway), and his power gauge was down to "RR"??!? His only chance was to again press all the buttons he could find. As he was going across the panel, he could barely help pushing the throw buttons for both solar panels, one after the other, dropping each panel a couple of hundred kilometers apart.

Just as Glam ran out of power, he pressed the landing gear button which he had just found, and the TIE fighter landed without a scratch. Boy, was he in a fix. He couldn't fly out to get the solar panels until he recharged, and he couldn't recharge until he got the solar panels. The only thing for him to do was leave the TIE fighter, and look for the panels on foot. He pressed the "Hatch" button which he'd found while looking for the "OFF" switch, and the TIE fighter's hatch flew open. He wasted no time in climbing out and walking in the direction he'd just come from.

The day was long and hot, just like all days on Neutral Planet. In the background, as Glam was walking, he heard the jawa's theme being played. About this, he commented, "Where's that CORNY music coming from???!?", and as he did, the music stopped.

As he walked a little further on across the sand, the Jawa's Theme started up again. He quickly drew his loaded water pistol, fired at the record player off-stage (which abruptly short circuited), and said, "I hate that music!!".

As he walked continually on into the desert, another background theme was played. This one, however, was a gallant imperial march, and about this, good ol' SG commented, "Now that music I like!!!"

Of course, no one lives forever, unless you're in a space epic like this one; so don't worry about Glam getting killed. What you should worry about is him falling asleep, for at that very moment, he did just that. But wouldn't you, after walking around for several miles in the desert?? Anyway, he had fallen asleep, lying prone on the ground.

When he awoke and rose, he bumped his head on a big metal plate. When he turned to look at "it", it was not one, but two metal plates in the shape of hexagons. Yes, indeed, it was the solar panels. "They must have been blown here by the wind", Glam thought. "But maybe it wasn't the wind — maybe it was ..." Suddenly, the mysterious music of Ben Ken's Theme rang through the air, and I'll give you one guess as to what SG was thinking about!! Nevertheless, Glam had no time to waste, with the exception of a couple years, so he began to roll the panels back toward the TIE fighter on their hexagonal sides. Again this began to be accompanied by the Jawa's Theme.

Glam quickly drew his water pistol, and aimed it (but didn't fire) off stage with water (watery death) in his eyes. The theme quickly changed to the imperial march, and SG smiled contentedly, nodded his head, and replaced the water pistol in its holster.

It wasn't long before he came upon the deformed and exhausted TIE fighter, and began to replace the solar panels. This was a difficult task, taking all of 3 minutes, but the job was finally done. He climbed up onto the hatch after allowing the TIE fighter some twenty minutes to recharge its shots and power, and descended into the pilot's seat. This time he flew with one major difference — he knew how to fly the thing.

He pressed the red launching button while braced in his seat, and after which retracted the landing gear, and turned on the joystick just in case. With that, he pressed the "up" button rapidly, and the TIE fighter rotated out into space at a 45-degree angle.

When he finally got there, he saw numerous, faint, red-and-green bolts flash up over the horizon, accompanied by faint transmissions on the spacecom, and semi-battle-type background music. When his orbit moved the horizon further down, he could see the reason for the havoc — they were waging the worst, most holocaustic battle ever witnessed — the empire versus the rebels (whoever they were!!!). There were hundreds of TIE fighters, X-wing fighters, and Y-wing fighters present.

Suddenly, Darth Vader came over the spacecom, and said, "Get the X-wings! You're on our side, aren't you? Well, aren't you, mister SG??!?"

The X- and Y-wing fighters hearing this immediately identified him as a neutral, and began to insert their own messages, such as, "No, no! get the TIE fighters! WE'RE the good guys, and THEY'RE the bag guys!!!"

The two opposing forces continued to say they were the good guys into their spacecoms, enough to force Glam to his breaking point. Finally, Glam said, "I can't stand it any more!!", placed his left hand over his eyes, and pressed the firing button on the joystick with his right thumb. When the X- and Y-wing fighters saw the green bolts randomly flashing out, they retreated; but the enemy TIE fighters stayed and fought while the rebels witnessed the certainly doomed TIE fighter do its course. This was a dumb move on the part of the Empire.

Either it was pure luck, an inaccurate Empire, or ... le force, but none of the enemy TIE fighters (including Darth Vadre) scored a hit on good ol' SG; while Sraglam killed rows & rows of TIE fighters, deflecting their shots with his own, or hitting them before they hit Glam.

TIE fighter after TIE fighter exploded, until there were only 3 (including D.V.) of them left. AT that point, Darth Vader ordered them to retreat, and they escaped to the utmost outer reaches of the galaxy.

The crowd of X- and Y-wings let out a tremendous cheer over their spacecoms. It was the greatest victory since the death star: one man single-handedly killed nearly half the empire, and emerged without a scratch.... Out of power, maybe — but not scratched!

When Glam heard the rebels' cheers, his only deduction was that he had damaged them, and they were dying, and the survivors were going to capture and torture him. Naturally, he couldn't show any resistance when two X-wings flied up alongside him, and attached towing cables. He knew he was being hauled off to the enemy's concentration camp (or so he thought!!!).

It was the rebel throne room. After the TIE fighter landed, the rebels appointed to huge men (called "big apes") to escort him down the aisles, as he (good ol' sg) was squirming, trying to escape, and saying things like, "No! No! You're NOT gonna get anything out of me!!"

The big apes took Glam further and further down the aisles toward the medal-bearing princess Layoff, who held the "Double-Luke" medal, designed for someone who does something better (and succeeds) than Luke Warm. As he was being towed down there, he yelled, "You're not getting that thing around my neck — you're not, you're not!!"

The big apes finally pulled Sraglam up to the Princess, who placed the gold medallion bonded by the blue strip around his neck. About this, he commented, "You're not getting that thing around my neck! You're ... you GOT that thing around my neck!!!"

The big apes turned Glam around to face the applauding audience. As he placed his hands over his face, he was finally able to say something he'd wanted to say ever since this whole miserable adventure started:

"I'm SO confUUUUUUsed!!!!!!!!!!"

TTTTTTT  H     H  EEEEEEE      EEEEEEE  N     N  DDDD     ?????
   T     H     H  E            E        NN    N   D  D   ?     ?
   T     H     H  E            E        N N   N   D   D       ?
   T     HHHHHHH  EEEE         EEEE     N  N  N   D    D     ?
   T     H     H  E            E        N   N N   D   D     ?
   T     H     H  E            E        N    NN   D  D
   T     H     H  EEEEEEE      EEEEEEE  N     N  DDDD       ?
(It could never have happened — and it didn't!!!)

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