ART OF JEDI: SPECIAL EDITION
by MJ Mink
"--and his Can-Tina Tones! And now, heeeeere's Crix!"
Luke yawned and, with the assistance of the ever-present Force, brushed lint from his black velvet sleeve. Late-night promos were tiresome, even for a Jedi Master, but they were necessary. It was not, after all, night everywhere in the galaxy. In many remote corners of the Outer Rim, it was primetime, and humans, etc., were settling in front of their vids to catch up on the news or, Force Forbid! watch DSN. What would please Leia was that this preemption of primetime spacewaves wouldn't cost a credit--or, more correctly, wouldn't add any more red credits to the Alliance's coffers. He frequently tried to explain to her that the Force was all powerful, but she never seemed to get the hang of using it for the Common Good, such as altering Holonet transmitting satellites or--
With resigned sigh, he turned around for Dead Jedi Inspection. He held out his arms and awaited criticism.
He received it.
"They are polished." He struggled to keep irritation from his voice. "They're fine Corellian leather--they'll never have the high sheen that your helmet-- Your boots were not shinier than mine. Anyway, yours were gijoes, and no one wears those anymore."
He turned his head slightly. "They're not too tight. It's the fashion, everyone's wearing them this way. Haven't you read the latest--"
Another grumble made him lower his head to focus on the littlest spirit. "It's not unbuttoned too far! I want the audience to see-- Oh, never mind! I know what I'm doing! Just... vanish."
With a wave of his hand, he banished them to wherever it was they went. He glanced around. Three technicians were staring at him, their expressions faintly horrified. "Dead Jedi," he explained easily, though it didn't appear to comfort them.
"--guest tonight, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker who's creating quite a nova with his newly reconfigured 'Art of Jedi' program! Let's all welcome... Luke Skywalker!"
That was his cue. He glanced around, pleased that he would not have to traverse a wide empty corridor. Time had passed; his life was no longer wide, empty and full of open and closed doors; now it was rectangular (sometimes square) and full of people--and the every-present Force. With his black cloak swirling, whirling and billowing behind him, Luke strode out onto the rectangular holostage, his sequin-covered Austinhand raised in greeting. The small audience that was assembled went wild, clapping and making other sounds of approval according to their capabilities. Luke bowed and, with a twist of his wrist, made the swirling, whirling black cloak billow across the chair and puddle around him, crimson lining displayed to best advantage as he sat. Gasps echoed from the audience, and he smiled with satisfaction. He wriggled a little--causing more gasps--trying to arrange himself comfortably in the tight pants.
"Luke," Crix Madine said, "welcome to the show. I may call you Luke...?"
"Master will be fine, Crix." Still smiling, he studied Madine carefully. The former Rebel general had a blonde buzz-cut which looked merely unimaginative on holos, but was something else entirely in person. Crix looked almost...vampiric. One latinum hoop pierced his right ear, and his fingers and wrists were covered with heavy jewelry. There was something appealing about the decorations; Luke made a mental note to check the Jedi Holocron to see what it said about Jedi jewelry.
He crossed his legs, pleased with the squeals and ooo's the movement produced from the audience. No matter that many years had passed since the Revolution, he still had It.
He might have gotten rid of It if his relationship with Callista had been more than a single dream. Or if he hadn't been afraid that Akanah knew his mother.
Still, he would keep trying.
"Uh... well, Master, how are things at Jedi Academy?"
He shot Crix a surprised glance. "It was destroyed several years ago."
"Wha-- Ah, yes, of course, I meant Jedi Academy II."
"Fine, just fine." He'd answered this question a million times. "JA II is open for business and turning out Jedi every day. Remember," he turned to the audience, "we are taking applications again. Just save up your credits and forward one thousand of them to JA II on Corcuscant, and we'll look over your qualifications."
"Yes, of course," Crix interrupted, "and we'll flash that address on your screen in a moment. Well, Lu--Master, tell us about the Special Edition. We've heard so many rumors. Just why did you feel it necessary to change the original AJ packaging and produce an AJ:SE?"
"That's Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course, and it's more than a simple packaging change," he corrected mildly, clearing his throat. "Well, Crix, I felt the time had come to pass on what I have learned. Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course has helped billions of beings become Jedi or to simply improve upon their original selves, and I felt that if I didn't share my new knowledge I would be letting down my fans and subjecting billions more beings to unproductive, mundane lives, without the chance to grow and spend money." He fumbled in the vee made by his unbuttoned black velvet shirt, casually playing with the Jedi medallion that sparkled on his chest. He was quite fond of the medal; he'd 'borrowed' it from that idiot pilot who'd refused his offer to study at the Academy.
