Memoirs of Father Shiron
Part 11 - May The Force
Be With You
Falamir, Shiron and Feanar watched spellbound as the space station hangar
sprang to life before their eyes. Everyone had a job to do and they
all went about acting it out very convincingly. Engineers tinkered with
various parts of spacecraft and an array of very convincing mechanical and
electrical equipment. Technicians fitted fuelling hoses to the
underside of X-Wing fighters or made adjustments to onboard systems.
Flight crews checked their suits and double checked their personal life
support packs whilst discussing the details of their mission brief.
Droids trundled across the floor. Alert guards kept their eyes open
for trouble. Someone in a converted forklift truck carefully
maneuvered a piece of heavy looking whatever-it-was to wherever it needed
to go, with an audible beeping and an amber light flashing away on
top. Steam like smoke issued upwards from several ground vents dotted
about the floor. The noise of conversation and people getting on
with various tasks completed the illusion. Falamir could almost
believe it was all totally for real, except for the cameras, sound booms
and multitudinous film crew personnel keeping just out of shot.
Two of the cameras tracked the forklift truck
from different angles as it passed
in front of the ramp leading up into the
Millennim Falcon. Someone in an officer's uniform stood expectantly
at the ramp's bottom. A third camera on a boom in direct line with
the ramp swung in closer as someone could
be seen descending. The sound boom guy hung the large
microphone overhead as the man ducked his head to clear the overhanging
exit to the ship.
Ford!" exclaimed Falamir exuberantly. Someone close
turned and put their finger to their lips.
"Sorry!" apologized Falamir
in a hard to contain whisper.
The director surveyed his bank
of monitors as Harrison Ford and the officer shook hands and exchanged a
greeting. They walked slowly away from the Falcon in deep
conversation, one camera and the sound boom tracking back in front of them as
they went. Another camera panned after them from the side.
After 20 yards or so they
disappeared from view behind a stack of packing cases and the director
with his ever present megaphone called out, "And..... Cut. Can
it, that's a take. Great shot people, thank you. Reset for
The director put his megaphone
down as Harrison Ford approached, chatting casually to the man in the
"Great shot guys, just
what we needed." congratulated the director.
"No problem Phil, you know
I always get a good take in straight after a nap." answered
Harrison. "What was the delay anyway?"
"Let me introduce you to
my guests," replied the director. He turned to the party.
"Everyone - Harrison Ford."
Falamir almost fell over
himself to get in first. He tried to compose himself and offer his
Very... Very pleased to meet you sir." he gushed, totally
overwhelmed by fanboy hero worship. He shook Harrison's hand so
vigorously that Erendil stepped in to calm him down.
"I'm sure Mr. Ford would
rather you didn't shake his arm off Falamir," he said in an amused
tone as he put steadying hands on Falamir's shaking shoulders.
Yes. So.. So sorry Mr. Ford sir. It's just such an honour to
meet you. I'm a really, REALLY big fan."
"That's OK kid, I get it
all the time. No problem," testing his right
hand for circulation. "And who might you be?"
"Falamir sir. My
name's Falamir. At you service," he fawned.
"Pleased to meet you Falamir." Harrison shot a glance over them all. "Hey
great costumes guys, you must be visiting from Studio 7 right? How's
it going over there?" Before any of them could answer the
director tapped him on the shoulder.
later." he said with a odd look in his
Harrison seemed quite happy to
chat for a while and sign autographs until Falamir made a request to have
a tour of the Millenium Falcon. "I don't see why not. Any
"OK but don't take too
long. I have a schedule to keep and we've lost enough time as it
is. Oh, and another thing; don't let him touch the
controls," the director answered warily. "He may fly off
"Oh give me a break,"
"I'm not joking!"
replied the director with a dead straight face.
Harrison gave him a quizzical look then chuckled to himself. "OK guys who's for a quick tour
of the Falcon?"
Erendil and Dick politely
declined the offer, preferring to stay put with the director, his comfy
chairs and his bottle of whisky but the others all leaped at the chance.
