But first, some context …
It was back in the halcyon days of Summer 2008 when I wrote the following poem as a result of an afternoon spent tidying out the garage. It was during this rarest of occasions that I happened to stumble upon one of my old Star Wars figures from my distant childhood – a single, battered old Stormtrooper (Kenner, 1977 original) that had spent many years as part of my burgeoning Star Wars collection but had, alas, been discarded when the holy trinity of age, maturity and shelfspace had seen fit to conspire against it.
As I gazed at him lying there, forgotten and abandoned in a small, mouldy cardboard box I got to thinking. What WOULD be going through this poor trooper’s mind as he lay there amongst all this junk? Would he reminisce about his past, to the days long gone when he would engage in “epic” battles in my back garden every weekend? Would he long for the thrill of battle and the rush of adrenaline as he cut through waves of Jedi scum with only his trusty pistol by his side? And, perhaps most importantly, would he wish that the Death Star had installed more “Mind Your Head” signs?
And so, without further ado, and in a move that I’m sure will baffle and bemuse Mr. Lucas, I hereby present said poem in its original 2008 form, free from any alterations, additional verses and/or ill-concieved musical numbers …
He sits there in his cardboard cell,
Abandoned and alone,
A sad testament to his bygone glory days.
When a young boy plucked him from a shelf,
From a shop one fateful day,
Back in the Eighties when such things were all the craze.
And thus he joined an army,
Of the finest Imperial kind,
And fought intergalactic battles all day long.
Where he’d stand amongst his fellow men,
And raise his head up high,
For he knew then that indeed the Force was strong.
He’d partake in epic battles,
To destroy the Jedi Knights,
With his trusty pistol always by his side.
And there, upon the Death Star,
He would plot to rule the stars,
For Lord Vader’s power could never be denied.
Then from Tatooine to Bespin,
He would wage the fiercest wars,
As he joined the ranks of the Imperial platoon.
Though the greatest battles yet,
Were to be fought upon our Earth,
In a young boy’s garden one Summer’s afternoon.
For as the blazing sun beat down,
Upon this child’s brow,
He amassed his armies and raised his battle cry.
As across this tiny battlefield,
His brother weighed the odds,
And promptly kissed his ass a long goodbye.
For this child he was cunning,
And this child he was brave
And this child laughed into the face of fear.
As he hurried into battle,
With his troopers by his side,
And kicked some Jedi bottom most severe.
For as the afternoon wore on,
The casualties did rise,
Until the Jedi Knights were all defeated.
Then a cry was heard across the lawn,
That the Jedi’s ALWAYS won,
And surely the Imperials must have cheated!
And so an argument would arise,
Amongst the gathered ranks,
As any order would fall to disarray.
Before it was decided,
Just to let this damn child win,
For it was safer just to let him have his way.
And so the war was over,
And a peace it reigned once more,
As good old Mum brought drinks for everyone.
Then everything fell silent,
Except this constant nagging cheer,
Of a child who wanted you all to know he’d won.
But such celebrations were premature,
As an ominous shadow loomed,
And this army knew that now they must submit.
For the cat that lived beyond the fence,
Was a menace far beyond,
The terror of the dreaded Sarlacc Pit.
And so the army was stored away,
Until some other time,
When the sound of battle would cleave the air in two.
Until that day that the air was still,
As the war came to an end,
And this trooper had to bid such dreams adieu.
For the child had long since vanished,
And a man now took his place,
A man who was too old for foolish games.
And so this trooper left the ranks,
Of the finest Imperial fleet,
And watched his hopes and dreams go up in flames.
Then banished to this prison cell,
This dirty cardboard box,
He lay each day and dwelt upon the past.
And realised in a moment,
As he thought upon his life,
That his glory days were never going to last.
For childhood it is fleeting,
In this eternal game called Life,
And inevitably the child must leave this war.
As adulthood it beckons,
And an end to all these games,
And so such folly sadly was no more.
His allies no longer by his side,
But sold for a hefty price,
By a dealer who had disbanded all the squads.
Shipped off to the planet eBay,
In a manner most pristine,
All packed neatly in their plastic containment pods.
But nobody would buy this trooper,
For his condition was far from mint,
As his armour was scratched and encrusted with dirt and grime.
And everybody knew the truth,
That a collector would never buy,
A trooper that was definitely past his prime.
And so his victories now lie in the past,
As he’ll fight his battles no more,
So he heaves a sigh and stores such hopes away.
Then just lies there in his prison cell,
And dreams his many dreams,
Imperial dreams from that galaxy far, far away …