It was sad to be leaving Italy. But on arriving home we saw this poster on the bus stop shelter outside our flat. I ran up to it. Look at the colours! Was this the tragic bride of Dolceaqua, and the cruel Lord exercising his right of the first night, right here in Dublin town?! Ah, the romance continues! —
Then something even more wonderful happened. Star Wars was coming to Ireland! A costume convention. A willing friend invited me along with his two munchkins. When the day came we set off to the exhibition centre with great enthusiasm. Outside, a stern welcome greeted us —
Sexy! And inside, the hustle and bustle —
We made our way through the crowds, in search of the main feature, but were abruptly stopped by this guy —
He said, “Let me see your identification.”
My friend, taken aback, fumbled for his entry ticket.
But I stepped in and, with a wave of my hand, said: “You don’t need to see his identification.”
The Stormtrooper paused, then said: “I don’t need to see his identification.”
I motioned to the two munchkins. “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
He said, “These aren’t the droids I’m looking for.”
“He can go about his business,” I said.
“You can go about your business,” he said.
“Move along,” I said.
“Move along, move along,” he said and stood aside.
“Wow!” said my friend. “How did you do that?”
I shrugged. Who was I to speak of Jedi mind tricks?
We passed more imperial security —
Now we were close —
Invasion Dublin! —
The invasion was extending to the utmost end of the Empire: Cork! —
We came upon a vast opening, with a banner announcing we’d made it —
Inside, darkness fell, and then: mystery —
And action —
And danger! —
Boba Fett gave you the thumbs up if you bought his official Bounty Hunters Code book —
Further in, it got weirder —
And weirder —
Yet here was a typical Dublin northsider. I’d seen his ilk often outside the Cabra McDonald’s —
We went deeper in, and in the lurid light found the throbbing heart, the representation of Ireland, the Green Garrison indeed! —
Beyond it, the honoured guests, for whom a long queue had formed —
In a corner, the droid I was looking for —
And Chewbacca on the loose —
It was all going swimmingly until staff appeared waving their arms about and announcing that the Jedi Knight battle school was closing prematurely —
The queue for it had been enormous, even from early on in the day. They were oversubscribed, the staff announced; they were inundated; they were turning away the young would-be knights in vast numbers! Anger followed, which turned into outright rebellion. Light sabers were flashed about —
Some characters were threatened —
And some attacked —
I got a good hit in on Chewie —
Yoda urged calm —
Calm he urged. But the munchkins went ballistic —
Amidst the mayhem I saw her from across the room. “I’d recognize those buns anywhere!” I said, and leading our group I pushed through the fighting and when I reached her I tapped her on the shoulder, and began to introduce myself —
But this Princess Leia proved to be, er, much younger than the original … and was understandably a little disconcerted by our intrusion. Her parents came to her aid and looked us up and down. “All good fun,” I said, “all good fun! Ha-ha!” and beat a hasty retreat. Toes were trodden on and apologies made. I got separated from the others. Turning about and about amidst the whirling of the light sabers I found myself suddenly standing before the chortling form of — what was it? — the ultimate in things green! —
I made a dizzy obeisance and staggered from the building.