Harrison led them away and once
out of earshot of the director he turned to them with a smile and said,
"Poor guy's under a lot of pressure to get this picture made and he
likes a drink but I think maybe he's loosing it."
"He's seen a lot
today," replied Presto cryptically.
"Whatever." They followed him up the ramp and into the Falcon
like a group of excited school children on a field trip.
"What a piece of junk!" exclaimed Shiron.
"She'll make point five
past light-speed. She may not look like much, but she's got it where
it counts, kid." replied Falamir with a huge grin.
"Hey, are you guys quoting
my lines?" asked Harrison slightly amused.
"Sorry couldn't resist it Mr.
Ford sir," the two replied. "We've seen the films so
many times we know all the dialogue off by heart. Do you want to
hear some more? Test us, go on."
"Just Harrison will be
fine guys, no need to be so formal and no, please that's OK, I believe
you. Really. You must know them much better than me anyway, after
all it's been quite a while since I spoke those lines." He
guided them round the interior of the Falcon which despite being a film
prop was remarkably well detailed and very realistic looking. He let
them sit in the cockpit pilot's seats and was rather puzzled by Feanor's
and Presto's insistence that Falamir shouldn't 'pretend' to try and fly
the ship. He thought they were being a bit over protective, it was
only a wood mockup with some coloured plastic stick on buttons and a few
flickering lights all held together with gaffer tape, hardly delicate or
expensive stuff. The kid was obviously a big fan and overly enthusiastic
but couldn't do any real harm.
After showing them round the
rest of the ship they all re-emerged down the ramp and went back to the
director who was deep in conversation with Dick and Erendil.
"That was excellent.
Thanks very much Mr. Ford......er......Harrison." enthused
Falamir. The others agreed all nodding their heads with slightly
dreamy expressions on their faces.
"Where's Luke Skywalker
and Princess Leia and Darth Vader and........."
"Mark and the others
aren't in these scenes so aren't on set today I'm afraid," cut in the
director. He bent down and produced a box from under his chair which
he offered to Falamir. "But I've been talking with your
colleagues and considering your, ahem, 'performance' earlier I thought you
might like these as souvenirs. They could be especially useful to
you in your line of work."
Falamir opened the box and
squealed with delight when he saw what was inside. "Oh Wow! Oh
Wow!!" He was literally shaking as he showed it to the
others. The box contained two lengths of shaped moulded plastic not
unlike glorified broom handle ends, roughly 7 inches long.
Wow!" He took one for himself and gave the other to Shiron who
was equally excited.
"Can we try them
out?" they both pleaded.
"Please be my guest, but
be careful and try not to cut anyone's head off," the director
looked amused but the director gave him a strange look and motioned
him to stand back. Harrison noticed the others move back to create a
safe distance between them and the two excited youngsters and began to
look rather puzzled.
Shiron and Falamir took up
positions facing each other holding their glorified broom handle ends like
swords in an offensive ready stance. They smiled at each other.
"I've been waiting for you
Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now
complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the
"Only a master of evil
Darth." replied Shiron. They both thumbed a button on
their handles and a blazing shaft of shimmering light sprang from the end
of each, one blue, the other green. They formed glowing blades of
energy about 3 feet long. The arching beams buzzed and hummed and
caused the hair on their arms to stand up. The air around them
fairly crackled with static electricity.
"Holy cow!" exclaimed
Harrison as he instinctively reacted to the surprise. He watched in
slack jawed amazement as the two youngsters squared up to each other with
what appeared to be fully functional lightsabers. Looking around he
noticed he was the only one who seemed to be surprised by this.
Everyone else was watching with amusement and a certain knowing
satisfaction. A large crowd was forming. This was unbelievable.
Falamir and Shiron swished
their sabers two and fro, testing their weight and balance. The
blades moved through the air with a pleasing throbbing swooshing
noise. Happy with the feel of their weapons they made careful mock
attacks and blocks against each other. The pleasing throbbing hum
changed to a loud and angry crackling buzz whenever the two blades
clashed, causing some spectators to shield their ears and a few to stand a
bit further back from the energy sparks that flew off.