"I've had a lot of experiences since the first Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course," Luke continued, "and I wanted to share them with my trillions of followers. For all of you who never purchased the original Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course, or even if you did, you'll find Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course: Special Edition to be a welcome addition to your home library. I've included many of the new tricks I've learned, such as clouding minds and erasing memories, dealing with obnoxious children and pesky brothers-in-law, how to cope with ghosts, bacteria, whining, deceitful, vanishing women, and other petty annoyances. There's even a special section on The Joy of Celibacy."
"I doubt that will raise a lot of interest," Crix interrupted, winking.
Luke shot him a savage glare as the audience broke into laughter. "You have problems in that area," he muttered under his breath.
Crix's eyes glazed over. "I have problems in that area."
Satisfied, Luke continued. "And there's more. Not only have I included new tricks, I've also added behind-the-scenes looks at some of my adventures and how I've saved the galaxy several times over--that's included on a special holotape titled The Making of a Master, for which I personally selected the holoviews and oversaw production.
"And if that isn't enough--there's still more! Ever since the issue of the original Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course, I've been plagued with requests for the Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure. As you know, it was a limited edition and available only to the first five billion people who purchased Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course. Since we discontinued producing it, the secondary market prices have skyrocketed. Too many Darkside collectors have purchased the figures from DSN, the Dark Shopping Network, and have been hoarding the figure and inflating its price. As you know, I'm committed to fighting the Dark. To that end, I am reissuing the Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure using the original mold (which, of course, we broke as promised when we reached the end of the production run, but I, with the Force as my ally, was able to put it back together) and am including, absolutely free, the New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure with Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course: Special Edition. Further, this New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure comes with the original Luke's Action Accessory Kit which, as you all remember, was a premium offer that you had to purchase--and now it's free!"
"That's pretty impressive, Lu--Master," Crix said, his eyes widening into small rectangles.
"Indeed it is, Crix, but you will not interrupt again." Luke continued, ignoring the murmured I will not interrupt again, "And, unbelievably, there's more! The New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure comes with five accessories!" With a sweep of his cloak, he revealed a small rectangular box that was reminiscent of his life. With the Force as his ally, he removed the lid and levitated the New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure in the air. Five accessories spun around it, accompanied by awed gasps from the audience.
"You'll have a replica of my Jedi Master lightsaber, my original father's original lightsaber, Dad Vader's lightsaber, Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber, and, for the first time, Mara Jade's lightsaber!"
"But that looks just like--"
He lifted one finger and Crix subsided, muttering, I will not interrupt again.
"Now, I realize," Luke smiled confidentially and leaned forward, "that you won't be able to display all the lightsabers with the single New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure at the same time. That's why, if you order Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course: Special Edition within the next Standard Year, I am making available to you an additional pack of five New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figures at the nominal cost of five thousand credits. Purchase this pack, and you'll be able to display all five New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figures, each complete with a different weapon, plus you'll still have the New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure which comes absolutely free with your Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course: Special Edition. It doesn't get much better than that-- does it, Crix?"
"Indeed it doesn't!" He recrossed his legs, eliciting more gasps, and levitated the New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure and five accessories over the audience. Beings shrieked as they tried to reach for them. Deliberately, he let one lower, raising it again when it was apparent that someone might be crushed. "You will return to your seats."
A chorus of agreement reached him, and everyone settled back down. "As you leave the show tonight, everyone in our audience will receive complimentary flyers that can be unfolded to reveal a poster of the New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure--which includes a personally reproduced autograph, of which the production of the first one was personally overseen by me, Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master."
A collective gasp rose, and he smiled, pleased. He glanced at Crix Madine. "I have to be leaving now, Crix."
"You have to be leaving now, Master."
"You've enjoyed having me on the show. You hope I'll come back again to talk about Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course: Special Edition."
Crix rose. "Let's hear it for the Jedi Master! I've enjoyed having you on the show, Master, and hope you'll come back again to talk about Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course: Special Edition."
"I'll be pleased to return." With flick of his wrist, he retrieved the hovering lightsabers and the New Original Luke Skywalker Jedi Master Action Figure and rose, the black cloak swirling, whirling and billowing behind him. He raised his sequined Austinhand, and the audience quieted.
"May the Force be with you," he said solemnly, "and it will be if you
purchase Luke Skywalker's The Art of Jedi Home Study Course: Special
Edition and become a Jedi like me." With a clipped, professional nod, he
strode across the short rectangular stage toward rectangles full of people
and Dead Jedi that awaited him.