"You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have money for a slinky dress?"
-- Hoban Washburn

Enter the bureaucrat

I was watching part of Episode IV last night (that’s “Star Wars” to the un-edjumicated), and I was fascinated by the conference room on the Death Star. I don’t know why this never occurred to me before, but what do you think happens after Grand Moff Tarkin makes his little declaration that ends the scene?

Here’s what’s in the movie:

Motti: This station is now the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it.
Vader: Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Motti: Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel’s hidden fort…urk!
Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Tarkin: Enough of this! Vader, release him!
Vader: As you wish.
Tarkin: This bickering is pointless. Lord Vader will provide us with the location of the Rebel fortress by the time this station is operational. We will then crush the Rebellion with one swift stroke!

Now, based on my extensive experience with meetings and large organizations, here is what I think happens while we, the viewers, are whisked off to Tatooine to witness a tragic moment for young Luke Skywalker.

Tarkin: Lord Vader, I believe your item is next on the agenda.
Vader: My copy shows Admiral Motti next.
Motti: *coughs* No, no, go ahead. I’m just going to get a drink of water.
Vader: As you wish. I only wanted to inform all of you that my department is in need of a new commander. The last one…choked under the pressure. Would anyone care to volunteer?
Dead silence.
Tarkin: Thank you, Lord Vader, I think we can take that decision off-line and move on with the meeting. Ah, Admiral Motti has returned just in time. Admiral?
Motti: Thank you, Moff Tarkin. I wanted to bring our attention to the latest memo from Emperor Palpatine. He has stated that our priority objective is to…um…yes, here it is: “Proceed as I have foreseen.” Has anyone received any more direction on this?
Vader: My master’s wishes are clear.
Motti: Oh, absolutely they are. I think we all would like to, um, proceed in that way. I was just hoping for some…measurable objectives that we could use to demonstrate our progress.
Tarkin (glaring at Motti): I think that concludes today’s status meeting. You’re dismissed, but I’ll be using this room for the day. Support is replacing the terminal in my office, so you’ll have to send any messages you have to this room.
Tagge (to Motti, sotto voce): Nice handling of Vader. You’re an inspiration to us all.
Motti (to Tagge, sotto voce): Shut up! Why didn’t anyone else speak up?
Tagge (to Motti, sotto voce): Because we’re not half-witted nerfherders, that’s why. Besides, I didn’t like that little crack about “my” starfleet.
Tarkin (calling out to exiting staff): Don’t forget to send me your updated staffing profiles for last month!

Yup, I think that must have been exactly what happened… :-)

8 Responses to “Enter the bureaucrat”

  1. OK, I gave blood today and it’s making me feel sluggish so I’m not really up to doing any work. What’s your excuse for being on here all day?


  2. I need an excuse? :-)

  3. Reading this at work is dangerous: I was killing myself laughing at that scene, but trying not to. Kaveman has obviously been in WAY too many meetings. I’d love to see it acted…

  4. I think Kav’s hit on a truly gem: “Star Wars: the cut scenes we’d all like to see”. For example, I’d REALLY like to know what Solo tells Chewie after finding out (after the Ewoks and Rebels pound the crap out of a supposedly tough empire base) that Leia is really Luke’s sister. After all, he’s seen them kiss soundly on the lips, seen some obvious tender moments, etc – then she tells him it’s her brother, and kisses Solo firmly on the lips??? Don’t you think the ensuing scene should deserve some air time?

  5. I think we should see Chewie go mad with jealousy!

  6. Don’t try to inject any wooly-erotic subtext into Han Solo and Chewbacca. They’re the original hetero life-mates… :-)

  7. As Leia kissed him firmly on the lips, Han was overcome with waves of conflicting emotions. He returned the Princess’ passionate embrace, but the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’ kept resonating in his head. Though he had longed for more intimacy with her Worship, the fact that he now had it caused him to feel uneasy. How would this affect his relationship with Chewie and their boundless adventures? What of that floozie on Ord Mandel, not to mention the parade of skirts that would be waiting for him in every spaceport in the Outer Rim?
    Wait a minute…Luke kissed his sister?

  8. No erotic subtext for Chewie. It’s just you know how a woman can interfere with your guy friend time, somehow you never quite recapture those adventurous times… *snif*. I mean, a whole genre of buddy movies (think Saving Silverman, etc.) deals with this hear-wrenching subject!

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