After a couple of minutes of
sparring the two drew apart and stood facing each other with their blades
held vertically before them in salute to a worthy opponent. They
bowed slightly and then both extinguished their blades in unison which
made a final swooshing hiss as they went out.
Bravo," applauded the director who approached with a wide smile.
"I may create movie magic but you are truly the genuine
article. The real deal as we say. I will
treasure this experience."
How on earth did they do that Phil?" asked an incredulous Harrison.
"Beats me but they can
work the props as if they were the real thing. Have a go
Falamir offered his Lighstaber
handle to Harrison who took it gingerly and examined it. He held it
out and thumbed the button. Nothing. He handed it to the
director. Nothing again.
"Let me try," offered
Erendil who had been watching events with interest. To his surprise
nothing happened for him either.
"Give us a go,"
enthused Presto. He took the saber handle from Erendil and Shiron
gave his to Feanar. They squared up to each other eagerly expecting
to have a real lightsaber battle just like their friends but to their massive disappointment the
blades refused to appear. "Are they broken?" he
appealed. They gave them back and saw the pulsating
energy blades burst into life as soon as Shiron and Falamir activated them.
Harrison shaking his head. "Now I see why you didn't want them
playing with the Falcon's controls!"
"But they only work for
the two of them, and not the others," commented the director.
fantastic," enthused Shiron. "Just think what we can do
with them on our adventure. They're a sword that can slice through
anything in one go and can be used as a torch as well. Also when
we're not using them they're small and easy to carry, just hang them from
your belt. Superb!"
"I could train to be a
Jedi," said Falamir with fire in his eyes.
"Wait a minute though
Shiron," joined in Dick who had been watching events with interest
whilst looking after the director's bottle. "I don't want to
rain on your parade but cleric's can't use bladed weapons can they?"
"Oh I never thought of
that," answered Shiron who looked like someone who has had the rug
pulled from under them.
"No need to worry on that
score gentlemen," added the director. "When we use them in
filming they're just a plastic rod coated with light reflecting paint with
all the glowing and humming added in later by special effects.
That's in practice but we're talking theory here aren't we? What
you've got there is a genuine lightsaber functioning exactly how George
Lucas imagined them to."
"So what exactly is
it?" asked Shiron anxious to know what the man was getting at.
"Well. The way I
understand it the lightsaber
is supposed to be an electrical weapon."
Falamir entered fanboy dialogue
mode again. "This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as
clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more
Harrison gave him a wink.
The director continued.
"Quite so. It is
actually a stream of high intensity electrical energy generated and
focused by a
crystal, something akin to a laser which is held in the shape of a sword
blade by a strong magnetic field. The saber burns through things
rather than cuts like a conventional sword. The blade if you can
call it that is pure electrical energy. This explains why there is
no blood spraying everywhere - the wound is cut and cauterised at the same
time. This enables us to apply for a lower rating for the picture
from the censors so it can screen to a younger and wider audience.
George was very shrewd in that."
"So what you're
saying," Shiron said with building excitement, "is that there is
no blade or cutting edge at all. Technically speaking a lightsaber
is not a bladed weapon?"
exchanged a high-five with Falamir who was grinning like an idiot.
"You know it's
funny. Fans are always keen to get their hands on film props for
souvenirs but I never expected to be giving them away to people who can
use them for real. Most strange. At least they'll be used for
a worthwhile purpose and not just stuck in a display case or sold to the
Realising they were on to a
good thing with all this Falamir pulled Shiron close and whispered
something in his ear. They conversed in secrecy for a few moments
and then Shiron turned once again to the director.
"Erm. We've got one
more thing to ask of you sir," enquired Shiron in a slightly
wheedling 'we're pushing our luck' kind of way.
"As you know we are
professional adventurers and as such need to wear armour of some
sort. Falamir and myself are the only members of our party who are
wearing chain mail. Everyone else has got plate mail which is much
more effective although much heavier. We were wondering if we could
purchase a set of stormtrooper armour as on us it would be real.
They are supposed to be extremely resilient, enough to stop a glancing
shot from a blaster in fact, but also extremely light to wear."
light," agreed Harrison. "When I wore one running around
in the Death Star scenes apart from it being a bit restrictive I hardly
knew I had it on."
