The Star Wars of Penzance

Chorus of TIE Fighter pilots (off stage)

A rollicking band of pilots, we
Who, zooming through space so fancy-free,
Will zap any X-Wing that we see
With lasers bright and flashing.

Look out! The TIEs appear to guard their station.
What made us pick this for our avocation?

Chorus of TIE Fighters (nearer)

We fly along at a goodly clip,
And when we hear our computers blip,
Identifying a rebel ship,
We'll give it such a thrashing!

X-Wings: Identifying a
TIEs: Rebel ship,
Identifying a
X-Wings: Rebel ship,
Identifying a Rebel ship,
We'll give it such a thrashing.

Biggs: They come in force, with deadly arms.
The prospect isn't one that charms.

Chorus - TIE Fighters

With ships so new
And lasers up-to-date,
You'll find it's to
The past that we relate.
Though our ray guns
Would make Buck Rogers green,
We're really sons
Of nineteen-seventeen.

X-Wings: Kazoom, kazam!

TIEs: With barrel-roll and loop-the-loop,
Upon our enemies we swoop.
Dogfights in outer space:
They would throw a scare on
Snoopy and the Baron.
History we re-trace,
Each of us a Fokker ace.

X-Wings: Kazoom, kazam!

(Enter Fred.)

Fred: Hush, hush, not a word! I feel a presence now:
Old Obi-wan returns-don't ask me how.
TIEs: What's this? Old Obi-wan returns?
X-Wings: What's this? Old Obi-wan returns?

(Enter Obi-wan.)

Obi-wan: Yes, yes, old Obi-wan returns!

Solo - Obi-Wan Stanley

Though zapped into oblivion
By Vader's deadly blade,
Observe that I am living on,
A most substantial shade.
This climax grand I could not miss,
Though I confess I'm "late."
It's only via osmosis
That I'll participate.

Pilots: He will participate-hoo-ha!

So, I am here-
Please have no fear,
My young and foolish friend.
For with the Force
I'll guide your course
Into a happy end.

Ballad - Obi-Wan Stanley

Skill and wit and lots of practice
Will not win the day.
Just the opposite, in fact is
Now the only way.

Pilots: Only way.

Feel the vibes and trust your feelings,
Put your brain on low.
Heroism's easy dealings,
Going with the flow.

If you put your brain on low
You'll be going with the flow.
Silly boy, with vibes to guide you;
Intellectuals deride you.
Here's an addle-pated kid,
Taking orders from his id.

(At Obi-wan's urging, Fred switches off his targeting computer.
Mabel, 3PO, and Ruth.)

Now what is this and what is that and why in Fred's computer off?
His heroism none can doubts but at this move we freely scoff.
Does he suppose that he can win without its cybernetic aid?
The Force is very well and good, but we confess we're much afraid.
What strange compulsion made our Freddy switch his own computer off?
At his intelligence and wit we feel we're very right to scoff.

(Enter Vader.)

Vader: Once I am through, these rebels will be dead!
Women: It's Vader-it's Vader! Watch it, Fred!
Pilots: Yes, it is Vader: watch it, Fred!
Obi-wan: (to Fred) Now's your chance to be a hero!
Don't blow it now, you nerd, you zero!
Mabel: Freddy, save us!
Fred: Beautiful Mabel,
I'm only a farm boy; I am not able.
Pilots: We knew from the start that he was not able.

Vader: Oh, rebel fool,
Forget your vain resistance.
You've lost your cool,
And also your existence.
This is the end
Of your grand revolution.
Your hopes suspend
Of happy resolution.

Mabel: Fred has bombed out-for him I guess that's par.
Women: Oh, darn it!
Mabel: Does nobody remain, our foes to bar?
Women: Oh, darn it!
X-Wings: We're heroes too-at least we think we are.
Women: Oh, rapture!
X-Wings: Now in our opportunity to star!
Women: Oh, rapture!

(X-Wing Pilots attack. Vader and TIE Fighters shoot them down.)

Pilots: The bad guys win-it seems a sin-
But that in the way life goes.
For likelihood abhors the good,
As every criminal knows.

Biggs: But realism, as you surely know,
Is banned most strictly from this sort of show.
Vader: You can't deny we beat you fair and square,
Biggs: But you forget the color hat you wear:
The villains lose (they always lose)-this cliche we must bear.
Vader: We lose?
X-Wings: You lose-
You have to lose; this cliche we must bear.
Vader: Your pleas have touched our actor's souls,
Because, with all our faults, we know our roles.
X-Wings: It's true: with all their faults, they know their roles.
All: Yes, yes, with all their faults they know their roles.
Obi-wan: We've won the day-it was a piece of cake!
Ruth: One moment! There's a sequel here at stake!
Without our villains we would feel a lack.
We will need them when The Empire Strikes Back.
Women: We'll all cash in when The Empire Strikes Back.
Obi-wan: Well, Vader, it appears that you're in luck
Because, with all our greed, we want to make a buck.

Recitative - Obi-Wan Stanley

We'll see you soon, Vader. If you are wise,
You'll make investments just as I advise.
Forget Standard Oil and Boeing and Xerox,
And put your money in Twentieth Century Fox.


We've struck it rich!
And if you count merchandising,
There is much more
Profit in store.
We've struck it rich!

We've struck it rich!
Thereby beginning the mode:
Every new flick
Is science fic,
But we're the mother lode.


Librettist's Notes:

So that's The Star Wars of Penzance, my first Gilbert and Sullivan filk-opera. It was never staged, but there's no reason it couldn't be. Even the dogfight would be easy: just hang X-wing and TIE fighter cut-outs on the members of the chorus and have them dance around.

Yes, there is a sequel, The Mikado Strikes Back, but I never completed it. I will post the fragments soon.