"Well I don't know,"
replied the director. "Giving away a couple of lightsaber
handles is one thing but stormtrooper armour is quite another
matter. They're not exactly cheap to make you know and I don't have
that many full resin suits. Most of the ones you see in the films
are just painted cardboard!"
"We know that so I have a
proposition which could be quite profitable for you." This
piqued the director's interest so he indicated for Shiron to continue.
"We are prepared to
exchange a suit of stoormtrooper armour for our chain mail. Your costume armour will be real armour on us but these
chain mail suits are real chain mail - 100% genuine antique medieval chain
mail. Just think how much they would be worth.
Certainly many times more than the cost of making a couple more prop suits
from a mould......."
Dollar signs rung up in front
of the director's eyes with an almost audible 'kerching'.
"All off the record of
course," added Shiron. The director didn't really have to think
about it for too long.
"It's a deal," he
replied, shaking Shiron's hand with one hand and waving Chet over with the
other. "Chet, be a darling and show these two gentlemen to
wardrobe and see they get fitted out in full suits of the good
trooper armour for me would you?" Turning back
to Shiron he added, "do you want blasters as well?"
"I think they've bent the
rules way past breaking point as it is," interjected Erendil.
"I wonder how certain people will react to all this, they've been
strangely quiet up to now," he added
pointedly with a quizzical skyward look. The party members all got
Fifteen minutes later Shiron and
Falamir reappeared looking like real stormtroopers. The white plastic
armour matching perfectly with their trainers. They
handed over their chain mail to the director who fairly
buckled under the weight.
gentlemen," he said with some effort. "Everyone is
happy. Oh and one final thing. If you give your names to Chet
here we'll see to it that you get on the VIP list for the premier."
They all thanked him
enthusiastically and duly mobbed Chet who diligently wrote their details
down, eyebrows raising a few times with the odd sounding names. Then
Shiron turned to the director and asked him the question burning on every
expectant fan's lips.
"So what is the new film
"Ah, that's a
secret. We can't give everything away can we?" replied the
director with a wink. "You'll just have to wait and see.
Well we really must get on with the filming now, can't afford to loose any
more time, enjoyable though it has been. You are welcome to stay and
watch for longer if you wish." Several of them made approving
noises but Erendil stepped in again and spoke.
"Thank you for your
hospitality but we have delayed long enough and really must be getting on
with our business. We have spent quite a long time here - around 11
sides in fact and so really should depart before the adventure moves on
and leaves us behind." He tested his bad leg. "That
layover has given me a much needed rest and allowed my injury to heal up
Dick took one last crafty swig from the director's now
decidedly less full bottle and gave him a hearty slap on the back.
The director tottered and almost lost his balance under the weight of the chain mail
he was cradling but he gave Dick a friendly nod.
"Why don't you keep
it," he added as he observed the reluctance with which Dick left the
bottle behind. "You're obviously a man with good taste in
liquor and I can easily replace it. Be my guest." Dick's
mouth widened into a large grin as he took the director up on his offer
and carefully stowed the bottle away in his pack.
They all shook hands with
Harrison and the director (with difficulty), gathered up their equipment
and said their farewells. As they turned to leave Harrison called to
Falamir. "Hey kid. May the Force be with you!"
Falamir and Shiron responded in
kind and with waves and smiles followed the others away, the pair of them
strangely resplendent in their white stormtrooper plate mail.
Harrison turned to the director.
"We'd better keep this
story to ourselves Phil, no-one'll believe us anyway."
"You've got that right
enough," he agreed, finally loosing his fight to hold on to the
weight of the chainmail which crashed and clinked loudly to the
floor. "Chet. Have these taken to my trailer would you
please - and make sure it's locked afterwards!"
made it's way to the door it had bolted through so many pages ago and took
one last look back at the bustling film set before leaving. They
passed through the doorway and Presto closed the door firmly behind
him. They found themselves back in the dark corridor again.
Here endeth Part
Don't miss the next episode 'Ghosties & Goolies'